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Home network recommendations

Cpt.DipStick

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Word!

TLDR; I'm looking for a new router which doesn't randomly drop, where I can game happily while the family watches 4k Netflix.



I have a home network setup, but... The backbone TP-Link Archer C20 supplied by my ISP is more like a backache.
I experience random network drops, where myself and other wireless users of the network remain connected, but it becomes unresponsive (ie. I can't even access the routers backend).
I've tried resetting the router, updating the firmware, pretty much everything short of voiding the warranty and installing OpenWRT (since my ISP technically still owns it).

With that said, I think I'm in the market for a new router, as I'd also at some stage like to look into getting better Wi-Fi signal in other parts of my house (but will deal with that at a later stage).


The only main requirements I have is that:
  • I have the ability to bandwidth limit devices on the network
  • There's dual band Wi-Fi, so I can still stream Netflix in 4K from my TV
  • There's 4 or more 1gbps network ports for future upgrades
Can anyone recommend a decent router, without me losing a limb to pay for it? (anything in the price range of R500-R2000, maybe more)
 

Qui_Illustrati

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Ubiquiti Unifi AP's or AmplifiHD

Or just go ahead and install OpenWRT - backup current firmware so you can revert
 
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Cpt.DipStick

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Ubiquiti Unif AP's or AmplifiHD

Or just go ahead and install OpenWRT - backup current firmware so you can revert
Would you recommend just a simple AP and Router to be sufficient?

I've been itching to try out OpenWRT, but I have a strong feeling that the drops I'm experiencing are a hardware fault :/
 

Qui_Illustrati

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I'd stick with kit from the same stable - perhaps this router for a cost effective but still very funtional approach

 

Astro_ZA

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Go for the EdgeRouter. They're pretty solid and I've had no issues with mine, been up and running for several months without a hiccup. Traffic shaping, limits, QoS are available. It's quick to set up with the basic wizard if you're not too bothered about going in-depth (If you are, it's fine for that too). Couple that with a Unifi NanoHD and you're good to go.

 

Qui_Illustrati

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Go for the EdgeRouter. They're pretty solid and I've had no issues with mine, been up and running for several months without a hiccup. Traffic shaping, limits, QoS are available. It's quick to set up with the basic wizard if you're not too bothered about going in-depth (If you are, it's fine for that too). Couple that with a Unifi NanoHD and you're good to go.


His budget is quite low - so the EdgerouterX and the AC lite seems a better prospect for his budget I reckon - virtually the exact same functionality on a budget
 

Cpt.DipStick

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Go for the EdgeRouter. They're pretty solid and I've had no issues with mine, been up and running for several months without a hiccup. Traffic shaping, limits, QoS are available. It's quick to set up with the basic wizard if you're not too bothered about going in-depth (If you are, it's fine for that too). Couple that with a Unifi NanoHD and you're good to go.

I would be keen to go for something of that scale, but the size of my house is pretty small (<100m^2). With that price range I could also just go for something like this, which comes with 2 APs:

I might be able to get the hardware purchased with a dealer account on Scoop too
 
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Astro_ZA

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His budget is quite low - so the EdgerouterX and the AC lite seems a better prospect for his budget I reckon - virtually the exact same functionality on a budget
I would be keen to go for something of that scale, but the size of my house is pretty small (<100m^2). With that price range I could also just go for something like this, which comes with 2 APs:

I might be able to get the hardware purchased with a dealer account on Scoop too
True. The AC Lite would do just fine. The difference in range between the two isn't all that much. As for the EdgeRouter. The price difference between the ER-6 and ER-12 is negligible, but you're getting quite a few extra ports with the ER-12 + built in switch. Maybe go for the EdgeRouter ER-X and upgrade or get a switch at a later stage if you need it?

 

rinners

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Would you recommend just a simple AP and Router to be sufficient?

I've been itching to try out OpenWRT, but I have a strong feeling that the drops I'm experiencing are a hardware fault :/
I used to have 2 TP links trying to cover my home, but I replaced them with a RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT and don't even need the second AP now.

RouterOS is great, worth changing just for it, even though it's a learning curve, you will probably find videos online that can help.

I would recommend getting a router with a SFP cage in case you want fibre direct into your router.
 

Cpt.DipStick

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I used to have 2 TP links trying to cover my home, but I replaced them with a RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT and don't even need the second AP now.

