Question Need an opinion

Jun 5, 2020
3
0
10
0
Greetings everyone, I need some help picking between 3 routers:

  1. Asus Rt-Ac59u ASUS / Wiki
  2. Tp-Link Archer C80 Tp-Link
  3. Tp-Link Archer Ax10 Tp-Link / Wiki
Which one of these is the best pick overall? What are the pros and cons?

Thank you :D
 
Your first step is to look at your end devices and see which features you can use. Many end device for example only have 2 antenna so you will not be able to use the 3x3 mimo feature. Also your first 2 routers are using a non standard data encoding on the 2.4g band to get the 600 number. Many end device do not support this so you would have to check to see if it provides any value.

802.11ax is hard to say. It is fairly new but is already outdated. There are new 6ghz wifi bands that have been recently approved. This is being called wifi6e but I suspect it will be used on 802.11ac also. 802.11ax is still expensive for a product that might have a very short life span.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I would avoid the ASUS router, because of the simple fact that if you ever have problems it's going to be a nightmare trying to get help as ASUS customer service sucks these days. I recommend avoiding their products.

Between the other two, the C80 looks like it might be the better product because it has MU-MIMO and Beamforming, which the Ax10 does not seem to have. Those have become essential features to have in any router these days and can make a big difference especially if your other hardware supports those.
 
Jun 5, 2020
3
0
10
0
I'm not really interested in wifi 6, I just need a good wifi 5 performance and wifi 4 for legacy devices that might want to connect to my network.

They all feature MU-MIMO and Beamforming, the former was just not clearly specified for Ax10.

As for the antenna type, I believe all of my devices use the 2x2 type, but I'm not sure about the maximum speed.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
You are right. I totally missed it in the initial descriptions. It does have both beamforming and MU-MIMO, however I don't see that it supports 3 simultaneous streams like the C80. It ONLY says MU-MIMO, not 3x3 MU-MIMO like the C80. That may or may not even matter to you.

Might help to know what the use case is?
 
In general the so called "number" that matches most common end device is 1200. 1450 if they have 3 antenna feeds. You can get lots of devices in the $50-$75 range and as long as you stay with the larger manufactures they will likely perform about the same. This is very mature technology so you find very little difference between major brands.

Beamforming and mu-mimo is mostly marketing. The actual real impact on people using devices in their house is almost impossible to detect.

The large advancement is so called wifi6 since it uses a different method to allocate the radio spectrum. It should be less susceptible to interference.....still not enough data to say.

The problem is the new 6ghz band will require different radio chips. Going to be interesting to see if they go with 2.4 5 and 6 radios or if they combine the 5 and 6 into one radio chip. All this extra bandwidth will be far more beneficial that any method of sharing. The problem with wifi is too many people competing for the same radio bandwidth. All this extra bandwidth is going to make a huge difference.....at least until they come up with even newer routers that attempt to use all the radio channels for single devices.
 
Jun 5, 2020
3
0
10
0
You are right. I totally missed it in the initial descriptions. It does have both beamforming and MU-MIMO, however I don't see that it supports 3 simultaneous streams like the C80. It ONLY says MU-MIMO, not 3x3 MU-MIMO like the C80. That may or may not even matter to you.

Might help to know what the use case is?
Just basic home use in an apartment building. Web-browsing, streaming, downloading, a little bit of gaming...

Asus has good firmware support and I've used their ac58u for a long time. As for the customer support, I don't recall the last time I ever had a good experience with any, so that doesn't really matter.

I've never had any Tp Link model, but they seem to offer good quality for the price.

Overall, I don't have much experience with network equipment, I just buy what seems to offer the most for a lower price. Now I'm not so sure, since the product range in my country has reduced (probably due to the pandemic situation).
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
As for the customer support, I don't recall the last time I ever had a good experience with any, so that doesn't really matter.
Three names. EVGA. Corsair. Fractal design. If you ever have a choice between other companies and one of those, you choose one of those. They have superb customer service.

As for router companies, I can't really vouch for them. I have dealt with Netgear a few times and they were above average helpful. Maybe not over the top helpful, but good enough. However, I currently have three TP-Link AC1200 Archer A6 routers and have had zero problems with any of them.
 
Last edited:
Jun 29, 2020
5
0
10
0
Just basic home use in an apartment building. Web-browsing, streaming, downloading, a little bit of gaming...

Asus has good firmware support and I've used their ac58u for a long time. As for the customer support, I don't recall the last time I ever had a good experience with any, so that doesn't really matter.

I've never had any Tp Link model, but they seem to offer good quality for the price.

Overall, I don't have much experience with network equipment, I just buy what seems to offer the most for a lower price. Now I'm not so sure, since the product range in my country has reduced (probably due to the pandemic situation).
We you able to decide which one to pick? I'm also having a hard time choosing a good router. Here are my picks:
ASUS RT-AC59U (around $76)
Pros: Cheapest of the 3 ; Recently released (Oct 2019)
Cons: Doesn't support bridge or MESH mode (in case I re-purpose it); Doesn't have any removable antenna

TP-LINK AX50/AX3000 (around $128)
Pros: Latest Wifi standard (Wifi 6) (I have Wifi 6 supported device). Recently released (Nov 2019)
Cons: Common negative reviews about heating issues; Doesn't have any removable antenna

ASUS RT-AC680 (around $140)
Pros: Have multiple features (bridge, AP, router and MESH mode); Removable antennas
Cons: Most expensive of the 3; Old manufacture date (Sept 2013)
 
Only you can decide what has value. I would not buy wifi6 stuff it is already obsolete. I would not be conserved about removable antenna. It is technically illegal to put larger ones on and the radio chips are matched to antenna so it provides little benefit. The problem generally is the small antenna in your end devices anyway.

