Need assistance upgrading my WiFi network

captaineo

New Around Here
I am looking for advice on the set up of my Wi-Fi network. I’ve searched the forum but all advice in regards to a similar setup to mine is a few years old and out of date. Thanks in advance for your advice.

I live in a single level home with about 1,200 sq. ft. I have gigabit service with Xfinity and am currently using an AirPort Extreme. I have 2 4K streaming TVs, 2 MacBook pros, 2 iPhones, 2 Apple watches, and a large assortment of home automation connected devices that require a fast connection. While I don’t have trouble with a fast connection that often, it’s annoying when I do.

Should I upgrade my router to take advantage of the gigabit internet speeds, and if so, what router would you recommend? I’m looking to somewhat future proof my home but don’t have a ton of money to throw at this project. Also, I’ve purchased a cat 6 Ethernet cable to run from my modem to my router. Will that increase my speeds or is it overkill? Currently my WiFi speeds are around 250 down/40 up.

Again, thank you in advance for your advice and recommendations. It’s greatly appreciated!
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The RT-AC66U_B1 will be an upgrade over what you currently have. The RT-AC86U will certainly be more 'future-proof'.

Your home is small vs. current router's coverage area, a single router, well placed, should be enough. The Ethernet cable you've purchased can be used to further optimize the placement of the router (usually, in the center of the area to be covered).

The RT-AC66U_B1 will not be able to give you full Gbps WiFi that your ISP offers, the RT-AC86U will certainly get much closer and be usable further into the future as its a newer model too.
 

Greg72

Senior Member
I can get over 509 gor wifi and great coverage with the XB6. Placing it in our Front Room from the back bedroom made little difference in speed.

If you place the eMTA in a location that allows you to have coverage for those areas that you spend the majority of your time in is the key.

I have zero wired devices on my network. I have moved those devices that are slower (Below 150 Wireless-N) on the 2.4ghz channel. I have an my SSID set so that the 2.4 has a _2 at the end. I do not even use the pucks since they can slow things down.
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
To lighten the load on your WiFi you really should consider using Ethernet connections to both of your 4K streaming TVs. If you look closely at the back of most/all smart TVs they have an Ethernet jack. By removing the two 4K streams everything else will work better on WiFi particularly if the TVs use the 2.4 Ghz band which is over crowded most everywhere.
 

Greg72

Senior Member
Ethernet on Smart TV’s is only 10/100 and those like th Samsung Q6 has 5ghz capability. Ethernet does not get you 4k, 5ghz does when streaming. Having Gig service is a plus. You do not have the issues as you would with slower speeds. 4k streaming on Youtube is around 67mbps.

I am a firm believer that Wired is being left in the dust for Wifi-5 and Wifi-6 taking its place. You do need to have the speeds to get a benefit from both, which gig service provides.
 

captaineo

New Around Here
The RT-AC66U_B1 will be an upgrade over what you currently have. The RT-AC86U will certainly be more 'future-proof'.

Your home is small vs. current router's coverage area, a single router, well placed, should be enough. The Ethernet cable you've purchased can be used to further optimize the placement of the router (usually, in the center of the area to be covered).

The RT-AC66U_B1 will not be able to give you full Gbps WiFi that your ISP offers, the RT-AC86U will certainly get much closer and be usable further into the future as its a newer model too.
From what I understand, the RT-AC66U is AC1750 whereas the AirPort Extreme is AC1900. Wouldn’t that be a downgrade?
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Ethernet on Smart TV’s is only 10/100 and those like th Samsung Q6 has 5ghz capability. Ethernet does not get you 4k, 5ghz does when streaming. Having Gig service is a plus. You do not have the issues as you would with slower speeds. 4k streaming on Youtube is around 67mbps.

I am a firm believer that Wired is being left in the dust for Wifi-5 and Wifi-6 taking its place. You do need to have the speeds to get a benefit from both, which gig service provides.
I am a believer in wire but not smart TVs. Why not buy AppleTV 4K and not connect your TVs at all. Buy 1 AppleTV 4K for each TV and use wire for the AppleTV 4K. It will keep your wireless overhead down. I think smart TVs are like IoT devices and should not be trusted.
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
Ethernet on Smart TV’s is only 10/100 and those like th Samsung Q6 has 5ghz capability. Ethernet does not get you 4k, 5ghz does when streaming. Having Gig service is a plus. You do not have the issues as you would with slower speeds. 4k streaming on Youtube is around 67mbps.

