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Not sure which router now?

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Regular Contributor
I'm finally getting 1 gig fiber service in the area,so I'm in the market for a new router.

I was set on the Asus 88U or the AC3100 since I have a gig switch anyways,but then I started reading the issues with wifi drops. I really wanted to use the Asus so I could use the Merlin firmware,but now I am a little concerned about getting one. I thought maybe it was a sporadic issue,but it seems to be a big issue.

I was then looking at some of the offerings from Netgear.

I know that in all reality that 1 gig up/dn isn't really probably going to happen,but am I going really going to notice a difference between a AC2900 and AC3100 router?

Any advice on what to get will be greatly appreciated.

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
the AC ratings get their "big number on the box" by adding up a variety of speeds that isn't always helpful. It's easiest to think about how many wifi 'streams' the router handles. Routers tend to be 2x2, 3x3, or 4x4. More streams = more peak speed and slightly better range.

However, you're also limited by your clients' speed. Most clients are only 1x1 or 2x2.

What are you using now and how is it working for you? (range, speed, reliability)?
Is any wifi router/gateway going to be provided by your ISP for no extra charge?

What wireless clients will be important to you?
What ethernet clients do you plan on using, if any?

Are there any scenarios where you really need to get as close to gigabit performance as possible?


Regular Contributor
I'm using an Archer C9 AC1900 right now with the latest firmware. It has gotten to where it drops wifi more frequently than it used to. The range is fine for my needs. I only get 6 Mbps at the moment until they turn on the Fiber in the area,but I do get those speeds that I pay for.As you can see I will making a HUGE jump in speeds.

ATT has already installed there Router for the fiber,but I will be putting the new router behind it and using IP Passthrough on the ATT router. I have the C9 set up this way also.

Wireless: Laptop (Win/Mac),Amazon Fire TV,Nest Products

Wired: Desktop,Xbox One,Security Cam NVR,Synology NAS,Raspberry Pi 3 for cloud storage

As for scenarios,none really. Just wanted to make sure that I get as close to the speeds I pay for as possble.

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
Oh If the C9 is dropping on you then i'd recommend not using it (you could try a third party firmware if you want to possibly save a few bucks).

You know.. as point of least resistance, maybe just try the AT&T router and see how well it works for you? Most of your more performance sensitive devices seem wired anyway.

What model laptop is it and do you know the wifi chip in it? That will determine your peak speed for it.

Easy Rhino

Senior Member
Okay so the laptop is a 2x2 wireless (like most laptops), so the peak connect speed is around 867 mbps and practical max speed is a bit over half that. So it's not going to get to gigabit speeds unless you plug it in.

you could plug your gigabit switch into the AT&T router to get more lan ports. I'm just pushing this idea because once you get it up and running you'll have a better idea of what your requirements are.

is one of the appeals of the 88u/3100 the 8 lan ports? That's kind of cool, but these models are somewhat older designs, with slower CPU's than the state of the art. So if you end up using demanding router tasks like QoS or VPN, then it will probably limit your bandwidth a lot. And you can always get more LAN ports by adding a cheap switch.


Regular Contributor
Yes,one of the things I liked was the 8 Lan ports. But since I have a gig switch,that's really not going to be an issue. The Merlin firmware was another factor.

I was also looking at the Asus RT-AC86U and the Netgear Nighthawk X4S and the X6 AC3200. Would one of those be a better pick?

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