What are you guys using for a router that you love?

jordan12

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Dec 29, 2000
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I need a new router and there are tons out. I need something that works really well in the 2.4 range for a 1500 SF apartment.

My current one drops and I need to power cycle it several times a week.

So what are you guys using that happens to be rock solid?
 

goodrob

Limp Gawd
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Apr 10, 2001
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317
I have an Asus RT-AX86U. For me its been good, but i dont use much wireless most of my things are hard wired in. The few things i do use wireless on never had any issues or needed reboots outside of firmware updates.
 

Eulogy

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I avoid the "all in one" consumer type devices.
My router is a MikroTik RB4011iGS+RM. I have two TP-Link EAPs for wifi -- mine are about two generations old but rock solid still. I run the Omada Controller in a container on my server, but it's not required. Eventually I may upgrade to newer APs, but, only have an iPad and two phones on WiFi, everything else is wired, so I really don't care about it too much :)
 

Nicklebon

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You ask about a router and the describe access point problems. As Eulogy says all in one devices are generally not especially good at anything and poor substitutes for dedicated devices and even more to the point these are services that generally should be not supplied from the same location. Get a router that's the best router and put it where it needs to be. Then get an access point that's the best access point and put that where it should be. Rarely will those two locations be the same.
 

travm

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Subbing to this thread as I've hated every router I've ever used... Current router is a dlink ax1800 and it's not so bad I want to smash it (tplink ac1200 I'm looking at you), but I'm not impressed.

Op have you thought about getting a mesh set up like the Netgear Nighthawk ax1800 or better? I installed one at my parents place and they seem to like it. The interface is nicer than what I'm using now.
 

ThatITGuy

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Mikrotik hEX RB750, though I am looking to upgrade to the RB5009UG+S+IN. It was around $40 and has been rock solid for 5+ years now. That is with me having it handle the VLAN segregation into multiple networks/IP pools. I have a cheap Engenius AP, that does a good job of getting signal throughout the house (2 stories + basement). I originally bought it just for the short term but it has performed well enough for me to delay replacing it, especially since i can create multiple SSIDs and assign each its own VLAN id.
Only reason i am looking to upgrade is that the backbone of my internal network is now 10G Fiber, including the NAS.
 
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Darunion

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Unifi USG gateway, with 3 access points one LR as the main and two lites for 'mesh' points. Everything runs into the switch before the router.
 

hajalie24

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I have the Deco x20 and I really like it. I kinda hate that I have to use an app for most of the functionality (online GUI is pretty much just read only) but it's blazing fast and great coverage. I have the access points hardwired to ethernet though.

I've had it for like ~8 months maybe and not once did I have to power cycle it.
 

Zedicus

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Openwrt = features like a enterprise firewall, reboot? Are you updating the base image? Hardware support? About that....

Ddwrt = we want to be a user friendly, free as in beer, openwrt alternative. Yeah.

Unifi usg series = we are a pretty descent firewall for the price. Usually we have some features, too.

Unifi dream machine = I AM THE FUTURE. also i am basically perpetual beta.

Untangle = i do everything everyone else does....differently.
 

zandor

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Mikrotik hEX RB750, though I am looking to upgrade to the RB5009UG+S+IN. It was around $40 and has been rock solid for 5+ years now. That is with me having it handle the VLAN segregation into multiple networks/IP pools. I have a cheap Engenius AP, that does a good job of getting signal throughout the house (2 stories + basement). I originally bought it just for the short term but it has performed well enough for me to delay replacing it, especially since i can create multiple SSIDs and assign each its own VLAN id.
Only reason i am looking to upgrade is that the backbone of my internal network is now 10G Fiber, including the NAS.
You might want to hold off a bit since MikroTik has some bugs to fix with the RB5009. I just bought one. It'll work for me but might not be so hot if I upgrade my internet to >1Gb. It has some performance issues with the 2.5Gb port and IPv6 for typical home use scenarios. Plus more the serious networking guys complain about. The big problem for me would be the 2.5Gb port. It has performance issues, and is often slower than one of the 7 1Gb ports. If I don't upgrade my Internet to >1Gbps I can just use one of the 1GbE ports for WAN and all should be well. It's likely a software problem since all the people complaining about it on the MikroTik forums seem to be using it as a WAN port. I'm going to do some testing but FS.com hasn't delivered my cables & transceivers yet so I have to wait for those. The RB5009 is part of a 10gig network upgrade. 2.5 to the cable modem, 10 to my core switch & desktops. Hopefully I can play with it this weekend. Cables & transceivers are supposed to be here tomorrow. At any rate, keep your eye on the MikroTik forums if you're eying an RB5009. People there know a hell of a lot more about these things than I do.
 

