Question So many options not enough $ to try them all

Apr 11, 2019
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Greetings all,
Thank you in advance for reading.

I have a non-wifi friendly house. I have never had as many problems with wifi as i have had in this house. I just took down a UNIFI solution with 4 APS and a cloud controller. (3 indoor, 1 outdoor)

I am currently working with Netgear Orbi but having fewer problems than with UNIFI but still not happy. All Wifi aps are Ethernet wired, so Mesh is not necessary. However I love the management ability idea where i can manage the system as a whole so i want that. Without going MESH with ORBI, EERO, Velop or etc. What are some really good options i should look at that would have that management ability. I dont need a router. I have a SOPHOS dedicated firewall. I do have a lot of devices and a lot of traffic though.

Thoughts?
Thanks
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
Have you checked into a more professional setup like Aruba? We use that here, all of them are Ethernet connected but still work in a mesh design so they work together with a single main controller unit.

Problem is they will cost a bit more than most consumer routers do.
 

justin.m.beauvais

Respectable
Dec 15, 2017
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If you want to go cheap and don't require the highest of speeds you could try powerline Ethernet adapters. They consist of adapters that you run an ethernet cable to and it converts the signal to run over the power lines in your home. Then you just plug in an adapter, possibly including ones with Wi-Fi, in the room you want a connection in and you're hooked up to the network. The speeds won't be wonderful, but they will be functional.

Alternatively you could try Google Wi-Fi. It is easy to setup and use and has central control via an app. However, if you are already having issues with Wi-Fi then it might not be the best choice.

It would be easier if we knew what sort of problem you're having. Is it interference? Poor signal propagation? What exactly are the symptoms?
 
Apr 11, 2019
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I have several ethernet runs so i dont need powerline. Issues i am having mainly revolve around stability the performance is OK. lots of dropped connections, or sometimes speed. i have tried a few different ones. The UNIFI were good as far as speed and not a lot of connections dropping. I just found they are super sensitive to any changes, and the rely too heavily on the controller. something was always causing the system to hiccup and i would have to reset something. WIFI does not like to penetrate my walls so i have more aps than normal and as a result have to turn the power down some. I have not looked at aruba, I started looking at Cisco this am but just not sure
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Jan 29, 2008
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I recommend www.smallnetbuilder.com and go to their rankers.

I've bought 8 routers over my lifetime starting with 802.11b. I tried so many variants from just about every manufacturer. If you were to ask me my opinion, I would say that EVERY manufacturers can make a great router, and turn around and make utter crap.

I recommend picking a brand that has a large eco-systems of devices. Here's why: Lets say you buy a brand new router and it comes with spicy features. Unfortunately they are vendor specific. So if you buy a secondary product (like a range extender/bridge/AP) it may not be able to take care of all the features offered by that router. This includes features like wireless hand-off (same SSID) where your devices automatically connect to the best wireless device as you walk through your house network. This requires communication between devices that isn't quite a standardized yet even though there are rough "rules" for it. So to get this feature to work you'll need components from a matching vendor which apply updates across all their products to work together.

Unless you are tech challenged, stay away from MESH packages. They are often inferior for the money.


I love my R7800 and I have an EX7000 which has some very nice options for extending my network and maintaining a very high throughput. I can walk about 150 feet from my router and outside my house and still get a usable signal.

I also have power line adapters (Netgear PL1200's) which work in a bad spot (like my basement) But I never managed to get over 80mbps throughput) It's highly reliable, but slow. I use these to add ethernet downstairs in the basement. Wifi signals are notoriously bad there. powerline signal shouldn't leave your home. The signal quickly degrades with distance. But if other people live in an apartment, I would engage in optional encryption.

A lot of people here like TP-Link/Archer. They are a smaller player and they make good stuff, but support is not as broad. And I've seen numerous threads asking for help. For they money there are better options.

Unless you are a good embedded linux shells, stay away from Open WRT routers. I've seen a number of flaky implementations like the Netgear R7000. The complaints are rife on that forum about broken stuff.

