Wireless router recommendations


#21

I also just installed an Asus RT-N66R this past weekend. My previous setup was using my Qwest now Century Link, Zyxel Pk1000’s (I think that’s the model) Wifi and an old Linksys WRT54G with DD-WRT as a bridge. While it had N it wasn’t 5.0 GHz and we’ve got this Microwave that just batters the shit out of that frequency. It would always kick us offline if we were in the vicinity and it happens to be the area where the family seems to congregate. Since the install it has been awesome my devices with 5GHz are rock solid and I’m getting some pretty great transfer rates. I’m just running the current Asus firmware and it seems to work good but I’ll probably explore the custom FW down the road.

The best part now is no more howls of outrage every time the microwave is started.

It was expensive and more than I would like to spend on something like that but I had a bunch of Best Buy reward Points and gift cards so it didn’t hurt too bad.


#22

I just celebrated a year up-time. Would have been longer, but I powered everything off during last year’s vacation.


#23

If my WRT110 ever dies, my next router will be Tomato-compatible. It’s showing no signs of slowing down, though.


#24

Is the advice in this thread still solid?

I’ve been having problems getting WiFi on my iPhone in my house for a year now (strangely, no problem from my iPad - my iPhone is a 4s, my iPad is current generation).

I think, as an intuitive guess, it is my shitty old Netgear Rangemax Wireless Router.

Now, I just got my Roku box, and sure enough, even though it is in the next room from the router, it is randomly dropping connection, 50% of the time says that a network is unavailable, etc. Pretty much comparable with my experience on my iPhone (and my attempts to stream video in the past on other devices).

So I’m going to try a new router, but I don’t know what to get.


#25

http://thewirecutter.com/?s=router


#26

I can recommend the Asus RT-N56U as a good $100 router.


#27

The only slight knocks against the RT-N56U is that the 5GHz reception won’t get to the basement from the 2nd floor, and the stock software doesn’t support a third guest SSID.

On a side note, I’ve recently installed a high-end furnace thermostat that supports wifi connection…which brought down my 2.4GHz speed to a measly 2Mbps. I had to add a G router and a third SSID to separate the thermostat from my N network.


#28

I’ve gotten a couple of routers free for review reasons at Amazon in the past year, and I measured bandwidth using some network testing tools. Interestingly enough, the router I’m using now, a TP-Link WDR-4300, returned significantly better speeds than Netgear’s AC1200 - despite the former being 802.11n and the latter being 802.11ac. Antennae and signal strength does matter.

I haven’t purchased a Asus N66u because I couldn’t justify the price when I was already getting acceptable results. Admittedly I have a second set of transmitters in the attic because my bed does a really phenomenal job of blocking the signal from the primary router in the living room. To the point where I often couldn’t connect at all.

My next router, when I feel the urge, will probably be a Asus AC66u. Right now I only have one device with an AC card, so I haven’t spent the money.


#29

I got the Asus N66-u on the basis of the Wirecutter recommendation. But I really should have paid more attention to all the negative Amazon and Newegg reviews that claimed you had to switch the router off and on all the time. It’s the only router I’ve had that’s so flaky. I had to reset it nearly every day because the connections on the router were so unreliable after a day. I made sure I had the latest firmware at the time too.

I guess I should have RMA’d it but the idea of being routerless for a few days was more horrible to me than having to reset it everyday.

Last week I got so frustrated with this piece of shit hardware that I went online again for the first time since I got the router to check for new firmware. Lo and behold! New firmware! So I upgraded and fingers crossed, I haven’t had to reset the router yet, and it’s been working great for a week now.


#30

I’m glad this thread was updated since I’m looking for a new router. I’m going to check that link stusser posted and look at the Asus N66-U.


#31

I recently discovered, sort of accidentally, that Netgear semi-officially partners with myopenrouter.com to support custom firmwares (they say they’re not affiliated, but a link to myopenrouter.com is printed on the router itself, so it’s clearly sanctioned somehow). I installed Tomato on a N300 (WNR3500Lv2) that I happened to have lying around, and it was entirely painless, and seems to be working pretty well.

I picked up the netgear as an emergency purchase when my last router died, and Tomato is letting it see new life now as a wireless bridge. So that’s cool.


#32

I had until recently been running a WRT54GL with Tomato for years and years. I upgraded my internet to 50 Mb down and the router couldn’t keep up.

After reading reviews/etc, I made the dumb (awesome?) choice of the Netgear Nighthawk R7000. Fantastic router, but costs $200. Of course I can’t even use the AC band yet, but the features, network responsiveness, and range are all awesome.


#33

For $200 it should come with dancing girls.


#34

I have the N56U and it’s rock solid. The range of the 5ghz is pretty meager, though; I never use it.


#35

I should mention that the 5ghz band is awesome when it works. I’ve tested my network on 1st floor (my n56u is on 2nd floor above the stairs), and 5ghz band’s speed is consistently faster than the 2.4ghz, on the same laptop.

The other knock against n56u is that the major replacement firmwares (Tomato, ddwrt) doesn’t support the n56u. But the stock firmware is mostly fine.


#36

asus ac66u here. I’ve had it for about a year now. It’s been solid but I tend to religiously upgrade the firmware on these things (and I do it the correct way of factory resetting and going so far as telnet in and zap the nvram just to be sure, then manually re-entering all the settings. It’s a big pain but I need my router to be solid).


#37

The 5Ghz band inherently has less range than the 2.4Ghz band, that’s not the router’s fault.


#38

So does wireless N work in the 5 GHz band, or is it for another standard? I’ve got an old WRT54G v.4 from Linksys that still hasn’t yet given up the ghost, but now doesn’t quite support my available download speeds wirelessly (I’m at around 31 Mbps).


#39

N works in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

If you live in an urban area you’ll find that 5Ghz offers [I]dramatically[/I] more consistent performance as it doesn’t choke every time your neighbor microwaves a burrito. It’s also faster as it can span two channels without taking up the entire spectrum. It does have less range and more difficulty penetrating walls, however.


#40

FWIW, I’ve got the RT-N66U and it has been pretty flawless. It is in a bedroom on the first floor of the house and we get very good signal strength everywhere on the second floor, including in a sunroom that is added on to the back of the house, second floor.

It just works well enough I never think about it. ;)