Wireless router recommendations


Why would you do this? Wouldn’t you want the same so you can roam or are you suspect of a certain device’s ability to roam? Knowing your posts on this forum I would assume you had a good reason to write that, so share!

This is what I do with 3 access points spread across the house. All aging WDR3700’s over ethernet which do a good job. I don’t care about the latest specs since I don’t need the raw download speed for wireless devices and it’s more than enough to stream HD.


I’ve had problems with roaming working inconsistently, likely because I didn’t have $400 routers doing it!


Most of the time I’ve seen that it has been older clients/drivers, or more likely, roaming to a channel that is congested.

It is harder for me to find low congested channels at home than it is at the office, where we usually control the location and some area around it as well. Hell at my house I think I can see 15+ wireless networks. :(



So glad you guys are discussing this stuff. I’ve actually been looking at Orbi in the last day or so and wondering if Apple would be blowing out remaining extremes.

I currently have 2 older airport extremes, from '09 and '011 I think. I think the older one is giving up the ghost and I’ve been considering options

@wumpus riddle me this:

Currently I have a hard connection from router to airport to the other airport. I wondered if you could do the same thing with Orbi since the satellite doesn’t have a port labeled as WAN. I dug into their faq and found this:


Can I connect my Orbi satellite’s Ethernet port directly to my existing gateway or Orbi router?

Orbi’s advanced tri-band WiFi works best when the Orbi satellite is connected wirelessly to your Orbi router. This gives you better performance than many wired Ethernet solutions and gives you greater flexibility in placing your Orbi satellite.

First off, they never explicitly answer the question, but the inference is that yes, you can. I find it hard to believe wireless could be faster than having an Ethernet cable connecting everything. Help?


I am talking with the Netgear people who found me on Twitter via email, and they think it is indeed not possible, the base and satellite must connect wirelessly.


Fair enough, if so. The answer on the support site is misleading in that case, though (to me at least).

Btw, Costco has supposedly had a 3-pack for 500, not that most people would need 3:


No worries, it’s fun discussion for what it’s worth. Home network gear used to lag behind enterprise gear by a significant amount, however it has caught up in most cases. There are still some features that aren’t as common, but most home deployments are one unit only, they don’t require as many features due to that.

About the only general advice I can recommend are to plan on a lifetime for the home equipment you buy. In other words, buy something at a cost that allows you to review it for feature upgrades every 3-4 years.


I’ve been using multi airport setups for more than 15 years. I think it’s kind of funny that “mesh” wifi is suddenly a big thing (and I know they aren’t the same thing from a technical standpoint, but for my purposes I’ve had a similar setup all this time).


I just installed an Orbi 2 unit setup in our 2000 sq ft house this week. Setup was long and fussy given we had 25+ devices around the house to change wifi settings in. But now that it’s all done things are very good.

Theoretically one decent router SHOULD have been good enough for our house to begin with, but our cable drop is at the far side of the house for stupid historical reasons and our walls don’t lend themselves to installing Ethernet for backhaul to conventional access points. We had spotty service at the opposite end of the house. Thus the need for something better. Had considered previous mesh units, but the halved speed due to non dedicated backhaul made them non starters. Orbi doesn’t have that problem due to the extra radios.



Guys, I apologize for the dick move, but I don’t have time at the moment to dig through this thread. I believe my wireless router is going out (TP-Link WR3600) and I need a replacement. I have access to powerline ethernet in most of my house, but I WiFi is still used fairly heavily for mobile devices. My current WR3600 is absolute ass for signal strength, even on the 2.4ghz band, in a ~1750ft townhome. As in, so bad that my mobile devices typically automatically switch to the neighbor’s Xfinity wifi.

Anyway, I saw this on Amazon for $120. Is that any good for the discounted price? I don’t need anything insane, but I would like good wifi for the house.


Not sure, but Costco has the same deal fyi from 11/24-11/26 online (not sure in store)

They also have the Orbi 3-pack for 500 in stock again


I have a Nighthawk. Great router. Great range. No complaints.


