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Ask Slashdot: Good Gigabit 802.11N Home Router? 398

nukem996 writes "This week I will be moving into a new apartment with a very fast Internet connection (100M with the possibility of 200M in the future). I'm used to running OpenWRT on my Linksys WRT54G router and would like a well supported router to replace it. While researching routers I found most reviewers were using the default firmware and since I'll be putting on OpenWRT I'd like to know how well it works when using that. My requirements are gigabit LAN and WAN, 802.11N at 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz, well supported by OpenWRT and/or DD-WRT, and USB support would be nice. I was thinking of going with BUFFALO WZR-HP-AG300H but some reviewers say there are range and dropping issues. My ISP suggests the Apple Airport Extreme which isn't supported by OpenWRT or the D-Link 825 which has connection problems as well and a few friends told me to stay away form D-Link. What does slashdot think?"
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Ask Slashdot: Good Gigabit 802.11N Home Router?

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  • Asus RT-N16 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Ive got an ASUS RT-N16 running DD-WRT and found it to be a solid workhorse. Supports all the functionality you require as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Same here. I went from a WRT54GL with tomato firmware to an Asus RT-N16 and i still feel i'm not taking full advantage of the router, despite having my printer plugged into one of the USB ports and an external USB HD plugged in the other port.

      Been an year, and so far no complaints at all. Can't say for the other dd-wrt capable routers, but I have no reason to move from the RT-N16.

      • I looked at that but it doesn't support 5Ghz. Since I'm going to be in a very huge apartment building I'd like to be able to do most of my wireless over 5Ghz so I don't get interference with anyone else. I was also looking at the ASUS RT-N56U which has everything I want but theres no OpenWRT support. Apparently its possible but I don't have the time to port it myself.http://ask.slashdot.org/story/11/09/19/0315258/Ask-Slashdot-Good-Gigabit-80211N-Home-Router#
    • Does it actually support Gigabit on the WAN port? Most consumer gigabit routers i've seen have 10/100 on WAN, and gigabit on LAN.

      • This was the case a number of years ago but apparently most gigabit routers have gigabit WAN now.
        • It usually ends up being simpler to make them all gigabit since it's implemented on a 5 port switch (often built in the SoC). The silicon costs the same either way.

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      I used to recommend the Asus RT-N16 and had mine running DD-WRT but after a week out of warranty it up and died (totally dead, no lights, nothing). It seems a common issue with the power supply. Netgear stuff has issues keeping a wireless connection, Linksys would just crash and need a reboot once in a while, one gigabit D-Link router literally melted during a LAN party.

      I've had Apple Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule and they're all still in working order with uptime's of hundreds of days,

  • Netgear WNDR-3700 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:40AM (#37438096)

    It supports 802.11N at 2.4GHz and 5GHz, has a USB port, and supports gigabit LAN. The default firmware is a modified version of OpenWRT, and it is supported by both OpenWRT and DDWRT. It performs quite well.

    • Heh. I'm still using an ancient Linksys WRT54Gv4 paired up with some D-Link 5-port Gb switch. The simple layer-2 D-Link stuff works fine, and the Linksys, running the Tomato firmware, is quite configurable and keeps up with my 25Mbps FiOS uplink (the previous HyperWRT firmware only went up to 20Mbps) and does better with torrents than the somewhat high-end Actiontec router that came from Verizon.

      But this ask slashdot is relevant to my interests, since someday I'd like to be at least marginally aware when s

    • by codegen ( 103601 )
      Also has gigabit on the WAN side as well. Something the Original Poster was asking for.
    • I have this router and it runs like a champ. It has very high speeds on the wireless (90mbit sustained on 5GHz) and wired sides, and the simultaneous dual-band ability is awesome. The WAN side has gigabit as well, but my ISP isn't fast enough for me to test and see if it actually can handle 100-200mbit speeds when routing the traffic. The only downside I can see is that the USB mass storage NAS host is very slow: maybe 8MB/sec maximum onto a FAT32 disk.

