Router selection info - beginners guide

eriek_halenx

Member
Messages
125
Its usually confusing to decide which home router to buy. So I thought of listing down a few features (and a brief description) that could be helpful. A good document shared with some technical details below.
1. Wifi speed advertised (eg AC1200 vs AC 2300 etc). - Its usally a marketing gimmick describing total theoretical throughput of all bands used simultaneously. Best to ignore.

2. Bandwith size - eg 40 mhz channel width on 5 Ghz would give 433 mbps max, the same 5 Ghz with a 80 mhz channel width would give 866 mbps max. Go for higher spec one.

3. MIMO - Atleast 2x2 Mimo. Most wifi client devices only support that. Higher MIMO is better. But note that a 2x2 MIMO wifi device and wifi 5 router, on 80 mhz band on 5 Ghz wifi will give you actual speeds of <= 350 mbps at a close distance.
@yougotmehere ,It is possible to get 500mbps wifi speed for a 500 mbps internet connection. Wifi speeds are independent of internet connection speed.

I'm attaching an image of iperf test on my mobile. It's a OnePlus 5 with 2x2 mimo. Connected to an archer c6 on 5ghz, 80hz band. Distance from router is less though, about 10 feet only. The iperf 'server' is running on a raspberry pi on my network itself.



Perhaps the below threads will be helpful in selecting a router. Choosing one with a gigabit port is ideal.
4. Beanforming - Yes, a good to have feature.

5. Gigabit ethernet port - Gigabit port is ideal as its max speed is 1 gbps. If its not advertised, its usually ethernet port - having ethernet speeds < 100 mbps.

6. Wifi standard - Wifi 4 - n , Wifi 5 (ac), Wifi 6 (ax).
Wifi 4 - n only routers can safely be said to be outdated as of now. Decide between Wifi 5 and 6.
  • Wifi 6 - Supposed to be best with very large number of devices (like public Wifi, hostels, classrooms etc)
  • Wifi 6 - Supposed to lessen mobile phone battery usage.
  • Wifi 6 routers tend to be expensive compared to Wifi 5.
  • Online claims about download speed vary, from improving, to being the same.
7. Software - a recent router model may be better supported that an older model. eg it may have features like WPA3 etc and more recent security updates. You could check for 3rd party firmware support also if you're up for it.

Other members could add more details like say hardware, brands, security, features, mesh support etc etc.
 
Last edited:

coolrags

Member
Messages
58
Our home walls (cemented, rcc) are not less than great wall of china.. end of the day 2.4ghz (n) only works for longer range or between the walls :ROFLMAO:

US has mostly wooden homes...

I think Nighthawk (wifi 6) will be a great buy .
 

Sushubh

Creator of new threads from offtopic posts
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You don't change your routers that often. So if you are going for a high end router... It makes sense.
 


thadougamer

BSNL ADSL & FTTH User
Messages
344
My suggestion is not to upgrade your router right now. Wait for another one or two years. By then, almost all phones will support WiFi 6 and the price of WiFi 6 routers also will be much lesser. Right now WiFi 6 routers are quite expensive
 

Sushubh

Creator of new threads from offtopic posts
Messages
427,869
Location
Gurugram
I am going to assume that anyone today buying a premium router probably has devices capable of utilizing those speeds. The market for these routers is very small especially here in India. Regular people do not spend 10-20K on routers. I haven't till now 😁
 
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