Question Wireless Router Recommendation?

pauly01

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We have cable internet with optimum online.



Now the past fews month or so, the wifi sometimes doesn't work for a bit, then it works. Its a 2 story house and basement and we leave the router and the modem in the 2nd floor because that is where we use to mainly use internet so we had it installed there.


Now the wifi doesn't seem to be that strong in the 1st floor... and the basement. But there is also some wifi issues on the 2nd floor as well. Wireless router is netgear n600 and bought years ago. There was never much of an issue with it. If it matters the speed plan we get with our internet cable is 100mbps.


Is it possible that our internet has wifi issues because the router has gotten too old so to speak? Thing is I know the wifi signal in basement was never that good... but now it seems to have issues on first floor as well. But i think this is more optimum online.




I seen two routers on amazon that seem to have very good reviews.


TP Link


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B079JD7F7G/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1



Netgear


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R2AZLD2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1



These obviously are not strong enough for wifi signal to go to basement right? Its two story house with basement and around 750 square feet on each floor.
 

pauly01

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As of now, still undecided on which router to buy. But im leaning towards the first link i post below because its wifi 6 and has very good reviews... mention it has many antennas and signal strength is very good from reviews. Again two floors and basement.



TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX21) - 89+tax


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08H8ZLKKK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1



NETGEAR 4-Stream AX1800 WiFi 6 Router (RAX20-100NAS) - 60+tax


https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-4-Stream-AX1800-Router-RAX20/dp/B07Z5JWRWJ/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=netgear+ax1800&qid=1625724337&sr=8-4

Recommended by someone because this is wifi 6 and very cheap. But reviews don't seem that good though?




TP-Link Wifi 6 AX1500 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX10) – 802.11ax Router, 70+tax


https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-AX1500-Wifi-Router/dp/B07ZSDR49S/ref=sr_1_1?crid=19TIU7G8M2T4U&dchild=1&keywords=tp+link+router+ax1500&qid=1625724378&sprefix=tp+link+router+ax,aps,847&sr=8-1


Wifi 6 but cheaper version of my first choice? Review don't seem as good? Someone tells me signal is not that good for this?




TP-Link AC1900 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A8) -High Speed MU-MIMO Wireless Router - 80+tax

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC1900-Smart-Wifi-Router/dp/B08C3YBBHM/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=tp+link+router&qid=1625722875&sr=8-9

More Expensive router than the two wifi 6 routers above but not wifi 6? Anyone know why this is priced so much higher than the wifi 6 routers above?



TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX20) – 802.11ax -
131+tax


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B085288G3M/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=AWJMXP5IJRVY4&psc=1

Completely unnecessary?

- - - Updated - - -

The original two routers i looked at


TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router - 58+tax


https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08H8ZLKKK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1


Price and value seem very good. But this isn't wifi 6. Also when i read reviews, i did read some people say signal isn't that good etc. So my first link in my previous post is much better in signal with the antenneas compared to this one? I guess this would be great to buy only if you are living in a one story home or an apartment?



NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 - 80+tax

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-4-Stream-AX1800-Router-RAX20/dp/B07Z5JWRWJ/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=netgear+ax1800&qid=1625724337&sr=8-4

This is probably the worst router to buy out of the 7 choices i listed now? First off, the price went all the way up to 80 dollars plus tax now. Its not wifi 6 and its netgear? Because there are many wifi 6 routers i listed in my previous two posts which cost less than this even.



Again the main thing here is i want the signal to be strong ... from the second floor all the way to the basement. So on these 7 routers i listed, would most here agree the TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX21) - 89+tax
is the best option here?


I also heard of mesh wifi. I see lot of these with TP Link Deco. Is that a better option though? I read mesh wifi is very good but don't you give up speed for that?


Again thing is we have two story house and basement and will need the wifi signal to go all the way to basement. The modem and router is on the second floor. Someone suggested get the first tp link wireless router... and maybe buy one extender and put it in basement and that should be good? When you compare price of wireless router and those tp link deco mesh wifi... its very close if you do buy one extender for the traditional tp link router.


