Computers & Electronics

Slow Wifi, Tried Two Routers

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  • Oct 11th, 2019 12:17 am
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Dec 11, 2003
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Toronto
thelasthunter wrote: Yeah, that makes total sense. I'm just left wondering how these companies get away with their deceptive advertising. The c20 prominently states 5GHz 433Mbps, and c50 also says 5GHz = 867Mbps. If both models are only capable of 100mbps wifi than this is what they should state clearly in the sales description.
Even the TP-Link website doesn't say that the ports are 10/100 until you go to the specifications. That's some grade A level Marketing right there. They always say "speeds up to.." That's their way out right there. That's pretty much lying in my books too.

At least you can return the routers.

I would suggest to look around at ASUS, D-Link, and Netgear routers as well. I have had bad experience with a TP-Link wifi extender where the wifi kept on dropping out. I had to reset the extender once a week. When my desktop was hardwired to the extender it was fine. It was just the wifi that was giving me problem. Keep in mind that people are going to have good and bad experiences with all of the companies that I listed there. I'm just throwing those company names out there for you since I've had good experience with them.
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Nov 21, 2017
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ds2chan wrote: Even the TP-Link website doesn't say that the ports are 10/100 until you go to the specifications. That's some grade A level Marketing right there. They always say "speeds up to.." That's their way out right there. That's pretty much lying in my books too.

At least you can return the routers.

I would suggest to look around at ASUS, D-Link, and Netgear routers as well. I have had bad experience with a TP-Link wifi extender where the wifi kept on dropping out. I had to reset the extender once a week. When my desktop was hardwired to the extender it was fine. It was just the wifi that was giving me problem. Keep in mind that people are going to have good and bad experiences with all of the companies that I listed there. I'm just throwing those company names out there for you since I've had good experience with them.

I agree. I will have to give TP-Link one more shot at this, as the Asus and DLink routers are a bit more pricey. I never wanted to spend much on a router anyways as I've had pains with them in the past and have had a lot more luck with combo modems provided by ISPs.
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Jan 13, 2014
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That's the problem - you get what you pay for.... You want cheap, good, and reliable? Not going to happen.
Jr. Member
Dec 11, 2017
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Ottawa
The number one feature that I look for in a router is security, not price nor performance. The router is literally your home's gateway to the Internet. The Internet is full of bots constantly probing for insecure devices. IMO, Asus and Netgear have a better reputation for releasing software patches for their devices. Also many of the higher end models tend to allow the user to flash third party firmware into them that will keep updating even beyond when the original manufacturers stop supporting them. You're unlikely to do that with bottom of the barrel models. And you certainly can't do that with the ISP's devices.
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glamper wrote: The number one feature that I look for in a router is security, not price nor performance. The router is literally your home's gateway to the Internet. The Internet is full of bots constantly probing for insecure devices. IMO, Asus and Netgear have a better reputation for releasing software patches for their devices. Also many of the higher end models tend to allow the user to flash third party firmware into them that will keep updating even beyond when the original manufacturers stop supporting them. You're unlikely to do that with bottom of the barrel models. And you certainly can't do that with the ISP's devices.

But it's not like TP-Link is some sort welcome mat for hackers otherwise no one would literally buy them, they'd be broke. I just want my advertised service and reasonable security. Not going to pretend to be some expert on this but the routers just use common encryption standards, nothing fancy that sets one apart from the other tbh. Not going to spend hundreds on some routers esp. since I'm already paying cannet $10/month for a modem and I was completely content with my previous wireless modem, its just too bad that one wasn't compatible with the higher speeds.
Jr. Member
Dec 11, 2017
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Ottawa
thelasthunter wrote: But it's not like TP-Link is some sort welcome mat for hackers otherwise no one would literally buy them, they'd be broke.
Unfortunately, that is what the typical user assumes. "Since everyone else is buying them, then they must be safe." Consider this -- have you ever went to a router vendor's website to download a firmware patch? A typical user would not have done that. A typical user would not put pressure on the vendor to build & maintain more secure products.

Here are some links from a quick search on Google. All are from earlier this year. There is much more if one digs deeper.
Article#1 from March 29, 2019
Article#2 from April 8, 2019
Article#3 from May 22, 2019
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Aug 22, 2006
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thelasthunter wrote: But it's not like TP-Link is some sort welcome mat for hackers otherwise no one would literally buy them, they'd be broke.
Most users don't know or don't care.
Or there's a feature (whether documented or undocumented) that is literally a welcome mat for hackers.