ThatITGuy

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You might want to hold off a bit since MikroTik has some bugs to fix with the RB5009. I just bought one. It'll work for me but might not be so hot if I upgrade my internet to >1Gb. It has some performance issues with the 2.5Gb port and IPv6 for typical home use scenarios. Plus more the serious networking guys complain about. The big problem for me would be the 2.5Gb port. It has performance issues, and is often slower than one of the 7 1Gb ports. If I don't upgrade my Internet to >1Gbps I can just use one of the 1GbE ports for WAN and all should be well. It's likely a software problem since all the people complaining about it on the MikroTik forums seem to be using it as a WAN port. I'm going to do some testing but FS.com hasn't delivered my cables & transceivers yet so I have to wait for those. The RB5009 is part of a 10gig network upgrade. 2.5 to the cable modem, 10 to my core switch & desktops. Hopefully I can play with it this weekend. Cables & transceivers are supposed to be here tomorrow. At any rate, keep your eye on the MikroTik forums if you're eying an RB5009. People there know a hell of a lot more about these things than I do.
Yea, I am not in any hurry to upgrade. Honestly, the hEX has been solid and runs Dude just fine. Its just the itch to get more of the network to 10Gb, and > 1 Gb. I will likely end up stalling until I can find a router with 2 SFP+, instead of just 1. I want to have the router -> switches SFP+ 10Gb Fiber, but eventually i would want the ability to have the availability for 10Gb between modem and router as well.
 

Stugots

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PCEngines APU2 with pfSense, DLink 16-port Gigabit switch, Unifi UAP-AC-Lite Access Point. I thought about migrating to all-Ubiquiti hardware at one point.

I'll never run an all-in-one piece again.

From what I've seen, the APU2 I'm running my firewall on will top out at WAN speeds of about ~700mbit.
 

daglesj

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A vintage Draytek 2860n with all the stuff I don't need switched off including the Wi-Fi (thats handled by a TP-Link WAP) fed into a 16 port TP-Link gigabit switch for all the heavy data shifting between devices.

I did use a EdgeRouter X for 6 months but it started getting DNS issues so I pulled it out.
 

kirbyrj

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I have an Asus RT-AX86U. For me its been good, but i dont use much wireless most of my things are hard wired in. The few things i do use wireless on never had any issues or needed reboots outside of firmware updates.

I have the same one. I use Merlin firmware, but I never have a problem with it.
 

Valnar

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If the OP wants an all-in-one there are fine choices out there. I gave my parents an ASUS RT-AC86U and loaded ASUSWrt-Merlin on it. Been working great for years.
 

zandor

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jordan12 Sounds like your problem is stability rather than coverage. Unless you're itching for an upgrade anyway the first thing I'd do is upgrade the firmware if you haven't. I've been using an Arris SVG2482AC (Comcast model, DOCSIS 3.0 so I wouldn't recommend it) that's been pretty bulletproof until I finish the upgrade I'm working on.

Range doesn't seem like it should be an issue in an apartment that size, at least for 2.4GHz. I had an apartment about that size and don't recall any issues with 5GHz. Now I'm in a house that's about 1440ft^2 per floor. It's an old city house so it's roughly 60'x24'. The Arris is at the back of the basement and reaches the front of the first floor no problem on 2.4GHz. 5GHz works there but it's a bit slow. The front of the house on the 2nd floor? 2.4GHz works there, but that's about it.

How fancy do you want to get? Just plug it in and have internet or would you rather tweak stuff and write firewall rules? Lots of us here like "real" routers or loading 3rd party software/firmware on consumer models, but that's not for everyone.

I'm guessing apartment = rental = no drilling holes and running cable. You might want to look at one of those mesh systems. They generally have a base router unit and come in a package with 1-2 satellites. The satellites use a 5GHz connection to the base or another satellite. Usually the satellites also have an ethernet port on them that you can use to connect wired devices. Then if you want to get [H] you can always put the base unit in bridge mode and plug it into a "real" router.
 

Keljian

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Google nest wifi. Why? Just works, don’t need to spend time futzing with it.
 

owcraftsman

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I have an Asus RT-AX86U. For me its been good, but i dont use much wireless most of my things are hard wired in. The few things i do use wireless on never had any issues or needed reboots outside of firmware updates.

