New router recommendations

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pewternhrata

Audioholic Chief
I have a dlink dir 657, wireless signal is very low after a power outage so I've decided it's time to upgrade. Id like to stay as far under $100 without limiting my Internet. I use wifi on 2 note5s and one firetv box. My '4k' firetv, ps3 and lg tv are wired. Current speed tests are around 10 Mbps. http://www.ncwcom.com/residential-internet-services/ we have gen x service. I know pretty much nothing when it comes to Internet and network specs, we use amazon music, hulu, amazon prime. I don't see myself anywhere in the near future setting up a network with say kodi to stream from pc to other devices. So I'm assuming I just need a basic ac router such as the netgear ac1200, or belkin n600.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Forget about Belkin,Netgear, Linksys brands.
These is the one I'd recommend:
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Archer-C7-Wireless-Gigabit/dp/B00BUSDVBQ
https://www.amazon.com/T-Mobile-Wireless-AC1900-Dual-Band-AiProtection-Complete/dp/B01MYTAURW/ref=pd_lpo_147_tr_t_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NY88GEP7CCHE3A840A3G

Both require some tinkering for best functionality out of them, but it's worth on a $100 budget

If you're not tech inclined, you could buy this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-RT-AC68U-Ultra-Fast-Acceleration-AiProtection/dp/B00FB45SI4
It's exactly same as tmo's AC1900, but running asus firmware.
 
Bucknekked

Bucknekked

Audioholic Samurai
So I'm assuming I just need a basic ac router such as the netgear ac1200, or belkin n600.
your requirements are modest and you shouldn't have difficulty finding a router that meets those needs.
I've had several generations of Netgear routers and have been happy with all of them. Other family members have used the Asus routers as BoredSysAdmin has posted and those work well and will certainly meet your needs.

Routers are pretty benign as long as they mesh with your incoming cable modems capabilities. Here in Arizona, the local internet providers publish a compatibility matrix for equipment that matches up with their cable modems. As long as what I choose is on the list, I've never had an issue. Certainly most any name brand will get it done.

Good luck. When you make your choice and install it, give us a heads up on how it went. Its always good to see what peoples experiences are when they put in new gear.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Routers are pretty benign as long as they mesh with your incoming cable modems capabilities. Here in Arizona, the local internet providers publish a compatibility matrix for equipment that matches up with their cable modems. As long as what I choose is on the list, I've never had an issue. Certainly most any name brand will get it done.

Good luck. When you make your choice and install it, give us a heads up on how it went. Its always good to see what peoples experiences are when they put in new gear.
I read that and my head hurts. "Routers are pretty benign" - what that does even mean? Did you meant to say Routers are ubiquitous?
As far as security Netgear, Dlink are one of the worst offenders. Asus was just as bad, but they picked the slack and now doing decent job securing their router software.

@Bucknekked - If you don't have anything meaningful to add to the conversation, please don't post just to increase your post count.

To OP:
Your best resource finding router performance both wired and wireless would be at http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Just found another great option:
https://www.amazon.com/RT-ACRH13-Dual-Band-AC1300-4-port-Gigabit/dp/B01LXL1AR8/ref=pd_cp_147_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DBNJX04CFTE0P8JQHR1V
specs here:
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-ACRH13/
  • Super-Fast Wi-Fi - Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with concurrent speeds up to 867Mbps (5GHz) and 400Mbps (2.4GHz)
  • Improved Wi-Fi Range - Four external 5dBi antennas for improved Wi-Fi range and multi-device performance
  • MU-MIMO - Revolutionary technology for the best multi-device performance
  • Quad-Core Processor - Responsive network performance and smooth data handling
  • 128MB Memory for Multi-Tasking - Fast memory architecture enables stable multiple simultaneous download streams on multiple devices
  • USB 3.0 - up to 10X faster data transfer speeds than USB 2.0
Unless you must have 600Mbps at 2.4Ghz - this is absolutely fine. Range and stability is more important than theoretical speed.
 
