Computers & Electronics

Router Recommendations please

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 17th, 2020 1:57 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON

Router Recommendations please

I'm not even sure I know what I'm looking for or how to compare.

The modem has a CAT5 going to a router for a different wi-fi network.

I look on Canada computers, and see prices ranging from the $30 up to $300. That's quite a range. What am I missing?
Last edited by Reepicheep on Jul 17th, 2020 8:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
51 replies
Newbie
Jun 8, 2020
42 posts
21 upvotes
You live in a big house?
You live in a condo? Small place?
Alot of people using internet?
Gaming, streaming?

Too many routers out there. I prefer TP link.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Sorry for the lack of details

Let’s say medium size house, potential for multiple connections - not gaming, some streaming

TP Link gives me a start - thanks
Deal Addict
Jul 16, 2019
1507 posts
768 upvotes
OP - I think you need to consider the size of your house, levels, placement of the router, number of devices that will connect and type of usage. If you are not gaming, you probably are not the heaviest user.
For plan from your Internet provider, I would suggest 500Mbs or 1Gb. I could not live with less but we have 5 users on the network plus smart TVs, Nest, smart switches, etc. One time had 29 devices on at the same time.
For a router, if your house is compact, then a single router should work. If signal strength is going to be a problem, then a mesh network is the easiest to setup or get two routers that can pair/mesh. I have tried extenders with limited success.
My brand recommendations - Asus, Belkin, TP Link.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35866 posts
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East Gwillimbury
Reepicheep wrote: Sorry for the lack of details
Why do you need a new router?

Is the problem the WiFi signal? You are not getting coverage? Or is your router not giving you features that you need? Is your internet speed too slow?

Need real details
Deal Fanatic
Jul 13, 2009
5043 posts
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Reepicheep wrote: Sorry for the lack of details

Let’s say medium size house, potential for multiple connections - not gaming, some streaming

TP Link gives me a start - thanks
How many users? How many devices?

TP-Link fan here because it's been easy to setup and great value for money, also their head office is just in Markham for any warranty issues. Great responsive service.

Asus is great too but their service is atrocious.

Mesh is the way if you have ethernet wired up in your home. where is your modem located in your home?
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Oct 13, 2008
6050 posts
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Durham
Reepicheep wrote: I'm not even sure I know what I'm looking for or how to compare.

The modem has a CAT5 going to a router for a different wi-fi network.

I look on Canada computers, and see prices ranging from the $30 up to $300. That's quite a range. What am I missing?
Recently upgraded my two existing routers (D-Link DIR-859) ... had one on the second floor at the front of the house and a second one on the mainfloor in the living room at the back of the house.

House is 1800 sf detached.

Replaced them both with the Huawei AX3 Pro (Quad Core) WiFi 6 Routers.

SWEET! Amazing signal strength!

I was at my neighbour's backyard (5 houses down ... approximately 200 feet away) ... was still connected strongly on the Huawei router (2.4GHz connection) that is in my living room in the back of the house.

No complaints at all! It's a great router ... and the 5GHz connection in the living room for our devices was unbelievably fast!
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Gee wrote: Why do you need a new router?

Is the problem the WiFi signal? You are not getting coverage? Or is your router not giving you features that you need? Is your internet speed too slow?

Need real details
It’s at least 10 years old. Connecting now I get a warning that it’s not secure.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35866 posts
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East Gwillimbury
Reepicheep wrote: It’s at least 10 years old. Connecting now I get a warning that it’s not secure.
If you want something solid. Get an access point and a dedicated router.

Ubiquiti Edge Router ~80$
TP-Link EAP245 90$

That combo will beat any all in one consumer router. Cheaper too.

You can add multiple access points without any degradation in speed. It is not mesh which is slower
Last edited by Gee on Aug 17th, 2020 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Gee wrote: If you want something solid. Get an access point and a dedicated router.

Ubiquiti Edge Router ~80$
TP-Link EAP245 90$

That combo will beat any all in one consumer router. Cheaper too.

You can add multiple access points without and degradation in speed. It is not mesh which is slower
Can you please clarify what these 2 devices do? I understand the router extends a wifi signal (or creates a new one). What is the other device?
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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Reepicheep wrote: Can you please clarify what these 2 devices do? I understand the router extends a wifi signal (or creates a new one). What is the other device?
When you get internet service, it is designed to be used with one device. But everyone has multiple devices. So we designate the user to be a router. The router’s job is to assign each user or device a unique IP address (like a phone number). The router keeps track of these IP address and any request for internet services (email, web pages etc) are managed by the router

A router has nothing to do with WiFi.

Think of a telephone. When Bell gives you a phone line, it is wired. But you have the option of adding cordless phones. When you do so, you still need one phone to attach via wire. The satellite units can then connect to the base unit that is attached via a cord

Wireless for internet works the same way. To simplify things, manufacturers provide a Swiss Army knife approach. They combine WiFi and a router into one. The problem with that approach is that you are a jack of all trades but a master of none.

An Access Point is designed specifically to handle WiFi.

A Router is designed to manage devices and internet routing.

The Ubiquiti is a router only. There is no WiFi. The TP-Link is an Access Point, it provides WiFi only and no routing.
Last edited by Gee on Jul 17th, 2020 1:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON
Thank you!

