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What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: December 17, 2017 08:38PM
My aging D-Link 655 router needs a replacement. It's been ages since I've had to deal with this task and I'm not sure about choices for a (small) home. Got any advice or recommendations? Thank you in advance.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 17, 2017 08:44PM
.....refurb Apple Airport Express..... $49.....



____________________________________________________

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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Speedy
Date: December 17, 2017 09:00PM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
.....refurb Apple Airport Express..... $49.....

Yup.



Saint Cloud, Minnesota, where the weather is wonderful even when it isn't.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 17, 2017 09:04PM
Router? Or modem/router?

Whatever ATT provides.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: December 17, 2017 09:13PM
My Asus router has been rock solid. AC with gigabit ethernet.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: clay
Date: December 17, 2017 09:17PM
Ditto what ka jowct said.

Asus has been rock solid for me and others I've installed as well.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: December 17, 2017 09:32PM
Although I've traditionally avoided Netgear, mine has been very solid for the past couple years. It was highly rated at the time, and continues to perform.

Asus is also good.




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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: December 17, 2017 10:16PM
Quote
jdc
Router? Or modem/router?

Whatever ATT provides.

Router only. Modem is provided by Comcast.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: gabester
Date: December 17, 2017 10:20PM
I picked up an Asus router, possibly based on recommendations here (or just that it was on sale for something like $40 or $20 a couple years back. I'd previously had a Netgear and a D-Link... both of them gave one household critical Windows device endless connectivity issues. I think the Netgear was always kind of spotty; I bought the D-Link to replace it and it was fine up until it wasn't - its wired switch just went kaput one day after a couple years' use, but it was out of warranty and no replacement. I went back to the Netgear, which continued to get worse but still only really affecting reconnects from one Windows device... until its final 3 months of life when its wireless signal power modulator must have been going because it would drop all the time, and only rebooting the whole router would bring wireless back. Finally it got to a point where it would power cycle on its own, and a few days later it stopped powering up completely.

I replaced it with the Asus at that time, and despite annoyance at the setup/avoidable cloud services sharing functionality have, for the first time in years since my original ABS died had a truly reliable wireless AP.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: December 17, 2017 10:20PM
Asus.

Netgear is close behind, but only at the high-end.

Do not buy anything branded Linksys again. It's either a way obsolete PoC designed as a way to dump Cisco's worst junk on an unsuspecting consumer market or it's Belkin's half-effort with firmware and stupid apps designed to infuriate you to the point where you stomp it into little pieces rather than returning it for a refund. (IMHO.)



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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: prymsnap
Date: December 17, 2017 10:39PM
Thanks for all the recos. I appreciate it. Here's a question that's been vexing me for years: why does a router go bad over time? It's not like there's anything mechanical, right? I've never understood that phenomenon.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 17, 2017 10:59PM
Comcast's modem wifi is slower than a sloth on Game Night compared to apple extreme ac



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The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Onamuji
Date: December 17, 2017 11:06PM
Quote
prymsnap
Thanks for all the recos. I appreciate it. Here's a question that's been vexing me for years: why does a router go bad over time? It's not like there's anything mechanical, right? I've never understood that phenomenon.

There's still a lot that can go wrong. Solder joints that fail after years of heating and cooling, for example. Or oxidation/rust. Or humidity causing arcs. Or dryness causing static electric sparks. Dust causing overheating. Poor electrical conditions with surges or brownouts or bad grounds or just plain "dirty" electricity (not what nutjobs call "dirty," but just electricity that's affected by motors and other devices that distort the current and prevent it from adhering to standards like the 120v @ 60Hz standard). A cable that's pulling a little to the side can end up warping connectors over years. A cable-plug that's repeatedly removed and re-inserted can wear out the plug or the port...

With all that can go wrong, it's a bit of a miracle when something works.



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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 17, 2017 11:22PM
Quote
prymsnap
Router only. Modem is provided by Comcast.

I have no clue since I dont use Comcast --- but are you paying $X a month for the modem? Do they offer a modem/router option for another $1-2?

