Suggestions for a Router

Hi,

I am having issues with 2.4 GHz connectivity on my current router and I want to replace it. I need the 2.4 GHz for the smart home stuff like bulbs, cameras etc.

I just do the basic stuff like working from home on the work VPN, watch Netflix, no massive downloads, no online gaming.

Would the single kit of the Amazon Eero be fine (the one sold for $104 at JB hi-fi)? Any suggestions of what I should get?

Happy to spend up to $180 from Amazon, Bing Lee or Harvey Norman, hoping to get something RELIABLE and possibly futureproof.

Cheers

Comments

  • Is there a reason you are asking for Amazon / Bing Lee / Harvey Norman?

    • Because Harvey and Bing are very close to home so I could do the setup today. And because I have Amazon prime :)

  • A single eero suits a smaller place. eero is not compatible with certain ISPs. Who are you with? Do you have FTTN, FTTB, FTTC, FTTP, HFC?

    • Absolutely no idea. I am with superloop. I have the kasa bulbs and the tapo camera.. can't say much more than that sorry

      • Check here and see what it says under Technology used in your connection.

        • Technology used in your connection

          nbn™ Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) has been used in your connection to the broadband access network

          • +1

            @ets27: TP-Link Archer AX20 $163.43 @ Harris Technology via Amazon AU or TP-Link Deco M5 2pk $180.74 @ Amazon AU.

            eero is compatible with Superloop. Asus will be on sale for Prime Day tomorrow.

            • @Twix: I'm tempted to get the TP Link… Perhaps all the kasa bulbs and camera might work better?

              Which one would you pick between them?

              • +1

                @ets27: I suggested them for price to performance and not for being all the same brand. AX20 if the nbn modem is around the middle of your premises and if you want Wi-Fi 6. For Wi-Fi range reasons the Deco M5.

            • @Twix: Also which Asus will be on sale?

  • +1

    If you are having 2.4Ghz connectivity issues then why do you think a new router fix the issue? I have my doubts.

    • +1

      I have a Netcom wireless that is well known for having dropouts with 2.4 GHz .
      I read that the router has this issue in many forums/ Reddit etc. Only way to fix is replacing I've been told.

      • You need to decide if you want wifi 5 or 6, 5 = ac, 6 =ax as the 6 runs wifi at a higher sped if you get the right AX mesh gear. wifi6 will future proof your setup and allow you to run faster wifi than 5, but it will cost more.

        As for recommendations have a look at the Asus-RT-AC68U or the TP-link AX20 or if you can find at a store the https://www.binglee.com.au/asus-rt-ax82u-ax5400-dual-band-wi....

        • the ASUS looks very interesting (AC68U. I might get that one..

          • @ets27: Be careful, the Asus-RT-AC68U mentioned is a router only, it does not have modem capabilities so you would need a standalone modem for your setup. The Asus DSL-AC68U is the same but with a modem as well. I've used the DSL-AC68U at my parents house previously, works fine but we eventually upgraded the wifi with a standalone Ubiquiti AP. I'm probably sounding like a sales rep for them at this point but honestly just recommending them based on experience. Using them across 5 setups currently.

            • @JonoEfthy: If he has a HFC service, he doesn't need the modem component, the NTD is the modem.

              I would not recommend most ASUS modems/routers to anyone unless I knew the person installing it was at least a little tech savvy, they can be a bit tricky to configure.

  • +1

    Have you considered getting a standalone wireless access point?
    They usually provide better WiFi than the all in one router/WiFi/modem combos anyway, plus it makes it easier to updgrade down the line as you only need to replace the bit of hardware that needs the upgrade, rather than buying a whole new all in one just because your WiFi isn't great or you want VOIP capabilities, etc etc.

    My suggestion is Ubiquiti, they are more targeted towards small - medium businesses but they are known for having great wireless tech, depending on if your house is large or not I'd suggest the Ubiquiti UAP-AC-Lite or the UAP-AC-LR (long range). You can also look into their newer Wifi 6 (802.11ax) access points, they have an equivalent Lite and LR available, the PRO is more intended for lots of clients conencted (100+). You can find them from various retailers/sites, I'd suggest using ozbargain or staticice to compare prices.

