Networking & Wireless forum


Do I wait for an ac USB 3.0 router?

by Tommccarthy140 / July 24, 2012 10:43 PM PDT


I want to make a major router upgrade and buy something cutting edge and future proof. I want a router for home networking (streaming movies) and to connect a USB HDD (I have a USB 3.0 HDD) to for sharing on the network. However I am really stuck with what to buy and whether to wait. So I have a few questions I would really appreciate some advice on:

1. I don't have any ac compatible hardware, but should I still go for ac, knowing I will have this router for several years, or get a good dual band non-ac router?

2. I would really like quick network access, therefore is it worth getting a router with a USB 3.0 connection (which I don't think any of the current ac routers have). I have read somewhere that the router CPU is always the bottleneck and even if you have 3.0, it will make little difference, can anyone advise (or do they know of a good router which is set up for fast HDD access)?

Thank you in advance for your help, it is greatly appreciated.


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All Answers

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You can wait but no reason it would help. Why?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 25, 2012 1:15 AM PDT

Look at the data rate of ethernet and wifi and you see that USB 2.0 is well above that. So no way USB 3.0 will help when it comes to this.

If you wanted to install an all 1000BT (gigabit) network then you're all wired up and then the USB 2.0 is only slightly slower by the time you count all the handshakes and more.

Wait if you want, but that's not the bottleneck.

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Thank you
by Tommccarthy140 / July 25, 2012 3:55 AM PDT

Hi - thanks for your reply - it is really useful, so the USB 3.0 question is scratched off.

Can I just ask your views on whether to get a ac or n router. I want to hook up a printer in addition to the HDD, so an ac router with 2 USB ports is going to cost $200, whereas you can get a solid dual band n router with 2 USB ports for $100. Is the additional cost worth it, given I do not have any compatible ac devices at the moment and my apple TV streams perfect HD movies without ac router (and I am not sure if I will need anything more than that in the future).

Again, thank you for your help.

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Must be a typographic error in there.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 25, 2012 4:01 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

I can't find an "ac" router. And N capable routers are now plentiful.

To skip all this headache why some NAS/DLNA thing or maybe a BOXEE?

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Draft standard
by bill012 / July 25, 2012 5:56 AM PDT
In reply to: Thank you

802.11ac is not technically released. Every vendor tries to be first to market and you get some that produce incompatible stuff.

You run the risk of trying to get the latest to not replace your devices but them up having to anyway because there is a tiny difference.

The only way to be somewhat safe is figure out which chipsets the hardware you are going to buy uses and then see if that chipset manufacture is one of the main sponsors of the standard. Some router manufactures will not tell the chipset they use. The larger chipset companies since they are directly in the discussions will tend to know the details better. In the long run only a small handful of manufactures will build the chips for every brand of router

802.11ac sounds nice on paper but will it actually buy the average person anything? Mostly all they are doing is using more bandwidth and running on 5g only (no enough room on 2.4). So yes you in theory get more thoughput. But does that actually make stuff run faster for the average user. Most users are just surfing so they are limited by their ISP. Then you have people doing streaming in their house but there is no media format that even comes close to running out of bandwidth on 802.11n. Have to buy a new TV anyway if they do manage to think something up.

Sure the power user replicating files will get his copies done a little faster but then you ask the question WHY would you be doing this over wireless in the first place. Cables will always be faster...larger servers are starting to come with 40G ports as a option.

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