Forum Thread

Looking for a good dual band router

2bargainhunterz 91 141 February 16, 2016 at 01:54 PM
I'm looking to get a good wireless dual band router for our >1500 sqft house that can handle 5+ devices (Windows, Android, and iPod). We do have a Fire TV and watch netflix on the Wii. We are switching from Verizon DSL to Metrocast basic cable internet using a Motorola Arris SURFboard Modem 200 Series (SB6121). We are wanting to spend less than $30. I have done some homework on Amazon and Newegg and have kinda narrowed it down to the TP-LINK TL-WR841N (19.99 through Amazon) or the D-Link Wireless N 300 Mbps Home Cloud App-Enabled Broadband Router (DIR-605L) ($20.99 through Amazon). Suggestions?

17 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#2
None of the ones you listed are dual-band routers - and you won't find a (new) one for under $30 - see this LINK [amazon.com] for dual-band choices. EDIT: Also read this Amazon review [amazon.com] for a good explanation

"A dual band wireless router features both a 2.4 GHz band and a 5.0 GHz band, allowing for connections on both bands, and providing higher speeds in general. Dual band routers are important for those who are certain that multiple users will need to be connected to the internet at one time."
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by boboli February 16, 2016 at 04:44 PM
Joined Jul 2009
L10: Grand Master
9,243 Posts
2,201 Reputation
#3
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by Foreveryours February 16, 2016 at 10:31 PM
Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
5,845 Posts
2,388 Reputation
Pro
#4
Dual band is kind of overrated 5GHz just does not have the range of 2.4

http://www.tp-link.com/en/faq-499.html

You could be better off buying 2 2.4 gz ones and using 2 channels, connect the 2 using poweline and you will be fine. I have a 3200 sq ft 2 story home with 20 devices and have never had an issue with a less expensive or more expensive router with 50 MB of broadband even a so so connection provides all the bandwidth a device needs.


Less than 30 bucks will just die early heat kills and small ones seem to be smaller and have fewer holes
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,661 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#5
I would add, I would not expect good or reliable performance from a $30 router. While you don't need to spend $200 on a good router, stepping up to probably $50 will let you break into what should be solid, reliable routers. You may be able to do better for refurbished routers as well.

If you can find something that supports 3rd party firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato it will likely be much more stable and secure than the firmware it comes with.

Edit: Only thing I can think of for this price that I would even begin to consider is the Xiomi dual band router. Not sure on it's range though.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by LiquidRetro February 17, 2016 at 11:49 AM
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .
Joined Jul 2009
L10: Grand Master
9,243 Posts
2,201 Reputation
#6
He wants to spend under $30, who are we to say he shouldn't? There were some positive reviews on that $19 D-Link I linked, so it can't be all that bad. Either it works for him or it doesn't. Either way he's only out $19.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,661 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#7
Quote from Foreveryours View Post :
He wants to spend under $30, who are we to say he shouldn't? There were some positive reviews on that $19 D-Link I linked, so it can't be all that bad. Either it works for him or it doesn't. Either way he's only out $19.
He can spend what he wants, but the point of my post is to set his expectations accordingly. I would not expect flawless performance for years from a $19 router especially dual band. I would expect some stability problems, mediocre range, and lack of firmware updates. To a point routers are a you get what you pay for in my experience. That doesn't mean you need to spend $300 but I can almost guarantee the $60 router is better than the $30 one.

Even the high acclaimed old but super reliable Linksys WRT54GL costs more used.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Jul 2009
L10: Grand Master
9,243 Posts
2,201 Reputation
#8
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
He can spend what he wants, but the point of my post is to set his expectations accordingly. I would not expect flawless performance for years from a $19 router especially dual band. I would expect some stability problems, mediocre range, and lack of firmware updates. To a point routers are a you get what you pay for in my experience. That doesn't mean you need to spend $300 but I can almost guarantee the $60 router is better than the $30 one.

