Author Topic: WiFi router ?s  (Read 136 times)

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Offline NapalmMan67

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WiFi router ?s
« on: January 13, 2022, 04:06:08 PM »
So reading NT2Cs thread on the cell booster made me think to ask about the wifi router I have.  I am a tech idiot when it comes to this stuff.

Our system always seems to lag and have performance issues.  I don't know where to I start, how to decide what to upgrade too, or even if I need to?  Maybe there's something I could do to the existing system that'd make it better instead of a replacement?

Help?
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Offline EBuff75

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 04:37:57 PM »
I just went through that last year.  I had an 802.11n router which kept requiring restarts - usually one or more per day.  I'd also upgraded my internet service to 200Mbps, but was still only getting 35Mbps at the top end of things.

It turned out that my "new-ish" router was an old design and had been on the market for something like 5-6 years before I bought it.  That explained the speed issue (it wasn't built to handle speeds over about 35Mbps), but the outages were just due to it having been in use at my house for about 4-5 years.  The sucker was just worn out and no amount of fiddling seemed to make any difference.

I went with a Netgear Orbi RBK752 mesh router (2 nodes) to replace my old D-link router which was failing.  It cost about $350, but hasn't so much as hiccuped since I set it up last spring.  It did take a bit to set it up (I had to call their tech support, as the normal setup involved using a smartphone and my phone at the time was too old to run their app), but the only issues since then have been with my internet provider's DNS (which comes up 1-2 times a month).  Having the mesh setup (which is just two separate wi-fi points which work together as a single wi-fi) means that the internet runs at full-speed throughout my house, out into the yard/garage, and even down the street for a few hundred feet. 

Do you know what router you have now, what your expected speed is (what package do you have from your ISP), and how many people are trying to use it and for what?  That might help with recommendations.  The current best routers are 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6 (this is what I have).  Routers which are 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) will still work very well for most people (and are cheaper), but will be out of date sooner and don't have the latest security.

Personally, the upgrade has been worth it to me just for having eliminated the aggravation of my old wi-fi!   :icon_crazy:
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Offline Anianna

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 06:30:53 PM »
So reading NT2Cs thread on the cell booster made me think to ask about the wifi router I have.  I am a tech idiot when it comes to this stuff.

Our system always seems to lag and have performance issues.  I don't know where to I start, how to decide what to upgrade too, or even if I need to?  Maybe there's something I could do to the existing system that'd make it better instead of a replacement?

Help?

What router do you have, what square footage are you trying to cover, and what kind of and how many devices are you running on it?

Personally, I have a TPLink gaming router, but that's probably serious overkill for you. 

In the past, I've had good experience with Netgear, which has a wide range of options.  TPLink is a solid brand that also has a wide range of options.  It's really a matter of figuring out which option is right for your particular situation.  There are good routers for under $100 that will probably work great for you, depending on what you need.
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Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2022, 07:36:30 PM »
Before we even get to the router, let's start first with the source of the data you're trying to route.  You can have the world's fastest and greatest router, but if the data going into it is coming from a slow source you're not going to have much for it to work with.

What's feeding your router?  What equipment is serving that need?  If like me, you're getting your data from a cable connection it can be flowing through a modem that was considered barely adequate ten years ago.  Many company supplied modem/routers are utter crap.  Start there and make sure your modem is DOCSIS 3.1 compatible and that it's rated for, at a bare minimum, the highest speed your ISP can provide a residential account.  Not the highest speed your account has, the highest speed any level residential account has, even if you have no plans to ever sign up for such a plan.  Modems are relatively cheap devices, but they are a bottleneck for the signal coming in that a lot of folks don't consider.  Making sure it can handle today's maximum helps ensure it'll be up to the task of handling tomorrow's minimum for a long time to come.

I have gigabit service coming in and a router that's just under cutting edge now (but was bleeding edge when purchased), easily capable of multi-gigabit speeds and handling hundreds of devices.  In between the two, at one time, was a 15-year-old cable company-provided modem that was running firmware that was outdated when it was installed.  It's like having a firetruck supplying water to a 2.5" high-pressure hose, capable of flooding a house, but between the hydrant and the truck is a supply hose that's a regular garden hose. Upgrading that to a better modem was the key to much better system-wide performance in my network.
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Offline NapalmMan67

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 12:35:21 PM »
Cable feed in, something like 200MBPS speed I think (?)   Not a huge coverage area, only about 1200 sqf.  A couple of cell phones, a kindle and laptop are the only devices served.

I'd have to look at the wifi router we have to know what model, it is a Netgear but looks nothing like what's on their website.  It's probably 15+ years old.  The cable modem is only a couple years old, a Motorola compatible with our service.  Not rented, we bought it outright.


If it matters, we're possibly going to be ditching the cable for a fiber optic provider soon.
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Offline Anianna

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2022, 01:03:03 PM »
Your router is definitely old tech, so it's a good idea to upgrade it, but it doesn't sound like you need anything major.  Something like this inexpensive TPLink router would probably be sufficient for your use.