That said, probably the best consumer router on the market is the Netgear R7800 for $200. Excellent range, stability, features, and ease of use from dedicated app, or through the web interface. It receives regular security and regular stability updates. It allows a great deal of configuration like seeing attached devices, being able to turn each device on/off by schedule (based on MAC) and classification of each network device with labels and icons so you know what you are dealing with..But it does have it's flaws. It handled my 42 devices without flaw and rarely needed a reboot. That said, I have repurposed it as an Access Point now as I have a dedicated DPI firewall.

MU-MIMO is a joke and never really worked right. Companies like ASUS claimed great improvements in speed, but in fact, MIMO was effectively broken and useless and actually slowed down communications unless you had a 4x4 ($$$$) and clients that worked well with MIMO. The speed increase was marginal at best when MIMO did work properly. ASUS always over promises on new tech and it's often flawed.

I won't touch Linksys any more. Outdated web interface, and limited features. Linksys keeps getting handed around to different companies. The support is quickly dropped (rare to get an update for security fixes and only for a short time) The last Linksys I bought wasn't cheap and it's range was horrible. It kept hanging and dropping the signal. The final straw was when the $100 accessory antennas kept falling refusing to stand up, and the port they connected to broke for no reason. Cracking it open, I saw it was held in place by some very thin plastic.
 
Last edited:

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Greetings all,
Thank you in advance for reading.

I have a non-wifi friendly house. I have never had as many problems with wifi as i have had in this house. I just took down a UNIFI solution with 4 APS and a cloud controller. (3 indoor, 1 outdoor)

I am currently working with Netgear Orbi but having fewer problems than with UNIFI but still not happy. All Wifi aps are Ethernet wired, so Mesh is not necessary. However I love the management ability idea where i can manage the system as a whole so i want that. Without going MESH with ORBI, EERO, Velop or etc. What are some really good options i should look at that would have that management ability. I dont need a router. I have a SOPHOS dedicated firewall. I do have a lot of devices and a lot of traffic though.

Thoughts?
Thanks
Being a fan of Ubiquiti, can I ask what problems or symptoms you had?
 
Apr 11, 2019
6
0
10
0
I recommend www.smallnetbuilder.com and go to their rankers.

I've bought 8 routers over my lifetime starting with 802.11b. I tried so many variants from just about every manufacturer. If you were to ask me my opinion, I would say that EVERY manufacturers can make a great router, and turn around and make utter crap.

I recommend picking a brand that has a large eco-systems of devices. Here's why: Lets say you buy a brand new router and it comes with spicy features. Unfortunately they are vendor specific. So if you buy a secondary product (like a range extender/bridge/AP) it may not be able to take care of all the features offered by that router. This includes features like wireless hand-off (same SSID) where your devices automatically connect to the best wireless device as you walk through your house network. This requires communication between devices that isn't quite a standardized yet even though there are rough "rules" for it. So to get this feature to work you'll need components from a matching vendor which apply updates across all their products to work together.

Unless you are tech challenged, stay away from MESH packages. They are often inferior for the money.


I love my R7800 and I have an EX7000 which has some very nice options for extending my network and maintaining a very high throughput. I can walk about 150 feet from my router and outside my house and still get a usable signal.

A lot of people here like TP-Link/Archer. They are a smaller player and they make good stuff, but support is not as broad. And I've seen numerous threads asking for help. For they money there are better options.

Unless you are a good embedded linux shells, stay away from Open WRT routers. I've seen a number of flaky implementations like the Netgear R7000. The complaints are rife on that forum about broken stuff.

That said, probably the best consumer router on the market is the Netgear R7800 for $200. Excellent range, stability, features, and ease of use from dedicated app, or through the web interface. It receives regular security and stability updates. (But it has it's flaws)

MU-MIMO is a joke and never really worked right. Companies like ASUS claimed great improvements in speed, but in fact, MIMO was effectively broken and useless and actually slowed down communications unless you had a 4x4 ($$$$) and clients that worked well with MIMO. The speed increase was marginal at best to boot. ASUS always over promises on new tech and it's often flawed.

