Question Router/AP recommendation>

Oct 5, 2021
2
0
10
0
After a few years of ever-increasing trouble with my current D-link router setup (unstable wifi, poor range, dropped signal, device connected but says no internet connection, etc) I'm biting the bullet and getting a new one. But I need advice.

  • I don't want to spend more than about $150 CAD
  • I want to set it up as an AP in the center of my house, using the old router for the base wired network (it's always been fine with wired connections, just wifi was crap). There is an ethernet connection there already.
  • I have a 1 story house with plaster walls, about 1200 sq ft. It needs to have enough power to provide decent connection in the basement. Back yard would be nice as well.
In my price range, I have found a few router options.
  • ASUS RT-AC65 -- AC1750
  • Linksys EA7300-CA -- AC1750
  • Netgear R6350-100CNS -- AC1750
  • ASUS RT-AX55 -- AX1800
  • Linksys E7350 -- AX1800
  • TP-Link AX20 -- AX1800
I'm looking for info on brands and reliability, and which of the above support AP mode. (I guess any router technically does, but supporting it in the software is a nice-to-have I think?)

Is it worth spending a little more for Wifi 6? All my current devices are Wifi 5, but I expect when I get my next phone it will support 6.
What about spending the same as the Wifi 6 models for AC1900?

And if anyone has suggestions for dedicated APs, I'd appreciate that as well.

Thanks so much!

EDIT: Coverage isn't the issue per se. The issue is more that the wifi will often connect, but claim there is no internet, despite all other wifi devices working fine and all ethernet connections doing just fine. This happens every couple days lately with our android phones, and on rare occasions with my work laptop. Router needs to be reset for it to fix itself.

Also, some of the not-always-on ethernet devices have similar issues connecting once turned on. Specifically Xbox and steam link sometimes just claim the network doesn't exist, despite being hard wired (admittedly through 2 switches before it gets back to the router, but still.)
 
I would have to look the details up on those routers but many time routers with exact same number use the same wireless chipsets so they more or less perform the same on wifi. There is difference in other software features that only you can put a value on.

You have to be careful about comparing wifi 6 numbers to wifi5 when you do not have wifi6 devices. Depending on you current end devices the wifi6 router might be slower. The key difference is those wifi6 routers only support 2x2 mimo and the wifi 5 router supports 3x3 so when the wifi6 router drops back it is the same as a wifi5 router with a 1200 number.

Next those wifi6 router only support 80mhz....same as wifi5. This is the key feature that makes wifi6 faster. The other is qam1024 which only works at fairly short distances. So if you go with wifi6 you need to buy a router that support 160mhz channels. Bad news is many end devices also support only 80mhz channels. This is mostly because of the technical difficulties related to avoiding weather radar when using 160mhz.

If you really want a "future" router go with wifi6e that supports the 6g radio band. These are getting easier to find and you are just starting to see end devices that support it. The 6g radio band should solve the radar issue and since there is so much bandwidth there will be much less overlap with neighbors using wifi.

Hard to say what to do, I suspect the wifi6e routers will be a lot cheaper in a year or two so it might be cheaper to buy 2 routers, a wifi5 now and wifi6e later when you get end devices that can use it.

In any case all the ac1750 routers you list are fairly solid routers and you should have good results with any
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
After a few years of ever-increasing trouble with my current D-link router setup (unstable wifi, poor range, dropped signal, device connected but says no internet connection, etc) I'm biting the bullet and getting a new one. But I need advice.

  • I don't want to spend more than about $150 CAD
  • I want to set it up as an AP in the center of my house, using the old router for the base wired network (it's always been fine with wired connections, just wifi was crap). There is an ethernet connection there already.
  • I have a 1 story house with plaster walls, about 1200 sq ft. It needs to have enough power to provide decent connection in the basement. Back yard would be nice as well.
In my price range, I have found a few router options.
  • ASUS RT-AC65 -- AC1750
  • Linksys EA7300-CA -- AC1750
  • Netgear R6350-100CNS -- AC1750
  • ASUS RT-AX55 -- AX1800
  • Linksys E7350 -- AX1800
  • TP-Link AX20 -- AX1800
I'm looking for info on brands and reliability, and which of the above support AP mode. (I guess any router technically does, but supporting it in the software is a nice-to-have I think?)