    • I have one. Wireless just shuts off randomly every day, and under heavy load. Not all of them do this, but if you get one, there is no known fix. Does it both on stock firmware and DD-WRT. Netgear forums are littered with reports of it. I'm getting an Asus RT-N16 today to replace it.
  • by martok ( 7123 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:40AM (#37438098)

    I use the Netgear WNDR3700 which works quite well with OpenWRT. Having said that, really slashdot? Slow day?

    • by bersl2 ( 689221 )

      I realize this is a false dichotomy, but would you really prefer a troll story to this?

    • Re:WNDR3700 (Score:5, Informative)

      by iamhassi ( 659463 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:48AM (#37438132) Journal

      really slashdot? Slow day?

      Agreed. Aren't their better places to ask for the best gigabit 802.11n router supporting DD-WRT and OpenWRT? Not really "News for Nerds" or "Stuff that Matters". I'm sure any number of a hundred forums would be better, maybe the dd-wrt forum [dd-wrt.com] or openwrt forum [openwrt.org] would good places to start since you require a router that support both of those.

      • by LostMyBeaver ( 1226054 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:24AM (#37438270)
        This is an issue which is more likely to effect Slashdotters than the average daily user. Many ISPs are offering 100MBps+ (in civilized countries) knowing there are factors involved such as the fact that the consumers will either never use the allocated bandwidth and there will be even less who can find suitable hardware to handle the connection.

        I have personally considered in the past using KickStarter to design a SOHO Layer-3 switch with IPv6 and NAT. Wireless routers will be an issue in high bandwidth environments for a time to come since wireless routers typically use low end ARM processors and perform software based routing. Even using modern high end ARM CPUs, performing routing within software at bitrates over 60MBps is a challenge. Just the memory moves are insane.

        An alternative is to use a DSP for software based routing which generally can improve performance substantially in these cases as they tend to contain a separate "Device" which they call an enhanced DMA controller, but instead is simply a device which is programmable to move memory using DMA. More advanced ones even include some scatter/gather functionality which can be useful for restamping network packets for NATing.

        I can go into extensive details about how software based routers will always suffer for one reason or another and present dozens of alternative methods of implementing a SOHO (sub $300) solution to this problem, but the point is simply this. It is in fact a problem.

        I can't be 100% sure whether the guys at Linksys/Cisco, Netgear, DLink etc... read Slashdot, but raising awareness to the issue may increase the awareness among these vendors to a need we "high end users" are coming across. The aging platforms from these vendors need an overhaul to support higher bandwidth and time has come which network routing is no longer really an option for strictly software based solutions. It is time we start getting consumer priced layer-3 switches with NAT, IPv6 and 6-over-4 solutions as well. The designs should include the features we expect from SOHO routers but should function as switches. This is entirely possible using low end FPGAs and using for example either an Intel Stellerton platform or possibly a Xilinx with embedded ARM would be ideal for these cases.

        So, I am pretty pleased this topic has come up here. I am hoping that by the time my ISP upgrades me to 100 MBps (I'm a cheapskate... I only pay for 50up/50down, but can get 400up/400down for twice the price) I'll be able to handle the performance. At the moment, I'm using a Cisco 1900 series router which is soon to max out.
        • Are we confusing Mbps (megabit per second) and MBps (megabyte per second) a bit? I hardly doubt that ISPs are offering 100MBps (megabytes per second) and up since these speeds would more than saturate gigabit ethernet. On the other hand, 60Mbps (as in 60 megabits per second) can easily be achieved with current generation of SOHO routers, even old WRT-54G could do 30-40Mbps on a good day. Yes, it is surely important to have routing speed in mind, many of the cheap devices can be insufficient, but Netgear (wi
          • by cynyr ( 703126 )

            is that 400+ Mbps from one outside host to one inside host? will it also do 10 hosts outside to 2 hosts inside without losing bandwidth? how about 60 out to 3 inside? can it do that while making sure bittorrent doesn't ruin skype, netflix and WoW?

            This is where I feel these speed fail, they need to load the router up with some more advanced routing and then do the speed test again. Start with nothing but DMZ, and then work up from there until it slows down.

          • Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the max. throughput will depend on the character of the transmission. If a router can transmit 400Mb/s in the best case, the worst case performance will be lower.

