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To ac, or not to ac...

Discussion in 'Wireless Buying Advice' started by peshko, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. peshko

    peshko New Around Here

    Jan 6, 2013
    Hi guys. I am currently running Netgear WNDR3700v1 that has been running pretty badly lately (well, to be honest before it went bad, i never had to reboot the router - it's been running for months with no any administration). I have been fighting with Netgear for the past 3 months, but as always it was pretty much a lost cause since the beginning - after a year you are toasted and it seems their routers are build to last 1 year + 1 day.

    Regardless, I have been looking for a new router and reading reviews here and on the web in general here is the outcome:

    - Netgear R6300 - not bad review from here, but about 5% 1-star reviews on amazon with many complaining about constantly rebooting, loosing connection, etc.

    - Netgear wndr4700 - here it is reported as uneven wireless performance and considering I have pretty much devices covering b/g/n not really a good choice. Most interestingly up link is better than the down link in a magnitude of 2x - 3x?!?!

    - Cisco EA6500 - relatovely good review here, but at 30% 1-star review at amazon makes it a no-no. Many complaints about the performance and loosing connection

    - ASUS RT-AC66U - Big imbalance in wireless up & down throughput

    So, really the question is:

    1. Do I really need ac...I'd say no, but most of the ac routers has the power (not necessarily true reading the reviews). I dont have any ac devices.

    2. What would be the best router??? at least from those that I looked at as above?

    This is what I have connected: Wireless - 3 iPhones 5, 2 iPads - 2nd Gen, Wii, Apple TV 2 months old, 2 Macbook Pro 1 year old, 2 Windows Laptops a few months old, 2 Smart TVs - a few months old - mainly Netflix; Wired - Linux server, Buffalo NAS, 2 printers, iMac, Slingbox

    About 2700 sq ft 3 story townhouse. Router is on the 3rd floor. Verizon FiOS 75/35.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. zoulas

    zoulas Occasional Visitor

    Jan 5, 2013
    Hello, I see many posting here discouraging people from AC. I purchased an N router when it was in draft as well, and you know what, the signal strength was far superior to the then G standard. This router lasted me 5 years. Now you have a situation where something like the Buffalo WZR-D1800H (AC) is less expensive than many N routers. Moreover, the other AC routers are marginally more expensive than the better N routers. Take for example the Asus RT-N66U and the RT-AC66U. The monetary difference is 30 bucks. We are all technology people, some more, some less. For a 5 year investment, I would spend the extra $$ and get the newer technology. Now , if you are on a budget and want to keep it under $50 then AC is not going to be something you should be considering. Also, If you have 'N' technology today and you are happy with it, I would not run out and be an early adopter. Bottom line: if you can afford AC and you need a router TODAY, there is absolutely no reason not to get it.
  3. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

    May 18, 2008
    The connectivity problems people are reporting are proabably incompatibilities due to old or flawed drivers in the non 11ac clients.

    The only way you are going to know is to try one for yourself. All current models are based on Broadcom's chipset. But not all use the same level of drivers from Broadcom.

    I can't advise on long-term reliability because I use an 11N router.

    11ac doesn't improve throughput or range over 11n routers. The value is for the future with upcoming devices and client adapters that also support it.
  4. peshko

    peshko New Around Here

    Jan 6, 2013
    Tim and zoulas, thanks for your responses.

    I agree perfectly that 11ac right now is investment in the future. The same way that 11n draft came out several years back.

    I was a bit surprised to see quite a few reports (mainly on the amazon forum) that people see significant better coverage on the n network using 11ac routers...

    Regardless, I will go and get 11ac router today, but should I go the 11n path and looking into:

    - Assus rt-n66u
    - Cisco EA4500 - could not find a reiew on this one. apologies if it is there, but would like to get a link
    - Netgear Centria WNDR4700

    and considering the devices and information from above which would be a best fit. Any recommendation would be appreciated.

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