Is it worth spending a little more for Wifi 6? All my current devices are Wifi 5, but I expect when I get my next phone it will support 6.
What about spending the same as the Wifi 6 models for AC1900?

And if anyone has suggestions for dedicated APs, I'd appreciate that as well.

Thanks so much!

EDIT: Coverage isn't the issue per se. The issue is more that the wifi will often connect, but claim there is no internet, despite all other wifi devices working fine and all ethernet connections doing just fine. This happens every couple days lately with our android phones, and on rare occasions with my work laptop. Router needs to be reset for it to fix itself.

Also, some of the not-always-on ethernet devices have similar issues connecting once turned on. Specifically Xbox and steam link sometimes just claim the network doesn't exist, despite being hard wired (admittedly through 2 switches before it gets back to the router, but still.)
I am a fan of Asus routers, but only the ones supported by Merlin firmware -- https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/
Asus routers (with or without Merlin) have a one button toggle for AP mode. That makes them very easy to deploy as APs.

Have you thought about getting a used router on e-bay ? Lots of people dump perfectly good routers because they have to have the latest/greatest -- even if it won't improve their WIFI.
 
Oct 5, 2021
2
0
10
0
I would have to look the details up on those routers but many time routers with exact same number use the same wireless chipsets so they more or less perform the same on wifi. There is difference in other software features that only you can put a value on.

You have to be careful about comparing wifi 6 numbers to wifi5 when you do not have wifi6 devices. Depending on you current end devices the wifi6 router might be slower. The key difference is those wifi6 routers only support 2x2 mimo and the wifi 5 router supports 3x3 so when the wifi6 router drops back it is the same as a wifi5 router with a 1200 number.

Next those wifi6 router only support 80mhz....same as wifi5. This is the key feature that makes wifi6 faster. The other is qam1024 which only works at fairly short distances. So if you go with wifi6 you need to buy a router that support 160mhz channels. Bad news is many end devices also support only 80mhz channels. This is mostly because of the technical difficulties related to avoiding weather radar when using 160mhz.

If you really want a "future" router go with wifi6e that supports the 6g radio band. These are getting easier to find and you are just starting to see end devices that support it. The 6g radio band should solve the radar issue and since there is so much bandwidth there will be much less overlap with neighbors using wifi.

Hard to say what to do, I suspect the wifi6e routers will be a lot cheaper in a year or two so it might be cheaper to buy 2 routers, a wifi5 now and wifi6e later when you get end devices that can use it.

In any case all the ac1750 routers you list are fairly solid routers and you should have good results with any
Interesting. I hadn't realized that about the 160mhz channels.
I don't see many 6e routers at the moment, so sticking with a Wifi5 for now is probably best.

I am a fan of Asus routers, but only the ones supported by Merlin firmware -- https://www.asuswrt-merlin.net/
Asus routers (with or without Merlin) have a one button toggle for AP mode. That makes them very easy to deploy as APs.

Have you thought about getting a used router on e-bay ? Lots of people dump perfectly good routers because they have to have the latest/greatest -- even if it won't improve their WIFI.
Merlin definitely looks interesting, but is probably far beyond my needs or current skill set.

I'll check out used markets.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Interesting. I hadn't realized that about the 160mhz channels.
I don't see many 6e routers at the moment, so sticking with a Wifi5 for now is probably best.


Merlin definitely looks interesting, but is probably far beyond my needs or current skill set.

I'll check out used markets.
Merlin FW doesn't significantly change Asus routers. It just improves them by selectively fixing the open source firmware. You load it just like factory firmware. And you can easily backout to factory firmware.
 

gggplaya

Distinguished
Since Asus firmware is based on OPENWRT, which is open source code. They are obligated under opensource license to publish their firmware on a regular basis. Merlin takes this published firmware and adds some of the latest OPENWRT libraries to it. Since it's based on the original Asus code, it installs just like updating to the newest factory firmware. You don't have to mess with anything, or hack anything.

The advantage of Merlin is you get firmware support well into the future. You also get better QOS features like FQ_Codel or CAKE which are awesome if you have roommates or people that like to hog internet in your house. Especially good for gaming.
 
Just a comment on the merlin images. The router he lists is a mediatek chipset...actually all three he lists use the same cpu. Merlin does not support mediatek but there are many other "1750" routers made by asus that are supported.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS