Yet another router advice thread

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bassicrob

New Around Here
My trusty stock firmware RT-N66U is finally biting the dust, and I am on the market for a replacement. The 2.4G network is dropping connections constantly, and reboots are required to bring the network backup. It was running for months with config below, but recently started to crash. 5G network is stable. Wifi coverage in our home is adequate, although there are drop-offs at the far reaches and limited 5G in the yard. House is 20'x40', 2 levels plus finished basement with the home office, and detached garage about 15' from the house though 2 brick walls. RT-N66u is situated in middle of the first floor.

Current setup:
  • 300Mb/s u/d internet (Fios - no TV service)
  • RT-N66u as main router - direct connection to Pi-Hole Pi and to switch in basement
  • house is wired with Cat-5 mostly, everything terminates in basement at patch panel and switch
    • Wired Clients from switch-
      • Living Room x4 - TV, NAS, A/V Receiver, spare
      • 2nd Fl Home Office
      • NVR in Basement + 3 IPCams
      • Powerline adapter to Garage (junked)
      • Ubuntu Server in Basement (mostly home automation stuff)
      • 1 IPCam and Raspberry Pi in Garage via RT-N12d
    • Wireless Clients:
      • 2 cell phones (Pixel4 & S10)
      • 3 laptops (useless on 2.4G - best on 5G)
      • 3 Chromecasts (1x 5G, 2x 2.4G)
      • 3 Wifi Cams (2.4G only - on dedicated Guest Network with no WAN access)
      • A few Raspberry Pi's
      • Many ESP8266/32 devices (2.4G only - on dedicated Guest Network with no WAN access) throughout house, basement, garage, front yard, and rear yard
      • RT-N12d in garage in Repeater Mode via dedicated 2.4G Guest Network and external directional antennas (still frequent dropouts though signal is good)
  • house is also wired with RG-6 that is unused but can be utilized for Moca
  • RT-N66u runs at about 20% CPU and 35% RAM
  • RT-N12d runs at about 30% CPU and 85% RAM
Must-haves:
  • OpenVPN
  • Guest Networks or VLAN
  • Parental Blocking (or VLAN isolation)
  • 2.4g Wifi and Wired Access in Garage (I don't want to run a cable if absolutely not necessary - don't need blazing fast speeds, just a "reliable" connection)
  • One and done configuration. I don't want to spend the weekend setting up and troubleshooting. An afternoon is acceptable. Gotta keep the wife happy!
  • No gaming. Streaming, business use (Video Calls), and local networking most prominent uses
Current thoughts if Wifi range of current models is equal/better than the N66u. I am partial to Asus given the longevity of my current router, and interested in the AI-Mesh functions:
  • 2-Pack of RT-AX92 - one in garage and one in the house - cons are antennae are fixed
  • Keep RT-N66u as router only and add Wireless APs (Cisco?)
  • Get AC86 + AC68 (or AX 86 + AX56 ??)
  • Bite the bullet and run a Cat-5 to garage and run RT-N12d in AP mode...maybe relieve some 2.4G bandwidth from the N66u
  • something else?

Budget: $300-350USD for another 10+ years of uninterrupted service! But less is better!

Thanks in advanced!
 

Clark Griswald

Senior Member
"Budget: $300-350USD for another 10+ years of uninterrupted service!"

o_O

Run Cat 6, since wired is better, then you are able to place an AP.
I would suggest an AX86U as a main router, since it seems to be the current recommendation.
A "Better Search" located at the top header will give you answers.
 
Last edited:

bassicrob

New Around Here
"Budget: $300-350USD for another 10+ years of uninterrupted service!"

o_O
I expected a reaction of that sort, but I've been running this as my main router since 7/2012 based on my Amazon order history!! If it ain't broke, don't fix it! (Except for the power button spring, that broke years ago and is held in place by a toothpick!)
 

BreakingDad

Senior Member
I had an RT-N66U and replaced it with an AX86U. Very pleased with it. Another vote.
 

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