I won't touch Linksys any more. Outdated web interface, and limited features. Linksys keeps getting handed around to different companies. The support is quickly dropped (rare to get an update for security fixes and only for a short time) The last Linksys I bought wasn't cheap and it's range was horrible. It kept hanging and dropping the signal. The final straw was when the $100 accessory antennas kept falling refusing to stand up, and the port they connected to broke for no reason. Cracking it open, I saw it was held in place by some very thin plastic.
Wow, great detail there.

For your netgear setup, do you have the ability to manage them as a system or do you log into each one separately? It looks like the extender can be hardwired and thus fits my setup and not too pricey either.!!!
 
Apr 11, 2019
6
0
10
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Being a fan of Ubiquiti, can I ask what problems or symptoms you had?
I loved the potential and idea Ubiquiti had. I followed them from their first release. I had way too many problems with the controller. I had to manually restart it all the time. i liked the ability to be very custom with the configurations and power output etc. but i was never able to get this just right. There was always some negative that had people complaining. As i mentioned i have never had these kind of wifi problems in home or work. I could have an AP in the office, and in the bedroom the next room over. I would have bad signal, so i placed a cheap netgear AP in that room to test and then that worked fine. That combined with all the controller issues made me give up. I also had to replace a dead controller twice. if they were more consistenly reliable i would have kept them. I also was frustrated and the USG Required items in the mgt interface
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Jan 29, 2008
135
6
18,685
0
Wow, great detail there.

For your netgear setup, do you have the ability to manage them as a system or do you log into each one separately? It looks like the extender can be hardwired and thus fits my setup and not too pricey either.!!!
The netgear genie app makes it simple. After you login, it has a network map option where every device shows up as an icon and how it's attached. You can then tap on the device and see it's statistics (Connection) or lock it down. However to control the EX7000 I have to log in via webpage and use the webpage UI just because you log in by SSID on Netgear's Genie app. And I have wireless handoff so everything has the same SSID. (It's a pretty good UI. It's not ASUS quality, but it works and is easy to navigate even on a phone)
 

digitalgriffin

Distinguished
Jan 29, 2008
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Nice site. However there is a bit that I am worried about. Their review of my router states it doesn't support MU-MIMO which is incorrect, it does support MU-MIMO.
You would have to write him and ask. But if IIRC he delist support if it implemented version 1 of MU-MIMO.

The rollout of MU-MIMO was an epic disaster. It never worked with ANY first gen product. And there was no way to fix it via software updates. (ASUS really deserves to be slapped around for this.)

So if you have a first gen implementation, I guess I could see why it would be de-listed as it was broken from the get-go. It would lead to confusion as to if you got a working product or not.

Second gen was marginal improvements under ideal circumstances (4x4). And depending on your antenna arrangement, 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, your performance might be even worse.

It's like intel's first HT160 capable AC adapters. They weren't compatible with Netgear's implementation of HT160. Intel finally came back and admitted it was their fault due to their implementation. The last two generations of WiFi cards do work properly however with HT160.
 
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kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Was not my point. My point was they need to be sure to have the correct information when doing reviews.
When the review was done, that feature may not have been enabled or there could have even been a hardware revision of your specific router that provided that feature. You didn't provide your specific model to know how long ago the review was vs when you got your router.
 

jimmysmitty

Champion
Moderator
When the review was done, that feature may not have been enabled or there could have even been a hardware revision of your specific router that provided that feature. You didn't provide your specific model to know how long ago the review was vs when you got your router.
I did some digging and it looks like an error on their page as at the end of the review they mention MU-MIMO, which was a feature on launch of the router and one of the reasons I bought it. For some reason they list it as a con but in the last page talk about it.

Still a lot of people go by first page pros/cons so they should really keep that information accurate.

FYI its the Asus RT-AC88U.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Scanning through the posts I am curious about "I have several ethernet runs" (Reference 4/11, 11:51AM).

Who installed the cables, did the punch downs, tested the connections, etc.. And what Ethernet cable was used?
 

svalbaard

Honorable
Aug 30, 2013
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0
10,660
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in my experience the Small Network Builder site is highly accurate, informative and the forums are stocked with very smart people who will help as long as you are courteous. As others have suggested, MIMO was a joke and should not be considered in your must haves.

For reference I have an Asus AX-88 and it has solved all of my woes in terms of network coverage and speed.
 
