Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

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Topic Author
mur44
Posts: 700
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 9:30 am

Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by mur44 »

With Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
mhalley
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Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by mhalley »

It’s probably too early to get WiFi six. Look into a standard mesh system. It’s not clear at this point if the router is the problem, more troubleshooting may be needed. ISP speed, distance from router,etc. do you mean this router? If so it gets ok reviews. Have you upgraded the firmware on it?

https://www.tp-link.com/us/home-network ... l-wdr3600/



https://www.pcmag.com/how-to/should-you ... to-wi-fi-6
So, Should You Upgrade Now?
The short answer is, probably not. You can find a handful of Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market right now (see our reviews of the Asus RT-AX88U and the Netgear Nighthawk AX8). More are showing up every day, and they are all backward-compatible with previous-generation clients. But to realize the faster speeds, improved range, reduced power consumption, and other benefits that you get with Wi-Fi 6, you'll have to use Wi-Fi 6-enabled clients, and as of this writing they are few and far between.
Last edited by mhalley on Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
02nz
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by 02nz »

I don't see any reason to avoid Wi-Fi 6. Amazon's Eero will be available with Wi-Fi 6 shortly: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VM9ZDD/
palaheel
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by palaheel »

In late spring I went with TP-Link Deco mesh router X-20. It's a low end Wi-Fi 6 router, and was probably overkill for what I actually needed. I wanted to fix a couple of dead spots in the house (hence the mesh) and wanted something that could grow with new devices. It's worked well so far. We've run simultaneous meetings with no problems. Each router device has only 2 ethernet ports, so I kept my old router as a switch. The security capabilities are improved from what I had before.
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greenflamingo
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by greenflamingo »

Here are some things I would consider:
  • Before (or as) you purchase a new router, try also hard wiring in to your router and doing a speed test. While an older router's wired connection may also be slower/problematic, this is the quickest way for most people (not familiar with networking) to get a sense of how fast their internet actually is, apart from Wifi.
  • While not many devices are enabled for Wifi 6, it is the standard of the future (and backward compatible)
  • If your home internet speed only ever hits 50 MB and you don't expect to upgrade to a faster connection anytime soon, a solid, well-proven router that is on the older pre-WiFi 6 standards may well be your best option.
  • You should also consider your modem, and whether it is performing up to snuff

I'm also looking to upgrade soon (I'm on an old Apple Airport Extreme) and am considering an Amplifi HD from Ubiquiti. I've liked their products when I've used them in other contexts. Their Amplifi instant looks like a great option as well. I haven't used either, full disclosure.
seawolf21
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by seawolf21 »

mur44 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:48 pm With Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
What is the speed you subscribed to from your provider? Zoom meetings don't really need too much bandwidth relative to speeds on what current non-WiFi 6 can deliver. Current generation routers handle Zoom just fine. My 3-4 year old router can dish out 300-400 Mpbs wireless signal which is more than enough for Zoom.

As such, I don't think you necessarily think you need WiFi 6. Chances are reception is the problem and mesh would be better suited as WiFi 6 range is even worst than current standards.

Unless your clients are WiFi 6 and you are planning to sit in direct line of sight with router, a WiFi 6 router doesn't offer anything substantial above non-WiFi 6 routers. Additionally WiFi 6 is gong to be replaced by 6E.
Topic Author
mur44
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by mur44 »

Thanks all of you who gave valuable tips.

I will try to upgrade the firmware first and see what happens.

Thanks Again.

mur44
User avatar
Bogle7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Bogle7 »

seawolf21 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:31 pm Additionally WiFi 6 is gong to be replaced by 6E.
In about 2+ years. Maybe.
Not useful for making a decision today.
Katietsu
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Katietsu »

Do you mean TL-WDR3600 router? If so, the router might be your problem as that appears to be a 7 or 8 year old N router. Any new router would be a big upgrade, it would not need to be WiFi6.
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vineviz
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by vineviz »

seawolf21 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 6:31 pm
mur44 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:48 pm With Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
What is the speed you subscribed to from your provider? Zoom meetings don't really need too much bandwidth relative to speeds on what current non-WiFi 6 can deliver. Current generation routers handle Zoom just fine. My 3-4 year old router can dish out 300-400 Mpbs wireless signal which is more than enough for Zoom.

As such, I don't think you necessarily think you need WiFi 6. Chances are reception is the problem and mesh would be better suited as WiFi 6 range is even worst than current standards.

