Question Suggestions for replacing my router

ameyer75

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Hi all. I've been having issues with access point (AP) and am considering replacing it. I'm currently using a 3 year old Asus AC3200. For some reason, the router isn't renewing it's IP lease, causing connection to drop 2 or more times a day. I don't have specific screenshots of the AP doing it, but I can take some screenshots later if anyone is interested.

I've been looking into replacement APs in the mean time and I'm kind of stuck. I purchased the AC3200 for $170 and am really surprised to find that most APs at that price point are much less "capable". Now, I'm not a networking guru. My AP is pretty overkill for what I'm using it for, but I've always been of the opinion to have more than what you need, just in case I want to do more later.

All that to say that I've been looking around between models and am stuck. I've had really bad luck with Netgear APs in the past. I've looked into replacing mine with the same model, but it's $100 more than I purchased it for. My cousin suggested moving to Ubiquiti, and everything I've seen suggests that they make a really good product, but I'm unsure of what I would need.

My environment is almost entirely wireless, aside from the desktop that sits next to my AP. I live in a single story 1,400 sq ft home with lots of walls. Basically 4 bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, and a back room that might end up serving as a bedroom (it's the furthest room from my AP currently).

My big question is this: What do I need and what should I consider getting? I'm trying to break the bank, mostly because I'll have to justify it to my wife and I'm not sure she'll be on board. HOWEVER, I would be happy to entertain the idea of spending more to have a solid environment.

EDIT: Here's a link to the AC3200 if anyone is interested in what AP I specifically have. Also, If anyone could help me fix it, I would be happy to do that as well. I started having issues with it after doing a firmware upgrade 3 months ago. My ISP confirmed it wasn't an issue with the ONT. I've since tried using 5 or 6 different firmware versions, none of which fixed my issue. The device isn't overheating and I've completely factory reset it and started from scratch, with no change in behavior.
https://www.amazon.com/Tri-Band-Lag-Free-AiProtection-security-RT-AC3200/dp/B00S9SGNNS/ref=sr_1_2?crid=9DHMU78X2U29&dchild=1&keywords=asus+ac3200&qid=1596559837&sprefix=asus+a,aps,154&sr=8-2

EDIT 2: I'm not great with terminology. I'm using the word "router", but I'm almost positive I'm meaning to say wireless access point. I've changed the post to reflect this.
 
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A year and a half ago I needed a router and I did some research on routers and found this router to supposedly have really good range and it generally got really good reviews so I bought it.

It hasn't given me any trouble.

I'm running 3 machines wifi and one hard wired.
Two of the three machines....the signal has to go through walls and about 40 feet...and no problems.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC2600-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07QF74ZXB/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4pmYlYKC6wIVibWzCh2w4AZgEAAYASAAEgIzyPD_BwE&hvadid=410025722303&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9005448&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=6065735928167821936&hvtargid=kwd-843039970266&hydadcr=24143_11411837&keywords=tp-link+ac2300+wifi+router&qid=1596560188&sr=8-2&tag=googhydr-20
 
Not sure what you want. Do you want a actual AP. The device you call a AP is a router not a AP. If you want actual AP then you can look at ubiquiti devices they sell very advanced models for no more than consumer devices.

Asus has some of the better software support so it is surprising you are having a issue.

If you want a actual router then you need to determine which features are actually important. Radio coverage will be the same pretty much between all better quality routers.

Do you really need a tri band router. Do you actually configure it to run different devices on different radios,
What is most important is the ability of your end devices. Buying routers that can do 4 streams does no good if you end devices do not have 4 antenna. Your current router is doing 3 streams and even that might be over kill since most end devices only have 2 antenna. Your current router is also using a non standard encoding to get the 600 speed on the 2.4g band that almost no end device supports.

Be careful of falling into the bigger number is better trap. Many times a router that has a number like 1200 or 1450 will be as fast as ones with bigger numbers because your end device limits it.
 

ameyer75

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You mention a lot of walls, is connectivity throughout the house an issue normally? If so, you may want to consider a mesh network.
Not particularly, but I also specifically bought the AC3200 with connectivity in mind. That being said, it's not too bad. My connection isn't particularly great on my back patio, but that's not that big of a deal.
 

ameyer75

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You mention a lot of walls, is connectivity throughout the house an issue normally? If so, you may want to consider a mesh network.
Not particularly, but I also specifically bought the AC3200 with connectivity in mind. That being said, it's not too bad. My connection isn't particularly great on my back patio,
 

ameyer75

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Not sure what you want. Do you want a actual AP. The device you call a AP is a router not a AP. If you want actual AP then you can look at ubiquiti devices they sell very advanced models for no more than consumer devices.

Asus has some of the better software support so it is surprising you are having a issue.

