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Hoping to get a wireless router recommendation plus APs. No clue how to use the router tool.

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by Ccualumni, May 21, 2018.

  1. Ccualumni

    Ccualumni New Around Here

    May 21, 2018
    I tried to use the router tool, but the drop down had 40 choices and i have no idea which to choose. I looked at the modems in order, but i dont no what mu-mimo is.

    I am currently running an old Netgear wnr1000 v3. For what I paid 4 or 5 years ago, it has been great.

    I am looking to upgrade across the board though. I will use the modem from my ISP, which is Windstream with DSL. It works well, so I am happy with them.

    My goal is to run hardwires to my game room for the PS4s, and a hardwire to my Apple TV behind my primary TV. I will also use the DECA devices to run the Internet over my coax cables in my house since I have DirecTV. I have already tested and it worked well.

    What I need help with:
    I want a new router. It will have multiple phones, TVs, iPads, computers and a Roku or two on it. The PS4 will be hard wired right into the router.
    I am running an Ethernet cord to my Apple TV, but wonder if I would be better off running the Ethernet cord to an access point behind the TV that I could hook the Apple TV into as well as one wire right in the TV. Who knows what else I may add up there.

    In addition to that, I will run the internet through my coax cables to get better reception to my upstairs. I would like to plug an access point in upstairs using the coax outlet for internet.
    What access point should I get? I need one that can hard wire and/or on that can hardwireand do wireless.

    My dsl comes in on the Windstream modem, but the wireless on it has a very weak range so I have to put in a 2nd router and disable the wireless in the Windstream router.

    My questions:
    Do I put the access points in bridge mode or something like that? Is that the same for my 2nd router that is plugged directly into the modem?

    What wireless router should I get? I was thinking of the Asus AC3200.
    What should I get for access points?
    I need a smaller access point or or will need to direct connect my Ethernet cord as there isn’t a ton of room behind the tv.
    I would like the wireless to all be one around the entire house so that my device doesn’t have to jump from one wireless to another. Is that possible?

    Thank you in advance for any advice or help.
  2. Xentrk

    Xentrk Very Senior Member

    Jul 21, 2016
    The Land of Smiles
    I recommend you read some of the articles on SmallNetBuilders by @thiggins and his team as a start. Most Asuswrt-Merlin members recently upgraded to the AC86U due to the enhanced CPU which improves OpenVPN performance. Here are a few articles



    You can convert your existing router into an AP:

    I have a D-Link 880L flashed with dd-wrt that I use as an AP for my pfSense appliance.
  3. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Apr 21, 2018
    The most important thing is your budget for all these changes.

    Your highest preference should always be for multi-AP systems, i.e. access points that are connected back to your router via wired. Wired should preferably be Gigabit Ethernet cable, i.e. Cat6, Cat6e or some Cat5e cables. This is sometimes known in the context of wireless devices as "Ethernet backhaul". After that you wired preference should be MOCA on coax. Avoid Powerline wherever possible - or be prepared to test it only, because it is too inconsistent and poor performing for many people.

    In situations where you can get neither of the above, then STA bridge (aka. "wireless bridging") from a router, some APs, or tri-band extender is an option.

    If adding multiple APs, you can disable the wireless on your existing router.

    If adding a new router, you can turn your existing router into an AP bridge ("bridge mode" in consumer devices normally refers to wired bridge on a cable modem since wireless devices can have different types of bridges).

    You can start an AP system with just a single TP-Link EAP225 or even better a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite since that allows scaling into the whole Ubiquiti Unifi controller system. Then download the free controller apps into your phone or PC.

    An expensive alternative to the above, and with less control and visibility, would be up to 3x Asus RT-AC86U in AiMesh. A single Asus RT-AC86U could make a (very) good Internet gateway device though.

    On paper, the Asus RT-AC3200 would make an amazing standalone router, especially in areas of high interference. However, not only is it designed for advanced wireless contexts with many devices, especially different mix of WiFi standards, and heavy wireless optimization, but it appears to have or had some serious firmware functionality issues. It may or may not work for you and there's little point paying such a premium if you're not going to optimize anyway.

    In general, you will get all the control that the RT-AC3200 could give in terms of wireless for most situations, from any decent AP system. That's what the controller software is designed for, especially those that are also used in enterprise settings. An additional bonus from APs is that they are designed to work with powerful management systems that include features like VLANs, making it much easier to scale up your network in future as you add more devices and network nodes. Getting the same from consumer routers is either impossible from stock software, requiring custom software and possibly lots of low level fiddling, or is very limited.
    Last edited: May 23, 2018
  4. Ccualumni

    Ccualumni New Around Here

    May 21, 2018
    Wow. Thank you both for detailed information. I really appreciate it.

    I have been happy and impressed with my low budget Netgear, but my house is quickly outgrowing it.

    Thanks again for the great advice.