Wireless Router Question

pappymojo

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I have a $20 Linksys wireless router in my home that I bought used a couple of years ago.  I use it for internet and to stream television with a roku.  We have a tablet that my kids use to watch youtube, a laptop that the adults use, and two smart phones in the home.
 
I don't really have any problems with the router.  It occasionally needs to be reset which is a pain.  This happens like once a year and usually happens when my mother in law is babysitting.  I get wireless coverage through my house and I have a password set up but I'm sure it's not the most secure system.

Is there any reason for me to consider upgrading to a new router? 
 
This is basically what I have.
 
 

baruch20

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topps148 said:
Unless your devices support N and/or AC, you won't get a speed increase no matter what router you put in your system. Eventually, all your devices will support the newer specifications and a "faster" router will make a difference.
Yeah, your speeds will be affected no matter what router you have if there is a "dinosaur" device or two connected to it.  Older devices will slow down the works.

Many newer routers broadcast dual band (2.4 & 5 Ghz) so you can connect older, slower devices to the 2.4G and bandwidth heavy devices like Roku to the 5G (or just hardwire it)
 

johnmd20

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baruch20 said:
Yeah, your speeds will be affected no matter what router you have if there is a "dinosaur" device or two connected to it.  Older devices will slow down the works.

Many newer routers broadcast dual band (2.4 & 5 Ghz) so you can connect older, slower devices to the 2.4G and bandwidth heavy devices like Roku to the 5G (or just hardwire it)
 
The dual band is definitely a revelation. I recommend upgraded to a dual band router at least.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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baruch20 said:
Many newer routers broadcast dual band (2.4 & 5 Ghz) so you can connect older, slower devices to the 2.4G and bandwidth heavy devices like Roku to the 5G (or just hardwire it)
 
But if you're going to have a wired connection to the bandwidth heavy devices, dual band isn't buying you anything.
 

crystalline

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And if all you're doing is using each device to access the Internet it may be that your internet is slower than the wireless anyway.
 

SumnerH

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crystalline said:
And if all you're doing is using each device to access the Internet it may be that your internet is slower than the wireless anyway.
 
Yep, for most people spending $40+ on a router is a waste of money (not everyone, there are use cases for the quality stuff, but in general).  
 
I just got a new router when I moved a couple of weeks ago and went with the TLink WR841N for $20.  It's not dual-band, it doesn't do ac, it,s basically a piece of junk by objective standards, and it's got absolutely no problem saturating my Internet connection while simultaneously streaming HD movies over wireless internally.  And it runs ddwrt fine, so there are no real feature limitations outside of the single-band.
 
It'll be $20 for an AC router by the time I have devices that support it and an internet connection that can benefit from it, so there's no point in future-proofing by spending $80 now rather than $20 now and $20 later.
 

SumnerH

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baruch20 said:
Yeah, your speeds will be affected no matter what router you have if there is a "dinosaur" device or two connected to it.  Older devices will slow down the works.
 
 
This is true but in practice it's not generally significant unless you have an old device that is doing a lot of traffic.  Even then the slowdown isn't often crippling, though having an 802.11b device doing a ton of traffic is probably a good use case for dual-band or a 2nd router (you can easily run two $20 routers, one for 802.11n and one for slower devices, and that can also give you flexibility to use the second one one as a bridge/extender when you need to and so forth).
 
In particular, the idea that connecting an 802.11g device to an 802.11n network slows everything down to 802.11g speeds while it's active--or similar for 802.11b--is complete nonsense.  There is some slowdown while that device communicates, but it's not nearly that severe; someone's old 802.11g phone that is just occasionally pinging for email updates and stuff isn't going to significantly affect your newer devices' speeds.
 
(My old laptop's on my single-band network and only does g, but things are still smooth; it's largely idle)
 

jabarker3

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Couperin47 said:
 
 
Is this deal good enough that I should preempt my 4.5 year old 802.11n router going obsolete?  I'm not having any problems with it at all now but I don't know just how important having a new-ish router is or whether this is simply money well spent.  I tried googling all this but I don't even know what to look for, for the most part.
 

Couperin47

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jabarker3 said:
 
 
Is this deal good enough that I should preempt my 4.5 year old 802.11n router going obsolete?  I'm not having any problems with it at all now but I don't know just how important having a new-ish router is or whether this is simply money well spent.  I tried googling all this but I don't even know what to look for, for the most part.
 
Does your current n router do everything you need now ? Sounds like it does.  This router is definitely an upgrade, but not anywhere near 'cutting edge'. So the answer to your question is, no you don't have any 'need' for this. Is this a great bargain ? Yes, it is, but there will always be bargains.... Routers do tend to have definite lifespans, in the past many slowly cook themselves until performance declines or they die.  If your current 4.5 year old unit dies in the next 6 months, picking up one of these for $45 will seem like a brilliant move in retrospect, if your current unit continues to work flawlessly for another 4 years....not so much.
 

LoweTek

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Another wireless query.
 
My ISP uplifted my bandwidth to 90MB down at no additional cost and I had been unable to get anything more than 50 or so in tests unless I direct connected to the modem. So I recently picked up a LinkSys AC1750, primarily because the feature list indicated it had an SPI firewall and most of my devices support at least wireless N. I was replacing an old LinkSys RV-042 business class router which also had an SPI firewall. I used a WRT54G as a wireless access point. I could only conclude this hardware combination, nearly 10 years old, was my bottleneck. I've had it in a week now. It does appear to have improved the throughput problem, though not as much as I'd hoped.
 
I had to make quite a few IP range entries in the old firewall because I could see in the logs inbound connection attempts from IP ranges in places like China, Russia and Romania. I configured it pretty much to allow outbound only.
 
Upon installing the new router, I noted the firewall entry capability is limited IPv6 and port blocking, not address range blocking. There is no IPv4 address range entry option. I have been unable to locate any definitive information online which tells me exactly what this SPI firewall is or is not blocking. The logs show no entries in the Security Log nor in the Inbound Log. This would be quite different from my earlier experience with the RV-042 logs, thus my skepticism.
 
Does anyone know what I am getting with the AC1750 firewall? I am very suspect I might have introduced an inadvertent security compromise by implementing it.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I'm going to jump on this thread as I assume this is probably router related. Running a Linksys E1000 with a bunch of stuff on it (wired and wifi). 
 
Wifi - 2 Laptops, Family PC, Work PC, 4 phones
Wired - 2 XBox's, Konica bizhub printer, Internet Desk Phone
 
About once every 2-3 months, I get a IP conflict message on my laptop. I don't do anything to fix it, things just seem to keep working.
About every 2 weeks, the bizhub printer, which is shared for all computers goes offline and I have to delete it and reinstall it. This is only on the PC, my sons Mac just keeps printing to it. I can't get it to come online from the devices menu, deleting and reinstalling is about a 1 minute fix, but I'm tired of doing that and it seems to be more often lately. 
 
Any ideas, is the router and issue and should I upgrade that? Or is there a setting in the bizhub printer I should mess with?
 
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 

Oil Can Dan

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Couperin47 said:
So I bought this router and set it up off my FioS router.  The coverage is about the same so far (which is to say not so good in certain places), and I'm wondering if it would be better if I disabled the FioS router.  As it stands both the wireless FioS network and the new WiFi network are options.  The internets isn't really clearing anything up for me on this, so thought I'd ask the group.
 

IpswichSox

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PaulinMyrBch said:
I'm going to jump on this thread as I assume this is probably router related. Running a Linksys E1000 with a bunch of stuff on it (wired and wifi). 
 
