Computers & Electronics

New router what to buy?

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Jun 17, 2006
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New router what to buy?

Hey everyone we are in need of a new router to keep up with our house devices. Currently one is 6 years old and always crashing.

What would you recommend for the average family basics:

High speed Internet
Streaming
Countless devices- phones/tablets/cameras

I know nothing about this type of stuff.

I don’t mind dishing out more for something more powerful.

Thanks!
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Feb 27, 2007
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It really depends on how much you want to spend - if you're looking to keep it under $200 the Wirecutter has a decent number of recommendations depending on budget and usage.

If you're looking to spend more the best option is likely the Unifi Dream Machine. It's really a signifigant upgrade if you're going to use the features provided or expand using their APs.
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wow that dream machine must be great. But surely is expensive at 400$.

Still staying in the Ubiquity company, you can buy:
- EdgeRouter X (this is a router only, it gives no wifi)
- Unifi UAP-AC-LITE (this will give you wifi)

should be 200$ all in for a very powerful setup.
Client at: Tangerine, VoIP.ms, Virgin Mobile
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Feb 27, 2007
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marc_t wrote: wow that dream machine is expensive 400$.

Still staying in the Ubiquity company, you can buy:
- EdgeRouter X (this is a router only, it gives no wifi)
- Unifi UAP-AC-LITE (this will give you wifi)

should be 200$ all in for a very powerful setup.
You're still missing a switch and something to run the controller. The equivalent in separate pieces from Unifi would be:

USG Router $158
Switch 8 $265
UniFi AC Pro $198 (the UDM has a much better AP than the Lite)
Cloud Key $100

If you were looking to reduce costs you could piecemeal it together like you have listed, but then you lose the benefits of the controller 'single-pane of glass' overview of your network. It really depends on what you're looking for and willing to spend, personally I'd grab the Dream Machine but others might not see the value.
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Mattones wrote: Hey everyone we are in need of a new router to keep up with our house devices. Currently one is 6 years old and always crashing.

What would you recommend for the average family basics:

High speed Internet
Streaming
Countless devices- phones/tablets/cameras

I know nothing about this type of stuff.

I don’t mind dishing out more for something more powerful.

Thanks!
what is your current router?
[OP]
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lead wrote: what is your current router?
It’s a D link DIR-615I1 ... can’t cut it anymore phone drop Wi-Fi often
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Ubiquiti/Synology/Nest are my top 3
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von Monster wrote: You're still missing a switch and something to run the controller. The equivalent in separate pieces from Unifi would be:

USG Router $158
Switch 8 $265
UniFi AC Pro $198 (the UDM has a much better AP than the Lite)
Cloud Key $100

If you were looking to reduce costs you could piecemeal it together like you have listed, but then you lose the benefits of the controller 'single-pane of glass' overview of your network. It really depends on what you're looking for and willing to spend, personally I'd grab the Dream Machine but others might not see the value.
The guy’s starting from a D-Link come on, he doesn’t need everything you listed.
The lite AP is probably much better than the dlink.
He’s probably fine with the 4 Ethernet ports on the edgerouter.
As for the cloud key, he can use his phone or his computer. No need to run the controller full time.
Not everyone has over 200$ to put on router/AP.
Client at: Tangerine, VoIP.ms, Virgin Mobile
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Feb 27, 2007
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I'm pretty sure I linked an article on multiple options that run from $70-200 with the suggestion that if the op wanted to they could spend the extra money on a dream machine if they seen the value.

