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  • May 20th, 2019 8:17 pm
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[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 9, 2012
182 posts
155 upvotes
Brampton

Router recommendations?

What's the best router in terms of range for under $100? I'm looking for something that is better than the POS Rogers (CGN3ASMR) router, and can at least provide 5Ghz signal strength across two floors of a house that's around 2000sq. ft. Is this even possible for the price point I'm looking at?
13 replies
Deal Expert
User avatar
Dec 12, 2009
19860 posts
7980 upvotes
Toronto
I use a single Asus AC68U (T-Mo variant) and it is capable of giving me a good signal throughout the house. Refurbished units go for under $100.
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Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
27311 posts
12995 upvotes
pfSense

Won't meet budget though since a good AP (Unifi) is going to be more than that.
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2011
967 posts
624 upvotes
Québec
KLegend wrote: What's the best router in terms of range for under $100? I'm looking for something that is better than the POS Rogers (CGN3ASMR) router, and can at least provide 5Ghz signal strength across two floors of a house that's around 2000sq. ft. Is this even possible for the price point I'm looking at?
The CGN3ASMR already had a strong radio in the 5.8Ghz band, you will not be able to have a better coverage with another router.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Jan 9, 2012
182 posts
155 upvotes
Brampton
elgros4 wrote: The CGN3ASMR already had a strong radio in the 5.8Ghz band, you will not be able to have a better coverage with another router.
The router/modem from my previous ISP was able to deliver better range over 5ghz than the one I have from Rogers.
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4336 posts
4385 upvotes
Vancouver
All routers sold in Canada have the same maximum radio signal strength limit. While there can be slight differences in coverage due to the antenna pattern, or the ability of the WiFi chipset to deal with weak noisy signals, you aren't going to find a huge difference in coverage between any of them. The main factors affecting coverage from a single router are:
- the location of the router in the house
- the exact placement and orientation of the router
- the WiFi channel chosen for the router (or by the router if set to auto), and how it fits with the WiFi and general radio interference in your area

Before you invest in a new router, put an app like WiFi Analyzer on your phone, set your router to the channel that has the least interference, and then start surveying the signal strength around your house as you change the position and orientation of your router. You might be surprised that moving the router a few feet over and changing the orientation by 30 deg gives you a 10db boost in signal strength at your most distant WiFi devices.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Nov 21, 2002
10195 posts
2606 upvotes
Winnipeg
the only singular router that I would say could do+2000 sq as well as say 2 wifi mesh points under 100. would be probably the a refurbished onhub. If you could find one. It has 13 separate antennae arrays and amps and its pretty powerful

It would be better served in singular mode as just as a wireless Ap since its cloud based with routing duties elsewhere. That way your whole network doesn't fail if internet does.

Maybe find a used one on ebay under 100
Sr. Member
Sep 13, 2011
967 posts
624 upvotes
Québec
Scote64 wrote: All routers sold in Canada have the same maximum radio signal strength limit. While there can be slight differences in coverage due to the antenna pattern, or the ability of the WiFi chipset to deal with weak noisy signals, you aren't going to find a huge difference in coverage between any of them. The main factors affecting coverage from a single router are:
- the location of the router in the house
- the exact placement and orientation of the router
- the WiFi channel chosen for the router (or by the router if set to auto), and how it fits with the WiFi and general radio interference in your area

Before you invest in a new router, put an app like WiFi Analyzer on your phone, set your router to the channel that has the least interference, and then start surveying the signal strength around your house as you change the position and orientation of your router. You might be surprised that moving the router a few feet over and changing the orientation by 30 deg gives you a 10db boost in signal strength at your most distant WiFi devices.
They all have the same limit yes (30 dBm or 1 watts), but they don't emit at the same power. In this example, the power is 830 miliwatts, almost the max.
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2007
2749 posts
755 upvotes
Scarborough
My tplink 300mbps cable router is 7yr old. I have random short annoying disconnects not even during peak hours. Is it too old? Or is it the motorola 6121 modem...? Tried speedtest today, ranging from 6-10mbps. Am with teksavvy's 28mbps plan...

Maybe this $100 AC 1900 would help?
Deal Addict
Jan 21, 2018
4336 posts
4385 upvotes
Vancouver
Samwfive wrote: My tplink 300mbps cable router is 7yr old. I have random short annoying disconnects not even during peak hours. Is it too old? Or is it the motorola 6121 modem...? Tried speedtest today, ranging from 6-10mbps. Am with teksavvy's 28mbps plan...

Maybe this $100 AC 1900 would help?
Generally the advantage of routers with more antennas offering over 300 mbps is that they can support simultaneous high-speed streaming to more than one device at a time. You won't see much benefit to individual devices. Even laptops generally have only 2 receiving antennas, meaning they can only receive two spatial streams at once. However the AC1200 router may help if you have devices that support 5 GHz and can get better reception with less interference in that band.

If you have a lot of WiFi interference in your area, and the router is set to auto channel selection, then it will change channels every time it detects too much interference on the current channel, causing the connection to drop momentarily to all devices while they reconnect on the new channel. Could be what's happening to you.

Your speed from the TekSavvy modem is really slow. All times of day? That could indicate a problem with the connection. Are you measuring that over WiFi, or with a direct ethernet connection to the router?
Deal Addict
Nov 21, 2007
2749 posts
755 upvotes
Scarborough
Scote64 wrote: ....
If you have a lot of WiFi interference in your area, and the router is set to auto channel selection, then it will change channels every time it detects too much interference on the current channel, causing the connection to drop momentarily to all devices while they reconnect on the new channel. Could be what's happening to you.

Your speed from the TekSavvy modem is really slow. All times of day? That could indicate a problem with the connection. Are you measuring that over WiFi, or with a direct ethernet connection to the router?
Used to be auto channel, slightly better after choosing ch3 as opposed to the crowded, 1,6 & 11.

The woeful speed is thru wifi. Will try direct to router to eleminate it being the cause.

Thanks for the input!

BTW: the signal strength at the modem is within spec, according to 192.168.100.1 instruction from tek's faq.
Sr. Member
Nov 1, 2015
542 posts
232 upvotes
BC
It depends on how thick your walls are and what type of material they are made up of. Also how many walls you are trying to pass the signal through. Most importantly where the router will be positioned in the house. You have to take in consideration of the end devices as well. Some devices don't even support 5ghz. You said you want 5ghz throughout the entire house. Keep in mind that 5ghz signal doesn't travel as a 2.4ghz signal.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 2, 2005
1680 posts
714 upvotes
Samwfive wrote: Used to be auto channel, slightly better after choosing ch3 as opposed to the crowded, 1,6 & 11.

The woeful speed is thru wifi. Will try direct to router to eleminate it being the cause.

Thanks for the input!

BTW: the signal strength at the modem is within spec, according to 192.168.100.1 instruction from tek's faq.
Dont use channel 3. It screws everyone up because it overlaps 1 and 6 so you get interference on both sides as well as causing interference on your neighbours. There is a reason everyone is on 1 6 and 11.

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