Rob Harrison

Rob Harrison

Enthusiast
I"m sold on my Asus router. It replaced netgear and linksys before them... of course, technology has gotten a jump in each upgrade, but I"m pretty sold on Asus over those other two brands.
Better yet.... I"ve recently canned the wifi for my living room and bedroom equipment and went gigabit ethernet. Much more solid connection/speed/signal, etc. Looking to do the same for my theater and office... but the routing of cabling will require some wall cuts and patching and I"m not looking forward to it. But.... a wired connection is so much more reliable and stable.
- Rob
 
Rob Harrison

Rob Harrison

Enthusiast
Also... note that you will not realize AC speeds unless your router and the connected devices are AC.
You might want to check out routers with MIMO technology as well... but read carefully and education yourself. The MIMO is a promising technology, but I decided it would be too limiting.

Again... I'm using wifi for all my tablets and phones, nest, and a laptop. But.. I'm hard wiring all that I can.
 
P

pewternhrata

Audioholic Chief
Thanks for the info, I went with a belkin n600 $40. I figured since my important devices are wired I'm not too concerned with the wifi aspect (the dlink worked fine for me). In a 2 story townhouse until we purchase a house in the next yr or 2, so at that point I will upgrade if need be. I'll play around for a day or so and 'report' back. The most confusing aspect to me is the price difference between routers and the whole "you get what you pay for", that how good is a $40 router.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for the info, I went with a belkin n600 $40. I figured since my important devices are wired I'm not too concerned with the wifi aspect (the dlink worked fine for me). In a 2 story townhouse until we purchase a house in the next yr or 2, so at that point I will upgrade if need be. I'll play around for a day or so and 'report' back. The most confusing aspect to me is the price difference between routers and the whole "you get what you pay for", that how good is a $40 router.
Have you seen reviews on amazon ? : https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Wireless-Dual-Band-Router-Generation/dp/B004N625AA
Imo you did wrong choice, but it's your choice.
Make sure you update it or take a gamble of having your router hacked, which could affect someone stealing your banking info, using your internet for launching DDOS attacks etc...
https://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/201168

Price of router is not just about Wifi performance, it's about security, stability and performance (including wired)
 
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pewternhrata

Audioholic Chief
Isn't online security always an issue? I figure I'd be more prone to getting hacked at the gas pump, target, homedepot rathere than someone take control of my ecobee or echo dot. Yes I know there is more involved than that. I usually hide my network still with password. Any online purchases made with only one card issued through my bank, unfortunately my bank info has been obtained a couple times in the past, was never given a reason, but my bank was the one to contact me. Not to get way off topic but it is a good point to bring up. I try my best to limit what I do on phone and home pc. 30 yrs old and I prefer old school calling to make payments rather than submit over the Internet lol. And of course I don't fully understand how the process goes if someone wants to get into my network (over wifi or wired)
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Isn't online security always an issue? I figure I'd be more prone to getting hacked at the gas pump, target, homedepot rathere than someone take control of my ecobee or echo dot. Yes I know there is more involved than that. I usually hide my network still with password. Any online purchases made with only one card issued through my bank, unfortunately my bank info has been obtained a couple times in the past, was never given a reason, but my bank was the one to contact me. Not to get way off topic but it is a good point to bring up. I try my best to limit what I do on phone and home pc. 30 yrs old and I prefer old school calling to make payments rather than submit over the Internet lol. And of course I don't fully understand how the process goes if someone wants to get into my network (over wifi or wired)
I'll try to explain it in simple terms - your home router is the wall separating your and wild-wild west of the internet. Security is many different aspects and could get complicated, but last place where you'd want to compromise is that wall. Unfortunately - they are no magic bullets here, but reading and following best practices would be good place to start. Like I said, updating the software running on your Belkin router to it's latest version is the least thing I would do if I were you.

