Recommendations for a New Router

Hi OzB,

After reading all the ISP recommendations I’m finally moving to the nbn with ABB 100/20 - HFC, but may upgrade if not satisfied with speeds.

Now looking for recommendations on routers as I don’t want the stock ISP router.
My needs:

  • I’m not a gamer but a heavy user;
  • Many connected devices & growing with kids on Netflix (Wifi mostly with Tv and a few other devices via LAN);
  • Wife & I continue to WFH with constant video calls (ISO - Melb);
  • Current property is a modest size home, likely to upgrade to a larger home in the near future;
  • As a result I prefer to pay a littler more and future proof from a tech & range point;
  • Budget is not too much of an issue however, I’m not wanting to pay more than required or for useless gimics that I won’t need.

Like most OzB I crave for a bargain!

  • Happy to wait for a deal, I’ve got an old Netgear R6300 in the draw that should get me through for now.

I tried to read and watch as many reviews as possible, I find it hard to believe if they are genuine reviews with so many paid promotions and too many conflicting answers.
Turning to the OzB community which has yet to fail me!

TIA

Comments

  • +3

    As someone who just swapped over to nbn and was unsure of what to get; I would recommend sticking with what you have for a month or so to see what does/doesn’t work about it - then you know what features you want in a new one. Or, you might find the one you have actually works perfectly for your needs and you don’t need to spend any money.

  • Thanks.

    I should have added the router is a Netgear R6300 which I bought some +10years ago.
    Although it may get me through a few months (at most) I’m not sure it will offer me the full experience for today’s tech needs.

    • Few more questions please:

      • What speed are you currently getting?
      • Do you have any issues with bandwidth at the moment while you WFH & kids streaming?
      • Do you use QoS currently and whats your level of tech for networks?
      • Any issues with wifi signal in the house?

      My recommendation is what others have mentioned, wait and see if you have any issues first? Personally what I've done is turned off wifi on my ISP modem, bought another Router (Asus AC3200 flashed with merlin - 4years ago or something) and its been flying ever since.
      Your solution comes down to how its currently performing but using a bandwidth priority was a game-changer for me (QoS).

      • ABB is going in this week.
        Currently on a Telstra Cable connection, some days I’ll get 60-80mbps some days 5Mbps.
        Frequent drop outs hence finally pulled the lever to switch to nbn.
        Whilst running Telstra Cable with T modem:
        - yes having a lot of drop out and it dies during video calls
        - No QoS
        - Not a geek, however a little tech savvy and would like to ensure I’m somewhat performing ok
        - Current house has a relative smallish footprint, almost comparable to a 3br apartment. But likely to move or knock down and build in the future to a double story as a min.

  • I guess my question is, what speed are you getting at the moment with your current modem/router?

  • Also interested, i have a Apple airport extreme that still works fine but sometimes have to re start now. What would be good to replace it for a 40 square home on 1 level. 100/40NBN. FTTH.

    • Deco M5 by TP-Link or AmpliFi HD by Ubiquiti Labs.

      • You still need a router for the Deco?

        • Nope, plug in Deco M5 to the NBN connection box.

          • +1

            @Twix: No worries same as my airport is now. Next problem i need 3 x ethernet connection.

  • +1

    smallnetbuilder.com

  • +1

    What is your budget and router placement in your home? Is the R6300 serving you adequately speed- and latency-wise?

    For me, I was happy with the Asus RT68U (placed in the middle of my rectangular-shaped house). The move to NBN required a router relocation to one corner of the house and necessitated the addition of another Asus router (for AiMesh setup). Otherwise, the original setup served me very well.

    • Budget, if required I can spend $600 or more, however I just want to know it will be worth it and rather wait for a deal!

      The R6300 is currently not in use at the moment, using a my Telstra Cable modem which sucks!
      The R6300 is just to buy time whilst I research or wait for a deal after nbn is actived.

  • 11 is my count

  • +1

    ABB recommends the Google Nest Wifi as it meets the requirements for 1Gb plan speeds (should they ever become available to you), both at the wall and over wifi. You didn't mention a budget, so I'm going to assume "unlimited". ABB offers these:
    $249 upfront gets you the router (1-2 bedroom homes)
    $369 gets you the router and a Nest point (3-4 bedroom homes)
    $499 gets you the router and 2 Nest points (5-6 bedroom homes)

    You can get these cheaper elsewhere (during sales, anyway), with the bonus of ABB offering support with configuration if you need it (given they sell it).

    • I'm yet to see Nest wifi do 1 Gb on wifi. Have you?

      For me it's more like 200-800 Mbps depending on the wifi chip.

      • +1

        Someone on the SNB forums reported a link speed of 866Mb and a speedtest result of about 500Mb, so not too shabby.

  • Remember not every address within the HFC footprint has access to 250-1000 Mbps at this point in time.

    There is nothing future proof from a tech point of view if Wi-Fi 6E becomes a thing in the next year or two.

    From a range point of view a mesh network gives decent results & the Deco M5 by TP-Link is an OzB fav.

    Paid promotions have to clearly state if they are or not.

  • +2

    My setup: AussieBB + FTTC here.

    I started off re-using my old Linksys EA8300. First 2 weeks I was getting a lot of dropouts , doing a continuous ping test I get average 17min of downtime per 24h and calls were being dropped etc. The same router was fine before nbn, when connecting to Optus 4G home bb.