Wifi - 2 Laptops, Family PC, Work PC, 4 phones
Wired - 2 XBox's, Konica bizhub printer, Internet Desk Phone
 
About once every 2-3 months, I get a IP conflict message on my laptop. I don't do anything to fix it, things just seem to keep working.
About every 2 weeks, the bizhub printer, which is shared for all computers goes offline and I have to delete it and reinstall it. This is only on the PC, my sons Mac just keeps printing to it. I can't get it to come online from the devices menu, deleting and reinstalling is about a 1 minute fix, but I'm tired of doing that and it seems to be more often lately. 
 
Any ideas, is the router and issue and should I upgrade that? Or is there a setting in the bizhub printer I should mess with?
 
Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
 
I don't have an answer but a similar problem. I have an HP OfficeJet 8600 at home that my Samsung laptop can routinely find, my son's MB Air can find, and everyone's iPads/iPhones can find and print to. But my wife's laptop semi-frequently shows the printer is offline, even when everyone else can print to it. The only fix (at least that's worked for me) is to delete the printer on her laptop and reinstall. Obviously not a good or long-term solution. Online troubleshooting hasn't been easy because the problem is both intermittent and doesn't impact all of our devices.
 

Couperin47

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Oil Can Dan said:
So I bought this router and set it up off my FioS router.  The coverage is about the same so far (which is to say not so good in certain places), and I'm wondering if it would be better if I disabled the FioS router.  As it stands both the wireless FioS network and the new WiFi network are options.  The internets isn't really clearing anything up for me on this, so thought I'd ask the group.
 
So many questions and possibilities. You are running wifi from both the FioS and Linksys ? Are they both located at the same place in the house ? Both operating on the same Channels ? Have you tried adjusting the external antennas on the Linksys ? Details on the 'certain places' where the reception is poor ? What device/devices are having reception issues ?  We need more details.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Any updated recommendations on routers? I've got an Asus WL-500W running DD-WRT. It's been fine, but it's getting up there. No MIMO.
 
Contemplating the TP-Link Archer C9. Great range (this is probably my most important thing) and high speeds. USB 3 ports as well. Generally highly reviewed, some odd ball ones saying it sucks and has bad range.
 
Best part is it's only $129. Looking at the Linksys AC1900 as well but it's $200+
 

Oil Can Dan

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Couperin47 said:
 
So many questions and possibilities. You are running wifi from both the FioS and Linksys ? Are they both located at the same place in the house ? Both operating on the same Channels ? Have you tried adjusting the external antennas on the Linksys ? Details on the 'certain places' where the reception is poor ? What device/devices are having reception issues ?  We need more details.
Thanks for the response.  I'm currently running wifi from both FioS & Linksys router out of the same spot in the house.  Unfortunately I don't currently have the option to run one away from the other, as I can't (or don't want to) open any walls to run cable.  
 
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by channels, but I can say that on Friday I had wifi via the FioS router only, and on Saturday I had cabled the Linksys router in to the FioS router and followed setup instructions on the Linksys. I did not change any addresses on either router or anything more complex than simply setting up the new router.  So now I have the FioS wireless network available as well as the new wireless network via the Linksys.  And from what I recall the Linksys doesn't have external antennas to adjust, right?
 
The wifi coverage is just shitty all around.  I did a speed test from directly next to the two routers and got like 20+ Mbps.  I went one room over (about 20 yards) and got 2M.  I went downstairs towards the other end of the house and got under a meg, and then in the furthest room I got nothing.
 
I have a powerline adapter going from the router to that room that's like 20 yards away for the tv and it's hard wired from the other adapter in to the tv and that works okay.  I also have a repeater that I stopped using because it just sucked, and I read here from you (I think) about how repeaters can denigrate the whole wifi experience, which seemed to be the case.  Short of running cable inside the walls I'm pretty willing to do whatever it takes.  I figured if this new Linksys didn't do the trick that perhaps I'd get another powerline adapter for that far room, but before I go that route I want to make sure I'm using the Linksys correctly.
 
