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Best WiFi router for a normie in 2022

GilmourD
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My friend is a Verizon FiOS customer living in a railroad-style apartment (all rooms lead into each other front-to-back) [entrance/craft room > bedroom > living room > dining room > kitchen] and she's having some network dropout issues. She has an extender in the craft room and the main router in the living room. WiFi is oddly inconsistent in the craft room and drops out often when moving from the living room into the dining room. 

 

It's definitely the WiFi since wired devices are good. 

 

I'm asking for recommendations for a good router for a normie since I personally tend to go overboard (I have Unifi APs around my house with a Linux box running the controller) and don't want to drive her nuts with something that has a zillion options. 

 

What say you, guys? 

Desktop: [Processor: Intel Skylake i5 6600K (stock for now)][HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO]
[PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 B2][Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Silver]
[Motherboard: AsRock Z170 Extreme4][RAM: 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666]
[Video: eVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 03G-P4-6160-KR]
[Hard Drives: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB]
Notebook: [HP Envy x360 15z][Ryzen 7 2700U w/ Radeon RX Vega 10][8GB RAM][256GB m.2 nVME SSD]

Gaming:[SteamID: STEAM_0:0:1792244 - "[TC]CreepingDeath"]

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The router I bought for my mom is this one from TP Link: https://smile.amazon.com/TP-Link-AC1200-Smart-WiFi-Router/dp/B07N1L5HX1/ref=sr_1_2?crid=1CBC35MR969TD

 

I chose it because it supports MU-MIMO and beamforming, so it has modern features, but it's also very simple. The UI for it is actually insanely limited - most enthusiasts would not be happy with the level of customization. You can't even control what channels it runs on - it just automatically tries to switch to the lesser used ones. However, for a normie, that's good, because that's what you want to do. It just isn't always perfect in its attempts.

 

It does a good job of giving WiFi to her entire house - the signal is very strong, and with devices that support beamforming, it can go a surprisingly long distance.

 

The only thing you'd probably want to help your friend with is turning on the MU-MIMO and beamforming option (they are both turned on by a single checkbox in one of the settings, and are not on by default) and setting the signal strength to the maximum level (which I can't remember if it's set that way by default or not).

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I've had nothing but a great time with my R6320 from Netgear. Plug and play operation with FiOS, worked flawlessly in AP mode and got excellent range on it. The GUI was also not too intimidating for a networking novice, got it second hand for $12 and all it needed was a firmware update.

 

 

And coincidentally it's on super sale rn on amazon

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-AC1200-Router-Gigabit-Ethernet/dp/B0756QFLXP/ref=asc_df_B0756QFLXP/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309807187084&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=3513639378793299856&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=m&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9053205&hvtargid=pla-570384821745&psc=1

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2 hours ago, GilmourD said:

What say you, guys? 

A single wireless router is not going to solve this issue.

 

This style of home has an unconventional layout. Most home wireless routers broadcast within a certain radius (i.e. roughly a circle in the horizontal plane when mounted horizontally) so are better suited for central placement to facilitate adequate coverage. Your friend's home requires a multi-AP setup at strategic points to get the same coverage.

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2 minutes ago, Falcon1986 said:

A single wireless router is not going to solve this issue.

 

This style of home has an unconventional layout. Most home wireless routers broadcast within a certain radius (i.e. roughly a circle in the horizontal plane when mounted horizontally) so are better suited for central placement to facilitate adequate coverage. Your friend's home requires a multi-AP setup at strategic points to get the same coverage.

Here's the thing, though. There's line of site from one end of the house to the other and she only closes the bedroom door when she's sleeping. 

 

Trust me... I'm all about the multi-AP setup, but that's not necessary here. She just needs something that doesn't suck like an antenna-less FiOS Quantum router. 

