Question Basic needs router for a 1 bedroom apartment

96Firebird

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Nov 8, 2010
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My gf is moving to a big city and will be living in a ~750sqft 1 bedroom apartment, getting Verizon Fios 200/200 internet. She's looking to get a router, most likely from Best Buy because it's convenient for her and wants to get it before she moves next week. Also taking advantage of the 15% off for recycling an old router.

The options at Best Buy are limited, especially what they have in stock, but I'm just looking to recommend to her something that will work and be reliable. She doesn't have many devices that will be connected... Iphone, Xbox One for streaming video, laptop work from home 2 days per week, and then my phone and laptop working remotely when I visit.

I've read about saturated channels in apartment settings, will WiFi 6 be a better option in this scenario even though she may not have any WiFi 6 devices? While I'm very literate in PC building and such, I don't know as much about networking.

Here is a list and prices from BB, what do you recommend?

Linksys MR7350 (AX1800) - $90

eero 6 2-pack (AX1800) - $129

Netgear RAX10-100NAS (AX1800) - $130

Linksys EA7200 (AC1750) - $130

Netgear R6400-100NAS (AC1750) - $130

Netgear RAX48-100NAS (AX5200) - $150

Netgear R7000-100NAS (AC1900) - $160

Then there are some pricier models like the eero Pro 6, ASUS RT-AX58U, and TP-Link Archer 3200, but would those be overkill for her needs?

Appreciate any help.
 

UsandThem

Elite Member
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May 4, 2000
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Out that list, I'd personally go with the Asus RT-AX58U.

Asus provides the best update support than just about any other brand.

I know it's a step up from what you're looking at, but I've owned the Asus RT-AX86U for close to a year now (replaced a TP Link unit that hadn't received any updates in 4+ years), and it's been 100% rock solid. Even when both of my kids are home (go to college) and they are online gaming, streaming, and connecting all of their devices on top of what my wife and I already have connected to it, it never skips a beat (and they never have to bother me because their games are lagging :) ).

We are in a 2 story home, and it covers our house. So in an apartment setting, the RT-AX58U should be plenty. You can easily change the channels on it if any of the other neighbors are using the same channels.
 

esquared

Forum Director & Omnipotent Overlord
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Oct 8, 2000
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@JackMDS may also have some recommendations.
He helped me a few years back.

It just so happened that Jack recommended me a particular ASUS router, which I got.
 

Fallen Kell

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Oct 9, 1999
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I would get the netgear R6400 if it is version 1 or version 2 (version 1 is simply labeled “Model: R6400” on the label on the underside of the router, and version 2 is “R6400v2”). Version 3 should also be good, don’t know if they released a version 4+.

You can also get the Netgear R7000 if it is a version 1. Not sure if they released a version 2+.

The reason I recommend these is because they all have support for running DD-WRT and OpenWRT firmware which will be supported long after the manufacturer stops sending updates and leaving you with a vulnerable router. It will also allow for much better features than most factory firmwares.

Go to the DD-WRT wiki page for supported devices, and click the link for the “Install Guide” for the particular routers and do some quick reading to see how complicated/easy it is to flash that router. If it is as simple as “download build XXXXXX.bin and flash via the router’s web interface” it is pretty darn easy to do…
 
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96Firebird

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She doesn't care about looks, I'm pretty sure the apartment has a "networking closet" that houses the ONT for the fios and probably where the router will go.

I wish there was a cheaper ASUS option besides the RT-AX58U, since I'm used to their interface having 2x RT-AC68U. While the mesh has been a little troublesome for me, when I had a single one it was great.

I know newer isn't always better, but it seems weird to spend more on an AC1900 router compared to an AX5200 router, even though I read some iffy reviews on the Rax48 (unstable, losing connection randomly).
 

mindless1

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Aug 11, 2001
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^ A few days ago I got an Amazon Warehouse, Netgear R6700v3 (also the Broadcom 4708 processor as in R6400) for $13, looked new except reboxed and no paper manual. It flashed fine to latest DD-WRT r47900 via the web interface from as-shipped firmware V1.0.4.106_10.0.80.

Funny thing is, I primarily bought it because I wanted a spare, >2A wall wart, but can always use a spare DD-WRT router too. Looking on FCCID.io at internal pics, I was happy to find that these have no electrolytic capacitors inside, so likely to have longer than the ~half dozen years lifespan I was getting from network gear with electrolytic caps in them.

If the R6400 doesn't have a Mediatek processor instead of Broadcom (not sure about revisions of it) then unlikely to have OpenWRT support as they don't generally support Broadcom. The Broadcom is a higher performance processsor to make that clear, but depending on use, it may not matter.

I haven't used the other routers Firebird listed so can't really equate value, but it is true that wifi 6 routers will gain nothing without wifi6 capable clients, and DD-WRT doesn't support wifi6... yet. Then again, DD-WRT may be more than some people want to digest, but the netgear firmware GUI *looked* friendly to set up for the moment I saw it before putting DD-WRT on.
 
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mxnerd

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Jul 6, 2007
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Well, if she doesn't care the looks, and also doesn't need wifi 6, then freshtomato firmware capable AC routers (Netgear R6400 and R7000) can be for you/her.

FreshTomato is the only tomato based firmware that's still being actively maintained & developed.


Discussions:

Be sure reading/watching instructions

Just don't know if you can get pre-owned one off ebay with cheaper price and also arrives on time.

Among 3rd party firmwares DD-WRT, OpenWRT and FreshTomato , I like the last one most, though it has least supported devices, but I think it's a good thing.
 
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96Firebird

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Funny I also bought an R6700 a couple days ago from Amazon Warehouse for my parents, to replace their (my) old Linksys WRT54G. Should be here tomorrow. Sadly, my girlfriend doesn't want a used router (whatever, not my money).

I wish BB had the R6700 so I could price match to Amazon's $90, instead of paying $130 for the R6400 or $160 for the R7000...
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
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Oct 25, 1999
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Giving the size of the Apt and the described usage it really does not matter what would be purchased.

Asus is still the most reliable of the bunch.

"Penny wise", for small environment this is also a Good choice https://www.amazon.com/WiFi-6-Router-Gigabit-Wireless/dp/B08H8ZLKKK

BTW, if the plan is to also get to Verizon TV plan, it is better to stay with a Verizon Router. Without Verizon Original Router in the mix the TV control is diminished.

Otherwise, it is one of these times that the Device can be chosen by the "Decor". :D


:cool:
 

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