Router to replace Apple Airport Extreme Gen 5

I just got an AX300 to replace my older AC1750, and out of the box there is no privacy warning associated with its network(s) showing on my iPhone or my Mac.

Oops! So much for THAT solution! I’m well aware that some ISPs and/or cell service providers now sell high speed internet access using 5G cellular data, but when the purpose of one’s cell plan is cellular phone service, the COST of using cellular data for routine internet access could be exorbitant. After little more than a few runs of Speediest earlier today, I left my hotel room for several hours, and when I returned there were messages saying my monthly bill would be paid tomorrow, but also another announcing that I’d used 80% of my cellular data service for the month. Looking back, I discovered that my wife’s cellular data usage never exceeded even 2 GB/month, (she downloads pictures and videos fairly commonly), whereas my PRINCIPAL use of cellular data has been the mobile hotspot. I have an “unlimited” plan from Spectrum, so if I exceeded 10 GB in any one month I wouldn’t pay anything more, BUT my cellular data max rate would throttle back to a maximum of 600 KB/see fro the remainder of that period.

Demonstrating, of course, that while my iPhone 14 Pro might be technically capable of providing me high speed internet access for my home LAN, it could also saddle me with VERY poor performance for a good bit of each and every month. I’m assuming this is not a technical issue, but rather one of how the cell provider chooses to bill for cellular data services.

If you subscribe to fixed-wireless service from an ISP, it won’t be via your cell phone’s tethering. it will be via a router with a 5G network interface.

But that having been said, carries have different tiers of “unlimited” data. The more expensive tiers won’t throttle your bandwidth. You should pick the tier that aligns with your monthly usage. If it seems expensive, just remember to compare it against what you would otherwise pay to a cable or fiber ISP for their Internet service.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you think you’re going to save money using a fixed-wireless plan for your home Internet access, you need to do a bit of research into the actual costs. You might find that it’s not as great a deal as you were otherwise expecting.

And, I think that’s what I already posted in response to my own message. While it’s technically possible, it’s probably a fool’s errand given the carriers’ pricing models. I am still curious whether those models reflect real costs; the very fact that carriers are now selling “ISP” plans that rely on cellular infrastructure tells me they don’t.

I don’t know if this is a source of confusion in this thread but with my mobile carrier, cellular hotspot is a feature of mobile phone plans while cellular ISP is a separate, standalone service that does not require a phone plan with the carrier.

Again, thanks for all the responses on this thread.

I purchased the Synology WXR560 router and it arrived a few days ago.

I am having one issue. There are four LAN ports, one of which is 2.5 Gbps. See attachement. I am unable to get any of my devices to work on this port. All work fine in the other ports.

Anything I should be checking to see why this port is not working?

Looking over the manual, there is a “Dual WAN” mode of operation where the 2.5G port is a second WAN port, leaving you with only three LAN ports. This may be necessary if you have Internet service faster than gigabit (cable/fiber modems for these speeds will usually provide either a 2.5G port or multiple 1G ports bonded together). It’s also used to support simultaneous use of two ISPs (either for load balancing or failover).

If you want to use the 2.5G port for LAN port, then you obviously need to disable the Dual WAN mode. Unfortunately, I didn’t see instructions for doing this in the manual, so hopefully it’s not going to be too hard to figure out.

See also:

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I have the AC2600 which also has the dual WAN but the first port is not 2.5 Gbps. You can check if it’s active for that purpose when you log into your router configuration page under Network/Internet/Smart WAN and the LAN port should be inactive if you want to use it just for a LAN, not for a failover function.

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I just want to circle back and thank you and others for this recommendation. The Synology AC2600 is working fine so far and was easy to set up.

Before I looked into this unit, about two months ago I had ordered a TP-Link AX1800 router as it had decent reviews and was also one of the units higher on the Consumer Reports tests considering its lower price. However, it didn’t seem that much stronger than my old Netgear unit in some places. Some of my security cameras had trouble getting a signal for setup etc. So after giving it some time to see if it would work in various locations, I decided to return it and just use the Netgear which was slow. The Synology unit seems to have a stronger signal. I do have a split level house around 2500 sq. feet and my old Arris router from ATT covered it decently so I would have assumed that a newer router would work at least as well but that was not the case.

So, thanks again for the recommendation.

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I believe the “Smart WAN” tab is for customizing the WAN ports. On my 2600, the LAN1 enable/disable setting is under:

Network Center > Internet > Connection

Set the “Secondary Interface” as Disabled and then Apply to save the setting (and check that your Primary Interface says “Enabled” next to “Set as default gateway:”). If LAN1 still doesn’t work, try resetting/rebooting the router. Sometimes SRM settings do not take effect until you do a full power cycle.

[Note: Image from SRM 1.2 but 1.3 is very similar]

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SOLVED!

Thanks, @macguyver for the correct answer. I spent several hours reading the documentation (yeah, really!) but never made the connection (pun intended).

I had tested the port as a secondary interface (i.e, secondary WAN) to be certain that the port was actually functional. It was. That was when I decided it had to be a setting…somewhere…

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That is true but under Smart WAN, you can clearly see whether that LAN is activated for that feature or not. If it is activated, then the LAN will not function:

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@jk2gs, you had the path David needed, and this may be a difference between SRM 1.2 and 1.3. SRM is a bit fiddly with some things and, while they have very good documentation, Synology has some frustrating gaps in the manual.

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