Unless your clients are WiFi 6 and you are planning to sit in direct line of sight with router, a WiFi 6 router doesn't offer anything substantial above non-WiFi 6 routers. Additionally WiFi 6 is gong to be replaced by 6E.
We routinely have five people on Zoom at the same time with our ASUS ac router.

Any decent tri-band mesh system should do what a WiFi 6 system can do unless your computer is WiFi 6 capable or is connected by wire directly to one of the WiFi 6 mesh repeaters.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
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Gray
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Gray »

Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
Savingscaptain
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Savingscaptain »

I work from home as well as my wife. Depending on. Your ISP and ability to spend get in on a deal on RBK852 or 853. The were recently on sale on Amazon.

Ideally you need a tri band wifi6
rockstar
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by rockstar »

WiFi 6 isn't fully available yet. It's really too early to adopt.

Here's more information:

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireles ... ed?start=3

What you want to make sure is that you're using the latest broadcom based cable modem with DOCIS 3.0. You can adopt DOCIS 3.1, but I doubt you'll gain much right now. The big benefit is that PIE is built into the spec. I'm already running bufferbloat mitigations on my gateway, so I see no real benefit. Avoid cable modems with Intel Puma chipsets. They're causing a lot of problems in the UK with folks renting their gear from Virgin.

You also want to make sure all of your wired connections are gigbit or better adapters.

My go to suggestion for routers is still the r7800 with Kong's openwrt firmware until wifi 6 gets better. You can experiment with mesh if your home is really big. But as I mentioned before, you can always utilize power over ethernet (tp-link makes a product that costs about $50) if you have wet walls blocking your wifi signal. I'm in a 2700 sqft home, and I have full coverage with a single router.
lightheir
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by lightheir »

mur44 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:48 pm With Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Get a faster router likely won't help with freezes and dropped connections.

A good mesh system with enough points for good floor coverage usually does the trick, and rarely needs troubleshooting once installed, which is awesome. Google wifi is one excellent choice. It's not the superfastest, but honestly, I doubt you'll ever notice the difference if you're already on a decently-fast home internet landline connection.
Coolguy8877
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Coolguy8877 »

Picked up a TP-Link Archer AX50 (WiFi 6) for a smallish apartment after I got tired of my 6yo ASUS 5g band dropping frequently. Great improvement and actually get the speed I pay for from my ISP. Probably would hard wire with access points or go the mesh route in a larger space though.
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wander
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by wander »

For Zoom meeting, Wifi 6 is over kill. I have been using an old DD-WRT router and never have to worry about internet drops.
manatee2005
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by manatee2005 »

Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
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Gray
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Gray »

:arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
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Gray
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by Gray »

:arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
manatee2005
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by manatee2005 »

Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
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vineviz
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by vineviz »

Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I've got to say that setting up an ethernet backhaul made a HUGE difference in performance with our wifi. My ASUS routers are mostly dual-band, and our devices were constantly getting dropped from the network. Setting up an ethernet backhaul solved the problem instantly, and freed up the 5ghz band for devices instead of backhaul traffic.
"Far more money has been lost by investors preparing for corrections than has been lost in corrections themselves." ~~ Peter Lynch
thedane
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by thedane »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
soobaerodude
Posts: 34
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by soobaerodude »

thedane wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:30 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
If your home has coax for cable TV, then you could also use MoCA as the backhaul. Data throughput through MoCa is more consistent vs Powerline, but YMMV. A pair of these adapters could start your backhaul.
manatee2005
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by manatee2005 »

thedane wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:30 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
That’s interesting, will take a look
manatee2005
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by manatee2005 »

soobaerodude wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:13 pm
thedane wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:30 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm

I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
If your home has coax for cable TV, then you could also use MoCA as the backhaul. Data throughput through MoCa is more consistent vs Powerline, but YMMV. A pair of these adapters could start your backhaul.
I have a coax outlet right next to wheee my AImesh node is located. I’ll take a look into it, thanks!
wfrobinette
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:14 pm

Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by wfrobinette »

mur44 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:48 pm With Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Big fan of Netgear nighthawks. I got an X8 2.5 years ago and it covers 3800 sqft 3 story house at more than promised speed from the provider.

