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Budget router suggestions for two floors.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hello LTT community! Long time no lurk!

 

I came before with a computer building question and the responses let me create a fairly dream computer, so cheers for that! I come to you today with another conundrum for you all, as the title might suggest!

 

My UK home consists of two floors, and my current setup is my ISP provided router (Plusnet Hub One) and the upper floor is connected by an old BT hub acting as an access point (I think that's the terminology?) that's linked via ethernet. I've sprung for fibre broadband but I'm noticing a lot of drops in my connection, and I'm heavily suspecting the bottleneck is my router setup (two computers, many phones, a couple laptops, two streaming devices... there's a lot of traffic. Plus I like to stream sometimes while watching HD videos!). The straw that broke the camel's back for me though is the Hub One doesn't allow me to set a custom DNS server, and I went through all the trouble of setting up a PiHole! So I was wanting a new router anyway for that reason.

 

Funds are tight however so I'm not able to reasonably spend £50 in all on this solution. MAYBE I can be pushed to 60? But that's a big maybe (so big it's capitalized), and I'm not as knowledgeable about this kind of thing as I'd like to be. So I've came to a community that's helped me in the past to ask... any suggestions? What works for my monkey brain, is getting 2 of the same, decent router, and connect them together to form a mesh network so that coverage is good without interrupts. I know enough about routers to go in and change ssid, wifi key, dhcp settings etc but I take one look at the "stats" of a router on Amazon and my brain starts playing static. Any help is appreciated! I think I've covered the information I'd need to share but if I'm missing something then lemme know!

 

Cheers for reading through my waffle, hope you all are doing good!

 

-A

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When budget is limited, going with a second-hand solution is probably the best way. Not too long ago, I bought a used Asus RT-AC66U and loaded the AsusWRT Merlin firmware which allows me to tweak it to my liking. Since it supports wireless AC at speeds over 1GBps, it's been more than usable and works perfectly in my 2 story home without problems. There are many used routers like these that are slightly old but still supported and have great performance so I would definitely take a look at eBay or Craigslist for some good deals on a good router.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
8 hours ago, Krutav Shah said:

When budget is limited, going with a second-hand solution is probably the best way. Not too long ago, I bought a used Asus RT-AC66U and loaded the AsusWRT Merlin firmware which allows me to tweak it to my liking. Since it supports wireless AC at speeds over 1GBps, it's been more than usable and works perfectly in my 2 story home without problems. There are many used routers like these that are slightly old but still supported and have great performance so I would definitely take a look at eBay or Craigslist for some good deals on a good router.

Sounds like an idea, though I think that particular router is a little outwith my price range, even 2nd hand! My concern is I'll need 2 as one won't have a strong enough signal to penetrate the brickwork of the house. It's a rather old house with thick, solid walls you see. I'll need to have a look for 2nd hand ones though, sounds like the way to do it.

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I actually found a few Dlink gigabit routers on ebay for $20 each here in America. I think getting 2 second hand routers like those and running an ethernet cable to link the two routers together with the second unit in AP mode and the main one in router mode, you should be fine.

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