What is an alternative to an Airport Express router with QoS?

My Airport Extreme router is not nicely sharing the wireless internet with my family members anymore. Although the Airport Extreme has been reliable, I now need to get a router with Quality of Service for internet sharing. Previous routers such as ASUS and netgear have always seemed to require frequent reboots and would stop working for unknown reasons.

Can anyone recommend a higher quality router that has Quality of Service to share internet bandwith? There are many brands out there, and I am probably looking at a small business version because I am wanting reliabilty.

Thanks for your friendly suggestions :slight_smile:

I’ve always used Draytek for probably over 15 years in both business and home, cant fault them, tonnes of features including QoS.

You might want to look at the Vigor 2925ac but you can compare here https://www.draytek.co.uk/products/comparison

Thanks for the recommendation Julian. The price looks good for the high quality ratings, and the manual is almost 1,000 pages to describe the options - wow, that’s great!

Big manual = must be good :stuck_out_tongue:
Thats as bad as way back in the vacuum tube days when you could tell you had a high quality amp because it weighed a ton
“Hey I can’t lift this thing it must be an awesome amp !”

I’m more curious what sort of issues you’re running into as I have an extreme and share it with a lot of devices including our borders HP notebook and Surface
What we found is that those two devices have a devil of a time getting a decent signal despite the router being 10 feet away
So I put an Airport express in the borders room and now the signal is < 2 feet away and those two devices no longer have issues
The rest of the iPads, including our borders iPad mini, and Macs in the house dont seem to care how far they are from the base station and just work

Yes, your right, the two are not related. The nice part is that there are instructions so that I can learn how to mess-it-up :slight_smile:

We have quite a few computers: dell, MBP, Mac Mini, Surface, etc, and the Dell tends to use up all of the wireless bandwidth. The signal from the airport express is great but no bandwidth to check email or webpages on the iPad. Internet sharing is particularly poor when there are updates to an Apple or PC. I was guessing that it was a QoS issue, but thats just a guess. I was looking into the ipfw commands or pfctl on Mac, and it doesn’t seem to help with sharing bandwidth.

If you have any suggestions, I am more than willing to give them a try - thanks :slight_smile:

Don’t the Airport Extremes let you set up two networks? Put all the non-Apple devices on one network and leave the Apple devices on the other…


I’m gonna side with Norman here. I have a mixture of devices on my network and find that the critical element for Windows is usually distance from the airport router, whereas our apple products just work (unless you’re in a closet that is)

I will say this though… for a long time I didn’t believe in using Apple wireless routers because they were so comparatively expensive, but I’m having the same experience with them now that I have with their computers… I spend a lot less time fixing/rebooting/tweaking them than I did with the third party routers and if I need to add a non-Apple device, I give it the passsord and it just works. That was hardly ever true before. In my case, for the most part, Apple routers are truly set and forget, and being that I work from home that is worth it.

Btw-It might be worth checking to see if there are just too many networks in your area on the same channel and altering yours to something that is used less.

I have 3 time capsules at home, and 4 at work. they all work without rebooting/tweaking anything for years now …

Too bad there is that rumour about Apple not making any future routers :frowning:

too bad its not a rumor

Too bad :frowning:

Hi Shao,

They do allow two networks to be setup, one is a public and the other is a private account. The amount of data packets going to a computer can slow down the home network. Thanks for the idea though. QoS throttling is still needed.

Hi Greg,

Airport Extreme routers do not have Quality of Service built into them. This seems to be a constant request from users to Apple to add this traffic prioritization feature. When I have two computers at equal distance from a router, one computer has a much larger share of the bandwidth.

Here is a quote from an older online review Airport Extreme Review :

The AirPort Extreme does not have parental controls, Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) or Quality of Service (QoS), which means that it is not able to prioritize different types of network traffic or guarantee predictable network behavior.

Yes, I agree that the router is very stable and works well for very small networks. It seems that my household is using more bandwidth and it looks like a Vigor 2925ac may be the solution.

I started with Airport Base Station the grey plastic UFO looking thing, then when I moved country I bought a cheap ole thing, as the specs were better. What a POS.

The wireless router built into our recent cable modem is a horrible horrible device, it’s slow short on range and drops out.

