Wireless router recommendations


Only thing I can warn you about Archer is the router password has a 14 char max length. What’s worse is it will allow you to ‘set’ a new password that’s longer than that and never warn you. Then you won’t be able to log in cuz it stored only the first 14 characters. It’s annoying.


Ars Technica has a pretty thorough article / editorial about how all these routers we’ve all been convinced to buy, are pretty much marketing fluff.

Good advice to spread your high-bandwidth devices across your two frequencies though.


I set up my WRT54G as a repeater. The speeds are terrible, only about 3 Mbps, sometimes less than 1 Mbps. Not sure I have the time to mess with it to try to get better performance.


A repeater not connected to ethernet & with only one radio will never get great speed because it has to use client bandwidth for backhaul too.



Yeah I think the easiest solution would be to run Ethernet, maybe later this year.

I wish the iPhone was a bit smarter about switching between SSIDs while I’m walking through the house.


Ethernet powerline is a great alternative if you don’t want the expense of wiring your house for ethernet and you don’t need gigabit speed.


I paid some guy a few hundred bucks (plus materials) to wire up my house with cat6 and I couldn’t be happier. Highly recommended option by me.


Did you have an attic or basement to run it through?

I’ve thought about doing same, but we’ve got neither option so would be a crap-ton of breaking & fishing through dry-wall and etc. Probably not worth it.




Going straight through walls is a no go unless you have a really easy run. Are you in an apartment/condo? I’d look at running it under the carpet at the baseboards or behind the baseboards maybe. Or look at powerline ethernet. It didn’t work for me, but maybe it will for you. A lot of people here like it.


So, I realized today that Google Wifi can use a wired backhaul. I think I dismissed it when I first started looking at mesh systems because of the lack of Ethernet ports, but if I’m willing to consider Velop, there’s no reason not to consider it as well. It’s 200 bucks less, and I’m thinking I could buy 3x Netgear GS108 switches for another 100, for a total of 400. There’s also a 10 dollar rebate on the switches, so I’d get 30 back.

Actually, I’d just assume have the ports in the back, so maybe something like this instead:


I’ve been thinking about having some do this for me too. When I have a router problem, it’s almost always wireless. Since I work remote, having my route on the fritz can be a real issue.


I HIGHLY recommend running network cable in your house. It doesn’t cost that much relatively speaking if you’re a professional depending on having working internet in your home office and it’s nice for entertainment devices, especially with 4K on the horizon. My total cost was between $400 and $500, and that’s including the $50 tip I gave the guy for sweating and crawling around in my attic for 8 hours (not mid-summer though, he’d have died in the 120+ degree Floridian attic).

If you know anyone who flips houses, talk to them about who they use to run wires et al through the attic. They’ll probably have a guy.


So assuming I don’t know a flipper, what’s a good place to start looking for people to run ethernet through a 2 story house with an attic but no basement? What type of people do you want if you use something like Angie’s list, an electrician? I know a few companies that I have used for wiring offices but they won’t do a home (lazy bastards are spoiled by drop ceilings).

I do have CAT5 running in my house that was used for POTS. I rewired everything for ethernet myself but it’s pretty slow. I get 10MB/s, barely, in the worst case. So ideally that should make it even easier for them, I just want multiple drops per location + the wire upgraded to 6, or christ, I would even take 5e at this point.


With the exception of cost, there’s no real reason to upgrade from CAT 5 to 5e instead of 6 if you’re planning on paying the cost to run the cables. I was lucky enough that I had CAT 5e runs throughout my house serving to wire together the phone jacks. Since we just use cell phones (no landlines), those drops can provide me with gigabit ethernet everywhere, as long as I’m willing to sacrifice the pair that would otherwise be used for copper phone signal. And I am! It’s wonderful having wired gigabit ethernet running to an 802.11ac router (in access point mode) per floor.


Before I found the guy I did find, I searched angies list and google etc to find someone. Most electricians are going to overcharge for that sort of thing, or probably just not do it at all. You want to look for AV/home theater installers. Those guys are used to going in attics and dragging around this sort of stuff. Just make sure they have the tools and know how to terminate the connections properly. Almost all of any noise you’re going to get is going to be from a poorly terminated line, not the line itself or EM issues.

If you’re a people person, start going to the trucks run around by your cable company for guys doing cable/sat/FIOS installs. Walk up to the guy and ask him if he does any freelance work on the weekend and if he knows how to install network cables. If he has all his own tools for it, he’s good to go. If he asks you how you want to terminate your wires, with the A or B, then you won. But these sorts of installers spend a lot of time in attics and know what to do. Also, apparently many of them are actually contract/freelance with the cable companies that are named on the sides of their trucks anyways, so they’re used to it. Note: I don’t talk to people, so I wouldn’t do this, lol. Side note: there is probably a forum for these guys somewhere (most trades have forums somewhere, I learned a lot from painters forums, for instance, before I last painted my house). Go to a forum if it exists and post a request there maybe.

The whole cat5e vs cat6 thing is a bag of worms. 5e is sufficient but 6 is easier to pull through the attic (according to my “guy”). A lot of installers scoff at cat6 as being unnecessary and the people who really take network stuff seriously say that most generic cat6 is a joke (noisy, not to spec, etc) and not worth the price premium. My feelings are that the materials and sleeves are thicker and less prone to problems and the line noise shouldn’t be worse at least than generic cat5e. Just an FYI.



Yes, I rewired mine to use ethernet instead of POTS as well but I started with 5 and not 5e. If I can find a reasonable installer I will almost certainly skip 5e though I would, as you are, likely be happy with 5e.

This is what I was wondering, thanks. I asked one electrician and he said he doesn’t do that type of work. I know some do… but I will look into AV/home.


Really the best guys are these guys running around in cable company trucks, but I’m not sure how to easily find/approach them. :/

Please report back if you’re successful.


Right! I never realized the drop off between CAT 5 and 5e was so severe. I’d secretly hoped that if you hooked up a gigabit switch or two, they’d work well. Maybe not full speed, but well. Hearing you’re barely getting 10 megabits is sad-making.

Oh, and I had an alarm installer also tell me that he could do the job. Especially now that they often do Power over Ethernet security cameras. They’re also good at getting cables to places they weren’t originally found. Try some of them, too!


Excellent advice.


For shorter runs no, but if you have long runs like I do the drop off gets pretty bad. Plus I found one cable that had been torn by an adjacent nail. It worked fine for POTS, but ethernet was lucky it worked at all at 2MB/s. It was near the terminating point so I worked around it, but who knows what other issues are down the line.