Router Suggestions? What works well with ST?

I hope this is the correct group to post this in, sorry if it’s not.
Being New to the smart home scene and not very tech savvy, I am looking for advice on a new network set up. I currently have cox ISP and rent their panoramic wifi gateway with 150mbsp download, but the connected device limit is low. I am looking for input from the community on how to expand my device limit (can’t be done on current device), what router/modem you all suggest that plays well with ST and IoT devices and has decent security. I’ll even take advice on for speed suggestions although speed is not currently an issue.
Any input is appreciated. Thanks.

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Welcome! I’ve moved this to the appropriate section in the forum. :sunglasses: (The other hubs section of the forum is for discussion of other home automation hubs, not networking equipment.)

If you’d like to see some past conversations on this topic, you should find them in the following group:

But of course this is an area where technology changes pretty quickly, so you may want to just wait until people respond to you here.

We do need to know what country you are in, as the options do vary.

Also, one feature you didn’t mention is parental controls. These vary a lot in terms of what’s available, and I didn’t know if you needed any.

Some other more modern features would include the ability to create a guest network, the ability to separately assign SS IDs for 2.4 megahertz and 5 gigahertz bands, and Wi-Fi mesh support. I’m not saying you would necessarily want any of those, just do let us know if you do.

I personally find small net builder to be a very helpful resource, but it is very technical:

Tom’s Guide is also good, and better suited for a standard consumer audience.

Thank you. I will look at those links.

In answer to some of your questions…

I’m in the US

I do not need parental controls

Seperate SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 would be nice

I’m not sure I fully understand mesh wifi.
As I understand it, it is to extend your wifi range. My house is 1500sq ft and my current panoramic gateway from cox reaches everything without issue.

My current issue is that my internet connection says the device limit has been reached. I have about 30 things connected including computer, tvs, cell phone, smart switches and plugs, 2 cameras, smart lock, myq garage door opener, smart power strip and voice assistants.

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Good reading also
I had 2 Asus routers and they always worked good. Now I have an Orbi mesh and no problems at all, but cannot separate the bands.

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From research I’ve done it doesn’t sound like a mesh system would benefit me much in my 1500sq ft house. If I have this wrong please let me know!
I looked at Eero but don’t like the fact that if I need to specifically connect using 2.4ghz, I have to call support to have them disable the 5ghz for 15 min intervals. (That came straight from Eero support).
I’ve narrowed it down to the TP-Link AX3000 or Asus RT-AX3000. Thoughts or recommendation would be appreciated.

I’ve been using smartthings wifi and it works fine
Speeds are very fast (about 500mbps over WiFi, wired is closer to 1gb which is my actual connection speed)
Note that I have all of them connected with wired ethernet backhaul.

I’m using ORBI from Netgear and works good. Basically, any router or mesh system will do. Eeero is also limited as ethernet ports so if you need them you’re out of luck.

I’ve used an Asus RT-AC88U router for about 5 years. Still gets regular firmware updates and is still for sale on the market. It’s been very good. Separate bands, separate guest network bands, security, parental control for cheap questionable cameras to block them from calling home, and lots of IP routing and reservation options. Works well with SmartThings.

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Just because you have internet all around the house doesn’t mean you have good internet all around the house. I’d suggest taking your phone and/or pc to various places you frequent to see what the speeds are. I like which is similar to without the advertisements. There’s even a phone app for it which I use regularly. Before I switched to a 3 pack of TP-Link M9 Plus from Costco a few weeks ago, I had internet all over the house as well. But it sucked in many places including the deck and around the yard where I frequent in these Covid times. The 80mb connection would fall to below 10mb in certain places like the garage where I have a Roku TV, or fall off altogether around the yard or deck. The 3 pack which I have connected to ethernet now get me nearly 80 all around the house. Methinks there is no downside to mesh and IMO tri-band AC mesh beats dual-band AX. Keep in mind that one of the benefits to mesh is that the software automatically connects you to the closest router and also moves you seamlessly between the 5 and 2.4 bands which share the same SSID. IMO this is as simple as it gets.

The one downside to mesh is that most do not allow you to select which band you want to connect to, and many home automation devices, particularly ones with video like video doorbells, still require that your phone and the device both be on the same 2.4 MHz band during initial set up. Once the device has been set up, there’s no problem going back to different bands, but that initial set up can be a bear if you can’t force your phone onto the 2.4 band. :disappointed_relieved: Sometimes the only workaround is to walk away from your house until you have gotten outside of the range of the 5 GHz band and your phone switches over to the 2.4.

Whether or not that’s aggravating enough to influence the selection of a router is just a personal decision. There are some commercial mesh routers that do let you select the band but they usually cost too much for a typical residential implementation.

And your point about knowing your own coverage is critical, I think. My house is relatively small, single floor at 1800 ft.², and I’ve never felt any need to go to Wi-Fi mesh. But it was essential for the office. :sunglasses:

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Yes I thought about that when I wrote it and there may be some mesh systems that are problematic. The TP-Link lets you toggle on and off both the 2.4 and 5mhz channels independently which should allow you to connect the 2.4 devices. I assume once the 5mhz is turned back on that the devices will continue to use the 2.4 since they have no ability to use the 5. I had this problem with my Centurylink modem/router a few years ago while trying to connect my LG washer. Turning off the 5 for a few mins allowed it to connect.


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