Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Networking > Recommendation for a router

Recommendation for a router
Thread Tools
OreoCookie
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 02:19 AM
 
I'll be getting GBit internet next week, and I need to buy a sufficiently fast, quality router. I was at first looking at the Synology RT1900ac, but it does not seem to be available in Japan.

I've had a look at Ubiquity's entry-level router, the EdgeRouter 3 Lite, but the price here in Japan is twice of what you pay for it in the US, so if I added a wireless access point, I'd be shelling out serious ¥¥¥¥¥.

Of course, there is Apple's AirPort Express which seems to be well-received.

Do you guys have any other recommendations? I'd be willing to pay up to about $250 or so. The router would have to serve a few Apple devices (iPhone, 2 MacBook Pros, soon an iPad Pro) as well as my NAS which I would like to access over the net (hence the GBit speed).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 03:19 AM
 
I have been thinking about this as well, researching for when I need to buy a router in about 6 months time, and I have been following what The Wirecutter has to say on the subject:

The Best Wi-Fi Router (for Most People) | The Wirecutter

Their main pick, the C7, is getting old now, but they have kept it because it keeps getting cheaper and performance is still good. There is also the C8 and (which is not mentioned in that piece) the C9 which look like minor updates of the same hardware, and a Netgear router, which I would be all over if I had not been burned by the way my current Netgear model blocks wake from sleep packets from the AppleTV (it's a known issue, apparently).

Apple's Airport Extreme is very well reviewed, but expensive, and the range isn't top of the line. The Airport Express is more of a cheaper option.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
reader50
Administrator
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 03:32 AM
 
I've also been looking into this. Beware compatibility for a Time Machine volume plugged into the USB port. Most non-Apple routers do not support HFS+, which TM requires. A used Netgear I bought claimed TM support, but doesn't do HFS+ and lacks AFP too. It tries to mount the TM volume blindly via smb, which proves unstable in practice.

I'll probably get an AE at some point to avoid the uncertainty. Until then, I'm searching the Amazon reviews for "Time Machine" before buying anything. Note that even the latest AE has a USB2 port - slow backups & sharing. I haven't found a router yet with a USB3 port and full TM compatibility.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 03:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
Their main pick, the C7, is getting old now, but they have kept it because it keeps getting cheaper and performance is still good.
I've had a look at the wirecutter, and these are the kinds of routers where I have run into all sorts of software problems. (I've had software trouble with Cisco/Netgear routers, top-of-the-line FritzBox routers, Netgear routers, etc.) There seems to be no great option out there. The Synology router excited me a lot because I already know and use their software on my NAS, and if I am not satisfied with the software interface, I could just enable ssh access and do what I need to do. If it were available here, I'd buy that.

I'd really recommend that you check out Synology's router. It's their first router, but the reviews are very good and if they update their router software half as often as on my NAS, you'll still get about 6 per year or so. And because Synology thinks in terms of platforms, it's clear that you'll remain up to date for several years.
Originally Posted by P View Post
Apple's Airport Extreme is very well reviewed, but expensive, and the range isn't top of the line. The Airport Express is more of a cheaper option.
The Airport Express is too slow: it only features 100 MBit ethernet (not sure why, this seems like an obvious oversight to me) I still have an old AirPort Express from 2007 (!) which works perfectly – except that since 10.9 I believe I can no longer use the AirPort config utility (and it is slow by modern standards, it only featuers a single 100 MBit ethernet port and 54 MBit wireless, so I would not be able to use my NAS). The reason why I am considering Apple's router is that I have had very good experience: they have been very reliable (no spurious rebooting) and they play nicely with my devices (although that's not a big concern of mine).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 03:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I'll probably get an AE at some point to avoid the uncertainty. Until then, I'm searching the Amazon reviews for "Time Machine" before buying anything. Note that even the latest AE has a USB2 port - slow backups & sharing. I haven't found a router yet with a USB3 port and full TM compatibility.
To me that's not a concern I have, because my Time Machine volume is on my NAS. But nevertheless, that's a good point. And even if it works, on many routers the transfer speeds are glacially slow.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
P
Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 04:39 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I've had a look at the wirecutter, and these are the kinds of routers where I have run into all sorts of software problems. (I've had software trouble with Cisco/Netgear routers, top-of-the-line FritzBox routers, Netgear routers, etc.) There seems to be no great option out there. The Synology router excited me a lot because I already know and use their software on my NAS, and if I am not satisfied with the software interface, I could just enable ssh access and do what I need to do. If it were available here, I'd buy that.