When I wrote "disable the FioS router" I should have said "disable the wireless on the FioS router".  Something I read online indicated that this may be the best route to go, but not sure if that's really going to improve anything.
 

Couperin47

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NortheasternPJ said:
Any updated recommendations on routers? I've got an Asus WL-500W running DD-WRT. It's been fine, but it's getting up there. No MIMO.
 
Contemplating the TP-Link Archer C9. Great range (this is probably my most important thing) and high speeds. USB 3 ports as well. Generally highly reviewed, some odd ball ones saying it sucks and has bad range.
 
Best part is it's only $129. Looking at the Linksys AC1900 as well but it's $200+
 
What are you trying to accomplish with an 'upgrade' ? Keep in mind 2 things: 1)  if you have a location where reception is poor, there may be a non-obvious reason (examples: a large brick chimney in the path or your home's 'wet wall', that is the wall that contains all your plumbing heading to another floor) that's blocking signal. 2) you have a device that just doesn't have a very good antenna/radio wifi combo and has sub-optimal reception. There are limits to allowed power on routers, you're not going to find a replacement that can blast so much more signal from the same location to easily overcome these issues.
 

Couperin47

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Oil Can Dan said:
Thanks for the response.  I'm currently running wifi from both FioS & Linksys router out of the same spot in the house.  Unfortunately I don't currently have the option to run one away from the other, as I can't (or don't want to) open any walls to run cable.  
 
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by channels, but I can say that on Friday I had wifi via the FioS router only, and on Saturday I had cabled the Linksys router in to the FioS router and followed setup instructions on the Linksys. I did not change any addresses on either router or anything more complex than simply setting up the new router.  So now I have the FioS wireless network available as well as the new wireless network via the Linksys.  And from what I recall the Linksys doesn't have external antennas to adjust, right?
 
The wifi coverage is just shitty all around.  I did a speed test from directly next to the two routers and got like 20+ Mbps.  I went one room over (about 20 yards) and got 2M.  I went downstairs towards the other end of the house and got under a meg, and then in the furthest room I got nothing.
 
I have a powerline adapter going from the router to that room that's like 20 yards away for the tv and it's hard wired from the other adapter in to the tv and that works okay.  I also have a repeater that I stopped using because it just sucked, and I read here from you (I think) about how repeaters can denigrate the whole wifi experience, which seemed to be the case.  Short of running cable inside the walls I'm pretty willing to do whatever it takes.  I figured if this new Linksys didn't do the trick that perhaps I'd get another powerline adapter for that far room, but before I go that route I want to make sure I'm using the Linksys correctly.
 
When I wrote "disable the FioS router" I should have said "disable the wireless on the FioS router".  Something I read online indicated that this may be the best route to go, but not sure if that's really going to improve anything.
 
The Linksys that was on sale had 2 very obvious external stub antennas.  G band (2.4 Ghz) wifi has 14 channels available (really only 12 usable in the US), though for best bandwidth only 3 or 4 are optimum, N band channels range from 36 to 165. Issues can result from congestion or selecting the "wrong" channels. You clearly need to read up on how to select the best channels and see if this helps. For anyone with any Android phone Wifi Analyzer is a totally free app that will let you see who else is broadcasting on which channels in your area and with how much power, the point is to try and avoid overlap.
 
Start with this overview:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels.
 
Ideally for max bandwidth in the 2.4 Ghz band, Channels 1,6 or 11 are non-overlapping and to be preferred.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Couperin47 said:
 
What are you trying to accomplish with an 'upgrade' ? Keep in mind 2 things: 1)  if you have a location where reception is poor, there may be a non-obvious reason (examples: a large brick chimney in the path or your home's 'wet wall', that is the wall that contains all your plumbing heading to another floor) that's blocking signal. 2) you have a device that just doesn't have a very good antenna/radio wifi combo and has sub-optimal reception. There are limits to allowed power on routers, you're not going to find a replacement that can blast so much more signal from the same location to easily overcome these issues.
 
