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Seeking Gaming Router expert advice

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Dear all,

I decided to take the plunge and buy a serious router as the one given by my ISP Hyperoptic UK, is a really scarse quality ZTE model.
I don't know which one to get though!

The things that mostly matter to me are:

1)low latency as I play online on ps4 and PC
2)Fast and reliable speeds - no need for it to be the absolute fastest out there but to have acceptable speeds
3)Ideally a WRT router that gets updated regularly by the community (even though I am not a WRT expert)
4)I live in an apartment that isn't massive so I don't need something with ultra strong range

Models I was considering are
1)Linksys WRT32X (105GBP) - I hear though that the official firmware hasn't been updated in quite some time. I was wondering if DD-WRT solves issues and added features over time
2)asus rt-ac86u (160GBP)

Based on the above preferences and the prices...which one would you recommend and why? And if neither of these two, then which one? I'd like to ideally stay at around 150gbp and not break the bank

I look forward to your advice! Many thanks
 
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How far are your PC and PS4 from each other and the router? How many signals do you receive in your apartment complex? What other wifi clients do you have?
 
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I have #2 and love it. My web is 400/20 or something like that. Several Wi-Fi devices attached at once and doesn't flinch.
Thanks, have you ever tinkered with DD-WRT firmware, or you left all stock? What do you game on? What improvements did you notice from your previous kit?

How far are your PC and PS4 from each other and the router? How many signals do you receive in your apartment complex? What other wifi clients do you have?
Ehm, PC is in one room, maybe 4-5 straight line meters from router that has to be placed in a storage room (2 walls between them). PS4 is about 10-12 straight line meters away in living room - 3 walls between them. I've no idea how many signals are in my apartment complex, but I guess quite a few. Other wifi clients you mean other devices? couple of smartphones, couple of smart tvs, an ipad and occasionally a couple of laptops. Very seldom we'd have all connected at the same time. Most of the time it would be 2 phones, 1 tv, 1 ps4 , 1 pc. Can't move the router anywhere else therefore ethernet cables not an option.
 
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Gaming router is just an expensive marketing term and while I personally prefer Netgear and Asus routers I would not spend the extra money to get the AC86U (great as is) over the Linkys.

That said, if latency is an issue then I would hardwire as much as you can. Use powerline adapters and switches (or old routers) to hardwire anything that is stationery. Any decent 1200ac router can handle ipads, smartphones, and a laptop.

This article may help you out
 
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Thanks. I have powerlines however there is huge loss of speed when compared to even the scarse 5ghz wifi ZTE and latency wise there is no difference! However the ZTE can't handle streaming games over steam link, or streaming ultra high def movies without stuttering at regular intervals. So the Linksys you think, that I found at a good price point would give me more or less as much as the more expensive asus one?
 
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However the ZTE can't handle streaming games over steam link, or streaming ultra high def movies without stuttering at regular intervals.
So this is your issue. You have several walls in the way of the router that will hinder your 5ghz signal. Are there any other routers in the complex using the same channel number as your 5ghz signal? Have you tried 2.4ghz? The speed is slower but the signal travels through obstacles like walls better.

 
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So this is your issue. You have several walls in the way of the router that will hinder your 5ghz signal. Are there any other routers in the complex using the same channel number as your 5ghz signal? Have you tried 2.4ghz? The speed is slower but the signal travels through obstacles like walls better.

Thanks for the tip. Not much difference in signal strength between 2.4 and 5...And unfortunately if I wish to use steam link it can only work over 5ghz as 2.4 is not fast enough. I also did a test to use powerlines for steam link as well as uhd streaming and even in that case I got the same stuttering, it feels as if the router doesn't have enough cache and at regular intervals stutters , then recovers for a few minutes and then repeats. I really think that piece of kit is trash!
 
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I also did a test to use powerlines for steam link as well as uhd streaming and even in that case I got the same stuttering, it feels as if the router doesn't have enough cache and at regular intervals stutters , then recovers for a few minutes and then repeats. I really think that piece of kit is trash!
I'm sure the ZTE model is trash but if your smart-tv is using a cheap 1x1 antenna it's probably not helping itself either. Like I said before, if possible I would look into moving the router closer to the stationary clients. If that's not possible something like a broadcomm based router, Asus AC66U B1, AC68U or Netgear Nighthawk R6700 V3 (avoid V2) or better. Just make sure you can return the router if the issue is not solved as you may want to look into a mesh system as an alternative. You can then hardwire stationary clients to the mesh nodes.

Both routers you mention will do the job (as the routers I mentioned above) but are overkill for your needs.
 