Also ordered one of these, been having issues the odd way our house is set up.

One question: No USB ports that I can use to set up a shared USB HD?


The Orbi router has 1 x USB 2.0 port, but it is currently disabled and you can’t hook anything to it. Netgear reprsentatives have sad that it is intended for possible future use.

IMO a USB 2 connected drive will be really slow anyways. If storage is your thing, then consider a NAS connected to the Orbi via gigabit Ethernet instead.



Ah, that sounds smart. I’m not very experienced with connecting a shared HD to a router system, so the only thing I’ve done is just connect a USB external 3 T drive to my current ASUS router. It’s USB 3.

Now that I know there’s a way to set up shared storage, NP, My Orbi will arrive Monday, I’ll be interested in how it works in my situation.


USB3 on wifi routers is problematic; it tends to screw with your wireless speeds. I agree that setting up NAS is the right way to go-- there are some pretty cheap single-drive options from WD, or you could just plug a USB3 drive into a desktop and share it on your network.


I have it in places where it does make sense, but in a work setting. And I agree with you, in the past without a dedicated backhaul frequency, it was less than ideal. It’s much better now, but if you have access to the plant, in other words your house and internal wiring options, a second AP is a MUCH better deal if you need it.

We have some very successful mesh APs covering a large outdoor storage yard where it is hard to get physical cable backhaul to all the APs needed. The clients are small handheld devices that scan things for inventory. It works -perfectly- for something like that, mostly because nobody is going to sit at the far ends of the mesh and expect to stream 4K video to their tablet.

I have yet to set up an actual mesh at the house though. I’d have to test it quite a bit before having a final opinion.


I am thinking about get an Orbi, but I really don’t need one. I think it would be neat be able to hook up all my wireless entertainment devices (TIVO, Xbox, TV) to the ethernet port on the back on the satellite (although I don’t know how much that would really help or not. My place isn’t really big enough that I need a mesh system. I would probably better off just getting a Nighthawk.

Anyway, I hope you post some impressions once you have had it awhile.


Yeah, I’ve got an ASUS RT-AC68U AC-1900 and it works pretty well, I just have a couple of places in the house that are in odd locations that can be a challenge. I’ll post my experiences once I the Orbi up and running.


Can you go into more depth about this, and how to accomplish it? I have 3 different wireless routers, currently set up in the same way as stusser with different SSIDs, but I’ve gotten tired of switching between them manually all the time. My house is very vertical, so I have one per floor, all connected together via Cat 5e ethernet, and two of my routers’ ethernet ports (and all my switches) are gigabit capable. Here’s the details about my setup:

In the basement, I use the crappy DSL modem/router/wifi that I got from my ISP. It’s a Technicolor TG582n, which means it doesn’t support 802.11ac, nor the 5 Ghz band, nor Gigabit ethernet. I manually forced it to be Channel 1 in the 802.11b/g/n 2.4GHz band (the only control over the wifi signal I have), and gave it the same SSID and security settings (WPA2 PSK - AES) as the two other routers. The Technicolor TG582 is also handling DHCP duties for the whole network. It’s plugged into a Gigabit Ethernet Switch, which in turn links to the routers upstairs, and wired devices in the basement.

On the main floor, I have a TP-Link Archer C7 v2, It has a bunch of advanced wireless settings, most of which I don’t understand what to do with. I forced it to be on Channel 6 in the 802.11 b/g/n mixed mode 2.4GHz band, and it’s set to Auto choose the channel for 5GHz. I also set the 2.4GHz band channel width to be 20 MHz, instead of the default 40, since I read that cooperates better with Bluetooth devices.

On the upper floor, I have a Netgear R6250, which is manually forced to be on Channel 11 in the 2.4 GHz band and Channel 153 in the 5 GHz band (802.11 a/n/ac mixed).

Is there anything else I need to do to assure myself of proper roaming? I found my iPhone connects to the basement router when I’d come in to the garage, and it doesn’t seem to want to let go, which is really messing up my Wi-Fi Calling feature when I’m upstairs.