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Best 802.11ac mini wireless router?


Dave-ee Jones
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Hoi hoi!

I'm looking for a small wireless router that can act as a bridged AP, router and a ethernet AP. I have looked at the RAVPower FileHub Plus (RP-WD03), and it looks awesome (can do all those things and more - like using external HDDs/USBs for something like a pocket NAS and also has a 6000mAh battery to charge other stuff), however it uses a slightly older standard, 802.11n, which is 150Mbps. I'm looking for 300Mbps+. I would still go with it if there isn't any good alternatives.

Anyone know of any super compact wireless routers that do similar to RAVPower's? Price range is probably up to $100 AUD (~$76 USD).

 

Thanks!

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I've done a few model's of the HooToo routers and they are ok (built in battery, DLNA from USB, File sharing, etc.) but I do not know if they offer AC.  I have moved past the limited features of small AIO routers and just take a mini version of my favorite Mikrotik routers with me and power them by battery pack (I use my Pineapple Mark V battery - https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/e1/e8/23/e1e823e37ccd7b99caca56a0ea2c2527.jpg) which powers the device for hours.  You give up some easy "plug-in-play" features but get a solid WiFi with just about every networking doo-dad you could think about.  It really depends on what features you are looking for.  I recommend the Mikrotik hAP ac lite https://routerboard.com/RB952Ui-5ac2nD (about $50US).  Please note that these routers are not the easiest to set up if you are not familiar with RouterOS but really meet the feature set of enterprise routers in a very small package.  I actually have the hAP ac https://routerboard.com/RB962UiGS-5HacT2HnT which is about $129US but offers 1G wired ports, and three chain antennas but isn't within the budget especially after adding a battery pack.  I've been using Mikrotik routers for the last couple of years so if you have any questions please feel free to ask.  I don't know if this is even the kind of thing you're looking for but thought I'd throw it out there.  Good luck!  btw, all Mikrotik routers come in two versions, one that has the WiFi channels locked down to the US and also an international version.  The USB port is pretty much limited to storage (caching, logs, samba) and compatible 4G modems (I've used Verizon jetpacks).

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and one other thing, if you are looking to bridge (layer 2) wired connections to an existing WLAN, you will have to route traffic (device can be used as an AP or station) vs. bridge.  This is a limitation of 802.11 and not the device (unless the WiFi you are connecting to is another MikroTik device - they have made proprietary "workarounds" to bypass this).

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Yeah, bridge mode isn't a problem. Most wireless routers these days have functionality for that in their firmware/OS.

I have looked at HooToo and their stuff is okay but not great. I would prefer RAVPower's RP-WD03 over them, but I'm keeping it in mind.

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I hate to be cliché again, as I always mention them, but a Raspberry Pi can do all of this..

A little extra leg work in the beginning, but you can have a bridged AP, router and a Ethernet AP in one, as well as the capability for so much more.

Add a battery pack of choice and it's good to go.

Bonuses are that it'll cost you $40 for the Pi and $30 for a good battery pack. And you can also use it as anything else you want at a pinch, just swap out the scripts / SD card.

Not for everyone, but personally, home-built is the best as you can get exactly what you want. Plus, it's satisfying doing DIY.

 

https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/onion-pi-tor-proxy/

https://pimylifeup.com/raspberry-pi-wifi-bridge/

http://www.raspberryconnect.com/network/item/315-rpi3-auto-wifi-hotspot-if-no-internet

 

Edited by haze1434
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ive never used one of these but  someone told me about them a year  ago   

TP-Link N300 Wireless Wi-Fi Nano

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Travel-Extender-TL-WR802N/dp/B00TQEX8BO/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_147_bs_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DXFYWKJSM5BJAARNVWTD

lol    ...or

TP-Link N150 Wireless Wi-Fi Portable Router with Range Extender/Access Point/Client/Bridge Modes (TL-WR700N)

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Portable-Extender-TL-WR700N/dp/B006DEBYWU

you did say mini   i guess it depends on your project

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On 6/24/2017 at 5:15 AM, datajumper said:

ive never used one of these but  someone told me about them a year  ago   

TP-Link N300 Wireless Wi-Fi Nano

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Travel-Extender-TL-WR802N/dp/B00TQEX8BO/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_147_bs_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=DXFYWKJSM5BJAARNVWTD

lol    ...or

TP-Link N150 Wireless Wi-Fi Portable Router with Range Extender/Access Point/Client/Bridge Modes (TL-WR700N)

https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Wireless-Portable-Extender-TL-WR700N/dp/B006DEBYWU

you did say mini   i guess it depends on your project

Yeah, I did see them. They look alright, but TP-Link...and also, the first thing I would do if I got one of those is paint it a different colour lol.