I'm not a fan of mesh as its multiple units and I don't want things all over the house.
lazydavid
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by lazydavid »

Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
Just FYI for anyone considering this. You MUST use a special kind of cable for this, called plenum-rated cable. It costs about 3x what standard ethernet cable does, and is typically only available in bulk (not pre-made patch cables). The jacket on standard ethernet cable burns readily and produces very dangerous smoke. This is not something you want your vents conveniently delivering into your room while you're sleeping.

Plenum rated cabling is coated with an approved fire-retardant, and is made of materials that are designed to produce minimal smoke. This is why building and fire codes allow them to be run in airways.
xb7
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Location: WA State, USA

Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

02nz wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:40 pm I don't see any reason to avoid Wi-Fi 6. Amazon's Eero will be available with Wi-Fi 6 shortly: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085VM9ZDD/
I've gone sort of "all-in" on an Amazon-centric approach to various home-related things, so I pre-ordered the Eero 6 Pro, which will be delivered early next month.

But a warning --- have a look at possible limitations by your ISP, and I would suggest, possible alternative ISPs so you retain the ability to switch. Limited details follow --- stop reading here if you're not interested.

After I ordered the new Eero setup, I happened to look around at alternative internet providers in my area. I currently use Xfinity (aka Comcast), and I've always been careful to NOT go "all-in" with them --- just so that I could switch if a better alternative came along.

Well, at higher internet speeds, better alternatives do exist now in terms of cost --- CenturyLink and Ziply (formerly Frontier). But diving down the rabbit hole a little, I find that people who use the earlier version of Eero with CenturyLink are complaining because with CenturyLink (and Ziply) you use one of a limited set of approved modems that's a combination modem and router. To add your own router after that, your new router needs to support a protocol called PPPoE. Eero doesn't, and that includes the latest version coming out.

You have the option to use the Eero in bridge mode or "double nat" (I did mention a rabbit hole ...), but either has significant drawbacks.
On the forums, people have been asking Eero for years to add PPPoE support, with no results, and from what I can see, no prospect of such.

This never occurred to me when I ordered. No such issue with Xfinity; I bought my own modem and it's JUST a modem. Maybe the problem will be resolved with a firmware update or something down the road, but it's been at least 3 years of requests for the earlier Eero model, so I'm not holding my breath.

=============================================

Post-script --- this post made me think through this some more, so I cancelled my Eero order. I have an ASUS router now that I like, and ASUS offers their own Mesh system so I just ordered a second ASUS router that I'll use with my current one as a mesh. Not wi-fi 6, but with wired backhaul and switching more devices to 5 ghz internet now with the improved coverage of a second unit, I'm thinking this will be plenty fast enough for a good while. This approach lacks the easy installation and general simplicity of something like Eero, i.e., I'll need to tinker and configure a bit, but the flip side is that it offers more functionality (specifically: PPPoE support), and more control, such as per-device QoS --- okay rabbit hole time again. Anyway, this is what I'm doing.
new2bogle
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by new2bogle »

manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:55 pm
thedane wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:30 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm

I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
That’s interesting, will take a look
Depending on how old your house is, the "phone" jacks may actually be cat 5/5e/6 cables. These can very easily be converted to ethernet. This is what I did (I had cat 5e cables) and now my access point on the opposite side of the house also gets consistent 1gig speeds.
xb7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

vineviz wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 8:47 am I've got to say that setting up an ethernet backhaul made a HUGE difference in performance with our wifi. My ASUS routers are mostly dual-band, and our devices were constantly getting dropped from the network. Setting up an ethernet backhaul solved the problem instantly, and freed up the 5ghz band for devices instead of backhaul traffic.
This is good to hear. My old ASUS router is dual band (wi-fi 5), so I just got an upscale dual band wi-fi 5 router to connect via a mesh (the old router becomes a mesh node). I plan to use an ethernet backhaul; the location of that isn't optimal to spread the signal, but I think that between the two of them it will be enough. And --- if I was going to go with a wireless mesh system, I would have wanted a tri-band system so that one 5ghz band could be dedicated as the backhaul. With the wired connection, I don't need that. Getting more of my devices on the 5 Ghz band is a big part of the point of this exercise, so I wouldn't want to give that up!

I plan to dedicate Saturday to make this changeover. Looking forward to it, while at the same time hoping that I don't screw anything up too badly! :happy
johnny
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by johnny »

+1 on comments to look into your ISP service. I did a wifi upgrade earlier this year because of zoom problems only to find that I needed a bandwidth upgrade instead.
smackboy1
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by smackboy1 »

mur44 wrote: Fri Oct 09, 2020 4:48 pmWith Zoom meetings, my current wi-fi router, TL-WAR3600 has been experiencing
freezing and dropped connections.

