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Holiday Options (Networking) 2023

by | Dec 4, 2023 | 0 comments

Back to the network grind.  But why is it so important that we offer it again?  Simple.  Sometimes you’re using an ISP router and… it just doesn’t measure up.  That and sometimes, the extra cost you have to pay could be better back in your pocket.  Sure, it could be $10-$20 extra a month, but that translates to $120 – $240 per year.  That could have been something else you could obtain or at least towards that something else.

We will go for various situations here and not just the home so do not take this as primarily Home or Business.  This is really based on the situation.

These are amazon affiliate links and we are not sponsored in any way.

Traveling

Sometimes, it is just straight up better to have your own wireless gear that you can trust with your special devices to make sure you aren’t snooped.

Beryl AX (GL-MT3000)

Beryl AX (GL-MT3000)

Earlier this year, we reviewed this router and how surprisingly good it is.  Since the review, we have used it in a number of situations and only found it fail in one very specific instance, but its an instance that there is no way you would expect to encounter this.  A hotel so old with the network that we had to check what the network found and it was only blipping 2.4 GHz and could only really read Wireless N signals.  To get even better idea, a Nintendo Switch couldn’t even connect to the hotel wifi.  The chances in our opinion of encountering such an old tech seems low, and the backup to run it was still fine which was to have it get internet from a phone to relay to the devices and hey, it worked!

Honestly, with the review, we’ll let you see the information without going any further, but if you travel quite a bit and have a few devices with you that you’d like taken care of, may want to consider this little one.  It is quite a powerhouse for something so small.  I’d also dare say if you had a work or mobile home vehicle that you frequent, since you don’t have many devices, this could be a great alternative for a router.  Normally $119.90 and sales are often very good.

 

Brand GL.iNET
Model Beryl AX GL-MT3000
CPU MT7981B Dual-core Processor @1.3GHz
Memory DDR4 – 512 MB
Storage NAND Flash 256 MB
Power Input USB Type-C 5V/3A, best rated for at least 10W capability
WiFi Tech Up to WiFi 6, AX
Notable Features:
  • USB 3.0 port
    • Can use for Network Storage
    • Can use for Tethering
    • Can use for USB Modem
  • 2.5G WAN Port
  • AdGuard Home
  • OpenWRT OS Preinstalled
  • External VPN Toggle
  • VPN & Wireguard to all connected devices
  • Easy Encrypted DNS setup
  • Guest Network capable

Stationary

Now when you’re home, you can’t go wrong with these options.  In some instances, as a starter networking equipment, its not bad for a few early day businesses.

ASUS RX-AX82U

ASUS RX-AX82U

Don’t let the near Sci-Fi color front make you think this is just a gaming router.  It is stylized for gaming, but it is a powerful router for the cost.  Normally $229.99, once you have it going, you’d find it is a very adaptable router.  Now there is an interesting trick that we will add on later, but while you could attach another ASUS router as an extender when needed, you can get a repeater for less than these routers.  Though, if you decide to upgrade and this keeps up, you could at least use this as a WiFi Extender.

 

Brand ASUS
Model RT-AX82U (AX5400)
CPU
1.5 GHz tri-core processor
Memory 256 MB Flash, 512 MB RAM
Storage NAND Flash 256 MB
Power Supply AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC Output : 19 V with max. 1.75 A current
WiFi Tech 802.11a : up to 54 Mbps
802.11b : up to 11 Mbps
802.11g : up to 54 Mbps
WiFi 4 (802.11n) : up to 300 Mbps
WiFi 5 (802.11ac) (1024QAM) : up to 4333 Mbps
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps
Notable Features:
  • Game Boost / Acceleration, Mobile Game Mode, Gear Accelerator
  • AiProtection, WPA3-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise , WPA2-Enterprise , WPS support, WPS
  • ASUS AiMesh support
  • Commercial-grade home network security
ASUS RT-AX88U Pro

ASUS RT-AX88U Pro

There was a recommend previously for an AX88U, but that has basically been upgraded to this.  It’s a bit more on the overkill, but the deal cannot be argued for what you can get.  This comes in at $299.99 and we have seen the sales already dropped as much as 25% off.  This is why its on the list instead of the AX86U Pro as the sales seem negligible between the 2, so go with the better of the two.  Also, it has 2.5 Gigabit WAN ports.  Why mention that? Some places have the means for 2 gigabit connections or higher.  If the router can’t handle more than a gigabit, then you are doing a disservice to yourself trying for more speed without the proper equipment.

