Router for a place saturated with other Wi-Fi networks

Asus M50vm-a1 15.4" notebook - core 2 du...
April 6, 2018 at 08:39:59
Specs: Windows 8.1 x64, all updates, Core i7-3610Qm / 6GB
I'm looking for a wireless router with a stable, highly reliable connection in a place heavily saturated with other Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections. One client will be connected through 2,4 GHz 802.11g connection and another one through LAN, while the data rate will be low (max 200 KB/s). There has to be no packet loss and uptime has to be 100 %. I have already tested Linksys WRT54GL in such environment and it crashed within few minutes with occasional packet loss beforehand. On the other hand, Cisco Meraki MX64W worked without a single problem.

Cisco is out of my budget, I am looking more towards ~200 $. Currently I aim for Asus RT-AC68U, Asus RT-AC87U, Linksys WRT3200ACM and Netgear AC1900 (R7000), but I don't really know what is the crucial thing to look for. Which router would you recommend? Thanks for any suggestions.

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April 6, 2018 at 15:33:41
While you await an answer, have you considered the possibility of using a PowerLine adapter rather than the WiFi? They use the domestic power as a transmission medium (one adapter at the router and one at each device). I use them on several devices and they have proved very reliable indeed.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

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April 6, 2018 at 17:25:59
WIFI without a single packet loss is going to be hard to realize.
If the error ratio is low, layer 3 (TCP) should handle the lost packet(s).

Have you tried to use the 5GHz WIFI band? Maybe less congested?

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April 6, 2018 at 21:57:29
If you have a wired router or an old wireless router that you can turn off the Wifi on, then you can use one of these (more than one if for a very large space) enterprise level wireless access points for your Wifi.
[One is the stronger model but required a Power over Ethernet adapter, the other is the light version, slightly less band width, I believe less antennas, but includes POE adapter. Sometimes you can find the first in package as well.]
They can be added to by running a wired line to an adjacent area for additional access points if later needed to extend the range. They are controlled by software you install on one of your hard wired computers and you can easily adopt any additional ones and configure them to match as needed. They are overkill for a small area and even for most larger homes. Four of them are just the right amount of overkill for a 300 foot long retail lighting store where the many electrical runs have made all prior attempts to create a complete Wifi solution nearly impossible. They will also autoselect the best channel(s) for least interference. They use 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz and auto-steer the devices towards connecting with the best frequency for each device, especially devices that have both available. They also use their multiple antennas to shape the signal towards connected devices to keep the best reception even while moving around.
You can mount it on ceiling or high on wall but ceiling is best and the power is transmitted to it over the Ethernet cable so no additional wires need to be run to it.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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April 7, 2018 at 06:24:48
I have already tested Linksys WRT54GL in such environment and it crashed within few minutes with occasional packet loss beforehand.

LOL - I have an old WRT54GL kicking around here somewhere. They're well over a decade old so I wouldn't use one for any reason if you want to run wireless on it.

I agree with Fingers on his choice of equipment and methodology. So happens, I have a Unifi AP-Pro at home here and we use Unifi in my work place so I'm very familiar with their capabilities.

As has been pointed out, "no packet loss" is a pipe dream. Even in a wired network, you're going to have packet loss.......this cannot be avoided in a "contention based network" (yup, go read about that a bit so you have a better understanding what you're dealing with so you don't have unreal expectations) and is exacerbated when using wireless.

If you can't run at 5.0 GHz you're going to run into a lot of interference and no question about it so you're going to have to deal with that. Try to pick a channel with the least number of devices sitting on it and use that.

All in all, 100% uptime is a great idea and can be achieved if you have a lot of money to build in some serious redundancy. If you do not have any redundancy built into your network then all you can hope is your equipment doesn't fail. But, baring a serious hardware issue, decent equipment can, and will run for a long time without failing. My old WRT54GL ran for about a decade before the wireless failed and I had to replace it.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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April 8, 2018 at 09:37:12
"saturated with other Wi-Fi networks"

You can look at all the WiFi networks in your area & see which channels are being used, then choose a different one for your router. Acrylic WiFi Home will find them all:

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