dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1658
share rss forum feed


ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine

Looking for some router recommendations

My router is starting to get old and been requiring a few too many restarts of late. Plus it's G only and I could use some extra speed when transferring files wirelessly.

Most important bits for me are:

-Supports both G and N. While almost everything is now N in the house... we still have the Wii that occasionally gets used, so I'd like to be able to still connect it. Doesn't have to be G and N simultaneous if there's a big price difference though.

-Supports QoS or one the custom firmware builds that support it. Preferably tomato as that's what I'm used to, but not necessary.

-Stability would be the most important part as we have VoIP.

Something in the $50-$60 range would be great if possible, but I'll consider anything under a $100.


trog

join:2001-03-25
Scarborough, ON

The Asus RT-N16 is one option; currently $80 at Canada Computers.



adisor19

join:2004-10-11
reply to ekster

ASUS RT-N66U loaded with Tomato Shibby is my weapon of choice.

Solid, stable, powerfull. Worth every penny.

Adi



ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3

RT-N66U is a bit too much for what I need.

I've been thinking of the RT-N16 for a while, but it was always above $100... now that it's at $80, I might pick it up. Seems like the best choice so far.


julienvf

join:2008-12-30
Verdun, QC
kudos:1

tp-link n750 aka TL-WDR4300. It usually goes down to 60-65$ on ncix.ca.



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to ekster

Consider that if your router is not capable of simultaneous N and G, it'll be effectively locked to one or the other permanently. In practice, especially when comparing 5 GHz N to 2.4GHz G (you always want to run 802.11n on 5 GHz if possible due to the much greater spectrum available), you're not going to log into your router and reconfigure it, cutting off all your 5 GHz devices, just to occasionally play your wii.

We bought a TP-Link simultaneous dual-radio 3x3 MIMO router recently for $65 (TL-WDR4300), and it's been working quite well for us. Unfortunately, that sale is over, so the price is back up to $80.

However, if you don't need 3x3 (450 Mbps), they have a gigabit 2x2 router (300 Mbps), the TL-WDR3600, for $62, or a non-gigabit TL-WDR3500 for $48.

Those are all simultaneous dual-band. Some (all?) of them support, to varying degrees, custom firmware, but some of the support from dd-wrt or open-wrt is extremely early.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



silvercat

join:2007-11-07
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to ekster

said by ekster:

RT-N66U is a bit too much for what I need.

I've been thinking of the RT-N16 for a while, but it was always above $100... now that it's at $80, I might pick it up. Seems like the best choice so far.

With the RT-N16, you may have trouble with High Definition streaming (depending how far you are from the router) -- at least that was my experience.

I agree with the recommendation of the RT-N66U, with Tomato (Shibby or Toastman) or Merlin firmware.

For the past week (deal no longer valid), Future Shop and Best Buy were both price matching the RT-N66U for $113.

GreyArea

join:2013-01-07
Anchorage, AK
reply to ekster

The Asus RT-N16 might be the best router for the price.



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to ekster

The RT-N16 is pretty bad by today's standards. 2.4 GHz 2x2 only, but it costs about $80, which is the same as TP-Link's simultaneous dual-band 3x3 router... About the only good thing you can say about it is that it has mature custom firmware support, while newer hardware often only has experimental custom firmware support. But other than that, the RT-N16 is outdated and overpriced.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



coaxguy

join:2009-07-29
kudos:1

Also agree with the Asus 66U. Another cheaper option is still the highly desired 56U



ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine
reply to Guspaz

said by Guspaz:

Consider that if your router is not capable of simultaneous N and G, it'll be effectively locked to one or the other permanently. In practice, especially when comparing 5 GHz N to 2.4GHz G (you always want to run 802.11n on 5 GHz if possible due to the much greater spectrum available), you're not going to log into your router and reconfigure it, cutting off all your 5 GHz devices, just to occasionally play your wii.

I always understood that the router would just drop the N to G automatically if it detected a G device connecting, and then go back to N afterwards. If it's manual, I guess I would be better off getting a simultaneous one then.

Are the TP Link WDR series good overall? Hardware wise, the 3600 and 4300 seem to fit what I would need and the prices are decent.

zorxd

join:2010-02-05
Quebec, QC
Reviews:
·Acanac

said by ekster:

I always understood that the router would just drop the N to G automatically if it detected a G device connecting, and then go back to N afterwards.

That's pretty much it. Some routers might have a "N-only" mode which might squeeze a little more performance but it is usually not worth it given that your legacy G devices won't be able to connect.

zorxd

join:2010-02-05
Quebec, QC
Reviews:
·Acanac
reply to Guspaz

said by Guspaz:

We bought a TP-Link simultaneous dual-radio 3x3 MIMO router recently for $65 (TL-WDR4300), and it's been working quite well for us. Unfortunately, that sale is over, so the price is back up to $80.