Squirrely can correct me if I'm wrong. 
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Offline EBuff75

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2022, 01:45:56 PM »
One other question would be:  Do you have any smart home devices which use the wi-fi?  (because not all smart devices will work with the latest wi-fi 6 / 802.11ax)
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Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2022, 02:01:07 PM »
Cable feed in, something like 200MBPS speed I think (?)   Not a huge coverage area, only about 1200 sqf.  A couple of cell phones, a kindle and laptop are the only devices served.

I'd have to look at the wifi router we have to know what model, it is a Netgear but looks nothing like what's on their website.  It's probably 15+ years old.  The cable modem is only a couple years old, a Motorola compatible with our service.  Not rented, we bought it outright.


If it matters, we're possibly going to be ditching the cable for a fiber optic provider soon.
Yes, this matters a great deal because your new provider is going to want to set you up with equipment to maximize the advantages of fiber.  If you're serious about switching, wait until a month or two after the change and then reassess your needs.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Offline Anianna

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2022, 04:58:09 PM »
Cable feed in, something like 200MBPS speed I think (?)   Not a huge coverage area, only about 1200 sqf.  A couple of cell phones, a kindle and laptop are the only devices served.

I'd have to look at the wifi router we have to know what model, it is a Netgear but looks nothing like what's on their website.  It's probably 15+ years old.  The cable modem is only a couple years old, a Motorola compatible with our service.  Not rented, we bought it outright.


If it matters, we're possibly going to be ditching the cable for a fiber optic provider soon.
Yes, this matters a great deal because your new provider is going to want to set you up with equipment to maximize the advantages of fiber.  If you're serious about switching, wait until a month or two after the change and then reassess your needs.

I dunno, I have fiber and our company has no interest in setting us up with equipment maximizing the advantages of fiber.  After a year dealing with their garbage equipment, we boxed it up and bought our own.  We have gigabit fiber internet and couldn't get anywhere near that with their gear.  The installer even explained we'd need better equipment than the company offered if we wanted to make the most of it.

It's worth waiting to see, and if you stick with lower speeds, their equipment may be sufficient for your use without having to buy a router of your own, though.
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Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2022, 07:13:53 PM »
Cable feed in, something like 200MBPS speed I think (?)   Not a huge coverage area, only about 1200 sqf.  A couple of cell phones, a kindle and laptop are the only devices served.

I'd have to look at the wifi router we have to know what model, it is a Netgear but looks nothing like what's on their website.  It's probably 15+ years old.  The cable modem is only a couple years old, a Motorola compatible with our service.  Not rented, we bought it outright.


If it matters, we're possibly going to be ditching the cable for a fiber optic provider soon.
Yes, this matters a great deal because your new provider is going to want to set you up with equipment to maximize the advantages of fiber.  If you're serious about switching, wait until a month or two after the change and then reassess your needs.

I dunno, I have fiber and our company has no interest in setting us up with equipment maximizing the advantages of fiber.  After a year dealing with their garbage equipment, we boxed it up and bought our own.  We have gigabit fiber internet and couldn't get anywhere near that with their gear.  The installer even explained we'd need better equipment than the company offered if we wanted to make the most of it.

It's worth waiting to see, and if you stick with lower speeds, their equipment may be sufficient for your use without having to buy a router of your own, though.
That sounds odd to me that your ISP did that, Ani.  Anyone savvy enough to want a high tier fiber package is usually savvy enough to do regular speed checks to ensure they're getting what they're paying for, and I doubt you'd be any exception to that, so I have to wonder WTF the ISP thinks they're accomplishing with that kind of service.
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Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Offline Anianna

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2022, 08:01:42 PM »
Cable feed in, something like 200MBPS speed I think (?)   Not a huge coverage area, only about 1200 sqf.  A couple of cell phones, a kindle and laptop are the only devices served.

I'd have to look at the wifi router we have to know what model, it is a Netgear but looks nothing like what's on their website.  It's probably 15+ years old.  The cable modem is only a couple years old, a Motorola compatible with our service.  Not rented, we bought it outright.


If it matters, we're possibly going to be ditching the cable for a fiber optic provider soon.
Yes, this matters a great deal because your new provider is going to want to set you up with equipment to maximize the advantages of fiber.  If you're serious about switching, wait until a month or two after the change and then reassess your needs.

I dunno, I have fiber and our company has no interest in setting us up with equipment maximizing the advantages of fiber.  After a year dealing with their garbage equipment, we boxed it up and bought our own.  We have gigabit fiber internet and couldn't get anywhere near that with their gear.  The installer even explained we'd need better equipment than the company offered if we wanted to make the most of it.

It's worth waiting to see, and if you stick with lower speeds, their equipment may be sufficient for your use without having to buy a router of your own, though.
That sounds odd to me that your ISP did that, Ani.  Anyone savvy enough to want a high tier fiber package is usually savvy enough to do regular speed checks to ensure they're getting what they're paying for, and I doubt you'd be any exception to that, so I have to wonder WTF the ISP thinks they're accomplishing with that kind of service.

It seemed odd to me, too, but that's our experience.  Their router is garbage.  They do not care. 