            I'd speculate that the best case is a single stream of large but not huge packets between the local and a single remote host, maybe even circumventing NAT; the worst case will be many many streams of small packets between several NAT'ed local hosts and a multitude of remote hosts, which sounds similar to BT traf

    • by Osty ( 16825 )

      I use the Netgear WNDR3700 which works quite well with OpenWRT

      The WNDR3700 is great if you don't mind 5GHz ranges of approximately a 10' radius of the router (why would you buy a simultaneous dual-band router and not use the 5GHz frequency?). I replaced my 3700 with a Linksys/Cisco E3000 because of that, and have been happy with the E3000 ever since. I do run stock firmware (shut up), but DD-WRT is also supported. OpenWRT lists the E3000 in the "Possible but not being worked on" section of its supported

      • My router is in my basement and I can reliably get a perfectly fine signal on my main floor 40 feet away. The 2.4GHz signal is stronger, but on 5GHz I can use double-wide channels.

      • by vlm ( 69642 )

        The WNDR3700 is great if you don't mind 5GHz ranges of approximately a 10' radius of the router

        Original poster was moving into an apartment... 10', properly placed of course, would cover my old bachelor pad quite well. The furthest away point, being the shower, would not have good coverage, but thats OK. Also coverage inside the coat closet by the front door would be sub optimal, again, eh...

        Something I've gotten used to in home ownership, is its a heck of a lot simpler, and more reliable, to simply install multiple access points than to try and wring the last 5 feet of coverage out... I've got an

    • Re:WNDR3700 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by inglorion_on_the_net ( 1965514 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:54AM (#37438402) Homepage

      Having said that, really slashdot? Slow day?

      Perhaps, but it is surprisingly difficult to find good info on this. I mostly blame this on hardware manufacturers releasing hundreds of models, instead of just a few that work. But what you will find in practice is that free operating systems haven't been tested on most of them, many don't achieve the rated speeds (many not even anywhere near), much of the software has reliability issues, and much of this hasn't been posted to the Internet yet. So, you ask around. Sounds like a good idea to me.

      Also, as I am going to be in the market for a new router myself, I am very interested in this thread.

      I currently have a TP-Link TP-WR1043ND, which I am happy with. It runs OpenWRT, supports Gigabit Ethernet, and has a USB port. Sadly, transferring files over SSH only achieves about 1 MB/s, due to the CPU getting saturated. It has no problems saturating my Internet connection, though. In short, it does what I want it to do, and it's cheap.

    • I got one for my laptop and TV and other computers that don't get their own IP (some of my stuff is on public IPs and just switched, some is behind the router). It does the trick, even with stock firmware. I haven't tested it to see if it can route a full gigabit from WAN to LAN, but it'll do more than 100mbps no problem. Has 5ghz and 2.4ghz radios, both with 3 antennas, so nice on the wireless front.

      DD-WRT has WIP support for it, meaning the current beta works with it but the stable release doesn't. I've n

  • My thoughts... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Cylix ( 55374 ) *

    This is my current router chosen because it was compatible with dd-wrt.

    It isn't wholly free of issues and the initial linux firmware actually had a memory leak in the httpd service. Depending on how much free time you want to invest you can move away from the stable build and roll your own dd-wrt or open-wrt. The leak was corrected fairly quickly after the initial release.

    It can get prissy if it runs for a few weeks, but I have always used nightly restarts to mitigate any long term issues. TBH I've always h

    • by samjam ( 256347 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:19AM (#37438256) Homepage Journal

      you don't actually say what your current router is...

      • by Cylix ( 55374 ) *

        Oops, originally it was in the title, but after a refresh/repaste it was left out.

        Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH

        The point however was not the particular model. There are likely newer better units on the market. I was advocating research to determine which particular model he might want. In my case, I don't vouch for the radio's prowess as I only use the wireless portion for a few mobile gadgets. Though at one point I did use a Roku, but as my home is wired with gigabit network in every room wireless isn't something

        • +1 for this router. I have a couple of these running plain DD-WRT and they're great. I have the dropout-correction script on both but it's never run as far as I can see. Certainly no users have ever noticed and I haven't seen any errors caused by it.

