Recommend me a new Router

I has a sad then

I wouldn't write them off because it all depends on how your house is wired. I imagine my circuit box is a mess with some of them being connected while others are not. I don't know much about house electrical wiring so that's just my best guess. Also there is no ground prong so if you have 2 prong outlets it's not an issue. When I have a little more time I'm going to see if I can at least use them on my PC to take a little bit of stress off the wireless. I can't use it with the Roku because the second spot on that outlet is reserved for the AC in the summer months.

A couple other things to note:
-They auto connect to each other when plugged in so their are super easy to set up. When they work the computer receives the IP address instantly.
-They can be encrypted by pressing the button on both of them within two minutes.
-They light up and blink like a Christmas tree so you probably wouldn't want them in plain view. At the least you would want some light blocking tape.

EvilDead - know if you can setup Router -> Powerline Adapter -> Powerline Adapter -> Router/Switch/Hub? Or can you only have a single device on the other end of a Powerline Adapter?

McIrishJihad wrote:

EvilDead - know if you can setup Router -> Powerline Adapter -> Powerline Adapter -> Router/Switch/Hub? Or can you only have a single device on the other end of a Powerline Adapter?

Should be possible but multiple levels of NAT could be interesting when trying to get devices to talk to each other.

The PLA is just a bridge so it's no different than having a cable in place in that case.

LiquidMantis wrote:

The PLA is just a bridge so it's no different than having a cable in place in that case.

Yea so an unmanaged switch (I recommend these over hubs since hubs split bandwidth evenly between all connected ports, while a switch will prioritize based on use) with no NAT should work great on the other side of one of these or even a wireless bridge device but you will probably want to avoid using a router since that will introduce another layer of NAT unless the router has a bridge mode.

McIrishJihad wrote:

EvilDead - know if you can setup Router -> Powerline Adapter -> Powerline Adapter -> Router/Switch/Hub? Or can you only have a single device on the other end of a Powerline Adapter?

Edit: I should have clicked refresh prior to posting. It looks like it has been answered many times over.

Yea so an unmanaged switch (I recommend these over hubs since hubs split bandwidth evenly between all connected ports, while a switch will prioritize based on use)

This is a little inaccurate. It's the right basic idea, but you're not quite all the way there yet.

Basically, hubs have every port in the same broadcast domain. That is, every packet that they see on any port gets instantly reflected to all the other ports. Your whole network becomes a single Ethernet link, and the entire network can send no more than 100Mbit across all the ports at once, with less and less available as more and more machines start interfering with each other's transmissions.

Switches are smarter. Each port is full duplex, so that the attached device can both send and receive at full rate, simultaneously. And ports do not interfere with each other; if port 1 is very busy, that doesn't mean that every other port is, too. Switches are smart enough to just forward packets to whichever port needs them. With a decent switch, this means you can be running many machines simultaneously, all potentially at full wire speed, without slowing each other down.

Switches are a lot better. It should be nearly impossible to find hubs anymore, but if you have one, consider replacing it.

I've had a Netgear WNDR3800 (N600 Premium Edition) for about 18 months now, but I still have dead zones in my modest 3 bedroom, two story town home. Router is in a bedroom upstairs and unfortunately the couches on the opposite end of the first floor are typically dead zones. Kitchen is fine though.

Is this ASUS RT-AC66U the "Dark Knight" router everyone is mentioning? Think it will help my range problem? Seems like a big price tag considering a new standard is around the corner (next fall), but wife is all over me to get this dead zone area fixed.

What's the difference between the AC66U and the N66U? Amazon says the AC66U is newer, but they're only $20 a part.

Draco wrote:

I've had a Netgear WNDR3800 (N600 Premium Edition) for about 18 months now, but I still have dead zones in my modest 3 bedroom, two story town home. Router is in a bedroom upstairs and unfortunately the couches on the opposite end of the first floor are typically dead zones. Kitchen is fine though.

Is this ASUS RT-AC66U the "Dark Knight" router everyone is mentioning? Think it will help my range problem? Seems like a big price tag considering a new standard is around the corner (next fall), but wife is all over me to get this dead zone area fixed.

