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Looking at new Routers...Suggestions?

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Is MIMO a noticeable difference for home WiFi?  Often people on my network will be updating Steam games and such and I know I can fix bandwidth concerns with QoS, but I'm not sure how MU-MIMO helps with home WiFi networks.  Anyone else here have a fancy router?  What do you recommend?

 

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Asus RT-AC68U is a great router. If you want something cheaper and N-only, the Asus RT-N66U is a great performer.

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I have the TP-Link Archer C7 as well as the sprint asus wifi connect router that the were giving out for free (haven't looked in a while not sure if they still do this) they both have been working really well. the only issue i have had with the asus one is disconnecting when streaming xbox one to a windows 10 laptop. switching to the Archer makes that issue go away. everything else has been working great.

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I recently got the step up from bmoses' TP-Link router, the Archer C8, and have really been extremely pleased with it. Powerful signal, has 3 antennae, can do IP reservations and bandwidth control easily - actually has the best interface for a home router by far I've worked with (mind you, I've never tried DD-WRT that I frequently read about so take my UI comments with a grain of salt if you're a power user type who usually goes that route). I highly recommend it based on my 3 months of usage thus far.

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End devices have to support MU-MIMO, which are very few.  That is a future proof technology. 

 

What a lot of routers do now is broadcast two 5GHz bands and the router will automatically assign devices to a given 5GHz band based on the devices MIMO.   This really speeds up throughput as 1x1 devices can really slow down 2x2 and 3x3 MIMO devices. 1x1 devices share one band and 2x2/3x3 devices share another.  This technology works now so I'd lean towards getting that.

 

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/32451-mu-mimo-vs-xstream-the-coming-battle-for-wi-fi-airtime

 

I'd look at smallnetbuilder.  Find what you want in a router and at the price point you want.  Persoanlly, I'd get at least something with three exteneral antennas at a minimum unless you live in a small studio apartment.

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I have a MU-MIMO router that just became available...now that it's available to the public, I am no longer under NDA to not talk about it...

 

I was sent a Netgear R8500. If cost is a huge obstacle ..then I suggest passing on this one, but if not, it's on the extreme high-end as far as price goes.

 

The big thing that sets the R8500 apart from a lot of others, the R8500 has active antennas...along with MU-MIMO. So, the antennas actually have some working electronics inside of them...

 

Among others I have tested the past year are the TP-Link Archer C3200, TP-Link Archer C9, Netgear D7000(ADSL2/VDSL modem + router combo), Linksys E8350 (late last year)...

 

I like the C3200 also. I still use it, wired to my D7000 for line 1 DSL...and I use the R8500 + some crappy AT&T modem (I think Moto 2210 or something)...

Never have any problems. I use the R8500 with my PS4 for online gaming. (I am still getting beta FW from Netgear that isn't public yet, but the router itself is out for sale with the base FW.)

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Is MIMO a noticeable difference for home WiFi?  Often people on my network will be updating Steam games and such and I know I can fix bandwidth concerns with QoS, but I'm not sure how MU-MIMO helps with home WiFi networks.  Anyone else here have a fancy router?  What do you recommend?

 

 

Asus RT-AC68U is a great router. If you want something cheaper and N-only, the Asus RT-N66U is a great performer.

Agreed. I use this router (upgraded from an RT-AC55U) I bought it off ebay a year and a half ago for a great deal and it is a great router.

 

To the OP, if you are looking to get this from an ebay seller or otherwise RT-AC68U = RT-AC68R. The U vs R just denotes original packaging where R is retail (bestbuy etc)

This one is new in box for $111 with 4 hours remaining.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Asus-rt-ac68r-wireless-ac1900-dual-band-router-/181919731524?hash=item2a5b42cf44:g:YKYAAOSw~bFWNm0i

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I have a MU-MIMO router that just became available...now that it's available to the public, I am no longer under NDA to not talk about it...

 

I was sent a Netgear R8500. If cost is a huge obstacle ..then I suggest passing on this one, but if not, it's on the extreme high-end as far as price goes.