I am looking to replace the router with new standard wi-fi 6 router. Does anyone
have any experience with new wi-fi 6 routers?
A good smooth video/VOIP call depends on good quality internet. These quality parameters include:

Download/Upload Speed - At least 1 Mbps down and up, depending on the type of call and video resolution. A large 1080P group Zoom might require even higher data speeds.

Latency - The average delay between sending and receiving data. Ping of not more than 100 ms. Long latency is felt as lag, a delay in voice/video transmission.

Jitter - The fluctuation in latency. Jitter not more than 30 ms. If latency changes wildly, it means there is a big difference between the fastest packet to arrive and the slowest. It makes lag inconsistent which affects smooth voice/video transmission.

Packet Loss - % data sent that is lost. Should be 0%.

These quality factors could be affected by everything. The ISP, modem, router, wifi, distance, interference, other LAN devices, Zoom servers, the other callers, internet backbone, etc.. Only some of these things could be improved with a new Wi-Fi 6 router. I would recommend DL a VOIP quality test app to try to track down the biggest source of quality loss. It might be as simple as changing wifi channel or moving the microwave.

We have a mix of Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 routers (and some even older). We have no Wi-Fi 6 devices yet, so we are not seeing any improvements over Wi-Fi 5. The exception is dedicated wireless backhaul channel for the ASUS AX XT8 Wi-Fi 6 mesh network, which is very good, but irrelevant in our case because we use ethernet backhaul.
Disclaimer: nothing written here should be taken as legal advice, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
manatee2005
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by manatee2005 »

new2bogle wrote: Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:55 am
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 5:55 pm
thedane wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:30 pm
manatee2005 wrote: Tue Oct 13, 2020 1:39 am
Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:

If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
I’m too lazy for that 😀
You can also review PowerLine. Essentially connecting a secondary AP to your primary router, using PowerLine vs having to run new Ethernet cable. You use your in house power/electrical wiring instead of new cabling.
One example is: NETGEAR PowerLINE 1200 Mbps, 1 Gigabit Port (PL1200-100PAS)
That’s interesting, will take a look
Depending on how old your house is, the "phone" jacks may actually be cat 5/5e/6 cables. These can very easily be converted to ethernet. This is what I did (I had cat 5e cables) and now my access point on the opposite side of the house also gets consistent 1gig speeds.
My house was built in the late 90s and there are no phone jacks in the rooms, only in the kitchen. I have no idea who designed this house. Even in the 90s I remember every teenager wanted their own phone in their room.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by EnjoyIt »

Gray wrote: Mon Oct 12, 2020 4:49 pm :arrow:
manatee2005 wrote: Sun Oct 11, 2020 10:49 pm
Gray wrote: Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:59 pm Asus RT-AX86U or RTAC86U. This is a powerful wireless router in a vertical form factor. AX is Wi-Fi 6.

If you have a pre-AC router, I would go for the AX.

Asus routers can be connected to each other in a mesh configuration. They also pump out firmware updates at least 5 times a year with new features and security patches. I gave my old RT-AC68U router that I bought 6+ years ago to my parents, and Asus is still putting out updates to it.

They have integrated Trend Micro protection (at no additional cost) that is another layer of protection when you’re browsing the web.
I just bought AX86U and I took my old AC68U and put it as a mesh mode on the opposite side of the house.
If you run an Ethernet cable to it from your first router, it will give you what’s called Ethernet backhaul (managing the mesh network without using any Wi-Fi bandwidth). Sometimes people feed a CAT-6/7/8 cable through their AC duct.
We run a back haul via Ethernet over the power lines. It was easy to set up and made a huge difference on performance.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
xb7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:47 am We run a back haul via Ethernet over the power lines. It was easy to set up and made a huge difference on performance.
A great reminder of another option, thanks!

If I recall correctly, the powerline stuff is a little tricky. You ideally want the two outlets used to be on the same electrical circuit, right? In my case, that circuit doesn't go where I want, and isn't even grounded --- I have an old house. So I would expect some loss in that way. Ditto insofar as powerline internet depends on the quality of the electrical wiring, and again --- old house.

