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Cheapest AP

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by mogulman, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. mogulman

    mogulman Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
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    87
    I have an Asus RT-1900p. It covers my whole house pretty well. It doesn't cover my deck that well.

    I have wired internet in my basement that I could hook up an AP to. What is the cheapest AP or router that can be used as an AP, that is any good?

    I found a Tenda 301 at Microcenter for $10. Any other recommendations?

    Any units that may work better with my Asus?

    Also, would I use the same SSID as my asus, but different channel?
     
  2. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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  3. Internet Man

    Internet Man Regular Contributor

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    Don't bother with 802.11n only hardware like the Tenda N301. AC1200 is the sweet spot for value and it should be plenty for a secondary AP to add capacity. If you had any three-stream clients they can just connect to the RT-AC1900

    Wireless routers tend to be cheaper than simpler access point devices because there is much more demand for the all-in-one devices. Pretty much any wireless router can be configured as an access point by disabling DHCP.

    You asked for the cheapest option... Microcenter has the Tenda AC6 for $20 but it only has 100Mbps ethernet which is an undesirable bottleneck when you plan to use it as an AP. The next model up, the AC9 is $30 and it has gigabit ethernet. I'd go with the AC9.

    You can use the same SSID and should definitely configure them to use different channels.
     
  4. mogulman

    mogulman Regular Contributor

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    I guess having AC would be better. I was just thinking that the 2.4Ghz would be better through the wall of the house. I'm assuming the 2.4Ghz speed/distance on an N device vs an AC device would be about the same. Most likely it wouldn't be many devices using this. Probably 1 or 2 on the deck at a time. Also, they would be phone or table.

    I was thinking some more about it too. I have a PC at the same location where this drop is (currently plugged into ethernet). If I used a router there (in AP mode), I could use the LAN ports of the router as a switch, so I can keep the PC on the wired network. IE.. plug the drop into one port and the PC into another port.

    or would I need a separate switch?
     
  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    You can use all the LAN ports on a converted router.

    AC routers basically use N on 2.4 GHz, since AC is a 5 GHz only technology.
    The only difference AC routers bring on 2.4 GHz is support for 256 and 1024 QAM, which are non-standard uses that can cause compatibility problems.
     
  6. Internet Man

    Internet Man Regular Contributor

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    It may help to split your devices across the two 5GHz networks to reduce interference and load on each.

    You can definitely plug the computer into one of the LAN ports on the switch that is built in to the wireless router (configured as an AP).
     
  7. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Wireless Router/AP's can be converted - and for many, likely good enough.

    Dedicated AP's, even on the lower end, may have features that are more focused on management of the AP's in a multi-ap configuration - and there, even on the low end, have been some interesting solutions.

    Hopefully that'll be covered in the round-up review...
     
  8. mogulman

    mogulman Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
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    Ended up getting a Netgear R6220 AC1200 gigabit router at Walmart for $35 close out. They had a Linksys AC1200 Extender RE6500 for $21, and a TP-link AC900 C900 Archer for $11. Read some people were having issues with the Linksys and the TP had non-gigabit.

    Seems to be working pretty well so far. I had to install an app on my phone, Wifi Manager, in order for my android phone to automatically switch channels and ssids.
     

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