However, if you don't need 3x3 (450 Mbps), they have a gigabit 2x2 router (300 Mbps), the TL-WDR3600, for $62, or a non-gigabit TL-WDR3500 for $48.

These seems good recommendations


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to ekster

If you're on 2.4 GHz and you run in mixed mode to support 802.11g devices, your performance will be rather poor, and you won't really see that much of a speed advantage. Furthermore, 2.4 is terribly overcrowded since there are only three non-overlapping channels.

5GHz has many more non-overlapping channels, and can operate in 802.11n-only mode, since backwards compatibility is not a concern. The ideal approach is to use a dual-radio dual-band router to ensure full compatibility. You set your 2.4 GHz to g&n mode and your 5 GHz to n-only. This means you get some of the benefits of n in 2.4 GHz, but your legacy devices can still connect, and what devices you have that support 5 GHz can go full blast.

Support for 5 GHz is sometimes easier to tell by checking if the device claims to support both 802.11n (which can use either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz as the manufacturer likes) and 802.11a (which can only use 5 GHz) at the same time. If you see support for both A and N, you can do 5 GHz.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine

Thanks for the explanation. Looked around and went for the TP Link WDR4300. Was lucky enough to catch it on special at Canada Computers for $80 an hour before the special ended. Now to just pick it up at the store... I'll miss my little old Asus 520gu, but it was time for a change.

And thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.



algernon

@bombardier.com
reply to ekster

I presently have two Airport Extremes (I know not what generations, but one of them has 5 GHz) and 30 Mbps internet service. What I find is that my internet speeds degrade over time until I reboot the AEBS that is attached to the cable modem.

I require one of the routers to extend the other's wireless network.

If I bought the RT-N66U to connect to the cable modem, will it allow an AEBS to extend its wireless network?



ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine
reply to ekster

So, I finally picked up the WDR4300 and played around with the settings.

Was very disappointed at first. 5Ghz couldn't reach my HTPC (but I was expecting that, they're on the opposite ends of the house,) but the 2.4Ghz was barely reachable and gave me only 1 bar and was constantly dropping the connection, whereas my old G router would easily give me 3-4 bars. And even when I put it to N only, I saw zero speed improvements. Tried to play around with the channels and channel width, etc. nothing...

Then I got OpenWrt on it. My HTPC immediately jumped to a stable 4-5 bars, speed went from 500-700KB/s to a stable 2+MB/s. And I spent the weekend blasting in multiple connections to download a couple of Linux ISO torrents, as well as re-downloaded a couple of huge games on Steam over the weekend. I think I ended up doing over 30GB, and then went on Netflix to check quality. Nice and stable.

I really don't know why I keep expecting that the manufacturer's firmware will work properly on their router for some reason... the difference between manufacturer's firmware and a third party one like tomato or open/dd-wrt is just silly. You'd think that the people who makes the hardware would know better on how to use it.



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to ekster

We have not had any problems with throughput or connectivity using the stock firmware for the WDR4300... Did you leave the channel selection on auto? Did you set the backwards compatibility settings correctly?

We've got it deployed in our office, hosting our internet connection, as well as the wireless projection to our projector, both of which are working well.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



ekster
Hi there
Premium
join:2010-07-16
Lachine, QC
kudos:3
Reviews:
·FreePhoneLine

I tried auto at first, as well as tried forcing it to specific channels after. It's not that it didn't work, but the distance is pretty big, and it was working bad at that distance. It worked fine for the laptop when it was closer... I don't know, maybe I'm just more used to setting up OpenWrt and Tomato, but I seem to always get much better signal further away than stock firmware no matter what settings I try.



rustydusty

join:2009-09-29
Red Deer, AB
reply to ekster

I've tried a variety of over the counter routers. Ended up order a 10/100 PCI nic for $8 on ebay and threw it in an old P4 I had. Threw pfsense on it. Absolutely amazed the options it provides, and the only real cost was the PCI card. Took about 20mins to setup pfsense, designate fpx1 - WAN fpx0 - LAN, the rest can be configured by the portal. I have DHCP, DNS being handed out via a DC and wireless is being provided by a dlink DAP-2553. I just got tired spending ~100 for routers when the firewall I have now is well beyond store bought, and my wireless coverage is absolutely mind blowing. Multi-SSID, vlan, rogue protection, WDS, ETC.

Altogether I spend roughly ~165 and have a phenomenal firewall and extremely good wireless. I'm getting a good 4 bars of signal 350FT down the road from my house, and I'm only using stock antennas. My old DIR-655 would barely reach outside the house. Tried a few TP, Cisco, netgear. Spent a little more than initially, however well worth the extra money.