Question Need an ideal high end router... Please suggest...

nathancorp

Honorable
Oct 15, 2014
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Hello everyone,

My current router is nearing end of life and i need a high end router that works for my extensive use. So here is what i need exactly:

  1. I have 50-75 devices and will need to add more so i need a router than can handle that load and perform optimally.
  2. I Can only use 2.4GHz as of now, since some of the devices im using are incompatible with 5 GHZ, i currently use a Netgear 5GHZ router but have disabled that frequency to ensure compatibility.
  3. This router is solely for my work cabin, the rest of my house has its own wifi mesh, so the load only comes in from devices in my cabin, which as stated in point 1 range from 50-75 and more would be added soon.
  4. My budget for this router is around $400-$500 but i can stretch that if i get something ideal.
  5. The router is used for work and gaming, i need at least 2 ports that directly connect to my PC.
  6. I use Windows 10 Professional.
  7. Edited - All devices need to be on the same network and SSID.
I believe i've covered all that is needed, if i haven't, please forgive me and feel free to ask.

Thank you and i look forward to some consult.
 
Last edited:
You need nothing real special I suspect.

If the devices are incompatible with 5g that means they are older and do not support the newer protocols. So it does not pay to buy a router that say can do 4x4 mimo or some other high density data encoding that your end devices will not support.

My best bet would be to buy 3 very inexpensive 802.11n routers, if you can find them with only 2.4g radios that might save you money. I would look for devices with gigabit lan ports but it depends on how much data you think is going between the devices.

Set the radios to 20mhz channel width and set them to channels 1,6,11. Only 1 of the routers will run as router run the other 2 as AP. I would use different SSID and try to balance your device between the 3 units.

I get your total cost will be under $150 and you should get optimum performance.

Your main problem is so many devices sharing a single radio so having 3 radios will help. After that nothing matters a lot, the cpu even on inexpensive routers can easily handle close to 1gbit of wan/lan traffic. The wifi radios are being limited by your end devices since even inexpensive 802.11n routers will run 300mbps.
 

nathancorp

Honorable
Oct 15, 2014
99
2
10,635
0
Hello everyone,

My current router is nearing end of life and i need a high end router that works for my extensive use. So here is what i need exactly:

  1. I have 50-75 devices and will need to add more so i need a router than can handle that load and perform optimally.
  2. I Can only use 2.4GHz as of now, since some of the devices im using are incompatible with 5 GHZ, i currently use a Netgear 5GHZ router but have disabled that frequency to ensure compatibility.
  3. This router is solely for my work cabin, the rest of my house has its own wifi mesh, so the load only comes in from devices in my cabin, which as stated in point 1 range from 50-75 and more would be added soon.
  4. My budget for this router is around $400-$500 but i can stretch that if i get something ideal.
  5. The router is used for work and gaming, i need at least 2 ports that directly connect to my PC.
  6. I use Windows 10 Professional.
I believe i've covered all that is needed, if i haven't, please forgive me and feel free to ask.

Thank you and i look forward to some consult.
You need nothing real special I suspect.

If the devices are incompatible with 5g that means they are older and do not support the newer protocols. So it does not pay to buy a router that say can do 4x4 mimo or some other high density data encoding that your end devices will not support.

My best bet would be to buy 3 very inexpensive 802.11n routers, if you can find them with only 2.4g radios that might save you money. I would look for devices with gigabit lan ports but it depends on how much data you think is going between the devices.

Set the radios to 20mhz channel width and set them to channels 1,6,11. Only 1 of the routers will run as router run the other 2 as AP. I would use different SSID and try to balance your device between the 3 units.

I get your total cost will be under $150 and you should get optimum performance.

Your main problem is so many devices sharing a single radio so having 3 radios will help. After that nothing matters a lot, the cpu even on inexpensive routers can easily handle close to 1gbit of wan/lan traffic. The wifi radios are being limited by your end devices since even inexpensive 802.11n routers will run 300mbps.
Yes correct, i certainly dont need anything fancy. However all devices do need to be on the same SSID and network, which is something i forgot to mention and have now pointed out, my apologies.

I know this requirement adds to the challenge, so let me know what you suggest in light of this information.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Yes correct, i certainly dont need anything fancy. However all devices do need to be on the same SSID and network, which is something i forgot to mention and have now pointed out, my apologies.

I know this requirement adds to the challenge, so let me know what you suggest in light of this information.
As long as they are on the same subnet, why do they HAVE to be on the same SSID? You will be much better off by distributing 75 devices across multiple WIFI sources. The simplest way to do that is to have multiple SSIDs. It is a little more hassle to configure things to multiple SSIDs, but it will be the best possible performance. 75 devices on a single 2.4Ghz WIFI is not a good thing.
 
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nathancorp

Honorable
Oct 15, 2014
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As long as they are on the same subnet, why do they HAVE to be on the same SSID? You will be much better off by distributing 75 devices across multiple WIFI sources. The simplest way to do that is to have multiple SSIDs. It is a little more hassle to configure things to multiple SSIDs, but it will be the best possible performance. 75 devices on a single 2.4Ghz WIFI is not a good thing.
I am actually ignorant about this so it may be possible, ill have to check on if it works on different IDs, but for e.g. when they say all need to be on the same network im guessing it means you can use different SSIDs but the same network right? Due to covid i cant have an expert visit my home so having to do it myself. So then, say i manage to split to different SSIDs, which router and brand would you suggest? A link would be appreciated.