Even the high acclaimed old but super reliable Linksys WRT54GL costs more used.
I agree wholeheartedly. However perception of quality is relative and in the eye of the beholder. None of us asked what DL speed OP was purchasing. If he's getting 3Mbps then perhaps a $30 is sufficient. Having been an AT&T U-Verse customer using their crappy G wireless gateway/router for ever, I recently went to Charter and bought a refurbished Netgear R6250 for $60. Getting 66Mbps just about everywhere in the house except for the garage which is 3 floors below. I haven't had to do anything in the 7 weeks and can't imagine how much better a $200 router can be.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

Joined Apr 2004
A P O C R Y P H A
2,451 Posts
1,095 Reputation
#9
If you happen to have tmobile. Look into picking up one of their Cell Spot Routers [t-mobile.com]. It'll run you a $25 deposit and nothing more as long as your a tmobile customer. It's a modified version of (different firmware lacking some features you may not need) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Pro...lsrc=aw.ds


I just picked up one of these when my TP-LINK TL-WDR3500 Dual Band decided to finally take a dump.

Walked into a tmobile store, told the guy what I needed, he placed the order, actually waived my fee and out the door I paid $7 for shipping for this router.

A real steal if you're a tmobile customer. There's also already post about this router somewhere on the SD forums.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Quote from kakomu View Post :
it only takes one moron to install exploits and viruses on a computer and a Mac doesn't make one smarter.
#10
Quote from Foreveryours View Post :
I agree wholeheartedly. However perception of quality is relative and in the eye of the beholder. None of us asked what DL speed OP was purchasing. If he's getting 3Mbps then perhaps a $30 is sufficient. Having been an AT&T U-Verse customer using their crappy G wireless gateway/router for ever, I recently went to Charter and bought a refurbished Netgear R6250 for $60. Getting 66Mbps just about everywhere in the house except for the garage which is 3 floors below. I haven't had to do anything in the 7 weeks and can't imagine how much better a $200 router can be.
You just confirmed LiquidRetro's argument. Spend $50-60 and you get a quality router. Internet speed is one factor, the range of a $30 router will not come close, not to mention reliability.

However, if OP has a budget of $30, then there are some suggestions here, I'd recommend buying somewhere with a good return policy.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Jul 2009
L10: Grand Master
9,243 Posts
2,201 Reputation
#11
Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
You just confirmed LiquidRetro's argument. Spend $50-60 and you get a quality router. Internet speed is one factor, the range of a $30 router will not come close, not to mention reliability.

However, if OP has a budget of $30, then there are some suggestions here, I'd recommend buying somewhere with a good return policy.
Yes, but my point is that OP has to make that determination. $30 just may be significantly better than he is used to. Otherwise, he'll have learned a valuable lesson, albeit at a cost.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Oct 2007
L2: Beginner
91 Posts
141 Reputation
Original Poster
#12
First, thank you all for your help and insight! We really appreciate the wealth of information available on this site and use it regularly as we make decisions for our family.

I didn't realize what the dual band option really is and your explanations really helped. We were hoping to get away with spending $30, but I'm looking into the models that have been mentioned as good options that are still fairly easy on the pocketbook while accomplishing the goal.

We have been dealing with the lowest level DSL through Verizon and have been using their Westell modem/router combo since the previous stock one died and it has been pretty good (not the best for range, but workable). As we are moving to a much faster connection, we are hoping to get our own equipment that will work for the long haul. Sure, we could rent the equipment, but I'm not sure that is worth it in the end.

As a home with 7 people who have multiple electronic devices, we are really looking forward to this upgrade. We don't do online gaming and our biggest data draw is streaming Netflix or YouTube. I really appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on reliable, cost-effective router options! Thank you!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Mar 2004
L11: Monkey's Apprentice
17,196 Posts
2,789 Reputation
#13
Wait for a sale on a WDR3600 or WDR3500. The 3600 has been down to $40, the 3500 has been down to $33. Upgrade firmware as soon as you get ANY router.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#14
You can sometimes score a used TP-Link WDR3500 for $20-$25 on eBay. I picked up one for my mom that way. You can also get a TP-Link C2 for around $30 if you are patient.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#15
If you want something decent for that price you likely have to buy used. I would suggest the Linksys E4200 via Ebay. Frequently can be had for $30-40 used and it is a decent, gigabit, dual band, wireless n router.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard