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Help Determining New Router

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by SteelSteve, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. SteelSteve

    SteelSteve New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Messages:
    5
    Hi All,
    First time posting, and I need some advise.
    Currently I have a Linksys EA9300 tri-band router. It hasn't been a bad router but it has its quirks, not the least of which is the 2nd 5 GHz band will not allow devices to connect. If I do a factory reset it will work for a short time (hours - days), but in the end it will once day stop authenticating devices to the second 5 GHZ channel. I use that channel solely for things like my Xbox one S, and are cell phones, Firetv sticks, and ipads that are used for gaming and video streaming (have it set to AC only and 80 MHZ).

    My house is approx 2000 sqft and is a single story with the exception of a room over the garage for my son.

    Currently the only device in the house that supports AX is my wifes IPhone, but I figured if I'm going to replace the router I should go with one that is future proof. I really want something that is reliable and can handle 30 + devices (I like others am adding to my home security and automation). I'm thinking about the following and would like people input on them

    Netgear RAX120 - This is the most expensive, and if you look on the Netgear forums the worst thing ever made, but the reviews are good so I keep it on my list.

    ASUS GT-AX11000 - Looking on the ASUS forums I'm always left confussed as to whether or not this router is good or bad.

    Amplifi Alien - This one seems to meet my speed and reliability requirements, however I'm concerned about the lack of security features.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  2. SteelSteve

    SteelSteve New Around Here

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    Jan 24, 2020
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    Well since I just noticed that the RAX120 is only Dual Band, I think I'm dropping it from my list. I have a lot of older 802.11N equipment that I want to keep on its own channel so as not to slow down the 802.11AC equipment. So I need 2 5GHz bands, unless I have this wrong in my head?
     
  3. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,145
    Welcome Steve.

    <devil's advocate> Nothing is future-proof. Only future-friendly (at best). </devil's advocate>

    Regarding AX, it offers practically zero real-world benefit right now, as most AX-only features (OFDMA, BSS coloring, etc.) aren't even enabled yet, nor will they be until well after draft 1 is ratified. If you did buy, you'd have pre-draft hardware on your hands, which may (likely) never receive the necessary updates to enable those AX features, rendering your "extra" investment moot. You can still improve your wifi greatly with proven AC Wave 2 gear and best-practices.

    For a replacement all-in-one, I'd look at a Netgear X4S (R7800) tri-band unit for max 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz peformance. If you were thinking of a multi-point mesh product, Eero Pro tri-band all the way; it's miles beyond all the other mesh stuff in the QoS and backhaul optimization areas.

    If you were interested in something a cut above consumer gear, I'd put in a solid wired router like a EdgeRouter 4 or Cisco RV260, a managed PoE switch and however many AC Wave 2 access points you need, hardwired via ethernet (or MoCa if you don't have ethernet).
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  4. SteelSteve

    SteelSteve New Around Here

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    Jan 24, 2020
    Messages:
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    Thanks Trip. Wired would be best of course but not really available for me unless I wanted to pay someone to run cables through the walls (no easy run). I did also consider a new AC router and will look at the X4s, do you know anything about the Asus GT-AC5300? It's my understanding that for gaming mesh isn't there yet, and we have multiple game systems and a gaming rig connected via Ethernet.
     
  5. Clark Griswald

    Clark Griswald Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    @SteelSteve Welcome
    I tested the AX88u, but in my environment I couldn't justify the additional cost (to my Wife). My AC86 has been rock solid and utilizing RMerlin fw since initial setup. The AC86 should be capable of full coverage in your sqft, if properly located.
    I went from R7000(retired)-AC88U-AC86U and I have never had any reason/issue to leave RMerlin supported routers. FYI, RMerlin fw does not support the GT models.
    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/about-asuswrt-merlin-custom-firmware-for-asus-routers.7846/
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  6. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,145
    Perfectly understandable.
    Here's the tech info on it. Fairly high-end box.
    Gaming shouldn't really be something you do wirelessly, regardless of the underlying topology, but yes, multiple wireless hops will make gaming even more latent, which you definitely don't want. That being said, Eero does a better job with traffic flow management than the other stuff, but still wouldn't recommend it for gaming over some-how figuring out a way to hardwire (ethernet or MoCa over TV coaxial if you have any).

    EDIT: Merlin reference removed.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
  7. Clark Griswald

    Clark Griswald Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2015
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Northern California, USA
    Trip I was unaware that RMerlin offered GT based router fw?
    I agree with you re: no wireless gaming.

    SteelSteve I have a heavy gamer & too many streamers in my environment, and my setup has had no issues handling the workload. If you have the possibility of running wire, that would be the best solution, although (can be) costly to have done properly. I ran cat5e to every room of my home years ago. If I were to wire my home now, then I would run Cat6.
     
  8. SteelSteve

    SteelSteve New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2020
    Messages:
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    Thanks all for the responses.

    Wired for my Xbox and PS4 is not an option unless I hire and electrician as there is no easy way to run the cables. Wireless has been fine especially if I can run at AC speeds, but right now I'm forced to run in Mixed Mode (hence the thought of replacing my router).

    So let me ask this then, I was always under the belief that running mixed mode was slower then running a dedicated AC or AX band. Am I mistaken? I started another post on my EA9300 to see if anyone knows a way to fix its issue so that I can keep it until I'm ready for AX.
     
  9. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Aug 12, 2014
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    Ah, you may be right. I just assumed as much, but upon double-checking do appear to be mistaken. Without Merlin support, perhaps still a worthy consideration, although not as sure now.
     
    Clark Griswald likes this.