The lack of MIMO is the main issue. If I'm streaming something or doing something connection intensive, the other clients are stuck waiting. Even doing a ping jumps to thousands of milliseconds instead of the standard 39-42ms on wireless. My wired connection doesn't suffer the same way, it's purely a wireless issue. 
 
Are you saying the Asus WL-500 is not a good antenna/radio combo? 
 
 
My MacBook Pro is also capable of AC and I'd like to hook up some NAS based storage. 
 

Couperin47

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NortheasternPJ said:
 
The lack of MIMO is the main issue. If I'm streaming something or doing something connection intensive, the other clients are stuck waiting. Even doing a ping jumps to thousands of milliseconds instead of the standard 39-42ms on wireless. My wired connection doesn't suffer the same way, it's purely a wireless issue. 
 
Are you saying the Asus WL-500 is not a good antenna/radio combo? 
 
 
My MacBook Pro is also capable of AC and I'd like to hook up some NAS based storage. 
 
With all the additional info, it sounds like you are somewhat bandwidth limited. For what it's worth Rakuten has refurbs of the Linksys WRT1900AC for $150 today:
 
but beware, reviews have many saying it drops connects and multiple firmware revisions don't seem to be helping.
 
http://www.rakuten.com/prod/linksys-wrt1900ac-wireless-ac1900-dual-band-wi-fi-router-certified/q/sellerid/37880459/276117402.html?scid=em_Promotional_20150804Daily&adid=17653&rmatt=tsid:1012038|cid:4438|cgid:44383068682
 

PaulinMyrBch

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IpswichSox said:
 
I don't have an answer but a similar problem. I have an HP OfficeJet 8600 at home that my Samsung laptop can routinely find, my son's MB Air can find, and everyone's iPads/iPhones can find and print to. But my wife's laptop semi-frequently shows the printer is offline, even when everyone else can print to it. The only fix (at least that's worked for me) is to delete the printer on her laptop and reinstall. Obviously not a good or long-term solution. Online troubleshooting hasn't been easy because the problem is both intermittent and doesn't impact all of our devices.
Apparently its a static v dynamic IP address setting on the copier. I'm trying to figure out how to change that setting on mine. Check your device manual and see what you can find. Needs to be set to static.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Couperin47 said:
 
With all the additional info, it sounds like you are somewhat bandwidth limited. For what it's worth Rakuten has refurbs of the Linksys WRT1900AC for $150 today:
 
but beware, reviews have many saying it drops connects and multiple firmware revisions don't seem to be helping.
 
http://www.rakuten.com/prod/linksys-wrt1900ac-wireless-ac1900-dual-band-wi-fi-router-certified/q/sellerid/37880459/276117402.html?scid=em_Promotional_20150804Daily&adid=17653&rmatt=tsid:1012038|cid:4438|cgid:44383068682
 
That's my thing, it's not bandwidth limited. I can get 70mbps downloads without a problem with Speedtest.(i know this isn't real world)  I can get 5 megs per second (not mbps) on real world downloads. It's just wireless performance goes to shit if I'm on wireless, I'm assuming it's a MIMO problem. If I cancel whatever high connection thing i'm doing, say bittorrent, things immediately correct themselves.
 
If I'm on wired and doing a wireless ping from another machine response time goes up, but not to thousands of milliseconds. 
 
I'd consider a refurb WRT1900AC at $150, but I want to get it through Amazon where i've got a ton of gift card credits.
 

Couperin47

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NortheasternPJ said:
 
That's my thing, it's not bandwidth limited. I can get 70mbps downloads without a problem with Speedtest.(i know this isn't real world)  I can get 5 megs per second (not mbps) on real world downloads. It's just wireless performance goes to shit if I'm on wireless, I'm assuming it's a MIMO problem. If I cancel whatever high connection thing i'm doing, say bittorrent, things immediately correct themselves.
 