We won’t recommend a Netgear this time as its mostly from what we’ve seen, it either works, or it doesn’t work that well after a certain update.  Its happened too often making us question the encouragement of purchasing a Netgear in confidence of us as we don’t like to ride people along.

 

Brand ASUS
Model
RT-AX88U Pro
CPU
2.0 GHz quad-core processor
Memory DDR4 – 512 MB
Storage
256 MB Flash, 1 GB RAM
Power Supply AC Input : 110V~240V(50~60Hz)
DC Output : 19 V with max. 2.37 A current or 19.5 V with max. 2.31 A current
WiFi Tech WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (2.4GHz) : up to 1148 Mbps
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 4804 Mbps
Notable Features:
  • QoS, Access Point Mode, WPS
  • 2.5G WAN Port
  • Accesspoint, AiMeshnode, Mediabridge, Repeater, Router
  • AiProtection Pro
  • AiMesh-compatible router
  • Game Boost / Acceleration

Extender

There is only 1 we are going to really recommend, and they work best with the above routers…

ASUS RP-AX58

ASUS RP-AX58

This is going to sound strange especially if you look at the reviews, but the RP-AX58 is such a great extender, but it will only work right when used with the ASUS Routers.  While it can work on its own, it seems hit or miss on providing great performance.  But when used with the ASUS Routers, they basically perform magic in performance.  Once this hooks up to your ASUS Router, it makes it super easy to manage your extended WiFi.  Of course, if you want true power, you could hook an ethernet line up to it and it will still perform well.

 

Brand ASUS
Model
RP-AX58
Product Segment
AX3000 ultimate AX performance : 574+2402 Mbps
Data Rate
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (2.4GHz) : up to 574 Mbps
WiFi 6 (802.11ax) (5GHz) : up to 2402 Mbps
Antenna
Internal antenna x 2
 
Power Input USB Type-C 5V/3A, best rated for at least 10W capability
WiFi Tech IEEE 802.11a
IEEE 802.11b
IEEE 802.11g
WiFi 4 (802.11n)
WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
IPv4
IPv6
Notable Features:
  • ASUS Router APP
  • Wi-Fi Encryption : WPA3-Personal, WPA2-Personal, WPA-Personal, WPA-Enterprise , WPA2-Enterprise , WPS support
  • RJ45 for Gigabits BaseT for LAN x 1
  • Internal antenna x 2
  • Transmit/Receive: 2.4GHz 2×2, 5GHz 2×2

Runner Up

TP-Link AC2600 (RE650) Wifi Extender

TP-Link AC2600 (RE650) Wifi Extender

IF we had to push for an extender that may universally work, this one worked surprisingly well, but the cost is quite high.  It is possible that it may work better with TP-Link routers (which had not been tried), for other routers that it had been tested on, it worked.  What was used as an example is connecting some devices that had no wifi onto a switch within proximity of each other, then connected it to the Extender.  The devices didn’t need a lot of speed, but it seemed to still get more than enough data transferred through.  This has been tested with a Netgear and an ASUS router and has worked a full year.  So if you just need enough of an extension of WiFi coverage and wanting to try something, this should do the job.

 

Brand TP-Link
Model AC2600 WiFi Extender(RE650)
Standards and Protocols IEEE802.11ac, IEEE 802.11n, IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b, IEEE 802.11a
Interface 1x 10/100/1000M Ethernet Port (RJ45)
Ports 1 Gigabit Ethernet Port
Button WPS Button, Reset Button, LED Button, Power Button
Input Power 100-240V~50/60Hz
Power Consumption 12W(max power consumption
Antenna 4x external
Frequency 2.4GHz & 5GHz(11ac)
Signal Rate 5GHz:Up to 1733Mbps
2.4GHz:Up to 800Mpbs
Wireless Security
64/128-bit WEP
WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK
Certification
FCC, RoHS
System Requirements Microsoft® Windows® 98SE, NT, 2000, XP, Vista or Windows 7, 8, 10, Mac® OS, NetWare®, UNIX® or Linux.

We wanted to add a small section of “advanced” networking gear, but it turned out that on Amazon, they are mostly 3rd-party sellers and also out of stock for most of the possible equipment, so to avoid spending on “used” if they were available or the high price that they may have been compared to even normal prices, we decided to skip it this year.

That said, if businesses have questions about upgrading their networking to be better, do not hesitate to give us a call as there is more options than these.