  • I've had only one D-Link product till now - An 803 adsl modem. They packed it with loads of features on the software side that the hardware clearly couldn't handle. It would hang randomly every few hours but got better when I disabled the firewall and some other stuff. Randomly slowed down and required a reboot to fix the issue. Finally crapped out a few days back and replaced it with a chinese adsl modem (tp-link) which works WAY better. Even the huawei (also chinese) that I had before the D-Link performed
    • Yeah I'd generally recommend steering clear of D-link, at least with the stock firmware, their products are generally shit. However, if you want a dirt-cheap N router (non-gigabit), look at putting DD-WRT on a DIR-615 variant. Those things are dirt cheap and once they're running DD-WRT, they're rock-solid stable.

  • by DWMorse ( 1816016 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:43AM (#37438110) Homepage
    Prepare for lots of it! First, a question. You're dropping a lot of money on a fat pipe, why are you considering consumer grade hardware? (Unless you're talking about 100Mbps divided by the entire apartment complex, which means you could be fighting that kid down the hall with a Usenet account for a shred of 1Mbps.)
    • (Unless you're talking about 100Mbps divided by the entire apartment complex, which means you could be fighting that kid down the hall with a Usenet account for a shred of 1Mbps.)

      Why do I have the feeling that this is precisely the case? What apartment mangement service understands what this stuff means? Which of them that do with vacent apartments would admit to the real bandwidth? Giving free internet as an incentive is common among apartment communities. What isn't common is giving away 100M connections to every tenant, because its overkill... powerusers/bandwidthhogs are very much still in the minority. My bet is the entire complex has a shared 100M connection... with the possib

    • Its only costing $60/month. I have a few friends that have it and they constantly get 70M/s. I'd be willing to look at better equipment but I still want OpenWRT support which is more likely on consumer hardware.
  • Unfortunately for you, it's only 2.4 GHz.

    Anyway, last I remembered, OpenWRT was having issues with dual-band 802.11n, though I may not have been paying very much attention, and this may have been resolved if it ever was a problem to begin with.

  • by jmcbain ( 1233044 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:45AM (#37438116)
    The best 802.11n home routers right now are the Apple Airport Extreme and the Cisco E4200. The key feature to look for is dual-band: you want to keep 802.11a/b traffic on 2.4Ghz and 802.11n on 5.0Ghz. That will allow you to achieve 802.11n's upper bound of 450 Mbps without baggage from 802.11a/b. If you want the most effortless setup, get the Airport Extreme; the accessory Airport Express devices will also allow you to extend the wireless range of your network.
    • I'm deducting 10 nerd-credits from this post for failing to mention G.
      • Also 802.11a is 5.x GHz - it is b/g on 2.4GHz. 802.11n can run on both 2.4 and 5.x.

        The Airport (like virtually all Apple stuff) is great if you don't want to tinker with it. This goes against the OP's requirement.

    • by Cimexus ( 1355033 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:32AM (#37438306)

      Yep. The Airport Extreme is one of the very few consumer-grade routers than can actually route at 100 Mbps on the WAN side. Many so-called gigabit home routers can manage gigabit switching on the LAN side, but start choking on the WAN side once you get to about 50-60 Mbps.

      Personally I use a FritzBox 7390 [fritzbox.com.au]. Can route at something like 400-500 Mbps on the WAN side so won't break a sweat doing 100 Mbps. Heaps of features in the firmware (QoS, VPN, SIP VoIP, DECT, traffic monitoring and blocking, line diagnostics blah blah) and compared to DLink and Netgear and all that other rubbish, and stable to boot. It is actually a combined DSL (ADSL2+/VDSL) modem and router but you can turn the modem part off and just use it as a plain old router. Has dualband 2.4 Ghz/5 Ghz WiFi too. Reason I picked this over the Airport Extreme is basically because the Airport Extreme doesn't have a web interface (you have to use Apple's proprietary configuration tool), and this does. Otherwise they are both excellent devices.

    • by Osty ( 16825 )

      you want to keep 802.11a/b traffic on 2.4Ghz and 802.11n on 5.0Ghz.

      Good luck getting 802.11a on 2.4GHz -- that's 5GHz stuff.

