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Help Picking A Router (500 Mbps Connection)


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I use a Modem with wifi 5 which the speed test speeds are great but some of the network speeds are lacking. I have some wifi 6 devices. I'm thinking of utilizing bridge mode from my wifi modem to it. From what I understand I can connect a router to the modem and use that. 

Here are what appear to be good options? Keep in mind these are prices where I live. The less money I spend the better I feel like this stuff is depreciates faster than anything. From reading reviews and my sort of understanding I think these key things are important (I think): 160Hz???, Bridge mode, Qos for gaming, 1 USB port (I have printer I like to use through the network).  

160Hz
$130  TP-Link AX3000 Archer AX55  
$150  Asus Wireless AX3000 (GS-AX3000)

80Hz 
$100  TP-Link AX1800 Archer AX20
$100  ASUS AX1800 WiFi 6 RT-AX55
Cdn prices.

So if you know of something else please let me know. Is a AX1800 that much worse than a AX3000 maybe one of you could tell me. But I rather not have to upgrade for quite some time I'd also not like to spend this money in the first place but it is what it is. The less headaches the better.

Edited by VoidTheWarranty

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While I am not recommending a particular router at this stage, if you do go ASUS, I would highly recommend that you get one compatible with ASUSWRT-Merlin which are Firmwares based on the Asus releases but with better enhancements, additional features & proper bug fixes and just general improvements. I would check it out here:  

WWW.ASUSWRT-MERLIN.NET

 

I like Asus Routers, but I wont buy it unless it is supported by ASUSWRT-Merlin, that is how much I prefer their firmwares.  You can also check out their enhancements list here.

 

WWW.ASUSWRT-MERLIN.NET

 

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I haven't used any of the routers mentioned, however I've no complaints on all of my TP-Link equipment.

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I also haven't had any later models after wifi5, but I DID switch from linksys to a netgear, and while the netgears connection was better, I saw an actual drop in speed even though it was rated for higher speeds. Now I'm using the Cable companies modem with the built in wifi 6 and have much faster speeds but random drops/disconnects.

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If you're looking at CAD prices, that Asus GS-AX3000 seems to be a decent price compared to what it goes for in USD. However, I don't see Asuswrt-Merlin support for it. Like ENTERPRISE, the availability of that firmware is also my primary criteria for choosing an Asus router.

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Another +1 for ASUSWRT-Merlin. I used these for years but you need some fairly advanced networking and even Linux knowledge (for example, to ssh to the router to manage or install scripts). On Windows you can use Putty to do it. I would recommend it highly for it's security, and also recommend the script Skynet Lite, which blocks APTs as well as other malicious/nosey trackers or companies like Virgin. You can also use it to set up Encrypted DNS lookups (forget the proper term) to prevent DNS hijacking or man-in-the-middle attacks. You usually also get Ai Protection from Trend Micro you can turn on which basically blocks users ftom accessing malicious sites.

 

However, the caviat to this is you must choose a model that supports it, there's a learning curve, and a lot of changes you make in the routers configuration either take a long time of loading to do or require a full reboot so configuring them involves a lot of waiting.

 

Personally, I got fed up with it being so slow and having to be a network administrator and update the thing constantly and sometimes reconfigure scripts in the process. So, in the complete opposite of my past paranoia and overkill Asus config, we just went out and bought a Google Wifi. We currently have 4 of them. It covers our whole house and its pretty dang secure, it is nice that it updates itself with security updates, and I can manage it from my phone but it's basically a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It's pricey but not having to change settings and wait 5 minutes for an AC-5300 to reboot makes it worth it.

 

TL;DR: ASUSWRT-Merlin is great but for advanced users. I used to use it but got sick of updating it constantly so went with Google Wifi. It works great and is fast and pretty secure.

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6 minutes ago, neurotix said:

Another +1 for ASUSWRT-Merlin. I used these for years but you need some fairly advanced networking and even Linux knowledge (for example, to ssh to the router to manage or install scripts). On Windows you can use Putty to do it. I would recommend it highly for it's security, and also recommend the script Skynet Lite, which blocks APTs as well as other malicious/nosey trackers or companies like Virgin. You can also use it to set up Encrypted DNS lookups (forget the proper term) to prevent DNS hijacking or man-in-the-middle attacks. You usually also get Ai Protection from Trend Micro you can turn on which basically blocks users ftom accessing malicious sites.

 

However, the caviat to this is you must choose a model that supports it, there's a learning curve, and a lot of changes you make in the routers configuration either take a long time of loading to do or require a full reboot so configuring them involves a lot of waiting.

 

Personally, I got fed up with it being so slow and having to be a network administrator and update the thing constantly and sometimes reconfigure scripts in the process. So, in the complete opposite of my past paranoia and overkill Asus config, we just went out and bought a Google Wifi. We currently have 4 of them. It covers our whole house and its pretty dang secure, it is nice that it updates itself with security updates, and I can manage it from my phone but it's basically a set-it-and-forget-it solution. It's pricey but not having to change settings and wait 5 minutes for an AC-5300 to reboot makes it worth it.

 

TL;DR: ASUSWRT-Merlin is great but for advanced users. I used to use it but got sick of updating it constantly so went with Google Wifi. It works great and is fast and pretty secure.

 It can be for advanced users if you wish to make use of the advanced features, but you do not have to and you can still benefit from its features over the stock firmware and simply flash the firmware and go and use it like any other router. I just think its important to note that ASUSMERLIN is super easy to use, but only more taxing if you really want to dive into it 🙂

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4 minutes ago, ENTERPRISE said:

 It can be for advanced users if you wish to make use of the advanced features, but you do not have to and you can still benefit from its features over the stock firmware and simply flash the firmware and go and use it like any other router. I just think its important to note that ASUSMERLIN is super easy to use, but only more taxing if you really want to dive into it 🙂

True enough. You can choose how involved to get with it. Additionally, just turning on Ai Protection from Trend Micro and going through that list on it's page (where it's red or green depending on if a vulnerability is present or not) and doing everything it recommends like turning Upnp off, etc. Is probably enough for most users/regular people.

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Well I passed up the Asus deal, it was good but you guys made me do some more research. Also I'm not sure how fancy of a router I need for a what speed internet provider. I think our advertised speed is around 600Mbps or something. 

Would an Amazon mesh eero 6 dual-band AX1800 Wi-Fi 6 (router + 1 extender) be better than the routers I listed above? I wouldn't opt for any subscriptions with Amazon or TP-Link etc. Just not doing it. Also I'm confused which features won't work exactly by not paying for them with TP-Link like QOS won't work? I'm not fully clear. 

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  • VoidTheWarranty changed the title to Help Picking A Router (500 Mbps Connection)

I would be looking for a wifi 6E router with 6ghz. A lot of wifi 6 routers support wifi 6 without 6ghz. Basically 160mhz on wifi 5. Both will get you over 500Mbps. But you will have a better time on 6E. Especially if you decide to upgrade to 1Gbps later.

Edited by ozlay
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Might just wait for a budget wifi 7 router what do you think? That would be backwards compatible with 6 and 6E. No idea when they are coming out though.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 07/04/2023 at 22:28, VoidTheWarranty said:

Might just wait for a budget wifi 7 router what do you think? That would be backwards compatible with 6 and 6E. No idea when they are coming out though.

 

I wouldn't bother waiting for WiFi 7. It'll be a while until you see end devices with it, and even then, unless you have a really wifi heavy environment, you probably won't see a benefit.

6E should be fine.

 

Essentially, the cost-to-benefit ratio is not great.

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