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10 years usage- Airport Extreme finally died-advice

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by Wifimessenger, Jul 18, 2019.

  1. Wifimessenger

    Wifimessenger New Around Here

    Jul 15, 2019
    I’ve had a wonderful 10 years of use from a 2nd gen Extreme [non-simultaneous .N] and 1 Express (hardwired). I cannot find any 6th gen .ac used Extreme for less than ~$300 from trustworthy sites, I don’t do eBay.

    House is single story 1300 sq. foot stucco, small back yard (25 feet depth from house), no ethernet runs inside walls, RG59 runs only. Standard SoCal suburbia lot, neighbors on east/west sides, no houses ever next to me north/south. Attached garage w/metal door.

    The Extreme is in the front of the house, shares wall with garage. ISP cat6 line enters interior here (fiber). One Express is hardwired to the middle of the house via a unmanaged Netgear 8 port gig switch -> Extreme.

    TV is via PS Vue.

    I use a hardwire (cat6) to my 4K TV, the Express, and as needed a laptop [2.4/5N], and desktop.

    2 wireless Ring [2.4N] cameras (front of garage/backyard on a post at the literal end of property line), 1 Ringdoorbell Pro [2.4/5N].
    2 iPad pros, 2 iPhone 8’s.
    Nest Protect [2.4N].
    Ecobee 3 [2.4N]
    Rachio [2.4/5N]
    IDevices x2 smart (indoor/outdoor) plugs [2.4N]

    The Ring camera barely just received enough signal in the backyard, always almost an issue. I had the extreme broadcast 2.4, and the Express is simultaneous dual-band, all the same SSID. I was happy.

    I know, from reading here throughout the years, Airports don’t have great range, overpriced etc. but I liked the stability etc.

    I have bought from Costco:

    Netgear Nighthawk X6s R7960P (ac3600) AND RAX75 (ax5700)

    Which is a better fit for me...

    I won’t be adding much of anything else to my house, maybe another TV 4K, should I still hardwire in bridge mode the Express to the new netgear? All the household does is stream 4K movies, Plex/Infuse server [no transcoding], NO gaming, usually just two people in house, occasionally family/friends come over (8-10 people max).

    I like that the .ac router has the 3rd radio, as I would dedicate it to just my TV 4K Vs. a hardwire running along the floor/rug. But it’s already outdated as WiFi .ax/WiFi6 is now standardized correct? [April 2019]

    Currently, just using the little Express to serve up everything solo, one camera will not connect as the router is in the front of the house (shared wall with garage as I stated earlier). My fiber is 100/100. I hope all the details are helpful, thank you for any input.

    With the way the living room is build, vaulted ceiling, running a line from the ISP box to the living room would be very hard, but not impossible for me to buy the tools and do it. Paying a pro is out of the question for budgetary reasons. Aren’t all these new ac/ax routers supposed to have outstanding range anyways!

    LASTLY, iOS app for Netgear seems to require email/password and credentials being stored on a Netgear server which I do not like. Are all of the router companies doing this these days, as privacy is a concern. Any reason I liked the Airport Utility app. I do not mind using a browser to manage.

    Very respectfully,
    Old Apple User

    Attached Files:

  2. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

    Dec 9, 2013
    A very long time ago, I went from Apple Extreme to Netgear to Asus + RMerlin firmware. Have never looked back, nor would I regress to anything less as long as current RMerlin firmware is available.

    An RT-AC86U may be all you need for your 1300SqFt home if it can be optimally placed. :)

    I agree with you about eBay. It simply doesn't exist as an option for me. ;)
    avtella and Clark Griswald like this.
  3. Wifimessenger

    Wifimessenger New Around Here

    Jul 15, 2019
    T-Mobile offered me a free ac-1900(?) “cell-spot” years ago, and I liked the interface but it dropped devices constantly....which made me a firm believer in Apple so long ago...does the Merlin f/w have a basic mode should I have to help my g/f reboot or other troubleshoot if I am not at home? As far as the asus brand, that’s really the only reason I didn’t look into them this time. I am really hoping not to spend money on a router for another 8-10 years barring the house burning down or an earthquake...
  4. Wifimessenger

    Wifimessenger New Around Here

    Jul 15, 2019
    Tough crowd. 7 days posted, one informative reply. I’ve since tried both routers, range and basic throughput equal. I don’t envy anyone looking for a router these days.
  5. degrub

    degrub Very Senior Member

    Dec 21, 2015
    Did you bother to look at the site’s router finder feature ?
    Other than firmware features, in the reviews, it likely will provide the info you are asking about.
    Most consumer level equipment is similar, so it really comes down to the features you need and how much time you are willing to spend.
    Router reboots by removing power and plugging back in will solve many issues if the initial config works.
    RMerlin firmware is well supported here.
  6. Wifimessenger

    Wifimessenger New Around Here

    Jul 15, 2019
    Yes. Noted in my initial post. Been browsing this site for over 6 years regularly.
    Reboots, never needed on Apple gear.
    Very little in-home written experiences in .ax gear (here or elsewhere).

