have Intel 9560 card w/ true 160MHz; am in very congested environment--don't need speed, just a clear channel. Router that can do this? Sorry, NOOB

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anoukaimee

Occasional Visitor
I have a Dell Vostro with an Intel 9560 160 MHz card. I'm trying to understand what it is capable of and what it is not. My understanding is that the one advantage that it might have is that it could utilize a true 160MHz channel if a router supported it (and there's only three that do, apparently: the Netgear R7800 and R9000, and the Synology RT2600AC).

Meanwhile, I'm on the poverty plan with Xfinity and have an ancient Cisco DPC3941T gateway. I'm actually fine with it given what I pay a month except that it doesn't even have a data-enabled usb for a networked drive (and apparently there is no converter-type device that can be used to connect a usb external HDD?). And I literally just bought a WD Passport before signing up with Xfinity--so it's apparently a NAS or putting the old gateway in bridge mode and attaching a router that does have usb support.

Anyway, looks like I'm in the market for a router. Given that my speed with Xfinity is extremely low, I'm not that concerned about bandwidth--the most important thing is that it has at least one, preferably 3.0 USB (and AC support). So my inclination would to buy something cheap/refurbished.

But I do live in a building where all the other tenants are even more tech ignorant than me, constantly switching their channels (or having them on auto) to 3, 5, and 10 etc. In buying a router, I'm considering whether it would be worth getting one of these truly 160Mhz-capable routers on sale/refurbished . . . would I would have my own channel to enjoy (for at least a few years)??

Most of what I've gleaned is from Tim Higgins' series from two years ago, and most of that was about bandwidth and the like; suffice to say that the gist of what I understood was that you needed a client that had a card like mine to use what was, at least then, an overhyped technology that didn't do anything for anyone other than those of us that have this card or its Qualcomm equivalent. He was pretty down on the benefits, bandwidth-wise at least, but I'm not clear whether this would give me--at least for a few years--a sorely-needed open channel?

Or would I get the same benefit (plus more, perhaps) from an AX router? Is the 9560 Intel card capable of utilizing the "tri-band" technology? The terminology on this one, which always confuses the network tech inept such as me, seems especially poor... I'd love a simple breakdown, if possible.

And I know channel availability is dependent on location: I'm in the US.

Thanks so much in advance. If I can provide other info that is needed to answer this, just let me know.
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
But I do live in a building where all the other tenants are even more tech ignorant than me, constantly switching their channels (or having them on auto) to 3, 5, and 10 etc. In buying a router, I'm considering whether it would be worth getting one of these truly 160Mhz-capable routers on sale/refurbished . . . would I would have my own channel to enjoy (for at least a few years)??

You do understand that AC and 160MHz channel width is only available on the 5GHz band and not the 2.4GHz. And unless you live in the woods your likely never going to have a channel of your own. The coming Wi-Fi 6e may offer hope for awhile.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The Intel AC9560 160MHz Wi-Fi adaptor is a good one and worth connecting to a solid router. The model that is closest to the capabilities of your card that first comes to mind is the RT-AX58U. The RT-AC86U is also a consideration if the price is significantly lower than the AX (do not buy on eBay/used or specifically, 2018 models). I'll stop here just mentioning that there are many routers available that will do 160MHz channel width, where appropriate, than the ones you mentioned above. :)

The speeds your ISP offer are important here. What are they (both up and down)? Also, what is the size of the area to be covered? You mention 'extremely congested' so I am assuming an apartment/condo setting.

Consider yourself lucky that you can't insert a USB drive for storage use in your current router. That is always a bad idea. For both routing duties and storage handling duties, particularly if you value the data you'll store on that USB attached drive.

Now, the more important points. There is no guarantee from one minute to the next that you'll have a 'channel' on your own for a few years. For a few hours, someone may promise you that. :)

Particularly when you're using 160MHz width too (that needs eight contiguous 20MHz channels on its own for an AC or AX class router). ;)

Unless you have three antennae on that Dell Vostro, you won't be able to connect at maximum (3x3:3) speeds to any router. You will though be able to connect at 2x2:2 speeds and enjoy a router that will have greater range and throughput with more than two streams and two antennae too. The RT-AX58U I suggested above is a 4 antennae design but only two streams, for example.