      Also, there are two separate 802.11n implementations for the different frequency bands. As long as you use WPA/WPA2 for your security, it's okay to have your router set to b/g/n or a/n shared mode. You'll only be limited in speed by the cleanliness of the radio signal (distance from router, interference from other sources), not by the other devices connected to the network unless you

    • Apple AirPort Extreme Technical Specs [apple.com]: "Maximum operating altitude: 10,000 feet". What?
    • by cbope ( 130292 )

      While not meeting the op's specs regarding OpenWRT support, I'll second the Apple Airport Extreme. I bought one about 2 years ago after finding out that my then brand-new Linksys WAG160N ADSL gateway could not even support a single wireless G client for more than 5-10 minutes without dropping the connection. The ADSL modem functionality worked fine so I simply turned off the wireless in the Linksys and added the Airport Extreme to my network. To this day, I think I have needed to reset the Airport maybe 2 t

    • I second the opinion. Along with what everyone else has said, the Airport Extreme is one of only a couple 3x3:3 routers - meaning it supports 3 spatial streams up and down on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which means it can max out the capabilities of 802.11n so long as the other end is similarly equipped (otherwise the extra streams are used for noise cancellation). As far as hardware goes you really can't top it in the consumer space, the only thing more powerful would require a CCNA to operate.

      The E4200 is close (and

  • by flaming error ( 1041742 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:48AM (#37438128) Journal

    Slashdot thinks you should build your own router using pizza boxes, empty cans of mountain dew, arduinos, and duct tape. Your use of OpenWRT is satisfactory, although coding your own router in Assembly is best.

    Me, I'd just pick up whatever's in stock at the department store. I had to return one once, but otherwise they've all worked fine.

    • by Fjandr ( 66656 )

      Assembly? Bah, in our day we'd code our router software on punchcards and walk it down the hall to transfer data! And we liked it!*

      *Not really.

  • I've got a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH running the [provided!] DD-WRT firmware, and haven't had any problems.

    It's also the gigabit switch between the upstairs office and the downstairs servers.
    Not had a single lick of trouble, and I've got coverage throughout my 2500 sq ft house.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 19, 2011 @01:49AM (#37438134)

    Get a cheap intel atom with dual intel nics and install pfsense 2.0 and away you go. Most Atoms are under 18 or so watts.

    • by atamido ( 1020905 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:51AM (#37438392)

      Get a cheap intel atom with dual intel nics and install pfsense 2.0 and away you go. Most Atoms are under 18 or so watts.

      I wish I had mod points to mark it as insightful. pfSense will give you all of the features you will ever want, and you'll never have to worry about it locking up under some sort of load. I use an old Pentium III (old one that was just laying around) that pulls just a little power, and is orders of magnitude more powerful than any consumer router you could get.

      You can get a PCIe wireless card to plug into your board, but I just turn off DHCP on my D-Link N router and plug into the switch portion of it. The D-Link would lock up all the time as a router, but acting as a switch/access point it's just fine.

      • I use an old Pentium III (old one that was just laying around) that pulls just a little power, and is orders of magnitude more powerful than any consumer router you could get.

        I would re-check the numbers on that. Many routers being recommended in this discussion have clock speeds of over 600 MHz [openwrt.org]. I don't know how that compares to P3 MHz in terms of performance on router tasks, but I doubt your old P3 is orders of magnitude more powerful.

        As far as little power goes, most consumer routers I've seen, including the ones I've owned, use just a few Watts for the entire system, including power supply inefficiencies. I doubt your P3 system gets that low.

        So, while I don't disagree with r

        • I would re-check the numbers on that. Many routers being recommended in this discussion have clock speeds of over 600 MHz [openwrt.org]. I don't know how that compares to P3 MHz in terms of performance on router tasks, but I doubt your old P3 is orders of magnitude more powerful.

          As far as little power goes, most consumer routers I've seen, including the ones I've owned, use just a few Watts for the entire system, including power supply inefficiencies. I doubt your P3 system gets that low.

          So, while I don't disagree with rolling your own router so that you get all the flexibility you want, I am not convinced a P3 would be a big win in terms of processing power, and I am sure it would be a big loss in terms of electricity usage.

