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[Discuss] Looking for WiFi router with certain characteristics


Regarding "COVERAGE"  (RF signal strength):

The obvious answer, easy for me b/c I built my house with CAT5 in the walls,
home-runs to basement, is to have multiple (hard wired, in my case) 
wifi routers throughout the house.  I have one in the basement Comm room,
and another in the upstairs bedroom.

In your worst case, you could hardwire one in the North and South corners 
of the basement, for example.   Or pop a hole up to the first floor
in a couple spots.  

Remember the "donut shaped" energy field off each antenna, and point 

I use hardwired where I can, off the wifi router.   The rest of the 
family, with ipads and smartphones need wireless.

Even with no wires at all, you can do (less effective, but...) at least 
I think you can do radio to radio wifi routers.  Called mesh?   Never 
needed to do myself.    


I've been told, but not positive, that the radio sections of wifi routers 
seem to crap out over time, especially "consumer grade" products.  
Maybe just salesman folklore.

There used to be a Linksys "power pack" type thing that boosted the 
RF signal, up to IETF RF signal limits.   No opinion there.  I'd guess
all manufacturers tend to build today up to maximum power limits?

And there are a plethora of directional antennas.  I found them 
cost prohibitive, and too much trouble. 

Jim Gasek

--- mbr at wrote:

From: MBR <mbr at>
To: BLU Discussion List <discuss at>
Subject: [Discuss] Looking for WiFi router with certain characteristics
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 02:38:27 -0400

Apologies to Lewis Carroll. I'm afraid the following doesn't scan as 
well as his version:

    "The time has come," my router said, "to talk of many things.
    Of 802.11 ac and n and g and b,
    And why Cisco updates without permission.
    And the safety of ASUS settings."


It's long past time for me to replace my 802.11 g router with something 
more recent.  But I have a few constraints that make it tricky to select 
the right router. So my question is, do any of you have experience with 
the ASUS RT-N66U or any other router that fits the constraints I 
describe below?  While I'm interested in recommendations of what's 
worked well for you, I'd also appreciate warnings of what to stay away 
from. advTHANKSance for your help.

My constraints are:


    The construction of the house the router will be installed in is
    problematic WRT getting signals through.  It was built before
    drywall was in common use in the U.S.  But rather than using wood
    lath, the plaster is held in place by lath.  But it's not
    traditional wood lath.  It's WIRE LATH.  Also, the heating system is
    forced hot air, which means that there's SHEET-METAL DUCTWORK
    between all the ceilings and floors.

    So all the walls, floors, and ceilings have metal in them.

    With the old router, I had to replace one of the stick antennas with
    a directional antenna aimed toward the part of the house where
    coverage was weakest.  But since 802.11 N and AC use MIMO, I believe
    that replacing one of the stick antennas with a directional antenna
    would screw up the interference pattern that MIMO depends on.

    I'm hoping that MIMO will solve the coverage problem that the
    directional antenna solved with the old router.

    Do any of you have any experience with routers in environments like
    this?  If MIMO doesn't get me the coverage I need, what are my options?

2. N vs. AC:

    I have a 5 GHz cordless phone that I do not want to replace.  It
    implements features that would be difficult to find a replacement
    for, and even if I could, replacing it would be quite expensive.  So
    it was important for me to figure out whether this phone will
    interfere with an 802.11-AC router.  It took several months of
    research, but eventually I determined that it definitely will
    interfere with over half of the 5 GHz WiFi channels used in the U.S.

    Since 802.11-AC only operates in the 5 GHz band, but 802.11-N
    operates in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, 802.11-N seems like a
    much better choice for my circumstances.

    Furthermore, most of the computers on my network don't support
    802.11-AC, but are recent enough that I'm not likely to replace them
    anytime soon.

    So it makes sense to me to ignore 802.11-AC routers and only look at
    802.11-N.  Does this logic make sense to you?


    Of the 802.11-N offerings, the highest aggregate speed seems to be
    450 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band plus 450 Mbps in the 5 GHz band.  This
    is commonly known as an N900 router.  Given the potential
    interference from the 5 GHz cordless phone, I may not get the full
    450 Mbps from the 5 GHz range, but a dual band N router seems the
    choice most likely to get me the fastest throughput possible for my


    In addition to supporting WiFi, I also need the router to provide 4
    LAN Ethernet ports in addition to the 1 WAN Ethernet port for
    connecting it to my cable modem.


    CISCO: Given the above constraints, I was considering the Linksys
    (Cisco) EA4500, but when I Googled it, I quickly learned that about
    2 years ago, Cisco/Linksys had pushed out their Cloud Connect
    firmware to all their routers without the router owners' permission,
    and in order for the owner to continue using his own router, he had
    no choice but to sign an agreement that allows Cisco to spy on his
    Internet use, allows Cisco to sell any data they collect, and allows
    Cisco to legally lock the router's owner out of his own router
    whenever they feel like it.,,

    Even though they eventually changed their policy, they have reserved
    the right to change it back, and also the right to change how your

    I will never again in my life trust anything Cisco/Linksys says or
    have anything to do with any of their equipment.

    ASUS: The next router I've been considering is the ASUS RT-N66U. 
    But Googling for that model turned up the following articles:,

    It sounds like ASUS was informed of a major security flaw in their
    firmware, and chose to bury their head in the sand instead of fixing
    the problem. While not the best behavior, it's nowhere near as
    egregious as Cisco's behavior.

    Have any of you seen other router manufacturers trying to seize
    control of the hardware, either like Cisco tried to do, or in some
    other fashion?  If so, which manufacturers, and what have they done?

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