Router Advice?

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Router Advice?

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Hi All,

So I know this isn't exactly on topic for this forum, but I've come to respect the advice given here.

I've just moved to a new property and signed up with a new ISP. After initial testing, the ISP provided router is put back in it's box. So I'm back to my previous router, an old Netgear Orbi mesh router with 1 satellite. This isn't really cutting it anymore though, so I'm after advice on what a suitable replacement could be?

I need....

  • Something that can cover a pretty large area. 1 router and 2 satellites etc.
  • The ability to turn off 5ghz and 2.4ghz radios when needed.
  • Be able to create a subnet for IOT devices. Currently I'm using the guest network but this isn't working that great on current router.
  • WiFi 6.
  • And any other useful features I've either forgotten to list or don't even know I need.
I was thinking of just adding a Devolo magic 2 WiFi 6 pack to my existing router but the issues I'm having trying to separate all IOT devices onto their own network has motivated me to change the router.

Can anyone suggest anything suitable?

Thanks 👍
 
If separating router from access point functionality is an option, I recommend checking the EdgeRouter family by Ubiquity. You’ll have to find some access point devices for WiFi (I’d leave it to someone else to recommend as I’m not big on WiFi).

Watch a few YouTube videos to understand how complex (or easy) the EdgeRouters are.
 
At the risk of being labelled a fanboy ('boy' hah!), SRM 1.3 is roadmapped for the new RT6600ax in Q1 '22 and to be rolled out for current RT2600ac and MR2200ac in Q2. You might as well add it to you list of things to look at.

I'm assuming Q1 and Q2 refer to calendar year, so Q1 ends 31st March. But I have suppliers confusingly use their financial year, so if financial year day 1 is 1st July then Q1 '22 was ending 31st Oct 2021. Seeing how DSM slipped... I'm not betting what Synology meant :D

Personally I've been very pleased with the RT2600ac + meshed MR2200ac, but you always will find posts with problems.

The press-release:
SRM 1.3 and the Wi-Fi 6 Synology RT6600ax router introduces a faster networking and greatly expanded network management capabilities. SRM 1.3 ships with full VLAN support through an intuitive interface that anyone can use to partition and separate their devices, including IoT sensors and other potentially insecure gadgets.

The flagship RT6600ax tri-band router is one of the first to support the expanded 5.9GHz spectrum, delivering much more room and uninterrupted operation for 160MHz devices. The 2.5GbE port ensures support for faster uplinks and internet connectivity.

A redesigned DS router app brings nearly all of the management capabilities of SRM into the smartphone. Creating new wireless networks, configuring parental control or web filtering, setting traffic control schemes, and more, are now just a few taps away.

As far as we can tell the RT6600ax will have one 2.5GbE port, so not that great for WAN <-> LAN. No info on price. And I would be surprised if mesh with current devices will be immediately available as it usually wants all mesh members to be on the same version of SRM.

In any WiFi setup the range will be best if you use 2.4GHz. Actually I was listening to a BBC podcast today that did a good job of discussing WiFi:

SRM 1.2 ....
  • The built-in Threat Prevention works and is subscription-free. It would be better if event filtering was better and events could be exported for processing.
  • The firewall does the normal stateful things, a bit old hat but at least you can have rules for controlling both external and internal initiated connections: I wish it supported defining rules using disconnected groups of IP addresses.
  • VPN servers include OpenVPN, LT2P IPsec, plus SSL-VPN
  • Can wire backhaul mesh devices for faster connections.

If you have time to wait then this may be something to consider?
 
Last edited:
Be able to create a subnet for IOT devices.
Did you actually mean a VLAN for IoT devices? If so, then you'll need to move from "consumer" to more "prosumer" routers, like (as noted above) Ubiquiti EdgeRouters, the Unifi Dream Machine line, I think Peplink has VLAN capable routers, and other similar, etc. Setting up a VLAN is a step up from basic consumer router configuration so you'll want to look into the difficultly level before diving into your purchase. :)

I went from consumer (years of Dlink, TP Link, Netgear, Orbi, Eero, etc.) routers to an EdgeRouter w/VLANs a couple years ago. It required me to climb a pretty good sized learning curve to get the VLANs set up and running. :) Glad I did it (wanted IoT separation on my network) but it was not a simple hardware change like previous changes from one consumer router to another.

If you don't want to go to VLANs than using a guest network for your IoT devices on a consumer router can be a decent alternative.
 
Do you have existing network wiring throughout the home? Do you have decent attic and or crawl space/unfinished basement access? Roughly how many devices at any given time are accessing the network? Do you need network attached storage? Sorry for all the questions but there isn't too many one-all answers when it comes to networking.
 
Last edited:
If separating router from access point functionality is an option, I recommend checking the EdgeRouter family by Ubiquity. You’ll have to find some access point devices for WiFi (I’d leave it to someone else to recommend as I’m not big on WiFi).

Watch a few YouTube videos to understand how complex (or easy) the EdgeRouters are.
They sound great, but yeah, I'll need to work out the Wi-Fi side of things before I go for something like this.

Thanks.
-- post merged: --

asus AXE11000
Crikey, that's a beast! Might be something to consider as it ticks a lot of boxes. Thanks for the recommendation.
-- post merged: --

At the risk of being labelled a fanboy ('boy' hah!), SRM 1.3 is roadmapped for the new RT6600ax in Q1 '22 and to be rolled out for current RT2600ac and MR2200ac in Q2. You might as well add it to you list of things to look at.

I'm assuming Q1 and Q2 refer to calendar year, so Q1 ends 31st March. But I have suppliers confusingly use their financial year, so if financial year day 1 is 1st July then Q1 '22 was ending 31st Oct 2021. Seeing how DSM slipped... I'm not betting what Synology meant :D

Personally I've been very pleased with the RT2600ac + meshed MR2200ac, but you always will find posts with problems.

