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@L&LD The question is what is an "average" user? Two of the cases you cite are for 1 Gbps ISP connections, one with a "large family". One is for a 5000 sq ft, 3 floor home. Average?

I've been on the move for a few months, moving from a home to an apartment, and soon to another apartment. Home had 10/0.8 DSL. Wi-Fi was served with a single three stream router in the basement utility room. This was just fine for two people. The only thing I wanted was higher uplink bandwidth, which would have sped up large file transfers.

I've been on 200/10 (I think, Comcast always buries the uplink numbers) Xfinity cable for 6 months. Same router, smaller space, no perceived difference in performance. Certainly not worth the $120+ monthly spend, albeit a chunk of that goes for TV I stupidly signed up for and don't watch.

Next apartment offers both Xfinity cable and Verizon FiOS. I'll be getting the cheapest plan, which will likely be 200/10, and NO TV.

An unused "benefit" that you're paying for is just wasted money.
 
@L&LD The question is what is an "average" user? Two of the cases you cite are for 1 Gbps ISP connections, one with a "large family". One is for a 5000 sq ft, 3 floor home. Average?

I've been on the move for a few months, moving from a home to an apartment, and soon to another apartment. Home had 10/0.8 DSL. Wi-Fi was served with a single three stream router in the basement utility room. This was just fine for two people. The only thing I wanted was higher uplink bandwidth, which would have sped up large file transfers.

I've been on 200/10 (I think, Comcast always buries the uplink numbers) Xfinity cable for 6 months. Same router, smaller space, no perceived difference in performance. Certainly not worth the $120+ monthly spend, albeit a chunk of that goes for TV I stupidly signed up for and don't watch.

Next apartment offers both Xfinity cable and Verizon FiOS. I'll be getting the cheapest plan, which will likely be 200/10, and NO TV.

An unused "benefit" that you're paying for is just wasted money.
If Fios is an option take a look, I just moved to the east coast a few months back and it’s in my area at least, $39.99 for 200/200 in reality I’m overprivisioned to 300/300. Comcast’s 200 plan is ~250/10 in some areas upload is now only 5. If sticking with Comcast I’d contact the loyalty department for a better deal if you need internet and nothing else, mentioning a competitor helps, hit or miss, but has worked for me before.
Example:
1644159779878.png
 
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@thiggins, maximizing the ISP speeds is not what I'm recommending, nor are they pertinent to my line of reasoning.

I replied to @GJJ who stated
Your average user is not going to see a speed benefit from a higher speed wifi AP.

In the one example from 2016, the customer had upgraded to a 50/10 Mbps ISP Fibre connection. The size of the home is mostly irrelevant here. At least for the points, I'm making, when taking them in context to the quote above.

In the second example, the 600/100 Mbps cable connection may seem like a luxury. And I can agree. But the point is that a better router (i.e. a higher-speed WiFi, AP), made much better use of the provided speeds than a theoretically 'perfect' candidate (at least on paper) was able to do. And, further, a single router provided better speeds and coverage in the home than the previously 2x RT-AC86U's did (we can disregard the customer's insistence of having the second RT-AX68U router installed too, for our discussion here). And everyone knows that a single router is less expensive, more stable, and easier to maintain than any multi-AP system would be.

Do not simply look at the size of the home and/or the size of the ISP pipe. Different areas have different notions of 'average', after all.

What I'm talking about here is the actual hardware. If and when higher ISP speeds are needed, almost nothing else can be done except to get those higher-end packages. Same as when construction materials hinder WiFi signals significantly within a home, and additional routers may be needed (or not, in the case of my first example, where a single router replaced the ISP's 'mesh' system with significant benefits, as shown in that link).

For other customers who I've mentioned before in passing on these forums, but haven't posted a detailed upgrade/comparison report for them, I'll repeat here once more that no one wanted to go back to the old hardware after they had experienced a newer and better model. Those customers were not technologically savvy, and more than a few were even below the 'average' of what we're trying to define here. But even they saw the benefits of the better hardware within their networks. And to be blunt here, they were the ones who were genuinely curious about the possible benefits that newer routers offered. I was simply in the position at that time to offer them a free trial of that hardware (on my dime).

And while I agree that the lowest cost usually wins most of the time (for all the reasons imaginable), a lot of people are happy to part with more of their money when they can see tangible benefits for themselves (after they're properly explained to them). The ISP speeds, the size/construction materials of a home, the WiFi environment (including the client devices) are things that are not readily 'fixable' for many, at any one point in time. But the router they chose to live with for the next few years, is.

Link to the quote below (for full context).


I realize for most home users it is impossible to 'know' if the value is there or not if they're just testing one or two routers, that they may have experience with. That is why I offer the links above to give you an idea of the relative performance differences in a real-world setting. Price usually has nothing to do with that aspect of consumer/prosumer equipment. The specific model, does.

The specific models I choose and recommend for my customers may not be the bargain basement sales that 'lowest cost' entails (nor are they the most expensive either), but they do tend to be used and useful, far further into the future too.

Again, from the link above.

I don't believe any purchase of a home router today is 'overkill' because they are all underpowered, IMO, (of the models I suggest in the link above), it is simply a matter of perspective of how long you want to keep your new purchase and have it be useful far into the future.

In the end, the bottom line paid for an item isn't my definition of value. It never was. Value is getting the best balance of performance and reliability, for the least cost, over the longest period of time. The lowest cost items rarely provide that.
 
No, I'm not always right. Mostly misunderstood via the written word. Sincere apologies for my unclear writing.
 
I definitely agree we can't stand still, with tech or any other industry. I also agree with you when you say that too fast now, will not always be the case: there will be an application that will need all the speed that we can throw at it.

I think that the (apparent?) focus on outright speed, could be better placed on improving other things concerning wifi. The number of wifi devices within a household's home is increasing everyday. Even if you live by yourself and your only wifi device is a tablet to stream with, your neighbours surrounding of you are filling up their household with a myriad of devices to make their lives better. All this noise on the same spectrum needs to be dealt with and organised fairly, not just my network bossing you network around and vice versa.
No point having the fastest possible wifi standards ever, if it can never be used at full speed. Additionally, as others mentioned earlier, most client manufacturers will go the cheapest option and will only provide 1 or 2 stream clients.

As for your example about upgraded hardware, I certainly noticed this when I moved from N to AC many years ago: outright speed never changed, but it sure did feel snappier and from that it felt faster.

And finally, a comment you made answering a different reply to your post: I can't get my words out on the page as well as I'd like to either. I tend to write too many sentences, when 1 could be enough and my arguments tend to get confused. Oh well, I guess that's why I'm not a journalist and can stick to annoying people on forums. :)

Greg


That is a very narrow view of why newer, faster, and better routers are not needed for the 'average user'.

WiFi is a time-sharing medium. With a faster internal connection between the router and the clients, the 'cost' in time is much less for everyone. This allows for higher throughput, in total, for all.

When I installed an RT-AC3100 for a customer that had only 50/10 Mbps speeds, the network experience was greatly improved.

RT-AC3100 Report https://www.snbforums.com/threads/s...-go-with-the-rt-ac1900p-v3.34748/#post-281391

Similarly, when another customer upgraded from 2x RT-AC86U's to 2x RT-AX68U's (note that only one was actually needed to match and surpass what the 2x RT-AC86U's were able to offer, the newer hardware offered a greatly enhanced network experience.

Report - 2x RT-AX68U upgrade over 2x RT-AC86U in wireless backhaul mode


I do not disagree with some of your other points. But in tech, saying something is 'good-enough' is always proven wrong when/if sufficiently new tech is able to be deployed.

Is Wi-Fi 6 Worth It

Wi-Fi 6 Pt 2

Tech moves too fast to say anything is 'good-enough'. It can only be stated with certainty that it is good enough, for now. Any future benefits are mere bonuses, not a given.
 
As for your example about upgraded hardware, I certainly noticed this when I moved from N to AC many years ago: outright speed never changed, but it sure did feel snappier and from that it felt faster.

And it likely was...

One of the improvements over time is better silicon, better firmware, better design of items like the WiFi scheduler, etc...

A single 11ax radio has more compute horsepower than any 11ac router/AP - most of this is due to the complexity of 11ax, and the resulting needs there for traffic management of the wireless link, esp across different access technology levels (remember WiFi6 has to support B/G/N/AC as well, so balancing things there and keeping it "fair" is a key item).