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I've got a couple of Asus 802.11ac routers bridged to each other, and they are used for Netflix  on two tv's at the same time with no issues, also while I game BF4. All on wifi. I have a 3rd Cisco which is way old and a bottle neck on the network, but even it gets decent speeds, as I have running to one of the wireless routers over ethernet between the floors to our downstairs I get roughly 800mbps with the Asus rotuers when bridged to one another on the lan side, and 90-100mbps on speed tests with Comcast downloads.I'm more than happy with them, but even they are outdated, and Asus has newer ones with more antennas and faster speeds. Mine have 3 each and I've had them for about 4 years or more now. One thing you want to make sure to do though, is update the firmware to patch the like 10 CVE's that came out recently with the CIA dump of all the windows hacks, routers are vulnerable to CherryWeb attacks(not just Asus routers by the way).

When I go for an upgrade, I will probably stick with the next Asus router line they put out. Been more than impressed with them, and very fast. Just patch when the firmware tells you to, and disable all the built in file sharing shit. I see so main people with open FTP servers(on all routers, not just Asus) when they plug in their USB drives to share stuff with the TV and other devices. You don't want that shite open to the world.

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2 hours ago, Dave-ee Jones said:

Yeah, I did see them. They look alright, but TP-Link...and also, the first thing I would do if I got one of those is paint it a different colour lol.

Careful doing that if you go with black paint.  Some black spray paints have iron as the black pigment.  Found this out when I was modding my old G4 Titanium Powerbook.  Couldn't figure out what was causing the little circle to form on the lid.  The paint would just slide right off it.  Even took it to the paint shop at work and tried using some of the primer we use on the jet.  The black paint would still just slide off.  Finally figured out this is where the magnet is located for the hall effect sensor that puts the laptop to sleep when you close the lid.  You can just see it on the lower left of this picture.  Ended up using some black latex on that one spot before the color shifting clear coat.  https://goo.gl/photos/EfnBp32pWKg9w4Av9  That's a blade omnidirectional antenna I added for wardriving.  Anyway that's a really long winded way to say some paints will degrade your wifi signal....

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yeah lol i made the mistake of painting a yagi 2.4ghz antenna  camouflage because i didnt want it to be seen ..but   the paint had lead or something in it i guess

and needless to say it never worked right after that ..it done great b4 i painted it lol   so yeah i agree with barry be careful about the paint

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3 minutes ago, digip said:

I've got a couple of Asus 802.11ac routers bridged to each other, and they are used for Netflix  on two tv's at the same time with no issues, also while I game BF4. All on wifi. I have a 3rd Cisco which is way old and a bottle neck on the network, but even it gets decent speeds, as I have running to one of the wireless routers over ethernet between the floors to our downstairs I get roughly 800mbps with the Asus rotuers when bridged to one another on the lan side, and 90-100mbps on speed tests with Comcast downloads.I'm more than happy with them, but even they are outdated, and Asus has newer ones with more antennas and faster speeds. Mine have 3 each and I've had them for about 4 years or more now. One thing you want to make sure to do though, is update the firmware to patch the like 10 CVE's that came out recently with the CIA dump of all the windows hacks, routers are vulnerable to CherryWeb attacks(not just Asus routers by the way).

When I go for an upgrade, I will probably stick with the next Asus router line they put out. Been more than impressed with them, and very fast. Just patch when the firmware tells you to, and disable all the built in file sharing shit. I see so main people with open FTP servers(on all routers, not just Asus) when they plug in their USB drives to share stuff with the TV and other devices. You don't want that shite open to the world.

Yeah, I've got a Synology RT1900ac for a home router. The newer one, RT2600ac is a monster router but no need to upgrade..I also have an ASUS router as well, but that's not doing too much.

7 minutes ago, barry99705 said:

Careful doing that if you go with black paint.  Some black spray paints have iron as the black pigment.  Found this out when I was modding my old G4 Titanium Powerbook.  Couldn't figure out what was causing the little circle to form on the lid.  The paint would just slide right off it.  Even took it to the paint shop at work and tried using some of the primer we use on the jet.  The black paint would still just slide off.  Finally figured out this is where the magnet is located for the hall effect sensor that puts the laptop to sleep when you close the lid.  You can just see it on the lower left of this picture.  Ended up using some black latex on that one spot before the color shifting clear coat.  https://goo.gl/photos/EfnBp32pWKg9w4Av9  That's a blade omnidirectional antenna I added for wardriving.  Anyway that's a really long winded way to say some paints will degrade your wifi signal....

