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Best $200+ dollar router?

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by sdmf74, Oct 17, 2018.

  1. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    Im looking for a new router to replace my basic Asus acrh13. I just switched from 3mbps dsl to a 100mbps cable internet connection for now & im also looking to buy a modem so I dont have to rent from mediacom. Im looking for something better than my current Asus. Should I consider an Asus RT-AC86U, Asus RT-AC3200, or a synology RT2600AC or any other router?
    Im just connecting to my pc & several other devices in my home theater room & for coverage 2 other cell phones directly upstairs in a duplex. Also using a Netgear managed switch.
    Tivo Cable box dvrs will connect through either moca 2.0 or direct ethernet. Suggestions welcome please?
     
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  3. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Any of those should be fine for an all-in-one under $200.

    However, since you have a managed switch already in place (good move), you may want to consider running discrete components versus the typical "hope I can find all I need in this one box" approach. A $50 wired router (UBNT ER-X, etc.) and an access point or 2 (TP-Link EAP225v3 or similar), and you'd be good to go, with likely a higher performance threshold and easier upgradability over the long haul. But I can totally understand if you just want to K-I-S-S (keep it simple, stupid) and just roll with a single box. For that, either the Asus or the Synology should be fine. If you go that way but find its routing performance to be lackluster, you can always re-purpose it as just an AP, then drop in a proper wired router or build-it-yourself firewall for more packet-pushing horsepower later on. ;)
     
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  4. Testscript

    Testscript Occasional Visitor

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2018
  5. Testscript

    Testscript Occasional Visitor

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    About Cable Modem I found this post:
     
  6. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    For the modem, you need to get a list of approved models from your ISP first.
     
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  7. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I may not have clearly stated my setup. My pc and most of my gear will all be in the same room as my modem & router & the wifi will only be used for my cell phone and 2 other peoples cell phones upstairs.
    My current router gets pretty good coverage but im just wanting to upgrade to something better & more futureproof.

    Any other benefits in going with the edge router plus setup other than improving my latency for gaming (which I do quite often)? I found the SQM feature intriguing but not sure its worth the trouble?
    [​IMG]

    For the modem(s) Im considering the sb8200 or motorola mb8600 (not sure if the moto is mediacom compatible though). I will also have to buy a second emta modem so I can have landline capability. Hopefully splitting the two modems wont create signal/speed loss?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  8. Marica Calma

    Marica Calma Occasional Visitor

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    Well, Synology RT2600AC can support multiple data streams simultaneously like streaming media players, game consoles, smart TVs, tablets, and more. I think this is a good router at your place.
     
  9. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    The only thing steering me away from the synology is the fact that its been out for a while
     
  10. Testscript

    Testscript Occasional Visitor

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  11. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

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    Modem: you'll need to refer to your approved modem list for your ISP. A DOCSIS 3.1 modem like the Motorola SB8200 is complete overkill when something like an Arris SB6183 modem would work for Internet speeds more than double what you have. It is much better to get the cheapest possible reliable modem (never modem-router) and spend the rest of your budget on a router and APs. Avoid Intel PUMA 6+ chipset modems like the plague due to their well-known latency issues.

    Router: discrete components, i.e. a separate router and AP, are always better for reliability and flexibility. These days it can also be cheaper than buying a high end all-in-one router, especially when you can re-use any existing wireless router you have as an AP.
    • < 130 Mbps with SQM or < 1 Gbps aggregate without SQM: Ubiquiti Edgerouter ER-X
    • < 400 Mbps with SQM or Gigabit Internet without SQM: Ubiquiti Edgerouter ER-4 or USG Pro 4 (if intend to have other Unifi components like APs)
    Access point(s): when you can wire APs to your router via Ethernet or MOCA - Ubiquiti Unifi UAP-AC-Lite or TP-Link EAP225 v3

    If you insist on an all-in-one router (again never modem-router) or are not technically minded at all, you need nothing more than something like an Asus RT-AC66U B1 and save your money. It also has the side-benefit of being able to run Merlin firmware.

    Note. SQM on Ubiquiti routers can be applied separately on upload or download, and SQM in general is more effective on upload.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  12. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    Well I was considering an all in one router/AP (synology rt2600ac or similar) simply because I dont think I need to add more AP's cause my duplex isnt that big & Ive been getting pretty good coverage thus far. I am fairly new to networking but eager to learn & willing to
    buy better gear (that I can afford) if it benefits me one way or another, ie bufferbloat. My current speedtest from mediacom shows my ping at 7ms, dslreports bufferbloat test shows A rating with 24-34ms (I asume thats pretty good?) but havent yet had the chance to
    fully test my ping in BF4/BF1 etc.

    Correct me if im wrong but The edgerouter erx might be somewhat of a bottleneck as im getting about 130mbps download (definately wouldnt be future proof).
    Arent your numbers a bit high? The above video states that the ERX will do about 100mbps, 120mbps max with SQM enabled. Anything that seems to handle higher speeds with SQM enabled is pretty expensive
    However I found an ERPRO-8 on ebay for $225
     
  13. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Lets take a step back for a moment... As enthusiastic as we might be about discrete components, we have to respect your budget and that you may not feel completely comfortable with jumping into setting up Ubiquiti gear, or similar (although it's not that hard, but I digress...).