          Sorry, I worded that sentence poorly, or possibly wrong, but you'll want to look at the Megahertz Myth.
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megahertz_myth [wikipedia.org]

          Granted, the comparison is something like (to use a car analogy) trying to compare the towing capacity of a large truck to a moped. The processors used in those routers are highly specialized and will actually perform a number of network related tasks at a very high rate, but unfortunately are dog slow at anything more generalized. For a simple NAT, it would pro

      • "Pulls just a little power" for a desktop computer maybe, but compared to embedded wireless routers that are going to draw 5-15W (good ones closer to 5, I put 15W because the at&t 2wire uverse proprietary box draws something like 16-17W), or even an atom system which will probably draw 20-30W, it'll pull many times that. The good old wrt54gl I have pulls 2 to 3 watts.

        Figure 1W is roughly $1/yr in costs (+- 10-20% depending on your energy provider), if you don't need more capability than a wireless rout

  • I have a D-Link DIR-825-B1 and have seen no problems with it. I have it because it is one of the few home routers that supports IPv6. (Yes, I know that you probably don't care.) I have run DD-WRT on it and it works fine.

    The unit is actually a Cameo router that D-Link re-labels.

    Also, be sure that you get a Rev. B1 unit. It is Atheros based and has DD-WRT support. The A1 uses a different chip and is will not run DD-WRT or OpenWRT. The revision is clearly marked on the box.

    Whether you run the standard firm

    • Seconded. It even has a second internal USB port that I soldered a cheap 1GB thumb drive to (stripped down). I'm running OpenWRT but it has all the features I want/need. It's also serving up IPv6 to the network with SIXX.

      And none of the DD-WRT slowdowns mentioned.

      • I brought this just the other day to replace an old Belkin which kept dropping connections when I brought home a HP TouchPad, and it was specifically chosen because it was the only one I could find in my area which was supported by OpenWRT. Was skeptical about it being a D-Link, but figured if the firmware was rubbish I can easily replace it anyway. Actually, I've had no need to so far - no sign of trouble at all.

  • by imroy ( 755 )

    If you don't mind going a little DIY, there is the Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro [ubnt.com]. It's a board with four GigE ports and three mini-PCI slots for wireless cards, and comes loaded with Open WRT. Look around online and you should be able to find a few places selling it with a simple case, power pack, and a wireless card for ~$150 or less. Note, I haven't used it, so I can't speak from experience. It's on my wishlist though :)

    • If you don't mind going a little DIY, there is the Ubiquiti RouterStation Pro [ubnt.com]. It's a board with four GigE ports and three mini-PCI slots for wireless cards, and comes loaded with Open WRT. Look around online and you should be able to find a few places selling it with a simple case, power pack, and a wireless card for ~$150 or less. Note, I haven't used it, so I can't speak from experience. It's on my wishlist though :)

      I haven't used it either, but I've used some other Ubiquiti products and have been very pleased with their hardware and software. Very stable and well developed.

  • by snookums ( 48954 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:18AM (#37438252)

    I'm very happy with the Airport Extreme in terms of stability. I think mine has locked up maybe once in a year, which is much better going than any other consumer wifi/router device I've ever owned. I run it as the main router for my house, and PPPoE endpoint (with an ADSL modem/router in bridge mode), with 5 GHz 802.11n. A separate ultra-cheap AP runs on 2.4 GHz for iPhones and guests without 5 GHz support.

    However, like many Apple products, the firmware isn't particularly user-configurable and I've not been able to get any Linux-based configuration utilities working on Ubuntu. If you don't have a Mac or Windows machine handy, changing settings and upgrading firmware would be a pain. It's also lacking PPPv6 support, at least in the version I have, so I can't join my ISP's IPv6 network without tunneling.

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 ) <joham999@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Monday September 19, 2011 @03:50AM (#37438572)

      I agree with this post.

      I also have the 4th gen Airport Extreme Dual Band and it has been rock solid on my high speed internet connection with all manner of clients. I'm not using a separate 2.4GHz AP, the AE is providing both 2.4 and 5GHz without issue, as well as hardwired ethernet connections to one or two devices in the house.

