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Home Wifi Router Suggestions (for the average family)

72 34 March 24, 2020 at 07:08 AM
Hello,

We currently have a modem, connected to a wireless router, both devices being leased from our TV provider and have had it for about 4 years. But now, with several newer smart TVs, 4 cell phones, tablets, smart watches, gaming systems, streaming services, etc on the network, I feel like our internet has been slower and the possibility that the router can't handle it. Our service includes 300mbps internet. According to the service provider, that is the best wireless router they have. We do have a 3,400 sq ft house (which includes finished basement), and our signal is "fair" in the outer rooms of the house. So I think the best move is to buy a new wifi router.

Now the reason for my post, which one to buy? I see routers can be from $40-$400... and I'm sure you get what you pay for. Any recommendations on what may work best for us in our situation in this current time?

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#2
The router is not what controls your internet speed from your service provide The router handles your home networking and the assigning of IP addresses on you home network in addition to the wifi signal and connectivity. If you are slowing down, it is not likely the internet that is slow, but the capability of your router to handle the simultaneous load.

As to what router itself is good for your particular situation, that is impossible to answer without more info and can vary widely based on home size, construction material, layout, interference from other devices, etc. Also depends on whether you have devices that use the 5 GHz band or the 2.4 Ghz band as the former is significantly faster.

That said, in my experience, most people in a 3000-3500 sq ft home with 5GHz capable, fairly new devices have no issues using Netgear R6700v3s or R7800s which can be had on the fairly cheap on Ebay used. You can spend 250+ on a router, but it will not necessarily get you better coverage. What they may do is give you better simultaneous streaming throughput, but most people do not have 3 people streaming 4k Netflix movies to 3 different TVs over the wifi simultaneously. In that type of situation, you are simply better off getting as much wired as possible (actually you are always better off getting stuff wired).
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#3
well you can probably buy both and it will pay for itself within 1-2 years. Need to know what kind of service you have Cable, fiber or DSL
If Cable you could go with this for the modem

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZGX...599RQ?th=1

For the router it will depend on your budget and where you can place the router.
The tradeoff is pretty simple 2.4 goes thru walls better and 5 GHz is faster. so if you can afford it I would go with a tri band mesh setup but make sure your network is has the router in the middle not at the end you don't want to go satellite-satellite-router.

If a triband mesh is out of your price range I have had very good luck with Linksys routers, I would advise you to buy the largest physically that you can and if possible get a laptop cooling pad to put under it. Heat is what kills routers with all the work they do there is just not much air movement.
Modems I have yet to have one fail, I have tested a couple of Netgear modems and they were both rock solid. Motorola/Arris are also very good. Get a modem that is rated for 1 GB.

I would avoid a dual band mesh system as they use the 5GHz for the mesh network as well as providing connection to the 5GHz devices. I have tested 3 mesh systems two were dual band and the current one is Triband Orbi and it has a great signal but pretty poor software but they are working on it.
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#4
Quote from komondor
:
well you can probably buy both and it will pay for itself within 1-2 years. Need to know what kind of service you have Cable, fiber or DSL
If Cable you could go with this for the modem

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06ZZGX...599RQ?th=1

For the router it will depend on your budget and where you can place the router.
The tradeoff is pretty simple 2.4 goes thru walls better and 5 GHz is faster. so if you can afford it I would go with a tri band mesh setup but make sure your network is has the router in the middle not at the end you don't want to go satellite-satellite-router.

If a triband mesh is out of your price range I have had very good luck with Linksys routers, I would advise you to buy the largest physically that you can and if possible get a laptop cooling pad to put under it. Heat is what kills routers with all the work they do there is just not much air movement.
Modems I have yet to have one fail, I have tested a couple of Netgear modems and they were both rock solid. Motorola/Arris are also very good. Get a modem that is rated for 1 GB.

I would avoid a dual band mesh system as they use the 5GHz for the mesh network as well as providing connection to the 5GHz devices. I have tested 3 mesh systems two were dual band and the current one is Triband Orbi and it has a great signal but pretty poor software but they are working on it.
Linksys used to be great when they were part of Cisco. Since Belkin bought them out a number of years ago, their routers seem to be more hit or miss in my experience, esp at the higher end.
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#5
Thanks everyone for the comments. I decided to go with a used Netgear r7800 from Ebay from YanksIn2009 suggestion. I'm hoping that will make a difference. Fingers crossed.
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#6
Make sure you keep it cool
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