Seems infinitely more wise than recommending they scab together a bunch of random parts and build a network using a device that lacks a decent GUI (edgerouter) and multiple apps to configure. If someone is moving into 'better' networking equipment its helpful to give them kit they'll likely be successful configuring themselves.
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Aselwyn1 wrote: Ubiquiti/Synology/Nest are my top 3
Great suggestions. I'd add tp-link for a lower cost choice as well.
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marc_t wrote: The guy’s starting from a D-Link come on, he doesn’t need everything you listed.
The lite AP is probably much better than the dlink.
He’s probably fine with the 4 Ethernet ports on the edgerouter.
As for the cloud key, he can use his phone or his computer. No need to run the controller full time.
Not everyone has over 200$ to put on router/AP.
Plus we dont know the layout square footage or whether he can run a poe to the lite a or wants to ceiling mount. Plus he could grab most any dual core router or the edge-x and use a tplink e225 or e245 cheaper with same results at much less cost too.

The reality is thats an old 500mhz athero single core cpu thats not gonna cut it much. Figure out your wifi clients, how many? what they could do/limits? square footage? Whats your current isp package?Do you need to bridge. do you need robust 3rdy party firmware support

They may find that their current modem router might suffice in router mode only and just buy a decent AP and just not bother with buying a router at all. Works for alot of people and the new modem routers are powerful just unstabe doing both wifi and routing. But hey many forget that separating those 2 duties and ceiling mount coverage arguably may be more of the improvement ...than the name brand.
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Mattones wrote: Hey everyone we are in need of a new router to keep up with our house devices. Currently one is 6 years old and always crashing.

What would you recommend for the average family basics:

High speed Internet
Streaming
Countless devices- phones/tablets/cameras

I know nothing about this type of stuff.

I don’t mind dishing out more for something more powerful.

Thanks!
If your house is just average size get one of the business AP's they provide stable enough connection if you have many devices (10+) and at decent speeds.
https://www.staples.ca/products/2946195 ... cess-point even better deal if you have a staples coupon and shave ~10/20 off. If you want to spend more on something slightly better get Unifi NanoHD or something (~200) prices have jumped because of weaker dollar so upto you. You will need a router for this to work (any router/gateway). If your older one can run without wifi on then just use that til you find a better deal or get something cheap off kijiji there are hundreds of them. I use one AP and it covers two floors and some of basement, thats enough for me.


For a rather large house you might need two so costs can go up and you need a wired connection for both (some can act as repeaters). So another option would be to get a "mesh" system that can go from any where from ~$150 to $300, cheaper one won't hit anywhere near the speed of a business AP. But they do cover larger areas id say about 150% more. Houses are tricky for wifi and it depends on where you set up APs/routers, your wall configuration etc.
https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-Deco-Whol ... 07NF6V8SC/
https://www.amazon.ca/Introducing-eero- ... 07WGJ9TY3/

Also i would look for any overheating on the old routers, thats usually what happens with mine.
Edit: it's also important that you have set these up properly and this goes for any router as well. So on 5ghz you're fine by just picking the least used channel you can go 80 or 160mhz for width. (Use wifi scanner app). But on 2.4 GHz that's used for most consoles, TV boxes it's best to use 20 MHz. You have 3 non overlapping channels with this config and all of your neighbors are on one, so using 40hz might be worse for everyone. Unless you like 200 feet from each other then ignore this.
Last edited by Zarkey on Feb 16th, 2020 11:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
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lead wrote: Plus we dont know the layout square footage or whether he can run a poe to the lite a or wants to ceiling mount. Plus he could grab most any dual core router or the edge-x and use a tplink e225 or e245 cheaper with same results at much less cost too.

The reality is thats an old 500mhz athero single core cpu thats not gonna cut it much. Figure out your wifi clients, how many? what they could do/limits? square footage? Whats your current isp package?Do you need to bridge. do you need robust 3rdy party firmware support

They may find that their current modem router might suffice in router mode only and just buy a decent AP and just not bother with buying a router at all. Works for alot of people and the new modem routers are powerful just unstabe doing both wifi and routing. But hey many forget that separating those 2 duties and ceiling mount coverage arguably may be more of the improvement ...than the name brand.
2000sqft bungalow the current router is set up in the middle of the house. But drops frequently. We are with cogeco an have Ultra fibre 60+ unlimited . So maybe we do just need a AP?

