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Would a Router/Modem upgrade help wifi speeds regardless of ISP?

My modem (Cisco DPC3008) and router (Apple Airport Extreme Base Station) are both relatively old and I was wondering if upgrading either, or both, would increase Wifi speeds without any work on the ISP's part.
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  1. Probably not. If you have a lot of local computer to computer traffic, newer WiFi could possibly help.
    If you run an internet speed test at speedtest.net (or similar) you can see if you are getting the speed you pay for. If your speed test results match what you pay for, you won't improve your internet speeds with better hardware.
  2. Calculagator said:
    Probably not. If you have a lot of local computer to computer traffic, newer WiFi could possibly help.
    If you run an internet speed test at speedtest.net (or similar) you can see if you are getting the speed you pay for. If your speed test results match what you pay for, you won't improve your internet speeds with better hardware.


    I'm fairly certain they don't match what I'm paying for. Is this usually a hardware or ISP problem?
  3. If you are paying for 100 Mbps+ internet speeds, it could be a hardware issue. If you are on a basic plan, the problem is more likely either with your isp or with how you have things set up.

    If you could share your advertised speed, your measured speed, and where you are experiencing problems, it would help in diagnosing your issue.
  4. Calculagator said:
    If you are paying for 100 Mbps+ internet speeds, it could be a hardware issue. If you are on a basic plan, the problem is more likely either with your isp or with how you have things set up.

    If you could share your advertised speed, your measured speed, and where you are experiencing problems, it would help in diagnosing your issue.


    Sorry for the extremely long delay, but the advertised speed I am paying for is 100 Mbps, I can get 60-70 Mbps when directly plugged into the modem through ethernet, and the WiFi speed can range anywhere from 5 Mbps to 30 Mbps. The large difference between the ethernet and WiFi is what made be believe it could be a BaseStation issue.
  5. Wireless is a combination of your router and your end device both must support the higher data rates. You will never get even close to those magic numbers the router manufactures have in their advertising. On the 2.4g band the best routers on the market pair with end equipment that supports things like 4 channel streams (very very rare) can barely get over 100m. On the 5g band using 802.11ac the best devices are still under 300m rates and 5g does not cover as well in most houses.

    You can look at a better router being aware your end devices must also have the feature. If your end equipment supports 802.11ac a router that claims 1200m might get close to 100m and the 1200m speed tends to match the features on many end devices (ie 2 antenna/streams).

    Your modem is docsis3 so it likely is running as fast as the ISP will support.
  6. bill001g said:
    Wireless is a combination of your router and your end device both must support the higher data rates. You will never get even close to those magic numbers the router manufactures have in their advertising. On the 2.4g band the best routers on the market pair with end equipment that supports things like 4 channel streams (very very rare) can barely get over 100m. On the 5g band using 802.11ac the best devices are still under 300m rates and 5g does not cover as well in most houses.

    You can look at a better router being aware your end devices must also have the feature. If your end equipment supports 802.11ac a router that claims 1200m might get close to 100m and the 1200m speed tends to match the features on many end devices (ie 2 antenna/streams).

    Your modem is docsis3 so it likely is running as fast as the ISP will support.


    Ah, so are those lower WiFi speeds normal for 100mbps plans? And if the modem is current, what about that Apple Router?
  7. From what I can tell your apple router supports 802.11ac so you are not going to get a significant increase by buy a faster version of 802.11ac

    Your issue may be purely related to how your house is built which has much more impact on performance that difference in routers. If you do not already do it try to set the router to use only 20mhz channels on the 2.4g band. This in theory cuts you maximum speed but getting it also improves your odds of getting bandwidth without interference which will increase the speed you get.. Of course you must try other channels on the 2.4g to avoid other people.
  8. bill001g said:
    From what I can tell your apple router supports 802.11ac so you are not going to get a significant increase by buy a faster version of 802.11ac

    Your issue may be purely related to how your house is built which has much more impact on performance that difference in routers. If you do not already do it try to set the router to use only 20mhz channels on the 2.4g band. This in theory cuts you maximum speed but getting it also improves your odds of getting bandwidth without interference which will increase the speed you get.. Of course you must try other channels on the 2.4g to avoid other people.


    I have the fifth generation (2011) of the base station, which only supports up to 802.11n, not ac. Would an upgrade to the ac standard help? My current wireless adapter doesn't support the ac standard, nor my laptop's, but would this help in future situations?

    On a side note, would current smartphones benefit as well?

    I've also seen powerline adapters; can these be speedy and reliable and carry the improvement of a better router?
  9. Best answer
    powerline tends to be more stable than wireless and tends to penetrate walls better but it is still a form of radio so there are some stubborn houses it does not work well in. Most people it work pretty good for.

    I wish apple would use better names so you can tell the different products. 820.11ac will not buy you much unless your devices already support it and 802.11ac has worse coverage because it runs on 5g.

    Hard to say about buying a router since 802.11n on new routers is still 802.11n. If the powerline is a valid option I would try that first.
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