Thanks.
 
So why do you think that those first 2 router have poor range.

The problem is there is no standard method for measuring what is a "good" signal at certain distance. You would get huge difference between 2 peoples opinion if you only needed say 1mbps or you wanted something that could run at 400mbps. The router manufacture intentionally use stuff like this to claim their product is the best.

The best scientific comparison and required to be filed with the FCC to get a permit to sell the device is the signal output levels. The signal output level will best represent the distance the signal goes. You can for example exactly calculate how much loss you get for distance taking into account air temperature and stuff like humidity.

This should be perfect but that is until you discover that all router put out very close to the maximum legal allowed which means it is not very interesting to compare different brands of routers.

You can't depends on what end user say or even many so call comparison reviews. The issue is the router is only 1/2 the connection. The end device is the other half and many time is the cause for most problems. Many end devices do not transmit at full power and some have very tiny antenna. In addition nobody is testing in some open field with no other wifi sources around. The way your house is built and the number of neighbors you have using wifi will have much more effect than almost any other variable related to wifi. It is impossible to compare anything anyone else does to your stuff because there are too many differences.

You also get a lot of user reviews that are purely people trying to justify to themselves that spending huge money was a good idea. They bought the most expensive device they could find and figured that the price tag must make it better.

In the end it doesn't make a lot of difference for coverage what you buy. There are difference in say 802.11ac and 802.11ax but this gets extremely technical very quickly. Again it also depends on if your end devices support stuff. Does no good to buy a router that does 4x4 mimo with qam1024 if your end device will not use it.

So your best bet is to buy a average router that has a number 1200-1750. I would go with 802.11ac rather than wifi6 unless you have devices that can actually use wifi6 today. Do not think wifi6 is the future, you are starting to see more and more wifi6e and that should be a large improvement over wifi6.

BUT none of this actually addresses your problem of coverage. There is no magic that solves the problem of things like cement and other materials absorbing the signals. The only real solution is to use some other technology. Best of course is ethernet cable but many people do not have them in their house. Next would be to use MoCA which uses tv coax cable as a ethernet cable. If you do not have that you can consider powerline networks which uses the elctrical cables. The AV2-1000 and AV2-2000 models work much better than previous generations of this equipment. These are all based on the design you run a cable to the remote room and then place a wifi radio in that room. This is generally called a AP but you can use almost any old router as a AP.

Mesh stuff does not solve the problem floors and ceiling absorbing the signal. It is mostly marketing to get people who want a magic box without any understanding of technology. So as a made up example of how they work best. Lets say I need to go 200ft in a open room to get my "good" speed. The signal only goes 100ft. So I put a repeater/mesh in at the 100ft point and send it another 100ft. People houses are not huge open rooms so it is almost impossible to figure out how to place these devices so they work. If you have a very dense concrete wall that wifi does not pass though well it makes no difference which side you put mesh units on.
 

pauly01

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So why do you think that those first 2 router have poor range.

The problem is there is no standard method for measuring what is a "good" signal at certain distance. You would get huge difference between 2 peoples opinion if you only needed say 1mbps or you wanted something that could run at 400mbps. The router manufacture intentionally use stuff like this to claim their product is the best.

The best scientific comparison and required to be filed with the FCC to get a permit to sell the device is the signal output levels. The signal output level will best represent the distance the signal goes. You can for example exactly calculate how much loss you get for distance taking into account air temperature and stuff like humidity.

This should be perfect but that is until you discover that all router put out very close to the maximum legal allowed which means it is not very interesting to compare different brands of routers.

You can't depends on what end user say or even many so call comparison reviews. The issue is the router is only 1/2 the connection. The end device is the other half and many time is the cause for most problems. Many end devices do not transmit at full power and some have very tiny antenna. In addition nobody is testing in some open field with no other wifi sources around. The way your house is built and the number of neighbors you have using wifi will have much more effect than almost any other variable related to wifi. It is impossible to compare anything anyone else does to your stuff because there are too many differences.

