Computers & Electronics

Recommendations on new router?

  • Last Updated:
  • Oct 18th, 2019 12:52 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
73 upvotes
Toronto

Recommendations on new router?

We intend to move to Unlimited Internet with Start.ca --- planning to get their top package (download speed of 250Mbps/upload 20 Mbps).

Our current router is a pretty ancient Cisco cable modem (from Cogeco), Cisco DPC3008 and we use an equally old Airport Time Capsule for the wifi.

The guy I talked to from start.ca recommended two choices of dual-band wireless routers for us to upgrade to: (1) Net Gear's NetAC750 or (2) Asus' RT AC 1200 G --- both of which they carry.

Our home is roughly 3,000 sq ft. Two floors, open concept downstairs. Our modem and Time Capsule are located on the 2nd floor. We've got 3 users at home and we mostly livestream shows, watch movies/YouTube and do the normal email/FB/IG/FaceTime with family overseas.

None of us are gamers so we don't need anything that sophisticated (or expensive!)

But I wanted to check in here first. What wireless router do you guys use yourselves? What do you recommend given our plans?
22 replies
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13015 upvotes
eilrach wrote: we don't need anything that sophisticated (or expensive!)
...
What wireless router do you guys use yourselves?
Those are 2 conflicting things at least for me.
Not the sophisticated part but the expensive part.

Not much that's good is going to touch the $90 value of the AC750 (off Amazon, I don't know how much start.ca is charging).
Ubiquiti Edgerouter is technically cheaper but I'm assuming you want Wifi which alone is double the cost without the router.

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself: Do I want consumer garbage that's going to suck or do I want to toss a few bucks at something that barely ever breaks.

For me, I chose the latter.
pfSense (my personal preference) is upwards of $200.
A Unifi access point which varies in pricing depending on how much bandwidth you want. These vary from $100 to $350? I don't remember what the high end is.

pfSense is going to be the last router you'll buy for probably a decade. I moved from version 1 to version 2 in 15 years.
Unifi you'll be changing as much as you want based on what wifi version you want. 6 has JUST been finalized so APs will be coming out. 5 is still pretty quick and based on your description would probably be fine.

Would consumer crap do it for you? Probably. But you might come back asking "why does my router need rebooting every 15 minutes?" or "why am I slow on wifi?"
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
73 upvotes
Toronto
death_hawk wrote: Those are 2 conflicting things at least for me.
Not the sophisticated part but the expensive part.

Not much that's good is going to touch the $90 value of the AC750 (off Amazon, I don't know how much start.ca is charging).
Ubiquiti Edgerouter is technically cheaper but I'm assuming you want Wifi which alone is double the cost without the router.

At the end of the day you have to ask yourself: Do I want consumer garbage that's going to suck or do I want to toss a few bucks at something that barely ever breaks.

For me, I chose the latter.
pfSense (my personal preference) is upwards of $200.
A Unifi access point which varies in pricing depending on how much bandwidth you want. These vary from $100 to $350? I don't remember what the high end is.

pfSense is going to be the last router you'll buy for probably a decade. I moved from version 1 to version 2 in 15 years.
Unifi you'll be changing as much as you want based on what wifi version you want. 6 has JUST been finalized so APs will be coming out. 5 is still pretty quick and based on your description would probably be fine.

Would consumer crap do it for you? Probably. But you might come back asking "why does my router need rebooting every 15 minutes?" or "why am I slow on wifi?"
Thanks for the reply, Yes, exactly the answer we are looking for. I'm not too familiar with how these things become "obsolete", the router we've are currently using (eg Time Capsule has been with us for quite some time and served our purposes). Now that we intend to stream more etc, we're willing to pay up just to get "value for money" (eg we are avid Costco fans, and Costco is not cheap by any means but for us, is "value for money" in that sense, eg you get quality at a price that's of correct value - if you get what i mean). So if it needs to be $300 to get a good unit (which does not need to be literally tossed out in 3 yrs, that's already a good deal for us since our Apple Time Capsule, which doubles as a router for us already lasted that long). FWIW, we are currently on a 40/10 unlimited plan which is fine but maybe want the flexibility to upgrade a bit in the future hence the original post of 250GB... :) Hope you guys got a better picture of what we're trying to do -- eg value for money... FWIW, we are purchasing a Firestick 4k as well... so in a way, trying to match our router with Firestick 4k...

As an aside, would you recommend we purchase any of the combo units (Eg modem and router in one) that is compatible with start.ca? https://www.start.ca/services/high-spee ... net/modems
ARRIS TG2472G (TS9.1.103U), or Technicolor DPC3848V (dpc3800-v303r2042162-160620a.p7b), or SmartRG SR808ac (1.0.0.14) or Hitron CGNM-3550 (4.5.11.8)
Last edited by eilrach on Oct 3rd, 2019 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
13015 upvotes
eilrach wrote: I'm not too familiar with how these things become "obsolete", the router we've are currently using (eg Time Capsule has been with us for quite some time and served our purposes).
It's not so much obsolete but just crap to begin with.
Every week you see a thread or two on here alone stating "my router sucks for some reason!"
There's threads like that on every forum.

