Finally Upgrading Home Router, $250 MAX Budget

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.

Similar yes. Double coil but these coils are optimized for the 5/8th lambda not the typical quarter wave… A little differences here and there to make them equally good at transmitting as they are at rxing… Typically people buy antennas to improve gain but theres so much more you gotta do with the new tech… (especially AX> You might as well stick to stock with AX. The explanation is long and will muck up this thread so I wont get into it)

The spread is wonderful. the antennas can be software configured depending on the channel width. If you have 80x80 to make 160 its a 2x2 if you have just 80 its full array. (openwrt). I talked about why this router is awesome here. Also talked about the properties of my antennas

Scroll to the middle of my OP blog post also table of contents

Anyways OP… any AX router will do. You can find higher end for cheap on Ebay. No sense paying full price. Sometimes Ill buy a bricked one (super cheap) and jtag it but if you arent comfortable with that just stick with confirmed working open box’s

AX is still heavily evolving. I would wait until its through a couple of waves before buying.

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I was under the impression ASUS routers don’t have the hardware for proper packet inspection even if you upgrade the firmware to Tomato. Maybe I am thinking of a different commercial router feature (which I forget the name of) or thinking of hardware packet inspection, not software packet inspection.

not a clue… was a cheap option that works well enough and made as a option to plug and play.
they are fine for home use. custom firmware not a clue… never tried with the ones my friends bought.

I know remember what I confused packet inspection with Intruder Detection. The router ability to detect an Intruder and automatically put a stop to it without human intervention.

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yeahs it bad if they have the password… remote management is not that secure with them.

Remote Management is the first option on any router or server I disable. If I have to log into something that isn’t local, I use OpenVPN and log into whatever equipment I need.