Wireless router recommendations


Lets put it this way, I spent a solid fifteen minutes setting up the world’s scariest guest wifi sign-on page. I enjoy playing with this stuff, it’s like a hobby.


Thanks to everyone for your advice on my cat/router problem. I’ve since reconsidered the ledge scheme, apparently much to my psycho’s chagrin.


If it makes you happy. It’s not like I spend almost an hour making RPG characters that you usually can’t see once you put the gear on.

Whelp she pretty much died today. Stopped giving out IP addresses to seemingly random devices. I have to get out of veg state and start working again on Wednesday so I picked up another Nighthawk on sale at Costco. I can’t wait around for delivery when work is involved, but… Costco has a no questions ask 90 day return policy. I’ll look into others in that time frame.

I don’t want to spend 20 minutes scaring the shit out of my guests when they use my guest network, but I am totally over replacing these things every couple of years too. It’s a pain in the ass.


What are you doing to your routers where they break every couple of years? Don’t think I have ever had a router fail. Do you have it hooked up to a good surge protector?


Right now I am stockpiling them in a closet it along with two desktops and other crap that either stopped working, or I stopped using. It’s on the list of you need to get rid of this stuff and stop doing that.

This is the third I’ve lost this way. This one was slow in dying actually. Now I’m thinking some of my desktop only issues, the most used wired device, was actually my router limping it’s way to the grave. When random wireless devices started having problems and then I asked about Orbi because some other things were… well weird, I had feeling; it was about due.

I used to like factory reset and take them to e-cycling places, mostly Goodwill, then I watched a news segment about how e-recycling is mostly bullshit, and we send it to some not fully developed nation to have their kids search through toxic crap for bits of gold or something.


I’m not sure I understand what you’re doing (and this is purely a statement of my ignorance, not challlenging you) that requires a professional level set up? I’ve got a simple Orbi setup (after using Nighthawks, etc.) and I can be playing co-op games on my PS4 while my wife is streaming Netflix and we have a house full of family running their laptops and phone and ipads, and some people are watching our Dish satellite wireless receiver in the sunroom. I won’t say that everyone is getting a full speed connection at the same time but no one seems to notice any slowdown, no buffering of Netflix, no lag in my co-op gaming.Since I get complete full speed upstairs in the sunroom off the back of the house as easily as I do in the downstairs room where the cable modem and Orbi parent is, I don’t feel a need to run wire.

What are your requirements?


I’m speaking from work experience here, and I want to tell you that is NOT uncommon. Consumer grade network devices are hit or miss. I will say, you’ve had bad luck. But stick with it and go with something (brand) you get better support with.

Here’s hoping you get a better replacement, Nesrie.


I recommend the Synology routers.


My requirement are very low. At most I might be playing a game, not much usage at all, or downloading a game and listening to a movie. The problem is the death of the routers. They just die… Linksys, Netgear. Like today, it stopped giving IP addresses first over wired and then wireless. Firmware updates, hard resets, nothing worked. I now have a new router and it works. I don’t really require a better set-up so much as one that just lasts longer than a year. I mean. They just set on the desk. Nothing too hot or strange. I have a fair amount of devices. Maybe 30 none of which are ever going at the same time, mostly just the cameras and smart devices and couple of phones, the rest wait for me to do something with them.

I have idea why they failed on me. I went from Netgear, to Linksys, to Netgear and now another Netgear. Orbi being Netgear didn’t really instill confidence.

Well maybe it’s time for me to take time and pick something of a more professional line. I work from home. I’ve got to have this stuff working at all times. My boss is a pretty realistic guy. I’ve lost power and ISP before, but if a router goes down during the work day, I pretty much need a replacement in a day or two. And it sucks! I am just going around finding a few things that required a hard reset to refresh the IP or something although 90% of them seem fine.

