Simplified because I no-longer review or touch a whole lot of routers these days but feel this post / thread does provide a whole lot of valuable information. If this thread is locked and you've got questions then feel free to request an unlock.
A note on consumer grade routers: Most are overpriced garbage. I'm yet to find a router in the consumer market (with the exception of the Ubiquiti AmpliFi) that can outperform a "enterprise grade" solution on both price and performance. Don't get sucked in. The word "Gaming" is a buzzword that is often thrown about and means nothing - there is nothing these routers can actually do to improve your gaming ability especially if you're playing over Wireless. This is also mentioned below again as I see too many people getting sucked in. Do your research, if the all in one router costs over $350 then take a step back and consider either the Grandstream or Ubiquiti solutions as these are not much more price wise and will outperform any router in this price. If you're needing basic WiFi along with a router that can do anything then the Huawei HG659, Fritz!Box or the Spark Smart Modem is honestly the best solution here.
Also a very interesting read that helps cut through the hyped marketing: https://www.duckware.com/tech/wifi-in-the-us.html
First Category - all in one modem / routers:
These routers are best if you're wanting something with everything built into one unit that offer decent WiFi. As always, I recommend always using your providers router unless if you've got a very good reason not to especially if you're in this category.
1) Huawei HG659 - Supports all connection types, suitable for Gigabit connections, decent WiFi and available cheaply. This router is currently provided by Spark, BigPipe and Vodafone however is designed as a home CPE device so doesn't have too many configurable features. Also, not suitable if you're one to use Netflix unblockers but for your general purpose all in one router this is a hard one to beat. Also, has VoIP. For those tinkernuts, there is an excellent guide on how to get superadmin access and even root access on this router with the default, unrestricted BigPipe firmware (firmware image available here under advanced settings - is able to be flashed on any providers HG659 baring in mind the normal "disclaimers" apply).
2) Fritz!Box 7490, 7560, 7590 - Provided by 2degrees, can route Gigabit and has a bunch of features including SIP. You can often find these for cheap on Trademe.
3) Spark Smart Modem (Link) - I got given this by Spark to do a test on and found the router has very good WiFi coverage and can route Gigabit absolutely no problems. This is more of a basic router for your "average folk" but given it is able to provide very good WiFi performance and NAT performance I have no issues recommending it.
Second Category - routers only (advanced users):
If you're wanting something a little more advanced going for one of these is a surefire bet. Just don't expect the most simple to use interfaces or a 5min setup if you're not experienced. I recommend the newer Mikrotik routers (RB4011 or RB5009) if you're wanting something that can route Gigabit absolutely no problems and don't mind something a bit more complex configuration wise.
The Ubiquiti Dream Machine is OK if you're wanting something with a tonne of features but need it easy to setup. I no-longer recommend the Ubiquiti Edgerouter line due to the fact Ubiquiti seems to have abandoned software development on that line as a whole however if you do pick one up, I've got a guide Here to help with configuration.
Third Category - routers w/ access points for UFB:
I've removed the consumer grade routers I used to have here due to the fact the performance to price ratio isn't that great. The current routers on the market really are expensive, and most actually can't route Gigabit.
Normally unless if you have a very good reason not to then I'd always recommend using your providers router - many providers also offer mesh solutions (eg - Spark with their Smart Modem, or 2degrees with their Fritz!Box). There is a misconception that these routers are rubbish which is honestly not true anymore and for your average home user this is more than good enough.
If you're wanting something decent, without breaking the bank go have a look for the Fritz!Box 7490, 7530, 7550 or 7590 on Trademe which can normally be had for a steal - any of these models can mesh. The Spark Smart Modem is also a good buy even if you're on another provider.
Otherwise, the UniFi Dream Machine is a good router if you're just wanting an all-in-one router with a whole lot of features - the great thing with this router is it can be expanded on and comes at a cost that is easy to swallow.
For ADSL / VDSL using a router without a modem:
1) Netcomm NF4V - Can be picked up for nearly nothing but likely the best modem for xDSL connections + can be put into bridge mode.
2) Draytek DV130 - Supports bridging meaning you can fully utilise your router, also ADSL + VDSL.
3) Huawei HG659 - This router can be used in bridge mode also.
Many people on Geekzone who have recently upgraded to UFB have these, and may be prepared to sell on the cheap. Make a post in the Offers + Wanted forums if you're seeking one.
Most of the above options will be fine for Gigabit connections. The cheapest router with support for a full Gigabit connection will be the Huawei HG659 which is a great buy given what it can handle. Just because a router has Gigabit WAN doesn't mean it can route Gigabit connections as this is a task normally reliant on the CPU or dedicated hardware. Some of the cheaper routers also will claim to have Gigabit on the WAN port but be switched internally by the CPU either via VLAN's (the likes of some Linksys routers), via a USB bus (also seen on some cheaper routers) or via VLAN + a 100Mbit internal connection to the switch. Most "gaming" routers can't actually effectively route Gigabit connections due to the QoS rubbish they have going on.
There are a couple of routers I recommend for Hyperfibre - the list is small currently and no consumer grade router can successfully do Hyperfibre so far. With Hyperfibre, you get a router included in the form of the Chorus ONT however this is very, very basic. If you want something a little more advanced and if your provider supports putting the ONT into Bridging mode these are the routers I recommend:
1) Ubiquiti Dream Machine Pro - can also act as a NVR for the Ubiquiti cameras.
2) MikroTik CCR1036-8G-2S+.
3) MikroTik RB5009 (via the SFP Port - 2.5Gbit Ethernet + 7x Gigabit Ports out).
While WiFi AX routers can do "Close to Gigabit" speeds in my own personal experience of Wireless AX I wouldn't recommend shelling out money for this standard seeing most devices on WiFi have no real need for anything above 500Mbit.
Wireless Access Points:
If you're needing excellent WiFi through your home / office there are solutions by companies like Ubiquiti with their UniFi line, Grandstream, Ignitenet, Cisco Small Business, Aruba etc - really with these you can spend as little as $100 right up to $2500 depending on what access point you're getting. Really the use-case depends on the individual but I often recommend Aruba Instant On or Ubiquiti UniFi for a simple solution. Ideally with these you'd mount them to the ceiling to provide the best coverage.
As there are multiple access points for different use-case it is either a good idea to ask here, or open up a thread on Geekzone to ask.
Ubiquiti Managed Gear:
I've created an UniFi Controller Here any Geekzone member can sign up to (assuming they live in NZ). This gives you far more control over your UniFi powered network. There are ways to set up UniFi gear without a controller however if you've bought managed gear you may as well get the full experience with a controller.
Due to the crap and misinformed news article here (thread also here for a laugh) there have been some queries regarding TR-069 management on ISP supplied routers (like the HG659 given out by many providers). This is more a "feature" as it allows your ISP to provision changes out to your router and is in use by essentially all ISP's in NZ. There is nothing to be worried about, it is safe and considered secure and you've got to remember that your provider have security teams looking out for you. Turning this off is not recommended as your ISP will have no way of updating your routers firmware or updating configuration as they update things themselves which may cause loss of services (Vodafone TV, VoIP or even Internet to name a few) or even may introduce security vulnerabilities to your network. The non ISP provided routers will not have this enabled so you're responsible for all configuration, firmware upgrades etc. It is important to keep an eye on your router manufactures website to keep your router up to date.
If you've got any more suggestions then feel free to post below.
Last updated: 05/12/2021