Well, that particular flavor of the Dark Knight includes the new standard. A lot of people on here have found it to be a great router (including me). Most of us don't have the updated version that you linked (I have the N66U). It costs a bit extra and wasn't out initially. The AC wireless adapters are limited in selection and quite expensive at this point. They'll probably come down in price in a year or so. They might be cheaper this summer. As far as general devices with integrated wireless go, they're all just getting up to N. I imagine it'll be a year or two before regular ole devices upgrade to AC.

Am I the only one who hates that the standard above N is called "AC"? It just makes me think of alternating current, which is annoying.

I've got the N as well and love it. The triple-antenna solved my dead zone problem, and now I've got full coverage everywhere in my 2-floor apartment.

As truffalo mentioned, the AC includes the new standard. I upgraded to the N over the summer, and only my <1 yr old devices had N support to begin with.

I'm also not a fan of calling it AC. We had A, then B, then G, then N, now we're wrapping around to AC? WTF?

McIrishJihad wrote:

I've got the N as well and love it. The triple-antenna solved my dead zone problem, and now I've got full coverage everywhere in my 2-floor apartment.

As truffalo mentioned, the AC includes the new standard. I upgraded to the N over the summer, and only my <1 yr old devices had N support to begin with.

I'm also not a fan of calling it AC. We had A, then B, then G, then N, now we're wrapping around to AC? WTF?

IEEE has standards for nomenclature. The 'skipped' letters are amendments/additions to the 802.11 spec which were introduced but are either included within or separate from those iterations which we consider the standard wifi specs (a, b, g, n). Once they hit z they added another letter (skipping ab and ag to reduce confusion - which has been done with certain other letters as well). Currently the amendments go up to aj.

So here's a question:

Some may recall that I was having issues with my N66U, that I had to send it into Asus for repair. It seemed the ethernet-WAN port was borked, that it would connect to the modem but wouldn't let devices use the internet, though it said it was connected. So I got it back, Asus told me everything was okay, but when I hooked it up, same issue-- local networking is fine, but internet connections-- despite the Router's control panel telling me it is connected-- were non-existent. So I turned off QoS, and voila! I have internets again. Turn QoS back on, and all devices are unable to resolve DNS addresses. That is, they all say they're connected to the internet, be they wired or wireless, but they can't actually connect to anything on the internet, always getting DNS server errors.

I'd love to get the QoS running properly again, as without it, the router doesn't seem to divvy up the bandwidth nicely and my computer ends up taking a while to load a Youtube video or a regular website, especially while the wife is in the other room watching Hulu on the PS3. It's not unbearable, just annoying.

So my question is: Anyone else seen issues like this, where QoS kills DNS server connectivity (or whatever it is that's preventing website connection and sending back "Unable to connect to DNS Server" errors) ? If so, any tips on fixing this? I've already reset the router to default settings, and that didn't seem to do anything. Hell, when I turned on the QoS for the N66U, I didn't mess with the settings then either-- just ran it totally stock.

Otherwise, I friggin' love this router! Now I just need to save up for a good cable modem so I can stop paying Comcast for rental fees.

WipEout wrote:

Now I just need to save up for a good cable modem so I can stop paying Comcast for rental fees.

Unfortunately, I know nothing about QoS. I can't even recall if I enabled it since I don't have any issues. I think I went through some things setting it up initially. I'll have to check when I get home today.

I went with a refurbished Motorola Surfboard 5100 modem which was only about 25-30 bucks. The level of Comcast service that I have (ends up being about 60 per month) doesn't utilize DOCSIS 3. It's been a very solid modem. The DOCSIS 3 modems get up to at least $75 refurbished IIRC.