I'm not saying everyone should jump in and upgrade immediately - actually the inverse to some degree.

802.11ac Wave2 Router/AP's are "good enough" for most - if one is already there, no real rush to upgrade...

Older AC1900 class "Wave1" Router/AP's - yeah, it's probably time, along with older gear as well...

If I were in the market now - yes, I would consider WiFi6, mainly because there is a sweet spot at $200USD, where someone can find a relatively stable and capable device.

I do find it hard to recommend the latest WiFi6e gear, mainly due to the cost of the extra radio and limited clients out there that can use it - maybe in 2023...
 
Will be interesting to see if VR clients start to up their game and we push forward.
 
@sfx2000
I certainly could have used you as a wingman during those conversations with The Wife, regarding the need to upgrade.
Although my network is working well, I'm waiting to discover the Top Secret non-disclosed super router that RMerlin has his magical FW prepared :)
 
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Although my network is working well, I'm waiting to discover the Top Secret non-disclosed super router that RMerlin has his magical FW prepared :)
Could also be a new low-cost entry level model :p Don't get your hopes up.
 
@GJJ, I believe the newest standards (next stop WiFi 7, skipping WiFi 6E for now), along with the beefier hardware is what will facilitate all the changes you wish for.

As a time-shared medium, WiFi needs raw power to make it possible.

The smaller the time-slice each device gets, and the bigger the network payload delivered per slice, the more devices that can be supported (and at faster, overall speeds too).

I'm not holding my breath for WiFi 7 just yet though, I've learned that I need to see it available, with choices, and decide only after testing one myself. I learned that lesson with the RT-AC87U (the hardware was cutting edge at the time, the increased performance over the RT-AC68U? Not worth the cost.
 
Could also be a new low-cost entry level model :p Don't get your hopes up.
It's going to be able to handle the low cost 10GB home internet everybody is getting. My goodness, did you fail to read "Top Secret non-disclosed super router" ;)
 
As a time-shared medium, WiFi needs raw power to make it possible.

The smaller the time-slice each device gets, and the bigger the network payload delivered per slice, the more devices that can be supported (and at faster, overall speeds too).
that's where the secret sauce of schedulers come from...

the radio has to take into account all of the attached clients (to that radio) and sort out - does this merit using a MU-MIMO frame, can I still use the same MCS values I've been using for this attached client vs. another - that single stream IOT client over on the wall, I need to give it some time as well, while keeping the smart TV stream going, and the personal playing fortnight on the hot new laptop with the intel AX201 - oh, and Dad's on MS Teams with the office.

That all has to be handled by the scheduler - QoS, MCS, MU/SU, OFDMA, and that legacy G station for the printer...

like relationship status in facebook, it gets complicated ;)
 
WiFi7 and what's the next?
WiFi7>WiFi8>WiFi9>WiFi10>WiFi11>WiFi12>.................. >Telepathy
Or
Laser like Wall Street?

How many of you guys have 1gb, 10gb internet?
How many of you guys have AX capable devices?
Do you guys even remember 802.11ad?
Meaningless. Just use your present connection guys.

Did you guys buy Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k for free from Amazon hours ago? You guys could buy it max 3 for free. $0.00 for 3 sticks. I've ordered 3 of them for free.;)
 
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The only thing I wanted was higher uplink bandwidth

The only reason I pay for 500/30. And it’s a grandfathered account. The new offers are 1000/30 and 500/20. If I change it, I lose it. Family of four, down speed almost never exceeds 100Mbps. I can go with 200 down, no problem. Internet experience will be exactly the same.
 
Some have a phone and a laptop. Both 2-stream, one may be 160MHz capable. :)

ipad, a soon to have iPhone, a VR headset. AX routers are popular with the quest crowd as they are purchasing them to allow virtual desktop or airlink as a one only client from their PC’s.
 
That all has to be handled by the scheduler - QoS, MCS, MU/SU, OFDMA, and that legacy G station for the printer...
This is what many people don't realize. And that packet aggregation, MU-MIMO and OFDMA can make latency worse.
 

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