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Upgrade from Ac68u to AC5300 worth it?

Discussion in 'ASUS AC Routers & Adapters' started by Sunny Unni, Nov 14, 2016.

  1. Sunny Unni

    Sunny Unni Occasional Visitor

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
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    Hi All,

    Im planning to upgrade my main router which is an AC68u to and AC5300 U. I have lot of walls in beetween rooms and have setup another AC68u as ac access point to counter this in the bedroom.
    Would the AC5300 improve things over the 68U. We use 4k Metflix, Ipads, Iphones, ps4 and 4k media streaming.

    Thanks

    Sunny
     
  2. RamGuy

    RamGuy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
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    To put it simple; There is one advantage with the RT-AC5300U over RT-AC68U and that's Tri-Band/Smart Connect. I own RT-N66U, RT-AC66U, RT-AC68U and RT-AC5300U and I have also owned RT-AC3200. In terms of range they are all pretty much the same in my experience. I would actually give the edge to the RT-AC68U, especially on 5GHz/802.11ac but they are all in the same ballpark.

    Compared to the RT-AC68U, the RT-AC5300 will give you a slightly faster SoC (you won't even notice this unless you are using OpenVPN etc..), MU:MIMO (you will most likely have no MU:MIMO clients for a long time, not to mention the fact that the MU:MIMO performance and stability is rather poor and the entire feature is still labeled as "BETA/Experimental") and last but not least Tri-Band / Smart Connect.

    Everything else will be the exact same. The software/firmware is the same. The wireless range, stability and performance is pretty much the same. And even though the SoC is slightly faster, you will properly not notice as the only thing being bottlenecked by the SoC at this point is VPN.


    In the end, you pay for two things; MU:MIMO and Tri-Band / Smart Connect. As MU:MIMO is still experimental and from what Thiggins have heard it might seem like Broadcom have pretty much abandoned MU:MIMO on this first wave of MU:MIMO chipset from Broadcom. So it might seem like it will stay BETA/Experimental, unstable and lacklustre for eternity.

    Tri-Band / Smart Connect on the other hand is working really good with the RT-AC5300. It was really bad on the RT-AC3200, but it seems like they've figured it out with the RT-AC5300. Tri-Band / Smart Connect is a really great feature if you have lots of wireless devices in your home. Having the router auto-steer your devices so slower devices won't bugle down your wireless performance is great. With the trend of having everything connecting using WiFi this feature is awesome. I have a Withings Smart Body Scale using WiFi, I have a Harmony Smart Hub using WiFi, I have a Ring Video Doorbell using WiFi etc.. All these devices don't require any high performance so having the router steering them to their own wireless NIC on the router instead of having them competing with devices like my MacBook's, Apple TV etc that requires high bandwidth is great and from my experience Smart Connect on the RT-AC5300 does all this very well.



    In your situation, if it's all about improving range the RT-AC5300 won't do you any good compared to the RT-AC68U. Then you would be much better of by grabbing a second RT-AC68U and utilise it as a dedicated access point.
     
    pirx73 and Erdinc like this.
  3. Sunny Unni

    Sunny Unni Occasional Visitor

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    Wow. You made the decision much easier for me Ramguy. Thanks a ton!
     
    Erdinc likes this.
  4. Phoenix

    Phoenix Regular Contributor

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    Jun 17, 2015
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    Nope, not worth it. I had the AC68U and the range is no better in the AC5300. MU-MIMO is a useless gimmick and so is Smart Connect, it keeps fluctuating my connection on my Intel AC8265 between 2.4 and 5GHz randomly even though I am sitting right next to the router.
     
    Erdinc likes this.
  5. pete y testing

    pete y testing Very Senior Member

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    except for the fact its not correct

    swapping out the main router for the 5300 is total overkill as you dont have any clients to connect to it at the same speed as the 5300 so they will still be the bottle neck

    if you have an rt-ac68u in the main area and another rt-ac68u in the bedroom areas you wont see any benefit streaming wise to the clients you have atm

    stand alone the 5300 will give better coverage than a rt-ac68u but not to the extent you wont still need to use the bedroom rt-ac68u
     
    sentinelvdx likes this.
  6. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    No, it won't - the big thing with WiFI - location of the AP's relative to where the clients are at...

    The AC5300 in your case likely will not improve things...
     
    jerry6 and sentinelvdx like this.
  7. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Occasional Visitor

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    RT-AC68U actually has (slightly) better range than Netgear R8000 which is AC3200 equivalent. I doubt 5300 provides better range.
     
  8. wocram

    wocram Regular Contributor

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    To get clear through all your wall, you could also look into a "powerline ethernet adapter with WiFi access point" like the ASUS PL-AC56.
     
  9. L&LD

    L&LD Part of the Furniture

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    I would say there is a good chance it will. Particularly if you are able to locate it in a more optimum location (centered for your needed coverage areas).

    http://www.snbforums.com/threads/sh...-go-with-the-rt-ac1900p-v3.34748/#post-281391


    An actual test in your actual network environment will quickly confirm (or not) my educated guess above. Just a little of your time and effort is needed. :)
     
  10. pirx73

    pirx73 Regular Contributor

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    Smart Connect, Band Navigation, Band Steering or whatever wifi AP and router manufacturer's call it, mostly relies on tricks to force wireless clients toward 5GHz band. There is no standart or protocol which would allow router or AP to ask the client "can you do 5GHz? If you can - switch band". Some wireless network cards (Intel's for example) allow user to configure band preference (5GHz preferred setting), but that is not the case with smartphones or tablets.

    On my house i use the following solution which works, any router who allows to have separate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5GHz bands can do it:

    Solution #1
    Name each band's SSIDs differently like "Home" for 2.4GHz band and "Home5" for 5GHz band. I use "5" at the end of SSID to distinguish 5GHz network.
    Then configure your wireless clients connect to the "Home5" network. Works every time. Of course, there is a drawback - if 5GHz band signal at certain location is weaker than 2.4GHz one, device won't switch back. But it surely prevents devices from jumping back and forth between bands.

    Solution #2
    Disable 2.4GHz radio completely. Sensible only if all your wireless clients can use 5GHz and 5Ghz band has good coverage. This solution is even recommended for multi-apartment buildings with lots of 2.4GHz networks interfering. But again - coverage of 5GHz band is less, you must be sure it is adequate before implementing this solution.
     
  11. Roy2001

    Roy2001 Occasional Visitor

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    I am using solution one, and the problem is, while 5Ghz signal is good inside the house, it is weak outside, my phone won't pickup the 5Ghz wifi. But if I connect to 2.4Ghz, then it is not smart enough to connect to 5Ghz when I get in. I tried the same SSID and it does not work well.

    Solution #2 is good if 5Ghz range is good to cover the house. But I found for large house with a lot of walls, there are places 5Ghz cannot cover or is very weak. I am with R8000 and AC68U, my house is 4900 sqft but quite open and router is close to the center of the house, in family room which is open, and close to stairs. My friend placed router in office room, and R7000 has hard time to reach the corner bedroom on 2nd floor. His house has a lot of walls and stairs are almost closed though.

    I really hope dual/tri band routers could be smart so we can use ONE SSID and it knows to use fastest connection (not just strongest channel as weak AC is faster than strong N).