I’m not very ‘techy’ with this type of stuff. Maybe I’ll buy a decent AP and use my current router and see how that goes and if need be buy a new router if need be and have both..
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Yah we only use one port. And that’s from the security camera dvr the rest is all wifi
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If you're not very "techy" just get a new router and call it a day. It'll potentially be plug and play if you set your SSID and password to what you had before. The Asus router suggested a few posts above is not bad. If you want to buy potentially two devices, instead of a new router and an Access point, I'd say go with a home use Mesh systems since they're more user friendly to setup.

I have been using 2 Google onhubs in mesh setup for the past few years, no issue with it.
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coilz wrote: If you're not very "techy" just get a new router and call it a day. It'll potentially be plug and play if you set your SSID and password to what you had before. The Asus router suggested a few posts above is not bad. If you want to buy potentially two devices, instead of a new router and an Access point, I'd say go with a home use Mesh systems since they're more user friendly to setup.

I have been using 2 Google onhubs in mesh setup for the past few years, no issue with it.
Thanks for the reply, I’ve been googling the home mesh all morning.

The Asus mentioned was the ASUS RT-AC68U Dual Band AC1900 which would Probably work just as well from what I’m reading. Either way anything new right now would be better then my outdated router lol
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Mattones wrote: 2000sqft bungalow the current router is set up in the middle of the house. But drops frequently. We are with cogeco an have Ultra fibre 60+ unlimited . So maybe we do just need a AP?

I’m not very ‘techy’ with this type of stuff. Maybe I’ll buy a decent AP and use my current router and see how that goes and if need be buy a new router if need be and have both..
if your not very technical you should not go ubquiti. Thats not going to be a pleasant easy experience. You can either spend the money on a singular decent router. Or a 2 or 3 pod mesh system. Or try out your existing with a decent AP.

Ok had to lookup what ultra fiber 60 was LOL. Love wording. Read fiber and think fiber optic only to find out its actually just 10/60 mbps.

Ok so 10/60 is on the low side these days. Here lies a area of concern. For example say you had 4k stream from a tv box on your tv? Thats about 80% of all your available bandwidth plus its pulling it at 100% its max rate leaving nothing for anything else that starts to look like your disconnecting. Thats latency at your router wan waiting for its chance. The most powerfull wifi can't fix that. That needs fairtime playness with slower plans. Simple qos may give priority here or there. But simple qos has it limits sqm ( sequential que management) is probably needed for bufferbloat(juggling all the clients wanting to use the internet).

So now you add wifi cameras. Oh boy those can soak your connection(720pand 1080p feeds) if there cloud based. Why? because the feeds have to leave your house and then come back?Fine if your not at home but nuts if you are doing that. Crazy idea but most do that. Most cheap all do that which is really a waste and every one who has dvr's should run something like blue iris and have your own and use your own at home vpn to access the camera. But thats another discussion.

I am just highlighting a bandwidth problem. Now you have Ads too and things like default autoplay video in ads and sites!!!. Boy those back ground apps soak bandwidth as your browsing across multiple devices. Now multiple that by phones,computers tablets,cameras tvboxes 24/7 etc. Then multiple that by display size resolution increases which needs more. That makes everything demanding more bandwidth. Now you have very little left for an isp package that was around 10 yrs ago.

So you might want to rethink what the source of concern actually is. 10/60 is fine for a couple. Not a household with kids and cloud cameras with no real separate tv package that doesn't use internet bandwidth. It won't sustain that.

Every one who runs sub 100 mbps isp packages today....need to consider running some kind of sqm bandwidth shaping to manage the slower rate equally for all clients luckily most dual core routers can accommodate that.Everyone with multiple residents with a ton of smart devices and runs a sub 500mbps isp would probably best served to run an x86 pc to do it. Gigabit isp really doesn't need it for now.

Regardless a system wide ad block to stop adds from coming in or on your router some can help too. So start there. If your not technical its time to start learning a bit. If you don't want to learn...you need to buy a faster isp package. Again Gigabit....doesn't really need any shaping.

