Forum Thread

Best Router for Big house.

dankmcnasty 1,087 30 October 9, 2015 at 02:30 PM
Hello I currently have the Asus RT-N66U and while it is ok my room is about 30 or so feet away and I notice things like drops from internet etc. and even my cellphone struggles connecting sometimes. My house is pretty big 2 story and I was wondering what is the best router for a big house I really only know of the netgear nighthawk but are there other choices out there.

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Quote from dankmcnasty View Post :
Hello I currently have the Asus RT-N66U and while it is ok my room is about 30 or so feet away and I notice things like drops from internet etc. and even my cellphone struggles connecting sometimes. My house is pretty big 2 story and I was wondering what is the best router for a big house I really only know of the netgear nighthawk but are there other choices out there.
I have the Nighthawk AC1750 from Costco (have had it for several years now so I'm sure the newer models are even better). Their model was exclusive to them at the time and was a hybrid of 2 stock Netgear models at the time. I can get signal in my driveway and backyard with it. The closest device on the same floor is 60 feet away, the furthest 200 feet away from the router, everything else is on the ground floor so the distance will be slightly longer.. I should mention my house is an open design though. If you don't want to spend that much right now, look into boosters I suppose though I've never had any experience with them. There is a new tri-band version of the Nighthawk but very pricey.
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Last edited by silvery79 October 11, 2015 at 02:45 PM
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Quote from silvery79 View Post :
I have the Nighthawk AC1750 from Costco (have had it for several years now so I'm sure the newer models are even better). Their model was exclusive to them at the time and was a hybrid of 2 stock Netgear models at the time. I can get signal in my driveway and backyard with it. The closest device on the same floor is 60 feet away, the furthest 200 feet away from the router, everything else is on the ground floor so the distance will be slightly longer.. I should mention my house is an open design though. If you don't want to spend that much right now, look into boosters I suppose though I've never had any experience with them. There is a new tri-band version of the Nighthawk but very pricey.
So it's basically nighthawk or nothing? How much was yours from Costco. I'm a member there and they recently gave me a huge rebate card so I might end up getting one through them.
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Quote from dankmcnasty View Post :
So it's basically nighthawk or nothing? How much was yours from Costco. I'm a member there and they recently gave me a huge rebate card so I might end up getting one through them.
I don't remember, it has been a long time, there was an instant rebate then as there is right now [costco.com]. I remember that given that it was a hybrid model, the Costco price was lower than both models it was mashing up. I used this website [smallnetbuilder.com] at the time to decide which was the best to buy for me. Have not kept up with recent router technologies so hopefully others have more input. Also my router would be separated from devices by only 2-3 walls at the most given the open design of the house. There are no closed off hallways anywhere. So ability to go through walls may be a factor to consider. Hopefully others will comment to help you decide better.
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I'm in the exact same boat as OP, I want a bit more range coverage than my RT-N66W can provide. It's pretty good as it is but doesn't get to some of the corners of my home. Also, AC support would be nice since I'm getting more and more AC clients.

I also have a 2 story home, not huge, but my router is on the 2nd floor in the back left part of the house. The first floor, front right of the home obviously has poor signal. This is about 60 feet away from the router and 2-3 walls. Also, the area around the garage, the front left of the home, seems to be bad also, both first and second floor, I'm not sure why, maybe it's the building material in that area. This is only about 35 feet away but 3-4 walls.

Anyway, I ordered the AC68R, should be shipped by Wednesday. I'll let you know how it works out.
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Last edited by pdp76 October 12, 2015 at 10:29 AM
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Quote from pdp76 View Post :
I'm in the exact same boat as OP, I want a bit more range coverage than my RT-N66W can provide. It's pretty good as it is but doesn't get to some of the corners of my home. Also, AC support would be nice since I'm getting more and more AC clients.

I also have a 2 story home, not huge, but my router is on the 2nd floor in the back left part of the house. The first floor, front right of the home obviously has poor signal. This is about 60 feet away from the router and 2-3 walls. Also, the area around the garage, the front left of the home, seems to be bad also, both first and second floor, I'm not sure why, maybe it's the building material in that area. This is only about 35 feet away but 3-4 walls.

Anyway, I ordered the AC68R, should be shipped by Wednesday. I'll let you know how it works out.
Thanks for the input.. just out of curiosity I notice you said you ordered the AC68R, was wondering why not get the nighthawk it is like 10 dollars cheaper. Is the ac68 superior?
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Quote from dankmcnasty View Post :
Thanks for the input.. just out of curiosity I notice you said you ordered the AC68R, was wondering why not get the nighthawk it is like 10 dollars cheaper. Is the ac68 superior?
I'm taking my chances on a refurb ac68, it was only $115 at newegg, I also had a $25 gift card for newegg so I ended up paying $90. I could have also gotten the ac68 new for $150 (or $125 if you factor in my gift card). Both were way cheaper for me than the nighthawk r7000, which is $200 at newegg. Also, I'm familiar with ASUS and despite wanting more coverage from the N66, I'm very impressed with their routers.

Incidentally, I got to borrow a friend's Linksys EA6900 today too. The 5GHz range didn't measure up to the N66. The Linksys would lose signal on average about 10-15 feet closer than the N66. Also, the GUI interface and feature set was crap compared to The N66, especially if you consider Merlin Asus firmware.
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#8
I received the AC68R a day early so I got to play around with it today. Range has not increased significantly. It seems a little better, but improvement is very small compared to the N66, so small that it could just be variation in testing. Good news is, it isn't any worse and I have AC capabilities now.

Though range isn't any better, speeds at the fringe of max range, when the signal is barely enough for a connection, it feels like AC performs better than N. I seem to get faster speeds with a poorer signal. While this doesn't mean I get greater absolute range, it does mean I can get farther from the router with less speed loss.

And a few details of the testing I did:

- First thing I did was flash Merlin's firmware on it and it runs great as expected.
- I situated the AC68 in the identical location where my N66 used to reside to make as close of an apples to apples comparison
- I used Android WiFi Analyzer to look at signal strength in the bad parts of my house (i.e. garage and from right of the house)
- I used OOKLA Speedtest to measure speed, the roughly correlated with the WiFi Analyzer readings

So bottom line, no I didn't get the really noticeable range increase I wanted, but overall throughput and speeds have improved. If you get the Nighthawk R7000 and have the time, let me know how it works out for you!
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