Where do you go for router reviews?

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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
It's been almost 2 years since I stopped regularly reviewing products. So regular readers of SmallNetBuilder have had plenty of time to develop other sources for router reviews.

So what sourced have you been using to make router purchase decisions?
 

OzarkEdge

Part of the Furniture
Within a brand, I review forum/user posts. Then search Google for more info on a candidate. Then search it again for 'candidate sucks'. Then think about it for weeks while watching prices and waiting for anything to wave me off. Then when it feels right, I place an order. Then I repeat most of that while waiting for the order to arrive. Works for me. :rolleyes:

Recent routers: ASUS (1) RT-N66U, (3) RT-AC68U, (8) RT-AC86U. All are in service except the N66U and two dead AC86Us. Admittedly, the pre-purchase review of the AC86Us foretold their defect, but they remain my router of choice, aided by AiMesh.

OE
 
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L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Router purchase decisions? There is nothing available on the 'net to do that with.

I buy, I test, I decide. :)
 

Mark070

Regular Contributor
Agree with OE above. I have had to learn a lot about routers and basic networking. I am a complete uneducated networking person, having to decide what routers my relatives should get. I opted to have them get Google Nest, for simplicity, after a ton of research.

For myself, that's different... I spend a lot more time doing the same as OE does.

My Recent Routers: Orbi RBR20/SBR20 (mesh), Netgear R7800, Ubiquiti EdgeRouter-4, Ubiquiti UDM.

I am planning on staying with Ubiquiti, due to the investment (UDM, switch, additional AP) - but, if the UDM fails I would use the ER-4 as the router.
The additional "play" router would be building up a system to use pfSense.
 

HWDan

Regular Contributor
There's Dong Knows and Jayce here too doing general reviews that I like seeing, but there isn't any in-depth reviewers like you that I've come across. Otherwise, I'm like OzarkEdge and L&LD, and buy from somewhere with a no-questions asked return policy like BB and try.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Thanks to those of you who have replied. I'd like to hear from more of you. So please take a moment and weigh in. Thanks.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Sadly, I don't have anywhere that I go to for serious reviews. I occasionally read "reviews" of new products on random IT web sites but only for general interest. Those so-called reviews are usually just repeating the marketing fluff put out by the vendor.

Even the more serious sites that claim to test the product are doing it in such a superficial way as to be of limited use. Although they can sometimes be useful for eliminating truly bad devices.

I put more faith in the real-world experiences of users reported in these forums, although one has to compensate for "Asus echo chamber" nature of it. ;)
 

RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
I haven't seen any other site doing in-depth reviews. Most will merely do quick overviews, largely repeating the content of the marketing material that is already available on the manufacturer's website. Some may do a quick speed test, without disclosing much about their test methodology or providing any form of comparative data, making it nearly useless to a potential buyer.

There is definitely a large hole in the current market for an in-depth review site like SmallNetBuilder.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
ASUS has released a lot of routers. Maybe you can find some money in there. It is a lot of work. Have a flat fee per router for testing.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
ASUS has released a lot of routers. Maybe you can find some money in there. It is a lot of work. Have a flat fee per router for testing.
Contract testing is an entirely different business and results would be owned by the company paying for the work, so not pubished.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
There is definitely a large hole in the current market for an in-depth review site like SmallNetBuilder.
That ship has sailed. Knowledgeable people buy, try and make their own decision. General consumers look at Amazon reviews and social media posts for guidance.

The key is where consumer networking companies spend their advertising budgets. All that money dried up 3 years or so ago and was in decline before that. Thats why big pubs went online only and kicked all their staff writers loose. Reviewers, writers are all freelance now.
 

digital10

Regular Contributor
That ship has sailed. Knowledgeable people buy, try and make their own decision. General consumers look at Amazon reviews and social media posts for guidance.

Sad, the world needs a reliable expert opinion not a paid youtuber, not fake amazon reviews. I remember we used to refer to magazines and newspapers for expert advice. I later learned many of those were just paid writers, I still remember once a car magazine gave the PT Cruiser car of the year award. The world needs a "Roger Ebert" for everything.

I didn't know this site doesn't do reviews any more its a main resource for me, about the only one for routers.

To answer your question, I trust wirecutter.com I have found them trust worthy in the past and their recommendations make sense and they say they test extensively. My trust dropped since NYTimes bought them since we know ad money will play a role but I see them still unaffected by it. I wish more people use them so it would stay.

This is a side question but, did this site ever make money from Amazon affiliates? because thats how Wirecutter does, or so they say.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
This is a side question but, did this site ever make money from Amazon affiliates? because thats how Wirecutter does, or so they say.
Yes, I'm an Amazon affiliate. But revenue there has dropped since reviews stopped.
 

ricky124

Occasional Visitor
For router recommendations, I come here and look at reviews online, SNB being the most legitimate from what I can as there are actual measurements, results, comparison and the whole jazz, instead of "This router is a definite go, pound for pound, its a must get" and "if you are a gamer and want one of the best routers in the industry, get the Alien versus Predator edition x9000. I don't buy and test routers, I only do that when I want a new router. It's been two years, since I took thiggins recommendation on the Asus Blue cave, so I am in the market for a new one. I've also tried to take the knowledge from this website and try to apply it to new routers, like the 4x4 tid-bits on the 2.4 and 5ghz channels, and keeping in mind that the numbers are inflated when shopping, and that my 2x2 devices can't take advantage of the ultra-fast theoretical speeds.
 

Ed L

New Around Here
Nooooooooo!

My NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wi-Fi Gigabit Router (R7000) died tonight and so I do what I've done for... (how long's it been, at least a dozen years?) well, for a long time - and what do I find?

Noooooooo! SNB's not been doing reviews for 2 years?!? Noooooooooo! Argh!

I mean, it's not like you haven't earned a break 100 times over but... what am I going to do now?!

At least know you are appreciated and will be missed. :)

Is it just me, or is the internet sucking lately. It used to be sooo cool and full of promise. Now it's starting to feel like a desert. I blame Twitter. And Google. Do no evil. Ha! Right.

Regardless, thanks for what you did Tim.

I guess it's time to hit duckduckgo. *sigh*....
 

Trentors

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the kind words, Ed. I hope to restart reviews next month.
I am so looking forward to this. To be honest, there has not been any alternative to your reviews. And the level of professionalism has been sorely missed.

Especially the in world of Unifi you often see the word "review" attached to a product and then it is just some guy rambling about his experience with a product without any comparison or actual measurements. But many people in this community also believes that all APs are the same there is not need for anything but the AC Lite since most clients are 2x2 anyway. Then I usually link to your big 2x2 AP showdown and ask them why would some manufacturers bother with antennas then if the performance is the same across the class ;-)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
Here. :)
 

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