So I would grab a decent wirelesss app like the tplink eap225/245 or any decent dul core wifi router s an Ap with mu-mimio support under 100 of course and preferably one with 3rd party firmware support for wifi alone. Then Look in your modem/router for any qos settings and figure out what it can do. In the mean time read about a raspberry and think bout trying "pihole".Even a 10 buck rpi zero will help. Very cheap and everyone should have one now.
[OP]
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lead wrote: if your not very technical you should not go ubquiti. Thats not going to be a pleasant easy experience. You can either spend the money on a singular decent router. Or a 2 or 3 pod mesh system. Or try out your existing with a decent AP.

Ok had to lookup what ultra fiber 60 was LOL. Love wording. Read fiber and think fiber optic only to find out its actually just 10/60 mbps.

Ok so 10/60 is on the low side these days. Here lies a area of concern. For example say you had 4k stream from a tv box on your tv? Thats about 80% of all your available bandwidth plus its pulling it at 100% its max rate leaving nothing for anything else that starts to look like your disconnecting. Thats latency at your router wan waiting for its chance. The most powerfull wifi can't fix that. That needs fairtime playness with slower plans. Simple qos may give priority here or there. But simple qos has it limits sqm ( sequential que management) is probably needed for bufferbloat(juggling all the clients wanting to use the internet).

So now you add wifi cameras. Oh boy those can soak your connection(720pand 1080p feeds) if there cloud based. Why? because the feeds have to leave your house and then come back?Fine if your not at home but nuts if you are doing that. Crazy idea but most do that. Most cheap all do that which is really a waste and every one who has dvr's should run something like blue iris and have your own and use your own at home vpn to access the camera. But thats another discussion.

I am just highlighting a bandwidth problem. Now you have Ads too and things like default autoplay video in ads and sites!!!. Boy those back ground apps soak bandwidth as your browsing across multiple devices. Now multiple that by phones,computers tablets,cameras tvboxes 24/7 etc. Then multiple that by display size resolution increases which needs more. That makes everything demanding more bandwidth. Now you have very little left for an isp package that was around 10 yrs ago.

So you might want to rethink what the source of concern actually is. 10/60 is fine for a couple. Not a household with kids and cloud cameras with no real separate tv package that doesn't use internet bandwidth. It won't sustain that.

Every one who runs sub 100 mbps isp packages today....need to consider running some kind of sqm bandwidth shaping to manage the slower rate equally for all clients luckily most dual core routers can accommodate that.Everyone with multiple residents with a ton of smart devices and runs a sub 500mbps isp would probably best served to run an x86 pc to do it. Gigabit isp really doesn't need it for now.

Regardless a system wide ad block to stop adds from coming in or on your router some can help too. So start there. If your not technical its time to start learning a bit. If you don't want to learn...you need to buy a faster isp package. Again Gigabit....doesn't really need any shaping.

So I would grab a decent wirelesss app like the tplink eap225/245 or any decent dul core wifi router s an Ap with mu-mimio support under 100 of course and preferably one with 3rd party firmware support for wifi alone. Then Look in your modem/router for any qos settings and figure out what it can do. In the mean time read about a raspberry and think bout trying "pihole".Even a 10 buck rpi zero will help. Very cheap and everyone should have one now.
Thanks for the very informative post. I will most certainly look into all this.
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What lead said is true. I can relate to that.

My internet is Cable 100/10, I thought going to Ubiquiti (ER-X & AP/AC Lite) might solve problem of drop signal and dead spot. I would consider myself so-so tech savvy. Learning curve of Ubiquiti is more than I thought, don't want to learn new thing at my stage in life, benefit vs time. I abandoned idea moving to enterprise equipment (Ubiquiti). I will get one of those consumer router ASUS RT68U/RT86U to replace my TP-Link Archer C8 when time is right. I sold off my new ER-X, need to sell BNIB AP/AC Lite.
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