Seems like in the long run, that would be far cheaper? And if it ever does go bad, then they replace it for free?



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: GGD
Date: December 17, 2017 11:31PM
Quote
Onamuji
Quote
prymsnap
Thanks for all the recos. I appreciate it. Here's a question that's been vexing me for years: why does a router go bad over time? It's not like there's anything mechanical, right? I've never understood that phenomenon.

There's still a lot that can go wrong. Solder joints that fail after years of heating and cooling, for example. Or oxidation/rust. Or humidity causing arcs. Or dryness causing static electric sparks. Dust causing overheating. Poor electrical conditions with surges or brownouts or bad grounds or just plain "dirty" electricity (not what nutjobs call "dirty," but just electricity that's affected by motors and other devices that distort the current and prevent it from adhering to standards like the 120v @ 60Hz standard). A cable that's pulling a little to the side can end up warping connectors over years. A cable-plug that's repeatedly removed and re-inserted can wear out the plug or the port...

With all that can go wrong, it's a bit of a miracle when something works.

One other thing that can fail over time is the power brick, that's where a lot of the heat is. Sometimes it doesn't completely fail but rather starts producing flaky voltages and unreliable maximum current. This sometimes causes the device to reboot, or not booting yet still show some lights. I always try swapping in a different power supply when a device starts acting funny, or if it looks completely dead.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 18, 2017 12:09AM
The newest Apple WiFi device has a firmware that is at least 5 years old. Get any other brand router if you have newer laptops/tablets/phones.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 18, 2017 12:15AM
Depending on what you are doing for backup, a refurb Time Capsule might be a good choice to use with Time Machine. Probably better WiFi coverage than with an Airport Express. $179 for the 2 GB Time Capsule.

But right now it looks like Apple is out (and out of the Airport Express, and Airport Extreme too). But they tend to come back.

[www.apple.com]

Just sold out. They were there a day or two ago. But a couple of weeks ago the page was empty too.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 18, 2017 12:17AM
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
The newest Apple WiFi device has a firmware that is at least 5 years old. Get any other brand router if you have newer laptops/tablets/phones.

Why? I've had two updates to our Time Capsules and AirPort Extreme in the last couple of weeks. I know Apple is discontinuing them, but they are (for now) still providing support.


- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 18, 2017 12:26AM
And, as to what "we like" for routers these days.

How about a 1 Gigabit LTE router (aka cellular hotspot)?

Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router
[www.netgear.com]

[www.anandtech.com]




The thing can do Gigabit internet with the right LTE network. Has both WiFi and ethernet ports, but doesn't have a voice jack (for use with a regular phone when used with a cellphone SIM card).

AT&T appears to be the only "regular" source right now in the U.S.
[www.att.com]



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 18, 2017 05:31AM
I've been using the cheapest Netgear that Walmart sold maybe 5 years ago. It cost in the $30 range. It's worked flawlessly.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 18, 2017 05:31AM
I've been using the cheapest Netgear that Walmart sold maybe 5 years ago. It cost in the $30 range. It's worked flawlessly.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 18, 2017 06:02AM
Quote
Winston
And, as to what "we like" for routers these days.

How about a 1 Gigabit LTE router (aka cellular hotspot)?

Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router
[www.netgear.com]

[www.anandtech.com]




The thing can do Gigabit internet with the right LTE network. Has both WiFi and ethernet ports, but doesn't have a voice jack (for use with a regular phone when used with a cellphone SIM card).

AT&T appears to be the only "regular" source right now in the U.S.
[www.att.com]

but the data plan kills you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: sekker
Date: December 18, 2017 07:11AM
I like my Portal. Has really terrific range and has solved a lot of connectivity issues. Not cheap, but you can add more through the mesh system too. I’ve only needed one for a pretty big house.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: billb
Date: December 18, 2017 07:22AM
Quote
Winston
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
The newest Apple WiFi device has a firmware that is at least 5 years old. Get any other brand router if you have newer laptops/tablets/phones.

Why? I've had two updates to our Time Capsules and AirPort Extreme in the last couple of weeks. I know Apple is discontinuing them, but they are (for now) still providing support.


- W

firmware updates.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Golfer
Date: December 18, 2017 08:04AM
TP Link AC routers at home and work for me.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: MacJeepster
Date: December 18, 2017 09:07AM
A computer tech once told me a power supply is like a lightbulb and will eventually burn out.
He also told me (this was 20 years ago) that most of the repairs he did were cause by electric surges. Since then I've always used a good UPS unit that "conditions" the electricity.
Maybe modern computers and TVs aren't as susceptible, but I'm not taking chances.
Plus the batteries, of course, will let you keep working through small power interruptions.



-mj
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 18, 2017 09:24AM
Quote
space-time
Quote
Winston
And, as to what "we like" for routers these days.

How about a 1 Gigabit LTE router (aka cellular hotspot)?

Netgear Nighthawk M1 Mobile Router
[www.netgear.com]

[www.anandtech.com]

The thing can do Gigabit internet with the right LTE network. Has both WiFi and ethernet ports, but doesn't have a voice jack (for use with a regular phone when used with a cellphone SIM card).

AT&T appears to be the only "regular" source right now in the U.S.
[www.att.com]

but the data plan kills you.


The Q&A on AT&T's site says that if you have an unlimited data plan you can use the Netgear M1 on it. Still subject to throttling at some point, however.

I think they also offer it to people who live out in the boondocks and can't otherwise get internet. Although they have a (slower) ZTE LTE router with voice which is I think their main offering for that.

I'm actually using a Huawei LTE router with voice at a location which doesn't get much use. We have unlimited cellphone data, and 14 GB tethered data. It's not clear whether T-Mobile is treating ethernet connections as cellphone or tethered data (some evidence on both sides). I really should test it to find out.


- W



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: December 18, 2017 09:56AM
I was doing fine, reading right along, agreed with Newt on the $49 Apple Express, etc., then prym, you threw my brain for a loop when you said, "thanks for all the recos." Huh? What in the world is a "reco?"



That old man - he don't think like no old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."
If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport. And I'd be a TSA agent.
A bonified member of The Mystic Knights of The Sea, George P. Stevens, President. Andy Brown, Treasurer, Algonquin J. Calhoun, Legal Consultant.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 18, 2017 10:01AM
....recos = recommendations......



____________________________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 18, 2017 10:29AM
Hi everyone,

I wouldn't go near Apple networking hardware these days. There are alternatives that are superior to Apple's hardware and super easy to configure. The router of choice is dependent on your situation. Case in point... standard routers didn't cut it for my apartment. Until recently, I had to go with a two router configuration. One router for wifi and routing and, via MocA, an Airport Extreme. Since I still didn't have the reach I needed, I recently switched to a NetGear Orbi AC3000 model. I still use the FIOS router for routing but the Orbi handles WiFi in access point (AP) mode. Coverage isn't an issue now.

Robert



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2017 10:29AM by Robert M.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: December 18, 2017 10:55AM
Quote
NewtonMP2100
....recos = recommendations......

Oh, thanks Newt. I've never done well with these shortcuts.



That old man - he don't think like no old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."
If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport. And I'd be a TSA agent.
A bonified member of The Mystic Knights of The Sea, George P. Stevens, President. Andy Brown, Treasurer, Algonquin J. Calhoun, Legal Consultant.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: December 18, 2017 02:09PM
Quote
Winston
Quote
Filliam H. Muffman
The newest Apple WiFi device has a firmware that is at least 5 years old. Get any other brand router if you have newer laptops/tablets/phones.

Why? I've had two updates to our Time Capsules and AirPort Extreme in the last couple of weeks. I know Apple is discontinuing them, but they are (for now) still providing support. - W

That's router OS security updates, not firmware updates to improve speed or range. The most recent Apple devices only implemented the first Draft version of 802.11AC from 2011. If you have a new device and a fast internet provider, you can get better speeds with a router that supports the new 802.11AC standards that are 4x faster.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: GuyGene
Date: December 18, 2017 02:21PM
Well thanks Filliam, now I won't get a new airport. Maybe Asus.