I have the same one. I use Merlin firmware, but I never have a problem with it.
The best thing about Asus Routers other than Merlin is AiMesh which connects multiple compatible ASUS routers to create a whole-home mesh Wi-Fi network. Now you might say that sounds familiar because lots of companies out the selling MESH products which appears to be the same thing but they're not. The second router or third whatever the case may be is a full-fledged router with expandable Ethernet ports something not found on Gryphon eero TP-Link Google Orbi and Apple. They connect via Wi-Fi and as such limited vs the ethernet connection. I live in a large home and do not, cannot rely on Wi-Fi. One cable run from router one to 2nd router creates another distribution point for hardwired devices for ultimate performance. You might say well I don't want the expense of running a cable or I rent and can't. All I can say is where there is a will there is a way and the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Asus AiMesh also creates a wifi network that eliminates weak signals in the other half or third of a home and works seamlessly with IOT etc. but it is not slowed by a downstream Wi-Fi connection. Finally my 2nd router is more or less centrally located and all my IOT devices (Ring Hue etc.) connect to it. When I upgraded my main router to 802.11ax and connected my 2nd to it I did not have to go through the hassle of setting up again the 50 devices and all is as seamless as it was before the upgrade. Connecting routers is as simple as discovering it on the network and adding it through the routers interface. It just works and is simple to use and I encourage everyone to try it.
 

jeffreyp

n00b
Joined
Oct 4, 2021
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27
I need a new router and there are tons out. I need something that works really well in the 2.4 range for a 1500 SF apartment.

My current one drops and I need to power cycle it several times a week.

So what are you guys using that happens to be rock solid?
Motorola MG8702 AC3200 router. Strong all through out split level home.
 

travm

[H]ard|Gawd
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Feb 26, 2016
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This thread convinced me to get a new router. Grabbed a tp link archer C7, loaded up with dd wrt. First impression is I wish I picked this first. Don't have high expectations for speed, but the options are impressive.

I might actually donate to this project... Considering its way more configurable than the $200 D-link AX1800 router that I bought, and was thoroughly disappointed with, plus the Archer C7 only cost me $70.
 
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German Muscle

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Aug 2, 2005
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OPNSense with Zenarmor as a Next Gen FW on a Dell R620.

As for consumer grade i ran MerlinWRT on a Asus RT-AC68U for like 7 years now that i decommissioned and is now taking care of my mothers house. It was replaced by a RT-AX88U running MerlinWRT and it was a beast. It was sold it when i went enterprise.
 

mlcarson

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Jul 12, 2009
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Still using an Edgerouter Lite here with 1Gbs Symmetric Internet without issue. I'd probably use VyOS since it has a very similar syntax to the Edgerouter if I had to replace it. The big drawback in doing so though would be the power consumption on the HW that I have (old I7-2600K or I5-2500K). If you don't want to build your own then maybe a used Sonicwall TZ400 or above. Here's the thing about routers -- the QOS functionality is important if you have asymmetric or slow speeds and corporate routers won't have FQ_CODEL. At 1Gbs symmetric speeds, the QOS features don't seem to be important for my usage based on buffer bloat tests so my Edgerouter Lite works fine with those features disabled. Something like a Sonicwall TZ400 capable of doing 1Gbs firewall throughput would work well too and wouldn't take as much power as a PC.

I've got a couple old Sonicwall NSA 3500's with the latest firmware release but the power consumption is listed at 65W. The equivalent in the TZ series is the TZ600 with a power consumption of 14-16W and they'd be much quieter. Power consumption and noise are concerns in a home environment.
[edit] I tested the NSA 3500's and they only did about 500Mbs throughput with DPI disabled and pretty much everything else but Firewall/NAT. The CPU chart showed the thing maxing out 3/4 cores and I think the first core is dedicated to management. So much for the 1.5 Gbs spec.
[edit] I tested an old Fortigate 60C; it's rated for 1Gbs and it did 1Gbs. It drew 7-8 watts and is totally silent. You can get them for $25 on ebay. That's with turning off everything but the basic firewall/nat features. The Fortigate 60D & 60E are also available pretty cheap and are more powerful. Since Fortigate has just as nice of an interface as Sonicwall and appears to be more honest on their throughput numbers - this would be my recommendation. If you want wireless, just add an access point.
 
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heslo

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Asus AX88U flashed with Merlin custom firmware. Let's me run stuff like Diversion so I can block ads and other nifty features. Wouldn't be without it to be honest
 

OFaceSIG

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Another vote for pfsense. I'm on my 3rd or 4th pfsense build for the house. We also run it at work for our primary DIA ingress into the datacenter. Cannot complain.
 

OFaceSIG

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Google nest wifi. Why? Just works, don’t need to spend time futzing with it.
I've installed Google wifi for clients and I cannot stand it. The install procedure is maddening. Watching your shaped just bounce around hoping everything goes well is no bueno for me. I moved onto TP Link for mesh installations and am vastly happier.
 

