Modem and router issues

I need a modem that will provide reasonable speeds in all parts of my 2-storey house

@lawsonsa Hard to answer because you don’t state whether you are on cable , ADSL2+ or NBN . I’m on ADSL2+ with Telstra . I have their newest Modem/Router , the Gateway Max 2 TG800c VAC dual band . Covers all areas with ease . I’m sure others on the forum will be able to give you more expert advice on Wi-FI extenders etc if you need them .

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Thanks vax2000 We are on NBN - fibre to the node about 0.5 km away

We use powerline adaptors instead of wifi.

“A powerline adapter is an alternative to running in-wall ethernet cables because it can send your media files and data over your household’s existing electrical wiring just like it would over ethernet cables. A network media player or network device connects to a powerline adapter using an ethernet cable.”

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The easiest thing might be to consider wifi repeaters if you’re having problems with signal strength.

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Before you spend more money, have a look at any old functioning wi-fi routers you have. Depending on the router, it may be able to be set up as a router connected by cat5 to the modem (if the modem doesn’t have wi-fi).

If the modem has a built in wi-fi, set your old wi-fi as a repeater within the range of the NBN modem/router, to extend the range of your wi-fi signal.


Because you have a 2nd floor the powerline extenders/adapters are probably the best choice, as @ozcatfish_agogo suggested, to get good internet speeds throughout your house. Just be sure that the adapters you install are on the same power circuit. Also make sure the powerline adapter you use as your upstairs one has wifi output as well (for example or

If you don’t have a circuit shared between both levels then getting 2 routers or a router and an Access Point (AP) with external aerials that you can point upwards and downwards will be the next best bet. Most ac network type routers have beam forming which will help create a strong signal over the wifi network but even n band wifi routers will, if you place the aerials correctly, give you a decent signal between them and give you decent speeds. Just make sure that they (or a least one) can be set as or is an Access Point, and it should be the one you place upstairs if your internet connection is downstairs.

Use an app like Wifi Analyser on a phone or pad to map and test the strength of your signals and adjust the aerials to get best coverage.

Brands like ASUS, Netgear, Edimax, Cisco, D-Link and TP-Link will meet your needs in routers, AP’s or powerline.


A few years ago Belkin marketed a modem router with a 300m range, we used one and it allowed us to share our home wifi network with my daughter when she lived on the street behind ours, which was around 200m away. She got a good but not as fast as our connection with it.
But I have had trouble with belkin products including software issues with this particular modem and I found Belkin’s support quite poor. But it is likely other brands may offer similar long range solutions.

Thanks to all for your help. I dusted off the old router and placed it downstairs and the signal is stronger

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Now that it has been sorted, I thought I would add some levity,


I have a double-storey weatherboard house. Retrofitting Ethernet cabling in a weatherboard is difficult and costly, so I initially used powerline adapters to transmit Ethernet over the mains power cabling. That worked fine on the ground floor but wasn’t reliable across all target power points, so I reverted to the WiFi router. My router at the time was a high-end DLink dual-band router covering the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. I was getting drop-outs on the periphery of the 2.4GHz range, partly due to competing signals from neighbours’ routers. I tried switching channels, to no avail as all channels are fairly congested on that frequency range. Most of my devices support only 2.4GHz. I did some research seeking a router with improved range and decided on the Asus RT-AC68U dual-band router. The signal strength on the Asus is far superior and I no longer get drop-outs - on either the cluttered 2.4GHz frequency or the competition-free 5GHz frequency. The Asus router supports the 802.11ac standard on the 5GHz band. The router is downstairs and my PC upstairs. I purchased an ASUS WiFi card (which supports 802.11ac), installed it on my PC and, at the time of writing, it’s achieving 364.5 Mbps throughput. I’ve used VOIP for years, and the QoS options on the router were easy to configure. The Asus router has been going strong for around 4 years and hasn’t faltered. I get excellent speeds on 802.11ac and the performance is reliable and range very good on both frequency bands. Naturally 2.4GHz has a greater range so I have good coverage through the back yard. I have no need for WiFi range extenders.

1-Mar-2017 - an addendum which may be useful to some readers. When I first installed the Asus WiFi card in my old PC, it caused a buzzing noise from an external speaker which was connected to a sound card in the neighbouring slot. Happily, I had another slot free so I shifted the WiFi card to the next slot away from the sound card and that resolved the problem.


For other community members in the same boat, our review of NBN-ready wireless routers:

And WiFi range extenders:


Scott, a general question - how does Choice select the specific products to be tested / reviewed?

Hi TheBBG,

we employ a team of market researchers. Depending on the product type, we might decide to attempt to cover the entire market and buy all models that are readily available around Australia. We also check whether the products will still be available to buy at the time our review will be published.

For other product types, where we can’t afford to cover the entire range of models available, we will buy a representative sample of products that we predict will be of most interest to our members.

Where a new product appears that is particularly novel or generating a lot of interest, we’ll sometimes do a First Look rather than a full comparative test.

The specifics are a little more complex, but that is a high level overview of the process.