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Looking to replace Airport Extreme. Wi-Fi calling important

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by Rob Virginia, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Rob Virginia

    Rob Virginia New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
    Messages:
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    I'm new here. Need advice. I currently have a single Airport Extreme running in bridge mode - no extenders - not using the FIOS wi-fi (radios are off) on the G1100 router. The AE is on top of of one of our kitchen cabinets - it happens to be in the center of our three floors. It's worked well for a long time - but it appears the 2.4 radio is beginning to fail. We have 40+ devices on the network - ½ Wi-fi, ½ Ethernet wired. Number of iOS devices - 12+, plus Mac OS X computers.

    Wi-fi calling is important to us. I've looked at a number of replacement devices. Mesh is likely not necessary - given a new router should provide equal or better coverage that the AE.

    However I 'think' I've narrowed my selection to the RT-AC86U or the Synology RT-2600AC. Both have the capability to add a mesh point - if I need it.

    But - seeing ShinyRobot's issues with wifi calling - I'm not sure what to do.

    Has anyone here looked at alternatives to the Asus router? Suggestions? Thanks
     
  2. OzarkEdge

    OzarkEdge Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2018
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    1,051
    Location:
    USA
    It might help if you can test your WiFi calling on an existing AiMesh. Android Google Fi WiFi calling works fine here on a 2x86U AiMesh. But I gather Apple devices can be finicky to integrate with third-party devices.

    If you consider the 86U, consider Micro Center for bundle pricing.

    OE
     
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  3. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    Location:
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    It seems to be the follow on for many Airport refugees...

    Asus is well known for issues related to Apple specific things...
     
    Rob Virginia likes this.
  4. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Regular Contributor

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    Location:
    Marmaduke Ar.
    Asus 86u works well for me. Small home, no need for AP or AiMesh.
     
  5. st3v3n

    st3v3n Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2016
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    Central US
    Rob, You likely checked this, but what are the temps like on top of the cabinets where your AE has been sitting? We had an AE that the fan went wonky and the 2.4 band promptly became very anemic. Put a replacement fan in, and enhanced air flow, and the unit performed as it had before. We bought a second AE a couple of years ago( sold rebuilt by Apple); within a few days the fan became noisy, the signal began dropping off. Apple replaced it immediately and it's still working fine. We have a RT-AC86, RT-AC3200 and both have handles about 35 devices at once. As long as you have decent air flow and the temps don't get out of hand, they should handle your devices. We don't use mesh either, haven't needed it. Also had an RT-AC68 that worked for a long time. Good luck.
     
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  6. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    667
    If VoIP over wifi is as crucial as you hint (business use, etc.), then I'd leave the consumer boxes and betaware alone and go business-grade, discrete components.

    You want a solid wired router, preferably with with fq_codel or CAKE (if that reads like Japanese, just Google them and the term "bufferbloat"), as part of your QoS schema, and an enterprise-quality AP, perhaps with mesh capability.

    If you're internet is < 150Mb/s aggregate, a Ubiquiti ER-X, or for hundreds of Mb/s, a UBNT ER-4, either one connected to something like a TP-Link EAP225v3 (Omada-capable should you want to expand), or if you really want the Cadillac you could do Ruckus Unleashed or Aruba Instant.

    Put that combo together and properly set it up and you should have jitter-less and low-latency voip over wifi in no time. :)
     
  7. Rob Virginia

    Rob Virginia New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
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    Thanks for the responses.

    Pretty much decided on a simple AP in lieu of a router such as the Synology RT2600AC. The Unifi Nano HD has a number of great reports. It seems simple to set up - although it can be tweaked a number of ways.

    As to Wi-fi calling -- AT&T calling works great over the existing AE. Hopefully the seem will apply to the Nano HD.
     
    st3v3n likes this.
  8. Trip

    Trip Very Senior Member

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    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    667
    How has calling via UniFi been performing for you?
     
  9. Rob Virginia

    Rob Virginia New Around Here

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2019
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    The Unifi NanoHD is performing very well. I installed it about a week ago. Very easy install. I ran the Mac software controller to set it up. Still running it to look at the stats. Using Safari as the browser - although it indicated I should use Firefox or Chrome. We have a three floor home - the AP is pretty much in the center of the house. Wi-fi devices run well whichever floor they are on. Had planned additional AP's - now I'm not sure I need more AP's. Wi-fi calling works very well - very clear VOIP - on all our iOS devices. I could install a more complex system - but right now I don't need it.