Question Help in choosing a new router


Nov 5, 2017

I am looking for a new router for my home, my main priority is coverage, the whole house is made of wood but not the basement where it is made out of concrete. I have an average Internet connection of about 50 Mbps so i won't use a routers gigabit connectors or the 5ghz connection to its potential, so speed is not a necessity. I will be searching for my router on the used market because its always cheaper there.

All of these are between 45 and 80 usd. Here are my choices:
Asus rt-ac87u (50$)
Asus rt-ac88u (80$)
Linksys wrt-1900acs (50$)
Netgear Nighthawk PRO XR300 (60$)
Netgear R7500 Nighthawk ×4 Ac2350 (50$)
This question tends to be messy because router manufactures use a different methods to measure coverage. Lets say they measure the distance they consider their connection "fast". Some vendor might say 50mbps other might be 100mbps. You can't really introduce the concept of speed into this, to extend this farther if you were to replace the router with one that uses a more dense data encoding so now it is twice as fast when you sit on your couch. Does that really increase the coverage.

So the better answer and the one that is measured in a standard method required by the FCC Is transmit power. The stronger the power the farther the signal will go and the better it will penetrate walls. The thing that makes this very uninteresting is almost every major router puts out very close to the same power just under the maximum legally allowed. What that means is the signal itself goes the same distance more or less for all better quality routers.....and many very cheap one also.

In addition the router is only 1/2 the connection. Your end devices many times are the problem. Unlike routers many end device have very small antenna and low power transmitters. So the device might hear the router but is not strong enough to talk back to the router.

There really is no magic to solve the problem of concrete eating wifi signals. I would buy the router based on other features in the router. Just be very careful to not fall into the bigger number is better trap. Again your end device is the problem. Many router get the big numbers by using 4x4 mimo and non standard data encoding. Most end devices only have 2 antenna and some like apple only support encoding methods that are part of the official standard. Pretty much you will have good results with any of the 50-60 routers on your list.

If you get poor coverage in the basement try some form of wire to extend the network and put in another router running as a AP. Ethernet is the best, next would be MoCA if you have tv coax cable in both locations, then you could try powerline networks. If you buy the newer av2-1000 or av2-2000 units you should easily get above 50mbps, many people get 200-300.
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