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maxiboy211

Suggestions for a new router

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I'm planning to buy an XR500 from Netgear but I've seen a lot of people saying it's not worth it because the hardware is outdated and it's support is not the best. I really like the customization of DumaOS and quite frankly that's my main reason for choosing that router. I'm not comfortable buying the low end one but I'm also not spending 500$ on something that I won't actually use (the XR700). Some of the marketing points they use are pretty compelling and eye-catching. In particular their "Anti-Buffer Bloat" which seems like a nice thing to have. That might just be a fancy name for something most new routers have, not sure about that one.

 

I'm looking for opinions on the XR500 or any good alternatives with decent QoS settings and a good OS. Not looking for anything overkill, just a good router to improve gaming experience, with other people downloading/streaming content at the same time (or not).

 

Also, are there any "gaming" focused router/modem combos that are worth buying?

 

Currently I have a ZyXEL VMG5313-B30A router/modem provided by my ISP. It's. Fucking. Abominable.

If there aren't any good gaming r/m combos I'm more than comfortable converting the one I have right now to be used just as a modem. It's not something I have done before but I'm always up for a challenge and some learning.

 

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Not looking for anything overkill, just a good router to improve gaming experience...

^^That being said, I do want something new with latest mainstream technology that will easily last for 5 years (or more).

 

Some notes on usage/nice things to have:

  • QoS that's "optimized" for gaming (if that's even a thing but I think most of you will know what I mean)
  • 5GHz support
  • dual-band WiFi (at least)
  • WiFi 6 would be a nice future-proof thing to have but not necessary
  • an OS that's at least correctly categorized and makes sense
  • being able to use a VPN on the router (or modem, not sure where that would go) if that's possible
  • decent security
  • being able to see which devices is using how much bandwidth and on what would be amazing but also not necessary
  • PC and PS4 connected via a wire, 6+ devices connected via WiFi (mix of laptops, TVs and phones)
  • router would be placed in the corner of the house with anything connected via a wire being in the same room

 

tl;dr I'm here to get some help and get educated on things mentioned without dealing with biased and/or false information. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on anything. Also, none of the recommendations need to have gaming as a marketing point, I'm using that word to best describe my use case.

 

Please suggest things that aren't available just on Amazon. I've seen import fees and shipping costs to Croatia above 100$ (from the US at least)...

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1 hour ago, maxiboy211 said:

Also, are there any "gaming" focused router/modem combos that are worth buying?

Combos are generally garbage. BUT when it comes to DSL connections for instance you tend to have only All in ones. With Fiber your forced to use what ever the ISP gives you. With Coax you can generally choose. 

 

1 hour ago, maxiboy211 said:

router would be placed in the corner of the house with anything connected via a wire being in the same room

Generally a bad place for a router. It should really be placed in a centralized location. If that's not possible, at least put it up on a shelf or something, this will allow the WiFi signal to spread out better. 

 

A few other things to consider. QoS on most consumer grade routers is garbage at best. Some advanced firmwares like DDWRT get it right, but its not easy to setup. Ive heard ASUS has its Merlin firmware and its suppose to be decent. Netgear is known to have good hardware but their software comes up short. Also should mention that generally QoS is not needed on pretty fast connections, it really only matters most on slower DSL connections that are only a few Megabit. I for instance have 200/10 and doesn't really make sense to use QoS. Another thing, if you cant replace what the ISP gave you, as in you cant find a modem that will work or what ever, see if they can put their box in to Bridge mode, this turns it in to a modem. If you don't do that then you will have 2 layers of NAT, and 2 layers of firewall and it will cause issues in many instance, especially port forwarding. 

 

One suggestion I have is the Synology RT2600AC, been rocking this for a few years. Its only WiFi 5, as technically the WiFi 6 spec is still kinda being figured out, at least parts of it. The Interface for the Firmware is pretty nice. As far as QoS goes, I really haven't used it. However I know the router will allow you to guarantee certain levels of bandwidth per machine or limit the amount of bandwidth per machine. The only negative thing about this router is it was $200 USD when I bought it, so its not cheap. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you for replying.

