Forum Thread

need an ultra reliable wifi router

cheap_bastid 4,668 891 May 26, 2016 at 08:23 AM
I helped my relatives get set up with a nice ASUS Rt-N66U dark knight router a few months ago, new out of the box. The darn thing ran like a champ, no issues at all, until yesterday.

Now no devices can connect to the router, even after multiple reboots, turning the router off for 30 minutes and then back on, etc.

I am highly disappointed with the lack of reliability. My relatives live a few hours away and I just can't deal with an unreliable router that will cause them a lot of issues or me.

What is the most reliable decent router with decent range for a 2500 sq foot single story house these days? Their budget is $150 or less.

Reliability has to be the number 1 priority, an unreliable router with a bunch of fancy features is useless as a door knob.

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#2
If you read the online reviews you'll find that all routers have at least some complaints about short lives. It's just the nature of the beast. Consumer routers are built to a price point, not an MTBF. Frown
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#3
Quote from HarryH3 View Post :
If you read the online reviews you'll find that all routers have at least some complaints about short lives. It's just the nature of the beast. Consumer routers are built to a price point, not an MTBF. Frown
I know!! It's so damn frustrating. I don't want all the bells and whistles, I just want a reliable router that works, for more than a few months or a couple of years. Frown

It seems like older routers were built far better. I have a Linksys WRT-54GL that keeps on ticking, even though it's slow as hell. I also had a D-Link N router 12-14 years ago that ran like a champ for 5-6 years. It seems today's router are shabbily built and don't last too long. If this is the trend for the future it is a horrible future.
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Last edited by cheap_bastid May 26, 2016 at 09:18 AM
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#4
heat and power and the 2 things that cause the most problems with routers.
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#5
Change your WPA WIFI PW to something numerical.
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Last edited by handyguy May 26, 2016 at 09:52 AM
#6
Call Asus for an RMA. Every manufacturer has a bad device now and then, personally I've had success with multiple Asus routers, the N66U and the AC68U in particular.
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#7
Quote from handyguy View Post :
Change your WPA WIFI PW to something numerical.
How would that help? Have not heard this before but would like to know.
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#8
Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
Call Asus for an RMA. Every manufacturer has a bad device now and then, personally I've had success with multiple Asus routers, the N66U and the AC68U in particular.
I've gone round and round with multiple ASUS routers at my home... read this thread for a long and interesting read: http://slickdeals.net/e/6139556-not-solved-router-won-t-connect-with-one-ssid-name-but-if-changed-to-any-other-ssid-name-it-connects?v=1&src=SiteSearch

I'm kind of sick of ASUS...

Quote from jkee View Post :
heat and power and the 2 things that cause the most problems with routers.
True, I wish they would build some robust fans into the routers, and not have to mod them after the fact, voiding the warranty.

Why doesn't a company build these super routers, like the Alien PC rigs, that are built to last?
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Last edited by cheap_bastid May 26, 2016 at 10:54 AM

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#9
Quote from cheap_bastid View Post :
Why doesn't a company build these super routers, like the Alien PC rigs, that are built to last?
There are plenty of business-grade access points out there which should have better reliability (but I can't personally vouch), but there's not going to be a lot of business-grade wifi/router combinations. You'd generally install a bunch of access points connected by wired network to a router or switch somewhere.

Just one random example: http://www.linksys.com/us/busines...ss-points/

Bottom-line is that this was just an unfortunate situation, and the best bet is still to find something with good reviews from a well-known manufacturer and hope for the best. Failures can happen with any product, but even for consumer-grade routers they shouldn't be very likely.
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#10
1 year mfg warranty?
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#11
Quote from dukeblue219 View Post :
There are plenty of business-grade access points out there which should have better reliability (but I can't personally vouch), but there's not going to be a lot of business-grade wifi/router combinations. You'd generally install a bunch of access points connected by wired network to a router or switch somewhere.