OFaceSIG

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We use Ubiquiti with no issues. Out of curiosity who is your internet provider? I ask because Spectrum/ TW drops packets so often our modem/routers would reset all the time, upon switching to ATT fiber few packet drops or reboots.
https://www.speedtest.net/my-result/d/811ab5f3-180e-45ae-870f-ceaa2b833ede
The problem with ATT is they force you to use their equipment in bridge mode in front if your router which is ridiculous. The fiber terminal in the garage or outside should be all that is needed, a la FIOS.
 

Nicklebon

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The problem with ATT is they force you to use their equipment in bridge mode in front if your router which is ridiculous. The fiber terminal in the garage or outside should be all that is needed, a la FIOS.
If it were actually in bridge mode it would not really be an issue. The real issue is that their gear is not in bridge mode and that there is no bridge mode. In some cases there are options but those likely won't work with most new installations and definitely don't work with the >1Gbps tiers.
 

Vermillion

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I read stuff like that and laugh because everyone is always OMG GOOGLE IS THE DEVIL when it's everybody else that really needs to be watched when it comes to hardware.

I run Google WiFi, have a Pixel 6 Pro, Fossil Gen 5 WearOS smartwatch, and have 6 Google Homes (1 hub, 2 original, 4 minis) throughout the house. All behind an OPNsense firewall and a Pi-hole that does ALL DNS and DHCP.

You want to know what talks the LEAST? Everything Google based. My Google Home devices talk once in the early morning which based on research says it's just the update API checking for firmware updates. Google WiFi does the same. Other than that they make no calls except when actually in use and they pull data. For example if one of my kids asks the Google for the temperature or to play a song I can see the query. However, the actual "Hey Google" command does not generate a query only the question that was asked of the Google generates traffic.

Any Windows based laptop calls home to the mothership A LOT. I don't see much in the long run though because I only have a single work laptop here with Windows 11. I'll see added traffic when I build a new laptop for a new employee but it quiets down after I get the new laptop enrolled in Intune and put our policies in place. Windows does make a lot of calls though when not locked down which most of the population can't do.

I tossed all my Amazon FireSticks many moons ago because they called home ALL the damn time. Especially to the Alexa APIs and I never even turned on or configured Alexa. Not to mention the interface on Amazon Firesticks is slow and garbage anyways.

My Roku Ultra used to not talk much which is why I loved it and when my bedroom TV died I replaced it and my other aging TV over the family room fireplace with TCL Roku TVs. Most recent OS update makes the Ultra call home all the time. My TCL Roku TVs? Call home all the damn time and have since the beginning. It's so bad now (current updates have made it much worse) I'm looking at sticking Google Chromecasts with Google TV on them instead. My family room TV calls home so often (even when turned off) the Pi-hole has rated limited it. I have friends with nearly the same network config I have and the new gen Chromecasts with Google TV are quiet.

My wife's iPhone and the kids iPads (3 of them) also actually make a lot of calls back to the mothership. But Apple is all about your "privacy" right? Well those devices make multiple calls per day to metrics.icloud.com and stats.gc.apple.com even when the devices are not in use which is a vast majority of the day since my kids are all in school.

Attached are pictures of my Pi-hole dashboard. Ridiculous that I'm at 71% block rate and the vast majority of blocked calls are nothing but Roku calling home.

Thank god for OPNsense and Pi-hole to watch all this crap.
 

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hhkb

Limp Gawd
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Moved house and decided to try 3x Eero Pro 6, because wiring it is going to be a massive pain and apparently the new wifi 6 tech is really good for backhaul. Have to say it has exceeded expectations. I did some extensive testing and latency only suffers about 4-6ms extra with very low jitter across two hops, even under load (~500mbps or so) it barely breaks 10-15ms extra. On 900mbps/100mbps connection, get around 650mbps and full upload across two hops as well.

On the negative side you have very little control over it. It's all just automatic and magical. But it seems to be doing the right thing, since my results are great. Literally took 5 minutes to set up, compared with hours/days with my prior UAP set up.
 

Eulogy

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You want to know what talks the LEAST? Everything Google based. My Google Home devices talk once in the early morning which based on research says it's just the update API checking for firmware updates. Google WiFi does the same. Other than that they make no calls except when actually in use and they pull data. For example if one of my kids asks the Google for the temperature or to play a song I can see the query. However, the actual "Hey Google" command does not generate a query only the question that was asked of the Google generates traffic.
If you're just using PiHole to back this up, well, you're a bit incorrect. Quite a few devices have their own hardcoded DNS servers - regardless of what you setup or provide via DHCP.
To overcome that I block outgoing port 53 at my router. But obviously, in those cases, PiHole isn't ever seeing the traffic or client, so it won't report on it.
 
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