wifi router/extender questions and help

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ScottyP, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. ScottyP

    ScottyP Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    I have a Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 DST router that I bought about 4 years ago from Best Buy. It came with a DST adapter so I can have enough range to reach my office computer in my basement. A few months ago, my DST adapter stopped working but my router can still barely reach my office. Now that I am working from home, I was hoping to get my wifi in my basement office to a stronger signal.

    the questions I had were:
    • Is my Nighthawk AC1900 router still adequate? If not, any recommendations? (need to consider a budget as my wife's hours have been reduced)
    • Can I get some sort of help/tech support on my DST adapter even though the geek squad support ended a couple years ago?
    • If I can't fix my DST adapter, what would be a good extender without breaking the bank.
     
  2. BillBrasky4Cy

    BillBrasky4Cy Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2013
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    If it's 4 years old you are probably on the tail end of it's shelf life. Have you checked to see that your router is up to date?
     
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  3. 3GenClone

    3GenClone Well-Known Member

    Jun 28, 2009
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    I had a Netgear N300 for a while that I used as an AP. I thought it worked OK for what I needed it to do, but it would need to be reset every couple of weeks. Also, one thing about Netgear is that it required periodic FW updates that I was only aware of via their email notifications. A lot of those updates were to prevent network vulnerabilities, so if you go this route I would recommend you have decent antivirus or VPN software.

    I recently replaced our router/extender combo with a Mesh system. I found a TP-Link Deco M5 system on Amazon for $160. It came with 3 APs and it has been awesome. I have excellent coverage around my house and even my yard. I can set up user profiles which is really convenient because it is Alexa compatible so I can say "Turn off the kids WiFi" and it disables the network to the kids video game consoles and tablets.
     
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  4. ruxCYtable

    ruxCYtable Well-Known Member

    Aug 29, 2007
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    Definitely if you decided to replace, mesh is where it's at right now. We have google wi-fi but there are lots of great, affordable systems out there.
     
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  5. EnkAMania

    EnkAMania Active Member
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    Dec 31, 2013
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    I just bought a Rock Space extender and it does exactly what I wanted (wifi for the garage)
     
  6. jdcyclone19

    jdcyclone19 Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2017
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    Big fan of the google wifi system. Have had no issues for the year I have had it and have coverage for whole yard and a few blocks down the road.
     
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  7. ScottyP

    ScottyP Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    I updated my firmware on my router, but still can't get my DST adapter to connect to my router.

    How much does the google wifi system cost? I already have a google home and 2 google home mini devices so it might work better for those.
     
  8. conmebol

    conmebol Member

    Apr 11, 2006
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  9. enisthemenace

    enisthemenace Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
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    I just connected the same mesh system, except P9, in my house late last week. I’m still trying to decide if it’s any good or not, to be honest.
     
  10. risiusj

    risiusj Active Member

    Feb 21, 2010
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    #11 risiusj, Apr 7, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    These 2 options are pretty decent. Also easy and fast to set up.

    Something to keep in mind -
    With range extenders like this you are adding some latency/delay because it's adding another wireless hop.
    Router <--> end device
    vs
    Router <--> range extender <--> end device
    That can add a noticeable delay. If this is a situation where you are connecting to a work VPN or other more data heavy things it exacerbates any existing slowness or problems quickly.
    Also, if there are a lot of wireless devices near the extender it will not perform well due to interference. So if that is a possible problem, and not strictly the distance, then I would say a range extender would be the wrong choice.

    I've used a powerline adapter while at an apartment and also in a house until taking the time to run a new network cable myself. It worked really well for my situations.
    Both electric circuits that the powerline devices are plugged in to should to be in the same electric box. I've heard that having one on a subpanel and the other on a main breaker box does not play nicely.

    The cheapest and best performing option would be if you or someone you know can run a network cable where you need it from the existing router. This might not be realistic and that's okay.

    For a band-aid fix I would recommend the powerline option. You can find them with a source and destination side that strictly have network cable ports or you can also find some that have a wireless access point built in on the destination side.
    Here is the one with WIFI that I bought and had success using.
    NETGEAR-PowerLINE-1000-802-11ac-Gigabit

    As BillBrasky4Cy noted, your router is a few years old already, and wireless tech tends to advance quickly. So a replacement might be advisable as well. For people looking for wider coverage I seldom hear about people having issues with the mesh wifi setups (as long as they are from a solid company)

    Good luck!
     
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  11. ISUKyro

    ISUKyro Well-Known Member

    Oct 28, 2006
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    This. So much THIS! Regardless of age, everyone should be checking to see if their router needs a firmware update.
     
  12. kirk89gt

    kirk89gt Active Member

    Feb 15, 2014
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    I would appreciate your unvarnished opinion of that system as I was looking at it as well for my home.
     
  13. dawgpound

    dawgpound Active Member
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    Jun 18, 2011
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    This is my next purchase. Can't wait to have a mesh system
     
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  14. enisthemenace

    enisthemenace Well-Known Member

    Dec 5, 2009
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    It does appear to have filled in the dead spots in my house (ie basement and a bedroom that is pretty far from the modem), as I have full bars everywhere (and outside some distance), but I’m not convinced that means anything. I’m not a techie guy, so I don’t know how to tell what my speeds are, but I do seem to have a reliable connection now in spots I didn’t before. I wasn’t expecting faster speeds (as that’s not the intent of a mesh system), but I do feel like it’s a touch slower, now, in previously reliable areas.

    I will say this...the set up was extremely easy.
     
  15. ScottyP

    ScottyP Active Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    I decided to find a replacement DST adapter for about $10 as a band-aid approach. It is cheaper and is more of a powerline device. After things start to get back to normal, I'll look into a potential router upgrade/mesh system. My internet is only 20 Mbps right now but I am getting 40 Mbps next week.
     
  16. DSMCy

    DSMCy Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2013
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    Two sites to check your speed
    https://www.speedtest.net/
    https://fast.com/

    I'm holding out another year or two before I upgrade to mesh. I want to buy a 6g system when they are hopefully more widely available.
     
  17. DSMCy

    DSMCy Well-Known Member

    Feb 1, 2013
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    I think your router is fine as long as you've kept up with firmware upgrades. The AC1900 is solid. You already have 5g bands. I don't think you'd notice much better performance with a new router.

    As others have said, if you do want to upgrade, I'd look at a mesh system for $200-$300.
     
  18. cyclone618

    cyclone618 Member

    Feb 2, 2011
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    In January I replaced my Mediacom modem/router with a Netgear CM1000 modem (Best Buy) and Netgear Orbi (Costco) mesh with 2 satellites and have been very happy with this system.
     
  19. Cyguy1984

    Cyguy1984 New Member

    Aug 1, 2018
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    I had a 4 yr old Nighthawk and due to house size, 2 extenders. Have been having sped issues and blaming ISP. As last resort I bought a mesh network (eero) and wow, what a difference.
    Speed is now up to what is advertised (10x what I was getting before) and is a consistent speed.
    I wouldn’t waste $’s on extenders. Just invest in the mesh.
     
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