If I'm on wired and doing a wireless ping from another machine response time goes up, but not to thousands of milliseconds. 
 
I'd consider a refurb WRT1900AC at $150, but I want to get it through Amazon where i've got a ton of gift card credits.
 
There's a reason why you rarely see listings of sales/specials from Amazon in the Tech Bargain thread: there is no decent source for what Amazon has on sale, the stuff is spread across Deals, Outlet, Open Box, Digital Deals and god-only-knows where else on the Amazon site, and, even worse, they are constantly reactive to sales elsewhere by matching or undercutting prices, without any announcement and only for a few hours. You just have to be lucky to stumble upon sales at Amazon....
 

Oil Can Dan

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Couperin47 said:
 
The Linksys that was on sale had 2 very obvious external stub antennas.  G band (2.4 Ghz) wifi has 14 channels available (really only 12 usable in the US), though for best bandwidth only 3 or 4 are optimum, N band channels range from 36 to 165. Issues can result from congestion or selecting the "wrong" channels. You clearly need to read up on how to select the best channels and see if this helps. For anyone with any Android phone Wifi Analyzer is a totally free app that will let you see who else is broadcasting on which channels in your area and with how much power, the point is to try and avoid overlap.
 
Start with this overview:   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels.
 
Ideally for max bandwidth in the 2.4 Ghz band, Channels 1,6 or 11 are non-overlapping and to be preferred.
So the non-sub antenna linksys channels were set to auto.  I manually selected channel 11 for the 2.4 band and left the 5.0 band on auto.  Doesn't seem to make a difference although I'll give it some more time.
 
Still not sure whether having the FioS router pumping out wireless in addition to the Linksys pumping out wifi is the way to go. I'm thinking back to how a repeater actually degrades the entire overall service as there are now competing wifi networks.  Any thoughts on whether or not disabling wifi from the FioS router should have an improve wifi throughout the house via the linksys router?  As it stands the linksys router is actually not quite as good as the old FioS router, which seems odd to me.
 

Couperin47

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Oil Can Dan said:
So the non-sub antenna linksys channels were set to auto.  I manually selected channel 11 for the 2.4 band and left the 5.0 band on auto.  Doesn't seem to make a difference although I'll give it some more time.
 
Still not sure whether having the FioS router pumping out wireless in addition to the Linksys pumping out wifi is the way to go. I'm thinking back to how a repeater actually degrades the entire overall service as there are now competing wifi networks.  Any thoughts on whether or not disabling wifi from the FioS router should have an improve wifi throughout the house via the linksys router?  As it stands the linksys router is actually not quite as good as the old FioS router, which seems odd to me.
 
Still not clear what you are doing. You say you selected Channel 11 for the 2.4 band on the Linksys, but what channel is the Fios using ?  How is the Linksys connected to the Net ? via ethernet from the Fios router or via wifi ?  Are both units using the exact same SSID and password ? To accurately even begin to tell 'which is better' you either need to turn off one or the other if each is on identical channel, or for example, set one on Channel 6, one on Channel 11 and use different SSID so you can connect to each to see which has better signal. From what you neglected to say, it seems you also have failed to obtain anything like Wifi Analyzer to accurately assess what conflicts/interference others may be creating with their wifi.
 

Yaz4Ever

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Large home, 6 people often online/streaming Netflix/gaming (10yo playing minecraft) simultaneously. We often have issues with dropped connections.

Would upgrading my already good router (linksys wrt1900ac) to a new one offering mu-mimo (linksys ea7500) likely fix this. From what I understand, mu-mimo is a game changer for people like us (multiple video streamers). At $179, the price isn't bad but j don't want to buy it if it's not going to make a huge difference.
 