I would also have to connect the adapters directly into the wall, not through a surge protector or UPS, which in my case is do-able but a bit of a PITA on one end. And use of some electrical equipment can really impact powerline performance; I think I'd find it annoying if my wifi signal went to crap because my wife started the washing machine!

I'm guessing that such a system might be okay for me at speeds up to maybe 100 Mbps (when no major electrical equipment was running). 100 Mbps is what I'm limited to now, but I'm thinking that I'll switch to gigabit next year when my current xfinity contract is up.

It's hard to beat the speed of cat 7 ethernet cable (or cat 8 if you're willing to work with stiff cable), both for reliability and future-proofing. The catch, of course, is that this gives me little flexibility in where I can place the mesh node.

Anyway, thanks for bringing up this option.
EnjoyIt
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by EnjoyIt »

xb7 wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:28 am
EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 2:47 am We run a back haul via Ethernet over the power lines. It was easy to set up and made a huge difference on performance.
A great reminder of another option, thanks!

If I recall correctly, the powerline stuff is a little tricky. You ideally want the two outlets used to be on the same electrical circuit, right? In my case, that circuit doesn't go where I want, and isn't even grounded --- I have an old house. So I would expect some loss in that way. Ditto insofar as powerline internet depends on the quality of the electrical wiring, and again --- old house.

I would also have to connect the adapters directly into the wall, not through a surge protector or UPS, which in my case is do-able but a bit of a PITA on one end. And use of some electrical equipment can really impact powerline performance; I think I'd find it annoying if my wifi signal went to crap because my wife started the washing machine!

I'm guessing that such a system might be okay for me at speeds up to maybe 100 Mbps (when no major electrical equipment was running). 100 Mbps is what I'm limited to now, but I'm thinking that I'll switch to gigabit next year when my current xfinity contract is up.

It's hard to beat the speed of cat 7 ethernet cable (or cat 8 if you're willing to work with stiff cable), both for reliability and future-proofing. The catch, of course, is that this gives me little flexibility in where I can place the mesh node.

Anyway, thanks for bringing up this option.
From a network attached storage device, we comfortably stream 4K non compressed movies over a power line adapter in a 40 year old house with old wiring. Each movie is about 50gigabytes.
A time to EVALUATE your jitters: | https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=79939&start=400#p5275418
xb7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

EnjoyIt wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 9:37 am From a network attached storage device, we comfortably stream 4K non compressed movies over a power line adapter in a 40 year old house with old wiring. Each movie is about 50gigabytes.
Good to know, thanks!

As a somewhat wild guess, that means you're getting above maybe 50 Mbps --- plugging a laptop into it and running a speedtest app would tell you more.

But again, lots of factors. Same electrical circuit or different one? Various large electrical devices operating at the time?
Not sure how your 40-year-old house wiring would compare to that in my 65-year-old house.
ChicagoJon
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by ChicagoJon »

I recently replaced an Amplifi-HD router (+2 remote antenna) dual-band mesh system with a Linksys 3-node Velop (WHW0303) Wifi5 tri-band mesh system, and couldn't be happier. We have 200Mbps Xfinity service, in an apartment where adding hard wiring is not an option.
- I debated getting one of the newer Wifi-6 systems but since most of our use is Internet bandwidth (Netflix, Zooms, browsing), didn't feel Wifi6 provided a significant advantage for the notable cost jump (esp. for 3 nodes). I figure it'll make sense for the next upgrade cycle, once all our devices are Wifi6-enabled. If that cost jump is manageable for you, and you want to be set for the next few years+, go for Wifi6 but I think it's full value will take a while to realize at the consumer level.
- If you go with Wifi5, highly recommend a tri-band system. Found our average wireless throughput had a 50-75% increase.
- I recommend systems that have Ethernet ports on the remote nodes. It's provided increased flexibility for connecting devices.
- Our major non-Internet bandwidth need is my laptop back to a NAS for photo/music file access. WiFi5 has been fine for that use, and I typically plug into a small Gigabit switch at my network core if I need really need to move/copy files.
xb7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

