Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Moderator: The Mod Squad

Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby scruffy » Sat Oct 15, 2016 5:41 pm

I moved to a new home and I'm in the market for a new wireless router. It seems that the more I read and learn, the less I know. Lots of jargon, lots of promises, etc. My primary concern is getting a good signal throughout the entire house with a minimum of effort. (I.e., without flashing and configuring open-source firmware, hopefully without the need for repeaters, etc.). I'm willing to spend $$ on a new router, but only if it's really going to work.

I live in a modest-sized 3-floor house (two floors and a basement--total 2100 square feet, not including basement). My office is on the top floor, and I will use a wired connection there for maximum bandwidth, so I plan to put the wireless router there, despite the less-than-optimal location. While unpacking, I temporarily set up my current D-Link DIR-655 router on the main (middle) floor, and even with that router location, I get intermittent (i.e., unacceptable) wi-fi reception on my cell phone when I'm in the far area of the top floor.

I'd like to set up a router on the top floor, and have excellent throughput on the first floor, and passable throughput in the basement.

I have one television on the main floor that I'd like to use to stream movies (HD, not 4K). i will also have a family computer on the first floor. There are only two adults and a baby in the household, so I don't need the capability to have lot of devices accessing Wi-Fi at once. *Maybe* someone will be on the computer while another person is watching a movie, but that's about it.

I realize that wireless performance depends on many factors, including the layout of the home and other possibly interfering devices, but how do I choose the best router? From what I understand, an AC router will help me get higher speeds at greater distances, so I looked at some of the popular models. Lots of good reviews for the Netgear Nighthawk series on Amazon--I was leaning toward the AC1900 model--but Consumer Reports gave the Linksys AC2600 (E8500) better marks for "Far throughput".

Is there any reliable source for information on how routers perform in the kind of environment I'm describing? Are there significant differences in the performance of AC routers with similar specs? Given my needs, is there any reason to buy a more sophisticated or advanced model than the ones I've described here? Any specific feature I should look for? Should I just assume I'll need a repeater somewhere in the house?

Any advice is appreciated, oh gurus!
scruffy
Green Belt
Green Belt
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:25 pm

Re: Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby Roach412 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:19 am

I have a TP-Link AC1900, which is considered a long-range router. I have a significantly smaller home footprint(about 1300sq/ft, only a single story ranch w/ basement), but it easily reaches from my far back basement corner out of the front of my house and up onto my driveway...approximately 65ft, 20 of which is through solid earth, concrete, and then my garage w/ cars, tools, shelving...etc.

It does have beamforming, which allows it try and direct the signals to where it's needed most. you can also adjust the antennas to point (somewhat) towards the 3 most-used or most-needed areas of coverage. it works quite well oddly enough.

I've had mine now since last summer(may 2015) and it's been nothing but perfect for my needs. we have multiple consoles, a couple desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones...

-Roach
Lian Li Lancool First Knight Series PC-K59W
Intel Core i7-960 Bloomfield 3.2GHz
EVGA X58 FTW3 132-GT-E768-TR
EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 FTW GAMING ACX 3.0
G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 12GB (3 x 4GB)
Crucial M4 128gb SATAIII SSD x2
Crucial M4 256gb SATAIII SSD
OCZ Saber 1000 960GB Enterprise SSD
Corsair Professional Series HX850 PSU
Dell UltraSharp U2713HM 27" w/drop ceiling mount
Logitech G930 7.1 Headset
DBPOWER RGB LED Keyboard
Logitech G402 Hyperion Fury
Roach412
Black Belt 2nd Degree
Black Belt 2nd Degree
 
Posts: 2714
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:33 pm
Location: Milwaukee - Wisconsin

Re: Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby scruffy » Tue Oct 18, 2016 8:31 pm

Thanks for the response, Roach412.

It sounds like beamforming is one of the technologies that is worth looking for. It's hard for a novice to navigate all of the jargon and claims from the router manufacturers to distill what will really have an impact and what will not.

I'll consider the TP-Link model you mentioned. Sounds like it works very well for you and it's significantly cheaper than the other options I have been considering.

Anyone else with recommendations or advice on models or key features?
scruffy
Green Belt
Green Belt
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:25 pm

Re: Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby Karlsweldt » Wed Oct 19, 2016 6:05 am

RF signals emanate in a parallel plane from the antenna, at 90°. Several degrees above or below that plane, the signal is much weaker. If a wireless hub or router has several antennas, which can be oriented, then coverage higher or lower to the unit would be a lot better. A repeater on each level of the home should be ideal.
F@H.. to solve mankind's maladies.. in our lifetimes!
Karlsweldt
Mobo-fu Master
Mobo-fu Master
 
Posts: 20663
Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2003 11:57 am
Location: 07438

Re: Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby scruffy » Wed Oct 19, 2016 3:31 pm

Thanks for the tips, Karlsweldt! Very helpful.
scruffy
Green Belt
Green Belt
 
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:25 pm

Re: Request for Wireless Router Purchase Advice

Postby Mr T » Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:56 am

I have similar issue - 3 story house, brick walls, double thick platerboard etc... Updated to fibre broadband (VDSL which is fibre to box down the road and then trhough normal line to the house).. I use the TP-link VR900 (AC1900) too for my VDSL needs.. Works a treat all over the house, vastly superior to the ISP provided router... My old router TP-Link AC1750 (Archer D7) now redundant as it is ADSL2+ only has a new lease of life as a wifi access point/ print server (Apple airport express PSU blew up) and all my NAS servers are attched.. WIFI everywhere, everybody happy!
I have been programming on computers since the ZX81.
I am an apprentice trained Electronics Engineer with qualifications to back it up.
I have been repairing computers since 1996.
Yet to some people I still know nothing...
Mr T
Enlightened Master
Enlightened Master
 
Posts: 17087
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2002 1:03 am
Location: England


Return to Networking

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests

cron