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Purchase new wireless router vs. other options?

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by LeoBloom, Aug 20, 2018.

  1. LeoBloom

    LeoBloom Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Thinking about upgrading the RT-N66U and was wondering what you guys think I should go to. Currently run a 200 mbps connection hardwire, but WiFi on 5GHz seems to max out at 100 mbps even when the device is right next to the router, and it goes down to 20 mbps when I go to the living room. Of note, my ISP supplied router would give me much higher speeds in the living room, but I need the OpenVPN server functionality which it does not provide.

    Basically, the main reasons I would be looking to upgrade is to get better WiFi speeds and because Merlin no longer supports this router (and I am worried about running something outdated)

    I live in a 1000 sqft apartment and unfortunately the router/AP is tucked away in one of the corner bedrooms.

    What I am looking for

    * potentially ASUS router as I have had a good experience with Merlin
    * something that I can use to set-up an OpenVPN server to connect home when I am away (Merlin allows for this)
    * something that supports a 2 TB harddrive that I have connected to the N66U recognized as DLNA server
    * increased OpenVPN file transfer speeds if possible (currently averaging around 1 MB/s)
    * # of wifi devices: ipad, 2 iphones, Roku TV, 2 laptops - all very light use except for streaming PS Vue on the Roku TV


    Can probably spend up to 200 dollars if worth it but again, my use probably doesn't warrant spending that much

    Definitely would be relying on 5GHz as 2.4 is just way too congested in this building

    Thanks in advance
     
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  3. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2010
    Messages:
    2,240
    Location:
    texas
    So when you turn off 2.4GHz wireless you only get 100 mbps across 5GHz?
     
  4. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Messages:
    186
  5. LeoBloom

    LeoBloom Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Turning off 2.4 GHz didn't really change anything.

    Any specific reason why the AC66U vs 68U or 86U?
     
  6. umarmung

    umarmung Regular Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2018
    Messages:
    186
    Your usage is light, ruling out strong CPU as a requirement.

    In a size that small, you do not need multiple nodes, so no requirement for APs (or even AiMesh).

    Your VPN usage is minute, ruling out powerful VPN support.

    Your Internet connection is not that high for the fastest class of WiFi performance.

    So, all you need is a single standalone consumer router. The Asus RT-AC66U B1 is the cheapest of the modern Asus routers that supports a broad subset of Asuswrt features and is supported by Merlin. Both Asus recommends it as the most common EoL product replacement and, I believe, Merlin said he recommends them to clients when nothing specific is required. It is basically the Asus equivalent of the TP-Link Archer C7, but with much better software.

    If your circumstances are due to change, as discussed in the earlier points, then you can choose a more powerful model depending on what is due to change.

    Also, you still have a working wireless router that you could put to work somewhere else.

    If you want to add frills, pick your poison:
    • Band steering: Asus RT-AC68U
    • Max VPN performance: Asus RT-AC86U
    • Max wired performance: Asus RT-AC86U
     
  7. LeoBloom

    LeoBloom Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
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    Got it - thanks for the detailed explanation

    In regards to the ASUS RT-AC86U - will it increase my VPN transfers speeds for large files (currently transfer speeds are at 1 MB/s)

    If I were to go with the AC66U option - does it make any sense to keep the N66U in the living room (where most of the WiFi enabled products are) and connect to AC86U via AiMesh?
     
  8. LeoBloom

    LeoBloom Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Got the AC66U - thanks for the recommendation

    Works like a charm - getting much better WiFi speeds on the other end of my apartment
     
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