Finally Upgrading Home Router, $250 MAX Budget


I’m unfortunately still using the ISP provided router, and finally getting around to changing as I’m upgrading my entire setup. I currently get around 120/130 Download and 30 Upload. My network is 150 max download so I don’t expect changing routers to increase speeds. Just looking for good range and durability/consistency. House is only one floor and router will be in my room, ethernet connected to desktop.

i have so far only done some quick research on models including:

Nighthawk X6 AC3200,
TP Link Archer A7

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Honestly anything will meet your needs 130/30 is handled by low spec gear. Maybe look for something with wifi 6 to get some future proof? (Assuming you are looking for AIO Router and not DIY/SOHO style)

are you on fiber or coax cable. is it a modem router combo.

Ubiquiti secure gateway (router) + external unifi access point (wifi 6 is $99US now!)

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Yeah using fiber, I have the modem in my room along with router. They’re both from ISP. Modem is Huawei. Then CAT6 cables to router.

how much coverage do you need?
1300SQft or less… or larger than 7000SQft?

Yeah would prefer AIO, don’t really have time to do a proper DIY setup. The Nighthawk X6 AC3200 is WiFi 6 but I wasn’t sure if there’s a meaningful difference between the various WiFi 6 supporting routers in that price range.

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Won’t matter with your house size in all reality would be my guess. Good thing to do is check how often their last flagship got updates to see how likely you are to get patches quickly if there are issues in the future

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I would say less than 1330SQft

Will do, I’d love to do a DIY setup(did my undergrad in Cloud Computing) but don’t really have the time to do it properly and if there were any issues and I wasn’t at home, nobody in the house would know what to do.

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should fit your needs.
taking the gamble that you get a fiber feed from a box on the outside so you can just use the wan port. and set up the DNS in the firmware of the router.

I use the ASUS RT-AC87U router and it serves me well.

Pretty sure many routers allow you to install firmware from DD-WRT if you so wish to use an alternate.

Yeah, fiber comes into my room, into the modem and then I run a cable from the modem to the router. Are there any specific differences between that Asus router you linked and some of the Netgear Nighthawk series?

And how strongly would you recommend looking at DD-WRT configs as alternative firmware?

other than basic firmware and some of the signaling not much. the nighthawks are more common to take a custom rom. linksys and cisco routers as well. not all of them are able to be flashed to DD-WRT. and some are compatible with Tomato.

i do not reccomened flashing firmware if you are not confidant of doing the leg work to find if your router is /will be compatible. and keep up to date with changes.

stock firmware is mostly fine just change the admin and password

for reference i run a custom rom on my linksys E3000 with cisco branding.
is it worth it slightly… was it hard no… did it take a while to find out enough to do it confidently yes.
was the stock firmware any good. passable but was lacking some functions i wanted.

have you considered ebay?

If you have


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solid options.

Hi @looming-hawk, I replaced the house’s IPS router with an Asus RT-AC88U about a year ago and haven’t had any problems with it; in fact, I was able to replace the IPS router no other equipment needed completely. I really like Asus routers , The only complaint I have with them is they don’t have packet inspection, but then that is a pro-consumer option or commercial option and add quite a bit more to the cost. If your budget isn’t any more than, $250 I couldn’t recommend the ASUS model I have, so I would go with the ASUS RT-AC86U instead.

can confirm. using the AC2600 now.

Most solid thing ive ever had

Antennas: Pro-grade (HAM grade not knock off crap)… (dont have sauce… custom design)

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yeah that was my gripe with my stock firmware as well. thats why i put tomato on it… i got lucky been using the same router since 2008 and flashed it in 2010 for the first time to tomato and never looked back.

1gig links is all i need when the time for 10gig comes this piece will be retired.

looks like the standard for in car antennas for CB.
double coil. the array is nice gives good spread.