When comparing the RT-AC86U to the RT-AX58U with the capabilities of your ISP, and your Dell, all taken into consideration, they are effectively equivalent. Unless you're expecting to increase the ISP speeds significantly, I would choose the cheaper option for you today (if you're buying now). The better router (absolute) is the RT-AC86U when you need it for VPN duties. Otherwise, the Wi-Fi on the RT-AX58U is better.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion. If I forgot to address something, let me know.
 

anoukaimee

Occasional Visitor
You do understand that AC and 160MHz channel width is only available on the 5GHz band and not the 2.4GHz. And unless you live in the woods your likely never going to have a channel of your own. The coming Wi-Fi 6e may offer hope for awhile.

Yeah... I have AC wifi. It's cheap--"Internet Essentials" for those of us lucky enough to be on SSDI and the like--but it's not 1999 wifi.

The Intel AC9560 160MHz Wi-Fi adaptor is a good one and worth connecting to a solid router. The model that is closest to the capabilities of your card that first comes to mind is the RT-AX58U. The RT-AC86U is also a consideration if the price is significantly lower than the AX (do not buy on eBay/used or specifically, 2018 models). I'll stop here just mentioning that there are many routers available that will do 160MHz channel width, where appropriate, than the ones you mentioned above. :)

The speeds your ISP offer are important here. What are they (both up and down)? Also, what is the size of the area to be covered? You mention 'extremely congested' so I am assuming an apartment/condo setting.

Consider yourself lucky that you can't insert a USB drive for storage use in your current router. That is always a bad idea. For both routing duties and storage handling duties, particularly if you value the data you'll store on that USB attached drive.

Now, the more important points. There is no guarantee from one minute to the next that you'll have a 'channel' on your own for a few years. For a few hours, someone may promise you that. :)

Particularly when you're using 160MHz width too (that needs eight contiguous 20MHz channels on its own for an AC or AX class router). ;)

Unless you have three antennae on that Dell Vostro, you won't be able to connect at maximum (3x3:3) speeds to any router. You will though be able to connect at 2x2:2 speeds and enjoy a router that will have greater range and throughput with more than two streams and two antennae too. The RT-AX58U I suggested above is a 4 antennae design but only two streams, for example.

When comparing the RT-AC86U to the RT-AX58U with the capabilities of your ISP, and your Dell, all taken into consideration, they are effectively equivalent. Unless you're expecting to increase the ISP speeds significantly, I would choose the cheaper option for you today (if you're buying now). The better router (absolute) is the RT-AC86U when you need it for VPN duties. Otherwise, the Wi-Fi on the RT-AX58U is better.

I hope this clears up some of the confusion. If I forgot to address something, let me know.

Thank you! That pretty much is all I needed to know. I'll stick with something standard; I am on a budget anyway. The speeds are pretty slow. I just wanted networked storage--for backups, and I have a pretty large Calibre library I wanted to split off and put some "archived" stuff in a separate networked library, and was also thinking that I might try to use some firmware that supported Deluge for torrenting. :)

Could you clarify why the USB isn't a safe way to go? I really can't afford a NAS set up. I had thought, for my relatively simple needs, that a networked HDD would suffice.

And there's no converter--or DIY NAS set up involving one or two USB-based hard drives--that would let me connect to these USB hubs on the back of this ancient Cisco thing? Or else a converter from USB data to ethernet--that is reliable?

Thank you very much for this.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
USB drive in the router for storage use... It's not (just) that it isn't safe, it is also slow as molasses too.

The routers (any router, even a $500+ today) don't have the processor power nor the RAM to handle intense storage tasks like you're expecting them to.

When the routers get overloaded, they may spontaneously reboot, stop responding, or (worse) do imperceptible, at the time, damage to the files being manipulated/transferred. Using a router as a NAS is not a clever idea at all.

Instead of buying a new router, buy a NAS instead. And do plan to use the USB external drive as a second backup location for your data (even with a NAS, a backup is needed).

A two-bay NAS in a RAID 1 configuration will give you reliable, long-term storage, and if you can find one at your local city auction site, at a fair cost too.

QNAP is what I would recommend.

SOHO/Home NAS | QNAP

Thinking a bit about this, with the USB external you have acting as a backup of the NAS, even the single drive units may be worth considering in your case. :)
 

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