I've had some quirks with pfSense, but in the literally 15 years I've been using it I haven't had any serious game breaking bugs.

The "bonus" of separating out your router and access point too means at a much later date you can upgrade your wifi while keeping your functional router in tact.

I don't know how technically literate you are, but pfSense is technically just software.
Traditionally it's installed on a computer. There are "appliances" out there as well.
There's pros and cons of each.

The "idiot proof" way is to buy the appliance. It functions just as any other wired router would. The low end (which is perfectly fine for your connection speeds) is about $150USD plus shipping.
A PC based pfSense can be either much cheaper, much more expensive, or even free. But there's power considerations. At roughly a buck a watt a year, an older computer could easily price itself out of the running on power alone.
The plus side is that there can be zero hardware cost. Or in my case where I run it virtually, the cost of the computer and power are already "paid for" with other services.

TL;DR if you want plug and play, buy an appliance. If you want to tinker, install on a PC.
Deal Guru
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Nov 21, 2002
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Maybe look a mesh setup with three nodes like a tenda which isn't cloud based
https://www.amazon.com/Tenda-MW6-802-11 ... 248&sr=8-3

I believe those are gigabit

Unifi or mikro run best if corded Ap's and ceiling mounted but if thats beyond you then a mesh based will work and be easier to setup.
Deal Fanatic
Sep 29, 2005
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That Tenda 3 pack at $119 seems like a great price.

Edit: That price is at .com not .ca
Phils
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Aug 12, 2007
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eilrach wrote: Thanks for the reply, Yes, exactly the answer we are looking for. I'm not too familiar with how these things become "obsolete", the router we've are currently using (eg Time Capsule has been with us for quite some time and served our purposes). Now that we intend to stream more etc, we're willing to pay up just to get "value for money" (eg we are avid Costco fans, and Costco is not cheap by any means but for us, is "value for money" in that sense, eg you get quality at a price that's of correct value - if you get what i mean). So if it needs to be $300 to get a good unit (which does not need to be literally tossed out in 3 yrs, that's already a good deal for us since our Apple Time Capsule, which doubles as a router for us already lasted that long). FWIW, we are currently on a 40/10 unlimited plan which is fine but maybe want the flexibility to upgrade a bit in the future hence the original post of 250GB... :) Hope you guys got a better picture of what we're trying to do -- eg value for money... FWIW, we are purchasing a Firestick 4k as well... so in a way, trying to match our router with Firestick 4k...

As an aside, would you recommend we purchase any of the combo units (Eg modem and router in one) that is compatible with start.ca? https://www.start.ca/services/high-spee ... net/modems
ARRIS TG2472G (TS9.1.103U), or Technicolor DPC3848V (dpc3800-v303r2042162-160620a.p7b), or SmartRG SR808ac (1.0.0.14) or Hitron CGNM-3550 (4.5.11.8)
Now that we intend to stream more etc,
Thats exactly how these things become obsolete.

I wouldnt even think of buying anything less than AC1900 . Even AC1900 is so 2014.

I would buy something like AC3000 or one the newer AX routers from this link If I was spending $200+
My leaning is towards the Netgear Nighthawk AX8 or Asus RT-AX88U. Depending on your house layout ( if you can place the router in somewhere of the middle of the house. If you cant, then a mesh router might work out better for you.
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Jan 6, 2004
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Asus ROG Rapture GT-AC5300 is what we have at work and I must say its performance is amazing. I'd be outside the office (concrete) building and still have fast speed. The price tag is high though but if you have a large place I think it's worth the investment. Having said all that, there are talks of new wifi standard coming out like other users have mentioned in the thread, probably good to research that too.
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Nov 21, 2002
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Phils wrote: That Tenda 3 pack at $119 seems like a great price.

Edit: That price is at .com not .ca
I still think it comes down to a 3 pack with gigabit mesh non cloud based for under 200 delivered. There is only maybe 1 router by itself that could ever approach covering 2500 sq feet well and that probably goes to an onhub. But even then its pretty big iffy to hit 250 mbps or better sustained throughout your home. ac just doesn't penetrate well.
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There are number of good routers you can go with without having to step up to something on the professional side. Especially if you want to just set it up and go. I would definitively purchase a 2 pack mesh setup (with option to add a 3rd), something like the TPLINK M4 or M5 or something similar. If you live in a 2 story house, 3000sq, you could possibly even get away with 1 router if centrally located, but could give you issues at the outer edges of the house.

You can get away with not spending to much ($120-$200) and get a decent setup that you don't have to worry about for years.