 

Yea I figured combos would be a bad fit for my use case but it's always worth exploring all options. Most of the modern devices are seperate and probably for a reason. I don't think I've stumbled upon a single "gaming" combo from a well known brand.

 

Well aware the placement for it isn't great but I'm the only tech savy person in my family that actually appreciates a better connection so I'm not too worried about that. No complains from them yet. I will be moving it at some point.

 

Probably should've said that my main issue is that any heavier (at least for my connection, copper and around 30/5) usage spikes my ping to 200-250. Even a 1080p Youtube video impacts my gaming experience significantly. And don't get me started on downloads/updates on other devices. Might just be a really bad ISP box, it's pretty old by now. More than 6 years I think. And like I said, the software is hot pile of garbage so no tinkering can really help.

 

The RT2600AC seems pretty good so far. Good looking interface, pretty decent specs for home use, auto switching for 2.4 and 5GHz, great security, traffic monitoring and bandwidth allocation. And the website specifically says it's available in Croatia which is always appreciated. Will definitely consider it.

 

How is the firmware support for things like that? Can I expect updates for decent routers or is that a rare more of a bug fix thing?

 

Around 200$ is the range I was aiming for so that's not an issue. I'm always down to invest in something that is actually worth it. Technically not how you would use the word invest but you know what I mean.

 

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see if they can put their box in to Bridge mode, this turns it in to a modem.

If they can? I assume you mean contacting my ISP by that. Is there anything I can do if they refuse? A static IP is not a common thing here and you actually pay extra for it so I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

 

Sorry for hammering on every detail about a simple upgrade but I like to be prepared and plan ahead. I'll do some more research on your suggestion and sorry for any errors made, replying from my phone. No red underline if something is spelled wrong hahaha. Cheers!

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8 minutes ago, maxiboy211 said:

How is the firmware support for things like that? Can I expect updates for decent routers or is that a rare more of a bug fix thing?

Last update was released on June 18th of this year. Most routers don't get many updates, at least my DLink I had before didn't. Keep in mind depending on the router, if the manufacture doesn't update it anymore, DDWRT is always an option. Though a bitch to configure, its a solid firmware. Though this router doesn't support DDWRT. 

 

8 minutes ago, maxiboy211 said:

f they can? I assume you mean contacting my ISP by that. Is there anything I can do if they refuse? A static IP is not a common thing here and you actually pay extra for it so I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

 

That depends on your ISP. Some ISP's you log in to your box and set the setting. Some require you to call. You won't need a static IP. All it does it make it a modem, and it will issue your router the Dynamic IP. 

 

8 minutes ago, maxiboy211 said:

Around 200$ is the range I was aiming for so that's not an issue. I'm always down to invest in something that is actually worth it. Technically not how you would use the word invest but you know what I mean.

A good router is always worth it. Thats partly why I bought this one. That and it allows me to keep track of bandwidth usage per device. Important since we have a dumb data cap. Though our cap went from 1TB to 1.2 TB, because our ISP is being nice. LOL. 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Slight correction, just checked on their website, they do offer to put the box in bridge mode. Thanks for the information! I guess I'm all set pretty much.

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From my experience the ASUS RT-86U is a great router and has all of the those features (maybe except the VPN feature I haven't tried it with it yet I think it does maybe idk) but if you want a WiFi 6 router the Asus GT AX11000 and it most of or even more of the features of the RT-86U... I am currently using an advanced Ubiquity setup so I think that those routers from ASUS are great.  

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Completely forgot about ASUS for a moment. While it would be nice to have the Rapture AX11000, holy shit it's around $500. From looking at other products and the marketing, kinda seems like most of their gaming focused routers have the same basic functionality and software. They really like to describe their features instead of using a single term across all products. That's what I got from their honestly stupid ROG marketing. Makes it more confusing when they just throw out random numbers that have no real world meaning whatsoever. I think a better fit for my use case and budget would be the RT-AX88U. Thankfully it's available on Amazon.de because I would have to pay $162.46 for shipping otherwise 🙃🙃Appreciate the input!

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