Did I make the right choice? ...buying a new AC wireless standard router now?

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montecarlo1987

New Around Here
Hello. Nice to meet you!

I ask you – Did I make the right choice? Please read and please respond with a simple yes or no answer and if you could explain why you feel I did or did not and what you would have done.

Last week, I purchased a new router from Amazon.com. It is the TP-Link A6 V3 AC1200 (newly redesigned version) that was released late last fall. It is to replace my 5 plus-year-old TP-Link A7 AC1750 that is in the early stage of having issues, that is random disconnects. Live chatted with TP-Link support representative and they confirmed it was beginning to fail to emphasize the fact that there was no warranty on this old router. I told the support rep. that was not seeking any form of corrective action, but to discover if my router was failing. At the time of my decision, I decided on this replacement TP-Link over others due to its more reliable routers, longer warranties, and free technical support.

Let me explain. Right now, I have a fixed WISP technology ISP that uses a dish-looking modem on my roof (No, this is not satellite Internet, but a direct line of sight to my area tower on a nearby hill.). The speed I get is approximately 10 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload. It is very reliable and the only I in my household use it. I own an Android smartphone, a desktop PC, and a ROKU separate device with a 1080P TV (no 4K TV or device here). That is the extent of my wi-fi needs. I am not a gamer. I have no issues with ROKU streaming with my current service as long as I shut down wi-fi on my smartphone and PC at the same time. All of my devices currently use the G with a couple also capable of using the N wireless standard, but I set everything on router and devices to G. Things are great! I live in a small house on one floor with approximately 1600 square feet of living space. Yes, I could have purchased a non-gigabit router based on this user data and saved even more money like the TP-Link Archer C20 AC750 Wireless Dual Band Router or the TL-WR940N 450Mbps Wireless N Router.

The future change: I have been told by my ISP that they in the works of installing in approximately 3-years in my city, a fiber-optic cable with Internet speeds at 500 Mbps. They have begun the setup process in the downtown area for fiber-optic centrally located near their hub office. They have informed me that when fiber-optic lines will run by my house which at that time they will grandfather me into this new technology for our area as they have alerted me my fixed WISP technology will not be expanded and at some later time phased out in lieu of fiber-optic transmission in our city. So, the clock is ticking. I will go from 10 Mbps to 500 Mbps. Honestly, the 10 Mbps is fine for just me believe it or not. It is reliable. In a few years for double my current Internet price, I will have 50 times the Internet speed. I will have no choice to keep my fixed WISP at 10Mbps that I use responsibly.

FYI: The TP-Link A6 AC1200 V3 router’s specs highlight are: AC1200 Dual-Band Gigabit Router with Wi-Fi – 867 Mbps at 5 GHz and 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz band; MU-MIMO Technology – Simultaneously transfers data to multiple devices for 2× faster performance; Boosted Coverage – Four external antennas equipped with Beamforming technology extend and concentrate the Wi-Fi signals; Access Point Mode –Supports AP Mode to transform your wired connection into wireless network; Easy Setup – Set up your Wi-Fi in minutes with TP-Link Tether app. I am sure it will take care of my wi-fi needs AT PRESENT with impressive specs for a new router! Also, being a rather new model even of the older AC wireless standard, TP-Link will give several years of updates to its firmware unlike my older failing TP-Link A7 AC1750 that already is an old model and sure to end firmware updates shortly.

Now that you have a good idea of my background knowledge; here is my issue: I was also looking at a few newer latest technology TP-Link AX Wi-Fi 6 routers as well having already knowledge of this 500 Mbps fiber-optic Internet in a couple of years. I was looking at the current TP-Link Archer AX10 (AX1500), AX21 (AX1800), and AX50 (AX3000) before I made my TP-Link A6 V3 AC1200 router purchase. I know any current router should get me another 5 years or more life expectancy and that is probably as long as I should hold out on older technology before upgrading. If I bought a Wi-Fi 6 router, I figure I will be ready and not need to go out and buy another router when the new 500 Mbps fiber-optic is available to my home in approximately 3 years. I figure would also need to take advantage of my new paid 500 Mbps speed.