    As noted, I also agree with you, consumer gear is muddled with similarities.

    I’ve read both articles about initial observations with .ax gear, both are outdated now; hence, the post pitting .AC and .AX gear now (summer 2019). Especially coming from single band .N

    For me, as a member of the military, I need a router that is easily accessible by my household, one that does NOT require soft/hard boot on a weekly basis. Full stop.

    This post was properly placed in the correct forum sub-category; I’m not looking for .db falloff at x meters, and the ac/dc plug type longevity...

    I am looking for hands-on real-world experience shared with me as we all transition from .N (me) [slowpoke] to .AC to .AX.

    So far in my testing there is no real difference, however I don’t not want to buy another router in two years or three years. I’m looking for something that will last another 10 years like my Apple router did [flawlessly].

    Just looking for some real world personable observations from anybody else that is going through my particular situation; after all this is a router enthusiast forum.

  7. AndreiV

    AndreiV Very Senior Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Have you looked at the Ubiquiti Amplifi HD ?


    Now has " Teleport" a device you can carry with you to access your router from any location.

    Plenty of reviews around.
    Very simple to use.
    Can be set up via smartphone or PC/web interface.
    Remote access (Teleport)
    Available as standalone router or mesh kit.
  8. rnatalli

    rnatalli Occasional Visitor

    Dec 26, 2018
    A 2-piece mesh system would probably do fine. I like the Netgear Orbi because of the tri-band allowing for a dedicated backhaul.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Oct 7, 2010
    I think consumer gear is designed to be replaced every 2 or 3 years. If you want something which will last look at small business gear. It is less cutting edge but is built to last. I have tried several brands years ago which I was not happy with. I finally bought Cisco small business gear and it works well enough for me. But I was a Cisco guy many years ago using pro Cisco gear. I had never used Cisco small business gear until I installed it at my house.
  10. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2014
    Staying focused on the primarily goal of rock-solid routing, switching and the best wireless for your use-case, if you're inclined to want to replace one all-in-one (AIO) for another, then I would suggest you look for the most proven hardware and firmware available, which would likely be a late-model AC Wave 2 Asus running Merlin. (Leave the AX stuff alone for a while longer; it offers no practical benefits to most clients out there, and I don't see that really changing for some time...).

    That said, you haven't mentioned a hard budget, so if you're willing to invest a bit more and your skill set it up to par, I would actually implore you to consider discrete components instead of another all-in-one. This will allow you a myriad of benefits, from better performance and reliability of each individual piece to much easier upgradability of each without effecting the rest of your network stack.

    If the above were a possibility, you'd want to start with a proper wired router as your packet-pushing engine. With your Gb LAN being 10x the speed of your WAN link (2,000Mb aggregate vs 200Mb aggregate), I would go a step beyond the faux-enterprise "VPN" routers (Cisco RV, TP-Link TL, Linksys LRT) to something with more modern QoS and flow queue management, like a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter 4 plus a separate switch (L2 or L3 managed), or EdgeRouter 12 with integrated L2 switch and no external switch. The Smart Queue QoS, when set properly, will allow for smoother behavior of all of your traffic, all of the time, whether you saturate the link or not (which at 100Mb one-way is a possibility, especially with multiple streams of 4K content plus whatever else is going on...).

    For wireless, again, I would opt for solid, proven AC Wave 2 gear, either a consumer AIO set as an AP, or purpose built APs, from a simple TP-Link EAP225v3 all the way up to whole house mesh products like Orbi or Eero, or even big-boy enterprise wifi with PD-MRC and real-time channel optimization (Ruckus).

    The sky by going discrete components, but so is the budget and skill required, so if you're simple answer is, "not for me", totally understandable, but I couldn't let this thread go without giving you the best possible outcome, if you so chose to go there.