I'd really recommend that you check out Synology's router. It's their first router, but the reviews are very good and if they update their router software half as often as on my NAS, you'll still get about 6 per year or so. And because Synology thinks in terms of platforms, it's clear that you'll remain up to date for several years.
Thanks for the tip, but it is not cheap, at least here. Even if the range is better than the Wirecutter pick - and I don't know that it is - I could buy two of them for the price and distribute the network. The software angle is relevant, though - I tried to get WDS to work with one Netgear and one Huawei router last summer and had to give up because it just Would Not Work, even if I disabled all encryption. It's troubling that Netgear is behaving this way, because they used to be my "least bad" brand.

Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
The Airport Express is too slow: it only features 100 MBit ethernet (not sure why, this seems like an obvious oversight to me) I still have an old AirPort Express from 2007 (!) which works perfectly – except that since 10.9 I believe I can no longer use the AirPort config utility (and it is slow by modern standards, it only featuers a single 100 MBit ethernet port and 54 MBit wireless, so I would not be able to use my NAS). The reason why I am considering Apple's router is that I have had very good experience: they have been very reliable (no spurious rebooting) and they play nicely with my devices (although that's not a big concern of mine).
I know. I just pointed out because you wrote Airport Express in the original post.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
Thorzdad
Moderator
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Nobletucky
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 10:22 AM
 
I've been very happy with my refurb Airport Extreme.
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 11:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
I'll be getting GBit internet next week, and I need to buy a sufficiently fast, quality router. I was at first looking at the Synology RT1900ac, but it does not seem to be available in Japan.
This looks very interesting.
I have been in the market for a new router for a while.

If the Airport Extreme had been updated recently, I would have pulled the plug already. Alas, I don't want to buy a 2.5 year old router.

Have you checked out the Google OnHub ?
https://on.google.com/hub/

I like the concept and the potential for additional future features via software updates. Speeds seem to be excellent. However, at this point, there are almost no pro-features and limited customization capability.

-t
     
OreoCookie  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 10, 2015, 08:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
If the Airport Extreme had been updated recently, I would have pulled the plug already. Alas, I don't want to buy a 2.5 year old router.
The reason why I'm considering an Apple router is because of the “it just works” factor.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Have you checked out the Google OnHub ?
https://on.google.com/hub/
I haven't seriously considered them yet. I checked their prices here in Japan and they cost about $350. (Prices in Japan are sometimes crazy.)
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I like the concept and the potential for additional future features via software updates. Speeds seem to be excellent. However, at this point, there are almost no pro-features and limited customization capability.
And since many of the packages are shared with their NASes, the packages will be updated frequently. I haven't tried their routers, but I can't say enough good things about the NAS I bought from them: the build quality is excellent, the software is very good and gets very frequent updates.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Waragainstsleep
Posting Junkie
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2015, 09:01 AM
 
For wifi, go with Apple.
For router features, remote access, load balance, failover VPN etc go for a Draytek 2800 series.

Good value, good features, easy to use. Cisco stuff is overcomplicated IMO for home use. A Draytek will do more than you will ever want. Theres even a VOIP version.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
turtle777
Clinically Insane
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: planning a comeback !
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2015, 04:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
For router features, remote access, load balance, failover VPN etc go for a Draytek 2800 series.
I had Dreckday ISDN routers in the mid 90s. I never liked them.

-t
     
abbaZaba
Mac Elite
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Pittsburgh
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 17, 2015, 11:12 PM
 
Another option within Ubiquiti is the EdgeRouter X, which comes in ethernet only or an SFP version. I'm not sure what they go for on your side of the world but they are $50 and $80 USD over here. They're ever so slightly slower than the EdgerRouter Lite, but you'll likely never notice: ~850Mbps versus ~948Mbps bi-drectionally.

I'll sound like a fanboy, but you could power one of Ubiquiti's APs off the last port. They newer UAP-AC-Lite models are $90USD, but are fairly hard to get over here just yet. So if you've got Gbit fiber, you could have a pretty fast network for pretty cheap.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
Moderator
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Hilbert space
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
Dec 18, 2015, 07:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by abbaZaba View Post
Another option within Ubiquiti is the EdgeRouter X, which comes in ethernet only or an SFP version. I'm not sure what they go for on your side of the world but they are $50 and $80 USD over here. They're ever so slightly slower than the EdgerRouter Lite, but you'll likely never notice: ~850Mbps versus ~948Mbps bi-drectionally.

I'll sound like a fanboy, but you could power one of Ubiquiti's APs off the last port. They newer UAP-AC-Lite models are $90USD, but are fairly hard to get over here just yet. So if you've got Gbit fiber, you could have a pretty fast network for pretty cheap.
Actually, I would have seriously considered going this route, too, but the prices in Japan are 2x of what I would pay in the US or Europe, but I did consider going this route, too. They really seem to be the geek's choice these days. Just the ability to power things via ethernet is pretty handy as you only need to run one cable.

BTW, I ended up getting an Airport Express.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
   
Thread Tools
 
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:13 AM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2017 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.,