Modem/Router Recommendations?

This maybe a bit OT, but I am switching service providers, I am just tired of my 45 mpbs weak connection from Uverse which only gives me 15 mbps wireless, and with everything I have connected it can get very laggy. I am switching to Xfinity, and I am supposed to be getting 150 mbps, but I refuse to pay $10/month for their equipment rental.

Can anyone suggest a reliable/affordable Modem/router combo?

Sb6141 and Asus ac3200 are winners for me.

I want to use OnHub, but enough parental controls yet.

Synology RT1900AC - ~$150

This router has been working great for me. Big bonus for me was getting a great router and NAS server (in one).

Also the Synology UI is excellent when accessing the router to change settings, parental controls, device quality of service, etc.

Any of the ARRIS SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Modems.
WiFi really depends on what features you want and will use. I’ve got a ASUS (RT-AC68U) Wireless-AC1900 and have been happy with the speed and range.

Did not like the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC1900. Had poor range and signal quality from the start.

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I am so on the fence on this one. I really want one but I cannot find a problem with my network, except clutter and that doesn’t seem to be enough motivation to cash 180 bucks. Someone please convince me I need to replace my free tmobile RT-AC68U…with an OnHub…

You also might want to check your wireless clients — some of those may not support the faster speeds.

what do you mean? I a few times I had been able to get to mid 20s on the same device. There is just no consistency with there network.

Yeah, I should’ve have been clearer in my post :wink:

What I was really saying was to see what Wi-Fi standard (802.11b/b/n/ac?) your Wi-Fi clients support. A lot of times the limiting factor is the hardware your clients have, since some update their router/firewall/access-point, but eventually forget to do the same for the wireless clients. For example, I have a Linux laptop whose wifi card supports 802.11n (theoretical bandwidth of 300 Mbps), but the most I’ve seen from it was about 60Mbps (normally ~40Mbps). Most of my wireless clients’ hardware are 802.11g (Windoze laptops, IP CAMs, etc.). I usually get ~21Mbps from the laptops, but the IP CAMs can only do 11Mbps at the most. My cell phones’ Wi-Fi (I think they’re 802.11 b/g/n) fluctuates between ~9 and ~20 Mbps :unamused:

Oh, and as for the subject matter ---- I recommend a modem/router/AP in the SOHO class :smile:
My AP supports 802.11 b/g/n/ac (theoretical 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band), so there’s plenty of bandwidth — OK, you can NEVER have enough bandwidth :wink: Yeah, I need to upgrade my clients LOL.

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Don’t bother with the high end “gaming” routers, anything over 100-150 is just a waste of cash. Even TP-Link AC routers are usually more than enough for most people. Coverage (and your probable wireless speed issue) is the biggest issue with most folks. Having the router in a high enough position and not next to metal stuff is the best way to improve that. If you can get a Netgear R6300v2 you’ll be real happy. I’m an engineer at a very large ISP, so I see customers with a lot of different devices, as well as what we lease out, and that is probably the most solid mainstream one I’ve seen. The Asus routers are also very good generally.

@elf is right, SOHO, business, and enterprise class devices are usually better, but the price can quickly get out of hand. I used to run Cisco enterprise AP’s with (insert router brand) and had great luck, but they didn’t have AC. I now run two 6300’s as AP’s to a carrier grade router which is insane overkill, but I can get my full 60x4 with my AC capable phone and laptop from anywhere on my property, even the front and back yard.

Edit: AC1450’s are cheaper, and probably just as good, have not personally used though.


Thanks for the explanation. That makes some sense. Except that I have been able to get better speed on the same devices, but at different networks, and I think that’s what kills me.

I have an older Medialink - Wireless N Router - 802.11n - 150 Mbps - 2.4 Ghz. I may use that for the time being.

Any recommendations on Modem+router combos?

Slightly off topic but this might be of interest to some of you. Bear with me…

You could do the following:

Get yourself a dumb cable modem (I use a Vigor 130, I’m in the UK), you then have the option of installing anything downstream…

The market is going next generation firewall (NGFW). Like everything else this often relies on a subscription. Personally I use a checkpoint appliance (730) and it’s bullet proof, the ability to protect the entire family both from an outbound and inbound perspective is of great interest to me. The firewall is excellent, it has VPN and I’ve not found anything that makes me want to moan about it. Okay, apart from the price, it’s uber expensive and requires a subscription for a router but then it is aimed at the SOHO market. For that I get all manner of protection and it gets updated in the same way a corporate intrusion protection system would. It’s saved the mother in law from credit card/phishing emails numerous times and provides peace of mind. Can’t rave enough about it. Anyway I digress. Final point, I use the CheckPoint because it came to me free with a 3 year subscription.

If I wasn’t using the Checkpoint I’d be using this (and probably will be in the future):

It’s a completely free version of Sophos’ NGFW. It does what the Checkpoint does, did I mention it’s free?

Here’s the caveat. You install it on your own hardware. Any x86 host or a VM that has 2 interfaces. Plenty of info at the link above.

I’m also pretty sure you can put a wireless card in to give you WiFi if you want.

So, if you fancy a break from ST then you might want to tinker with this. It’s not for everyone but it you want something more than a DDWRT or a basic router it might be for you.

I have the asus rt ac88u router and it works great. I use comcasts arris 822g modem . I rent it because they no longer allow you to purchase it and I need a house phone. I usually get 178 mbps down.

N routers will only get you around 20-30Mbps, gotta get up to AC to really see “full” speeds.

As for combo’s, any of the surfboards that are docsis3, arris same thing, cisco dpc3216 is a good emta.

Routers could care less what modem you have. Many people think one works better with another. That’s not the case with any modern equipment.


Hey @michaelahess , can you share your thoughts on this, when you have a minute?

From my Xfinity I’m using some Arris Surfboard docsis 3.0 modem (forgot which model) and OnHub and it’s been rock solid.

Here it is:

I’m not gonna even try… I love my AC68u router. My router sits around 150 feet from from my pool. I have a strong connection and stream Pandora with no buffering. Great signal, very fast, and the UI is great.

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Netgear Nighthawk r7000. Been a hoss. I can get to the end of my cul de sac before I drop off wifi at times … thats prob a bit much. But on my typical 1/4a lot here, I am never without signal. I drop maybe 1 bar at most 2 at the far extent of the range on 1/4a suburban lot. Its been great. I have 100/25 fiber, no modem so just straight in from the rj45 on the wall. It is the router i would HIGHLY recommend to anyone without any qualms. The biggest ‘issue’ is their web interface is kinda dated. Coming from a mostly linksys past it feels so old and bad. But I have never had a problem getting anything done in it. About to try the arlo intergration as well since it is the only router that will pair with arlo without the basestation.

I understand those with bigger houses than mine, or multiple floors… but 2200sq/ft of modern wood construction, brick exterior, and I have great signal everywhere. So much so I quit worrying about running cat6 to every room. I didnt know wifi could be this good having just came from an Airport extreme at my apartment…that was so bad.

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Another +1 for any of the SURFboard modems. Seriously great products.

The Wirecutter is a good source of info on this subject.

Routers are more of a coin flip. Start with a new modem and ISP, then think about changing your router if you’re still having problems.

On the flip side of this, if you are concerned with speeds, bandwidth, and processing power, you should upgrade your router on average every 2 years. Sooner if your wallet is fat, but definitely no more than 3 years. You should make your ISP upgrade your modem every 2-3 years as well.

And while I’m talking about that… Cable and satellite equipment… When your two year contact is about to end, cash them and tell them you are not renewing. They will transfer you to the customer retention department, that is when you get brand new equipment.

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