    With this setup all you would need is 2 ethernet cables to connect from your router/switch to the POE injector for the AP and then from the injector to the AP (make sure you buy one that includes the POE injector, some don't include it as you can also power them from a POE capable switch so they offer it without the injector to save money if you don't need it). Then on your current all in one router you would just turn off the WiFi in it's settings, use the Ubiquiti networks app on your phone to setup the Ubiquiti AP (takes less than 5 mins) and you're done.
    Tip: Set the WiFi name and password to the same as your current WiFi, then all of your devices will auto connect without you needing to do anything.

    WiFi 6 wise unless you have a lot of devices capable of WiFi 6 already or plan to upgrade soon then I'd suggest saving money and go for the AC (Wifi 5) models, WiFi 6 is better but WiFi 5 still works great and if your devices don't support 6 then they won't actually get any of the benefits, it would run at the same speed as if you had got the AC (WiFi 5) model AP.

    • Thanks, I will consider it.
      If I already have the black NBN box, all I really need is just the AP, correct? Or I would still need to have the black box + my existing the modem + the new AP?
      cheers

      • Or I would still need to have the black box + my existing the modem + the new AP?

        This is what you use for HFC.

        • ah right. pretty annoying

  • No you still need a router to handle the LAN routing and connections to the WAN (internet). And in your case you need a modem as you are on HFC, this is the same for FTTN or FTTC. FTTP and FTTB only need a router.

    Your setup would be this:
    NBN box > Netcom all in one > POE injector > Ubiquiti AP (1 ethernet cable is required for each >)

    • FTTB requires a VDSL2 modem/router or VDSL2 modem + router.

      • Depends on how the buidling did their wiring, if they sent copper up the walls then yep your right, but newer buildings send fibre up so you only need a router even though its FTTB

        • First I've heard of that. Is that for nbn FTTB or TPG FTTB?

          • @Twix: I'm not aware of TPG having a private fibre network, my understanding of the NBN is they provide the Fibre from the POI to the house (depending on the connection type the Fibre goes all the way or there is copper at some point to the house). FTTB is just Fibre to the building, but this term is unfortunately used regardless of what the bulding has installed in the walls to get the connection to each apartment. I've got a mate who bought an apartment recently, I set him up with a Ubiquiti AP and an Edgerouter X (no modem capabilities) and he is FTTB.

            • @JonoEfthy: TPG has their own FTTB in certain pockets. Thanks for the details about FTTB running with only a router.

    • Router >Fixed Wireless, HFC, FTTP, FTTC.

      Modem>FTTN, FTTB.

      You do not need to have a modem for HFC at all, the NTD is the modem.

  • +1

    Anyway OP go with whatever suits your use case and budget, my only suggestion is to stay away from mesh network WiFi as unless there is an ethernet cable connecting each mesh AP back to a switch/router then it is using WiFi to send the packets back to the all in one router. This usually ends up in slower performance and more network congestion, the only benefit is the extended range but this can be achieved in other ways.

    • +1

      If you get a wifi6 router and appropriate AX high speed mesh that has a 1+GB wifi support then the mesh wifi should be okay.

      Something like the following or equivalent from Asus or other manufacturer should be comparable to ethernet and in some cases better:
      https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/wifi-router/arche...
      https://www.tp-link.com/au/home-networking/range-extender/re...

      The downside of these setup is that you need to do allot of research before picking the router/modem and wifi mesh to ensure that the speed is okay and the equipment works as specified (bugs, crappy h/w, bad web configuration interface) and that the equipment will work together. The big one with this is the cost V's speed.

      • +1

        Unless majority of your devices are WiFi 6 compatable then you miss out on the packet timing benefits introduced by WiFi 6, sure the speeds increased from AC to AX (5 to 6) but realistically it doesn't matter what standard you are using for a mesh network, if the mesh APs are connected via WiFi then you are losing out on potential bandwith that is now being used as to repeat your packets to the next mesh AP or the main router. This is why I said it adds to the network congestion, reduces bandwith available and often ends up causing more packet loss in the process. Realistically for most users none of this is a problem, but for anyone that cares to get the full potential out of their network then they are limiting themselves by using a mesh setup (unless the mesh APs are linked back to the LAN via an ethernet cable). For a clean setup with no wires, sure I get why people choose mesh, but beyond that its just negatives in my opinion.