PaulinMyrBch

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I'm in the same boat. When everyone is home and online, we've got issues. Plus it seems when my son is home from college the Mac messes with the connection to the printer. I've got a Konica Bizhub in my office and it constantly changes IP's when the Mac is in the house. Like every 2-3 days. I just delete and add the printer, but its a pain.
 

Couperin47

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I'm in the same boat. When everyone is home and online, we've got issues. Plus it seems when my son is home from college the Mac messes with the connection to the printer. I've got a Konica Bizhub in my office and it constantly changes IP's when the Mac is in the house. Like every 2-3 days. I just delete and add the printer, but its a pain.
The standard solution is to set the Bizhub to a static IP in your router. When a 'new' device appears (the Mac) and none of the IP addresses are set to static, most routers are stupid and rearrange things to maximize the inconvenience.
 

HriniakPosterChild

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Static means you manually set the IP address, subnet mask and DNS on the device. You are responsible for setting one that your router won't hand out as a DHCP address.

A DHCP reservation means you tell your router what IPs to hand out for a given set of MACs. When a device requests an address via DHCP it gets one (along with the subnet and DSN auto-assignments), but -- what a coincidence! -- it gets the identical IP address every time it asks for one.

The latter is generally less effort to setup and maintain.
 

JakeRae

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I'm looking into buying a router and modem to get out of leasing costs. It's a two person, two story household that's about 900 square feet. We don't have or need super fast Internet, just want something reliable and affordable. I've been looking at the Arris Surfboard SB6141 modem and the TP-Link AC1900 router, which seem like popular value options but figured I'd check in here before buying to make sure there isn't a dramatically better or cheaper option. The $200 price tag for that combo is pretty much my budget, so please don't recommend things that will blow past that unless you are prepared to convince me that I need them.

Edit: the router should be able to handle 2 video streams at a time, but more than that isn't really necessary.
 

grantb

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I'm looking into buying a router and modem to get out of leasing costs. It's a two person, two story household that's about 900 square feet. We don't have or need super fast Internet, just want something reliable and affordable. I've been looking at the Arris Surfboard SB6141 modem and the TP-Link AC1900 router, which seem like popular value options but figured I'd check in here before buying to make sure there isn't a dramatically better or cheaper option. The $200 price tag for that combo is pretty much my budget, so please don't recommend things that will blow past that unless you are prepared to convince me that I need them.

Edit: the router should be able to handle 2 video streams at a time, but more than that isn't really necessary.
I have a surfboard with the archer c8 and it works great. The surfboard goes on sale often, check woot! and you can get one for $60 give or take every few months. Just got the c8 but it's working very well and doesn't cost that much more than the c7. Both are fairly forward compatible which adds to their value. I'd say you're on the right track.
 

SumnerH

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Jul 18, 2005
26,021
Alexandria, VA
That's a super expensive router, way more than I'd think about spending on a home router unless I had a major reason to do so. The $55 Xiaomi I posted earlier is a great dual-band AC router if you're willing to put in 10 minutes to switch it to English, and unless you really need AC you can get plenty of dual-band N routers in the $60 range that are simple out of the box and will do fine for you.
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
6,425
New York, NY
That's a super expensive router, way more than I'd think about spending on a home router unless I had a major reason to do so. The $55 Xiaomi I posted earlier is a great dual-band AC router if you're willing to put in 10 minutes to switch it to English, and unless you really need AC you can get plenty of dual-band N routers in the $60 range that are simple out of the box and will do fine for you.
It's definitely more router than I need, but I'm a bit gunshy since I've been living in an apartment with an utterly horrid router for the last couple years. I'm also not sure I trust a Xiaomi router from a security standpoint.
 

section15

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Mar 23, 2007
131
Bradford, MA and section 15
I have a lot more than I need - Linksys AC 1900 - ultimate range. I have two computers/workstations (one for work, one for play), a BluRay, and two iPads, used primarily for TuneIn radio or mlb.com Gameday. Can run all at the same time. Only worried about frying my brain.