Speaking of Ecobee or Amazon Echo dot - these fall under generic term - IoT - internet of things - things are Not computers but they get to connected to the internet.
Bad guys had already figured out how abuse these. These little devices were used to launch one of the largest and devastating attacks ever on the internet.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirai_(malware)
 
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pewternhrata

Audioholic Chief
Maybe better to start a new thread since all this came up, but could be beneficial to create a list of issues to cover/look out for when setting up a network. I know this is an audio forum, but I'm sure many could benefit from it as common as networks are in the audio world these days.
 
jinjuku

jinjuku

Moderator
I read that and my head hurts. "Routers are pretty benign" - what that does even mean? Did you meant to say Routers are ubiquitous?
As far as security Netgear, Dlink are one of the worst offenders. Asus was just as bad, but they picked the slack and now doing decent job securing their router software.
I think a better way to state that is:

Not all routers are benign. Vendors like Netgear, D-Link, Asus have all had major issues with properly hardening routers. I would suggest moving up the food chain something like vendor x/y/or / z.
 
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BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
I think a better way to state that is:

Not all routers are benign. Vendors like Netgear, D-Link, Asus have all had major issues with properly hardened routers. I would suggest moving up the food chain something like vendor x/y/or / z.
The issue is that i honestly don't understand what benign router means in this context. It's not like you getting a plush toy. The potential threat does not comes from router, but from bad actors looking to abuse it.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
The issue is that i honestly don't understand what benign router means in this context. It's not like you getting a plush toy. The potential threat does not comes from router, but from bad actors looking to abuse it.
I never gave much thought to routers until my horrendous problems of the last year.

I think that the issue is poor products released to market and probably changing patterns of use.

When all the grandchildren arrive, there is huge traffic now on the radio link. In addition I use the internet much more heavily than three years ago. I bet the amount of data I shift in and out of this place is now huge.

I just got on the Giga zone Thursday. Hard wired I get a quarter gig up and down hard wired and very close to that with the radio link, about 220 Mbs. That new router software is keeping up, and not locking up.

We probably do need to have more about routers on this forum. I know I was behind the curve and paid the price in major hassles. All of a sudden the router seems to have become the most problematic piece of the whole set up.
 
vsound5150

vsound5150

Audioholic
Forget about Belkin,Netgear, Linksys brands.
What are the issues with Netgear? I always thought they were great routers my understanding it all started from couple guys out of Cisco. Or is because of the consumer product line?

I can say I would never buy an Asus router again. When I did a factory reset it wiped out everything except the wifi SSID and admin credentials. I flashed the firmware, re-configured, and tried another factory reset same thing. Was very strange maybe a defective unit but still unacceptable. The Netgear's have been solid.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
What are the issues with Netgear? I always thought they were great routers my understanding it all started from couple guys out of Cisco. Or is because of the consumer product line?

I can say I would never buy an Asus router again. When I did a factory reset it wiped out everything except the wifi SSID and admin credentials. I flashed the firmware, re-configured, and tried another factory reset same thing. Was very strange maybe a defective unit but still unacceptable. The Netgear's have been solid.
Lets agree to disagree. While Asus unit you got may have been defective, you could've easily replaced on warranty. Everyone has a bad apple once in a while. Even Apple is not flawless.
My problem with Netgear is not their reliability of hardware but absolutely abyssal software "quality" control/testing.

I sold Netgear Enterprise Next-Gen firewall/router to a client of mine. One of software releases had interesting side "feature": on each reboot it would replace IPSec VPN shared key to 49 asterisks. This issue took me a very long time to find and troubleshoot. After 3 year subscription ended, I quickly switched them to Sophos UTM and couldn't be happier about it. So much better in every possible way.
This is TRWTF and is completely and totally unacceptable. The firewall interface was not intuitive and then I worked with Netgear support - they are out right giving me wrong information.
I had many other similar encounters with horrible Netgear software on different products.