    That being said, you might be able to split the difference here by starting off with something like an RT-AC86U with the latest Merlin firmware, which has fq_codel added as a queuing discipline in QoS. Turn that on, and you would have close to identical bufferbloat-fighting capability that you would have with an ER-X, while also having wifi, all in a single, familiar interface. If the wifi and/or packet handling is still not where it needs to be, you'll at least know you gave it a shot with arguably one of the strongest options, and *then* you can look to discrete components with confidence in knowing that's where you need to be. Additionally, the 86U purchase wouldn't be a complete loss, as you could either return it or re-purpose it as just an access point, then expand our your network from there.

    So, in my opinion, that is your best course of action, given your budget, skill level and goals.
     
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  14. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    Awesome I agree that is probably my best bet for now anyway (ive been eyeballin that router anyway) but I will keep reading up on the Ubiquiti gear. I wanna thank everyone for their input, suggestions & links!
     
  15. Testscript

    Testscript Occasional Visitor

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    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  16. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    Any idea what the Expected performance range is on those 2 models with SQM enabled?

    Thanks for the links ill cbeck them out later.
     
  17. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    Im not sure what SQM is, but i have the older ubiquiti hardware but here are whats been reported though. The older dual core ubiquiti 64 bit MIPS at 1 Ghz (ERPRO) will do 200Mb/s of QoS, So the newer ones which should have 4 cores at a decent frequency should do double those speeds and would be more than enough to cover your needs. I use mikrotik but not everyone is able to easily configure it, though my favourite is actually a linux server, only that i cant get the performance of my 36 core mikrotik CCR on a linux server for the price though not to mention the SFP+ NICs would take up a big chunk of the cost if i went with a server and cards.

    The advantage of ubiquiti edgerouters is that they can also be used as embedded linux servers, if you could attach storage you could have your own torrent servers and cache too for various things but at the moment linux/unix can easily do web cache but not application cache as last i checked you needed to run a VM for that, otherwise you could cache things like steam, OS updates and plenty more.
     
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  18. Testscript

    Testscript Occasional Visitor

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    - USG: More or less 80 Mbps with SQM (500 MHz, 2 cores)
    - ER-X: More or less 140 Mbps with SQM (880 MHz, 2 cores)
    - ERPro-8 or USG Pro 4: More or less 160 Mbps with SQM (1 GHz, 2 cores)
    - ER-4 or ER-6P: More or less 320 Mbps with SQM (1 GHz, 4 cores)

    In a few months Ubiquiti will release a new USG router and will use the same or better hardware than the ER-4 and ER-6P.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2018
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  19. NExile

    NExile New Around Here

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    The only thing steering me away from the Synology is the fact that its been out for a while.

    Hi sdmf74,


    actually, I think that's a good reason to get it. Firmware is now pretty much bug free (I know, nothing is bug free), updated frequently (here's one from ten days ago):

    https://www.synology.com/en-us/releaseNote/RT2600ac

    Version: 1.2-7742-1

    https://www.synology.com/en-us/products/RT2600ac

    Here is another (current) review where the 2600AC does very well:

    https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/

    Please note that Wirecutter review is written by Jim Salter, who writes here at SNB under the pen name Jim Salter:

    https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/google-search-results?q="Jim salter"

    Synology 2600AC gets a good grade from him.
     
  20. sdmf74

    sdmf74 Occasional Visitor

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    I know the synology is a great router but have they (synology) done anything to combat bufferbloat?
    I know the newer asus has some sort of game mode and WTFast (not sure how well it works) but latency and ping are my biggest concerns so im just wanting a router that performs well in regards to it
     
  21. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

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    There are almost no consumer routers that have stock modern SQM support, i.e. with active queue management like fq_codel or CAKE. Also, the difference in bufferbloat between even a low latency router without SQM and one with SQM is so large that there is little point talking about a "router that performs well in regards to it [bufferbloat]", if it does not have SQM. Even ISP grade Mikrotik and expensive Cisco routers perform worse in bufferbloat than any router with SQM on a given connection.

    The only consumer exceptions I know of are the Netgear R7800 which has hardware and firmware license support for SQM from to its StreamBoost Qualcomm technology and the EvenRoute IQRouter, which is a cloud-based router (eww) with cloud extensions on a TP-Link Archer C7 running OpenWRT with fq_codel (it may be using CAKE instead by now).

    You can also install LEDE/OpenWRT third-party firmware on these models and other open-source friendly routers to gain SQM, but at the cost of losing any proprietary modules that improve performance, especially on WiFi and NAT.

    None of these scale in general wired performance as well as even the cheapest or equivalent Ubiquiti Edgerouters, they are all-in-one units - which makes them more fragile - and they are more expensive for little gain.

    Synology is great if all you want is a featureful, set it and forget it all-in-one router, with probably the best user interface in the entire router market. However, it will not combat bufferbloat with modern methods and it still suffers from the usual issues for all-in-one routers. It is also much more expensive than even most consumer routers. Still, if it had SQM, I would never hesitate to recommend it for many consumers, even at its current price point, due to all its existing benefits and having a powerful CPU that would make SQM viable for many users.

    In short, the moment your primary concern is bufferbloat, your options become dramatically limited at this time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
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