Deathhawk hates consumer routers lol. Even though his recommendation is top notch, it depends on how in depth and time you are willing to throw at this.
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r1lee wrote: There are number of good routers you can go with without having to step up to something on the professional side. Especially if you want to just set it up and go. I would definitively purchase a 2 pack mesh setup (with option to add a 3rd), something like the TPLINK M4 or M5 or something similar. If you live in a 2 story house, 3000sq, you could possibly even get away with 1 router if centrally located, but could give you issues at the outer edges of the house.

You can get away with not spending to much ($120-$200) and get a decent setup that you don't have to worry about for years.

Deathhawk hates consumer routers lol. Even though his recommendation is top notch, it depends on how in depth and time you are willing to throw at this.
you can have issues directly above and below(weakest distribution points from antennas) as much as edges. Hence why wifi should be staggered from floor to floor if there not being connected by cord.

I don't see too many 3 packs for under 200 which is why I posted the tenda as the cheapest I know of with gigabit capability and not cloud dependent either. I think that was CAD 187.20 all in thats pretty dam cheap for 3 nodes and no special installation etc table top no ceiling mounts no running cord if not available.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
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Toronto
Hi Guys:

Here's a question since I'm an avid Costco shopper -- I saw this Netgear Orbi RBK22 (when I googled it's the AC2200) mini at Costco for $199.99. It said wifi speeds up to 2.2Gbps Triband Wifi and covers up to 4,000 sq ft. The picture shows 2 units. Is this strong/good enough then for my purposes (our house is only 3200-3300 sq ft) and since it's 2 units, i can put one upstairs and another downstairs (vs the sole unit Time Machine/Capsule) right now that we have. And if it doesn't work, I guess I can return to Costco for a refund since that's their policy (unless I'm mistaken that I cannot return such since it's an electronic product). Many thanks for your thoughts on this
Deal Addict
Sep 10, 2004
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eilrach wrote: ... Netgear Orbi RBK22 ...
According to the review at techradar,
That model is intended for modest traffic.

Bottom line: Avoid.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
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Warlock wrote: According to the review at techradar,
That model is intended for modest traffic.

Bottom line: Avoid.
Ok, will avoid and keep searching... keep your suggestions coming please :). Right now as you guys said it's at least AC 3000 or one of the AX routers then it seems... will keep searching in Amazon as well and reading reviews of these routers...
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lead wrote: you can have issues directly above and below(weakest distribution points from antennas) as much as edges. Hence why wifi should be staggered from floor to floor if there not being connected by cord.
Yes I agree, he stated he had a 2 story home. Meaning there's a basement, hence the reason I suggested 2 mesh points.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
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Toronto
r1lee wrote: Yes I agree, he stated he had a 2 story home. Meaning there's a basement, hence the reason I suggested 2 mesh points.
Thanks rlee...
What are mesh points? Also, i don't plan to finish the basement but only use stuff on the first and second floor. Eg nothing on basement at all.

I asked here today too but Someone told me to not bother with netgear ac2200 mini that was selling for $199.99 at costco (eg unit and satellite) so still conituning to read up on ac3000 or better and this AX series talked about by another person in this thread. Also haave to read up on your tplink m4 or m5 too... Lots to read up on since this is all so foreign to me LOL
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Jan 17, 2003
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eilrach wrote: Thanks rlee...
What are mesh points? Also, i don't plan to finish the basement but only use stuff on the first and second floor. Eg nothing on basement at all.

I asked here today too but Someone told me to not bother with netgear ac2200 mini that was selling for $199.99 at costco (eg unit and satellite) so still conituning to read up on ac3000 or better and this AX series talked about by another person in this thread. Also haave to read up on your tplink m4 or m5 too... Lots to read up on since this is all so foreign to me LOL
Mesh routers are a group of devices that work together to give you a proper coverage of Wifi. Much better then a router and an access point. For something really inexpensive, depending on what you need, i do recommend the Tplink M5 or M4 in the 2pack. You set one up like you normally would, then put the other unit in-between the main unit and the area where you don't have coverage.

Mesh routers tend to handoff the wifi signal much better then the traditional Router + AP.
Member
Jan 20, 2010
425 posts
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toronto
I would say just buy a ASUS AC86U, which would be enough. AX router or mesh is overkill in this scenario. And I can fully utilize my Rogers 500m bandwidth Internet wirelessly on this router. I have 2 story home, and the router can even cover wireless into my backyard and driveway. This router has a strong CPU, which is able to handle a lot of devices at the same time without a glitch.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jun 14, 2009
566 posts
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Toronto
Thank you again rlee and gamebird. My wife and I are now researching on these 2 specific units that both of you recommended. Will follow up on this thread again as necessary if you guys don't mind. we are quite new to this type of thing-y (as you can glean fm my replies) but am enjoying the learning experience. My wife likes what she's read so far on the M5 TPLink due to the extra USB so she can attach her portable hard drive (i don't have any of these hard drives, i just surf on my phone and borrow her computer if it's too cumbersome on the phone LOL). Will ask her to also read up on ASUS AC86U

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