General Question

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

What is an excellent WiFi router?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (32726points) July 2nd, 2016

I will not buy Belkin or LinkSys products.

Several of my WiFi enabled electronics are telling me my WiFi signal is weak. This router is a few years old, and I’ve had other routers die suddenly. It’s not a high-powered router.

I now live in a 2-story townhouse, and the signal strength is weak upstairs. I am thinking I want something new that will provide greater strength upstairs and downstairs.

I am willing to spend up to $200. If you can convince me it’s worth it, I will go higher.

Recommendations?

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11 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Top rated by CNET is the Synology Router. And it is under $200 by a lot. Here is the review by CNET

I would ask why the dislike of Belkin and LinkSys? But. . . .!
We use a LinkSys because the company my wife works for has a VPN that apparently will ONLY work with LinkSys. It is a super router and WiFi. I get Wifi at the end of my driveway almost 90 feet and three walls away from the LinkSys router

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

2 or 3 years ago, Belkin, which owns LinkSys, did a firmware upgrade that disabled thousands of brand new routers. Mine was one, and it was a month old. After the upgrade, I was left with a $75 brick. They gave me nothing and would not even admit their upgrade had disabled thousands of their own products.

I have a long memory for things like this and hold grudges.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Ouch, that must have hurt !

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

Apologies if my answer looks like an advertisement, but I love to read tech blogs. I follow this stuff for fun.

1)
Routers often have two networks – 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. The 5Ghz actually has less range. So try the 2.4 if you’re using the 5.

2)
A range extender might be all you need.
TP Link TL-WA850RE has 9,000+ reviews on Amazon with an average of 4.5/5 stars and it’s $19.95

3)
If you buy a new router, go for 802.11ac for future-proofing (Probably all your devices use the older 802.11n and 802.11g, no problem, the 802.11ac routers are backwards compatible).

Based on the links below, here are two recommendations.

ASUS RT-AC68U $159 right now at Newegg (I highly recommend Newegg)

TP-LINK Archer C7 Wireless AC1750 $99 at Newegg

Techspot – Best Routers 2016

Wirecutter – Best Router for Most People

dappled_leaves's avatar

I have a Netgear router, and it is very good. I’ve had it for 5 years, and it still functions.

That said, please be aware that once you buy any router, technical support will soon vanish for you unless you essentially “subscribe” to that service. If your living situation is stable, you should consider buying your router from your internet service provider, so that you will receive continued technical support for the router, packaged with technical support for your modem and internet service.

I wish someone had given me this advice when I was buying, because whenever I have connectivity issues, I must first convince my ISP that my router is not to blame, and I must do all my own research (without an internet connection) in terms of router settings and router troubleshooting. So, even if problems are rare, they can be extremely difficult to diagnose.

Call_Me_Jay's avatar

@dappled_leaves Good point. There is something to be said for letting your ISP provide the hardware and let them support it. I would not deter anyone from that plan.

On the other hand, some people like to take a hands-on approach and fuss around. I am in that group.

Either way can work.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I prefer not to give my money to Apple. I don’t hate them. It’s a simple preference.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I have a netgear R7000 – a couple years old, solid as a rock. However, I am a tinkerer and I have dumped the old (and not particularly powerful) generic netgear firmware, and have installed the latest and greatest DD-WRT software. So I’m happy and up to date.

The R7000 with netgear software is excellent, with DD_WRT it’s even more excellent. I recommend the router no matter what.

negative's avatar

Huwei.cheap and best

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