Looking for most reliable LAN router for ~15 devices

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labmonkey

New Around Here
Good afternoon!

I've been lurking for a while but don't find advice that fits my exact situation. I work in a university, but in a small satellite campus where the IT is less reliable. We have some lab systems that rely on networked computers, and unfortunately the LAN in our building is the weak link. The connections drop every few weeks, just for a few minutes, but this is enough to foul up a bunch of automated processes. The lost time is adding up, so I would like to set up my own network that will then connect to the building network for WAN access. However, I know consumer-grade hardware is not necessarily any more reliable than the system I'm describing. Cost is not a huge factor, but I do not want something that is too challenging for a reasonably-competent scientist who is not a network professional to set up.

I need to be able to remotely access the computers, but it's ok if that connection remains somewhat buggy. I figure I will need to port forward, since I can't rely on the building router staying online. The absolute top priority is LAN reliability. Speed is not really important. It only needs to cover a couple of rooms, and the critical devices will be wired. I can get away with only eight wired connections and put the less-critical computers on wifi, or use switches, although I'd like to minimize the number of devices in the chain because of the reliability concern.

What should I buy? I have seen the Asus brt-ac828 recommended for somewhat similar cases, but it seems like that router is no longer available and I am having trouble figuring out the replacement. The higher-end Asus routers I see right now all seem geared toward gamers, but I am more concerned with LAN uptime than with blazing fast wifi.

Thanks for your help.
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Good afternoon!

I've been lurking for a while but don't find advice that fits my exact situation. I work in a university, but in a small satellite campus where the IT is less reliable. We have some lab systems that rely on networked computers, and unfortunately the LAN in our building is the weak link. The connections drop every few weeks, just for a few minutes, but this is enough to foul up a bunch of automated processes. The lost time is adding up, so I would like to set up my own network that will then connect to the building network for WAN access. However, I know consumer-grade hardware is not necessarily any more reliable than the system I'm describing. Cost is not a huge factor, but I do not want something that is too challenging for a reasonably-competent scientist who is not a network professional to set up.

I need to be able to remotely access the computers, but it's ok if that connection remains somewhat buggy. I figure I will need to port forward, since I can't rely on the building router staying online. The absolute top priority is LAN reliability. Speed is not really important. It only needs to cover a couple of rooms, and the critical devices will be wired. I can get away with only eight wired connections and put the less-critical computers on wifi, or use switches, although I'd like to minimize the number of devices in the chain because of the reliability concern.

What should I buy? I have seen the Asus brt-ac828 recommended for somewhat similar cases, but it seems like that router is no longer available and I am having trouble figuring out the replacement. The higher-end Asus routers I see right now all seem geared toward gamers, but I am more concerned with LAN uptime than with blazing fast wifi.

Thanks for your help.

Have you tried to address your networking issues within the local IT service? This may ultimately serve everyone better. I think what you are suggesting would violate most organizations' 'responsible network use policies'.

OE
 

labmonkey

New Around Here
Yes, we've raised the issue with IT. I will double check with them about the rules for using our own routers. There are already consumer-grade routers in use in the building that they know about, and I don't find the usual language about all hardware being maintained by IT in our security policies.
 

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