Sorry, just to clarify further. I agree that Roon is not responsible for my network setup. But, that is why it is important to provide clear, accurate, technical specifications for the network requirements. This is not easy, it would require a very good experienced network engineer who understands the Roon software and the marketplace for networking equipment to make a brand generic by technically specific recommendation that end users can use when shopping for and setting up a network.
By specifying specific router brands, and only one brand of router, as a recommended hardware solution for wireless streaming, Roon has put itself on the hook to answer for many networking issues they may have no control over. Your phrase YMMV is very important, Roon has all but elminated the possibility of using that phrase credibly.
Let’s just say I go out and buy the latest Asus router Roon recommends. And I get it home and it doesn’t work. Now I’m pretty disappointed with Roon’s advice. I am jumping the gun here since I am complaining in advance of using the advice based on past, probably obsolete experience, but you get my point.
When Roon suggests in the later portions of it’s tech note (if I can call it that) that mesh networks can be used to good effect, they make sure to mention multiple brands of hardware. That is better, but the recommendation is so generic as to be relatively useless from a technical point of view.
I am rooting for Roon, they have done so much that is so excellent. But, I have seen this before where very good software is handled poorly from a support and documentation standpoint. This may just be accepted practice at this point. And, due to the vagaries of using Wifi for streaming I am concerned they could be overwhelmed with support requests if they do not take a different route.
I admit I may be totally wrong in this. There was a study done by Harvard Business Review a long time ago where they measured user satisfaction of a PC application, then they went out and trained the users on the application. The training caused the user satisfaction to actually go down since users expectations of the application went up after learning more about it. So, more information can cause support requests to go up. It is a very difficult problem to address.
But consider that some home audio professionals may want to setup Roon for their clients. They may be building and configuring a home audio network for a client. You would be amazed at what rich people put in their homes. Those professional installers could certainly use better technical information and would be able to configure professional grade networking gear. But, pro home audio installers might be such a small market for Roon that it’s not worth supporting fuller.
I am very happy with my Cisco router that solved all of my home Wifi issus, and I have a brand new Netgear 802.11.ac and Asus 802.11.ac that I will throw in the trash. It’s been some years since I did that little project, but I think my advice and warning is still valid. End users and Roon might not want to put all their eggs into the Asus home gamer router basket. There are other approaches. At a minimum it looks very salesly and technically shallow, or even down right suspicious. Why just Asus? Why that brand?
I’ve learned a lot from this discussion though. I’m very intrigued by Mr. Fix It’s information about the Ubi mesh ap’s and routers. I have one Ubi ap at work and I was very impressed. There may be something about the mesh protocol that really assists channel congesion and the Ubi routers appear to be very powerful. I doubt a router that can support many ap’s is going to choke on too many devices in the home. It is a fundamental paradigm shift away from the line of sight gamer router.
This is inaccurate, there are no brand recommendations in the KB article. Points such as ‘We recommend enabling “Enable Multicast Routing” option in settings.’ is based on experience of that particular product with Roon, and is neither an endorsement nor a recommendation to buy that product.
True, but a distinction without a difference. You’re correct the recommendation does not technically occur in the Knowledge Base, but instead in a blog about Wifi networking. Given the paucity of technical information available, I don’t think it’s a stretch to hold Roon accountable for technical information appearing in the blod as well.
See the Blog entry here:
Which contains this:
Ditch the cable company special for one of these high performance routers from ASUS:
And, yes there is some good troubleshooting information in the KB article. But, instead of writing a KB article as a collection of tips, and then following on with Blog entry to fill in the gaps, why not write a true Requirements document saying what’s required of the network.
An astute observer could intuit that Roon will use Multicast, but why bury that requirement in a set of tips? That’s a key piece of network configuration that would be included in a proper requirements specification. Someone might also want to know if UDP is being used. That is sometimes locked down, but likely already open for NAS, I don’t know.
Most home routers have everything wide open enabled, so it’s really not much of problem. But, if someone has hardened their router for security, or to minimize broadcast traffic from chatty windows PC’s, then, they’d need to open some stuff up.
That’s really at the core of network performance problems. Eliminating junk on the network is a key to getting good performance, but this can also mean that problems occur with the apps you want to have access to certain protocols. The same is true of the Server, Core and Bridge hardware. I found a really good configuration guide for the Mac Mini on another website to disable all the unnecessary processes running on the machine. That’s all that’s happening on these NUCS and Rocks or whatever black box hardware is being marketed. Okay, their Linux and not MacOS (Unix), but really it’s all intel chipset motherboards, so let’s get over it.
Roon is a different kind of company that most audio companies, much better. So, let’s see continued greatness, break the mold. Don’t give in to the temptation to hide the technical bits about RAAT like some secret streaming audio sauce. Anyone with a decent sniffer can sort that out, and will. The rest of us would like to know how to make the best of Roon.
I’m not sure where you’re going with this, but I suspect most users don’t care much about multicast or network protocols. They simply want plug and play, and that’s what they get with a properly functioning home network. When there are problems support is here: the KB and forum.
I’d like to think that someone who has hardened their network knows what they’re doing. Nonetheless, here are the ports Roon uses:
- UDP 9003
- TCP 9100:9200
sudo ufw allow proto udp to any port 9003 from 192.168.1.0/24
sudo ufw allow proto tcp from any to any port 9100:9200
Support is never far away when a problem is clearly articulated.
Thanks for the port information, I think some users might find it useful.
Curious, what is a “properly functioning home network”? I’ve never met one.
They all function properly until you start to use them. They all break at some point. The same users who want plug and play, may also have other devices and applications in their network. Many of these devices are doing nasty things to the network all on their own. Ever heard of “the internet of things”?
I don’t buy the ingorance is bliss paradigm of network management.
Ultimately all users of a home network will need to implement Quality of Service (QOS) on their network, regardless of hardware. This might mean telling their wife not to download YouTube videos while they are listening to Tidal over Roon, or using the QOS features of their router, if it has them.
It looks like most routers are either doing QOS by designation of the LAN port or by being application aware. I thought they might use protocol or socket ports, but that appears not useful.
For example see here a good explanation of using QOS on the gamer Asus router and using a third party linux kernel for popular routers. Evidently some folks on this thread are also using third party firmware to good effect and may have more QOS features than the stock configuration.
The application aware implementation of QOS is even more evident looking at the Cisco implementations. Cisco systems is the gold standard for this stuff.
Notice that this particular version of Cisco firmware is documented to explicity support QOS of Spotify streams. I could not find Tidal or Roon in this particular release. See details of Spotify protocols here:
I don’t know where I am going either, but I think “most users” and Roon might beneift from being aware of QOS and how it can be used in the home network to improve results with Roon. I don’t know about most users, but I think many users will have very busy home networks and this will be a problem for Roon streaming.
Furthermore, I think Roon should be recommending routers that have proper support for QOS, ideally explicitly supported at the application layer. And should proactively seek to have major router mfg’s include their RAAT protocol in their QOS suppor. In my opinion this will serve you better than recommending gamer routers with good line of site bandwidth specs.
But, hey, it’s you’re rodeo. I’m sure most users can “clearly articulate” their network problem for easy solution. Good luck with that.
But back to the OP’s original question for a router recommendation. I have provided my recommendation and explained what I think is important in a router and recommendation. I think good router software with the right configuration including QOS is more important that line of site wireless bandwidth and I think Roon should provide the basic requirements specifications to achieve that configuration.
I think that specifying a particular brand of router is also the wrong way to answer the question. At a minimum several brands or models should be recommended to fit a criteria. But, okay, if the only criteria is that a wireless router is 802.11.ac and 5 ghz, which they all have, then I guess just mentioned one router is better than listed the 100’s of routers that meet that criteria.
But, if instead you could understand which routers might support QOS of Roon, or which ones have other management features that are IEEE compliant for QOS, or to some other industry recognized best practice, then you could narrow that list.
But, again, do it your way. If most users are happy with the routers you recommend, and plug and play works all the time, then by all means, you should ignore everything I have to say.
I finally got rid of all my Orbi networking equipment (awful), and replaced it with a Unifi setup.
The Ubiquiti gear is really excellent. And, no more Roon dropouts.
Great choice. I use all unifi gear – firewall/router, switches, aps… Excellent stuff and rock solid.
I run a Synology RT2600ac that was initially paired with TP-Link Wi-Fi extenders and lost connectivity every 1-2 days (mostly due to my stubborn insistence on not naming separate networks, the extenders would log in to each other and die). When I finally decided to ditch the extenders and go with a mesh product I added a Linksys Velop (in bridge mode so I could keep the router). This configuration has been rock solid for the last 6 months or so. Trouble-free Roon plus 3 wireless security cameras plus gaming/Netflix streaming. Just wanted to toss in a non-Unifi option.
Mesh wifi, I am using Google Wifi, it gets better all time.
I had a terrible couple of years with an Orbi + 2 satellites, but it has settled down now and has been rock solid for the last 2 or 3 updates, albeit in access point mode. I’m in an old 3 storey property with thick floors and high ceilings, and the daisy chaining on a dedicated backhaul channel works really well.
I have posted several times both here and elsewhere that my Orbing and 2 satellites gave me innumerable issues for almost a year. About two months ago I switched over to a optical connection from my switch to a opticalModule just in front o\f my dCS Upsampler. The .5 meter is ethernet. That seems to have solved most of my issues. The Orbi was fine for everything in my home save for my audio. Now I have all the coverage and stability I require.
I will still state that Netgear’s Orbi support was probably the worst I have ever had to deal with on any product.
Hi, Just catching up on this thread.
Why not use the max bandwidth settings available on the AP for both 2.4G and 5G?
I run a Edimax WAP1750 with 3x3, and have set 40MHz on the 2.4G and Auto 80/40/20 on the 5G. I have set bandsteering to ‘5G first’, however what is a suitable RSSI threshold for 5G to 2.4G ‘hand-back’?
If you see more than a few 2.4GHz WiFi networks from your neighbors, using the max bandwidth for 2.4GHz will increase the likelihood of WiFi channel overlap and interference, and the loss may be more than the gain especially with streaming content.
Umm, streamed content is mostly to wired devices.
The streamed content over WiFi I have is to my iPad, iPhone - so the occasional YouTube video (e.g. Analog Planet & John Darko).
Enjoying Gregory Porter’s “The Hang” podcasts at present, but they download and they are played locally.
This is a good choice. The Ubiquiti AP control software has channel analysis built in and will automatically recommend the least utilized channels.
Great success with my Orbi 50 plus 2 satellites as well. Stable, good app, easy to assign ip addresses
I also have the Synology router connected by ethernet to Small Green Computer sonicTransporter i5. Works very well.
Further update, in case anyone is interested.
Shortly after the above post, I restored the RT-AC3200 for 2.4GHz WiFi only, as it had better range.
Recently, we have relocated our office, and have purchased two more units of UAP-AC-HD, and kept the original unit as backup in case we run into a range issue again and need to install the third one. The RT-AC3200 is retired.
5GHz works really well in our new office. However, the 2.4GHz is not. A coworker couldn’t get a stable 2.4GHz (set to 20MHz bandwidth to minimize conflicts with other nearby WiFi from other companies) connection with a direct line of sight of a UAP-AC-HD through a glass door from a Note 8. After switching to 5GHz, the phone works well too, so I don’t bother to solve the 2.4GHz issue.