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mdf

mdf

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#196829 14-Jun-2016 14:28
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I am the de facto help desk for my family and friends (like many others here I'm guessing).

Previously, I've made the mistake of recommending tech items that I thought were good/have a cool feature/were good value for money. In the router space for example, this was frequently, "get a TP Link [or earlier, WRT54GL] and put DDWRT on it". This invariably proved to be a mistake since you can guess who actually got to put DDWRT on it and provide support forever more. Somehow tinkering with my own stuff to correct issues ( my own oversights) is far more fun than tinkering with other people's stuff.

What's your go-to recommendation for friends/family that want a new router? I am looking for something as straightforward and robust as possible, rather than something that has cool features or awesome (but potentially flakey) performance.

And while I am currently dipping my toe in the EdgeRouter pond at home, neither this nor a Mikrotik will be a starter in these circumstances. I just don't know enough (yet - touch wood) to be recommending one of these to someone else.

This particular query was prompted by a friend on HFC cable with a cisco modem, so it only needs to be a router, not modem+router recommendation. If it makes a difference, the house is pretty big and one of the first things I will be doing is suggesting he wire in (ethernet or powerline) some additional access points in place of the *6* wireless wifi extenders that have currently been deployed (that's not a typo). A recommendation of router + 1-2 access points that meet the initial criteria would be even better.

And I don't mind helping out (its a good friend, so "phone a pro" isn't that helpful in this context), but ideally I do want to help him set it up and then forget about it.

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deadlyllama
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  #1571734 14-Jun-2016 15:09
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The cheap option is an HG659 off TradeMe (~$50).  They're really common because Spark and Vodafone supply them with new connections.  They do ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet WAN (i.e. fibre/cable) and have VoIP ports.  I've got one at home, in use as a dumb AP, it's fine.  5GHz range isn't amazing but we have an old house with lots of wood in the walls...


 
 
 

Trade NZ and US shares and funds with Sharesies (affiliate link).
monolith75
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  #1571765 14-Jun-2016 15:57
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deadlyllama:

 

The cheap option is an HG659 off TradeMe (~$50).  They're really common because Spark and Vodafone supply them with new connections.  They do ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet WAN (i.e. fibre/cable) and have VoIP ports.  I've got one at home, in use as a dumb AP, it's fine.  5GHz range isn't amazing but we have an old house with lots of wood in the walls...

 

 

 

 

I have one of these modems and it works well except for limited range. Whats the best way to extend the range? (I've read a lot of conflicting info on this topic)


mdf

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  #1571912 14-Jun-2016 19:50
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Done a bit more digging. Has anyone used a Cambium R201 router? I've been impressed with the Cambium wireless access points and wondered if the router was any good?




deadlyllama
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  #1571925 14-Jun-2016 20:04
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monolith75:

 

deadlyllama:

 

The cheap option is an HG659 off TradeMe (~$50).  They're really common because Spark and Vodafone supply them with new connections.  They do ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet WAN (i.e. fibre/cable) and have VoIP ports.  I've got one at home, in use as a dumb AP, it's fine.  5GHz range isn't amazing but we have an old house with lots of wood in the walls...

 

 

 

 

I have one of these modems and it works well except for limited range. Whats the best way to extend the range? (I've read a lot of conflicting info on this topic)

 

 

Standard answer for anything.  Run Cat5e/cat6 cabling to where reception is poor, or if they work in your house, powerline extenders.  Plug another AP in to the end of the cable.  Neuter a router to just be an AP, if need be -- that's what I did to my HG659.

 

Ray Taylor wrote an excellent guide to doing this.


jonathan18
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  #1572112 15-Jun-2016 09:19
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Choose something fairly mainstream and easy to maintain/stable to reduce the need for too much further involvement in its running!

 

Agree that the HG659 makes a great value solution; the wifi range isn't fantastic, but it's easy to find, cheap, and easy to set up - I used one previously just to extend the network range at one end of the house (Ethernet between) but now use it as my main router (including for VOIP) and it's pretty stable. I bought an Archer C2 to replace the HG659 for access point duty and that's worked well - less than $100 new. Personally, I've never worried about whether a product used solely to extend range is a router or designed solely for that role; given routers are more ubiquitous, I'd imagine they also offer far better value for money (especially on the s/h market - witness the HG659).

 

 


xpd

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  #1572122 15-Jun-2016 09:32
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monolith75:

 

deadlyllama:

 

The cheap option is an HG659 off TradeMe (~$50).  They're really common because Spark and Vodafone supply them with new connections.  They do ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet WAN (i.e. fibre/cable) and have VoIP ports.  I've got one at home, in use as a dumb AP, it's fine.  5GHz range isn't amazing but we have an old house with lots of wood in the walls...

 

 

 I have one of these modems and it works well except for limited range. Whats the best way to extend the range? (I've read a lot of conflicting info on this topic)

 

 

Had one (is now in garage collecting dust), non-stop nightmares with the wifi on it even after getting replacement and new firmware (and a 6 month battle to get V/fone to even acknowledge the issue) - I turned off the wifi and got a Unifi instead. Still people complaining about the wifi issues on the V/fone community forums..... also had issues with it resetting the DNS settings after a few days by itself, updated firmware appeared to fix that at least.

 

Internet connectivity side of it tho, was fine, never had any issues there. 

 

 





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jonathan18
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  #1572136 15-Jun-2016 09:39
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Haven't there always been complaints about the Vodafone firmware on this router? I certainly had issues with this on two different routers. Given in such a situation it doesn't need to function as a modem, I can't see why the firmware couldn't be changed to either the Spark or BigPipe version, neither of which I've read anywhere share the same problems (I've had no issue with either).




lxsw20
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  #1572143 15-Jun-2016 09:46
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xpd:

 

monolith75:

 

deadlyllama:

 

The cheap option is an HG659 off TradeMe (~$50).  They're really common because Spark and Vodafone supply them with new connections.  They do ADSL, VDSL, Ethernet WAN (i.e. fibre/cable) and have VoIP ports.  I've got one at home, in use as a dumb AP, it's fine.  5GHz range isn't amazing but we have an old house with lots of wood in the walls...

 

 

 I have one of these modems and it works well except for limited range. Whats the best way to extend the range? (I've read a lot of conflicting info on this topic)

 

 

Had one (is now in garage collecting dust), non-stop nightmares with the wifi on it even after getting replacement and new firmware (and a 6 month battle to get V/fone to even acknowledge the issue) - I turned off the wifi and got a Unifi instead. Still people complaining about the wifi issues on the V/fone community forums..... also had issues with it resetting the DNS settings after a few days by itself, updated firmware appeared to fix that at least.

 

Internet connectivity side of it tho, was fine, never had any issues there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Install the Spark firmware and it should be fine. 


xpd

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  #1572160 15-Jun-2016 09:53
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lxsw20:

 

 

 

Install the Spark firmware and it should be fine. 

 

 

 

 

Yeah I was about to do that when the contract expired and I looked at alternative providers and went elsewhere. Now on a Zyxel unit (cant remember model, its what Voyager supply). 

 

Ive used Zyxels in the past with no issues, and this seems to be the same, just works :)





       Gavin / xpd / FastRaccoon / Geek of Coastguard New Zealand

 

                      LinkTree -   kiwiblast.co.nz - Lego and more

 

       Support Kiwi music!   The People   Black Smoke Trigger   Like A Storm   Devilskin

 

                                            NZ GEEKS Discord______________________________

 

 


1101
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  #1572253 15-Jun-2016 11:36
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no no no to a used ISP modem/router

 

Possible issues with port forwarding (some are flaky on the ISPs firmware) . Not to mention the back doors the ISPs put in .... :-)
if you are going to buy used, then used modem/routers on trademe are almost of zero value (cant even get $30 for my 2 year old asus).
Good devices can be had for excellent prices on trademe, but thats going to be a pain intheA for you to find one for someone else.

 

Dont take the chance , recommend a NEW device, unless you want to be responsible for something thats on trademe only because its flaky , and  you then have to spend
time sorting out its issues .
If they want an ISP's router, get them to ring the ISP & ask for one.

 

Quote
"something as straightforward and robust as possible"
you want set & forget, just the usual generic TPlink,Asus etc .
The issue you may find recommending modem/routers is unrealistic expectations for wifi . People expect it to just work, no matter
how many walls and floors it has to go through ("the neighbours wifi works, why doesnt mine work upstairs"

 

 


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