I'm considering replacing my good old WNDR3700v2 with a newer WiFi router. I'm particularly interested in models that support 802.11ac since more and more devices in our house are capable of 5GHz and 802.11ac.
I've read numerous articles about MU-MIMO and tri-band routers. I see lots of devices capable on this forum that run LEDE pretty good that have MU-MIMO support. From what I've read, MU-MIMO is still a nice thing for the future. I currently don't have any client devices that support it and won't be replacing most of my client devices for the coming 3 to 4 years. Most of it is Apple stuff (supposed to be unlikely to support MU-MIMO).
I haven't found much topics on this forum or on the Internet about experience with tri-band WiFi-routers and how they perform in real life with LEDE?
I'm currently interested in Asus RT-AC3200, TP-Link Archer C3200, Linksys WRT3200ACM or Netgear R8000 Nighthawk X6 if a tri-band router would actually perform much better in the long run and if it's supported with LEDE to use those three bands. From what I understand, the stock firmware on tri-band routers will move faster 5GHz devices to one radio and slower 5GHz devices on the other radio. Is LEDE also capable of doing this or is that a feature embedded in the hardware/SoC or in firmware?
Hmm, I keep searching and reading, but doesn't it boil down to how much "open source" a device can be? Is tri-band (XStream) a Broadcom development? I believe the Qualcomm Atheros platform is more open source than Broadcom's products?
If so, I guess that answers my question if a tri-band based router is a fitting choice for me. I'd prefer to run LEDE over the best specced hardware.
Then I'd have to choose between Netgear R7800, TP-Link Archer C2600, ZyXEL NBG6817 Armor Z2 or Linksys EA8500. From what I've found with stock firmware, these products are a good choice. Some perform better on 5GHz than on 2.4GHz. Some the other way around and some are solid performers on both bands. This can only improve with LEDE?
In that case, it probably makes more sense to stick to a low/mid-end model for now without tri-band and/or MU-MIMO and upgrade to a new low/mid-range model in 3-4 years. Overall, you'll spend just as much (maybe even less) money than buying a very high-end device now.
But the upside is that the low/mid-range models in 3-4 years time will probably be even faster and have even more features than the high-end models from now. Trying to future proof for a future scenario 3-4 years down the road just doesn't make much sense in the tech world.
I agree, when I purchased my WNDR3700v2 the industry was drafting the 802.11n spec, they we’re all on the same page about that. Now with MU-MIMO or tri-band manufacturers seem to mix and match both technologies in their overall product line up. So I guess a low to mid range species model would fit the bill just fine for the upcoming years.
And on the other hand, the current ac2600 models with MU-MIMO on board most have dual core cpus and around 512MB RAM and 128MB of flash memory, enough for the coming years.
What leaves me in doubt is that most recent MU-MIMO models (in the ac2600 group) seem to perform beter on both bands than 802.11ac models without any fancy stuff like MU-MIMO or tri-band, even through walls or floors. I haven’t been able to figure out if that is purely based on hardware, stock firmware or a optimal combination of both. I’d like to add that I’m basing that thought on reviews with stock firmware.
If only those sites that do reviews would pick similar hardware, load LEDE and then do a review, that would be awesome, for me