• Welcome to Overclockers Forums! Join us to reply in threads, receive reduced ads, and to customize your site experience!

What to look at when picking a powerfull Router

Overclockers is supported by our readers. When you click a link to make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

c627627

c(n*199780) Senior Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2002
• If you have a dozen Chromecast devices, and a dozen wifi power outlets, and half a dozen laptops and desktops, etc etc. In other words, if handling the sheer number of devices is the goal, then what specific feature on an example router like the Costco AC3600 compares it to others? How can you tell which router can handle more devices?

8504551.attach.jpg

https://www.netgear.com/home/products/networking/wifi-routers/R7960P.aspx


• Similarly, if you are looking at range, not download speeds, what feature tells you that, are there web sites that do shootout comparison measurements, all things being equal?

• Finally if you are looking at the speed of file transfers between in house devices, what do you look at to tell which router is faster for in house between-device transfers [not internet downloads]?
 

ssjwizard

Has slightly less legible writing than Thideras
Joined
Mar 12, 2002
I cant give you the perfect answer for this but a bit of input at least.
For range the key is going to be antenna strength. This is going to be rated in Db. More Db means the antenna has a higher signal output and can pick up weaker signals.
As far as local transfer speeds thats got a few variables. If you have network QOS features on this can affect transfer speeds as it prioritizes external network traffic for lower latency. And with any type of transfer the connection speed of the slowest deice is the speed limit. What you want is to find something with the highest throuput rating in MB/sec I think that 600-700 is about the highest Ive seen on WiFi 5(AC)
 

Railgun

Member
Joined
May 7, 2011
I cant give you the perfect answer for this but a bit of input at least.
For range the key is going to be antenna strength. This is going to be rated in Db. More Db means the antenna has a higher signal output and can pick up weaker signals.
As far as local transfer speeds thats got a few variables. If you have network QOS features on this can affect transfer speeds as it prioritizes external network traffic for lower latency. And with any type of transfer the connection speed of the slowest deice is the speed limit. What you want is to find something with the highest throuput rating in MB/sec I think that 600-700 is about the highest Ive seen on WiFi 5(AC)

Put simply, a higher gain antenna (in dBi) and the associated EIRP on the router will not have any affect on signal reception it sees of clients. It doesn't matter how strong your output is on any access point as if the remote device can get the signal, but its return signal is crap, it's all moot. Clients will generally have weaker radios than APs/wifi routers.

It will all depend on your house. For example, I have 42 wireless devices, 73 clients in total. My house is designed in such a way that I currently have three indoor APs, two outdoor APs, and one in the garage. Because there is no easy centrally located placement I can put an AP that works for me, nor would it effectively cover everywhere, I have peppered a couple around, but they're all wired, and centrally managed (UniFi setup).

The fewer APs you have, the more congested your local wifi network will be as you need to split up airtime to each client at any given time. Multiple APs does make it more complicated, but more performant as you have different channels to ease that airtime congestion.

Smallnetbuilder does some good testing with these kinds of devices.

As far as the router is concerned, it's all about the clients. For example, if you get a 4x4 MU-MIMO radio, but all your clients only have single antennas on 2.4GHz, then your clients transfer performance will be pretty low, though the AP will be more performant overall.

HTH