If you want a actual router then you need to determine which features are actually important. Radio coverage will be the same pretty much between all better quality routers.

Do you really need a tri band router. Do you actually configure it to run different devices on different radios,
What is most important is the ability of your end devices. Buying routers that can do 4 streams does no good if you end devices do not have 4 antenna. Your current router is doing 3 streams and even that might be over kill since most end devices only have 2 antenna. Your current router is also using a non standard encoding to get the 600 speed on the 2.4g band that almost no end device supports.

Be careful of falling into the bigger number is better trap. Many times a router that has a number like 1200 or 1450 will be as fast as ones with bigger numbers because your end device limits it.
A year and a half ago I needed a router and I did some research on routers and found this router to supposedly have really good range and it generally got really good reviews so I bought it.

It hasn't given me any trouble.

I'm running 3 machines wifi and one hard wired.
Two of the three machines....the signal has to go through walls and about 40 feet...and no problems.

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC2600-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07QF74ZXB/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI4pmYlYKC6wIVibWzCh2w4AZgEAAYASAAEgIzyPD_BwE&hvadid=410025722303&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9005448&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=6065735928167821936&hvtargid=kwd-843039970266&hydadcr=24143_11411837&keywords=tp-link+ac2300+wifi+router&qid=1596560188&sr=8-2&tag=googhydr-20
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll give it a good look and see how it measures up!
 

ameyer75

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May 17, 2017
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Not sure what you want. Do you want a actual AP. The device you call a AP is a router not a AP. If you want actual AP then you can look at ubiquiti devices they sell very advanced models for no more than consumer devices.

Asus has some of the better software support so it is surprising you are having a issue.

If you want a actual router then you need to determine which features are actually important. Radio coverage will be the same pretty much between all better quality routers.

Do you really need a tri band router. Do you actually configure it to run different devices on different radios,
What is most important is the ability of your end devices. Buying routers that can do 4 streams does no good if you end devices do not have 4 antenna. Your current router is doing 3 streams and even that might be over kill since most end devices only have 2 antenna. Your current router is also using a non standard encoding to get the 600 speed on the 2.4g band that almost no end device supports.

Be careful of falling into the bigger number is better trap. Many times a router that has a number like 1200 or 1450 will be as fast as ones with bigger numbers because your end device limits it.
My terminology is terrible. The way I grew up hearing the terminology is:
router = wireless router
access point (AP) = wireless extender
I was under the impression I was using terms interchangeably when they aren't. Please correct any/all mistakes!

I've read that Asus's software was really bad for a good while, but has gotten significantly better. I've read about people having issues similar to what I am, but those threads were all from 2015/16 and those firmware versions aren't relevant anymore.

I'm not entirely sure what I want. I'm not opposed to using a mesh network if I'm able to get a good result at solid price. But I want to set it up and basically leave it be. I haven't been able to do that in quite some time and it's beyond frustrating.

Do I really need a tri band router? Not really. I've already addressed that my router is pretty overkill. I ran into some bandwidth issues way back when I bought it, so I bought it with the idea that I probably wouldn't need something so beefy, but I wanted it just in case.

I know that the bigger number trap is totally real. I don't remember all of the reasons I bought the AC3200, but I read reviews and at the price point, it seemed to KILL the competition. Most of what I do is media streaming (up and down). We tend to have a lot of family here on a regular basis and can have upwards of 10-15 devices streaming media of some sort (Laptops, Desktops, Phones, Apple TVs, etc). That was part of the consideration when purchasing.
 
You have to be very careful about reviews of almost any equipment. A lot of these sites are paid advertisements that only appear to be reviews. Wifi is extremely difficult to test without the testing environment having a huge influence. Some of these are done in the authors house which means nothing about how they will perform in another house. It really makes no sense why 2 routers running exactly the same wifi chipset would get different results. The router manufacture do not actually write any of the software that runs in the wifi chips so they should be identical when they use the same parts but reviews show other wise.

You almost have to blindly buy stuff unfortunately. The only real difference is going to be the features that are not wifi related because those feature the router manufacture does control.

Do not buy mesh unless there is NO other option. There are just another form of repeater that prentend they are different. You actually need a dedicated radio chip to talk between the mesh units for it really to work. Adding a extra radio chip increases the costs so you will not find many units that do it. The vast majority work just like any other repeater and share the radio which is what causes the huge performance hit.

You best option to get better coverage is to use ethernet cables remote rooms and attach a AP. If you do not have ethernet but have tv coax you can consider Moca again with AP attacked in the remote room. If you have neither of those then consider using the powerline units. You want powerline units that use the newer AV2 standard. Most units have numbers 1000 or 2000 but these are fake just like wifi.
 

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