It's actually worse than that.  Their equipment doesn't play nice with adding your own.  We had to use their router in order to send signal to the DVR.  We tried daisy chaining in a router, but their router would not play nicely with our router if theirs came first and, if ours came first, the TV signal wouldn't come through.  We tried a splitter, but that didn't work, either.  We can get good internet speeds with a good router, but we can't get that and the TV signal.  We tried every suggestion online, but ultimately, the company manages to stymie any fix anybody comes up with.  They legitimately do not want you using functional equipment. 

We ended up just not using the TV service.  Their router and DVR are in a box, completely useless to us.  I still pay for the TV service because we got significant discounts on the bundle.  If we ever lose our bundle discounts, we'll go straight internet. 
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Offline Moab

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2022, 11:34:40 PM »
Ive had fiber for a couple years. Routers work the same. I researched this and went with a netgear nighthawk router. I would buy twice your square footage. Each routers name (in netgear routers) has a number. That normally corresponds to the sq footage it will cover. I live in a 900 sq ft house and i bought a 1740 router. It barely covers my house. But i think my walls might have that old fashioned wire mesh in them. Making it very hard to get a signal thru.

Look on amazon for the best reviewed netgear router with your desired footage.

And try to use the 5g signal around your house. Also if you dont know your way around a computer. You may wanna have someone come set it up for you. Look for home networking on CL or Google.
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Offline NapalmMan67

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2022, 09:07:31 AM »
This router---  https://www.netgear.com/support/product/WGR614v9.aspx


No smart devices on hand other than cell phones. 



Well I planned on going today and talk with the FO provider we are considering, to compare their offerings against what we have currently have, but their offices are closed on the weekends.
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Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2022, 11:08:01 AM »
This router---  https://www.netgear.com/support/product/WGR614v9.aspx


No smart devices on hand other than cell phones. 



Well I planned on going today and talk with the FO provider we are considering, to compare their offerings against what we have currently have, but their offices are closed on the weekends.
Good lord, that's an antique in terms of modern routers. Try one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-AX1500-Wifi-Router/dp/B07ZSDR49S?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC2600-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07QF74ZXB?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1&psc=1

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-AX1500-Wifi-Router/dp/B085288G3M?ref_=ast_sto_dp&th=1
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Offline Moab

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2022, 12:48:32 PM »
42000 purchases. 4.5 stars.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750 Mbps | Up to 1500 Sq Ft Coverage & 25 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports | Armor Security https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R2AZLD2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_91NZYQ1187DZH61ATPE4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
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Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2022, 01:29:57 PM »
42000 purchases. 4.5 stars.

NETGEAR Nighthawk Smart Wi-Fi Router, R6700 - AC1750 Wireless Speed Up to 1750 Mbps | Up to 1500 Sq Ft Coverage & 25 Devices | 4 x 1G Ethernet and 1 x 3.0 USB Ports | Armor Security https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00R2AZLD2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_i_91NZYQ1187DZH61ATPE4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1
Not MU-MIMO though, which can be important when you have a few different things competing for bandwidth.  If you want to stick with that brand, bump it up to at least the R6900P, though if you're going into the $100+ range it makes more sense to go with something better and WiFi 6 capable to help ensure the unit isn't quickly outdated.
Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto. - USN Gunner's Mate motto

Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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Offline NapalmMan67

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2022, 04:20:10 PM »
Don't know what the MUMIMO gets ya, but sounds about how I speak after 8 or 9 glasses of scotch.


Next question would be, where's the best location for said wifi transmitter unit?  Current unit is in the basement.


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Offline EBuff75

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2022, 05:22:16 PM »
Don't know what the MUMIMO gets ya, but sounds about how I speak after 8 or 9 glasses of scotch.


Next question would be, where's the best location for said wifi transmitter unit?  Current unit is in the basement.

As centrally located to where it'll be used as you can, with it up in the air if possible (on a wall, on a shelf in a closet) and away from electronics.  Here's a CNET article about placing wifi routers:  https://www.cnet.com/home/internet/best-place-to-put-router/

I have a 1.5 story house (2nd floor is about 2/3 the size of 1st floor) and my main wifi router is in an attic/closet on the 2nd floor.  This puts it right above the kitchen / dining area.  Then I have the satellite router is in my living room on the 1st floor, which is on the other side of my house.  This gives me good coverage throughout the house (including the basement) and the yard / garage (my garage isn't attached to the house).
Information - it’s all a battle for information. You have to know what’s happening if you’re going to do anything about it. - Tom Clancy, Patriot Games

Offline NT2C

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Re: WiFi router ?s
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2022, 05:27:23 PM »
Don't know what the MUMIMO gets ya, but sounds about how I speak after 8 or 9 glasses of scotch.


Next question would be, where's the best location for said wifi transmitter unit?  Current unit is in the basement.
Get it up at least on the main living area.  Higher is generally better but if you live in say a duplex where the floors are concrete slabs then putting it on the top floor isn't going to work well because the concrete would block the signal to the main floor.  In a case like that a remote access point is going to be needed, but pretty easy to install.
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Sic quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit; occidentis telum est - Seneca the Younger, Epistles

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