Do I need a tri band? Need a new Router but torn at choices

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jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Hello All:

I currently have a Nighthawk R8000. My speeds no matter what firmware I've tried, are capped at ~95 mbps both wired and wireless testing, whereas I'm getting ~470 at the modem. I've pretty much exhausted everything else I could think of, so I'm now looking to buy a new router. I have a two story home with basement, and large yard with decks and outside seating. We have 6 TVs all streaming wirelessly, 10 Sonos, 2 gaming children, and 2 working from home adults. I work in the Tech field, so I know enough to get me into trouble. With so many devices, I liked having a tri band router to divide the bandwidth usage, so when I began to look at Asus, I naturally looked at the RT-AC5300, then was trying to decide between that and the GT-AC5300. But the more I read from previous threads covering these two routers, seems like alot of people go something else like AX86U or something else dual band. I'm also trying to learn about the AX6100 but I can't even find it on Asus' website. I don't know anything about AX other than it's new. It seems all the routers are capable of AImesh, so that doesn't seem to be a determining factor. I don't really want cost to be a consideration at this point. I'm just wanting to figure out what makes the most sense for our family and our home. Can I get some assistance in determining which router that would be? TIA.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hello All:

I currently have a Nighthawk R8000. My speeds no matter what firmware I've tried, are capped at ~95 mbps both wired and wireless testing, whereas I'm getting ~470 at the modem. I've pretty much exhausted everything else I could think of, so I'm now looking to buy a new router. I have a two story home with basement, and large yard with decks and outside seating. We have 6 TVs all streaming wirelessly, 10 Sonos, 2 gaming children, and 2 working from home adults. I work in the Tech field, so I know enough to get me into trouble. With so many devices, I liked having a tri band router to divide the bandwidth usage, so when I began to look at Asus, I naturally looked at the RT-AC5300, then was trying to decide between that and the GT-AC5300. But the more I read from previous threads covering these two routers, seems like alot of people go something else like AX86U or something else dual band. I'm also trying to learn about the AX6100 but I can't even find it on Asus' website. I don't know anything about AX other than it's new. It seems all the routers are capable of AImesh, so that doesn't seem to be a determining factor. I don't really want cost to be a consideration at this point. I'm just wanting to figure out what makes the most sense for our family and our home. Can I get some assistance in determining which router that would be? TIA.

Consider an RT-AX86U; add a second one as a wired/wireless AiMesh node to extend coverage (they can wire at 2.5 Gbps). The older, non-AX version would be the RT-AC86U... no AX WiFi and less expensive... still very usable. AiMesh permits mixing and matching models and firmware, but if you only need say two, if helps to match them for administration and hardware backup.

Edit: If you did install wired dual-band AiMesh, the 2nd node/radios would likely serve some of the WiFi clients/load, reducing the rationale for tri-band.

What speeds dn/up are you paying for, and what do you speedtest.net on a PC wired to the ISP modem? wired to the R8000?

OE
 
Last edited:

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Consider an RT-AX86U; add a second one as a wired/wireless AiMesh node to extend coverage (they can wire at 2.5 Gbps). The older, non-AX version would be the RT-AC86U... no AX WiFi and less expensive... still very usable. AiMesh permits mixing and matching models and firmware, but if you only need say two, if helps to match them for administration and hardware backup.

What speeds dn/up are you paying for, and what do you speedtest.net on a PC wired to the ISP modem? wired to the R8000?

OE
Thank you. That seems to be the router i hear people preferring, yet I don't understand why the tri bands are not more popular. Kinda why I'm wondering if I'm even utilizing tri band now with my R8000. I like having two 5 GHz networks to divide my heavy bandwidth devices (streaming tvs and laptops/ipads). The 2 Ghz is nice for most other devices. With a dual band, doesn't that only give me 1-5 Ghz and 1-2 Ghz? At this point, I'm not wanting cost to be a determining factor. For setting up a mesh, at least having a wired connection between routers, I can do that but probably not ideally placed when I'd like them. I have an unfinished basement where service enters. My modem is there. I used to run my router there too, but the second floor level was suffering, so I ran a cable from basement into the 1st floor entry closet, where it currently is. Probably as central to the home as possible. Getting a cable up to the second level would be a big undertaking. The speeds I'm getting/paying for at the modem is ~400/25. Running thru the R8000 caps out at 95/25 both wired and wireless.
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Its like your connection from the R8000 to modem is running at 100Mbit?
I just checked via the router stats, and it does appear to be running 100Mbit. I don't know why that would be. I've tried many different cables thru all my tests. I wonder if the router jack is broken?
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Its like your connection from the R8000 to modem is running at 100Mbit?
I've swapped cables that were running at 1000 with the cable between the modem/router and still the wan speed shows 100. seems my router's WAN port won't run 1000 anymore?
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Power down the modem/ONT and your router. Disconnect all USB devices and Ethernet and power cables.

Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes (I leave it for an hour or more).

Power up just the modem/ONT. Wait until it has secured a connection with your ISP.

Connect the Ethernet cables between the modem/ONT and your router. Power that up now.

Any progress?
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Power down the modem/ONT and your router. Disconnect all USB devices and Ethernet and power cables.

Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes (I leave it for an hour or more).

Power up just the modem/ONT. Wait until it has secured a connection with your ISP.

Connect the Ethernet cables between the modem/ONT and your router. Power that up now.

Any progress?
ok, i will try that now and will report back once all is back up again. Thank you!!
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Tri-band routers were originally by Broadcom as a marketing move against Qualcomm when Qualcomm had working MU-MIMO and Broadcom didn't.

While a nice idea in theory to expand network capacity, they suffer from a few problems. The most notable is that they generally are not effective at distributing the load evenly across the three radios. This is because devices are the boss when it comes to selecting the AP they connect to.

However, it sounds like you have solved the problem of distributing the load (using different SSID's, correct?).

All that said, the others in this thread are pointing you in the right direction (your modem/router link is stuck at 100 Mbps). Assuming you get that fixed and want a new "tri-band" solution, wait until later this year when more 6E routers start shipping and the bug lists subside. These will truly be "tri-band" (2/5/6 GHz). But you'll now need 6E devices to take advantage of that third band!
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Power down the modem/ONT and your router. Disconnect all USB devices and Ethernet and power cables.

Let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes (I leave it for an hour or more).

Power up just the modem/ONT. Wait until it has secured a connection with your ISP.

Connect the Ethernet cables between the modem/ONT and your router. Power that up now.

Any progress?
Just booted back up again as directed with it still showing 100M. I swear this seems like it's happened to a previous router of mine.
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Tri-band routers were originally by Broadcom as a marketing move against Qualcomm when Qualcomm had working MU-MIMO and Broadcom didn't.

While a nice idea in theory to expand network capacity, they suffer from a few problems. The most notable is that they generally are not effective at distributing the load evenly across the three radios. This is because devices are the boss when it comes to selecting the AP they connect to.

However, it sounds like you have solved the problem of distributing the load (using different SSID's, correct?).

All that said, the others in this thread are pointing you in the right direction (your modem/router link is stuck at 100 Mbps). Assuming you get that fixed and want a new "tri-band" solution, wait until later this year when more 6E routers start shipping and the bug lists subside. These will truly be "tri-band" (2/5/6 GHz). But you'll now need 6E devices to take advantage of that third band!
Thank you! I really appreciate your contributions as well as from the others here! I do have each of my bands setup with unique SSIDs. I just manually connect my devices to the two 5Ghz based on what I think is a balanced load between the two. If I can't get this thing to run 1000, I have to replace it asap, even if that means purchasing a dual band over any currently available tri band. If waiting till later for a reliable tri-band (AX) is advisable at this point, then what router purchase would make sense to get me thru till that point in time? Maybe I don't really benefit from the tri-band, and dual band (1-5 GHz and 1-2.4 GHz) is sufficient for my home load.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Ethernet ports do go bad. You've already tried swapping the cable. One other trick to try is to insert a gigabit switch between the modem and router just plug the modem and router WAN ports into the switch. But you need a switch for that. But $16 is a lot cheaper than a new router. :) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A128S24/?tag=snbforums-20

BTW, $155 ain't bad and it's an Amazon refurb which means you can return it no hassle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I99720O/?tag=snbforums-20

You can always test whether tri-band is helping by shutting off the 3rd radio...after you get the WAN port problem sorted.
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Ethernet ports do go bad. You've already tried swapping the cable. One other trick to try is to insert a gigabit switch between the modem and router just plug the modem and router WAN ports into the switch. But you need a switch for that. But $16 is a lot cheaper than a new router. :) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A128S24/?tag=snbforums-20

BTW, $155 ain't bad and it's an Amazon refurb which means you can return it no hassle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I99720O/?tag=snbforums-20

You can always test whether tri-band is helping by shutting off the 3rd radio...after you get the WAN port problem sorted.
I actually did go thru testing with a switch between modem and router. it showed 1000m between modem and switch, 100m between router and switch. Think the router is toast. And I did look up my records, this is the SECOND R8000 with the exact same issue. The first one was returned to Netgear a little over two years ago for a replacement. I'm hesitant in purchasing another R8000 as your link shows, however it would be nice to simply get it up and running super fast, no learning new software. And if it's not a good time to replace with new hardware and advice is to wait for stable tri band WIFI 6 routers to surface, I suppose this is not a bad idea. I don't care what the costs really are either way, I don't have to pay for any IT with my personal funds. Even if buying a refurb R8000 for the $155 just to get me till the end of the year and then dispose, I'd be fine with that. At this point, I've given up on my current R8000. I need a new router, just don't know what route to pursue for the short/long term is.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Hmm. Do you have your router on a UPS? Definitely recommended. At any rate, that's not good and a good argument against another R8000. OTOH, the price isn't bad for the refurb and, as you said, should be a drop in replacement. Then you can run your two vs. one 5 GHz experiment to prepare for your next purchase.
 

RMinNJ

Regular Contributor
I can say my R7800 did not like the 5e cable my R7000 was happy with and I needed a different cable (had a good 6a cable).

That said, short of cleaning the pins on WAN port with something it does seem like the port is bad.
 

jjwelly

Occasional Visitor
Hmm. Do you have your router on a UPS? Definitely recommended. At any rate, that's not good and a good argument against another R8000. OTOH, the price isn't bad for the refurb and, as you said, should be a drop in replacement. Then you can run your two vs. one 5 GHz experiment to prepare for your next purchase.
Yep all my stuff is on UPS. You make a good argument for buying the refurb. My shopping cart is getting long LOL. Guess I'll sleep on it. Rather not support Netgear with any additional purchases, but appears to be a tough time to invest in a whole new infrastructure.
 

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
@RMinNJ has a good suggestion. Inspect the contacts on all ports you are connecting to and on the cable too. A little rub with a pencil eraser could help.
 

wmmallette47

Regular Contributor
Consider an RT-AX86U; add a second one as a wired/wireless AiMesh node to extend coverage (they can wire at 2.5 Gbps). The older, non-AX version would be the RT-AC86U... no AX WiFi and less expensive... still very usable. AiMesh permits mixing and matching models and firmware, but if you only need say two, if helps to match them for administration and hardware backup.

Edit: If you did install wired dual-band AiMesh, the 2nd node/radios would likely serve some of the WiFi clients/load, reducing the rationale for tri-band.

What speeds dn/up are you paying for, and what do you speedtest.net on a PC wired to the ISP modem? wired to the R8000?

OE
Hate to hijack anyone’s thread, but may I ask why you‘d recommend the AX86U over the AX88U?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
@RMinNJ has a good suggestion. Inspect the contacts on all ports you are connecting to and on the cable too. A little rub with a pencil eraser could help.

FWIW, I spray a bit of electrical contact cleaner into the can cap and use a Q-Tip to clean assorted electrical contacts from time to time; especially battery contacts and bulb & socket contacts. One can lasts half a lifetime... I'm on my second can! :)

Next week's fun tip will be about the food grade Silicone spray divers use.

OE
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Hate to hijack anyone’s thread, but may I ask why you‘d recommend the AX86U over the AX88U?

That's a trick question. I didn't.

I do like the AX86U vertical form factor and cooling, it being newer and costing less, its WPA3 support, its 2.5 Gbps port options, its AC68U and AC86 heritage, and that touch of red on black fashion.

And I trust @L&LD 's recommendation.

OE
 

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