Choosing a new router - help!

Adrian E

Active Member
Hi all

I've got a fairly straightforward networking setup at home, but unfortunately my router is well past end of life support and there's known to be security flaws lurking that won't be fixed....

My broadband is supplied by Sky over BT infrastructure, and they're currently prepping to update the copper cable in the street to full fibre, so hoping I might be able to get some better service than I have now. I'm on 'superfast', which is anything but...they've got as far as running rope through the conduits in the street and installing a new cable access at the top of the road so I'm hopeful it won't take forever!

Current setup is an Asus RT-AC87U, running Merlin firmware so it works with Sky (needs 'option 61' for manual clientid), with an ancient BT modem. It's co-located with my HP Microserver/NAS via LAN in a cupboard in the hallway, with most devices being fed via wi-fi. I have a couple of old-ish Devolo powerline adaptors supplying LAN connections to the study (1 LAN connected desktop and the option to LAN connect my work laptop if needed), lounge (TV and Blu-ray), and family room (4k TV, PS5, although I think they may both be on wifi at the moment)

With mobiles, tablets, kitchen appliances etc there's probably at least 20 devices using wifi (albeit most at low demand) and tomorrow we're having a Drayton Wiser heating setup added, which will add another wi-fi broadcasting hub, 2 room thermostats and 15+ smart TRVs!

I've seen the Nighthawk RAX120 for £250 which seems to fit the bill, but I'm wondering if there's other factors I should be considering before jumping in? I'm keen to do away with the powerline adaptors if I can - they're not massively reliable and the kit is quite old. Usage is pretty typical mix of streaming, gaming, wfh most days.

I'm not looking to run LAN cables through the walls anywhere at the moment, and although the floor area is quite big the walls are mainly plasterboard so the signal reaches quite well (so long as I don't use the Sky router!). I was wondering, having been confused by reading about 'mesh' setups, whether there's any benefit to buying a 2nd box of tricks to live by the 4k TV and PS5 that would allow LAN connections to the PS5 in particular, with a nice stable mesh wifi connection back to the router (forgive the potential mis-use of techie language!) which I presume will improve on wifi performance when there's a squillion connected devices? We don't do Alexa or anything of that ilk at the moment, in case it makes a difference.

Thanks all

Adrian
 

psychopomp1

Member
The Netgear RAX120 is a superb router but it doesn't support DHCP Option 60/61. However the RAX200 does, and whilst its not cheap, its a brilliant router - arguably the best wifi 6 router out there. I have the RAX200 on a 1 Gig FTTP BT line and it works flawlessly.
 

Adrian E

Active Member
D'oh! That's frustrating......Is it covered anywhere in technical specs you can view online, or is it a case of trying to drag the info out of the manufacturer?!

Going Merlin firmware on my Asus was predominantly to add the option for 61 so I could use it when we moved house, so am aware it's not ubiquitous.
 

psychopomp1

Member
have a look here


Otherwise if you want to stick with Asus, then something like the Asus RT-AX86U with Merlin firmware would be perfect as well.
 

chukwe

Well-known Member
I'm not looking to run LAN cables through the walls anywhere at the moment, and although the floor area is quite big the walls are mainly plasterboard so the signal reaches quite well (so long as I don't use the Sky router!). I was wondering, having been confused by reading about 'mesh' setups, whether there's any benefit to buying a 2nd box of tricks to live by the 4k TV and PS5 that would allow LAN connections to the PS5 in particular, with a nice stable mesh wifi connection back to the router (forgive the potential mis-use of techie language!) which I presume will improve on wifi performance when there's a squillion connected devices? We don't do Alexa or anything of that ilk at the moment, in case it makes a difference.

Thanks all

Adrian

Running LAN cable through the house was the best option. I did mine 6 months with all the 4 room having it's own port.

You can run the cables outdoor to all the areas in your house as my house is plasterboard as well
 

oneman

Well-known Member
Running LAN cable through the house was the best option. I did mine 6 months with all the 4 room having it's own port.

You can run the cables outdoor to all the areas in your house as my house is plasterboard as well
I run my cables outdoors, its much easier
 

Ash056

Standard Member
Running Ethernet from the Router to where your TV and PS5 is the best option. You can then use a 4 or 8 port Ethernet switch and connect all the fixed boxes via cable. I have been running Drayton Wiser for a couple of years now. Only the Hub connects to WiFi at 2,4 GHz. TRVs talk to the Hub using Z wave or such like!
 

Jay Z

Active Member
One option would be to get a Google Nest mesh networking, but I don't know if it works with non-fibre internet line.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
If Nest will function in "AP Mode" instead of as a replacement for an existing router, you should be able to use it with any router as the Nest won't be establishing the ISP link (the ISP router will.)

It would be my preferred way to deploy an supplemental/replacement Wi-Fi system.
 

Adrian E

Active Member
Just to conclude this, I ended up buying an Asus RT-AX82U off here, and have moved my old RT-AC87U into the family room, and configured it as a media bridge to the new router. It's doubled the connection speed to the PS5, LG TV etc to more or less line capacity.

I may look at changing the old router to an AiMesh in future, but for now it's at least secure, and faster. Also added an Asus AX3000 wifi6 card to my desktop PC, so have managed to bin 2 of the old powerline adaptors and only using 1 now in the lounge with the plasma TV. Now just got to get all the wifi drivers on work devices updates, as the firmware levels are all below what the router recommends for stable wifi6 performance......
 

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