You also get a lot of user reviews that are purely people trying to justify to themselves that spending huge money was a good idea. They bought the most expensive device they could find and figured that the price tag must make it better.

In the end it doesn't make a lot of difference for coverage what you buy. There are difference in say 802.11ac and 802.11ax but this gets extremely technical very quickly. Again it also depends on if your end devices support stuff. Does no good to buy a router that does 4x4 mimo with qam1024 if your end device will not use it.

So your best bet is to buy a average router that has a number 1200-1750. I would go with 802.11ac rather than wifi6 unless you have devices that can actually use wifi6 today. Do not think wifi6 is the future, you are starting to see more and more wifi6e and that should be a large improvement over wifi6.

BUT none of this actually addresses your problem of coverage. There is no magic that solves the problem of things like cement and other materials absorbing the signals. The only real solution is to use some other technology. Best of course is ethernet cable but many people do not have them in their house. Next would be to use MoCA which uses tv coax cable as a ethernet cable. If you do not have that you can consider powerline networks which uses the elctrical cables. The AV2-1000 and AV2-2000 models work much better than previous generations of this equipment. These are all based on the design you run a cable to the remote room and then place a wifi radio in that room. This is generally called a AP but you can use almost any old router as a AP.

Mesh stuff does not solve the problem floors and ceiling absorbing the signal. It is mostly marketing to get people who want a magic box without any understanding of technology. So as a made up example of how they work best. Lets say I need to go 200ft in a open room to get my "good" speed. The signal only goes 100ft. So I put a repeater/mesh in at the 100ft point and send it another 100ft. People houses are not huge open rooms so it is almost impossible to figure out how to place these devices so they work. If you have a very dense concrete wall that wifi does not pass though well it makes no difference which side you put mesh units on.


Hi. Well someone told me those two routers i first posted, signal isn't that good. I read some reviews that say very similar as well. Again that TP-Link AC1750 Smart WiFi Router (Archer A7) -Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Internet Router - 58+tax has very good reviews etc. But its a cheaper router so that lower price is a concern. Now if its a one floor apartment, im pretty sure this would be more than enough. But we have a two story house and basement and the wifi signal is not that strong in the basement, which is the main problem here.


So when i looked at reviews of the TP-Link WiFi 6 Router AX1800 Smart WiFi Router (Archer AX21) - 89+tax, it seemed good because its like a good moderate price point... reviews are very good. And i read you could buy tp link extender as well if there are signal issues in the basement.



We only have one device that is wifi 6 i believe. But isn't it good to buy it anyways if it has that? Again what i saw is this has very good reivews.


What do you mean use ethernet cable? You mean ethernet cable connected to router? We don't need ethernet connection on first floor or basement. We don't even use ethernet cable connection on the second floor. Everything is wifi.


I read people said mesh solves the exact issue im addressing. A house with mulitple floors etc. So they are wrong here? But is it true with mesh, you don't get that much speed as you only get half of it? Example you pay for 200 mbps internet speed. But if you use a mesh system, your wifi devices will get half of that or 100mbps only? But with a traditional wireless router on wifi, how much mbps would you get? I always heard ethernet you get close to the full amount of mbps... but wifi its different. But wifi on mesh is much worst?
 

pauly01

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The old netgear n600 router has the max limit of 100mbps. We are actually paying for 200mbps now. But yea we are playing double more per month that what we can use.



The thing is at the moment, nobody uses a wired ethernet connection on the second floor where the modem and router is at the moment. I mean sometime in the future maybe, but right now a wired ethernet connection isn't necessary.



So your suggest is buy that TP Link AX1800

Then also buy the TP-Link AV1000 Powerline Starter Kit ?



The thing is at the moment, nobody uses a wired ethernet connection on the second floor where the modem and router is at the moment. I mean sometime in the future maybe, but right now a wired ethernet connection isn't necessary.
 

pauly01

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Do you have any opinion on this tp link router? I asked this on another forum and someone said they have this and it works great on their three story house and 2400 square foot. I then checked the reviews and lot of people mention it has really good range... which to me is the most important thing here. Price is about the same as its like 5 dollars more. This uses wifi 5 but i dont care about that. Would you recommend this over the ax1800? That person tell me he puts this router in the far end of the basement and it reaches all the way up and there are walls as well.