    Swapped an older Asus N66U to test, the dropouts reduced but still there, finally ABB raised to NBNCo to come and re-crimp all the cabling and all good.

    MY 2c here is that if you go with the ISP's supplied router, then they can't blame its your router for any teething issues. OTOH as jjjaar said just start with the cheapest existing setup that works & fix any issues as they come.

    My final setup is an Ubiquiti Edge Router X (no wifi) which then connects to my two existing wifi routers (for house & granny flat) & some ethernet wall points.

    • I wouldn't worry much about the ISP router vs BYO router on HFC & FTTC. The ISP can't blame your router when NBN provide you with the NBN connection box & you can fault test directly to said NBN connection box.

      PS. if you have a spare $3000 upgrade to FTTP :-)

      • FTTP would be nice, however $3k and if we move or knock down and build in the near future not worth it!

        • $3000 = FTTC to FTTP.

          $3000-$50,000 = HFC to FTTP but yeah if your moving or KDRB wait it out.

  • There was a Ubiquiti Dream Machine (UDM) on sale for $499 here a couple of days ago.

    Despite their billing as a Small Business router/security gateway, I have found they are absolutely perfect for reliable home functioning, and being Ubiquiti UniFi units, you can expand the system if you have any issues super easily.

    I used to recommend a Netgear R7000/Asus RT-AC68U flashed with AdvancedTomato or Merlin/Merlin XWRT - a great setup with some excellent enterprise-lite features for the price (firmware is free) so you can do things like selective VPN routing, VLANs, Multi-WAN for load balancing or failover, ad-blocking, QoS, etc.

    With those units now more expensive than when they first came out (I got my R7000 for $189 in 2015), I would recommend the UDM as a device that covers the basic requirements for a network EXCELLENTLY, and does a few advanced things here and there, but remains a highly solid, reliable, and stable choice for a large home or small business.

    If you want more bells and whistles (essentially a super-powered Unix-based router OS that is extremely extendable), then pfsense is your best option. You can roll your own with a virtual appliance or old PC (make sure it has 2x Intel ethernet ports), or do things the simple way and buy an MBT-4220 direct from Netgate (pfsense's commercial presence) and save yourself the hassle of initial installation and config. The MBT-4220 is only $199 (USD, down from $350) right now, which is an excellent bargain. Combine this with a Ubiquiti 8-port PoE switch, and a NanoHD AP or 2 (or the AC-Lite at a much cheaper price) and you'll have the best of both worlds.

  • Hey all,

    I think I’ve narrowed it down to Netgear NH XR500 for $395 from centrecom or the UDM for the $500.

    Any alternative routers anyone would suggest and/or deals that maybe cheaper than the above prices?

    TIA

    https://www.centrecom.com.au/netgear-xr500-nighthawk-pro-mu-...

    • The Netgear XR can't make a mesh network and that could come back to bite you when you move.

      If it was me I would pick the UDM. With IDS/IPS enabled delivers approx 850Mbps and turning it off approx 940Mbps and you can expand the network with extra UniFi access points.

      • Ah thanks!
        What abt Google wifi, it’s got a lot a good reviews?

        If not anyone know of good deals going for the UDM?

        • Nest wifi by Google is the new edition. It's a decent mesh system but it lacks LAN ports so you'd need a small switch.

          UDM $500 deal is expired & now it's about $565 to $600.

          • @Twix: 1 lan port is not ideal, but I can live with it.
            Currently running 3 wired devices but the only that matters is the Tv.

            When reading reviews the recommendation seems to be the TP-Link Deco M9 Plus over the Google Nest…any thoughts?
            Or Deco X20 or Deco X60..
            I’ve never been a fan of any voice assistant…so not a need.

            https://au.pcmag.com/wi-fi-mesh-networking-system/64460/goog...

            Another thought is to just wait for the next UDM deal…

            • @MadeIt: That's why I said to purchase a small switch. The other way to get LAN ports & since you don't care for voice assistant is to purchase a few Nest wifi routers at $269 each.

              Deco M9 & Nest wifi are very similar & you can go either one there.

              Will you be able to take advantage of the Decos with wifi 6?

              UDM deals happen often.

              • @Twix: I came across the AmpliFi Alien for $534 + $28 delivery AUD on Amazon.

                How do these compare to the UDM?
                Overall, seems like a better deal for a little bit more?

                • @MadeIt: A basic rule for domestic home use is to never purchase routers from other regions and the reason being region locks and wireless restrictions.

                  UDM is wifi 5 and has the whole UniFi operating system. With this you can use the basic settings or deep dive into networking. If you can't wait purchase a UDM.

                  Alien is wifi 6 and about the most you can do with AmpliFi products is port forward, DHCP server and set static IPs. It's good for those who don't want to play with much settings. If you can wait a few months the Alien might show up in Oz.

                  • +1

                    @Twix: Thanks, I wasn’t aware abt the regional setting and issues.

                    I’m likely to set and forget if the router is doing it’s job, so I don’t mind not having the advanced settings. So don’t mind the Alien, especially if it’s going to future proof with wifi 6.
                    Maybe I will wait for the offical Australian release if regional setting are a concern.

                    • @MadeIt: Alien is a great product and suits your requirements but yeah wait for the Oz release.

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