1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

advice on router choices

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by born2ride, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. born2ride

    born2ride Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NJ
    I have a asus n66u with merlin firmware.. I have been having wifi issues and other issues on and off for past year, I am looking for a replacement . I use plex , netflix ,youtube alot, all my main pc's are hardwired. My son is starting to game alot, my choices are TP-Link AC1900 Smart Wireless Router - Beamforming Dual Band Gigabit,Netgear (R7000-100PAS) Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band WiFi Router, Gigabit Router

    I am looking to spend no more than 150 , unless i truley have too
     
  2. Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!
  3. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Asus RT-AC66U_B1

    To get a better router, there's a huge jump to $170+ and at that point you are too close to the best performing consumer WiFi hardware in a standalone router to not buy it ($187 of the Netgear R7800).

    In other words, there are no better router choices between sub-$100 and $170+, unless you are buying SOHO/enterprise access points instead of a standalone router.

    If you are technical or not afraid of watching light Youtube guides on configuring a router, if necessary, then there is the SOHO option of Ubiquiti Edgerouter X + Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-AC-Lite combo for less than your budget.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018
  4. born2ride

    born2ride Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NJ
    Thank you for that! last question I see most router reviews are broken down by gaming, streaming and better range . I am not worried about range as i have a small home , main concern is easy to configure, and streaming! my household does between 1-1.5 tb of data usages as per comcast, gaming is only a 1/3 of it .. Is the R7800 still my best choice? stock firmware?
     
  5. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Netgear R7800 with stock firmware has less overall features and much more dated user interface compared to a modern Asus router, but if you are not going to be doing anything advanced, its perfectly fine and easy to use.

    Also, for that specific model, you don't have to worry about Netgear's usual bad reputation for updates because, in the worse case scenario where Netgear stops releasing updates, it has probably the best support for open source in any modern consumer router.
     
    joegreat likes this.
  6. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,881
    actually first you gotta figure out what your WAN speed is and will be, then how much LAN speed you need. The less LAN you need the less wifi you'll need.
    For instance if your WAN is 300Mb/s, you'll need at least dual channel wifi AC to keep up. If you do LAN transfers like transferring videos to a local plex server, then you may need faster wifi if you transfer files via wifi.

    The other thing is finding a router with good QoS if you have multiple users that can do QoS at that speed too. I would not recommend netgear anymore, i recommend looking at asus and tplink.

    The problem with netgear was always firmware but at least they gave you good hardware, now even their hardware is terrible, and this is from personal experience too.
     
  7. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Messages:
    172
    Netgear R7800 has the best currently available WiFi radios in the consumer market and comparable consumer satisfaction to the latest Asus routers, so that's not an issue on this very specific case.

    As for firmware with "QoS", you would normally be right, but as far as I'm aware you get fq_codel with stock firmware on a Netgear R7800 due to the Qualcomm Streamboost technology, one of the the only Netgear router models that has AQM. Not even Asus can claim that. You have to install third party firmware to get it on Asus.

    I would take any form of modern SQM than the usual weak traffic prioritization options on consumer router stock firmware.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  8. avtella

    avtella Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2015
    Messages:
    691
    Location:
    USA
    The AC66UB1 is essentially an AC68U in a different case, still decent hardware even though it may seem dated. It pretty much the same hardware as the R7000.

    Netgear hardware is just fine and pretty reliable connectivity wise, I've never had issues in that aspect, most of the issues are usually software/firmware related ie device names/icon settings. The R7800 is pretty popular with OpenWRT/LEDE and DD-WRT users due to the great Qualcomm hardware. LEDE/OpenWRT runs great on it that has the amazing SQM Piece of Cake available which was developed by the the same people who created FQ_Codel. hnyman on LEDE forums releases builds every few days for the R7800. If looking for good stock firmware with lots of advanced options that aren't buggy then Asus is better, however in terms of OpenSource support for newer gen devices Broadcom is usually worse than Qualcomm especially on the WiFi side. I personally would not buy TP-Link.

    Basically in your price range:
    Stock: Prefer Asus AC68U, AC66B1, AC3100
    OpenWRT/LEDE, and WiFi performance: Prefer a Qualcomm unit like the R7800.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
  9. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    12,898
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    If you're good with the Asus WebGUI - the RT-AC68U, while long in tooth, is a proven device, and has excellent support for third party forks - e.g. either John or rMerlin's efforts. Community support is a big plus as there are many on SNBForums still use the RT-AC68U.

    The R7000 is similar HW wise to the RT-AC68U, and it is a mature device that is very well sorted on the firmware from Netgear (do not try to use the xvortex builds which are an illegal fork of the AsusWRT code).
     
  10. born2ride

    born2ride Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2014
    Messages:
    23
    Location:
    NJ

    I still have not purchase new router yet, since the last window update I lost home group and still trying to figure out how to drop my large video files for my one Pc to my Plex server! Not sure what you mean by lan speed? Are you asking if I am a 10/100 or a gigabyte network? How would I calculate lan speed? , The home uses about a TB of data traffic as per internet providers statement!
     
  11. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    3,881
    thats not what im asking in regards to LAN speed, technically with LAN there is no shortage to speeds till the network is not the bottleneck, for instance when the network is faster than the drives. For instance a single SSDs will max out 4 lan ports, but may not max out a single 10Gb/s port, and many routers have different options in LAN. If you do lots of file transfers, then consider a managed switch and LACP/trunking, or consider 10Gb/s. Video streams take little bandwidth so even a standard 1Gb/s will watch the highest quality 4K encoded video there is from bluray. Technically you can share a bluray drive over 1Gb/s LAN and it wont bottleneck.

    Its gigabit not gigabyte.

    There is no calculation of speed, only to not have bottlenecks in LAN.
     
Please support SNBForums! Just click on this link before you buy something from Amazon and we'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!