SmartThings Community

WIFI router recommendations


(Andrew Chorley) #1

I am looking at getting a new router to help extend my range. Currently I am using regular broadband but hopefully super fast will be arriving this year. Could someone recommend a router? I am in England, in a 4 bedroom up n down house, brick construct and relatively thick walls.


(Benji) #2

Who’s your ‘broadband’ ISP? BT? Virgin?

Virtually any router that supports DD/OpenWRT is going to be great. My parents have Virgin (cable) internet and run the cable modem in bridge mode, connected to a Netgear R7000 running DD-WRT.

You’ll got a rock stable internet connection which most off the shelf routers or router/modem combos, even in this day and age can’t do which personally I think is probably one of the biggest contributors to the ‘problems’ people are having with ST, instead of it actually being ST’s fault, but hey, that’s just me.

In the US I have Time Warner Cable, running my own Motorola cable modem, connected to a Ubiquiti Uni-Fi Secure Gateway and in turn, Ubiquiti UAP-AC WiFi access points. The only time my internet goes down or drops packets is if my whole house loses power or TWC are having problems.

In turn my ST experience is pretty solid with very little issues at all, go figure :smile:


(Andrew Chorley) #3

BT, currently using an apple time machine, which is generally pretty decent. But I am sure my wifi is the route of a lot of my sensor disconnect issues. I was narrowing down between asus and netgear.


(Benji) #4

Hmmm, BT has been doing fiber recently haven’t they? I’m a little out of touch with their offerings because I’ve been out of the UK for nearly 4 years, what connection do they present to you in the house? Is it DSL or something similar still or actual fiber?

While I’m not a fan of Apple devices I’ve heard generally okay things about the Apple AirPort. My personal preference for consumer routers is still something that will support DD/OpenWRT for a stable connection.

That and reduce the amount of “2.4GHz” devices as much as possible, I hate 2.4GHz…


(Andrew Chorley) #5

Just regular broadband, so should I be using G for stability?


(Benji) #6

I’m afraid I’m not sure what “regular broadband” is, what kind of socket is it?

G is 2.4GHz, A, some N and AC are 5GHz but lots of devices use 2.4GHz that aren’t “WiFi” like ZigBee, Bluetooth and generic RF devices like cordless phones, certain remote control aeroplanes/drones etc.


(Andrew Chorley) #7

I am connecting at 8mb well usually around 5mb. I am in the sticks haha. So I should be only using N? or AC?


(Benji) #8

So probably just ADSL or something through a phone line then? That can somewhat limit your options if yes.

By all means use 5GHz N or AC if you can but a lot of devices don’t support 5GHz WiFi, I personally just try and get everything I can off 2.4GHz but ultimately that’s not always possible, Nest Thermostat for example.

If you’re out in the sticks like my aunt is up north then neighbouring WiFi pollution may not be so much of an issue for you.


(Joshua Lyon (SharpTools.io Dashboard)) #9

I’ve got a battery backup on the ONT (Fiber/Optical Network Terminal) and on my router. It may be pitch black in my house when the power goes out, but I can still surf the internet!

I’ve been tempted to swap out the router for something that runs DD-WRT, but I just keep waiting for better technology to come out. I tried a Nighthawk, but I wasn’t pleased with how poorly it penetrated walls (there was a big signal drop-off), so I ended up wiring the whole house with Gigabit Ethernet.


(Benji) #10

If I can be bothered to buy a UPS to run the switch, everything would stay online since I power the cable modem and the router from it :smile:


(Benji) #11

I would take this option before WiFi, even running Ethernet over Power was better for my Samsung TV than running WiFi, I later ran a cable for it. Even went so far as to purchase a USB Ethernet device for my Wii U so I didn’t have to put it on WiFi, yes, really, I hate WiFi.


(Chick Webb) #12

This. Works. Even w/o the DD-WRT firmware it’s a great value, but with the open source update it may prove to be as long-lived as my WRT54G.


(Benji) #13

Yeah, a lot of people said the stock Netgear firmware was actually shockingly pretty good but I wanted DD-WRT on it anyway for various other reasons.


(sidjohn1) #14

I use smallnetbuilder to research any new hardware I bring into my home…
http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tools/rankers/router/view

The Netgear r7000 is one of the best performers your money (or mine) can buy.


Mesh Wi-Fi, is it what it's chalked up to be?
#15

Changing out a router or access point for a different brand than your Apple Time Machine isn’t going to do much. 2.4GHz is 2.4GHz (a/b/g bands and will always be affected by running your microwave, and in contrast, will likely collide with your Zigbee devices depending on location.

Unless you’re looking to move all your devices (phones, laptops, netflix clients, etc…) to the 5GHz spectrum and disable the 2.4GHz radio?

Lastly, depending on how old your TM is, you may already have 5GHz antennas in there, I know my 3 airport extremes are dual band (in bridged AP mode behind my pfSense router). Log into Airport Utility and take a look…

Almost all consumer branded routers (e.g. Linksys WRT54G) is going to be able to handle your current speeds, and likely will continue to do so until your internet starts getting into the 50-75Mbps speeds. The a/b/g/n/ac notations are only going to affect your WLAN speeds (wireless file transfers to a server, etc…)

Good luck!


(Andrew Chorley) #16

The only device that only uses 2.4ghz is my Sonos. Basically I’m getting reliability issues with my smartthings multi. I mean it works, but irregularly. Should I be looking at other ways to fault find?


(Benji) #17

I’m going to be that guy and say ***“are you sure”***, I’m not being mean, it’s just that in this day and age, so many more things are ‘connected’ that we forget that they are, then you look through your DHCP server and you’re like, what the hell is using THIS IP? And this one?!

Just want you to be really confident and not knock anything out you weren’t expecting.


((Possibly not the Matt you're looking for)) #18

2.4 Ghz interference could also come from a neighbor. JDRoberts has some comments about the neighbor’s kid getting on the WiFi after school.

I’ll note that while I generally love Amazon products, the FireStick caused mayhem with our Zigbee devices and ultimately caused me to pull it, and switch to a 5Ghz router. That router (recommended by Wirecutter, IIRC) is a TPLink Ac1750, and I’m happy with it.


(Dean Smith) #19

Yup, small net builder was how I got my R7000. Didn’t think of doing DD-WRT, interesting.