Thank you!
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I am actually ignorant about this so it may be possible, ill have to check on if it works on different IDs, but for e.g. when they say all need to be on the same network im guessing it means you can use different SSIDs but the same network right? Due to covid i cant have an expert visit my home so having to do it myself. So then, say i manage to split to different SSIDs, which router and brand would you suggest? A link would be appreciated.

Thank you!
A SSID can be associated with any network. The network is the IP space. So as long as device A connected to SSID "one" gets the same subnet IP address as device B connected to SSID "two" , it should all work fine.
My recommendation would be three used Asus RT-N56U routers from E-bay. $20 each. Asus firmware has a "one button" option to run the router as an access point. This is the key. If you get three N56U routers, you run one of them as a router and two of them as access points, with a wired connection back to the router. Those three devices could all be connected with 10 ft ethernet cables. It is the configuration (channel 1, 6, 11) for the three units. Then a unique SSID associated with each one of them.
 

microtank

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Mar 26, 2021
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Hence, splitting them across three channels with unique SSIDs to ensure distribution.
How would you change the channels? They would need to be wired. The only way you could do that is have WDS on whatever frequency then broadcast a seperate 2.4 ghz with it's own channel
 

microtank

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Mar 26, 2021
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Did you read post #6 ? I recommended a wired connection between the three routers (two as APs and one as a router).
ahh. that'd work. But most people aren't willing to drill a hole for a cord, or have any visible cord. Still would be useful to know the mbps plan, what the important devices are, and what is small summary that needs to be connected.. Problem is using a QoS on that man devices will a pain, especially if the router can't specifically remember the IP given to all the devices. I dunno, 50-75 devices... ya the wired wireless routers is good, especially if they stay in the area, but in the end, even giving all the devices 5 mbps, would still require at least 400 mbps, and that's giving some mbps on reserve when it's REALLY needed. Either way it's a conundrum
 
Why would you drill holes. You buy three routers and put them next to each other. You are in effect making your own router with 3 2.4g radios. They do make routers like this for commercial installs but they are way out of his price range. That actually was his main question.

At this point you are doing the best you can do. The problem is the lack of wifi bandwidth not WAN bandwidth. There is no form of QoS in wifi. The largest issue when you have lots of devices is when they can not actually hear each other and transmit at the same time. This is why there really is no set number of devices a single radio can handle. A bunch of devices like wifi controlled light bulbs is very different than even 2 or 3 users trying to watch netflix.

This is why it takes careful planning and allocation of devices to different radios to try to maximize this.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
Why would you drill holes. You buy three routers and put them next to each other. You are in effect making your own router with 3 2.4g radios. They do make routers like this for commercial installs but they are way out of his price range. That actually was his main question.

At this point you are doing the best you can do. The problem is the lack of wifi bandwidth not WAN bandwidth. There is no form of QoS in wifi. The largest issue when you have lots of devices is when they can not actually hear each other and transmit at the same time. This is why there really is no set number of devices a single radio can handle. A bunch of devices like wifi controlled light bulbs is very different than even 2 or 3 users trying to watch netflix.

This is why it takes careful planning and allocation of devices to different radios to try to maximize this.
You can set a per client bandwidth limit on some routers. So if there are employees or guests that are connecting to the wifi, you can limit them to say 10mbps each. That would help keep the wifi from being too overly congested too quickly.
 
Only lan/wan bandwidth unless you are talking a commercial router. There is no way to limit lan-wifi or wifi-wifi usage.

The big problem is not the bandwidth it is the half duplex problem. Even tiny data transmission are disruptive. The largest issue comes when the client can talk to the router but can not actually detect each other signals. They will tend to transmit at the same time. So as you add more clients this issue becomes larger and larger.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
Depending on what you're using the wifi AP for, most clients may be trying to access the internet. So limiting the bandwidth is effectively limiting the WIFI to client downlink(from AP to Client).

Once you do that, then also enable Airtime Fairness, the wifi AP will delay packets sent to individual clients to give even transmission to all clients. This will optimize things from a client's download perspective. Which is what most client devices use the internet for, not so much upload. https://documentation.meraki.com/MR/WiFi_Basics_and_Best_Practices/Air_Time_Fairness_(ATF)

Now again, this is assuming most of your clients are just trying to access the internet. If you business is more like a photo/video studio or 3D cad server and everyone is trying to access a NAS server or each other's PC's, then this all goes out the window.
 

nathancorp

Honorable
Oct 15, 2014
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Thank you for all the informative correspondence and advice. I am still taking it in due to not really being well versed technically s but i believe the issue is Wifi bandwith as pointed out by kanewolf. An expensive router isnt the solution, so i need to make sure i plan and better understand this so i can use multiple SSIDs using the same IP. Ill mull over this (more to get a solid understanding) and then revert with questions.

For some more insight, videos and gaming is/are only facilitated on my main workstation, the rest of these devices are bulbs, hubs (Samsung Smartthings, Broadlink Pro), Alexa devices, phones and tablets. In rare circumstances there may be 2 individuals running videos on 2 separate devices, but this is an exception.
 

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