What is the very best wireless router available right now? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Regardless of brand, price, single or dual band, etc. I just want the most rock solid, reliable, always connect, always maintain throughput, good range and coverage, wireless N router.

Any suggestions?

I've been using for quite a while a Cisco small business wired router (which has been great) and a Buffalo wireless router in WAP mode hung off the Cisco. The Buffalo has good range and throughput but has always been unreliable in passing through and resolving ip addresses (in contrast to my previous Linksys WAP54G that was flawless.)

Router died in the storm on Friday, so I'm intending to get a new wireless router to replace both the Cisco and Buffalo (using the Buffalo as a router right now and I still don't like it.)

I guess my initial thought is to get a Linksys E4200 V2 but I'd certainly like to hear other recommendations. Major brands only,. TPLInk, Trendent etc need not apply. Don't think I want another Buffalo, and don't want a Belkin.

Cisco, Netgear, Asus, Sonic Wall, Hawking, DLink, ZyXel etc would be fine.

I DON'T use the wireless for streaming media , by the way, just for all the myriad wireless devices in the house (laptops, tablets, camera, phones, weather station, clock radio, iPod, etc.) I just want something with which I don't need to be figuring out why something connected yesterday just fine but for some reason today won't.
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post #2 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 02:01 PM
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Apple Airport Extreme

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post #3 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 02:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

Apple Airport Extreme

Why?

That wasn't even something I had thought of. Why would that be the best?
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post #4 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dropkick Murphy View Post

Apple Airport Extreme

No. Not this.
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post #5 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 02:35 PM - Thread Starter
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So let me toss out four others for comment:

Linksys E4200V2
Amped 20000G
ASUS RT-N66U
Netgear R6300

Anybody using any of these? Any thoughts on any of these? Any alternatives?

By the way, Cisco is selling refurbed E4200V2 for $109.99 on its website which seems like a pretty good deal.
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post #6 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 03:30 PM
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Just a thought, but you may want to think about getting a cheap(er) wireless N router to tide you over for a bit, and then pick up a wireless AC router when they really start to flood the market. I understand that most, if not all, components lack wireless AC connections, but clearly that's where we're heading. Future-proofing is never a bad thing!
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post #7 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

No. Not this.

I've actually heard very good things in both build quality and wireless range about the Apple Airport Extreme, so I'm curious why you're immediately rejecting it.

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post #8 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theshiv View Post

Just a thought, but you may want to think about getting a cheap(er) wireless N router to tide you over for a bit, and then pick up a wireless AC router when they really start to flood the market. I understand that most, if not all, components lack wireless AC connections, but clearly that's where we're heading. Future-proofing is never a bad thing!

That's actually why the Netgear was on my list of four above.
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post #9 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I've actually heard very good things in both build quality and wireless range about the Apple Airport Extreme, so I'm curious why you're immediately rejecting it.

I'd really have to hear some good reasons why that Apple is better than any of the four I named. Maybe it is and I'm just missing it, but I'd really like to know why.
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post #10 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 04:59 PM
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I'd like to know where you came up with your current list since we're trying to be objective and all. The E4200 gets really hot and has signal issues. Don't know what the hell the Amped is or why it's on the list. The ASUS is king right now, but has some buggy features or things that just don't work. Airports are very reliable and generally very good, but expensive and aren't full of features. Also no web config, which personally annoys me.
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post #11 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 05:17 PM
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Wild curiosity, but what ever happened to, or what about Ruckus Wireless. I remember reading about them and their phased array "Beamforming" technology to supposedly "aim" the wireless signal in the best path, but I really never hear anything about them.

Oh, maybe the price.

See what an anamorphoscopic lens can do,
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post #12 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 05:22 PM
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I've got a Linksys E3000. I bought it to replace my DIR-655 over a year ago, if I remember the dates right. Anyway, it works great for me. I have it in the garage, right next to my server rack, and I have excellent coverage over my entire house and outside, too. You can pick one up pretty cheap now, and it will hold you over until the AC stuff starts hitting the market.
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post #13 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 05:38 PM
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The Netgear R6300 is 802.11 AC. It also has a place to plug in 2 USB hard drives.
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post #14 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 07:46 PM
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Have a look at www.smallnetbuilder.com as they have a lot of good information and reviews.

When I was looking for my router I found there wasn't one unit that excelled across all features. Most were strong in one area but had flaws in others. In the end I picked the one which was strongest in the area I needed it and flaws in the other areas I could live with.