      I share a house with 4 other people and it's been smooth sailing without lock up or wireless issues except for one laptop (running Vista, pre patch) that just would not connect to either the 2.4 or 5 radios on a/b/g or n. Never did sort that out no matter how much fiddling or upgrading we did to the settings on the AE or upgrades and so on on the Vista laptop. Other Vista machines have used it with no issue, so I put it down to hardware conflict with the specific laptop.

      As far as ipv6 goes, I have the option for host/tunnel/router/off in the current firmware, but at the moment I am not using it - it's set to link-local only.

      We're also sharing a hard drive from the USB port which has also been flawless. Last year we were using a drive on it for an Time Machine backup for one of my housemate's MBP, but she took that drive with her when she moved to AZ, so since then it's just been a big drive with a ton of stuff on it for XBMC. Neither setup has been a problem (despite the Time Machine config being unsupported officially).

      My only gripes about the whole setup are that I feel they were slightly stingy on the LAN ports - only three instead of the usual 4 or more you get on most home kit, and the need to use the specific Airport Config utility, which means I cannot modify the settings from a Linux machine - this personally doesn't really affect me since there are a ton of Mac and Windows machines in the house, but it strikes me as a bit of an oversight that could be an issue for someone else (like the article writer perhaps).

      If you have a mixed network with at least one Windows or Mac machine for configuration, it is an excellent home router. My other choice was going to be to build something running pfsense, but since the box has to live in someone else's room due to the location of the cable modem, I decided to go with something small and silent that would cause minimal disruption, and the AE has certainly been that.

    • I second the recommendation, the airport extreme is a pretty well done router, relatively problem free.

  • Netgear WNDR3700 (Score:4, Informative)

    by anethema ( 99553 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @02:36AM (#37438324) Homepage
    Dual band, well supported OpenWRT. Decent DD-WRT support. USB. Great performance, gigabit, meets all your specs.

    CPU, RAM, and Storage are listed right on the box.

    There is no fancy reflashing to other OS proceedure. Pick any image of any OS you want and flash. No protection at all.

    Hell the OS it ships with is (I believe) an OpenWRT derivative!

    It is this generations WRT54G(GL in later years).
    • I came to the same conclusion, but:

      Dual band, well supported OpenWRT.

      Mine drops connection every few hours. If yours is stable, which firmware version are you running?

  • I've got one, haven't had any issues. I use it on both bands, with wide channels on 5GHz.

  • I recently bought this and can say it is the best router I have ever owned. Besides running both 2.4 and 5 GHz networks, the router is fast and stable. The two USB ports are handy as I use them to run a shared disk between all of my home machines. The only downside to the that is the USB ports are 2.0 instead of 3.0 so it is not the fastest external disk access.
  • Benchmarks (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciantic ( 626550 ) on Monday September 19, 2011 @03:27AM (#37438502)
    There is some benchmarks at SmallNetBuilder [smallnetbuilder.com] you might be interested in, I've been eyeing on those for my next router.
  • I have a two Asus RT-N16 routers, one running DDWRT and other running Tomato USB. I have been extremely happy with them. These guys have monster specs as far as wireless routers go.

    Ethernet Ports = WAN x 1 RJ-45 for 10/100/1000 Base T, LAN x 4 RJ-45 for 10/100/1000 Base T
    USB ports = USB2.0 x 2
    Unit RAM = 128 MB (2x 64MB - Samsung K4N511163QZ-HC25 or 2x 64MB - Samsung K4T51163QG-HCE6)
    Unit Flash = 32 MB (MACRONIX MX29GL256EHTI2I-90Q)
    Unit CPU = Broadcom4718A, 533 MHz (Factory clocked to 480MHz)

    More at: http: [dd-wrt.ca]

    • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

      You can't muck about installing custom firmware on it, but the Airport Extreme has the same hardware that you mentioned. Not sure about the current gen one, but the original Extreme with wireless n capability had the same 480MHz broadcom chip, so the newer ones either have the same or better - the design hasn't changed much.