Yeah, I'd like to get a DOCSIS 3.0 modem, as I figured wherever I move (whenever I move) I'll more likely get cable internet again than DSL. I've got the Motorola 5120 from Comcast, and it's fine, I'd just like to future-proof my modem as well as not pay Comcast an extra $7+ a month if I don't have to. They've recently scrapped the reduced monthly fee for their 30Mbps Blast! internet, (I'm now past the 6 months of reduced price), so I also need to b*tch Comcast out to see if I can't get another reduced rate. Not really sure how to go about that, beyond calling them up and asking for another reduced price. Problem being, I literally have zero options for high speed internet in my area-- it's either AT&T, Clear, or Comcast, but AT&T has crap connection (they can't offer me anything faster than 1.5Mbps DSL, and then my connection isn't even that fast), and Clear's signal is utter crap in my area, so I'm unfortunately stuck with Comcast. But that's a whole other topic.

Yeah, I'm in the same boat options-wise. I know I could call and complain to get deals, but it's not worth the stress and my modem wouldn't be able to take advantage of it. My current level of service is good enough. I never notice it being too slow for my needs.

LouZiffer wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

I've got the N as well and love it. The triple-antenna solved my dead zone problem, and now I've got full coverage everywhere in my 2-floor apartment.

As truffalo mentioned, the AC includes the new standard. I upgraded to the N over the summer, and only my <1 yr old devices had N support to begin with.

I'm also not a fan of calling it AC. We had A, then B, then G, then N, now we're wrapping around to AC? WTF?

IEEE has standards for nomenclature. The 'skipped' letters are amendments/additions to the 802.11 spec which were introduced but are either included within or separate from those iterations which we consider the standard wifi specs (a, b, g, n). Once they hit z they added another letter (skipping ab and ag to reduce confusion - which has been done with certain other letters as well). Currently the amendments go up to aj.

I knew there was probably some vaguely parliamentary/BS reason for the naming, but you'd think they could adopt a process that would say "while this is amendment AC, the resulting spec will be known as (blarg)".

Man, if they did that from the beginning, we'd have 802.11a, b, c, and d, and then we'd all be talking about e! Heck, you could throw in "revision", "version", "specification", or "generation" to make it more specific.

McIrishJihad wrote:
LouZiffer wrote:
McIrishJihad wrote:

I've got the N as well and love it. The triple-antenna solved my dead zone problem, and now I've got full coverage everywhere in my 2-floor apartment.

As truffalo mentioned, the AC includes the new standard. I upgraded to the N over the summer, and only my <1 yr old devices had N support to begin with.

I'm also not a fan of calling it AC. We had A, then B, then G, then N, now we're wrapping around to AC? WTF?

IEEE has standards for nomenclature. The 'skipped' letters are amendments/additions to the 802.11 spec which were introduced but are either included within or separate from those iterations which we consider the standard wifi specs (a, b, g, n). Once they hit z they added another letter (skipping ab and ag to reduce confusion - which has been done with certain other letters as well). Currently the amendments go up to aj.

I knew there was probably some vaguely parliamentary/BS reason for the naming, but you'd think they could adopt a process that would say "while this is amendment AC, the resulting spec will be known as (blarg)".

Man, if they did that from the beginning, we'd have 802.11a, b, c, and d, and then we'd all be talking about e! Heck, you could throw in "revision", "version", "specification", or "generation" to make it more specific.

The amendments are separate standards in their own right. For example: 802.11j is the aptly-named amendment which covers a wifi standard specifically used in Japan. We only commonly talk about the ones which are important to us. Wireless networking tends to fall under the 802.11 set of standards, but there are lots of standards in there, each with their own letter or designation.

It would be nice if they had something more friendly for everyday use, though.

Hmm, having bad experiences with the RT-N66U that everyone seems to be enjoying. Wireless was completely useless before a firmware flash, which wasn't a comforting start, and now the thing is needing a power cycle every day or two in order to keep the wireless functioning (it's only in AP mode, too).

Also the unit itself gets extremely warm. Not "can't touch it" warm, but just on the verge of that. Wondering if I should attempt an exchange with Amazon, or just return it and go with another brand.

This is 2013. Wi-Fi has been ubiquitous for what...10 years now? It is no longer acceptable for basic sh*t to not work 100% of the time.