Also this comes to mind: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3149554/security/an-unpatched-vulnerability-exposes-netgear-routers-to-hacking.html
...simply viewing a malicious web page could result in your [Netgear] router being hacked.
Do keep in mind - this is not sole indecent - this crap occurs with netgear products fairly often.
I also don't see currently anyone on Cisco leadership page anyone with history with Cisco and tbh it's not surprising. https://www.netgear.com/about/management/

Just to be crystal clear - I highly recommend Asus since Imo they are lest offending router out of the box since they are based on solid hardware AND they now took router software much more seriously after few security blunders of their own.

I said it before and I will repeat it again - for my own next system I will separate router and wifi into completely separate boxes and both likely to be from Ubiquiti Networks
 
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vsound5150

vsound5150

Audioholic
Lets agree to disagree. While Asus unit you got may have been defective, you could've easily replaced on warranty. Everyone has a bad apple once in a while. Even Apple is not flawless.
My problem with Netgear is not their reliability of hardware but absolutely abyssal software "quality" control/testing.

I sold Netgear Enterprise Next-Gen firewall/router to a client of mine. One of software releases had interesting side "feature": on each reboot it would replace IPSec VPN shared key to 49 asterisks. This issue took me a very long time to find and troubleshoot. After 3 year subscription ended, I quickly switched them to Sophos UTM and couldn't be happier about it. So much better in every possible way.
This is TRWTF and is completely and totally unacceptable. The firewall interface was not intuitive and then I worked with Netgear support - they are out right giving me wrong information.
I had many other similar encounters with horrible Netgear software on different products.

Also this comes to mind: http://www.pcworld.com/article/3149554/security/an-unpatched-vulnerability-exposes-netgear-routers-to-hacking.html

Do keep in mind - this is not sole indecent - this crap occurs with netgear products fairly often.
I also don't see currently anyone on Cisco leadership page anyone with history with Cisco and tbh it's not surprising. https://www.netgear.com/about/management/

Just to be crystal clear - I highly recommend Asus since Imo they are lest offending router out of the box since they are based on solid hardware AND they now took router software much more seriously after few security blunders of their own.

I said it before and I will repeat it again - for my own next system I will separate router and wifi into completely separate boxes and both likely to be from Ubiquiti Networks
Awesome thanks for the info.. Ubiquiti Networks, what a coincidence I made some buku money shorting their stock last week, I still have half a position left will dump the rest this week if it remains flat.
 
C

Chu Gai

Audioholic Samurai
I read that and my head hurts. "Routers are pretty benign" - what that does even mean? Did you meant to say Routers are ubiquitous?
As far as security Netgear, Dlink are one of the worst offenders. Asus was just as bad, but they picked the slack and now doing decent job securing their router software.

@Bucknekked - If you don't have anything meaningful to add to the conversation, please don't post just to increase your post count.

To OP:
Your best resource finding router performance both wired and wireless would be at http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Just found another great option:
https://www.amazon.com/RT-ACRH13-Dual-Band-AC1300-4-port-Gigabit/dp/B01LXL1AR8/ref=pd_cp_147_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DBNJX04CFTE0P8JQHR1V
specs here:
https://www.asus.com/us/Networking/RT-ACRH13/
  • Super-Fast Wi-Fi - Dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi with concurrent speeds up to 867Mbps (5GHz) and 400Mbps (2.4GHz)
  • Improved Wi-Fi Range - Four external 5dBi antennas for improved Wi-Fi range and multi-device performance
  • MU-MIMO - Revolutionary technology for the best multi-device performance
  • Quad-Core Processor - Responsive network performance and smooth data handling
  • 128MB Memory for Multi-Tasking - Fast memory architecture enables stable multiple simultaneous download streams on multiple devices
  • USB 3.0 - up to 10X faster data transfer speeds than USB 2.0
Unless you must have 600Mbps at 2.4Ghz - this is absolutely fine. Range and stability is more important than theoretical speed.
FWIW, I've been in the market for a new router and decided on the one that BSA quoted above. It's an Amazon Deal of the Day and is presently going for $49.99. Was going to order it yesterday but didn't get around to it. So my procrastination saved me a few bucks.
 
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