The press-release:


As far as we can tell the RT6600ax will have one 2.5GbE port, so not that great for WAN <-> LAN. No info on price. And I would be surprised if mesh with current devices will be immediately available as it usually wants all mesh members to be on the same version of SRM.

In any WiFi setup the range will be best if you use 2.4GHz. Actually I was listening to a BBC podcast today that did a good job of discussing WiFi:

SRM 1.2 ....
  • The built-in Threat Prevention works and is subscription-free. It would be better if event filtering was better and events could be exported for processing.
  • The firewall does the normal stateful things, a bit old hat but at least you can have rules for controlling both external and internal initiated connections: I wish it supported defining rules using disconnected groups of IP addresses.
  • VPN servers include OpenVPN, LT2P IPsec, plus SSL-VPN
  • Can wire backhaul mesh devices for faster connections.

If you have time to wait then this may be something to consider?
Hey @fredbert,

This was something I'd seen in another post and was considering. Definitely needs more investigating and time is something I don't have much of at the moment, so the update may be out before I can decide on something.

Cheers.

Yeah I was considering something like this
 
Did you actually mean a VLAN for IoT devices? If so, then you'll need to move from "consumer" to more "prosumer" routers, like (as noted above) Ubiquiti EdgeRouters, the Unifi Dream Machine line, I think Peplink has VLAN capable routers, and other similar, etc. Setting up a VLAN is a step up from basic consumer router configuration so you'll want to look into the difficultly level before diving into your purchase. :)

I went from consumer (years of Dlink, TP Link, Netgear, Orbi, Eero, etc.) routers to an EdgeRouter w/VLANs a couple years ago. It required me to climb a pretty good sized learning curve to get the VLANs set up and running. :) Glad I did it (wanted IoT separation on my network) but it was not a simple hardware change like previous changes from one consumer router to another.

If you don't want to go to VLANs than using a guest network for your IoT devices on a consumer router can be a decent alternative.
Hi @Danabw,

Yeah a VLAN would be an option, I'm currently using a guest network, but it's not really how I want to do it. On my current router to get all the IOT devices to work I have a check box that I believe equates to 'acess point isolation'. It says "allow devices to talk to each other and to access my network'. I have to have this checked for the devices to connect, but It doesn't seem right to me. There's not much point segregating IOT devices if they then have access to my network. I'm hoping this only means sharing the internet connection but I'm not sure. I guess I could just have a seperate LAN with it's own router but due to limitations I don't want to use the Orbi so that would entail buying another router. I feel like there's a better way to accomplish what I want to do.

I'm happy to take on some learning, it'll probably fit in with the Udemy networking course I've recently started.

thanks for your your help (y)
 
Do you have existing network wiring throughout the home? Do you have decent attic and or crawl space/unfinished basement access? Roughly how many devices at any given time are accessing the network? Do you need network attached storage? Sorry for all the questions but there isn't too many one-all answers when it comes to networking.
Hey @bender,

No existing wiring.
Haven't even looked in the attic's but would think they are OK.
I would answer no to crawl space and basement.

I have a DS920+ that requires Ethernet, everything else can be or is solely wireless.

When testing the ISP router It was telling me I was getting full speeds (~950mbps down), with my current 'old' Orbi, I'm getting ~450mbps down (Both speeds tested from within the router). Not sure if this is my ISP lying or whether the older router can't accommodate these speeds. Not sure if that's due to the WAN port on the router or what?

So, what I'd like to achieve with an upgrade is:

To get as fast as possible upload and download speeds to the NAS that will connect directly to the router.
Good Wi-Fi speeds (Wi-Fi 6?) for my laptop and phones etc.
To isolate all our IOT devices (lots of them) for security purposes.
Because of the layout of our home, I'll need some sort of mesh network. I was considering adding Devolo Magic Wi-Fi 6 power line adapters to my existing configuration, but as I need to upgrade my older router I'm looking at other options.

Thank you for any thoughts you have.
 
On my current router to get all the IOT devices to work I have a check box that I believe equates to 'acess point isolation'. It says "allow devices to talk to each other and to access my network'. I have to have this checked for the devices to connect, but It doesn't seem right to me.
Access point isolation should not enable "everything to talk to everything" ... here's a generic definition:

The AP Isolation is a feature of wireless routers that enables you to create a separate virtual network for each wireless client that is connected to a network name or SSID. When this feature is enabled, all wireless devices in the network will not be able to communicate with each other, preventing unwanted hacking.

From below sounds like you're going to have lots of networking adventures. If you do go down the VLAN rabbit hole, then the UDM (Unifi Dream Machine) has a built in wi-fi AP, so depending on your house size/layout and where you could locate the UDM, you might be able to get started w/just one device.
I'm happy to take on some learning, it'll probably fit in with the Udemy networking course I've recently started.
 
Thanks for everyone's help with this. I couldn't find an affordable solution that ticked all my boxes, so I've decided to wait a bit.

In the meantime I've sort-of accomplished what I wanted by using the new ISP's router with wireless turned off and connecting my Orbi mesh router to it in access point mode. This way I can make use of the full download speeds and can still use the guest network for my IOT devices. It's not perfect, but it'll do for now!

I really appreciate all the advice given (y)
 
That's a reasonable approach...somewhat similarly, I ran two networks (one on Orbi, one on Eero) for a while as my solution to separating devices.

As supply chain problems settle down (they will, right?!?!) HW will continue to get cheaper over time and you'll find something that matches your price point/performance needs.
 

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