Router Dying – Need Advice (WiFi 6 vs AC, SQM, and more)
Hi, we have a Netgear X8 R8500 AC5300 router. It’s a little over 3.5 years old & showing signs of struggling. I was previously thinking of waiting till fall & trying to invest in a Wi-Fi 6 (AX) router by the final specs of the new technology was supposed to be ratified by then but now they say it won’t be ratified until sometime in 2020. Having said that we have a fairly higher spec’d router & I don’t really want to go backwards to something slower & I don’t this ours will last. I also think that I may see benefits from a router with SQM (or similar) as my current internet service has a lopsided up/down ratio (250/10). I hope to switch to a symmetrical gigabit but in the event that doesn’t work out, I think I need the SQM for bufferbloat. I did multiple test on DSLReports and got “D”s on the bufferbloat section.
What would you do? Would you look for a deal on a $150-200 router that you’d plan on using in 2 years? Would you take the risk on a WiFi 6 router now? I saw that Costco has a number of sales on routers that are possibilities – the TP-Link Archer C4000 is at $135, the Netgear X6S is $149, and their WiFi 6 AX8 is $220 (though not universally good reviews). I’m also intrigued w/ routers like the Asus AC88U (until the AX version will for sure have the final WF6 specs) because of the Asus-WRT interface & features (which should also give SQM), though it’s a dual not tri-band router. I’m trying to compare specs w/ what we have now and the processors are faster/powerful/more cores but the stated speed of the bands is slower. I don’t know how this works out in real world usage.
Here are some specific questions:
What routers would you be looking at, at this point? The $220 AX8? Asus or TP-Link WiFi 6 or AC? Others?
Are current AC routers going to perform faster or slower than what I have (given that processor is better in the new ones but the stated speed capabilities are lower)? Our X8 is AC5300, others are AC3200, 4000, etc.
Does having 3 bands really help w/speeds & stability w/a lot of devices connected spreading them across two 5ghz bands as compared to having just a 2.4ghz & 5ghz dual band in real world usage?
Will a WiFi 6 router have any benefits now (w/o WiFi6 clients)? I’ve read of people seeing improvements in their signal/speed of their AC devices on the new routers.
I’m wondering abt Ubiquiti hardwear & the future of their platform. I think it has SCM but speeds are slower than other routers & I’ve seen mixed reviews.
Thx in advance!