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Wifi range extender or new router?
Old 08-13-2017, 05:20 PM   #1
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Wifi range extender or new router?

I have a 2009 era Apple AirPort Extreme as my wifi router. It generally works fine but there are a couple of corners of the house where it doesn't reach very well. I was thinking of getting a range extender but then I wondered if it really made more sense to get a newer router instead? Would something like the TP-link Archer C7, which is recommended by the Wirecutter website, be a noticeable improvement over my current router and give me some extra range? I'm generally not seeing speed problems with my current router, but I would be happier if the signal reached further.

Thanks
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:29 PM   #2
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I'd say new router, extenders are not really doing good job in my opinion.
You can a bit more pricier option like Eero https://eero.com/ then you will be able to add more devices down the line
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:32 PM   #3
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New router. A 2009 router is ancient.

The Eero is a good option, and there are many similar companies that make the same thing.
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:52 PM   #4
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Neither:

https://www.ubnt.com/unifi/unifi-ap/
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Old 08-13-2017, 05:54 PM   #5
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Go with a new router. We've had two AirPorts die already since 2012. If your home or network required space is really large, check out Orbi. That's what we'll do when our current equipment dies. We've not had very good luck with the range extenders.
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by exnavynuke View Post
I can't tell what it is from the site. Sounds like an extender with IP address translation software that enables lots of client devices to connect?
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Old 08-14-2017, 06:13 AM   #7
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We upgraded our router earlier this year and added a wifi extender. The wifi extender did help but probably only a 20% (a guess) increase in range. I researched routers and purchased one that was rated for longer range.

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Old 08-14-2017, 06:24 AM   #8
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We have the Amplifi mesh system at both our places and it is excellent. I also tested Linksys Velop and Google Wifi and found both to be lacking. Amplifi provides great range and is very stable. Extremely easy to set up and operate.

While you are at it, you should also probably upgrade your modem if it is old.
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Old 08-14-2017, 07:02 AM   #9
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I can't tell what it is from the site. Sounds like an extender with IP address translation software that enables lots of client devices to connect?
It works as a standalone Wifi. I disabled the crappy wifi on my router and put in a Unifi AP unit instead. It covers the entire ~2,200 sqft house and most of the 1/2 acre lot with signal as strong as I got from a normal router wifi about 20ft away. You can leave the existing wifi going or not, it doesn't really matter. Coverage is just a TON better than a standard household integrated wifi router (it's really more of an enterprise level solution, but at a reasonable price). It can set up multiple accounts as well with varying levels of access if you want and a bunch of other features most households won't need/use. For the price, I haven't found anything better yet.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:47 AM   #10
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We have a second router configured as an access point to provide extended wifi coverage.
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Old 08-14-2017, 08:58 AM   #11
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I've moved from an AirPort Extreme/express network linked via homeplug to Orbi mesh and I am simply thrilled. No bad spots and fast everywhere. Worth every penny in my view
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Eero
Old 08-14-2017, 09:07 AM   #12
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Eero

Systems like Eero are a great option if you can get past the cost. They maintain a strong signal at multiple locations and require very little effort to install/maintain (they update themselves, for example). We have had 4 Eeros located around the house for about 1 year and I have not dealt with any internet issues since the install. Using cheaper routers and access points (cheaper on a relative basis) previously was a constant exercise in frustration.
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Old 08-14-2017, 10:36 AM   #13
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Just had a new router installed. Ours was ancient. Four years old. What a difference.

We may well decide to punt this one in two years. Product is getting better and less expensive every day. Our preference is for a few devices as possible.
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Old 08-14-2017, 12:57 PM   #14
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First replace the router.


If still not good enough, get a mesh network like the Linksys Velop.
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:25 PM   #15
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Thanks for the advice. I'll go for a well reviewed $80 router for now and see if that gives me a decent improvement. I'm sure the mesh systems are great but if I can get the performance I need from an $80 router, why spend $350 or more?
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:34 PM   #16
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New router. A 2009 router is ancient.
This.

I haven't kept up like I used to, but if memory serves, there was a significant technological step forward with routers a year or so ago. The info I read at the time was of the opinion that if you were having any issues with your current device, you should just move to the next gen device rather than try to upgrade your current device.
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