A Wi-Fi router enables multiple devices to connect to the internet and share a single broadband connection, whilst providing security and network management functions. For a smaller home a single Wi-Fi router may provide satisfactory coverage.
Note: Discuss your router requirements with your provider, as they generally support the routers they provide or recommend.
802.11.ac – Wi-Fi 5, or 802.11.ax – Wi-Fi 6?
AC in the router name indicates Wi-Fi 5 and AX, Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6 is the latest and current Wi-Fi standard and Wi-Fi 5 devices are increasing unavailable.
AX3000 indicates a device with 3,000Mbps of theoretical bandwidth. The greater the number, the greater the capacity of the router to connect many clients at good speed; however, do consider that your actual internet connection capacity may only be 50Mbps or less depending on your internet connection. You’ll need Wi-Fi 6 devices, tablets, laptops and smart phones to benefit from the additional efficiency, however Wi-Fi 6 routers will work with Wi-Fi 5 devices and earlier Wi-Fi releases. The more powerful the router the greater the cost, the greater the speed, number of active clients and system capacity. The trick is finding the happy medium for your situation at a reasonable cost.
Our recommended routers support a future Mesh network
A mesh network or system provides for additional routers or mesh extenders that creates coverage to rooms where the Wi-Fi signal is weak.
Recommended mid-range AX3000 Wi-Fi 6 routers with this capability are the ASUS RT-AX58U, at around $300 and the TP-Link Archer AX55, at less than $200.
ASUS RT-AX58U – Dual Band AX3000 Wi-Fi 6
This 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 3,000Mbps theoretical bandwidth router provides excellent capacity and coverage for a large home. Two ASUS RT-AX58U will extend coverage using the proprietary Asus AiMesh feature. A very useful feature of most Asus routers is Traffic Analyser – Statistics, which details the 24-hour usage of every connected client.
It identifies the amount and time of high usage clients and will greatly assist in maintaining traffic usage within quota.
TP-Link Archer AX55 – AX3000 Dual Band Gigabit Wi-Fi 6 Router
This 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) 3,000 Mbps theoretical bandwidth beamforming router provides excellent capacity and coverage for a large home. Extend coverage with TP-Link proprietary OneMesh and additional TP-Link mesh extenders. https://www.tp-link.com/au/onemesh/product-list/
Recommended Router Features
- Both routers provide mesh capability if you buy an additional AiMesh router (Asus), or OneMesh extender (TP-Link). A ‘mesh network’ will extend your wi-fi coverage. A maximum of five Asus AiMesh routers is recommended. For TP-Link, that’s the router plus four mesh extenders. The TP-Link hard limit is a total of eight devices.
- Both Asus and TP-Link provide a smart phone router App for easy management.
- Wi-Fi 6 is backwards compatible. It requires Wi-Fi 6 compatible devices to realise the Wi-Fi 6 efficiency advantage.
- Please buy local if possible.
- If you have had your (most likely old and slow) router since you had Sky Muster installed; it’s probably time for a change
*Please note, while all care has been taken in compiling BIRRR documents, we recommend that you check with your service provider regarding your own connection issues. Thanks to John Kitchener, Chris Dowling & Tim Stockman for helping us with router advice.