      For a pretty simple and relatively powerful home router that will easily route at home speeds (200Mb/s on the WAN side without breaking sweat, easily at gigE speeds on the LAN side) the

  • Look, I loved using dd-wrt on my old WRT54G router too, but you shouldn't be making OpenWRT or dd-wrt a requirement for your next router unless it's an actual constraint imposed by your environment or usage, and by all accounts it isn't. Instead, you should simply be asking what the best router is that's out there, period. If that's one with your preferred firmware, great. If not, then why are you letting comfort or dogma lock you into something that isn't the best product?

    If your preference for dd-wrt is s

  • I didn't read through the bazillions of comments, but after playing with a ton of the 3rd party firmwares that run on the old Linksys WRTG routers like Tomato and OpenWRT, etc., I just finally built a cheap and tiny ITX atom based box and put pfsense [pfsense.org] on it. I would never go back.

    • by storkus ( 179708 )

      I completely agree: I've got an old PC running pfSense as our main firewall/NAT box for our public wi-fi network at our motel, and it runs rock-solid. They also give some guidelines at:

      http://www.pfsense.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=49 [pfsense.org]

      Combine that with a good dual-band N card or AP, and your requirements are met.

      One last thing, keep in mind we're talking routing, not switching: I don't see *ANY* cheapo ARM, MiPS, ATOM, etc box ever keeping up, even with just simple NA

  • Go with Ubquiti or Mikrotik. They tend to build ISP grade WISP radios but they work quite nicely as local access points. Your find the wireless card on your laptop becomes the limiting factor as the better radios can keep many consumer grade gigabit ports too busy.

  • My needs are slightly different to yours (needed ADSL support, not prepared to have a two-box solution), but the conclusion I came to was that unless it ships (or has as an option from the manufacturer's own website) OpenWRT or a derivative thereof, you'll spend just as long fiddling with the router as you will actually using it. With the added bonus that unlike a standard PC, if something goes wrong then recovery can be fiddly at best and impossible at worst. I wound up opting for a Linksys router - they d

  • My friends and I struggled to find a good router for along time - this included gaming, torrents, and direct downloads. Several wireless devices of various configurations.

    Take a look at prices, by now the DIR-655 should be cheaper - we've had ours for over a year now I'm guessing.

    Anything but the highest, most brutal usage brings it down. You do need to tune your Vuze settings - if you have more than 1 computer downloading torrents at a atime (try to avoid that...), setting each of their Max Simultaneou

  • I barely get 1 meg downstream. The disadvantage living in a national forest at 9000'.

    My dad's house, however, they just got their cable ends re-done by Cox and now get 10-16.
  • I like this one. It has good range and is sufficiently configurable to let me run servers at home.
  • If you _must_ have OpenWRT, you can stop reading.

    If not, consider Mikrotik. I used OpenWRT, DD-WRT and the rest, but none of them was as good as Mikrotik. It's simply an incredible list of features the box and OS gives you, and you can easily configure it via WinBox (Wine or Windows) or simply via SSH. They have a range of products from 10/100 routers to a 9-port 10/100/1000 router/switch (see link below), where you can attached up to three wireless-cards.

    See http://www.mikrotik.com/ [mikrotik.com] and http://www.roc-noc. [roc-noc.com]

  • Coming from the perspective of a Sr. Network Engineer, who deals in the world of high-end routing on Cisco gear (Cat 6500/7600s), I typically recommend the Airport Extreme for the home environment. It's a solid workhorse and doesn't change models every two months so there's little confusion. I have three of these units (two back at my mother's house and another at my apartment). Have had mine for 3yrs now and they are built solid -- You won't be buying a new one every year like the average Linksys/Netge
  • You mention that you have a 100mbit internet connection and will possibly be going to 200mbit in the foreseeable future.

    That right there is an issue. Lots of people on this thread recommend a lot of Open/DD WRT compatible routers, but I bet almost none of them can break 50mbit/sec sustained with SPI/NAT and a few connections.

    There are only 2-3 consumer grade routers that can handle those speeds. Just because they have a gigabit WAN doesn't mean they can *process* those speeds. That's a memory and CPU issue.

  • I used the Linksys E3000 and it works well. The only issue I found is it seems to run a little hot. I lifted it off the flat surface by putting small blocks underneath it so that it can dissipate heat from the bottom. It has never locked up on me or anything due to heat or anything. It just seems to get pretty warm.

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"