ChicagoJon wrote: Sat Oct 17, 2020 7:13 pm I recently replaced an Amplifi-HD router (+2 remote antenna) dual-band mesh system with a Linksys 3-node Velop (WHW0303) Wifi5 tri-band mesh system, and couldn't be happier. We have 200Mbps Xfinity service, in an apartment where adding hard wiring is not an option.
- I debated getting one of the newer Wifi-6 systems but since most of our use is Internet bandwidth (Netflix, Zooms, browsing), didn't feel Wifi6 provided a significant advantage for the notable cost jump (esp. for 3 nodes). I figure it'll make sense for the next upgrade cycle, once all our devices are Wifi6-enabled. If that cost jump is manageable for you, and you want to be set for the next few years+, go for Wifi6 but I think it's full value will take a while to realize at the consumer level.
- If you go with Wifi5, highly recommend a tri-band system. Found our average wireless throughput had a 50-75% increase.
- I recommend systems that have Ethernet ports on the remote nodes. It's provided increased flexibility for connecting devices.
- Our major non-Internet bandwidth need is my laptop back to a NAS for photo/music file access. WiFi5 has been fine for that use, and I typically plug into a small Gigabit switch at my network core if I need really need to move/copy files.
I spent most of yesterday installing a new ASUS router (RT-AC86U), and connecting my older ASUS router (RT-AC68U) as a mesh node using ASUS's mesh support ("AIMesh"), so I very much have this sort of thing on my mind.

What ChicagoJon writes above all makes a ton of sense. I had been initially excited about wi-fi 6 and even wi-fi 6E, but I conclude that the marginal improvements for me personally won't be that big, even with devices that currently support the standard. And my new wi-fi 5 router actually implements two of the benefits of wi-fi 6 (Mu-MIMO, and 1024-QAM). My current phone and tablet would take advantage of wi-fi 6, nothing else I have would, plus unlike ChicagoJon, I have a lot of things hard-wired, where of course this makes no difference --- what does make a difference there might be replacing cat 5 wire with something better (cat 7 isn't expensive, is pretty future-proofed, and is more flexible and easier to work with than cat 8).

ChicagoJon's recommendation of a tri-band system for a wifi router makes sense to IF you're talking about a wireless-only installation like he has, especially if in a mesh setup. My dual-band system is providing a large percentage of the 100 Mbps that we pay for --- I don't know what the difference would be at 200 Mbps or above. I suggest that in an apartment setting it's even more important than for my standalone house that you download a wi-fi signal analyzer and have a look at what channels and bands your neighbors have their various wi-fi setups on, and try to pick different channels for your own setup. I wonder if any routers are smart enough to do that automatically? I don't think mine is, though I'm not sure --- I don't see a conflict on the 2.4 ghz band so maybe, but I got a couple of flickers of a neighbor's 5 ghz band that was on the same channel as mine, FWIW.

I went all around my house with both signal analyzer app and speed test app to see what I'm getting, particularly at the periphery areas and outside. The big advantage of a second meshed router for me was to be able to confidently move as many things to the faster 5 ghz band as I could, and this IS definitely better. However, overall I'm a bit disappointed in that the signal strength in the 5 ghz band at a couple of edge-of-house locations was weaker than I had hoped with a two-node mesh system. I guess a glass-half-full view would be that I already had pretty good coverage, so any speed and range improvement is to be appreciated. It certainly gives me one other major area of the house with very fast wi-fi.

A lot of this is about getting set up to take advantage of faster internet in future, but it's nice now too.

I'm a fan of ASUS products after this. Other than a brief wonkiness with one router's firmware update, this all just worked great. Certainly not as easy as the Google or Eero mesh installations likely are, but I think that ASUS does a good job at providing more power and functionality, while still offering a product that people can set up in a more basic way --- they have a sort of wizard to get you going with the basics. And you don't have to climb too steep of a "wall of complexity" if you want to do a bit more. For example, you can tinker with just router firewall and other security stuff to some degree without having to learn all sorts of other router complexities, or you could set up a NAS ("network-attached storage") server like ChicagoJon did, again, without having to delve into all of the other stuff available.
02nz
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by 02nz »

xb7 wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:49 pm I spent most of yesterday installing a new ASUS router (RT-AC86U), and connecting my older ASUS router (RT-AC68U) as a mesh node using ASUS's mesh support ("AIMesh")
...
I'm a fan of ASUS products after this.
Maybe you were tinkering and enjoy doing so, but I wouldn't be a fan of a consumer networking product after spending most of a Saturday installing it! One of the main selling points of Eero, Google/Nest Wifi, and the like is simplicity and ease of install, usually with an app that walks you through the steps and it's done in <10 mins.
xb7
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by xb7 »

02nz wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:53 pm Maybe you were tinkering and enjoy doing so, but I wouldn't be a fan of a consumer networking product after spending most of a Saturday installing it! One of the main selling points of Eero, Google/Nest Wifi, and the like is simplicity and ease of install, usually with an app that walks you through the steps and it's done in <10 mins.
To be fair, the installation part didn't take that long. A lot of the actual installation time was my nervousness and reading everything I could find and trying to make sure that it went smooth. There was a nice video on Youtube from ASUS showing how to do exactly what I was doing, and I had no problems.