Question: Am I correct to say I would be better positioned to have a Wi-Fi 6 router [current TP-Link Archer AX10 (AX1500), AX21 (AX1800), or the AX50 (AX3000)] with my future 500 Mbps service than I would my TP-Link A6 V3 AC1200 router or not much difference? How about in terms of Wi-Fi bandwidth as the AX wireless standard is faster, better, and more feature-rich in many ways with my future 500Mbps Internet speed versus my current TP-Link A6 V3 AC1200 Router I have now? Please explain.

Now, there are two schools of thought:

1. Buy what you NEED NOW for a router that is appropriate and adequate now (at my significantly lower Internet speeds) and save money (Flexible budget say $50.), and when the time comes, buy the one you NEED THEN for a router as newer technology will be better later on – the one I chose because I WILL BE GETTING SOMETHING OVERALL BETTER LATER AT A HIGHER COST THAN WHAT I PAID NOW (I assume I WILL NEED TO upgrade to an AX wireless standard when I get my new 500 Mbps Internet NOT getting hopefully my full 5 years of routing before needing to upgrade.);

…or 2. Buy one now the best you can get at a good price now (Flexible budget say $100-$120.) and do not waste your money on something that will serve you only now (older AC wireless band technology), but instead now and in the future adequately (Be “future-proof"!), with very powerful AX wireless band technology for a slow Internet speed, but it will likely be useable and do the job but outdated at a later time when my 500 Mbps fiber-optic service is on my doorstep (I assume I will NOT NEED TO upgrade as I ALREADY have an AX wireless standard router and will hopefully get my full 5 years of routing before the need to upgrade.).

Main Question: Did I make the right decision in your estimation or not?

FYI, I can return this to Amazon.com so I am not out my money yet! Also, I can afford the AX wireless router NOW as well too.

Please reply.

Thank you!
 
Last edited:

degrub

Very Senior Member
1) don't bet on the fiber timing until you see it in your yard.
2) if the replacement you bought meets your needs today it will meet them over a few years.
3) when and if fiber or other tech gets installed outside your house, then look at upgrading to newer router or use the one the isp may provide. For example, with ATT gig fiber, i have to use their router off of the ont even though i have my own router to run my local lan.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
I appreciate the thought you are putting into this. But I think you are overthinking a $50 purchase.

Keep the router. It meets your needs and will likely do so if fiber service comes to your door. If it doesn't, there will be many other choices available then, including affordable 6E routers.
 

sitmonkey

New Around Here
You mentioned that you had some devices connecting to the router with Wireless G.
Just keep in mind, no matter how new your router or access points are, if ANY device uses an older standard, all the devices will stoop down to the lowest standard.
So even if you get a Wifi 6 (ax) or Wifi 5 (ac) router but you're using a 2.4gHz wireless G client, then your router will be no better than the old blue Linksys from 2005 on the 2.4gHz band for ALL your devices.

You will be fine with either AC or AX.
 

Tech9

Very Senior Member
So even if you get a Wifi 6 (ax) or Wifi 5 (ac) router but you're using a 2.4gHz wireless G client, then your router will be no better than the old blue Linksys from 2005 on the 2.4gHz band for ALL your devices.

Nothing even close. First, there is no Wi-Fi 5 on 2.4GHz, Wi-Fi 6 may use it. Second, 802.11g client will use more airtime only when active.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
So even if you get a Wifi 6 (ax) or Wifi 5 (ac) router but you're using a 2.4gHz wireless G client, then your router will be no better than the old blue Linksys from 2005 on the 2.4gHz band for ALL your devices.
This isn't true. Today's routers do a much better job of managing airtime when dealing with mixed standard devices so that slower devices don't dominate airtime use.
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
Just keep in mind, no matter how new your router or access points are, if ANY device uses an older standard, all the devices will stoop down to the lowest standard.

Not true in any current AP's (or anything from the last ten years or so...)

As a developer, I will attest to that - having deep experience with both ath9k and ath10k drivers.
 

SSri

Occasional Visitor
I would save the money, get something serving the current requirements and upgrade when you actually get the anticipated speed.
 

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