Mr Crinkle wrote:

Hmm, having bad experiences with the RT-N66U that everyone seems to be enjoying. Wireless was completely useless before a firmware flash, which wasn't a comforting start, and now the thing is needing a power cycle every day or two in order to keep the wireless functioning (it's only in AP mode, too).

Also the unit itself gets extremely warm. Not "can't touch it" warm, but just on the verge of that. Wondering if I should attempt an exchange with Amazon, or just return it and go with another brand.

This is 2013. Wi-Fi has been ubiquitous for what...10 years now? It is no longer acceptable for basic sh*t to not work 100% of the time.

That's what I've enjoyed with the RT-N66U. It works and works great 100% of the time. That really sucks that you got a bad one.

I'd probably try replacing it... that sounds like it might be a bum unit.

Mine runs warm, but never has any issues with WiFi :/

I've skimmed to try avoiding redundancy. I know there were some discussions months ago, but I want to see if more specificity helps.

I'm currently running a two-router household on Time Warner cable internet. One is the Dlink DIR-655. The other is an older Belkin Wireless G, I think. We replaced the Belkin with the Dlink, and then hit a point at which the Dlink would reboot multiple times each day. A firmware update didn't help.

I eventually opted to set both routers up, and set some devices on one and some on the other. Hypothetically, this should keep either from being overburdened. I'm not sure that's the case.

We have a MBP, an iMac, a Linux laptop, a PS3, a Wii, two iPhone 4Ses, and occasionally an iPhone 3GS. The PS3 is now wired.

The reason I write is that I'm feeling like things still load slowly. We recently revived a notice that we were being upgraded to a slightly faster plan (don't recall specifics). Before and after, we still see sites sometimes taking 10 seconds to load, and almost all YouTube videos stutter. Most of the time we watch on the iMac, which is getting on in years (an older C2D), but I've seen it happen on my wife's newer MBP, too.

There may be nothing to be done. It may be that we're saturating our limited bandwidth. I don't know how to test, though. Is there a way to test the capacity of the routers, to see if an upgrade would help? Is it just the fact that we're operating at G speeds on a mixed network (MBP and 4Ses can connect at N)? Should I place the routers I'm separate rooms?

So with the country wide Fibre infrastructure roll-out that's been going on here having wired up my place 9 months ago, I've been keeping an eye on the local Fibre-only ISPs that's been popping up to meet the new demand, while waiting for my current 15Mbps ADSL contract plan to run out in May 2013.

The ISP that I've been keeping an eye on is running a promotion this month that finally looks good; 150Mbps and they throw in an ASUS N56U for free and allows an upgrade to either an ASUS N66U or an ASUS AC66U for various top up fees.

Side effect of moving to Fibre is that my gaming PC has to get a wireless PCI card, since the mainboard doesn't have one and my current ethernet cable network doesn't reach the single point where the Fibre will be coming in from. Considering a HomePlug but no guaranties it will work well.

So my options are:
1) Pay more to go with the AC66U to maximise the 150Mpbs and wait for an 802.11ac PCI-E card for my PC to be released/made available in my country.
or
2) Get the N66U and a normal 802.11N Dual-channel PCI-E card for my PC, most likely only hit speeds of around 90Mbps and wait to change to 802.11ac next year or something when the prices drop.

Thoughts and ideas?

Side effect of moving to Fibre is that my gaming PC has to get a wireless PCI card, since the mainboard doesn't have one and my current ethernet cable network doesn't reach the single point where the Fibre will be coming in from. Considering a HomePlug but no guaranties it will work well.

Is there some reason why you can't run good old Cat 5 ethernet? Most fiber ISPs will just give you an Ethernet drop; your router then plugs into that, and then all your clients either plug into the router with Ethernet cable, or hook up wirelessly.

You'll be wasting a ton of that bandwidth if you try to run it over wireless. Homeplug might be better, but Ethernet is the right way to do it, if you can. You can a cable a long way, so even if you can't run it through the walls (which is really pretty easy), there are various flavors of surface mount that can be made to blend in fairly well.

