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Old 01-01-17, 06:39 PM   #1
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2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Ok, it's time to get a new router. We've added a few smart devices (Ring doorbell, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo), the kids Netflix and my wife is always streaming videos. And there's that Internet thing we use a lot.
Have a Netgear router (R6100) that we got a few years back and now with slow connections and dropouts, assume it's time to upgrade.

What are the recommendations out there. I see tri-band/multi-bands out there.

Thanks,
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Old 01-01-17, 07:20 PM   #2
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I use this: https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Arche...link+archer+c7

No complaints from me, but I don't really use much Wi-Fi or streaming.

This is often touted as the best, but I believe Apple has discontinued it, so I don't know how that affects service or reliability: https://www.amazon.com/Apple-AirPort...s=apple+router
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Old 01-01-17, 07:53 PM   #3
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I have the Archer C9, no complaints.
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Old 01-01-17, 10:44 PM   #4
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

The new trend in routers are "mesh routers": They are easier and friendlier to set up, and more easily expandable (you add mesh units as needed) so it's easier to eliminate dead spots.

They are new so some might have some kinks in certain situations, but they are mostly simple to install. They are more expensive, usually $300 or more for enough units (2-3) to cover a 3500 sq.ft multi-story home.

The leading models in mesh routers, as far as I know, are the Netgear Orbi, the eero, Google WiFi (yes, made by Google), Luma (made by a company bought by Amazon) and the Ubiquiti (Amplifi HD model). You need to read up on reviews to decide for yourself. The Orbi seems to get the most positive reviews.

Another option is, if someone in your home has T-Mobile cell service, they will let you have a router, to be returned when you stop service with them, with a $25 refundable deposit. The reason is that they want you to have good wifi at home so you can use their wifi calling feature, but the router is otherwise a normal, pretty good router, I think made by Asus. That way, you don't even have to purchase a router of your own.
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Old 01-02-17, 01:20 AM   #5
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexinnih View Post
Ok, it's time to get a new router. We've added a few smart devices (Ring doorbell, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo), the kids Netflix and my wife is always streaming videos. And there's that Internet thing we use a lot.
Have a Netgear router (R6100) that we got a few years back and now with slow connections and dropouts, assume it's time to upgrade.

What are the recommendations out there. I see tri-band/multi-bands out there.

Thanks,
I just went through this. Had so many devices and no I stream and also have a 300gb connection - so I didn't want bottlenecks. Upgraded my old NetGear for the AC3200 (R8000) and it flys. No complaints and no issues. With the old router I would get lots of buffering and dropouts... so far, been about 5 months with this, no issues at all and I push a lot of data around a large house.
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Old 01-02-17, 08:27 AM   #6
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
The new trend in routers are "mesh routers": They are easier and friendlier to set up, and more easily expandable (you add mesh units as needed) so it's easier to eliminate dead spots.

They are new so some might have some kinks in certain situations, but they are mostly simple to install. They are more expensive, usually $300 or more for enough units (2-3) to cover a 3500 sq.ft multi-story home.

The leading models in mesh routers, as far as I know, are the Netgear Orbi, the eero, Google WiFi (yes, made by Google), Luma (made by a company bought by Amazon) and the Ubiquiti (Amplifi HD model). You need to read up on reviews to decide for yourself. The Orbi seems to get the most positive reviews.

Another option is, if someone in your home has T-Mobile cell service, they will let you have a router, to be returned when you stop service with them, with a $25 refundable deposit. The reason is that they want you to have good wifi at home so you can use their wifi calling feature, but the router is otherwise a normal, pretty good router, I think made by Asus. That way, you don't even have to purchase a router of your own.
We've been using Ubiqiti routers for the last year or so at the office, and I can't recommend that company highly enough, they've been pretty great to us.

Their enterprise version requires a separate management computer (or Pi) and compatible PoE, but the "Mesh" aspect works incredibly well (and so easily), really impressive stuff.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:33 AM   #7
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Thanks all - let me check out the mesh options and also the Netgear AC3200. I do have a multi-story 3000 sq ft house that seems to have two key blind spots.
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Old 01-02-17, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
We've been using Ubiqiti routers for the last year or so at the office, and I can't recommend that company highly enough, they've been pretty great to us.

Their enterprise version requires a separate management computer (or Pi) and compatible PoE, but the "Mesh" aspect works incredibly well (and so easily), really impressive stuff.
Yes Ubiquiti makes mostly enterprise stuff and only recently has tried to get into the high-end consumer market. You have to be careful which model you choose because some require enterprise-level skills to set up.
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Old 01-02-17, 02:52 PM   #9
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I replaced mine last year. Also got an Archer C9 (TP Link).

It works great, I don't think I made any special changes, it has a lot of settings, but I'm not at home right now to verify.

We are a family of 4, 2 teenage daughters that stream a lot. We also watch a lot of Netflix, HBO GO, etc. In a month we consume more than 500GB.