RouterOS is great, worth changing just for it, even though it's a learning curve, you will probably find videos online that can help.

I would recommend getting a router with a SFP cage in case you want fibre direct into your router.
So with that said, I'm pretty comfortable working with RouterOS, which is why I was considering going Mikrotik. Is the signal on that little router that decent?


We have a larger rack mount Mikrotik router and AP at work and was thinking of going for that combo, since I can get Wi-Fi signal on the toilet too
 

Cpt.DipStick

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I used to have 2 TP links trying to cover my home, but I replaced them with a RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT and don't even need the second AP now.

RouterOS is great, worth changing just for it, even though it's a learning curve, you will probably find videos online that can help.

I would recommend getting a router with a SFP cage in case you want fibre direct into your router.
Had a look at the router you mentioned, would this one not be better too? Seems to be half the price for better CPU, higher gain Wi-Fi, etc

 

Neo_Geo

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I purchased an Edge-router X this year. Enable Smart Q (QOS) has made my gaming/ streaming much smoother no buffering on at 1080p streams . I will Recommend it any time. You can change that C20 into an Access point. And get an Ubiquity ap ac lite or LR in the future. Smart QOS has been managing my bandwidth well. +1 Edgerouter X

edit:
What line speed do you have?
ISP also?
to clarify it was 2 1080p streams on 10mb line and it was smooth. I was blown away
 

Cpt.DipStick

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I purchased an Edge-router X this year. Enable Smart Q (QOS) has made my gaming/ streaming much smoother no buffering on at 1080p streams. I will Recommend it any time. You can change that C20 into an Access point. And get an Ubiquity ap ac lite or LR in the future. Smart QOS has been managing my bandwidth well. +1 Edgerouter X

What line speed do you have?
ISP also?
That sounds magical. Was it specifically this one?


I'm with Cool Ideas over a Metro Fibre 100mbps line (y)
 

Neo_Geo

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rinners

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Had a look at the router you mentioned, would this one not be better too? Seems to be half the price for better CPU, higher gain Wi-Fi, etc

Should be then, I get signal on the other side of the house, maybe 12m away through a slab and couple walls. Maybe get the new RB, test it out and then get a second AP if needed. It sounds like the unifi is only worth having if you have multiple of them for seamless transitions, but maybe the mikrotik cAP will be just a good?

And in that case you can use the SFP on the rack mounted router if you want and power the new router via the POE out if it has? That's basically my configuration now.
 

Chuck_Norris

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I'll also go with mikrotik. Check around on carb, those units last for ages.

I picked up a RB3011 and 2 x rb951g-2hnd for R2k total.

It provides me with coverage of my whole house and at the AP i have 4 extra 1gbps connections.
 

Astro_ZA

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EdgeRouter X is perfect for lines up to around 100Mbps with QoS and DPI. But you'll want to up it to a more powerful model if you've got anything above 100mbps. I'm running gigabit with ER-12 and it's spot on. EdgeMax over Mikrotik or a consumer grade brand, any day.
 

Cpt.DipStick

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I'll also go with mikrotik. Check around on carb, those units last for ages.

I picked up a RB3011 and 2 x rb951g-2hnd for R2k total.

It provides me with coverage of my whole house and at the AP i have 4 extra 1gbps connections.
EdgeRouter X is perfect for lines up to around 100Mbps with QoS and DPI. But you'll want to up it to a more powerful model if you've got anything above 100mbps. I'm running gigabit with ER-12 and it's spot on. EdgeMax over Mikrotik or a consumer grade brand, any day.
So i've also known Mikrotik to last for eons, but RouterOS can be sticky to setup without help from the forums for niche settings.

Came across a Carbie selling an ideal Ubiquity setup:

Are Ubitquity devices also reliable? I don't want to be going from one unreliable setup to another too
 

Astro_ZA

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So i've also known Mikrotik to last for eons, but RouterOS can be sticky to setup without help from the forums for niche settings.

Came across a Carbie selling an ideal Ubiquity setup:

Are Ubitquity devices also reliable? I don't want to be going from one unreliable setup to another too
Their stuff is well made in terms of both hardware and software. I've used Mikrotik before I went with Ubiquiti, and much prefer Ubiquiti. The CLI (if you decide to use it) is very similar to Cisco and Junos.
 

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