It is a little amazing that it has taken until 2017/2018 for many of the professional-grade networking manufacturers to push gigabit throughput down to their day-to-day routers. It has been many a challenging conversation with several residential clients to explain that, although they may have gigabit service and the ISP router they got for free handles the speed, the professional router we recommend only gets to 500 or 600 mbps.
Until recently we could argue that gigabit is overkill and that they do not really need that kind of speed, but times are changing and, with multiple users in the household streaming 4K content simultaneously and with many ISPs in our area offering gigabit speeds at or below the cost of 300 mbps, it really made no sense for clients to hold off. That is why I am really happy that two weeks ago SnapAV launched its foray into gigabit with the AN-110-RT-2L1W and AN-1100-RT-2L1W-WIFI.
Both are small form-factor routers with a single gigabit WAN port and two LAN ports. One has a built-in wireless access point and the other does not — other than that, they are identical. I have been using the non-WiFi version for a few weeks now and have been impressed. It definitely passes gigabit speeds, so clients will be happy, and I will have one less thing to explain to customers. In the time I have been bench testing the routers, there are definitely some features I am very happy with and some I wish could be done a bit differently.
Since I like to end a blog on a positive note, I’ll start with the “could be better.”
- Every time you move from one tab/page to another, there is an annoying 20 second reloading services message. While 20 seconds is not terrible, after working your way through 5-10 screens, you begin to feel it. I wish we could click Save at the bottom of each page and then have all of the settings applied in a batch format, much like what the Araknis WAPs do. SnapAV has indicated they are working on optimizing this with a firmware update early in 2019.
- It is not rack mountable, although I understand a rack mountable version is coming.
And now for the good news:
- Gigabit! Enough said.
- Small form factor. The router is small and well designed for use in cabinets and furniture. Great for use in smaller installations
- Price. It is very competitively priced at $240 and $320 retail for the non-WiFi and WiFi versions, respectively.
- IPTV Compatibility. There are no longer any settings to change to work as the primary router with cable services that require data connections for the STB to get guide, On Demand, and other services. FIOS is the provider in our market that requires its router to be on the network, and the Araknis router works great as the primary, with the FiOS router as a secondary.
- OvrC Pro. Now there is no need for a separate OvrC Pro Hub, as the functionality is built into the router. This saves money, a power outlet, and an Ethernet port — three things that are often in limited supply.
- Functionality. These are not stripped down or limited in any way (except for not being rack mountable). There are no limits to devices you can connect, and OvrC is fully functional.
Overall, we’ve been very happy with what we have seen. Now we are just waiting for SnapAV to create bundles with the new routers and existing WAPs and switches (as they have for their legacy router) and to introduce an update to the original Araknis rack-mountable model. Keep the great products and features coming!