As much as I dislike Apple, I like their security model where there's one manufacturer and a handful of devices.
I look at my routers the same way: pfSense is one manufacturer and has a handful of devices (I'm counting any PC as one device because you can always load pfSense. It's not like you have to depend on someone else to "patch it in" like 3rd party firmwares)

The consumer router landscape though is like the Chinese Android phone: Dozens of manufacturers pumping out thousands of different models none of which get security updates beyond the 15 seconds they're in the market.
This goes for "tier 1" manufacturers like ASUS/TP-Link/D-Link/whoever.
It mirrors Android too where even if they have a common "core" they like adding features that are hilariously insecure.
There was one vendor that has a NAS share function that exposed it 100% to the internet even with passwords.
If you're more than a year or two old good luck getting firmware updates. 3rd parties help sometimes, but even that's a disaster in various ways.
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Nov 21, 2017
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glamper wrote: Unfortunately, that is what the typical user assumes. "Since everyone else is buying them, then they must be safe." Consider this -- have you ever went to a router vendor's website to download a firmware patch? A typical user would not have done that. A typical user would not put pressure on the vendor to build & maintain more secure products.

Here are some links from a quick search on Google. All are from earlier this year. There is much more if one digs deeper.
Article#1 from March 29, 2019
Article#2 from April 8, 2019
Article#3 from May 22, 2019
Thanks for the articles. But I assume other consumer level routers mentioned in this thread (Asus, D-Link) have likely had past security breaches that were subsequently patched. To come to the conclusion that one is better than the other we'd need some kind of comparison on the breaches, beyond opinions and single case anecdotes. Also even if hacking sofware breaches a router's security, doesn't it still need to penetrate a computer's firewall to access personal files, passwords etc? I guess I still don't understand that part.
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Dec 11, 2017
140 posts
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Ottawa
thelasthunter wrote: Thanks for the articles. But I assume other consumer level routers mentioned in this thread (Asus, D-Link) have likely had past security breaches that were subsequently patched. To come to the conclusion that one is better than the other we'd need some kind of comparison on the breaches, beyond opinions and single case anecdotes. Also even if hacking sofware breaches a router's security, doesn't it still need to penetrate a computer's firewall to access personal files, passwords etc? I guess I still don't understand that part.
True, no device is perfect. Every one of them will have flaws. Here are some stats to start. Keep in mind that TP-Link is newer to the North American market, so you should look at numbers since 2012 to make a fairer comparison.
TP-Link
Asus
D-Link
Pfsense
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Nov 21, 2017
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glamper wrote: True, no device is perfect. Every one of them will have flaws. Here are some stats to start. Keep in mind that TP-Link is newer to the North American market, so you should look at numbers since 2012 to make a fairer comparison.
TP-Link
Asus
D-Link
Pfsense
Thanks for the list, its instructive. Pfsense is clearly the winner in that but it's more than I'm willing to spend for tech that will need to be swapped out with some frequency. I've also never had any type of breach that would later reflect on my credit report (which I go over at least monthly), so safety in numbers I guess. Asus would be next, but I'm scratching my head why they don't offer any sub $100 gigabit routers to compete with TP and D-Link, since Asus usally does well in budget segements. I have a gaming TUF laptop and a Zenbook from them, all great values from Asus that I'm very happy with. lastly, I'm suprised how little detail all the consumer router companies give us about level of security of their products. In this day and age, it should be a no brainer to promote your product's security features esp when it comes to routers. Even if it offers a false sense of safety, the act of advertising these features taps into many people's need for online protection.
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Aug 22, 2006
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thelasthunter wrote: Pfsense is clearly the winner in that but it's more than I'm willing to spend for tech that will need to be swapped out with some frequency.
Unless you further upgrade your connection speeds to gigabit, the appliance based entry level pfSense would probably do you just fine for the foreseeable future.
I'm suprised how little detail all the consumer router companies give us about level of security of their products.

I'm not.
In this day and age, it should be a no brainer to promote your product's security features esp when it comes to routers. Even if it offers a false sense of safety, the act of advertising these features taps into many people's need for online protection.
I definitely don't disagree. They should be putting security first and features second.
But it's frequently the other way around.
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Jan 13, 2014
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I'm not surprised router manufacturers don't focus on their security. The average consumer really doesn't care about online security until maybe its too late (and even then, habits don't always change). Look how many people click on random stuff and get viruses? How many use the same easy-to-guess password on every site?

Making people more security-conscious is what these companies need to do, but a home router isn't likely to help much with that when their normal online practices suck to begin with.
Member
Jun 9, 2012
208 posts
110 upvotes
Vancouver
Most router hacks over the internet occur when someone (the admin or manufacturer) decided it was a good idea to expose admin rights of the router to the internet.

IMO, any router is fine as long as they (and the admin) do not enable admin access through these common protocols: SSH or HTTP or Telnet.

I use ASUS routers because they are the best consumer routers I have ever owned with above average router features + performance + cost-value ratio.

ASUS routers don't really need a flashed firmware and they release updates to their routers for a longer duration than most router makers.
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Nov 21, 2017
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Finally hitting advertised speeds (and then some!) after getting the Archer C7. The C7 menu looks a lot better than the lower tier Tp link routers, which are going back to Amazon. Unlike those two preceding routers it actually forces you to pick a new admin password from the start and lists all devices on the network very clearly. So far so good with this router. For those with substantive advice in this thread, thanks again for all your help!

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