It took much of the day because I chose to spend the extra time in various ways. I went all around with a clipboard and noted 5 ghz wifi speeds and signal strengths around the house. I went through the list of wifi devices and identified and renamed them in my router --- so I can tell what's using up the most bandwidth, or even if I encounter an unfamiliar device in future it will stand out. "Tinkering" with the firewall took all of about a minute, just making a couple of choices, looking one thing up on the internet --- well worth it. ASUS offers a sort of security review and it pointed out that I should do what I did on my previous router: disable UPNp and WPS, neither of which I need, and without which my router is more secure.
I also recabled and even moved a couple of wired devices and did various tests. The result of which I found one device just wasn't connecting anymore, so I resolved that. I measured carefully to order a couple of lengths of cat 7 ethernet wire. I generally read through the router manual and reviewed everything in the GUI (interface) to make explicit decisions. I tried setting a couple of the antennas both straight up and at an angle. Basically I geeked out a bit, but I'm more familiar with the router now, and can basically forget about it again.

I'm not suggesting that's what everyone should do (!), but even with a "simple" router install I bet I would be doing most of the same things. Except that some of the stuff that I was happy to do wouldn't be supported! (I almost bought an Eero system until I found they don't support PPPoE for example).
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by eye.surgeon »

I just installed a very expensive Netgear Orbi mesh network wifi6 system consisting of a router and 2 extenders in my rather large home. Made a huge difference in the far parts of the home vs a single router, also wifi 6 with any newer apple product such as my iphone 11 is really much faster.
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by lazydavid »

02nz wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:53 pm
xb7 wrote: Sun Oct 18, 2020 12:49 pm I spent most of yesterday installing a new ASUS router (RT-AC86U), and connecting my older ASUS router (RT-AC68U) as a mesh node using ASUS's mesh support ("AIMesh")
...
I'm a fan of ASUS products after this.
Maybe you were tinkering and enjoy doing so, but I wouldn't be a fan of a consumer networking product after spending most of a Saturday installing it! One of the main selling points of Eero, Google/Nest Wifi, and the like is simplicity and ease of install, usually with an app that walks you through the steps and it's done in <10 mins.
In theory it should be only/primarily non-technical users that value this simplicity. However, I’m a Network Engineer by trade, and currently manage IT infrastructure for a mid-sized ($150M) technology company. Once upon a time, I ran enterprise-grade Cisco gear in my home. Now, I can’t be bothered. So when time came for an upgrade 2 years ago, I went with Google Wifi. Sure I could set up and tune a controller-based WiFi system with multiple dumb APs perfectly situated and radio gain optimally tuned, but that would cost $1500 and take me all weekend to get just right. Google Wifi took 15 minutes to set up and configure 4 nodes, and delivers 85% of the benefit of a fully-custom system, plus has side benefits like letting me schedule active hours for all of my son’s devices with just a few taps. Sold. I’m very happy to leave my work at work (which is now also home)

One of my employees doesn’t subscribe to my thought process, and just replaced his failing Cisco router (2621, I think) with a Layer 3 switch. He uses Ubiquiti APs for his wireless network. It took him and a friend an entire day and several factory resets (using VLAN 1 for user traffic takes the whole network offline!) to get it set up, and it’s still not quite right. I admire his geekiness. But I no longer have that much free time. :D My systems architect uses Google Wifi at home just like I do. He can’t be bothered either. :P
sciencewhiz
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Re: Replacement Wi-Fi 6 Router

Post by sciencewhiz »

If you have neighbors, it's worth checking to see what channel your router is on, and what channels your neighbors routers are. You can download the WiFi Analyzer app from the Windows App store to see the channels.

When my WiFi got intermittent a few months ago, I found that my neighbor got a new router that was using the same channel as me. I switched channels and everything improved.
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