 

The big thing that sets the R8500 apart from a lot of others, the R8500 has active antennas...along with MU-MIMO. So, the antennas actually have some working electronics inside of them...

 

Among others I have tested the past year are the TP-Link Archer C3200, TP-Link Archer C9, Netgear D7000(ADSL2/VDSL modem + router combo), Linksys E8350 (late last year)...

 

I like the C3200 also. I still use it, wired to my D7000 for line 1 DSL...and I use the R8500 + some crappy AT&T modem (I think Moto 2210 or something)...

Never have any problems. I use the R8500 with my PS4 for online gaming. (I am still getting beta FW from Netgear that isn't public yet, but the router itself is out for sale with the base FW.)

How can you tell if your devices support MU-MIMO? That's the big selling point for me. If anyone downloads or updates a steam game on the network, latency and bandwidth gets maxed out and causes issues for others. I currently have the AC68R and its great but looking into the mimo portion for reasons above. Any time I upgrade my firmware above version 4135, I get no internet connection timeouts wrote often on the AC68R.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X

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How can you tell if your devices support MU-MIMO? That's the big selling point for me. If anyone downloads or updates a steam game on the network, latency and bandwidth gets maxed out and causes issues for others. I currently have the AC68R and its great but looking into the mimo portion for reasons above. Any time I upgrade my firmware above version 4135, I get no internet connection timeouts wrote often on the AC68R.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X

Well if you are happy with the ASUS brand overall they do make the RT-AC87 that supports MU-MIMO but it is like ~$225+ The devices that support it are pretty limited. It is interesting that you are having issues with the AC68 though because I have not run into this with my usage which usually at least 2 devices streaming while the pc updates/downloads 'stuff'. The only issue I have seen is with Origin which maxes my connection (it can pull 12 Mbps+ down!) and only twice has my internet hiccuped.

 

MU-MIMO is the future but right now so little really supports it that it may not help you much at all until the next round of cellphones come out

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Should have said before, but I'd also recommend (to anyone in the market to buy) smallnetbuilder as well - at the time I finally decided on the C8 it was a great resource.

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Well if you are happy with the ASUS brand overall they do make the RT-AC87 that supports MU-MIMO but it is like ~$225+ The devices that support it are pretty limited. It is interesting that you are having issues with the AC68 though because I have not run into this with my usage which usually at least 2 devices streaming while the pc updates/downloads 'stuff'. The only issue I have seen is with Origin which maxes my connection (it can pull 12 Mbps+ down!) and only twice has my internet hiccuped.

 

MU-MIMO is the future but right now so little really supports it that it may not help you much at all until the next round of cellphones come out

I think snapdragon 801-810 devices support it. I saw it on the Qualcomm site.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X

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To the OP, have you looked into the Sprint WiFi connect?  I know it isn't MU-MIMO, but it is free...

 

I know we have another thread on it, but how has the Sprint version of the Asus RT-AC66 been performing for people? I've considered contacting Sprint to get one, but I have an Airport Extreme and Express that work flawlessly.  I just don't know if it is worth trying out the Sprint WiFi router or not.

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To the OP, have you looked into the Sprint WiFi connect? I know it isn't MU-MIMO, but it is free...

 

I know we have another thread on it, but how has the Sprint version of the Asus RT-AC66 been performing for people? I've considered contacting Sprint to get one, but I have an Airport Extreme and Express that work flawlessly. I just don't know if it is worth trying out the Sprint WiFi router or not.

I got it and gave it to my grand parents who were in desperate need of a new router.

 

Sent from my Nexus 5X

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Get the free Sprint one...it's a great router!