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At this point I would just get a long ethernet cable and hard wire your PC and PS4 or setup the external wireless router somewhere open space and use your broadband hub as a dedicated broadband and not as wireless router and connect ethernet cable to the external wireless router.
Pretty much how I have setup in my parents house, we have 3 external wireless routers all connected to the Virgin media hub.
 
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At this point I would just get a long ethernet cable and hard wire your PC and PS4 or setup the external wireless router somewhere open space and use your broadband hub as a dedicated broadband and not as wireless router and connect ethernet cable to the external wireless router.
Pretty much how I have setup in my parents house, we have 3 external wireless routers all connected to the Virgin media hub.
You used the hub as a switch and created APs and bridges with your other routers using an Ethernet backhaul? This would be the ideal set up but I think most apartments won't let you run Ethernet through the wall.

I have our modem & router in the family room with a roku hardwired to it along with a powerline adapter. A second adapter sits in my master bedroom with an old router set up as an AP and another hardwired roku.
 
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+2 is good, setup is a breeze and performance is good. You would have to plug it into your ISP modem but it automatically connects and you will have Wireless networks available from the router. With that you could even dedicate your PC to the 5GHZ band and your PS4 to the 2.4 GHZ band.
 
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+2 is good, setup is a breeze and performance is good. You would have to plug it into your ISP modem but it automatically connects and you will have Wireless networks available from the router. With that you could even dedicate your PC to the 5GHZ band and your PS4 to the 2.4 GHZ band.
Can't I get rid the ISP ZTE box altogether? I thought these routers can do the whole thing if setup with the correct settings, without the need for the ZTE. Was I wrong?

At this point I would just get a long ethernet cable and hard wire your PC and PS4 or setup the external wireless router somewhere open space and use your broadband hub as a dedicated broadband and not as wireless router and connect ethernet cable to the external wireless router.
Pretty much how I have setup in my parents house, we have 3 external wireless routers all connected to the Virgin media hub.
Thanks but as I mentioned above, not an option to use cables
 
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Can't I get rid the ISP ZTE box altogether? I thought these routers can do the whole thing if setup with the correct settings, without the need for the ZTE. Was I wrong?
That depends. Typically an ISP's router is a modem/router combo. If so, then you need to get your own modem and connect the router to it.

You should contact your ISP and ask if you do not know.
 
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I'm sure the ZTE model is trash but if your smart-tv is using a cheap 1x1 antenna it's probably not helping itself either. Like I said before, if possible I would look into moving the router closer to the stationary clients. If that's not possible something like a broadcomm based router, Asus AC66U B1, AC68U or Netgear Nighthawk R6700 V3 (avoid V2) or better. Just make sure you can return the router if the issue is not solved as you may want to look into a mesh system as an alternative. You can then hardwire stationary clients to the mesh nodes.

Both routers you mention will do the job (as the routers I mentioned above) but are overkill for your needs.
I don't think it's the smart TV in the example I mentioned as I have it hardwired with powerline and not over wifi...same issue.

That depends. Typically an ISP's router is a modem/router combo. If so, then you need to get your own modem and connect the router to it.

You should contact your ISP and ask if you do not know.
The one I have now is the HN298A ZTE, If I understand correctly from the net, it's just a router, not modem/router combo.....I think that if I don't care about their phone line service (which I don't) I can completely get rid of their own box and use a different one as long as it supports /31 (255.255.255.254) subnet mask on its WAN port ( https://www.hyperoptic.com/faq/posts/connecting-a-non-hyperoptic-router/ )

Any idea how I confirm whether a specific model supports the above?
 
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What ISP speeds are you paying for?
 
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4 ethernet in the back.. Plus 1 which is for isp
Just get the Asus and plug it into one of those ports.
 
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Just get the Asus and plug it into one of those ports.
I'd rather go directly connection to isp and get rid of the zte. I think it's possible
 
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Then you either need a router with a modem, or a separate modem with a separate router.

Do you plug a coaxial cable in anywhere? I am not sure how you have Ethernet without a modem. Typically it is coax into a modem which sends out Ethernet to the router.
 
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Then you either need a router with a modem, or a separate modem with a separate router.

Do you plug a coaxial cable in anywhere? I am not sure how you have Ethernet without a modem. Typically it is coax into a modem which sends out Ethernet to the router.
I'm not sure, however i have the actual fibre all the way to my flat.. Then an ethernet output socket on the wall that takes the isp signal and gives to the zte, which in its turn shares with all my devices. There is no coaxial
If i went with option 1,which is 60gbp cheaper, do you think I would get the same results as asus for my needs? Is there any reason to prefer the asus?
 
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Ahh..ok.. if that is the case, then yes, a router will be just fine.

I don't think you'd notice the difference between the two.. except maybe in Wi-Fi speeds.
 
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