Just one random example: http://www.linksys.com/us/busines...ss-points/

Bottom-line is that this was just an unfortunate situation, and the best bet is still to find something with good reviews from a well-known manufacturer and hope for the best. Failures can happen with any product, but even for consumer-grade routers they shouldn't be very likely.
I've had some issues with the newer AC routers. I had a Netgear R6300 that worked great, but couldn't do port forwarding for some reason. So I shelved that. I also tried several ASUS routers and they all had issues.

I've spent $600 - $700 on routers and haven't found a good one yet in the last couple of years. I've not tried LInksys since the cloud management debacle, and no reviews on the routers I'm looking at on Amazon look stellar. It's too bad there's not a clearly reliable brand that just works.
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#12
nice, one less ASUS buyer. cheaper ASUS router for me.

i like ASUS, but i think N66 is too small even it has a heatsink inside when compare to WRT54.

if i were you before the router dies, place it standing sideway, so the air can move from one side to other (bottom to top like a chimney), move router to the middle of house, lower wifi transmit power, it will be less heat, less interference, less error correction, less workload for the wifi chips. and don't use USB.

and i like tomato
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#13
I also have had good luck with ASUS, and it's super hard to generalize a brand.

Is the router running on a UPS? I find stable power helps a lot.
Someone else mentioned heat, also good to keep in mind.

You could go with something enterprise possibly cloud managed. Cisco Meraki makes some great stuff, the web management interface is super nice but you pay a ton + a license fee, and you would still likely need a router if it was just your AP.

Ubiquiti makes lower priced stuff, but it's more difficult to setup and they are just AP's.

I have personally had great luck with the consumer routers and 3rd party firmware like Tomato, DD-WRT, etc.

However all this can and will fail, if your relatives expect immediate support and you can't do that as your hours away and it sounds like somewhat unwilling? You might see if a local shop can support them.
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#14
Quote from Left4Deal View Post :
nice, one less ASUS buyer. cheaper ASUS router for me.

i like ASUS, but i think N66 is too small even it has a heatsink inside when compare to WRT54.

if i were you before the router dies, place it standing sideway, so the air can move from one side to other (bottom to top like a chimney), move router to the middle of house, lower wifi transmit power, it will be less heat, less interference, less error correction, less workload for the wifi chips. and don't use USB.

and i like tomato
I'm not sure if there are less ASUS buyers that the prices of the product would go down.. it may go up because of less economy of scale. Cool

The router was placed on a table free of any obstruction, good air flow, etc. No USB connectivity, only a couple of ethernet connect devices like a camera, VOIP device. Very simple set up. This is not even summer yet so temperatures have yet to climb, so very disappointed that it took a nose dive after just a few months of service.

Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I also have had good luck with ASUS, and it's super hard to generalize a brand.

Is the router running on a UPS? I find stable power helps a lot.
Someone else mentioned heat, also good to keep in mind.

You could go with something enterprise possibly cloud managed. Cisco Meraki makes some great stuff, the web management interface is super nice but you pay a ton + a license fee, and you would still likely need a router if it was just your AP.

Ubiquiti makes lower priced stuff, but it's more difficult to setup and they are just AP's.

I have personally had great luck with the consumer routers and 3rd party firmware like Tomato, DD-WRT, etc.

However all this can and will fail, if your relatives expect immediate support and you can't do that as your hours away and it sounds like somewhat unwilling? You might see if a local shop can support them.
Thanks for the info. Will research some of the business grade stuff. My relatives don't trust the local geek squad types as they've had some bad experiences with those folks... they take care of us pretty well when we visit so I try to keep them happy.

I placed a back-up old router there and it's working ok for now, but speeds are slow. So looking for a decent replacement that won't fail.

It's a shame we can't expect consumer grade routers to work for a decent amount of time.
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Last edited by cheap_bastid May 26, 2016 at 01:43 PM
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#15
Asus routers die from cheap-ass capacitors failing in the power input section. And they're nearly impossible to replace because the lead-free solder they use these days is nearly impossible to remove from the through-holes in the printed circuit board.
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