"Good Looking" Wave2 AC 3x3+ router/access point?

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mackworth

Occasional Visitor
My trusty Asus RT68W seems to have a failing 2.4Ghz radio so I want to replace it with something "temporary" while I wait out Wifi 6E at which point I will probably go full access points. I have gigabit Fios, 1600sq/ft house two story house (square), and 3 3x3 devices (15 inch MacBook pros) that I would like to optimize for.

My router is placed on a table directly in the center of my house, and my wife has requested that we get something that doesn't have so many external antennas, so I am trying to find something with integrated antennas that satisfy the above requirements.

I looked at the Orbi RK50, but I didn't realize that the client radio was only 2x2. The Velop system has the same "problem". Some options that might work:

Amplifi HD
Nest WiFi
Unifi FlexHD w/ existing Asus as router in basement.

I don't need any advanced features, just something fast and with enough range to cover the two floors. I am leaning toward the Nest although some posts seem to suggest it has trouble routing a full 1 gig over wan.
 
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Trip

Very Senior Member
Disable wifi on the Asus altogether, effectively turning into a wired router only. Then wire in a TP-Link EAP245 AP, power with the included PoE injector, and you're done, for <$100. No external antennas. If you need another, wire it in on the other floor, and purchase an OC200 controller for seamless roaming. Or, if you only want to go the single AP route, just purchase a used Ruckus R710 off eBay for ~$200 and run the standalone firmware on it. It should punch through that 1600 square feet without much problem at all.
 

mackworth

Occasional Visitor
Disable wifi on the Asus altogether, effectively turning into a wired router only. Then wire in a TP-Link EAP245 AP, power with the included PoE injector, and you're done, for <$100. No external antennas. If you need another, wire it in on the other floor, and purchase an OC200 controller for seamless roaming. Or, if you only want to go the single AP route, just purchase a used Ruckus R710 off eBay for ~$200 and run the standalone firmware on it. It should punch through that 1600 square feet without much problem at all.

So ~2 months ago Amazon had 15% off EAP245s as part of a Prime card special. I was ready to purchase 2 of them, the outdoor model, the POE switch and the controller. Ultimately I decided that I would hold off on going full access point until AX 6e stuff starts come out in a year or two. But doing that is very tempting. I have some of the ethernet already run to the attic in order to put something in the 2nd floor ceiling, but I have a baby coming in two months and I so many things to finish up before then I am concerned about adding another project :)
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Just do it. Wifi 6E is at least a year, more likely two years, away from being field-usable. That's a long time to have to settle. If you really want to cheap out but don't mind a little more technical elbow grease, just buy two used Ruckus R500's off of eBay for $50 each, flash them with Unleashed, setup with SmartMesh on and you're done. Enterprise wifi (with mesh that actually works, even if it's just dual-band) for <$100. Can't get much better than that.
 

mackworth

Occasional Visitor
Just do it. Wifi 6E is at least a year, more likely two years, away from being field-usable. That's a long time to have to settle. If you really want to cheap out but don't mind a little more technical elbow grease, just buy two used Ruckus R500's off of eBay for $50 each, flash them with Unleashed, setup with SmartMesh on and you're done. Enterprise wifi (with mesh that actually works, even if it's just dual-band) for <$100. Can't get much better than that.

If TP-Link had something similar to the FlexHD, so I wouldn't have to ceiling mount the first floor access point, I would have totally jumped. But you may have convinced me to try to hack in a first floor access point somewhere. Will need to think.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Think away my man. In the meantime, rock-solid dual-band mesh awaits, provided it's worth $52.49 per unit to you and you're willing to put in some config time.
 

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