Question Question for guru bill001G about networking options

May 16, 2021
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So ive been reading, trying to educate myself on the best budget options for my setup and have seen that bill001G knows his stuff :) Running spectrum, stock modem, to rt-ac87u router, which ive been reading lately isnt supported by merlin anymore and only has a beta firmware to address some security issue, so i want to upgrade. I do game, not crazy and via ethernet but do use wireless for devices. Considering the cm32 ac2600 modem/router, or should i just stick with stock modem and get an ac3100 router (ac88u) i can score both cheap atm so hoping bill001G would chime in, only requirements is mine and my girls rig are both connected via ethernet and we have about 3/5 other wireless devices at random times. Thx and thx bro :)
 
There are many other people here who can answer questions like this that are mostly opinion.

For your requirements a extremely dumb and simple router would be best in some ways. Even very inexpensive routers can pass wan/lan traffic at full gigabit speeds on ethernet. The simpler the software means less fancy features that can be misconfigured to leave security holes. In general most routers are very secure if they have no way to be configured remotely and you do not use port forwarding or things like UPnP. It is stuff like remote sharing of USB connected storage to a router for example that would have more security issues.

You have to be careful about chasing big numbers. Your current router already supports a bunch of stuff it is highly unlikely your end devices can use. Almost no end device has 4 antenna to support 4x4 mimo. In addition both those asus routers support a non standard form of wifi encoding called QAM1024. Even QAM256 is not standard on 2.4g. These are technology that were "borrowed" form the newer 802.11ax (wifi6) standard but it was not done exactly the same way so a wifi6 device can not use it. There are very limited number of end devices that can use this higher encoding and even those only really work at short distances. So a lot of the bigger number buys you nothing.

Only you can decide which software feature is worth paying extra for.

I would actually recommend you do nothing as long as your current router works properly. I would not worry a lot about patches the router firmware tends to be very stable a couple of years after release. The reason for this recommendation is that wifi6e is just coming to market...chip shortage is affecting it like many other things. In about a year or so I suspect wifi6e devices will cost almost the same as current routers. Wifi6e is going to be a massive improvement, not because it has fancy technology it is pretty much the same as wifi6. There is a massive amount of new bandwidth on the 6g radio channels. For a while at least everyone can use 160mhz wide radio bands and not stomp on their neighbors. Might as well wait and spend your money when you get something that will give you a much larger improvement than some data encoding methods that are basically hacks to get a bigger number to put on the box.
 
Reactions: SamirD and Tekjive
May 16, 2021
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Ty for taking the time to reply, ya i was kinda thinking i was overthinking this, and of course those numbers they put out makes you drool right, lol. I appreciate the no bs approach, more then you know :) i think im just going to sit pretty atm and wait like you suggested.

My network has never let me down, never dropped or cut me off, etc so i think youre right. Whats that saying “if it aint broke dont fix it” lol. I did just come across an ac5300 just as cheap as the ac3100, which is so tempting, but honestly the main reason that had me thinking of upgrading was that Merlin dropped support of my ac87u and that beta patch for the security issue, which the beta has addressed, so ya, ill just wait for the wifi6e :)

Thx again for getting back so quick. I read your replies to a few other networking questions and really dug your no bs approach, lol :) take care and stay safe out there!

Rich
 
Reactions: SamirD

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