I am a firm believer that Wired is being left in the dust for Wifi-5 and Wifi-6 taking its place. You do need to have the speeds to get a benefit from both, which gig service provides.
You don't need more than Fast Ethernet for 4K. To stream in 4K from Netflix with a 4K subscription a 20 Mbps connection works just fine. Watched the Irishman on Netflix and used just 25 Gigs of data over 3 1/2 hours. Fast Ethernet is probably even fast enough to stream uncompressed video from an internal server and it is certainly fast enough for YouTube even if it does stream at 67Mbps.

Also unless you have a very new and/or expensive smart TV it probably has just as a 2.4 Ghz wifi chip as that is fast enough and has better range and will better penetrate interior walls for people not having their router near their TV.

As for the security issue all the devices on my network connecting using Ethernet are connected using a $30 TP-Link switch with VLANs. My TVs and TIVOs are on a separate VLAN to isolate them from my more secure wired devices.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
From what I understand, the RT-AC66U is AC1750 whereas the AirPort Extreme is AC1900. Wouldn’t that be a downgrade?
The Asus RT-AC66U_B1 is the RT-AC68U modern equivalent with a faster processor. It is different than the old, original RT-AC66U which I would not recommend today.
 

Klueless

Very Senior Member
I have gigabit service with Xfinity ... Currently my WiFi speeds are around 250 down/40 up.
This confuses me. Usually a Gigabit service is a gig up and a gig down. I don't think a WiFi speed of 250 is bad but shouldn't it be more like 250 down and up?

What and how are you measuring?

... using an AirPort Extreme ... Should I upgrade my router to take advantage of the gigabit internet speeds, and if so, what router would you recommend?
Not sure. Is it an old "N" or a newer "AC"? What speeds are you seeing when you connect through Ethernet?

Here's a THiggins review on an Asus AC86U, His benches (LAN/WAN & CTF) show in excess of 900 Mbps. HTTP also looks good. At first blush I'd venture this is a Gigabit worthy router?

How does the Airport compare?

But, again, I'm more concerned about your 250 x 40 bench. I don't know why it's so asymmetrical?

And, of course, 250 is only 25% of Gigabit but there's a lot involved and no small piece of it is the client itself. I've a 400 Mbps service at work. My better clients get 300 & 350 Mbps (Internet speed test). The rest of them are more like 150 Mbps. Both Wireless and Ethernet.

And ... now that you're Gigabit ... let's talk about speed vs. capacity.
  • Speed: Many to most of your wireless nodes will not hit Gigabit. But that's OK.
  • Capacity: Picture four wireless nodes all bursting at 250 Mpbs. You can now have many things running at once with little to no degradation in performance.
 
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royarcher

Very Senior Member
You don't need more than Fast Ethernet for 4K. To stream in 4K from Netflix with a 4K subscription a 20 Mbps connection works just fine. Watched the Irishman on Netflix and used just 25 Gigs of data over 3 1/2 hours. Fast Ethernet is probably even fast enough to stream uncompressed video from an internal server and it is certainly fast enough for YouTube even if it does stream at 67Mbps.

Also unless you have a very new and/or expensive smart TV it probably has just as a 2.4 Ghz wifi chip as that is fast enough and has better range and will better penetrate interior walls for people not having their router near their TV.

As for the security issue all the devices on my network connecting using Ethernet are connected using a $30 TP-Link switch with VLANs. My TVs and TIVOs are on a separate VLAN to isolate them from my more secure wired devices.
You don't need more than Fast Ethernet for 4K. To stream in 4K from Netflix with a 4K subscription a 20 Mbps connection works just fine. Watched the Irishman on Netflix and used just 25 Gigs of data over 3 1/2 hours. Fast Ethernet is probably even fast enough to stream uncompressed video from an internal server and it is certainly fast enough for YouTube even if it does stream at 67Mbps.

Also unless you have a very new and/or expensive smart TV it probably has just as a 2.4 Ghz wifi chip as that is fast enough and has better range and will better penetrate interior walls for people not having their router near their TV.

As for the security issue all the devices on my network connecting using Ethernet are connected using a $30 TP-Link switch with VLANs. My TVs and TIVOs are on a separate VLAN to isolate them from my more secure wired devices.
I don't know about you captain but I thought that any data was a waste on the Irishman 200 minutes of old men mumbling to each other terrible continuity (look closely at drink placement and hair styles to name just a couple) but it was a good sleeping tonic
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
I don't know about you captain but I thought that any data was a waste on the Irishman 200 minutes of old men mumbling to each other terrible continuity (look closely at drink placement and hair styles to name just a couple) but it was a good sleeping tonic
I didn't think it was that great but my wife liked it very much. Happy wife happy life!
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I have 2 4K streaming TVs, 2 MacBook pros, 2 iPhones, 2 Apple watches, and a large assortment of home automation connected devices
Apple presents interesting challenges around multicast support for Bonjour, Airprint, and AirPlay/AirPlay2

I would shy away from Asus in an Apple centric household - it's good HW, but there has been ongoing issues with connectivity on AsusWRT.