AND - whatever you do - SECURE YOUR WIRELESS ROUTER WITH A NON-GUESSABLE PASSWORD. "hello" and "RedSox" do not qualify. Because someone could link into your router, do something nefarious, and if they trace it back to your IP/router... well ... hey...
 

crystalline

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Oct 12, 2009
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The $55 Xiaomi I posted earlier is a great dual-band AC router if you're willing to put in 10 minutes to switch it to English
I'd like to upgrade to a cheap ac router. Are you talking about the Xiaomi Mini for $45 on Amazon? If not, what's your latest recommendation for a cheap ac router? I'm willing to use ddwrt or tomato or whatever is the latest if necessary, but generally the aiset the setup the better. I am lazy.
 

SumnerH

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Jul 18, 2005
26,021
Alexandria, VA
I'd like to upgrade to a cheap ac router. Are you talking about the Xiaomi Mini for $45 on Amazon? If not, what's your latest recommendation for a cheap ac router? I'm willing to use ddwrt or tomato or whatever is the latest if necessary, but generally the aiset the setup the better. I am lazy.
Yeah, this one. The big problem is that it's set to Chinese out of the box, so you have to look at a YouTube vid and follow along to switch it to English; after that it works great, but it's a little bit of a pain to do that switch and it's completely incomprehensible until you do.

 

crystalline

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Oct 12, 2009
5,711
JP
Yeah, this one. The big problem is that it's set to Chinese out of the box, so you have to look at a YouTube vid and follow along to switch it to English; after that it works great, but it's a little bit of a pain to do that switch and it's completely incomprehensible until you do.

Thanks! I ordered it. I'll keep you posted.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
13,402
What are you trying to accomplish with an 'upgrade' ? Keep in mind 2 things: 1) if you have a location where reception is poor, there may be a non-obvious reason (examples: a large brick chimney in the path or your home's 'wet wall', that is the wall that contains all your plumbing heading to another floor) that's blocking signal. 2) you have a device that just doesn't have a very good antenna/radio wifi combo and has sub-optimal reception. There are limits to allowed power on routers, you're not going to find a replacement that can blast so much more signal from the same location to easily overcome these issues.
So 9 months later, the WL-500W shit the bed. I was getting about 60mb down on wireless and wired.

I bought an Archer C7 1750 today, I now get 190mb on wired and 176mb on wireless.

I wish I upgraded a year ago. The range is so much better as well. It's like going from dial up to a 1.5 mb cable modem in 1998. Unreal.
 

crystalline

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Oct 12, 2009
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Maybe I should have gotten the Archer ($90, amazon prime).

I got the Xiaomi Mini ($40, amazon prime). It took me about 5 minutes to follow the youtube video to set the modem to English. But the firmware didn't have an English setting. So I had to upgrade the firmware (directly uploading the .bin file from the Xiaomi site). That took another 20 min or so.

It seems to work well. I'm getting ac speeds of 50Mbps or so, which is just fine. Thanks for the pointer, sumner.
 

JakeRae

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Jul 21, 2005
6,425
New York, NY
The Archer is great, and is definitely overpowered for my present needs. It consistently is maintaining speeds over 100Mbps. The big test will be once the weather brightens a bit, how my signal works on my roof terrace, but I have pretty much no concerns.

As for updating firmware, it's always one of the first things you should do with any router, based on my understanding. They don't auto-update, for some reason, and updating firmware is essentially to limiting exposure to known security vulnerabilities.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
13,402
Day 2 on the Archer, it is pretty bad ass. For $89 it was a great buy. I've been getting 80-120 consistently on wireless today. It rained all day so i haven't tested the whole yard area, but its 3x better than my Asus, which i was happy with.

Edit: A week or so later, I couldn't be more happy with the Archer router. The range is great, I have about 14,000 sq ft lawn and I can get wifi on all of it with the router in the basement. I just ran a test and hit 190 meg downloads over wifi.
 
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