        • +2

          For anyone who want the full benefit of the network will have fibre and speed allot on the network.
          For most people who cannot afford fibre then CAT5 with a GB network is next.
          For people who cannot run CAT5 everywhere they need it then a wifi AX network is next.
          For people who cannot afford a wifi AX network then a wifi AC network is next.
          For people who cannot afford a wifi AC network then a 2.4 and 5 Ghz wifi network is next.
          For people who cannot afford a 2.4 and 5 Ghz wifi network then just a 2.4Ghz wifi is next.
          Then it's paper and pen.
          Then it's punch cards.

          • +1

            @AndyC1: Mostly true, 2.4 and 5 GHz is just the frequency used, AX supports both but AC only supports 5, although an AC AP usualy has backwards compatability for N and even G sometimes to give the 2.4 support.
            If you're curious: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_WLAN_channels

            But yeh my comment was mainly regarding the mesh networks, regardless of the standard or devices used, bandwith is lost to the overhead introduced by mesh. For most users it isn't a problem, I just find it funny how as everyone has gotten more and more WiFi devices over time, conjestion (especially in high density areas) continues to get worse. So I find it ironic that a mesh network which introduces more wireless noise is the solution people choose, to each their own though.

          • +1

            @AndyC1: Can I add a bit here?

            Do not buy Cat 5 cables if you have any plans over 100 down as they are not suitable. You need to look for Cat 5e or 6 for these.

  • OP if you are interested in Wifi 6 vs 5 then a good summary video I'd suggest is here, this channel also gives lots of other useful tech info if you're interested.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx5-T8ZwxbU

  • Some things to try ..

    (a) Consider doing a wireless survey first. Your wireless channel could be the same as your neighbours, and this adds to interference.
    (b) If you do get another AP, set up 1 just for the IOT devices on 2.4Ghz which is slower but has longer range
    (c) For your other wireless clients, use the other AP with 5Ghz which is faster but has shorter range
    (d) Smart Connect or similar function may confuse some wireless devices (i.e. 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz using the same SSID). I use separate SSIDs for 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

    Lastly, if you can, block IOT devices from Internet, unless they are cloud based and you don't have a choice.

    Cheers

    • All good suggestions, also OP consider the current location of your WiFi, is it next to your microwave? Is it at one end of the house but could be moved closer to the middle?

      • it is in the middle of the 2 bedroom apartment. in a corridor between the bedrooms and the living room/kitchen. I'd say the position is ideal?

        • In the middle is ideal. TP-Link Archer AX20 has dropped to $136 @ Amazon AU.

          • +2

            @Twix: Exactly, I just got this one!
            Can't wait to get rid of the Netcom Wireless, only troubles!
            Thanks for the help.

  • BTW - please check on the need for a modem seeing as you are on HFC.

    Everything I can find says you definitely do NOT need one. (this includes looking past my desk to my router connected directly to the NTD).

    Also (from Aussie Broadband site) "Fixed Wireless, Fibre to the Curb (FTTC), Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), and Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) all have a nbn™ installed device that acts as the modem. This means these connections only require a router for WiFi."

    • I'd say I need only a router as the current modem is set as PPPoE and is is connected to a black box with a rj-45.
      But I think I will get a modem router as I am currently renting and in case I move out in 6 months, I should still be ok wherever I go.

      • +2

        Was just taking the opportunity to point out that much of the information supplied around here needs to be confirmed elsewhere as there are many opinions spouted as fact in various forums.

        They are usually well-intentioned but sometimes misguided/mistaken.

        • Really apreciate, thanks! When it comes down to this subject, I admit I am have zero knowledge :D

  • Just try upgrading the wifi 6 card in your laptop/PC, far cheaper upfront than worrying about a modem/router.

    • +1

      It is the router's fault. it keeps doing drop outs on 2.4 gHz which is needed for smart stuff in the apartment.
      It is a known problem with my netcomm wireless router

      • Fair enough, wasn't sure if you knew it was definitely the router or not. Spose you've checked for the latest firmware updates on the unit?

        • +1

          Yes I tried. It actually made the 5 Ghz connectivity much worse. What a piece of garbage.. :D