I also have a home server, wired, but most of the clients are wifi.

The router has been great at handling all that workload.
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Old 01-02-17, 03:37 PM   #10
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi View Post
The new trend in routers are "mesh routers": They are easier and friendlier to set up, and more easily expandable (you add mesh units as needed) so it's easier to eliminate dead spots.

They are new so some might have some kinks in certain situations, but they are mostly simple to install. They are more expensive, usually $300 or more for enough units (2-3) to cover a 3500 sq.ft multi-story home.

The leading models in mesh routers, as far as I know, are the Netgear Orbi, the eero, Google WiFi (yes, made by Google), Luma (made by a company bought by Amazon) and the Ubiquiti (Amplifi HD model). You need to read up on reviews to decide for yourself. The Orbi seems to get the most positive reviews.

Another option is, if someone in your home has T-Mobile cell service, they will let you have a router, to be returned when you stop service with them, with a $25 refundable deposit. The reason is that they want you to have good wifi at home so you can use their wifi calling feature, but the router is otherwise a normal, pretty good router, I think made by Asus. That way, you don't even have to purchase a router of your own.
You buy it outright even if you don't have T-Mobile. I picked up one for$60.
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Old 01-02-17, 04:11 PM   #11
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Raul3 View Post
I replaced mine last year. Also got an Archer C9 (TP Link).

It works great, I don't think I made any special changes, it has a lot of settings, but I'm not at home right now to verify.

We are a family of 4, 2 teenage daughters that stream a lot. We also watch a lot of Netflix, HBO GO, etc. In a month we consume more than 500GB.

I also have a home server, wired, but most of the clients are wifi.

The router has been great at handling all that workload.
Bandwidth. speed and coverage are all different things. If your home has a complicated layout with a lot of solid floors and walls, your biggest problem will be getting to the furthest corners. That's where the mesh system has a an advantage, because you can add a unit wherever there is a deadspot. The strategy is different than having one very good router centrally located.
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Old 01-02-17, 08:59 PM   #12
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I picked up a set of 3 Luma mesh router devices on sale for $300. I haven't had to reset them since I had them setup. Pretty happy so far.
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Old 01-03-17, 12:53 PM   #13
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Everyone is doing mesh. Now it's Linksys's turn: http://www.theverge.com/ces/2017/1/3...wifi-ces-2017:

Three units for $499!
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Old 01-03-17, 04:55 PM   #14
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I bought an Archer C8 for cheap last year. It's been solid, no complaints, and improved my coverage.
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Old 01-04-17, 08:28 AM   #15
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by edstein View Post
I picked up a set of 3 Luma mesh router devices on sale for $300. I haven't had to reset them since I had them setup. Pretty happy so far.
I pre ordered my Luma set up (it was painful how they released these things). I love them however I do think I have an issue once in a blue moon with my modem which causes me to have to reset the whole thing. Performance wise they are great. Added bonus is you can "hardwire" older components to it like the Xbox 360 and get far better wireless signal with it.
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Old 01-04-17, 06:39 PM   #16
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Sadly, the days of the $20 functional but reliable routers are gone forever!

Who the hell wants to pay $300 for a god-damn *router*? I guess those same individuals who pay $1000+ for a receiver in the audio world? Must be nice.

The more important thing is to have a system with a great wifi-card... so that your system's possibility of picking up weak SSID signals is excellent.
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Old 01-05-17, 09:06 AM   #17
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
We've been using Ubiqiti routers for the last year or so at the office, and I can't recommend that company highly enough, they've been pretty great to us.

Their enterprise version requires a separate management computer (or Pi) and compatible PoE, but the "Mesh" aspect works incredibly well (and so easily), really impressive stuff.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psi View Post
Yes Ubiquiti makes mostly enterprise stuff and only recently has tried to get into the high-end consumer market. You have to be careful which model you choose because some require enterprise-level skills to set up.
I stumbled across an Ars article on the Ubiquiti products as well just before the holidays. It's nothing but high praise and has me strongly considering getting them for our townhouse.

The setup seems a bit involved, but manageable. I'd be curious to hear more feedback.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/...wi-fi-gear-is/

I did see several companies released mesh products yesterday at CES, but I feel their regular products are iffy, I'm not sure I'd trust high priced mesh solutions form them.
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Old 01-05-17, 05:05 PM   #18
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Superman07 View Post
I stumbled across an Ars article on the Ubiquiti products as well just before the holidays. It's nothing but high praise and has me strongly considering getting them for our townhouse.

The setup seems a bit involved, but manageable. I'd be curious to hear more feedback.

http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/...wi-fi-gear-is/

I did see several companies released mesh products yesterday at CES, but I feel their regular products are iffy, I'm not sure I'd trust high priced mesh solutions form them.
The models reviewed in that article are what I still would consider enterprise level. They require some level of technical know-how and willingness to get into the details of set-up.

