Forum Thread

Modem router recommendations? Needs to work well with Comcast, and multiple devices in an apartment complex

lizmari 81 33 June 10, 2016 at 04:05 PM
I did a search of the forum, and found a thread from July 2015 that contained a lot of good information, and helped me realize what the main problem is with our current router (Netgear N450 - 2.4 GHz only). Here is a link to that thread: http://slickdeals.net/e/7954291-recommended-wireless-router-for-a-busy-apartment-complex

Since that thread was almost a year old, I figured there might be newer models people recommend.

From the previous thread, I now know that I need a dual-band router, and preferably one with more than 8 channels (though channels are still a bit of a mystery to me, so feel free to elaborate...).

We have Comcast internet (not by choice) and can get around 100-125 Mbps on a wired connection, but this drops to ~3-10 Mbps (possibly lower) with the wireless.

We are in an apartment building, and I am thinking some of our problem is wireless network interference, though I won't be able to check for certain until I get home in a bit.

At our highest device usage, there can be 11 devices connected wirelessly (I feel like I am forgetting one though), but they wouldn't actually all be demanding data at the same time. On average, we have 5 to 7 devices connected and somewhat active at a time, including a Roku stick and a phone that is nearly constantly (seems to me anyway) in use for playing some sort of online game that seems relatively data-intensive to me. Of those, I am confident that the 2 phones and a laptop can connect via 5 GHz, though in this day and age perhaps all of them can, I'm not sure.

I like having the modem and router in one, but I'm open to getting separate modem and router. I just know that I don't want to rent a modem from Comcast - we have had our current modem+router for 2 years now, and it has already paid for itself almost twice.

We're on a bit of a budget, so I'm looking for the most bang for my buck...

Thanks for any suggestions, advice, or deal information you have to offer!

~Liz

4 Comments

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Joined Nov 2005
L10: Grand Master
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#2
define "budget". Higher end models will be able to handle more devices simultaneously, better.
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Joined Jun 2005
Let Sleeping Dogs Lie
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#3
Netgear modem for 90 bucks
https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Ce...7CMotorola

and TP link Archer C7

https://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-Ar...FEVBVXWX9H


in the 2.4 GHZ band there are really only 3 channel 1 7 and 14 as most routers use a wide channel, just pick the one least used where you are and go for it, 5GHZ is much less crowded and also has a shorter range.
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#4
If your plugged in speed through your current modem/router is fast than consider just getting a unifi access point. Of course this depends on if you're willing to learn the install. Not impossible, just different than a home router.

Course I like mine (Unifi AP LR AC) because its range is great. But being in an apartment may mean a higher end router with beam-forming may suite you better.

Unfortunately you kinda get what you pay for when it comes to routers. Budget wise the tplink brand isn't bad but if you need to overpower the noise from your neighbors signals, bigger is better. Make you be their problem vs fighting them with a lower power router.

There are plenty of wifi analyzer apps on Android to check your neighbors channels. If you don't have an android device, try inSSIDer free program for Windows.
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#5
Oh and the best way to explain wifi channels is like a bunch of rooms. Your 2.4ghz and 5ghz signals each have a set.

When you and your neighbors are all on the same channel (room) then you have lots of extra "noise," like trying to talk to your friend across a loud and crowded room. He'll have to keep repeating himself for you to understand what he's trying to say. So you end up having to get closer to him or better yet, find a quieter room to talk in.
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