Desktop: [Processor: Intel Skylake i5 6600K (stock for now)][HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO]
[PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 B2][Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Silver]
[Motherboard: AsRock Z170 Extreme4][RAM: 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666]
[Video: eVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 03G-P4-6160-KR]
[Hard Drives: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB]
Notebook: [HP Envy x360 15z][Ryzen 7 2700U w/ Radeon RX Vega 10][8GB RAM][256GB m.2 nVME SSD]

Gaming:[SteamID: STEAM_0:0:1792244 - "[TC]CreepingDeath"]

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48 minutes ago, GilmourD said:

There's line of site from one end of the house to the other and she only closes the bedroom door when she's sleeping. 

Line of sight through what? Are there doors between the rooms? Are there interior walls? If so, what are they made out of?

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2 hours ago, GilmourD said:

Here's the thing, though. There's line of site from one end of the house to the other and she only closes the bedroom door when she's sleeping. 

 

Trust me... I'm all about the multi-AP setup, but that's not necessary here. She just needs something that doesn't suck like an antenna-less FiOS Quantum router. 

While in the early days it used to be the case that internal antenna designs sucked, this hasn't generally been the case in a long time.

In fact the higher-end Access Points usually have internal antennas as it reduces losses by not having excess connectors and cables, plus looks a lot neater.

Router:  Intel Celeron N5105 (pfSense) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (1.44Gbit peak at 160Mhz 2x2 MIMO, ~900Mbit at 80Mhz)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen VDSL (~74Mbit) + VOXI 4G [Vodafone] (~120Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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2 hours ago, Falcon1986 said:

Line of sight through what? Are there doors between the rooms? Are there interior walls? If so, what are they made out of?

You can literally see the back door from the front door. It's probably 45ft from front to back. 

Desktop: [Processor: Intel Skylake i5 6600K (stock for now)][HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO]
[PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 B2][Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Silver]
[Motherboard: AsRock Z170 Extreme4][RAM: 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666]
[Video: eVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 03G-P4-6160-KR]
[Hard Drives: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB]
Notebook: [HP Envy x360 15z][Ryzen 7 2700U w/ Radeon RX Vega 10][8GB RAM][256GB m.2 nVME SSD]

Gaming:[SteamID: STEAM_0:0:1792244 - "[TC]CreepingDeath"]

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53 minutes ago, Alex Atkin UK said:

While in the early days it used to be the case that internal antenna designs sucked, this hasn't generally been the case in a long time.

In fact the higher-end Access Points usually have internal antennas as it reduces losses by not having excess connectors and cables, plus looks a lot neater.

Yeah, but she has the old FiOS Quantum router. 

Desktop: [Processor: Intel Skylake i5 6600K (stock for now)][HSF: CoolerMaster Hyper 212 EVO]
[PSU: EVGA SuperNova 750 B2][Case: Corsair Carbide Series Air 540 Silver]
[Motherboard: AsRock Z170 Extreme4][RAM: 2x8GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4-2666]
[Video: eVGA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 03G-P4-6160-KR]
[Hard Drives: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB]
Notebook: [HP Envy x360 15z][Ryzen 7 2700U w/ Radeon RX Vega 10][8GB RAM][256GB m.2 nVME SSD]

Gaming:[SteamID: STEAM_0:0:1792244 - "[TC]CreepingDeath"]

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2 hours ago, GilmourD said:

Yeah, but she has the old FiOS Quantum router. 

Based on a Google search I guess its the G1100 everyone was complaining about when it rolled out?  That thing really does sound terrible.

Router:  Intel Celeron N5105 (pfSense) WiFi: Zyxel NWA210AX (1.44Gbit peak at 160Mhz 2x2 MIMO, ~900Mbit at 80Mhz)

Switches: Netgear MS510TXUP, Netgear MS510TXPP, Netgear GS110EMX
ISPs: Zen VDSL (~74Mbit) + VOXI 4G [Vodafone] (~120Mbit) + Three 5G (~500Mbit average)

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