Netgear R7800 upgrade (to WiFi 6?)

netlover

New Around Here
Hi All,

I'm based in the UK and have a modern flat circa 1,100 square feet. Currently using a Netgear R7800 running Voxel firmware, which i've had for a little over 4 years and has served me well.

I have a new Mac which is WiFi 6 (ax) compatible and considering whether worth upgrading from the R7800.

Right this moment, i have 19 devices connected to my existing network, including: computers, phones, tablets, 2 smart TVs, smarthome devices such as lights & thermostats, 3 sets of speakers & games consoles. I also have a NAS connected to the R7800 via Gigabit ethernet which I access daily for backups & media streaming. My R7800 is at one end of the flat, so the Tx rate drop off is slightly noticeable at other end when it comes to accessing larger network files.

Given my set of circumstances, what upgrade options might be recommended and what increase(s) in performance might I see?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
It will be hard to beat R7800 Wi-Fi coverage. It has quite fast Qualcomm CPU as well. One of the best AC class routers. A new AX class router will eventually give you faster speeds to your new Mac, from ~550Mbps on AC to ~800Mbps on AX for common 2-stream clients in close to ideal conditions. The rest of your devices will work the same way, if not worse. I wouldn't rush to upgrade R7800 just because I have one single AX client. You'll get mostly Asus RT-AX86U recommendations on this forum. I have played with R7800 before and now I have AX86U for experiments. I don't think it can improve the connection speeds to your existing clients. Everyone's Wi-Fi environment is different though and there is no way to know, if you don't try yourself.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Welcome to the forums @netlover.

If you're able and capable of locating a new router in an optimal location with the correct orientation and height for maximum coverage for the areas you need to be connected, an AX class router may show considerable performance improvements, depending on your local environment and specific client (even AC class) devices. You may also find considerable improvements even if you don't/can't optimize the location of the router too.

Is Wi-Fi 6 Worth It

Wi-Fi 6 Pt 2


And to see a real-world example of one of the top AC class routers vs. even an entry-level AX class router, the links below may be worth reading.

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade - Followup questions/answers


As has been mentioned, the need to test/compare between two or more routers in your exact/specific setup cannot be overstated.

But be sure you are testing properly. Be sure to do a full M&M Config to ensure you are fully testing the new equipment (do not simply copy/paste your existing configuration into a new router, or worse, import an old saved backup config file into a new router with new firmware).


Current Order of Recommended Routers Late 2021

First flash the latest firmware you want to use (if using any of the above routers, I recommend RMerlin firmware), and then follow the above link to fully reset the router to allow the firmware to use its expected defaults. Note that for certain routers, this step may need to be done more than once to fully reset the router/network.


Then, follow the suggestions in the link below to minimally and manually configure the router (M&M Config) to secure it and connect to your ISP.

Fully Reset / Best Practice Setup / More


The following links may also be of help too.

Almost all L&LD Links

About L&LD


And most important: with all the above said if testing any new router (fully and properly, as outlined above) doesn't give you better performance than you're getting today, return it. Getting new AX class devices isn't a reason to upgrade your router, in and of itself. It depends on the rest of the specific environment and existing router you're going to upgrade from.
 
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sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
I have a new Mac which is WiFi 6 (ax) compatible and considering whether worth upgrading from the R7800.

Right this moment, i have 19 devices connected to my existing network, including: computers, phones, tablets, 2 smart TVs, smarthome devices such as lights & thermostats, 3 sets of speakers & games consoles. I also have a NAS connected to the R7800 via Gigabit ethernet which I access daily for backups & media streaming. My R7800 is at one end of the flat, so the Tx rate drop off is slightly noticeable at other end when it comes to accessing larger network files.

I'd wait... you won't see an appreciable difference with WiFi5 vs. WiFi6.

R7800 is decent HW, and will be for some time...
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If more than double the throughput (and the equivalent reduction in latency) isn't an appreciable difference, I don't know what is? And that is comparing 2x RT-AC86Us to a single RT-AX68U. With the RT-AC86U compatible, if not superior, to the R7800, hardware wise.

See the third link in my post above.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I'd wait... you won't see an appreciable difference with WiFi5 vs. WiFi6.

@netlover will be attacked by sales people and convinced to spend money on a new Asus router for improvement in... speedtest to one client. :)
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
If more than double the throughput (and the equivalent reduction in latency) isn't an appreciable difference, I don't know what is? And that is comparing 2x RT-AC86Us to a single RT-AX68U. With the RT-AC86U compatible, if not superior, to the R7800, hardware wise.

See the third link in my post above.

Is ASUS paying you a spiff to pimp their products?
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
I'm sure there is a long post above with many links to "customer" installations, advertising highly unpopular and with issues RT-AX68U model.

If not posted already, it's coming soon. I choose to filter SNB Forums for that reason.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
I'm not paid by Asus at all.

Simply making sure that people take into consideration all aspects of the newest hardware. Hard for me to recommend anything else. I only use, deal with, and recommend only certain models too. Many inferior brands have been successfully replaced by Asus routers, with much happier owners with their new routers' capabilities and performance from whatever they may have had before.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Better coverage and speeds.

It is going to be hard to find an AP competing in range with R7800 built-in radios. It is one of the best Wi-Fi 5 class AIO routers, built around quality Qualcomm platform. R7800 can run OpenWrt as firmware option.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Instead of buying more hardware in form of a wired AP to extend the coverage in 1100sqf apartment, I would explore the options to move the router to more central location. It requires buying a cable only and will solve the signal strength issues on the other side of the apartment. I like smarter solutions. ;)
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
If there is no way to do it, there is no way to add an access point as well. Access point is always wired. If it's wireless, it's called a repeater. If there is a way to do it though, a single cable solves the signal strength issue with no extra hardware. One single centrally located AIO router in a smaller place is a better solution than 2x APs from different vendors or with different radios inside with unknown roaming results. What I'm saying though is a new AX router is unlikely to improve much to existing AC clients. It is based on my personal experience with R7800 and SNB Forum favorite AX86U. If the old router was R7000 (AC68U hardware), I would say upgrade. With R7800 available - wait until you get more AX clients to take advantage of the new AX router.
 

Tech9

Part of the Furniture
Sales people invaded yet another new member thread. Please, don't offer Zyxel access points here. Thank you. ;)
 

netlover

New Around Here
Thanks for the responses, especially to @L&LD for the recommended links

I do have a few other AX clients, but regardless of this if I were to gain a material performance improvement just for the M1 Max MacBook Pro that may be of value. I don't know if anyone has experience with these latest MBPs in particular.

I don't want to lay any cables or add APs. The R7800 is in the best place for wifi to smart TV, consoles etc
 

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