We have an Airport extreme, (with a large SD card for sharing files, as AirDrop is more like AirDroppings). That thing has been working non-stop since the day I set it up, 4~5 years ago. Everyone who comes to visit or dinner joins the network just fine.

I’ve going to see if I can score another one soon, for when this one dies.

You said this well Kevin. I have tried many options and so far the route seems to be new hardware. I’ll go through your great suggestions and answer with what I have tried.

The Dell is new, I’ll need to check how many wireless antenna’s it has - thanks!

Only my computer is wired, all other computers are communicating through Wifi, which has me tending to lean towards a hardware solution.

The opposite is true, the tablets and other devices are closer to the airport router than the Dell (farthest away). I have two airport extremes connected by wire to extend the wireless internet evenly for both upstairs and downstairs use. If I go as far as possible from the router then the internet speed degrades like you mention. When all computers are hooked up, the Dell takes most of the bandwidth - I’m going to check your antenna question :slight_smile:

I’ll look into this option. My question is that it would be nice if the Mikrotik QoS will work through the existing Airport Extreme network? If Mikrotik uses MAC addresses then I should be able to leave the current devices in place (running wire is a hassle).

I will also look at this option, and I have not heard of this company before. Thanks for the suggestion.

This is a sad predicament for Apple. I wish they would keep making routers, but it probably doesn’t have enough profit for them. Oh well.

Just be aware though, you will NOT be able to extend the apple wifi using the Vigor (or any other non-apple product) if you dont have ethernet running between the apple devices and the vigor. Apple has decided to only allow wifi extension of its coverage with other apple products. Yay!

Thanks for sharing this important information Julian. This is greatly appreciated!

You could have the same problem in the opposite direction. If the Dell can’t hear the tablets and other devices well it may try to communicate even when it shouldn’t and talk over the others. Also, wireless signal is rarely distributed evenly. Antenna patterns aren’t always even, reflections off things in the environment change the pattern. It’s best to test and measure signal somehow so you know what you are getting.

What you would do is put both Apple APs in bridge mode so they would not be doing any IP routing or NAT. The Mikrotik would be your internet router and the Airports would plug into it. Then you’d setup some form of Queuing on the Mikrotik which would handle the division of IP traffic through the router. This won’t fix an issue that is at the WiFi layer, this would only help with fairness to the internet or other devices where traffic is flowing through the router and out an interface that has the queue setup.

So if your issue is strictly a wireless problem then you really need to know that and diagnose that first. Either way you might be happy with spending a few bucks for a decent router anyway.

The Ubiquiti APs, and other brands as well, have a feature called airtime fairness which tries to distribute airtime a little better than basic wifi. It works to some degree, but is still limited by the way the wifi standard works. So even with that feature, sometimes you still need to add APs or place them better to get great connections everywhere you want them.

This seems like an attractive option as it would involve the least amount of rewiring and only minimal configuration changes to the airport expresses.

Thanks for your helpful thoughts.

Good luck with it. 2 More quick things you may already know, but I find are very common problems.

Be sure to individually set non-overlapping channels on your Airports. Don’t use auto. Stick to 1,6,11 on the 2.4GHz side, and something sensible on the 5GHz as well. In 5GHz you can usually just pick ends in the different bands. So something like 36,48 and 149,161. If you want to be sure the wireless diagnostics app on the Mac is very useful.

Also avoid placing the router near any large metal surfaces. Bathroom mirrors are especially bad in some homes because they are large and highly reflective. Also filing cabinets and pantries can be problems for some people. Please don’t put your router in a pantry with all the canned goods. I was very surprised the first time I ran into that one, but I guess it makes sense that a few people out there would want to hide their router in a pantry.

You don’t want to extend their network wirelessly anyway, that would effectively halve that bandwidth as the router has to receive and then retransmit on the same network.

The best way that I’ve found to extend a network absolutely requires that you run ethernet to the second or third base station. Then you just setup that AP with the same network name and password as the main one but in bridge mode. So the first one handles DHCP and NAT and sharing and everything else, and the other bridge mode devices just provide another network with the same name but on an automatically generated different channel. All my devices here roam between them that way excellently and there are no bandwidth issues as you switch to an annoying wireless only extender. I really don’t like wireless extenders, everywhere I”ve set them up for family or friends or experimented with them here they were a total mess.

Not exactly on topic :wink: But I thought I’d mention it just in case.