Thanks for the reply Malor.

Yep, unfortunately running cat5 Ethernet cable is just not feasible at this point in time. Problem being the fibre terminal point being right smack in the middle of the living room far wall furthest from the hallway leading to the bedrooms of which, mine and my gaming PC is at the deepest.
I guess I should be thankful I stay in an apartment and not a house.

Perhaps in the future if we decide to renovate we can look into running Cat6 Ethernet cables to every room in the apartment, but apart from my gaming PC, everyone else lives off wireless with their mobile device or laptop anyway.

Recently, I received a letter saying that Comcast "upgraded" my speed a bit. I have standard internet which costs me $68 or so a month. I don't want to deal with trying to get promo deals every couple months, so I just pay the regular monthly fee. I'm probably on the tier below the "Boost" or "Blast" stuff. Because of that, I keep using my DOCSIS 2.0 modem. I checked recently and I'm getting around 27 Mbps down and about 4 Mbps up. That should be fine for everything that I do. I have noticed that Netflix does sometimes take a bit to buffer very rarely but it is rather annoying when it happens. My guess is that it's on their end, not mine. My thinking is that I would need to be approaching 38 Mbps speeds before a DOCSIS 3.0 modem should be a consideration. I wonder if this is wrong, however.

So, according to Wikipedia, DOCSIS 2.0 has a max usable throughput of 38 Mbps via 1 channel. DOCSIS 3.0 has a maximum usable throughput of m × 38 Mbps where m is a minimum of 4 depending on the modem from what I can tell. So, I still kind of wonder if a DOCSIS 3.0 modem would give me any increase in performance. Has anyone researched or tested this?

Well, assuming I understand the horrible Comcast web page, I think that means you're on the "Performance!" package, which is 20Mbit. Does that sound right?

Depending on how they actually implement the rate limiting, you might see a fair bit of improvement from a 3.0 modem for web browsing; it's not uncommon for providers to allow you a short burst at maximum line speed, allowing you to load a web page or something small very quickly. Then, after a few seconds, it clamps down and returns the line to whatever speed you're paying for.

This burstiness can make web browsing feel a fair bit faster, but won't matter for any kind of sustained download, like Youtube or Netflix or anything like that.

I think I am on the "performance", but I'm not positive. They're always pretty vague about everything. I think that I have been getting over 20 Mbps since I first got it (around 27 Mbps). At any rate, regular old web browsing is extremely snappy at home, so I wouldn't upgrade my modem for that. Good to know.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Recently, I received a letter saying that Comcast "upgraded" my speed a bit. I have standard internet which costs me $68 or so a month. I don't want to deal with trying to get promo deals every couple months, so I just pay the regular monthly fee. I'm probably on the tier below the "Boost" or "Blast" stuff. Because of that, I keep using my DOCSIS 2.0 modem. I checked recently and I'm getting around 27 Mbps down and about 4 Mbps up. That should be fine for everything that I do. I have noticed that Netflix does sometimes take a bit to buffer very rarely but it is rather annoying when it happens. My guess is that it's on their end, not mine. My thinking is that I would need to be approaching 38 Mbps speeds before a DOCSIS 3.0 modem should be a consideration. I wonder if this is wrong, however.

So, according to Wikipedia, DOCSIS 2.0 has a max usable throughput of 38 Mbps via 1 channel. DOCSIS 3.0 has a maximum usable throughput of m × 38 Mbps where m is a minimum of 4 depending on the modem from what I can tell. So, I still kind of wonder if a DOCSIS 3.0 modem would give me any increase in performance. Has anyone researched or tested this?

I was paying ~68 until I talked them back down to $49.99 last night (took an hour, calling back after a disconnect and using the magic 'c' word). I'm at 50mbps down / ?? up. I still have a DOCSIS 2.0 since unnecessary purchases are a no go for me right now. I currently get around 34mbps down (across a multi-gigabyte game download). It may depend on your area, but for me, if I had the money, I'd get a 3.0 modem.