Once I learned to name my wireless the exact same name as the previous one, it really only takes minutes (and a good chunk is firmware updating), to get it up. It took me longer to realize the damn thing was failing in the first place. Based on hindsight, it’s probably been dying for about two months just in weird ways that made a reset of one device just seem like an annoyance not a problem.

Synology huh. I’ll add that to the list.


Makes me wonder if there’s something in your environment that’s killing them. Weird power surges? Dust or other particulates getting into the innards? Cats? Some otherwise undetected malware? Any or all of those could be addressed, but it’s kinda hard if you don’t know which is causing the issues.


I think @Dan_Theman has given cats a bad name in this thread. :-) None of the cats I have had over my life have even done anything to a router other than sit on it.


Yeah, that’s not normal at all, no matter what the brand. I’ve had Netgear, Linksys, ASUS, and I’ve never had a router fail. I’ve just changed them over the years trying to get max speed all over my spread out two story house configuration.

If you have routers that are just breaking on a routine basis, you’re either incredibly unlucky or you’ve got some kind of power issue or some other contributing source of failure. I don’t think changing brands is going to make a difference.


LOL - Indeed. My cat is a fairly special case, as he suffers from a disorder called Pica; a compulsion to eat non-food items.


Why are you saying this, out of curiosity? While they have a whole boat load of options the default settings work just great and are rock solid. Been running two of the cheap $80 APs in my house, replacing 3 netgears. Good riddance, I had so many issues with dropped connections - especially iOS devices. Now it’s all rock solid and I haven’t touched them in a year except to do a one click upgrades.

The difficulty with them comes in having to setup a local server aka controller to configure them, which needs to be running if you want to work on their config. If the controller goes down they keep working just fine. I use a docker container to run the controller, which I do not recommend unless you do this shit for a living because the ubiquiti controller software just barely works in a container. So a raspberry PI or similar would probably be a better idea if you want it running 24x7.

Just looked up the cloud key @stusser mentioned and that looks ideal. I may even consider it for myself given how many headaches the docker container gives me.


You just answered in length why. I didn’t want to setup another PC or device or have to buy one as a wifi controller because I already managed that stuff at work. From my research, it also gets corrupted easily.


The controller can I guess but the nodes seem rock solid. Once you set it up and configure everything you can forget about the controller unless you want the latest security update.

The cloudkey seems like the perfect solution to that but I haven’t used one or read anything about it.


Well the Cat on rare occasion will snuggle a router, but he’s on the modem more often than that. The Modems don’t really die like the routers do. I think I’ve only had to replace that once with a phone call. I mean, my router issue follows me wherever I’ve lived, mobile, to apartment to house. I don’t think it’s the environment. I keep it updated in firmware and the computers are not affected do… I assume it’s not malware. They’re on the UPS so they don’t really lose power suddenly unless I need to reset it.

The death of a router is also a loose term. It’s not literally dead. It just stopped working correctly, decided not to give out IP addresses and gave unidentified errors to wired devices. I tried CPR but she just wasn’t having it. You’d think it’s software but… I’ve factory reset in the past, but it doesn’t work for long.

I’ve been reading up on these. the GUI is actually modern looking. I didn’t think they did much in that area outside of mobile apps.


Yes, the first-gen cloudkey has a problem where the DB gets corrupted if it loses power abruptly. The second-gen model does not have that problem as they include a little battery that shuts it down gracefully when power is lost.

I run my unifi controller in a linux container, which works fine. Raspberry pis apparently also work fine. And like Grendal noted, you don’t actually have to run the controller all the time, you can run it on your laptop then once you setup your network just turn it off. All you lose is IPS reporting and that cool guest wifi login page.


Drill small holes in your router.


I have gotten interested in ubiquiti for new wifi install at my local church here, but not sure if I am ready for the headache. Downloaded the controller to try installing on my PC to try out this weekend. Surely its a better setup than putting together a hodgepodge of old Apple APs and some new charity Aironets and etc.

Edit: installed and runs ok, once I got a JRE from this decade.