Last set of questions:
What order would I connect these devices?
Ubiquiti has the CAT5 from my modem to TP-Link, or should it be the other way around?

What cable would I need between Ubiquiti and TP-Link?

Finally, it's about 3000 sqft. Will those devices give me enough coverage?
Deal Guru
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Nov 21, 2002
11430 posts
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Winnipeg
Gee wrote: If you want something solid. Get an access point and a dedicated router.

Ubiquiti Edge Router ~80$
TP-Link EAP245 90$

That combo will beat any all in one consumer router. Cheaper too.

You can add multiple access points without and degradation in speed. It is not mesh which is slower
I think the nanopi r2s openwrt and a switch is even cheaper and even more powerful with a gig of ram and quad a53 soc.
What would be interesting? is it powerful enough to run omada controller as well as piece of cake, aes wirguard too. Hymm you can alocate cores and most run 2 cores for the cake, 1 for the aes so that leaves one for the omada but all on 1 gig of ram? they need 2 gigs or better yet a rk3399 and dual nic and 2 usb 3 that would be the goto singular solution.I would say rpi 4 but it doesn't have aes arm8v support.Its 50 for either nanopi's 65 if you want the the whole metal case. If not you do have the new neo 3 which should run omada controller in docker for mesh and everything else you will ever need even a jellyfin server/nas off usb 3.
Image
Image

Something in my gut tells me tho that a new r2s version will come out maybe one with a bottom place soc like the neo 3 for cooling.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
35866 posts
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East Gwillimbury
Reepicheep wrote: Thank you!

Last set of questions:
What order would I connect these devices?
Ubiquiti has the CAT5 from my modem to TP-Link, or should it be the other way around?

What cable would I need between Ubiquiti and TP-Link?

Finally, it's about 3000 sqft. Will those devices give me enough coverage?
Do you have cable or DSL? I should have asked about your existing router

Modem -> Ubiquiti Router -> TP-Link Access Point

Each connection is done with a CAT5e/6 cable

If you install the Access Point some place central to the house, it should give you the coverage you need.

Chances are you probably have a router with your cable or DSL service and you could skip the Ubiquiti router unless you need specific features that your current router lacks

@lead

Never seen a NanoPi

But I have used the Pi 3B+ and the Ethernet port is not truly gigabit. I suspect the NanoPi is similar. If I was to build my own router, I would use pfSense or VyOS and something that has true gigabit

*** Edit ***

Just checked the specs of the NanoPi r2s and it appears to offer full gigabit speeds. The second port is converted from the USB 3.0 Port. Not ideal but still an interesting toy
[OP]
Sr. Member
Dec 1, 2015
728 posts
250 upvotes
Toronto, ON
It’s DSL internet.

I’m connecting 2 buildings- modem (Bell Home Hub 2000) in 1, cat5 next door where I want a different wifi network name.

Do I need the router at all? Sounds like the access point is really what I want in this set up.

Occasionally there will be multiple connections in building 2
Member
Sep 28, 2012
220 posts
108 upvotes
Mississauga
Netgear orbi - excellent coverage and signal
Rbk50 on sale at Amazon now
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
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Gee wrote: If you want something solid. Get an access point and a dedicated router.
100% this.
Not only will you not have to toss your router in 3 years when a new Wifi standard comes out, but you get a FAR better router.
My router has more uptime than most people have owned their routers. The one I'm using is over 500 days.
Ubiquiti Edge Router ~80$
TP-Link EAP245 90$
I'm a pfSense man myself, but the Edge Router is a cheaper and still pretty awesome alternative.
But why a TP-Link? Why not a Unifi? Unless it's price based in which case yeah... You're only getting a lite.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Deal Guru
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Mar 10, 2005
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I live in a 2 storey house with a basement and needed full coverage on all floors. The ASUS 86U was able to cover the entire house. There were a few pockets where wifi was a little weak so I recently added the ASUS 68U to fill in the gaps, put them in mesh mode and it's been great.

CC recently had the 68U for $149
"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid." - Epictetus
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
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East Gwillimbury
death_hawk wrote: I'm a pfSense man myself, but the Edge Router is a cheaper and still pretty awesome alternative.
But why a TP-Link? Why not a Unifi? Unless it's price based in which case yeah... You're only getting a lite.
I am using pfSense as well. Installed on a Xeon with 4 Gigs of RAM since 2012. I reboot it only when necessary. My current up time is almost 400 days. My access point is Cisco and I have been though a few. Not really a fan of TP-Link, but for 90$ it is a no brainer.

I plan to switch to Aruba for AX. I have a love, hate relationship with Cisco
Reepicheep wrote: I’m connecting 2 buildings- modem (Bell Home Hub 2000) in 1, cat5 next door where I want a different wifi network name.

Do I need the router at all? Sounds like the access point is really what I want in this set up.
What do you mean by two buildings? Are these two buildings attached? Do they share a common wall?

You don’t need a router. The access point is all you need. But it depends on how these two buildings are related.

Every time you reply, you post some new details that can completely change your solution.

Are there any other details that you are leaving out?
Last edited by Gee on Jul 17th, 2020 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Jun 9, 2012
470 posts
318 upvotes
Vancouver
pFsense is the way to go IMO. I never had that router fail on me like typical consumer grade routers/wifi routers

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