That old man - he don't think like no old man...
Now I wouldn't want to be within 400 - 500 yards of one of them nuclear bombs when it goes off! WW1 Vet Old Man
"He's pinned under an outcropping of rock. Lucky for him, the rock kept the dirt from burying him alive."
If idiots could fly, this place would be an airport. And I'd be a TSA agent.
A bonified member of The Mystic Knights of The Sea, George P. Stevens, President. Andy Brown, Treasurer, Algonquin J. Calhoun, Legal Consultant.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/18/2017 02:21PM by GuyGene.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 18, 2017 07:33PM
I got a refurb Airport Extreme a couple-two-three years ago (c. $149?), recommended here along with an Asus, and it has served very well. If there were any updates, Apple hasn't notified me of them.

Did someone say Apple was phasing out its routers?

/Mr Lynn



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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 18, 2017 08:44PM
Quote
mrlynn
Did someone say Apple was phasing out its routers?

/Mr Lynn

They disbanded their router development team and assigned everyone elsewhere, over a year ago.
[www.zdnet.com]


I think they've made a huge mistake doing this. They are about to launch the Home Pod speaker to try to get more integrated into people's lives, but routers in some way are the center of this. I believe we are going to see a remarkably rapid shift from wired broadband to wireless broadband in the next 2-4 years. Why wouldn't Apple want to control that connection, in the same way they do with mobile devices right now?

Unless Apple is fooling us, with exactly that plan. After all, an iPhone is an OK mobile router. Given Apple's penchant for dropping "legacy" technologies (floppy discs, CD/DVD, FireWire, normal USB, etc.), this isn't so unlikely. Would not surprise me if Apple's "disbanded router team" were now working on a wireless broadband router.


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: December 18, 2017 10:26PM
Quote
Michael
I've been using the cheapest Netgear that Walmart sold maybe 5 years ago. It cost in the $30 range. It's worked flawlessly.

Except it sends out double posts.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: M A V I C
Date: December 18, 2017 11:53PM
Quote
jdc
Quote
prymsnap
Router only. Modem is provided by Comcast.

I have no clue since I dont use Comcast --- but are you paying $X a month for the modem? Do they offer a modem/router option for another $1-2?

Seems like in the long run, that would be far cheaper? And if it ever does go bad, then they replace it for free?

Around here it's $10/mo. Renting ends up being much more expensive.




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Mac News & Info: [macintouch.com] [macnn.com] [tuaw.com]
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Used Mac Stuff [FS/T]: [macswap.org] LowEndMac Swap List
Mac Software Updates: [macupdate.com]
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: December 19, 2017 07:14AM
Quote
Winston
Quote
mrlynn
Did someone say Apple was phasing out its routers?

/Mr Lynn

They disbanded their router development team and assigned everyone elsewhere, over a year ago.
[www.zdnet.com]


I think they've made a huge mistake doing this. They are about to launch the Home Pod speaker to try to get more integrated into people's lives, but routers in some way are the center of this. I believe we are going to see a remarkably rapid shift from wired broadband to wireless broadband in the next 2-4 years. Why wouldn't Apple want to control that connection, in the same way they do with mobile devices right now?

Unless Apple is fooling us, with exactly that plan. After all, an iPhone is an OK mobile router. Given Apple's penchant for dropping "legacy" technologies (floppy discs, CD/DVD, FireWire, normal USB, etc.), this isn't so unlikely. Would not surprise me if Apple's "disbanded router team" were now working on a wireless broadband router.


Good luck.

- Winston

What do you mean by 'wireless broadband'? No cable coming into the home? Using cellular connection, like the iPhone does? Seems is that that would strangle the cellular system.

/Mr Lynn
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 19, 2017 08:44AM
MrLynn,

An iPhone is definitely not an "ok" mobile router. It's a kludge at best and it's not a router at all. It's a hotspot at most. Uses data, of which many people have limited amounts? Yes. You have to activate and deactivate it? Yups. Has limited battery life? Yups. Cellular signal isn't always great, which could compromise accessibility to data? Yups. You get the idea.

