Budget routers with decent range?

Jidis

New Around Here
Hi and sorry if this gets asked ten times a day.

I recently ditched our Xfinity all-in-one's wifi and bought what I thought would be something with superior range (TP-Link AC1900 Archer A9). It makes it to all but one upper floor corner of the house where it gets pretty weak and occasionally drops out. Moving the router to the center of the house seems to take care of it, but there are three active CAT-5 lines in the corner where it currently sits, and it would be a bit of a pain to crawl around under the house re-routing everything. If I could get something just a tiny bit stronger than the TP-Link, I'd be set.

Do any of you guys who are familiar with a bunch of different budget routers know of a popular model which would be a safe bet for a bit more range? The TP-Link was only a little over ninety bucks. If I can stay down in that price range it would be great, but if it costs a bit more to guarantee a stronger signal, I'm OK with that.

notes:

- I'd prefer a single device
- I like the USB feature and planned to use it
- I'd (obviously) like something with a decent life expectancy

Much Thanks!
 

Jidis

New Around Here
I saw that the D-Link DIR-882 came in at #1 on the router ranker for range at 2.4 GHz. Is that a safe bet to be stronger than the TP-Link A9 or is there some other issue with it? Seems to have a good bang-for-the-buck reputation though it doesn't seem to be a very respected name in here. -Thanks
 

Spartan

Occasional Visitor
Avoid TP-Link, they never update their firmware. I had a TP-Link ARCHER C5400X Gaming Router. It was below average and they only released on firmware update in 2 years.
 

Jidis

New Around Here
Spartan- Thanks!

Yeah, that one's already gone back. I'm back on the cable company's modem/router until I can pick something. So far, the D-Link isn't looking bad from Higgins' review and all the comments I've been able to find. Complaints seem to be that the USB transfers are slow and the security isn't on par with some of its competition.

Take Care
 

Jidis

New Around Here
I don't mean to keep harping on this D-Link thing, but you have to admit it's intriguing if going by the specs, the review here, and the customer comments. What exactly is wrong with it? Did anybody here get it and dislike it?


The RT-AC66U B1 has a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, but with a bunch of comments about it overheating and randomly resetting or dropping connections, and the experiences with their support don't look all that promising. I do realize there's probably a ton of them out there in service that nobody's commenting on because they haven't done anything wrong though.

Thanks Again

PS- Are the 66U B1 antennas detachable? Some places said they were, others no (maybe talking about the original 66U).
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
More experience with Asus routers here on SNB. DIR-882 is based on not very popular Mediatek chipset. D-Link turns most of their routers into abandonware quickly after release. AC66U B1 is based on AC68U Broadcomm hardware; one of the most reliable and popular Asus router models. It's also cheaper than DIR-882; looking at current Amazon prices. AC66U B1 is actively supported by Asus; 7 new firmware releases in 2020 alone. It is supported by Asuswrt-Merlin as well, in case you need extra features. This is why I believe it's a better choice overall. The antennas are non detachable.
 

castlefox

Occasional Visitor
More experience with Asus routers here on SNB. DIR-882 is based on not very popular Mediatek chipset. D-Link turns most of their routers into abandonware quickly after release. AC66U B1 is based on AC68U Broadcomm hardware; one of the most reliable and popular Asus router models. It's also cheaper than DIR-882; looking at current Amazon prices. AC66U B1 is actively supported by Asus; 7 new firmware releases in 2020 alone. It is supported by Asuswrt-Merlin as well, in case you need extra features. This is why I believe it's a better choice overall. The antennas are non detachable.
The AC66U B1 looks interesting. Does Asus say how long they will keep providing firmware / security updates? (I have a RT-N66U)
 

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