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> WiFi Router Discussion Thread, Updated for WiFi 6 (Home Networking)

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TSblacktubi
post Sep 17 2018, 05:08 PM, updated 6d ago

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With the rise of much faster Internet speed, this post serves as a generic guide to know what Wireless Router you should buy and some generic tips and tricks when buying a router.

Use the format below if you wish to ask what router to buy
QUOTE
House type: Landed / Condo
Size of house: Square feet and number of floor
Features required: Antivirus? QoS? Bandwidth Limiter? VPN?
Number of devices connected to WiFi:
Internet Speed:
Budget:


Recommended List
RM100-200: TP-Link Archer A6
RM200-400: TP-Link AX10, TP-Link AX20, TP-Link Deco M4, ASUS RT-AX56U
RM400-600: Deco M5 twin pack, ASUS RT-AC86U
RM600-1000: Deco M9 Plus TWIN, ASUS RT-AX3000, ASUS TUF-AX3000
RM1000 and above: Most routers beyound this price point are really good

Equipment List
This list serve as a reference on what router you should purchase based on the performance of their WiFi tested with ASUS PCE-AC88. Unless specifically mentioned, these routers can support Gigabit speed over wired LAN.

WiFi router speed rating

All the routers tested below support Unifi with HyppTV unless stated otherwise.
Only ASUS router support Maxis with VOIP working properly. Some TP-Link routers may not support VOIP.

TP-Link
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



Asus
Please buy local ASUS router as China model do not come with our VLAN profile and much lower WiFi transmit power.
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «



D-Link
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «


Tenda
» Click to show Spoiler - click again to hide... «

What WiFi adapter to buy?
Here are the only WiFi adapter that I filtered that are decent.

WiFi 6 Adapters:
All the WiFi 6 adapters currently in the market are PCIE only and they are all powered by Intel AX200 chipset.
Performance are the same since they all use the same solution from Intel.

TP-Link TX3000E 3 years warranty with external antenna cradle.
TP-Link TX50E 3 years warranty without antenna cradle.
ASUS PCE-AX58BT 3 years warranty with external antenna cradle.
Intel AX200 You can actually purchase the Intel AX200 from Lazada and install yourself for notebook users.



USB:
TP-Link T9UH AC1900 - Affordable, stable and perform well.
TP-Link T4U AC1300 - Even cheaper and just a bit slower than T9UH. Do not come with USB cradle.



This post has been edited by blacktubi: Nov 24 2020, 03:08 PM
TSblacktubi
post Sep 17 2018, 05:08 PM

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Why 5Ghz signal is weaker than 2.4Ghz?
The high the frequency, the weaker the penetration. 5Ghz is operating at a higher frequency than 2.4Ghz. The shorter wavelength means it cannot penetrate solid objects like concrete wall that well.

Why 2.4Ghz is unstable and slower?
The 2.4Ghz band is used by a ton of devices such as dect phones, bluetooh, microwave oven and many other IoT devices. The interference is worst if you stay at a condo which really impact the maximum performance you can get.

Put it in layman terms, 2.4Ghz is like talking to a friend with 100 other people in the room, you have to talk slower so your friend can hear you better.

2020 Update: TNB just announced their smart meter is going to operate on the 2.4Ghz. Expect worst performance.


Why my WiFi speed is slow even after using a good WiFi router?
Please make sure you use a good WiFi adapter. Realistically, an AC1300 WiFi adapter can deliver up to around 500Mbps at very good signal.

The speed will be slower as the distance is further, a good router will have better interference mitigation so the long distance speed can be better.

Before you complain any further, use an Ethernet LAN cable to test the speed to determine where is the bottleneck is.

This post has been edited by blacktubi: Nov 29 2020, 06:03 PM
TSblacktubi
post Sep 17 2018, 05:08 PM

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How to test your Internet speed properly.

Prerequisite:
  1. Use Ethernet LAN cable to speed test as WiFi is not consistent.
  2. Ensure ALL Ethernet cables are in good condition and it is CAT 5E and above.
  3. Make sure your computer and router come with a Gigabit Ethernet LAN port.
  4. Use a good router.
Environment Config:
  • Some Antivirus or Firewall is known to throttle connection speed heavily.
  • Disable any unnecessary features on your router that may slow down the connection. (Antivirus, QoS etc)
  • Older computers may not be able to support faster speed so monitor your CPU usage when performing Speedtest.
  • Turn on NAT acceleration on ASUS router or known as LAN Boost on TP-Link router. Only applicable to certain models. Detail
Speedtest Server:
  • Use the Speedtest.NET app on Windows 10 as it is is more accurate than the web version
  • Try with different servers, sometime even Singapore servers are good for testing
  • Use Local servers only
Things to check before you contact your ISP
  • If it is stuck at 100Mbps, swap your LAN cable
  • Try with a different router and computer
  • Reboot can fix a lot of things


This post has been edited by blacktubi: Jun 28 2019, 01:26 AM
TSblacktubi
post Sep 17 2018, 05:08 PM

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Why Ethernet LAN speed is fast but WiFi speed is slow?

Your WiFi speed depends on the receiver of your device and the router. Make sure you use Wireless AC for both router and adapter on 5Ghz.

Most smartphones and laptop come with AC1200 WiFi so the maximum speed you can get is around 500Mbps. Speed is also affected by signal, the maximum speed is only possible at good WiFi signal.

You can refer to my table below:
AC1200 Receiver (TP-Link T4UH or ASUS PCE-AC58BT) = ~500Mbps
AC1750/AC1900 Receiver (TP-Link T9UH or ASUS USB-AC68) = ~700Mbps
AC3150 Receiver (ASUS PCE-AC88) = ~1G

Why my Ethernet wired LAN speed is slower than advertised?


Make sure your router and computer support Gigabit speed. Try with different Ethernet cable, computer and different speedtest server.

Ethernet wire is actually rated to their speed. Make sure your Ethernet cable are still good and your router can handle Gigabit Ethernet.
I written a guide to show how you can check the speed of your Ethernet port on Windows here.

For Asus Router, you can check the port speed by clicking the globe icon and click Status tab.
[attachmentid=10183621]

When to use mesh WiFi

Consider getting a mesh WiFi system if your property is bigger than 1500 square feet or having more than a floor.

A best case solution is to have a unit of mesh node on each floor of your property.

When not to use mesh WiFi

If you are staying is a single storey property less than 1500 sq ft, a mesh WiFi will cause more harm than good.

The huge signal overlap will introduce roaming issue. Besides, when the distance is smaller, connecting directly to the main router will give better speed then connecting to mesh node.

But, it will still be useful if your property have some weird layout (narrow and long rectangle).

This post has been edited by blacktubi: Jul 28 2019, 11:18 PM
Mr_47
post Sep 17 2018, 05:20 PM

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Archer C1200 can do LAN easy 500mbps but not for WIFI
TSblacktubi
post Sep 17 2018, 05:21 PM

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QUOTE(Mr_47 @ Sep 17 2018, 05:20 PM)
Archer C1200 can do LAN easy 500mbps but not for WIFI
*
I am planning for 2 lists where one is about WAN to LAN and another is wireless.
SilentVampire
post Sep 17 2018, 05:25 PM

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Great explanation and a good thread to have. Good job, Blacktubi. Will link to this thread on the TM thread for further clarification.

This post has been edited by SilentVampire: Sep 17 2018, 05:26 PM
richard1226
post Sep 17 2018, 06:34 PM

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Nice guide, but it would best add explanation about specific marketing jargons and technical jargons. Else, we'll get questions like "should I get the router with big numbers, features galore and the likes......"
biggie
post Sep 17 2018, 06:43 PM

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Thank you looking forward to more reviews of routers. My concern will be for wifi as most of my devices are in WiFi.
rocktank
post Sep 17 2018, 10:36 PM

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Thanks, this thread saves me a lot of time. It's easy to understand especially for the people like me not so good in networking stuff 🤗🤗
SilentVampire
post Sep 17 2018, 10:43 PM

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QUOTE(rocktank @ Sep 17 2018, 10:36 PM)
Thanks, this thread saves me a lot of time. It's easy to understand especially for the people like me not so good in networking stuff 🤗🤗
*
You could try to read the link on my signature as well. It gets into more detail if you want to know more hmm.gif
soonwai
post Sep 18 2018, 12:11 AM


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blacktubi Great post, I'll pass you some performance results for Mikrotik routers so you can insert them into the post.

As soon as I get my 800Mbps and start testing but dunno when that'll be.
rocktank
post Sep 18 2018, 08:40 AM

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QUOTE(SilentVampire @ Sep 17 2018, 10:43 PM)
You could try to read the link on my signature as well. It gets into more detail if you want to know more  hmm.gif
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Yes, I read it too, thanks thanks 😀
rootlinux
post Sep 18 2018, 08:49 AM

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QUOTE(soonwai @ Sep 18 2018, 12:11 AM)
blacktubi Great post, I'll pass you some performance results for Mikrotik routers so you can insert them into the post.

As soon as I get my 800Mbps and start testing but dunno when that'll be.
*
@soonwai, thanks. Looking forward for MikroTik perf results for 800Mbps especially on WiFi 802.11ac.
jardel
post Sep 18 2018, 10:49 AM

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Hi blacktubi, may i know where do you purchase your commscope cable? And the pricing?
SilentForever
post Sep 18 2018, 11:04 AM

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QUOTE(jardel @ Sep 18 2018, 10:49 AM)
Hi blacktubi, may i know where do you purchase your commscope cable? And the pricing?
*
I planning to buy prolink at shopee. Check it out.
CZero
post Sep 18 2018, 02:28 PM

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TS, kinda intrigued on what device did you use to hit the 800 Mbps mark. blush.gif

QUOTE(soonwai @ Sep 18 2018, 12:11 AM)
blacktubi Great post, I'll pass you some performance results for Mikrotik routers so you can insert them into the post.

As soon as I get my 800Mbps and start testing but dunno when that'll be.
*
RB2011UAS? Can't even get past 300 Mbps on ethernet. Its wireless? Around 35Mbps.

Mine is RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN. Disabled the LCD and all, and while people recommends enabling fasttrack, I cant get it to works.
TSblacktubi
post Sep 18 2018, 02:35 PM

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QUOTE(CZero @ Sep 18 2018, 02:28 PM)
TS, kinda intrigued on what device did you use to hit the 800 Mbps mark.  blush.gif
RB2011UAS? Can't even get past 300 Mbps on ethernet. Its wireless? Around 35Mbps.

Mine is RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN. Disabled the LCD and all, and while people recommends enabling fasttrack, I cant get it to works.
*
PCE-AC88 with RT-AC5300 will have no issue to deliver that level of performance over wireless.

Of course, I could have fire up my Ruckus R710s but that is overkill. biggrin.gif

EDIT: All tested with non-critical features disabled to ensure NAT is always accelerated.

This post has been edited by blacktubi: Sep 18 2018, 02:37 PM
soonwai
post Sep 18 2018, 02:46 PM


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QUOTE(CZero @ Sep 18 2018, 02:28 PM)
TS, kinda intrigued on what device did you use to hit the 800 Mbps mark.  blush.gif
RB2011UAS? Can't even get past 300 Mbps on ethernet. Its wireless? Around 35Mbps.

Mine is RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN. Disabled the LCD and all, and while people recommends enabling fasttrack, I cant get it to works.
*
I have the RB2011UAS but not using as router. Also have RB750Gr3, hAP AC Lite, hAP AC2 and hAP AC. Will test when I get my 800Mbps. Also have older ones like RB750GL, RB751U, RB951U and RB951G. Some of these should be on the same performance level as RB2011UAS.
CZero
post Sep 18 2018, 02:58 PM

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QUOTE(blacktubi @ Sep 18 2018, 02:35 PM)
PCE-AC88 with RT-AC5300 will have no issue to deliver that level of performance over wireless.

Of course, I could have fire up my Ruckus R710s but that is overkill. biggrin.gif

EDIT: All tested with non-critical features disabled to ensure NAT is always accelerated.
*
I was actually in the market for access point that can utilize 800Mbps, though I'm pretty sure none of our devices supports that speed at the moment.

At the moment our Archer C9's 500Mbps over wifi is good enough for us, though it tends to crash after few days. Wish it has at least some sort of scheduled reboot like Tenda's.

So far I've yet to find offering from Mikrotik and Ubiquiti that can delivers that kind of speed. RuckusR710s eh, lets see how muc- nahhhh nevermind. shakehead.gif

QUOTE(soonwai @ Sep 18 2018, 02:46 PM)
I have the RB2011UAS but not using as router. Also have RB750Gr3, hAP AC Lite, hAP AC2 and hAP AC. Will test when I get my 800Mbps. Also have older ones like RB750GL, RB751U, RB951U and RB951G. Some of these should be on the same performance level as RB2011UAS.
*
Cant wait. thumbup.gif Would love to stick with Mikrotik, though so far I've yet to find one that would fully utilize turbo's 800Mbps over wifi.

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