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Router Suggestions

Hello I am in the market for a new router as I am moving to a new place and do not want to rent one from ISP. I would like for it to be fairly easy to set up with verizon fios. I also would like to have newer features like gigabit LAN ports, wifi6, etc so it can last longer into the future without it needing to be replaced. I also would like for it to be easy to set up/connect a mesh network in the future if I decide to add some WAP or anything. It seems like ASUS has had this thought in mind for a long period of time and made their devices easy to set up for mesh networks. My budget is around $200USD. Would like for it to be as cheap as possible, but willing to spend the whole budget if it is worth it. I want good strong wireless signal with fast speeds. My internet speed will be 200d/200up, but want to prepare for gigabit speeds just in case I decide to upgrade my speeds. My current place will be small, but would like for this router to be good for a single family home. I am currently looking for a single device that would be a good start to a mesh network if needed. Any advise/suggestions is greatly appreciated. Here are the two I am considering getting:

I’ve been using ASUS routers for awhile now, currently using this model router: RT-AC87U

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I am a big fan of mesh routers for ease of use and effortless expandability. You can connect them via cable to the main router if cabling is easy, or just use WiFi for the backhaul channel in locations where cabling is difficult. Routers don’t get much easier than mesh.

Some folks here are network experts, and they seem to recommend wired access points rather than mesh. While there is some gain in performance from always wiring each AP, mesh gives you the option and is usually easier to set up.

EDIT: snipped the word, “theoretical”, which was obviously incorrect. Just typing faster than my brain. :slight_smile:

No need to have mesh routers to have multiple ones. Like Asus software allows you to config a second router as a relay, and putting your wireless networks with the same SSID, passwords, and co. make you have a unique wireless network.

I have a ASUS RT-AX58U that handoff really well to a RT-AC87U, both wired, you don’t notice the change at all.

If you’re a baller you can always go for Ubiquiti gear.

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Unfortunately out of the price range

Wires are the best

Is the asus I linked a good start?

They all are pretty similar, you can always send it back if you don’t like it.

I would take a look at how often they are getting patches, maybe look at the last gen model to see that frequency as well.

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Considering these as well…

  1. $250 Amazon.com

  2. $220 https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-RT-AX82U-Dual-Band-Acceleration-Dedicated/dp/B08BJJ3RGW?tag=52421_iceleadscom-20&ascsubtag=s16265345380847dila52421

  3. $160 Amazon.com

  4. $160 https://smile.amazon.com/ASUS-WiFi-Router-RT-AX68U-Compatible/dp/B08S7CK5T5/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=ASUS+AX2700+WiFi+6+Router+(RT-AX68U&qid=1626574047&sr=8-3

  5. $130 https://www.amazon.com/ASUS-AX1800-WiFi-Router-RT-AX55/dp/B08J6CFM39/ref=sr_1_4?dchild=1&keywords=AX1800+Dual+Band+WiFi+6&qid=1626574251&sr=8-4

I would mostly just worry about wifi, if you need faster lan you can just get a 10gbe managed switch as your probably ok with flat topology, fater then 1gb isp connection is a way off and will be way over priced

Ya 1gb around here on the “deal” is $80 a month I believe which is alright. The non deal is $120 a month.

Yeah i can wait for my games to download, so i tend to only aim for like 25mbps per person, but currently have like 100/100 for only two people. There just isnt a ton of need besides downloading for crazy speed.

25gbps per person would be absolutely amazing

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good catch XD

I’d recommend Asus. I have installed 3 at client locations and use one for myself and they are rock solid.

If you need more wireless coverage than what the router can give you the Asus sells AP’s you can set up that will extend the WiFi.

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Yes, of course. Poor choice of words on my part; the performance advantage is not theoretical, it is factual.

I’m just saying that the advantages in easy management have some value, as well. For those of us who do not manage routers every day for work, having (an almost) plug-and-play solution (mesh) is a time-saver.

At risk of being flamed, I might also mention that Google WiFi can be had for as little as $100, and it works very well. The obvious downside is that Google will suck up whatever information they can. So I use a VPN on every device connected to it, and make sure that DNS queries go through the VPN. Hopefully that should reduce any information-harvesting to less than what I type into Google Search anyway. I am not trying to promote Google; just point out that their mesh is good (for home use) and very inexpensive.

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@THEkitchenSINK has google mesh I believe.

The bigger issue when dealing with wireless is reliability and good communication between network devices. I have significant reliability advantages to every device I can hard wire vs. wireless.

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It’s not just theoretical, it shaves off a few milliseconds of latency and gets you more throughput.

Effects are more pronounced if you live in an apartment/city where there’s more congestion.

Getting more than 200-300 over a second hop is haaaard.

If you have radar around your location, preventing you from using DFS channels, running mesh over those channels ends up super annoying as you can’t control when it’ll cut you off.

Google WiFi, and similar, is a kind of set it and forget it setup, very light on features, auto updates in the background over night - you don’t have to touch it and it’s unlikely you’ll get owned.


If you’d like “all the features”, see:

It’s basically a recipe for a raspberry pi 4 router running openwrt. (~$50).

It’s wired only, (wifi on raspberry pi 4 sucks), but you can supplement with as many unifi u6-lite APs ($100) as you need to.

i have 2 mesh routers and im wired off the main to my area but my 24port switch just went out so everything but my mini is wireless

Agreed. Already covered (above).

Yes, exactly my point. Well said.

OK, now I can say “theoretically”. :slight_smile: WRT is pretty much the opposite of mesh, from an ease-of-use POV. If you’re not an expert and you don’t update it, the odds of trouble are much higher than with a mesh router.

Tradeoffs… it depends on one’s goals. The OP mentioned “cheap”, “easy to set up”, and “mesh”. Google WiFi and other low-cost mesh routers tick those boxes.