When looking at wireless specs, be cautious of snake oil claims such as 600Mbps or 900Mbps speeds offered by many dual band routers. The maximum wireless throughput claimed by manufacturers is generally the combined throughput of all frequencies and cstreams. A wireless client will only be able to connect to one frequency at a time (either 2.4GHz or 5GHz) not both. The higher speeds on each frequency require the client to be able to connect to multiple streams concurrently. Some devices are able to do this but a lot do not and it depends on the quality of the wifi adaptor in the client. Often this is not stated in specifications and you need to do a lot of research through Google to find out. Nearly all clients that can connect concurrently to multiple streams are only capable at most of two. Routers offering 900Mbps throughput will be a waste for most devices unless you’re buying the corresponding wifi adaptor from the manufacturer (Even then the maximum theoretical throughput for a device will only be 450Mbps not 900Mbps).
Quote:
Originally Posted by sycochkn View Post

The Netgear R6300 is 802.11 AC. It also has a place to plug in 2 USB hard drives.
I’ve found the NAS UBS feature to be pretty useless on routers as transfer speeds are typically a fraction of what you can get from a dedicated NAS and features are pretty limited. To buy an external hard drive with a NAS function is marginally more than the cost of an USB external drive and performs much better.

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post #15 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 07:53 PM
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If you're planning on putting custom firmware on it, the Asus RT-N16 is an excellent choice. Good processor, tonnes of memory and compatible with DD-WRT and Tomato.
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post #16 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I just want the most rock solid, reliable, always connect, always maintain throughput, good range and coverage, wireless N router.
No such thing. Any wireless router is subject to interference and will have problems from time to time. If you really need reliability, you have to go hardwired.
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post #17 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhoff80 View Post

I've actually heard very good things in both build quality and wireless range about the Apple Airport Extreme, so I'm curious why you're immediately rejecting it.

$180


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post #18 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

$180

The OP said price didn't matter. Honestly, I've used Airport Extreme's for probably the past 6 or 7 years, and they are extremely reliable. For something I use for hours every day, I don't think $180 is asking much if it gives me a reliable no-fuss connection. I remember having a linksys router before that and having to reset it all the time. I don't think I've ever had to reset an Airport Extreme. The only think I don't like about them is you have to manage them via an application rather than a simple webpage.

That being said, don't expect them to do miracles for high bit rate HD video. No wireless N router will help you much there. For general use though, they're fantastic.
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post #19 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 08:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

No such thing. Any wireless router is subject to interference and will have problems from time to time. If you really need reliability, you have to go hardwired.

So how do you hardwire your tablets?

My pcs are hardwired but I still need wireless for the thirty or so assorted wireless devices in the house.
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post #20 of 471 Old 07-01-2012, 09:03 PM
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Zon2020 -

While your waiting for router recommendations, suggest you listen to or read transcripts of the following podcasts at Security Now regarding "Buffer Bloat", as how it relates to routers having large memory capacity.

Episode SN-345 "Buffer Bloat"
Episode SN-359 "Coddling Our Buffers"

Videos of these podcasts may also be viewed or downloaded at: Twit.TV

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post #21 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post

The OP said price didn't matter. Honestly, I've used Airport Extreme's for probably the past 6 or 7 years, and they are extremely reliable. For something I use for hours every day, I don't think $180 is asking much if it gives me a reliable no-fuss connection. I remember having a linksys router before that and having to reset it all the time. I don't think I've ever had to reset an Airport Extreme. The only think I don't like about them is you have to manage them via an application rather than a simple webpage.
That being said, don't expect them to do miracles for high bit rate HD video. No wireless N router will help you much there. For general use though, they're fantastic.

So the most expensive = the best?

Btw I have a linksys and have never had to reset it. So please provide information on why the apple product that is over twice the cost of most very good routers is superior.


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post #22 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ljo000 View Post

If you're planning on putting custom firmware on it, the Asus RT-N16 is an excellent choice. Good processor, tonnes of memory and compatible with DD-WRT and Tomato.

I have been using this router (with Tomato USB firmware) and it has been great. I use it with a 16 port Gigabit switch. The only potential negative against the RT-N16 is that it doesn't have dual band 5GHz wireless N, only 2.4GHz N.