TP Link AC2600

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC2600-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07QF74ZXB/ref=sr_1_3?crid=27QZXLNRB0G12&dchild=1&keywords=tp+link+wireless+router+2600&qid=1626575268&sprefix=tp+link+wireless+router+,aps,1401&sr=8-3
 

kanewolf

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What do you mean use ethernet cable? You mean ethernet cable connected to router? We don't need ethernet connection on first floor or basement. We don't even use ethernet cable connection on the second floor. Everything is wifi.
@bill001g is saying that you would get much better WIFI if you had a WIFI access point in the basement and/or first floor. Distance and walls reduce the signal. IF you put a wired access point (even a mesh node) on each floor your WIFI would improve much more than buying what is advertised as the greatest coverage WIFI router.
WIFI is a bidirectional radio link. The radio transmitters in handheld devices have much lower power than the router (or AP). So even if the device can receive a signal from the second floor, it can't reliably transmit back. Adding ethernet cable (or MOCA) between floors and adding additional WIFI base stations (APs). Eliminates the "device can't transmit" problem.
 

gggplaya

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That N600 router needs to be replaced regardless. It's outdated and slower than what you pay for.

MESH systems are ok for extending connection coverage, but terrible for bandwidth.

Do you have coaxial tv outlets in the basement, 1st floor and 2nd floor??? MOCA is a good option for adding access points to both floors. You can use a mesh system as long as it has ethernet backhaul ports. This would ensure you don't have any bandwidth issues.
 

pauly01

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Update on this. I decided to order the ac2600 as oppose to the AX1800 and the mesh. Reason being way too many reviews on amazon says the ac2600 has very good range... so went with that. I know its wifi 5 and not wifi 6.



Now another question I have. I am not at that house to do the installation. So someone else who is not tech savy at all will need to do this.



I will speak to them on the phone step by step on doing this process. Do all tp link routers have the same process of installation? If so, how do you do it? Reviews say its just you plug it in. So remove the old netgear n600 router from the modem and plug this tp link ac2600 into it. But once you do that, what do you do? Do you need to go to 192.168.1.1 or something like that to set up the wifi network name and password? Then make sure its on 2.4ghz. I want to make sure we set it up correctly but im not there so i have to give instructions on the phone to someone not tech savy on this.



I heard there is also app as well you could do the install on? We have iphone. But i assume you go on computer and then do this? But if you do this, don't you need to use an ethernet cable to first do the setup with a laptop? You can't do this while on wifi right? So well... you need to remove the old netgear router first?


Also what extender could be used with this tp link router?


And how long should this process take? Thanks.


View: https://youtu.be/XxQEe8SFuZs
 

pauly01

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Looking at the box, it shows 3 antennaes but looking at that youtube video, its 4 antennas?



They haven't opened the box yet.


So from looking at the video...



1. Unplug old netgear router from modem.

2. Plug the tp link 2600 into the same spot where you remove the netgear router.

3. Power it on

4. It then shows on a computer that you go and check for the wifi connection name...then type in the password for that specific wifi connection which is going to be on the router somewhere. It looked like a macbook browser that is used in the video?
So do this with a laptop or iphone? Or it doesn't matter? Again back then when i set up a new router, i always did an ethernet connection with a new router.

5. After you type in password, it should be connected. But no point of going to 192.168.0.1 right? In the youtube, all it does is that person changing their wifi connection name and the password. So if we don't want to change this, no point in going to 192.168.0.1?


6. Then use the iphone in multiple areas of the house on different floors to see how much mbps get right? So since we have 200mbps, the speedtest on this on wifi on the same floor right next to the router... should be half of 200mbps? But if you use an ethernet connection to it with laptop, it should be very close to 200mbps?


Then when we check the wifi signal in the first floor and basement, it probably will be between 20mbps - 100mbps?
 

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