Friday, March 31, 2017

Routers Can Be A Pain

So last year I upgraded to a new router. Got the Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 from Best Buy. The router itself does run good but the 5Ghz band does not cover the entire house. It comes with an extension that you just plug into the wall. That extension sucks. I couldn't fix it, Best Buy couldn't fix it, so they gave me another one. Same issue, so they replaced out the entire router. This one connects but the signal is easily blocked and drops off constantly. Have to literally be in the same room for it to stay green to have good speeds and not drop.  That's not how an extension is suppose to work.

I can also tell that it can't keep up with the speeds needed so streaming videos would go blurry or things would have a hard time loading up. It can be very frustrating.  I'm stuck with the router as it's past the time to return it.

So been looking and about 2 weeks ago I finally bought a new router.  I bought the TP-Link AC3150 router from Amazon. This router was awesome out of the box.  The 5GHz band covered the entire house, kids could tell a difference and everything just worked. Then the next day, the 5GHz band just disappeared. Couldn't see it on the network anymore but the 2.4 GHz was up and running fine. Restarting the router brought it back but then it dropped again. Called TP-Link Tech Support and the simple solution of rebooting is what I get. Considering it took me almost an hour to get through, not the answer I wanted to hear.

I let it go and sure enough, the next evening, the 5GHz band disappeared again. This time I played around with the settings myself to see what I could figure out.  I learned that if you change the name, change the channel or any modifiable setting under the wireless setting and hit save, it would magically reappear on the network.  I tried different channels, researched online but nothing really solves this problem from what I read. Seems to be an issue on more than just one router but slightly different circumstances.

So the next day when it disappeared again (I'll add that it would disappear at least twice a day) I called TP-Link technical support again. Went through everything with them, verifying firmware, checking settings and still no solution to this issue. She took my email and said that she would send it up to be evaluated. I should hear something in two days. I never received anything so I called back on day 3 after the band disappeared again.  Went through the same spill checking everything and found out the person before wrote my email down wrong. This one didn't offer to send it but said they they have tried all they could and she would work with me on getting a new one.  Told her no thanks and I'll just return it to Amazon as I'm not going to deal with a router that does this.

I finally did find one thing online that I almost think is the issue but I'm not doing the solution. The post I found someone figured out that the TP-Link router they hand could only handle 8 devices or less on the 5GHz band. Once it was set to that it would not disappear. I run around 18 wireless devices, so this is not an answer I wanted to see. That is a software issue and was why I packed up the router and shipped it back.

Every router I look at has bad reviews and it's very hard to decide on what to get. You literally are going to take a chance on anything you buy. After digging in I decided to not hold back and I bought the ASUS AC5300 router. The main reason is this router is designed for wireless and it's a powerhouse router.  Better be for the money it costs and I know it use to cost more. I get it tomorrow, so I'll post again on that router once I get it setup and see how it does.