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KiwiGlen

Which Wireless Router to get?

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Pancakes

Whats people's thoughts about AC while looking for a new router now?

Pretty high up there for me, I'd love an AC router and an AC card in my laptop. I do a full system image every night at 4am all on all my machines, and while everything takes around 10-20 mins, the laptop takes the best part of an hour over wireless

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Poppapete

RT-N66U is the best off the shelf router I have had.  When I switched to Untangle I just plugged it into a spare port on my cable Modem and it became:

 

1. A guest access point for any visitors (children and grandchildren) to access the web but not my network.

 

2. An access point for my internet radios.

 

It will load DD-WRT but is unnecessary unless you like experimenting.

 

There is an AC version out now but there is not much AC compliant hardware around with 3X3 adapters to take advantage of it.

Edited by Poppapete

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JayBee

You don't want AC yet, stay away. The IEEE still considers it a draft standard which by definition means specs can and will change. So your AC access point you buy today might not work with the laptop you buy tomorrow, there has never been much point in buying access points until the wireless standard is out of draft. AC is expected to come out of draft in 2014. N multi band access points are cheap as chips anwyay, dot multiple AP's around your house and your wireless will be plenty fast.

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pcdoc

Though I agree with choice of N66 as a great router (Martis tried it in BYOB 127) I was under the impression that this was going to be used as an access point since he is running pfSense.  Is that correct or did I miss something?  That said the N66 starts at $140 which is steep for an access point.  If that is true, then all the features of the N66 are pointless as an access point as all you need is concurrent 2.4/5 ghz.  Just a thought.

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Pancakes

You don't want AC yet, stay away. The IEEE still considers it a draft standard which by definition means specs can and will change. So your AC access point you buy today might not work with the laptop you buy tomorrow, there has never been much point in buying access points until the wireless standard is out of draft. AC is expected to come out of draft in 2014. N multi band access points are cheap as chips anwyay, dot multiple AP's around your house and your wireless will be plenty fast.

 

A simple firmware upgrade will fix that though, the physical hardware is and and will be identical 

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JayBee

A simple firmware upgrade will fix that though, the physical hardware is and and will be identical 

Nope, not from all vendors. Same thing happened with N, forcing many people to upgrade from Draft N products to finalised N products. It's a good way for certain companies that shall remain nameless to increase those all important profit margins...

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Pancakes

Nope, not from all vendors. Same thing happened with N, forcing many people to upgrade from Draft N products to finalised N products. It's a good way for certain companies that shall remain nameless to increase those all important profit margins...

 

Got any links for that? That sounds interesting. From my understanding all that changed was firmware 

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JayBee

I will have to do some digging later but the long and short of it is that some companies chose not to resubmit their products to gain final N certification instead they brought out final N models and left the draft N products as exactly that, Draft. 

Your understanding is correct, hardware shouldn't change unless there is a huge change in the standard but this late into the game one can safely assume that won't be happening. The trouble with consumer routers/ap's is that they go "end of life" pretty quickly and if the manufacturing company can see a way to make more money and have everybody rush out to update from draft to final revision then this is exactly what they'll do. The higher end AC gear should be fine but still make sure you check exactly when the product is scheduled to go end of life of you risk getting burned.

Also lots of talk about wireless AC routers not playing well with each other so if you buy an Asus AP now then next year decide to get a netgear AP for another room later on you may experience compatibility issues. These things are generally resolved once the standard is finalised and new hardware is brought to market.

 

I'm probably a rare breed in the technology world as I don't think it's worth jumping into the latest and greatest technology when it's released. Maybe I'm just getting older but I've had enough of being an involuntary beta tester and happily let other people discover all the compatibility issues.  :lol:  :P

Edited by JayBee

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KiwiGlen

Guys thanks for all the feedback, I've decided to get a Linksys EA6300 (link: http://www.linksys.com/en-eu/products/routers/EA6300) , its got AC which I don't really need but the price was good.  I'll set it up when I get home from work and let you guys know what I think of it.

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ikon

A few thoughts:

 

Asus was specifically cited at the recent security conference as one of the companies that is not responding to notifications about vulnerabilities in their wireless routers. The security researcher recommends something like DD-WRT be loaded.

 

While the AC standard is currently in draft mode, so was N.... for ever. Tons of draft.N gear was made and sold before the standard was ratified, and it pretty much continued to work after ratification. That said, my own feeling is that N is fast enough for the interim and I'm prepared to wait for AC ratification before refreshing my wireless gear.

 

I agree with pcdoc; the N66 is overkill for the purpose. There are quite a few decent routers out there that can run DD-WRT or Tomato and should meet the requirements at a much lower price.

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