Haha. It is a really long winded way :P
Yeah, I was saying that more of a joke, though the colours and general look of those things is a bit boring and overdone. A simple black box is far more inconspicuous right?..It's either that or someone seeing the word 'TP-Link' on a small white router-looking box..

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11 minutes ago, Dave-ee Jones said:

Yeah, I've got a Synology RT1900ac for a home router. The newer one, RT2600ac is a monster router but no need to upgrade..I also have an ASUS router as well, but that's not doing too much.

Haha. It is a really long winded way :P
Yeah, I was saying that more of a joke, though the colours and general look of those things is a bit boring and overdone. A simple black box is far more inconspicuous right?..It's either that or someone seeing the word 'TP-Link' on a small white router-looking box..

oh i get it man lol yeah im not too fond of the colors myself  haha  and idk why but i actually like the stock firmware on the asus ..the one i had ..i cant remember the model off the top of my head but i done every kind of test i could think of at that think then i even tried to brick it on purpose  just for shits ang giggles and the asus was unbrickable  i know thats irrealavent  i just thought id throw that out there lol good luck brother

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The asus routers are already black cause they're l337..lol

These are the ones I'm currently using.

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-RT-AC66U-802-11ac-AiProtection-Optimization/dp/B008ABOJKS

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51 minutes ago, digip said:

The asus routers are already black cause they're l337..lol

These are the ones I'm currently using.

https://www.amazon.com/Wireless-RT-AC66U-802-11ac-AiProtection-Optimization/dp/B008ABOJKS

Mm, they look just as powerful as the RT1900ac. I think the RT2600ac is more powerful though, not that it's very important in most situations.

Not exactly portable though lol. Kinda want to rip one apart and just 3D print my own case and shove it all in there :P

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2 hours ago, Dave-ee Jones said:

Yeah idk about that one bud...

Is that like a 10'' monitor in the background there? Weird.

7" monitor!  Was for the old firewall just to see the boot process.  99% of the time it was off.  It is one of the 1024X768 versions though.  Most were 800X600.  New router/firewall doesn't have a monitor port.

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Not with that monitor.  It was state of the art, 10 years ago...  VGA only.  Don't really need it with the new pfsense box anyway.  The old one was a repurposed pc, and sometimes it wouldn't post...  I'm a huge fan of keeping the routing on one box and the switching on a different box.  Also allows you to put the wireless where it makes sense, and not where the cable guy decides to drill through your house.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't see it mentioned already, but i've got loads of great use out of my GL-inet AR150, and they have dual band AC mini router as well. Fits in your pocket. Get's the job done, and openWRT out of the box. 

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4 hours ago, UnLo said:

I didn't see it mentioned already, but i've got loads of great use out of my GL-inet AR150, and they have dual band AC mini router as well. Fits in your pocket. Get's the job done, and openWRT out of the box. 

Yeah, unfortunately I've already ordered the RP-WD03. That one has decent specs for it's price - but it is still quite underpowered and it's white. That's not cool at all, haha. Thanks though. :)

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6 minutes ago, Dave-ee Jones said:

Yeah, unfortunately I've already ordered the RP-WD03. That one has decent specs for it's price - but it is still quite underpowered and it's white. That's not cool at all, haha. Thanks though. :)

Ah yes the AR-150 is a bit under powered. But did I mention I can flash the latest PineAP firmware on it?

But they have other options.. The AR300 this model has internal antenna. The external antenna model should receive a pci-e 5ghz add on  soon according to their site. Pretty amazing bang for the buck. I know you already ordered just dropping the info for anyone else stopping by. 

Edited by UnLo
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3 hours ago, UnLo said:

Ah yes the AR-150 is a bit under powered. But did I mention I can flash the latest PineAP firmware on it?

But they have other options.. The AR300 this model has internal antenna. The external antenna model should receive a pci-e 5ghz add on  soon according to their site. Pretty amazing bang for the buck. I know you already ordered just dropping the info for anyone else stopping by. 

Ooo, the AR-500 does look much better, specs and all. Be interesting if you could flash the latest PineAP firmware on that too..

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