.AC Router Buying Advice

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Joe
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.AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Mon Jun 01, 2015 12:31 pm

I know there are some other older topics floating around but tech moves on and I need up to date advice please!

We're about to ditch the TV part of our Virgin bundle as we pretty much only use Netflix and NowTV streaming services. Also we've got a Chromecast for the bedroom TV and will be joined by Helen's sister later in the year who will be living with us while she's studying for her uni degree. All of this means we will be relying on the 'net connection a lot more than before, and will need high speeds reaching across the whole house. At the moment the Virgin SuperHub (v1) is struggling to reach very far, and doesn't support dual-channel 2.4GHz and 5GHz modes so our collection of devices is stuck on the slower channel.

For possibly unrelated reasons we're also getting low and inconsistent speeds on our devices, very rarely approaching the 100Mb speeds we pay for. Might be an issue with the line, I'll leave this to VM to sort out.

The plan is to put the SuperHub into modem mode and connect to a dedicated cable router. This router needs to support .G, .N and .AC in dual-band mode, have strong signal range and plenty of bandwidth.

I've had a good look around already and found a load of .AC routers, but the reviews give very mixed feedback about connection stability, speed and range. So I can't tell if I'd be ok with a mid-range TP-LINK Archer or a similarly-specced Belkin or if I need to fork out for Dan's choice of the Netgear Nighthawk

Bottom line, if I need to spend £150 on a router then I will, but I'd rather spend a lot less if I'm just paying extra for features or speed that I'll probably not need.

Help and advice appreciated!

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Ekona
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Ekona » Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:11 pm

I'm using a Netgear router thing at the moment, and it's ace. It's an ADSL modem but I've used it as just a router, gives great speeds across the house and only fails to reach the very outer part of the garage, so I've had to use a small booster for that. I'll get the model number tonight, if you like?
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Joe
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:18 pm

Can do, worth a look innit.

Just remembered The Wirecutter do great no-nonsense roundups and found this - http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-wi-fi-router/

Looks like the TP-Link Archer range ticks all the boxes, would be good to hear if anyone here has experience with them or has other recommendations?

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby kingweed » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:19 pm

I got this :-

Image

It's pretty much flawless tbh

It was £179.99 when I bought it.

It's a beast. If I was going to buy one now, I'd get the AC2400 one tbh I just can't fault it.

I get a great signal throughout the house and can even go all around the garden and get a great signal as well.

Streaming media, copying files is a breeze now.

Basically it's just better. I bought a cheaper one but it was slow when I wasn't right next to it. I kept losing my wifi when in the kitchen (furthest point from it) and although I'd have a single bar in the garden my phone just wouldn't do anything and simple things like skype/facetime would just pause and/or freeze as the connection was dropping out.

Linky - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00G ... detailpage

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Ekona
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Ekona » Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:36 pm

"Chav kids are like sand people. They're easily startled but they'll be back, and in greater numbers."

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby kingweed » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:01 pm

That's only N though, don't see the point of buying N when all devices now are coming with AC as standard.

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Ekona
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Ekona » Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:26 pm

Ah, okay. I dunno, I just wanted something that worked, if I want speed then I always go for wired connections. It streams HD/5.1 via Plex to the PS3 fine, or it did before I wired that in too.
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Mr.Clark » Mon Jun 01, 2015 8:51 pm

The newest SuperHub supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz simultaneously. (I don't know what version - something after 2.0 though as mine from December doesn't have it, but my brother's from last month does)

Might be worth checking with Virgin to see if you can get an upgrade for free, if you've been with them a while.
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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:59 am

True, if they make us sign up to a new contract for removing the TV service then we may as well cancel and sign up as new customers again, get the 152MB Broadband and Phone deal and get the new Superhub chucked in for free.

We may still need a new router purely for speed and range, but will wait and see.

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby kingweed » Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:19 pm

I've got a super hub, they're okay for what they are but again their wireless is just N, so no gb speed.

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:57 am

New SuperHub is AC

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:58 am

Update: We adjusted the Virgin contract, increased the internet speed to 152Mb and dropped the TV package down to basic. Should get the new 'Hub and everything connected on Saturday.

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby kingweed » Thu Jun 04, 2015 7:53 pm

Ah they've brought an updated one :(

Might phone them myself and get it. I hate dealing with them :(

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Joe » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:58 am

Update!

The new 'Hub is strong enough to reach across the house now, and we're seeing good speeds on the 5Ghz channel as well as excellent range for the 2.4Ghz one. Here's the wireless .AC performance from the iMac (upstairs from the Hub):

Image

Guess we don't need a separate router after all :)

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Re: .AC Router Buying Advice

Postby Ekona » Mon Jun 08, 2015 1:29 pm

Result :)
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