Nov 24, 2010
I have had the Asus ac3100 since it was released and it has been problematic lately, also with no firmware updates for over half a year I think it's time to upgrade. It drops signal often and its range has decreased significantly. Looking for a good quality ax router that is comparable to the ac3100 or better (Yes, I can utilize ax). After scouring the internet everybody hates every brand but majority of people say stay away from Netgear, D-Link, and Linksys with some bad talk on Asus (my preferred brand). TP-Link gets applauded but I do not know much about them. I'm mainly a hardware/builder with decent experience in networking. Anybody have any suggestions?
That is the key problem with wifi. None of them actually make the wifi chipset they all buy them from 2 or 3 common suppliers. There is very little difference in the performance of the wifi radios. There is some difference between software features not related to wifi.

All the idiots with the reviews including the ones that basically say "works great for me" are actually reviewing their house more than the actual router. The way a house is built will have much more impact on the performance than small differences between brands of routers. In addition the end device is 1/2 the connection and also greatly affects the performance.

There actually is no real way to tell which router will work best. It can be something as simple as the spacing between the antenna on one router work better in your house than another.

Be very careful to read the fine print. Many so called wifi6 devices only support 80mhz channels. The key reason wifi6 is faster is because of the use of 160mhz channels. This is also why you see so many mixed reviews of wifi6. Most/many wifi6 end devices only support 80mhz. This means unless you stand on top of the router so you can also use QAM1024 you will get more or less the same performance as 802.11ac. Some times it is worse because most wifi6 also only support 2x2 mimo where 3x3 mimo on 802.11ac is more common. The key reason they only support 80mhz channels is the complexity to avoid weather radar when running 160mhz.

My recommendation is to not buy wifi6 but instead look for wifi6e. These routers are becoming more common and the 6g radio band has much more bandwidth. It has none of the radar avoidance issues and with all the extra bandwidth everyone is not stomping on each other. They largest issue with wifi performance on the 5g band is how overcrowded it is. This is also what makes using QAM1024 almost impossible at reasonable distances.