Upgrade routers

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JokerPower

Occasional Visitor
Hi guys

I need your advice in upgrading my network.

I live in a house with three floors. On the second floor, I have an TP-LINK Archer AC1200, while on the third floor there is NETGEAR Nighthawk R7000.

The Archer is used for covering the first & second floor. While the coverage is ok, I don't like speed I'm getting. Also, it tends to connect 5GHz capable devices to 2.4GHz network (even if I'm pretty close to the router). I believe this is because there is no Smart Connect function.

The R7000 has better wireless coverage & speed. But Netgear is known for bad firmware updates. It's a lottery.

My Internet connection is FTTH with 500/500 Mbps.

What I want to achieve is:

  • maintain or improve wireless coverage
  • better wireless speeds.
I was thinking about the following options:
  • Keep R7000 and change Archer C5 for something better. What would you recommend in this scenario? Standalone ASUS RT-AX92U or TP-LINK Archer C4000 could be a viable option? Keep in mind that I don't have available Netgear routers in my town. I can only order ASUS or TP-LINK
  • Change both routers for something like ASUS AiMesh AX6100 (RT-AX92U 2 Pack).

What would you do in my case?

Many thanks
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Hard to suggest anything with 'I don't like the speeds I'm getting'. You may be already getting all that is possible right now. :)

Smart Connect is over-hyped, don't use it as a purchasing point.

Both the TP-Link and the Netgear products' firmware/code is in a sad state. I would be getting rid of both routers you currently have.

With the information provided, I would be looking at 2x RT-AC86U's in AiMesh mode (preferably wired) with RMerlin firmware installed (the RT-AX92U doesn't support RMerlin firmware).

If you wanted an upgrade from that, depending on the prices in your region, 2x RT-AX58U in wired AiMesh mode, with RMerlin firmware installed on both. A step better would be the main router RT-AX88U with an RT-AX58U in wired AiMesh mode.

The best you can have right now in consumer-land is 2x RT-AX88U routers in wired AiMesh mode running RMerlin firmware on both.

With 2 wired RT-AX88U's in AiMesh set up and FreshJR QoS v8.9 (@dave14305) or possibly cake (@ttgapers), and unbound_manager (@Martineau) the network will be responsive and fast like never before. :)
 

JokerPower

Occasional Visitor
Thank you for your answer

Unfortunately, there is no RT-AX88U in my region.

From ASUS I can find the following:
  • RT-AX58U
  • RT-AX92U (both standalone and 2-pack)
  • RT-AC85P
  • other low/middle-end models
The RT-AX58U is pretty expensive in my region. For example, I can get 2-pack RT-AX92U for the price of one RT-AX58U.

What would you suggest?

Many thanks
 

jsz

Regular Contributor
The RT-AX58U is pretty expensive in my region. For example, I can get 2-pack RT-AX92U for the price of one RT-AX58U.

What would you suggest?

Many thanks
Id suggest a single AC86U or GTAC2900 (which is a rebranded gamer edition), but price is relative. If the AX92U twin pack is cheap, just go with that. You might not even need the second AP and can run the AX92 as a tri band design and sell off the second point.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
@JokerPower, I am looking for your reply as to the current speeds that you 'don't like' still.

With such a price variance, the 2x RT-AX92U may be the best option for you, when only the price is considered. But be sure to buy from a store where returns are honored if they don't match your expectations.

Please let us know what your current performance 'floor' is and we can make better suggestions for you. :)
 

JokerPower

Occasional Visitor
Id suggest a single AC86U or GTAC2900 (which is a rebranded gamer edition), but price is relative. If the AX92U twin pack is cheap, just go with that. You might not even need the second AP and can run the AX92 as a tri band design and sell off the second point.
Both AC86U and GTAC2900 are not available.

@JokerPower, I am looking for your reply as to the current speeds that you 'don't like' still.

With such a price variance, the 2x RT-AX92U may be the best option for you, when only the price is considered. But be sure to buy from a store where returns are honored if they don't match your expectations.

Please let us know what your current performance 'floor' is and we can make better suggestions for you. :)
It depends on the router and the end device.

R7000 and end device on the same floor:
- close distance (ex: same room): 250-450 Mbps
- other rooms: 100-200 Mbps

Archer C5 and end device on the same floor:
- close distance: 100-200 Mbps
- other rooms: 50-150 Mbps
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
If you're able to get 2x R7800 for a good price, I would suggest Voxel firmware on it for the best performance.

Are the speeds you're getting limiting your use of the internet in any way? If not, keep saving for a 'proper' upgrade.

If they are limiting your use, maybe just replacing the C5 for now is a good stop-gap?

The RT-AX92U two-pack may be a good/great upgrade for performance in your environment, but without RMerlin support I don't see much future for them myself.

Only spend if you need to. There is a lot you can do with 100-200Mbps in most rooms and even 50Mbps is more than 3x what some of my customers get wired. :)
 

JokerPower

Occasional Visitor
If you're able to get 2x R7800 for a good price, I would suggest Voxel firmware on it for the best performance.

Are the speeds you're getting limiting your use of the internet in any way? If not, keep saving for a 'proper' upgrade.

If they are limiting your use, maybe just replacing the C5 for now is a good stop-gap?

The RT-AX92U two-pack may be a good/great upgrade for performance in your environment, but without RMerlin support I don't see much future for them myself.

Only spend if you need to. There is a lot you can do with 100-200Mbps in most rooms and even 50Mbps is more than 3x what some of my customers get wired. :)
So you suggest keeping R7000 while it's still alive (already 5-6 years in service) and switch Archer C5 with a standalone RT-AX92U?

In this scenario, the main router would be RT-AX92U and R7000 connected through the wire as AP?

Thank you
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That seems like a reasonable plan forward.

Make sure you read/research the threads here about the RT-AX92U before making your network rely on it. (Possibly certain older firmware is better than currently available). :)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
It's a marketing thing. Asus' label is Smart Connect.

When you click/hover over the Enable Smart Connect setting in Wireless General, it states;

Smart Connect is the feature which could automatically steer clients to the most appropriate band (2.4GHz, 5GHz-1 and 5GHz-2).
Note it doesn't say it will.

Just another way to waste more ink on imaginary 'specs' for people that don't know better. :)
 

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