Their models designed for the home market are the AmpliFi LR and AmpliFi HD. When they work right, they are supposed to be completely plug-and-play, even though it doesn't always work out that way:

(That channel has a lot of instructional videos on the many Ubiquiti wifi systems, mostly for pros or geeks).
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Old 01-05-17, 08:06 PM   #19
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I like the main box on the AmpliFi HD but the "Mesh" extensions look like they may be a bit of an eye sore.

Regardless, I have nothing but praise for Ubiquiti products thus far and would probably give the AmplifiHD a shot if I was in the market, and they seem to regularly update it.

I noticed Best Buy is carrying the Eero (3 pack is $499), Luma (3 pack is $399), Netgear Orbi (2 pack, $400), and occasionally Google Wifi (1 pack is $129 and 3 packs are $299) now if you want the ability to return locally. Since Google is the biggest name brand and also the cheapest, it is in limited stock right now.

Last edited by RichC2; 01-05-17 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 01-06-17, 08:20 AM   #20
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

I also have the C9. No complaints at all, but I do miss some of the advanced features of my old Tomato WRT router. For me a single router works fine so I'm not into the "mesh" hype.
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Old 01-06-17, 11:09 AM   #21
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rexinnih View Post
Ok, it's time to get a new router. We've added a few smart devices (Ring doorbell, Nest Thermostat, Amazon Echo), the kids Netflix and my wife is always streaming videos. And there's that Internet thing we use a lot.
Have a Netgear router (R6100) that we got a few years back and now with slow connections and dropouts, assume it's time to upgrade.

What are the recommendations out there. I see tri-band/multi-bands out there.

Thanks,
Hi all - quick update. After the great recommendations in this thread and researching on the interweb, and of course aesthetic consultation with my wife, we decided to go for the Ubiquity Amplifi HD. I was going back and forth between the Amplifi and the Luma but eventually decided on the Amplifi.

1. Reason to upgrade - had one router and multiple slow/dead spots including where we use the most (downstairs) and the master bedroom. In these areas, pages would load slow, Netfix streaming would drop frequently, take long to load and cut to the Netflix red circle of death multiple times when watching. We've also started to add a few more "smart" items to the house, TVs, Amazon Echo, Nest Thermostat, Ring doorbell, etc. and this also began to drain the pipeline.

2. Me = a little more technical than the average bear but not nearly an IT Pro :-)

3. Ordered the Amplifi from Amazon and got it last night. Thought about putting set up off until the weekend but had about 30 minutes before putting the kids to bed to kill so thought "why not"

4. Set up - opened the box and very nice packaging and presentation. Booklet to set up was pretty clear and written for the average consumer. Downloaded the Android app to help with set up. An absolute plug and play breeze! Unplugged the old router and followed the literally plug in the new router directions. Once that was up and running after a few minutes, it was time to set up the two included mesh points. Thought they would be larger and more stand outish but not so IMHO. Simply plugged one in downstairs in one of the dead zones and after a few minutes, it did an automatic sync with the router. Did the same for the upstairs bedroom dead zone.

5. WAF - Wife Acceptance Factor. Of course, the final test is to get the spousal approval. I booted up the computer we have downstairs, hooked up to the new Wi-Fi and asked her to do some tests on pages that were notoriously slow. She sat down and the increased speed was noticeable from the start. (insert husband happy dance)

6. Before bed, I usually watch some Netfix on Amazon Fire in a previous slow to connect and Netflix red spin of death location. Experienced no problems with quick connection and no drop outs

Maybe this all could have also happened with an upgrade to a new tri-band modem but first impression with the Ubiquiti Amplifi HD is extremely positive. I still need to add on a few things and do some tweaking but the app interface is great with the info it provides and still have more to explore.

Thanks again for the recommendations!
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Old 01-06-17, 03:15 PM   #22
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

Glad it worked out for you. A few questions:

- Where did you place the mesh units, how far from the hub and on what what floors? You mentioned you have a multi-story home. How strong is the connection between hub and mesh units as shown on your phone app?

- How about naming of the new network? Can you give it the same name and password as your old network? I would hate to have to reconfigure wifi networks for all of my home devices.
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Old 01-06-17, 06:22 PM   #23
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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Originally Posted by Psi View Post
- How about naming of the new network? Can you give it the same name and password as your old network? I would hate to have to reconfigure wifi networks for all of my home devices.
If you give it the same SSID and WPA2 password, then you will not have to reconfigure all your clients. They will automatically connect to the new router without issue.
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Old 01-06-17, 09:32 PM   #24
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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If you give it the same SSID and WPA2 password, then you will not have to reconfigure all your clients. They will automatically connect to the new router without issue.
I understand, and that was my question. Can you name it anything you want, including the same name as previous?
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Old 01-06-17, 09:45 PM   #25
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Re: 2017 - Time for a new router - what do you recommend?

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I understand, and that was my question. Can you name it anything you want, including the same name as previous?
Yes you can use the same ssid and pw so you don't have to setup any other devices again
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