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Is an ac compliant router worth investing in yet?
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Posted January 20, 2013 at 10:03PM
We have a 3 storey granite built house that has to date been served by a NetgearDG834PN but its getting on and starting to loose connection all too frequently needing resetting (3 times a night or more). It also seems unable to allocate IP addresses to our many devices with out introducing conflicts. With Six of us in the house we can sometime have a pc, 2 laptops, 4 MacBooks, 5 iPads, 6 iPhones, 2 smart tv's, 6 sonos components, wii and ps3 and thats without guests! Obviously not all being used simultaneously but wifi still gets congested. Thinking along the lines of an asus rt n66u as reviews seem great but wondering whether it is worth upping this to an rt ac66u to future proof? Is it worth it if none of our devices are yet 802.11ac capable? Also as these are only routers can I set the netgear to modem only and run the asus off of it or should I purchase a dedicated modem? We have an ADSL2 connection over our phone line but are waiting for an upgrade to fibre to be available later this year. The present netgear router modem is situated on the ground floor hall and generally manages to broadcast vertically up to the 2nd floor but struggles to go the 6m horizontally into the kitchen because of granite walls
Any advice greatly appreciated.
Ps We also want to introduce a NAS device primarily for the sonos if anyone has a recommendation?
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Posted January 22, 2013 at 11:13AM
You are certainly grossly overloading the Netgear router's WiFi. There is a limit to the number of devices that can connect "wirelessly" and I suspect you've hit this limit when you start to get conflicts.
Bear in mind also that with WiFi, the available bandwidth, whether it be 54, 150 or 300Mbps, is shared by the devices actively using the feature, unlike "wired ethernet" where each device will have the full 100Mbps speed of the port.
One possible solution would be to use "Homeplugs". Connect the router by ethernet cable to one Homeplug and then locate others where required throughout the house. There are WiFi Homeplugs which would provide additional Wireless Access Points if your connections need to be wireless.
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Posted January 22, 2013 at 12:21PM
The number of devices that can simultaneously connect to a WiFi router varies from model to model, up to a theoretical limit of 250, but most modern routers will comfortably deal with up to thirty connections.
That's one thing, but bandwidth is an entirely different thing, and your load of around 30 devices will seriously affect the bandwidth available to each device, no matter how good the router, if they all connect at the same time.
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Posted January 22, 2013 at 1:33PM
Thank you for the advice so far. The homeplugs maybe an idea if when I take the plunge with a new router things still need tweaking. Do I understand correctly that the devices connected to a routers wifi will reduce bandwidth whether they are actively utilising the connection or simply registering that it is available to them? I doubt that more than 8 devices would ever be actively using wifi on the network at any one time though many more could be registering its availability to them. Excuse my ignorance but If the asus rt n66u is dual band am i correct to assume this will assist the bandwidth situation by spreading devices over 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands? Any comment on the merit of getting a 802.11ac capable router at the present time?
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