Apr 11, 2019
6
0
10
0
I recommend www.smallnetbuilder.com and go to their rankers.

I've bought 8 routers over my lifetime starting with 802.11b. I tried so many variants from just about every manufacturer. If you were to ask me my opinion, I would say that EVERY manufacturers can make a great router, and turn around and make utter crap.

I recommend picking a brand that has a large eco-systems of devices. Here's why: Lets say you buy a brand new router and it comes with spicy features. Unfortunately they are vendor specific. So if you buy a secondary product (like a range extender/bridge/AP) it may not be able to take care of all the features offered by that router. This includes features like wireless hand-off (same SSID) where your devices automatically connect to the best wireless device as you walk through your house network. This requires communication between devices that isn't quite a standardized yet even though there are rough "rules" for it. So to get this feature to work you'll need components from a matching vendor which apply updates across all their products to work together.

Unless you are tech challenged, stay away from MESH packages. They are often inferior for the money.


I love my R7800 and I have an EX7000 which has some very nice options for extending my network and maintaining a very high throughput. I can walk about 150 feet from my router and outside my house and still get a usable signal.

I also have power line adapters (Netgear PL1200's) which work in a bad spot (like my basement) But I never managed to get over 80mbps throughput) It's highly reliable, but slow. I use these to add ethernet downstairs in the basement. Wifi signals are notoriously bad there. powerline signal shouldn't leave your home. The signal quickly degrades with distance. But if other people live in an apartment, I would engage in optional encryption.

A lot of people here like TP-Link/Archer. They are a smaller player and they make good stuff, but support is not as broad. And I've seen numerous threads asking for help. For they money there are better options.

Unless you are a good embedded linux shells, stay away from Open WRT routers. I've seen a number of flaky implementations like the Netgear R7000. The complaints are rife on that forum about broken stuff.

That said, probably the best consumer router on the market is the Netgear R7800 for $200. Excellent range, stability, features, and ease of use from dedicated app, or through the web interface. It receives regular security and regular stability updates. It allows a great deal of configuration like seeing attached devices, being able to turn each device on/off by schedule (based on MAC) and classification of each network device with labels and icons so you know what you are dealing with..But it does have it's flaws. It handled my 42 devices without flaw and rarely needed a reboot. That said, I have repurposed it as an Access Point now as I have a dedicated DPI firewall.

MU-MIMO is a joke and never really worked right. Companies like ASUS claimed great improvements in speed, but in fact, MIMO was effectively broken and useless and actually slowed down communications unless you had a 4x4 ($$$$) and clients that worked well with MIMO. The speed increase was marginal at best when MIMO did work properly. ASUS always over promises on new tech and it's often flawed.

I won't touch Linksys any more. Outdated web interface, and limited features. Linksys keeps getting handed around to different companies. The support is quickly dropped (rare to get an update for security fixes and only for a short time) The last Linksys I bought wasn't cheap and it's range was horrible. It kept hanging and dropping the signal. The final straw was when the $100 accessory antennas kept falling refusing to stand up, and the port they connected to broke for no reason. Cracking it open, I saw it was held in place by some very thin plastic.
Taking your path and just ordered your recommendation
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Cat 6 understood - but if the cable was cheap, CCA for example, then there will be problems. Find an open section of the cable and read the specs, etc. printed on the cable. May be revealing....

And if the Ethernet cable runs were not correctly installed then, again, there will be problems. All too easy to create problems that may or may not be immediately apparent. Crimps, kinks, nailed or stapled too much crushing the cable. Maybe wrapped around other structural components, wires, or stretched haphazardly about....

Google "Ethernet cable installations" and read about the installation requirements/best practices. E.g., "smallnetbuilder" link as suggested.

Especially any websites that provide images showing "correct" and "incorrect" examples.

Take a look at any punchdowns - generally a very good way to determine/judge the quality of any given installation. Look at the plugs and jacks.

Not uncommon for unskilled installers to mix up the plugs being crimped on to the cables. There are plugs for stranded cable and plugs for solid cable.

Take a look at your cable runs and compare. Did the installing company provide any written test results of the cable runs? Did they even adhere to the color coding standards and consistently do so?
 

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