What's new

Best AC router with good transfer speeds for attached NAS?

  • SNBForums Code of Conduct

    SNBForums is a community for everyone, no matter what their level of experience.

    Please be tolerant and patient of others, especially newcomers. We are all here to share and learn!

    The rules are simple: Be patient, be nice, be helpful or be gone!

neurrone

New Around Here
Hi,

I just baught a Synology NAS, its connected to my router with a 1gbps ethernet link. But I'm experiencing extremely slow file transfer speeds of 5-10 mb/s from a laptop when connected wirelessly via 802.11AC 5ghz. Based on iperf3, the wireless performance (~ 100 mbps) is the bottleneck. There's a wall separating the 15 feet between the laptop and my router.

I'm looking for recommendations for routers that have good file transfer performance. I'm not sure what my current router's model is, since it just came with our ISP's 1gbps fibre subscription and has their custom branding, so its hard to tell what the actual unit is.

I'm currently looking at the ASUS RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U, and the AC5300 but am unsure of whether spending extra for the 5300 would help. Other suggestions are welcome.

There are usually 3 laptops and 5 smartphones connected to the network
 
m bit/sec or m Byte/sec ?

just copying a directory or group of files may easily be 10-20 m Bytes/sec.

a wall can block enough of the 5 GHz signal to reduce rates. How about when in direct line of sight ?
What is your transfer rate on wired connection ?
 
m bit/sec or m Byte/sec ?

just copying a directory or group of files may easily be 10-20 m Bytes/sec.

a wall can block enough of the 5 GHz signal to reduce rates. How about when in direct line of sight ?
What is your transfer rate on wired connection ?

When still separated by a wall: it was 5-10 MBytes/s but that was just copying a big 1gb file. Speedtest also matches what I'm seeing transfering to the NAS.

Line of sight (5 feet): 175 Mbit/s for line of sight per iperf3, 15-20 MByte/s when transfering a file to the NAS.

So it looks like my wi-fi is really to blame, and am hoping a better router would help, since 175 MBit/s is really low for line of sight.
 
good file transfer performance

WiFi performance depends on many factors, for example:

- how many clients are connected and in use in the same time
- how busy is the wireless channel the router is using
- what is the WiFi noise level around your place
- what is the maximum link speed the clients are capable of
- are the clients a mix of different WiFi standards

ISP routers are usually not the best, but changing the router only may not improve anything.
 
1gbps fibre subscription

You can eventually reach 900+ Mbps on wired clients only. Forget about Gigabit Internet through WiFi. The best you can get in real life is about 600Mbps, not guaranteed all the time, with 3x3 AC client, close to the router and with nothing else using the network at the same time. It's about 80MB/sec file transfers. 90% of Gigabit Internet subscribers can't really use 1/2 of that speed.
 
What is your current router?

How many antennas does the laptop have? If it only has 1 then a link speed of 175 MBit/s could well be the maximum it is capable of. Changing the router won't alter that.
 
Forget about Gigabit Internet through WiFi.
Seems to be possible if the right hardware (4x4) is used at both ends. My desktop PC card with an Asus PCE-AC88U 4x4 wifi card connects at the full 2.1 Gb/s to my Linksys EA9500 router, with actual throughput around 1 Gb/s when doing file transfers. My internet is 'only' 330 Mbps but if I had 1 Gig internet, I'm sure the PCE-AC88U would give me around 900 Mbps throughput over wifi.
 
WiFi performance depends on many factors, for example:

- how many clients are connected and in use in the same time
- how busy is the wireless channel the router is using
- what is the WiFi noise level around your place
- what is the maximum link speed the clients are capable of
- are the clients a mix of different WiFi standards

ISP routers are usually not the best, but changing the router only may not improve anything.

I conducted those tests when the network was pretty quiet. All the 3 laptops and 5 mobile phones that will be connected support 802.11AC, my laptop has a 2x2 card.
 
Seems to be possible if the right hardware (4x4) is used at both ends. My desktop PC card with an Asus PCE-AC88U 4x4 wifi card connects at the full 2.1 Gb/s to my Linksys EA9500 router, with actual throughput around 1 Gb/s when doing file transfers. My internet is 'only' 330 Mbps but if I had 1 Gig internet, I'm sure the PCE-AC88U would give me around 900 Mbps throughput over wifi.
How close is your desktop to the EA9500 router? Any walls between them? I'd be content with half that speed, since my laptop only has a 2x2 card. But it sounds like a 4x4 router would be good, since eventually laptops will get better cards.
 
Before spending any money on a router I would check first how the ISP router is set. With 8 devices only it has to perform much better than what you see. Usually ISP technicians leave everything on Auto/Default and don't bother. Close to the router you must see the maximum possible 866Mbps link to your laptop, otherwise something is wrong there.

RT-AC86U is the best price/performance ratio router you can get. It has newer and faster hardware than both RT-AC88U and RT-AC5300. No ISP provided router I've seen comes even close to it's performance. Make sure you have access to your ISP router settings in order to turn it into a bridge only to avoid double NAT complications. Your 2x2 laptop should be able to connect up to 866Mbps link speeds, giving you ~50MB/sec file transfers to/from NAS.
 
Last edited:
That's confusing, the model numbers imply that the 88u or the 5300 are newer. Isn't the 88U the successor to the 86u? Also, would a tri-band router be better if there are more devices?
 
That's confusing, the model numbers imply that the 88u or the 5300 are newer.

Model number is just a number, ASUS marketing ideas.
RT-AC88U and RT-AC5300 are routers from 2015, RT-AC86U is a router from 2017.

Also, would a tri-band router be better if there are more devices?

Yes, if you plan to have 100+ devices all on 5GHz bands.
It has slower CPU than RT-AC86U though. The moment you decide to run VPN you'll see the difference.

If you are ready to spend good amount of money on a new router, get RT-AX88U (model from 2018). It supports latest WiFi 6 standard, has the same powerful hardware as RT-AC86U and is supported by Asuswrt-Merlin. In theory this is the most future proof ASUS device as of now at OK price. You won't be able to take any advantage of WiFi 6 though until you get WiFi 6 compatible devices.
 
Last edited:
Model number is just a number, ASUS marketing ideas.
RT-AC88U and RT-AC5300 are routers from 2015, RT-AC86U is a router from 2017.



Yes, if you plan to have 100+ devices all on 5GHz bands.
It has slower CPU than RT-AC86U though. The moment you decide to run VPN you'll see the difference.

If you are ready to spend good amount of money on a new router, get RT-AX88U (model from 2018). It supports latest WiFi 6 standard, has the same powerful hardware as RT-AC86U and is supported by Asuswrt-Merlin. In theory this is the most future proof ASUS device as of now at OK price. You won't be able to take any advantage of WiFi 6 though until you get WiFi 6 compatible devices.

Thanks a lot for clearing that up. So it looks like the RT-AC86U and ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 were released at about the same time. For the GT, I'd pay $100 more for maybe marginally better speeds, 4 extra ethernet ports and one extra band I might not need.

I'll probably go with the RT-AC86U, priced really reasonablly. Thanks a lot for the help :).

The AX router seems to perform worse than Asus's earlier routers for 802.11AC.
 
How close is your desktop to the EA9500 router? Any walls between them? I'd be content with half that speed, since my laptop only has a 2x2 card. But it sounds like a 4x4 router would be good, since eventually laptops will get better cards.
My router sits on the ground floor and the desktop PC with the 4x4 wifi card sits upstairs. There are 2 walls/1floor in between, however they are wafer thin as are all new builds in UK.
 
Last edited:
Yes, between 2 ends. I've seen 4x4 link between 2 routers. This is not a typical home network situation though.
By the same token you could also argue a 1 Gig FTTP/H connection is a not typical home speed anywhere in the world. I don't know what the prices are in other countries but in the UK, a 1 Gig FTTP service over the Openreach network (UK's largest) is around £300 or $360 per month. If someone was willing to pay such eye watering prices then the cost of using a 4x4 router with a 4x4 client would be peanuts in comparison.
 
By the same token you could also argue a 1 Gig FTTP/H connection is a not typical home speed anywhere in the world. I don't know what the prices are in other countries but in the UK, a 1 Gig FTTP service over the Openreach network (UK's largest) is around £300 or $360 per month. If someone was willing to pay such eye watering prices then the cost of using a 4x4 router with a 4x4 client would be peanuts in comparison.
I'm in Singapore and over here, all ISPs offer 1gbps fibre for around S$50, that's probably 30 pounds. So fortunately this is actually relevant for me :)
 
By the same token you could also argue a 1 Gig FTTP/H connection is a not typical home speed anywhere in the world.

It's getting popular in big cities, but most customers don't realize the fact just ordering Gigabit Internet is not enough and they need serious upgrades to their network in order to take advantage of the higher connection speed. I see every day people using 2.4GHz N or 5GHz AC single stream clients with their Gigabit service, set to work on the most overcrowded WiFi channels possible. ISP technicians explain nothing. They just install the router, set it on Auto and leave. Currently this service is more marketing than usability. Here in Canada you can get it for under US100/month.

We can get our networks close to Gigabit speeds, technology is available, but we know how WiFi works and what is needed. Perhaps >90% of Gigabit Internet subscribers have no idea they get Gigabit Internet to the router only. They ordered the service just because it was on promotion and only $20 more expensive than 250-300Mbps service, for example. Also, I see what equipment ISPs provide and it's really cheap with weak WiFi and limited functionality. $500-600 in network upgrades may get what is needed for Gigabit Internet, but how many ISP customers do that?
 
Is there an equivalent of the PCE-AC88U wi-fi card that could be used e.g via USB from a laptop? I've been trying to find one, but the best I've found so far is the 68. I wanted to get something that supported the NitroQam technology.
 
I'm currently looking at the ASUS RT-AC86U, RT-AC88U, and the AC5300 but am unsure of whether spending extra for the 5300 would help. Other suggestions are welcome.

Might consider Synology's RT-2600ac... it's a decent performer, and they keep it up to date. It's a QCAtheros Wave2 device, and one of the better chipsets for Wave2 (as compared to the Broadcom chipset in the Asus devices mentioned)

Routing performance is similar, and better radios...
 

Sign Up For SNBForums Daily Digest

Get an update of what's new every day delivered to your mailbox. Sign up here!

Staff online

Top