Netgear - seriously... shop around, but the R7800 works well with Apple devices, as does Orbi.

I would also suggest looking hard at Synology's RT2600ac, I've replaced a few Airport Extreme installation with the RT's, and no complaints.
 

Milky Way

New Around Here
[edited for brevity]
I live in a single level home with about 1,200 sq. ft. I have gigabit service with Xfinity and am currently using an AirPort Extreme. I have 2 4K streaming TVs, 2 MacBook pros, 2 iPhones, 2 Apple watches, and a large assortment of home automation connected devices that require a fast connection. While I don’t have trouble with a fast connection that often, it’s annoying when I do.

Should I upgrade my router to take advantage of the gigabit internet speeds, and if so, what router would you recommend? Also, I’ve purchased a cat 6 Ethernet cable to run from my modem to my router. Currently my WiFi speeds are around 250 down/40 up.
Hey Captain,
Can you explain your set up a little more? For example:

[Comcast Internet] -> [Modem (make/model)] -- (connected how? cat x wire)-> [Airport Extreme (AC/N?)]

I have an 2 airport extremes ac (the tower looking one) in my townhome and get 360 down/ 12 up through comcast, which is my 300dn/10up plan with 20% over provision. Mine are ethernet wired to a central switch and act as a unified network (i wont say mesh but they are, no issues roaming etc).

My guess is you have a gigabit modem (or else comcast wouldn't even let you get gig) and it is wire connected to your airport extreme. What model is the airport extreme and what type wire are connecting it to? Do you have a separate router as well? Also what kind of walls do you have and where is your airport located? is it central in your home or off to one side? Lastly, do you have additional ethernet jacks throughout the house or are you solely wireless?

I would go ahead and use the cat 6 cable between your modem and airport extreme since you have it. Would be suprised if it made a difference unless you are running a cat5 (not 5e) or you have a bad cable there.



But, again, I'm more concerned about your 250 x 40 bench. I don't know why it's so asymmetrical?
Klueless,
Comcast Gig/internet service is not symmetrical. Gig is 1000 down / 40 up. Most other plans are between 10 and 20 up only. Mine is 300 down/10 up which comes out to 360 down / 12 up. They are a few years away from symmetrical due to needed plant upgrades.
 

captaineo

New Around Here
Hi guys,

I wanted to update you on the status of my setup. Thanks for all your recommendations. I ended up getting a Synology RT2600-ac router to replace my AirPort Extreme ca router and have cabled it to my modem with Cat6 cable. I’m pleased with the results. I’m getting consistent 290-450 Mbps download speeds and 35-42 Mbps upload speeds. More importantly I’m not having any buffering issues and my Apple TV loads and plays media within a second of selecting a show. The speeds have not increased so much but the signal is stronger and the performance is better. I really like the VPN that is included with the router. It works flawlessly so far, and there are security features that weren’t available on the AirPort Extreme. I like the amount of control I have over the network and the ability to monitor every detail.
Anyhow, I hope this helps someone else and thanks again to everyone that chimed in to help.
 
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captaineo

New Around Here
Hey Captain,
Can you explain your set up a little more? For example:

[Comcast Internet] -> [Modem (make/model)] -- (connected how? cat x wire)-> [Airport Extreme (AC/N?)]

I have an 2 airport extremes ac (the tower looking one) in my townhome and get 360 down/ 12 up through comcast, which is my 300dn/10up plan with 20% over provision. Mine are ethernet wired to a central switch and act as a unified network (i wont say mesh but they are, no issues roaming etc).

My guess is you have a gigabit modem (or else comcast wouldn't even let you get gig) and it is wire connected to your airport extreme. What model is the airport extreme and what type wire are connecting it to? Do you have a separate router as well? Also what kind of walls do you have and where is your airport located? is it central in your home or off to one side? Lastly, do you have additional ethernet jacks throughout the house or are you solely wireless?

I would go ahead and use the cat 6 cable between your modem and airport extreme since you have it. Would be suprised if it made a difference unless you are running a cat5 (not 5e) or you have a bad cable there.





Klueless,
Comcast Gig/internet service is not symmetrical. Gig is 1000 down / 40 up. Most other plans are between 10 and 20 up only. Mine is 300 down/10 up which comes out to 360 down / 12 up. They are a few years away from symmetrical due to needed plant upgrades.
My modem is the Arris SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem.
 

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