In a pinch or as necessary? An iPhone can be a dandy hotspot. But, given the choice, I doubt many people are interested in using one for this purpose. They'd rather have a standard connection to the Internet at home and use a public hotspot while on the road. They'll use their iPhone only when the other options aren't available and/or suck.

Robert
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Winston
Date: December 19, 2017 10:45AM
Quote
mrlynn
[What do you mean by 'wireless broadband'? No cable coming into the home? Using cellular connection, like the iPhone does? Seems is that that would strangle the cellular system.

/Mr Lynn

The term "wireless broadband" includes both the coming 5G cellular systems, and also local "wireless to the home", which, for example, Google in investigating to use in place of "fiber to the home".
[arstechnica.com]


Quote
Robert M
MrLynn,

An iPhone is definitely not an "ok" mobile router. It's a kludge at best and it's not a router at all. It's a hotspot at most. Uses data, of which many people have limited amounts? Yes. You have to activate and deactivate it? Yups. Has limited battery life? Yups. Cellular signal isn't always great, which could compromise accessibility to data? Yups. You get the idea.

In a pinch or as necessary? An iPhone can be a dandy hotspot. But, given the choice, I doubt many people are interested in using one for this purpose. They'd rather have a standard connection to the Internet at home and use a public hotspot while on the road. They'll use their iPhone only when the other options aren't available and/or suck.

Robert

An iPhone can support more than one device as a "hotspot"
[support.apple.com]
"The number of devices that can join your Personal Hotspot at one time depends on your carrier and iPhone model."

A quick search didn't find a current list, but this from a while back showed the iPhone 5 on AT&T or Verizon could handle 5 connections. Given that the iPhone has only one cellular connection, it's acting as a bridge (aka modem) from cellular to WiFi, and a router to allow multiple devices to use one internet connection.
[apple.stackexchange.com]

And given that I'm just got 4.84 Mbps dow and 2.07 Mbps up on my iPhone SE in our kitchen with two bars LTE, it's workable for a shared internet connection, as long as everyone's not trying to watch video at once. And I've seen 25 Mbps down on my iPhone with a good LTE connection. So it's not such a bad internet connection device.

As most people have a cap on tethering, it's not the first choice right now, but 5G cellular will change that. Of course a device used in a fixed location for cellular internet doesn't need all the features (or engineering to make it compact) of an iPhone. The point was that Apple already has the technology to provide cellular routers.

Back when we had fewer phones in the family we'd sometimes connect my wife's iPhone to our iMac via USB, then share the connection over ethernet (which then put it out via our AirPort base stations over WiFi) when the internet was out. This gets around a 5 device limit for iPhone "hotspot" connections. In this case the iMac acted as the router. (As everyone in the family now has an iPhone, we let people set up their own hotspots when needed.)


Good luck.

- Winston



------------------------
Be seeing you.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: jdc
Date: December 19, 2017 11:01AM
Quote
M A V I C
Around here it's $10/mo. Renting ends up being much more expensive.

Only if you buy something less than $240 and plan on keeping it more than 2 years.

But if hes already paying $7, and its $10 for a combo, then $3 extra month is a deal.



----


Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Michael
Date: December 19, 2017 02:52PM
Quote
Racer X
Quote
Michael
I've been using the cheapest Netgear that Walmart sold maybe 5 years ago. It cost in the $30 range. It's worked flawlessly.

Except it sends out double posts.

Well, there is that!

Well, there is that!

(I just thought I'd take a shortcut!)
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Re: What do we like for home routers these days?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: December 20, 2017 10:18AM
Winston,

If you look at an iphone that way, then it does work kinda like a router. Still, though, it definitely isn't an "okay" router. Still has multiple issues and isn't preferable when a regular hot spot is available. Usable in a pinch and/or if you want more security than a public hot spot, though.

Robert
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