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post #23 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 06:10 AM
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I have a Linksys EA4500 and all I can say is that it works well. Personally I had no trouble setting it up and it's been rock solid since then. I run a lot of equipment through it, some hard wired and a lot wireless, and it seems to handle it all without any obvious glitches. I take a pretty straight forward approach to this type of "infrastructure", I simply want it to work in an invisible kind of way and the Linksys has met that requirement so far. Might add that this router is probably the third Linksys I've had over the past 12 or so years and I've been pleased with all of them and simply replaced the first two in the process of upgrading rather that issues with the routers. Obviously other folks experience may be different, just my personal experience.
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post #24 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 06:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randyk47 View Post

I have a Linksys EA4500 and all I can say is that it works well. Personally I had no trouble setting it up and it's been rock solid since then. I run a lot of equipment through it, some hard wired and a lot wireless, and it seems to handle it all without any obvious glitches. I take a pretty straight forward approach to this type of "infrastructure", I simply want it to work in an invisible kind of way and the Linksys has met that requirement so far. Might add that this router is probably the third Linksys I've had over the past 12 or so years and I've been pleased with all of them and simply replaced the first two in the process of upgrading rather that issues with the routers. Obviously other folks experience may be different, just my personal experience.

Thanks. I share your approach to this stuff, and your experience with Linksys/Cisco.

What is the differance between your EA4500 and the E4200 and what is this "app enabled" stuff about?
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post #25 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 09:25 AM
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Thanks. I share your approach to this stuff, and your experience with Linksys/Cisco.
What is the differance between your EA4500 and the E4200 and what is this "app enabled" stuff about?

As far as I know the EA4500 is more or less the new version of the E4200. "App enabled" doesn't do much for me other than I can access the router via any of my devices whereas before I had to be on my main PC. Quite frankly that's not a big issue as I really don't add that much to my LAN but it's there if I need it. I guess I could be missing some other whiz-bang use so I'll defer to somebody who plays more in that arena than I do. As an aside I was in Home Depot a couple of days ago and they now have some refrigerators (high end models) with screens in the door and supposedly the capability to be connected to your LAN for whatever purpose. One of uses was some kind of inventory/shopping list application. OK....whatever. rolleyes.gifbiggrin.gif
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post #26 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 09:37 AM
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First, is there a best that is perfect for everyone? Not likely - not everyone can afford a $100-200 router.

My recommendation/experience:

1) Go with a true simultaneous dual band router, so you can use both the 5GHz and 2.4Ghz bands at the same time. (Cisco E3000, E4200, Netgear WNDR3700, etc). Typically, these high end routers also have USB ports and other features, which may be a bonus for you. Also, many or all of them will have guest networking, which is another fantastic feature to have.

2) I had a Cisco E3000, and it sucked for me. Saw some great reviews on it, but I had to reset it once a week. It would stop accepting new wireless clients. Very aggravating. Also, I hated the Cisco connect software utility that you had to use to get to all the settings.

3) Now have a Netgear WNDR3700 - it does everything I need reliably. I don't use it's extra features. It's MUCH easier to configure than the Cisco. I've not had great luck with Netgear products over time, so who knows about the longevity of this router.

YMMV - good luck,

Stan
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post #27 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 09:42 AM
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post #28 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 09:49 AM
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If you want the best then you should be looking at commercial grade hardware..cisco, Ruckus, Netgear prosafe, (I'm sure there are others)

I was all set for a central managed Ruckus solution with 3 APs, but decided to try 3 Airport extremes in AP mode (6000 sq ft home). I'm an anti-apple guy but I've been pleasantly surprised. There are hidden settings which allow you to fine tune the wireless modes. I don't get seamless inter-AP handover but it does the job for now. When I build in 5 years, I will see how infrastructure/equipment has changed but with a 9000 sq ft home, I will likely make the jump to commercial grade equipment and a centrally managed solution.
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post #29 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zon2020 View Post

I'd really have to hear some good reasons why that Apple is better than any of the four I named. Maybe it is and I'm just missing it, but I'd really like to know why.


A) It is pearlescent white

B) Matches the color of other Apple products

C) It has the apple with bite out of it logo on it

D) It is overpriced

E) you can brag to people that you spent $200 on a wireless router for a consumer application.

How many more reasons do you need?

Edit: Hit the surge protector/Back-UPS manufacturer for protected equipment warranty coverage.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #30 of 471 Old 07-02-2012, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want the best then you should be looking at commercial grade hardware..cisco, Ruckus, Netgear prosafe, (I'm sure there are others)

I'm not prepared to go buy a Juniper or a large scale Cisco, but I do like and have used the the Cisco "small business" line, currently denominated as "RV" models I think. I'm considering the Cisco RV180W or RV220W, but the fact is that they have less throughput than the consumer models because that's not their focus.
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