The reason the 59u is cheaper than the 68u is it has a much lower speed cpu and much less memory. They did this to cut costs I suspect. It all depends on what software feature you are going to use and the speed of your internet. The 68u can run third party firmware like merlin.
 
Jun 29, 2020
5
0
10
0
Thanks for your suggestion!

Agree on your point with Wifi 6. I did hear about "WiFi 6E" that's coming soon.
One more thing. Does the manufacturing date of the product matter? I'm hesitant to but the old ones since their firmware/software update might become obsolete sooner as compared to newer models.
 
Asus is one the better companies as far as software update goes. They used a single image over the vast majority of their routers so if they put out bug fixes for the newest version you will get it on older ones. Tplink also does this on most their routers and maybe some of the other big manufactures. It tends to be the "value" routers that abandon them after a year or so.

To some extent the manufacture date matters but that is more to avoid older technology. Like 10yrs from now you know that 802.11ax stuff is going to be wifi6 and not wifi6e.

802.11ac has been out and stable for so long and nothing new has been on the market until the new 802.11ax stuff. The marketing guy of course want everyone to buy a new router every year or two. With little new they started to push mu-mimo and mesh which makes very little difference to most people. The same as they started to use non standard data encoding to get bigger numbers to con people into buying something new even when their end devices could not actually use the feature.

Now that we have new technology coming to market we finally might have a reason to upgrade. The addition of the 6ghz radio band is going to be one of the largest things we have seen in many years.
 
Reactions: tenhundred
Jun 29, 2020
5
0
10
0
Thanks again! I'm not that much familiar with recent network technologies so this helped a lot! Wifi 6E might take a while so I'll just proceed on buying Wifi 5 for now. An upgrade is quite needed due to the situation we all have :)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
The addition of the 6ghz radio band is going to be one of the largest things we have seen in many years.
Can you expand on this please and explain why this is going to be a bigger deal than either WiFi6 or 6e, when we can expect to see this translate to devices, what kinds of devices or designations will support this and whether any of it might be compatible with anything that's even currently coming down the pipe to the consumer segment anytime soon? Or provide a link to an existing article or paper that does shed some light on these questions?
 
Wifi 6 is just a different radio encoding. There are a couple of advantages but the biggest one is it can use 160mhz blocks rather than 80mhz. This is the key thing that causes the increase in speed.

Problem is it is very messy to implement. In most countries there is only 190mhz of bandwidth allowed and it is broken into 2 parts with a gap in the middle. They are also allowed to use some the area in this gap but it has lots of different rules on power output and avoiding weather radar.

The FCC approved the 6ghz blocks much more quickly than expected. I think there is over 800mhz of full power bandwidth and even more that can be used at lower power.

This is the key thing there is lots more bandwidth so people at least for a while will not be stomping on each other like they are now. Still it is unlicensed bandwidth so there are not restrictions to it being just wifi that uses it.

wifi6e basically is the 6ghz change. It will be interesting to see how they implement it. Will they just make the 5g radios cover the 6g band since the top of the 5g is very close frequency or are they going to put 3 radio chips in equipment.

I have not found a lot of information I strongly suspect the chip makers were surprised the government went so quickly.
 
I have not seen anything about dates on wifi6e. I suspect what is going on now is the chip makers have sample chips and are working on getting all the documentation and test results required by the fcc so they can offer these chips to the router manufactures. Many years ago I used to know people who worked on stuff like this so I could get some inside information but I retired and am now on the outside like everyone else. I would not be surprised to see something by the end of this year or maybe 1st quarter next year.

This is mostly more me laughing at people that have to be first in line to buy new technology. They try to justify paying a premium as "future proof". They got burned again because technology changed and their "future" was outdated less than 3 months after official release. The price on wifi6 stuff has already started to drop compared to 9 months ago when it was first on the market.

From what end consumers are saying it is hard to say if the extra cost of wifi6 is really justified. They key problem is that these device attempt to use 2 times the bandwidth when we already have a massive issue with people stomping on each other already. In addition to the the extra bandwidth wifi 6 attempts to use qam1024 to encode even more data into the signal. Problem is this is even more sensitive to interference so the distance you can use these very high data rates is limited.

I always play wait and see on new technology. I guess it depends if you "NEED" a new router or you "WANT" a new router.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Well, I agree with you there. Anybody looking for "future proof", no matter what area of enterprise it is, already has "right now stupid" down pat, because we know there is no such thing as future proof especially when it comes to computer hardware.

On the other hand, it does make sense to be looking at whatever is the latest, but vetted, technology, so that at the very least you can try to get features or performance that are going to serve you for a while regardless that there is no proofing against the future.

I like to use this example. I know my car is going to eventually run out of gas on a long drive, which can assume to be the "future" for this comparison. It doesn't mean I'm only going to put 25 dollars worth of gas instead of filling the tank so I can get the most out of what is available to me even IF I might not need the full tank to get to the next gas station. Because I might, you never know. :)
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts