Question Help with choosing a new router ?

Dec 14, 2022
Hello and thanks in advance for your assistance.

I'm looking to purchase a new router. I have an ancient Apple AirportExtreme and it recently started having issues reaching all areas of my home and it is long past time to replace it.

I need a router to cover my entire home which is about 3,000 square feet. We are primarily an Apple home as we have several MacBooks, Apple TV's and iPhones on which we use WIFI. I'd like the new router to also support the wireless printer we have. We also have a server that connects to wireless security cams.

We have Spectrum internet if that makes a difference, With our current internet we get about 450Mbps download speeds and 23 Mbps upload speeds.

In the near future we plan to upgrade to 1Gb internet as my wife downloads medical images for work.

What would be a router that provides good coverage and quick speeds? Just as important it needs to be easy to setup as my technical ability is not high.

Thank you again,
There is no magic router that has more coverage. Almost every router made transmits very near the legal allowed maximum. Even if there was some router that transmitted at illegal levels it is only half the connection. You end device must be able to transmit a signal back to the router and in some cases those devices do not transmit at full power. Mostly things that want to save battery power or can't have large antenna may not transmit at the full power.

Now maybe you could find a router that would run a bit faster..but the signal would not go farther. This all depends on exactly how old the apple router is. They make major changes to the hardware but keep the name the same over many years.
Again your end device is 1/2 the communication so it does not good for example to buy the newest wifi6e router. It would just drop back to support what your older device can do.

In general most people get about 300mbps fairly close to the router and 100-150 farther away. This assumes the most common type of radio chips, you can get more if both the router and the end device have high end radios. Still even spending huge money you will not get much over 600-700mbps.

Pretty much almost all routers are take out of the box and they work. Most have unique wifi network names and passwords from the factory printed on a sticker. Too many lazy people would not bother to change them when they used to use the same one on all routers.
It is still recommended you change them to something you like better. You don't want to have to run over and look at the sticker because you can't remember the wifi password. Wifi printer and wifi cameras don't care what brand of router you use.....luckily apple never made the wifi chips themselves.
If you had a printer that was physically connected to the router say with a USB cable then the router must have a special feature.

Anything that needs high speed you want to connect via a ethernet cable.

There is no real solution to the coverage problem. Don't get tempted by the marketing flashing "mesh" garbage. This should be your very last choice. Your nieghbors buying mesh systems is likely part of your coverage problems. It is not that the signals do cover your house, they do and go even to the neighbors house. The problem is even though the signal exists you are getting too much interference for the signal to be usable. So now ever house is transmitting a bunch more signals rather than just the ones from the main router.

So all the better solution involve placing a AP or a cheap router running as a AP in the remote room.
Best is if you have ethernet cables to the remote room.
Next would be if you have coax cable you can use MoCA, the modern moca can get full 1gbit.
Then you would look at powerline networks. This uses the electrical wires as ethernet cables. It is somewhat limited in speed, maybe you get 130mbps. It also is affected by the quality and distance of the electrical wires it must pass over.
...............and then very last when none of these work you look at mesh. If you do actually look at mesh buy the more expensive devices that have dedicated wifi radio chips to talk to the main router and then different ones to talk to the end user devices. Key to mesh working though is placement of the device. You can not just stick it in the remote room where it will get the same bad signal from the main router it needs to be placed where it gets good signal from the main router and can still send the signal to the remote room. This is very tricky when walls or ceilings are absorbing the signals.
Last edited:
Dec 14, 2022
Thanks for the detailed response. I will admit some of it is over my head. From what you are saying the best solution may be to simply install another router and use it as an access point? Would that work using the Apple router and another device?

The other issue that I don't understand is this. If I take my laptop in a remote room and run a speed test the download speed decreases to the 300+ Mbps range and I am able to connect. When I try my iPhone in the same location I cannot connect to the WIFI at all.

This is all a new issue that just started a few days ago.

Also my WIFI printer which is only located 30Ft away although in a different room cannot get a connection.
Do you think the issue is Spectrum as opposed to the router?
You can use any router as a AP. Most modern routers have a bridge/ap mode but you can use ones that do not have the option just search for how to use a router as a AP.

Hard to say what the difference is. To many variables involved with difference between end devices.

My guess would be is some devices are using 2.4 and other 5. Try to use different SSID for the 2 radios so you can force the device to use the one that is best for each device. 2.4 will be slower than 5 has more issues going distance