Resolved Question

Help to choose a router

I have a TP Link mono band router (W9970) and I would like to upgrade.
First question, is Google WiFi a router? Can I replace my router with it? It looks so good. My only concern, I assume I will need to add a switch if I take that.
Second question, I was thinking about taking a tri band router like the Jetstream AC3000 or the Linksys AC2200.
What do you recommend? I'm lost.


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Best Answer

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Understood now (many concepts of connectivity)

I'll get the answers above me and all the research I did today and answer the topic. Thanks to the people who helped. Correct me if I'm wrong.

1) Modem and router: a modem is the machine that connects the house and the internet outside. A router is the one handling all the local network inside the house. Most of the devices today combine both. Google Wifi is a router only. It needs to be connected to a modem. It only helps to diffuse the WiFi better in a big house or a house with walls that can cause issues to the WiFi.

2) Internet bandwidth and sharing: let's say I pay for 100Mbps Internet, but because of the distance to the DSLAM I get only 60Mbps internet. If I plus my laptop in Ethernet I should be able to receive all the 60Mbps. If another device is downloading, these 60Mbps are shared between us, let's say as an example, 30Mbps each.

3) Dual/tri bands routers: Devices connect via radio waves. The WiFi uses the 2.4GHz frequency. If too many devices use the 2.4GHz, some of them might have somme issues (like getting disconnected). So now, some routers have the possibility to desserve WiFi through another band, the 5GHz one. It means, on the device, we will see 2 networks: home2.4 and home5 (for example). This doesn't multiply the bandwidth, means we still have only 60Mbps from the ISP. It helps to keep a better WiFi connection when a lot of devices are connected to the same band and use the WiFi.

4) WiFi type (g/n/ac) and Ethernet type (100/1000Mbps): The WiFi G can provide 54Mbps. Nowadays, everything is at least N (mostly AC even). Knowing in my example that I receive 60Mbps, a WiFi G would simply handicap me from 6Mbps. The computers have most of them the ability to receive, via Ethernet (and whatever connection there is like USB Type C), 1000Mbps. So we're still good.

5) Some usage: let's say I want to cast 4K video to the TV. The cast needs 15Mbps (Netflix says 25), so with the 60Mbps we're still well above the criteria to buy a new modem.

Conclusion: in my example, there is no need to buy another modem. Eventually, if many devices would use the 2.4GHz band I would may be require a new modem dual band.

@R. Proffitt

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Link only.
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Thank you but

Thanks, but you imagine I looked up on Google already. My concern is when people say it's a router but not a modem. I'm not good r enough to transform this into "can I throw my current router, put Google WiFi instead and I'll get my internet at home as usual".


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It's not a sure thing.

This is technical so let's try to cover some questions.

1. Is the Google WiFi Mesh router a modem?
NO. It's not.

2. Can I use it without changing my current DSL Modem+Router W9970?
Yes but with limitations. Such as if you would then have two LANs. If a printer was on another LAN you might not be able to print to it. And some games make not like the resulting DOUBLE NAT.

3. Can I change my W9970 into a Modem only and use the Google WiFi Mesh router as my router?
(Or for that matter any other router?)
I can't answer. This takes some skill plus information from your ISP. Not all ISPs reveal the needed details and I don't have that information. So I'm going with nope.

4. Will using another router speed up my Internet?
Most likely not.

Post was last edited on January 20, 2019 10:58 PM PST

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Almost there

Thanks for your great answer.

First of all, the Google WiFi sounds too confusing to me I can't take any risk.

Now I know that it's only my ISP and the cables of the neighborhood that can give me higher speed but I thought taking a new router might help us to have better Wi-Fi, knowing one computer downloads, another casts to the TV and another one watches YouTube. What do you say?

If yes, do you recommend one of the two routers that are left?

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Always check

with your ISP to see what routers are supported .

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The W9970 is some DSL 100megabit MAXIMUM router.

Since it's only DSL I do not expect any improvement on speed. Your new modem+router would be one your ISP supports but this is not done for speed.

Post was last edited on January 20, 2019 2:11 PM PST

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What's next

So I assume you recommend me to change?
Any recommendation in the three routers I quoted?

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No. My bet is no speed increase.
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Right so like I commented above, I understood that only the cables in my neighborhood and my ISP can provide me higher speed but my question of taking a new router is more about the Wi-Fi, knowing one computer downloads, another casts to the TV and another one watches YouTube HD videos, I thought a tri band router can help us on that.

If that's right, do you have any recommendation from the two routers? (I understood Google WiFi is not -yet- for me, until I get a bigger house)

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I'm missing a detail to answer that.

Since all that comes from the internet and the router's base sped is 100 megabit it's no speed gain as most WiFi can share out your 100 and no "better" router can get you more speed than what your ISP is supplying.

DSL is known to be below 20 megabits so your WiFI is already from 3 to 5 times faster than common DSL.

What ISP speed do you have now?

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My internet data

I pay for a theoric 100Mbps.
Speedtest on Ethernet: 57.5/2.2
Speedtest from my bedroom in WiFi: 54/2.4.

So the same. But now I'm alone. I should do it again when I have everybody using the internet may be?

Is that the data you needed?


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Still no speed increase

Even 802.11g is 54Mbps so your router's WiFi looks to not be the bottleneck. You can re-test but you would have to get the total from all machines to see if there was any big change.

To test, you have to get wired. Otherwise you can't be sure if there's more WiFi speed to be had.

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New data

I added another laptop and made it cast a HD video to the TV and on another tab play a HD video on YouTube.
Now on my own laptop I redid a Wifi test and I got 30/2.2. Would a dual band/tri band router help in this case with all this data?

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PS: wifi config

I use Wifi N. I'm getting a new laptop to replace my faithful 7-years old laptop and it got WiFi AC. My router is N.

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So far all things point to no gain.

The 30/2.2 is a result of sharing the Internet and shows it did fine as the other connection did not hog the connection.

If you want to upgrade, go for it but don't expect better test results.

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Router usage

You have to understand the basics of the routers. The routers have variable antenna each one costlier than the other, this is because of the router having the highest antenna will have a much higher connection spread, for example, if we use 3 antenna routers they provide much less speed compared to 5 antenna routers. I was having some issue with the router selection, I did visit to have an elaborate understanding of the routers specification, bandwidth, and speed.

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Know your requirements 1st

While you are choosing a router 1st to know about the router. I would suggest you go for TP-link and know how much Mbps it can carry.

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Well first of all you should

get a list of routers that your ISP (Internet Service Provider) supports. Once you see the list research them. Go to like Best Buy and see what they have and you might even ask them they may give you a good answer.

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