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I have been in the hunt as well; I found an article from The Wirecutter, a site I had never come across before.. it was pretty informative, and the Archer C7, C8, and Netgear R6400 are their top picks: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/

 

I was tossing around the idea of something a little more robust, like an enterprise access point solution, but that gets pricey and I don't know if the extra coverage would work like I hope; I'm trying to blanket my yard better. The new Ubiquiti gear intrigues me, but it's not easy to find yet: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/review-ubiquiti-unifi-made-me-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/

 

-Mike

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I have been in the hunt as well; I found an article from The Wirecutter, a site I had never come across before.. it was pretty informative, and the Archer C7, C8, and Netgear R6400 are their top picks: http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/

 

I was tossing around the idea of something a little more robust, like an enterprise access point solution, but that gets pricey and I don't know if the extra coverage would work like I hope; I'm trying to blanket my yard better. The new Ubiquiti gear intrigues me, but it's not easy to find yet: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/10/review-ubiquiti-unifi-made-me-realize-how-terrible-consumer-wi-fi-gear-is/

 

-Mike

As someone who has worked with ubiquiti equipment it's awesome. If you can get your hands on some I highly recommend doing so.

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As someone who has worked with ubiquiti equipment it's awesome. If you can get your hands on some I highly recommend doing so.

 

It looks like a great solution, but the new AC products are not in stock anywhere yet; Ubiquiti's own website doesn't even have them listed on its online store yet. Hopefully Soon™..

 

-Mike

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I just bought a Netgear Nighthawk X8.  Pretty expensive and huge, but this thing awesome!    I've only had it a day, but it is running circles around my old TP-LINK TL-WR940N.   I know it isn't fair to compare the two, but the constant speeds and connections from this is awesome.  No matter what part of the house or yard, I'm getting 40mb speeds minimum (75/5 plan).   I love the fact that it has 6 ethernet ports, because we easily used the 4 on the other router.   With the 6 ports now, it'll cover all the tv's in the house, my desktop, and the Sprint airave.   Hopefully that will help the wifi in the house now since everything will be wired.  Expensive, but so far worth it.

 

I'll be honest, I can't get too technical about this router as much as someone would probably want me to, but I'll do my best I can to figure something out about it if I can.   It was probably overkill for me, but the 6 Ethernet ports kinda sold me on it.   That and I read great things about it.

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Get the free Sprint one...it's a great router!

 

According to chat ...you can only get it by calling in, which I didn't have time to do...but I tried and failed with online chat.

 

 

I just bought a Netgear Nighthawk X8.  Pretty expensive and huge, but this thing awesome!    I've only had it a day, but it is running circles around my old TP-LINK TL-WR940N.   I know it isn't fair to compare the two, but the constant speeds and connections from this is awesome.  No matter what part of the house or yard, I'm getting 40mb speeds minimum (75/5 plan).   I love the fact that it has 6 ethernet ports, because we easily used the 4 on the other router.   With the 6 ports now, it'll cover all the tv's in the house, my desktop, and the Sprint airave.   Hopefully that will help the wifi in the house now since everything will be wired.  Expensive, but so far worth it.

 

I'll be honest, I can't get too technical about this router as much as someone would probably want me to, but I'll do my best I can to figure something out about it if I can.   It was probably overkill for me, but the 6 Ethernet ports kinda sold me on it.   That and I read great things about it.

 

 

This is the router I mentioned in my earlier post. The reason for 6 ports is because you can aggregate 2 ports for a NAS.

 

I'm just curious, what's the public firmware? (log into router and upper RH corner.)

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FYI, Best Buy will have the Netgear Nighthawk X8 on sale for $299.99 ($100 off) on Black Friday.

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Not a bad deal for the router. When the beta team first asked about the $399 price tag, that was without MU-MIMO working correctly..so it wasn't really showing what it's value was then.

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I vote the ASUS RT-AC5300 just because it's the most beastly router I have ever seen in my life.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2015/9/2/9238057/asus-rt-ac5300u-triband-wireless-router-ifa-2015

 

In all seriousness tho, I currently own an ASUS RT-N65U and it hasn't given me a single issue and their graphic interface to adjust router/network settings is fantastic. Extremely well laid out, fast, and user friendly. My only regret is not getting one that has external antennas. Didn't think about signal strength throughout the house because at the time I was searching, my biggest priority was getting a router with Gigabit Ethernet as my previous Linksys router was limited to 10/100 mbps and it was bottlenecking my internet speed.

 

Long story short, if I were to be looking for another router, and when I upgrade to one with external antennas, I'd go Asus again for sure.

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