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WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1

Will an Asus RT-N66U router work okay with VoIP?

For various reasons we are thinking about replacing our current router with an Asus RT-N66U. We have a small Asterisk server plus a few VoIP devices (Obihai and Linksys) on the local network and also an Xbox. If anyone is currently using this router, please let me know if you have had any issues with it, particularly related to using it with VoIP and/or an Xbox.

If you have any other recommendations for a consumer grade router please feel free to pass them along, or if you know of a good up to date chart of routers that are compatible with VoIP I'd be interested in a link to that. Thanks!

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Graustark
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric
I thought that this Asus RT-N66U comment from Australia looked favorable----

I used the same wifi network name that my LAN clients associated with on my previous router. They all recognised the new network and connected without a grumble. More impressively, my separate VOIP unit managed to connect perfectly without any need to forward ports or use a DMZ.

Two Apple Airport Express bases in the network connected without a hitch, and the Bonjour-based services they provide all functioned. I tested this from wired to 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz clients, and between clients on the 2.4 and 5.8 Ghz bands.

One client that had given me grief using previous routers (RT-N16 and TP-Link 1043ND) was a 2011 iMac. These have a 3-stream Atheros chipset that has become notorious for being finicky, even with Atheros routers. For whatever reason it liked the RT-N66U. It stayed connected at the full 450 mbps despite being 5 metres away, on the other side of a corridor and a full brick wall. (location A in my testing.)

»forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1945198


Trimline
Premium
join:2004-10-24
Windermere, FL
Reviews:
·ObiVoice
·Bright House
·Callcentric
·voip.ms

1 edit
reply to WhyADuck
I was just looking at that router on Amazon. Quite a few reviews, mostly quite good.

I currently have the Netgear WNDR3700 and WNDR4500. The 3700 actually has better range than the 4500 in my home. I run both a PBX, one grandstream ATA for fax, and 3 HTPCs connected to a cable card HomeRun unit that sends the TV signal wirelessly through the house. On top of that, all the phones are wireless.

If you do purchase and install this, let us know your opinion. You've go a busy network too. I as looking at this model as an update to my current configuration, hoping for yet better wireless range.

Jethro95

join:2012-09-03
Katy, TX
reply to WhyADuck
I have had the RT-N56U router (previous generation) for a few months now and it works great. We have an XBOX, several streaming media devices, etc. and I have not had to use the QOS.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX
reply to WhyADuck
said by WhyADuck:

For various reasons we are thinking about replacing our current router with an Asus RT-N66U. We have a small Asterisk server plus a few VoIP devices (Obihai and Linksys) on the local network and also an Xbox. If anyone is currently using this router, please let me know if you have had any issues with it, particularly related to using it with VoIP and/or an Xbox.

I am using this router too with built-in firmware. Just as you, I have asterisk server running on Debain (Dockstar) and several ATAs (OBI, Spiru and Linksys) and mobile clients (CSipSimple). So far, it works ok without problem. BTW, I only used this router for several days. Hopefully no issue will come out in the future. The built-in firmware seem to work fine. The only problem is I could not find SSH sever function in the firmware.


RobThompson
Caution - Newbie Alert LinuxMint
Premium
join:2012-02-14
Lasalle, QC
Reviews:
·AcroVoice

1 recommendation

reply to WhyADuck
I have been using this exact router, attached after my Bell Canada router, for that past 4 months without a problem on my OBI 202 ATA.
I installed the Tomato shibby firmware.

Rob.
--
Rob.
Blog: »googlevoiceforcanadians.com/

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX
said by RobThompson:

I have been using this exact router, attached after my Bell Canada router, for that past 4 months without a problem on my OBI 202 ATA.
I installed the Tomato shibby firmware.

Rob.

I have tried tomato before as my main router. The ATAs behind it works fine, but the Asterisk server have problem (no audio). So I use DD-wrt router as main router but Tomato routers as WDS clients. Right now, it seems that DD-wrt for N66U not stable yet, so, I keep the Asus firmware. I have been used DD-wrt/Tomato for a long time, so, I did not get used to the Asus firmware yet. It seems that Asus firmware works fine, but some important functions are missing comparing to DD-wrt/Tomato, such as SSH, bandwidth monitoring, WDS with WPA2 encryption, etc.


dbmaven
There's no shortage
Premium,Mod
join:1999-10-26
Sty in Sky
kudos:3
Reviews:
·VOIPO
·Optimum Online

1 recommendation

Take a look at the Merlin firmware. A lot of people recommend/are using this for the RT-N66U or AC.
»www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/79
--
Ad astra per alas porci!!


WhyADuck
Premium
join:2003-03-05
kudos:1
reply to davidnewt
First, thank you to all who have responded so far. Sounds like this router will be a good choice.

said by davidnewt:

I have tried tomato before as my main router. The ATAs behind it works fine, but the Asterisk server have problem (no audio).

This is exactly the sort of issue I wanted to know about. Not that we had planned to use Tomato anyway, but at least now we know better than to even consider it. Thanks!

JoeSchmoe007
Premium
join:2003-01-19
Brooklyn, NY
reply to WhyADuck
I use this router behind OOL cable modem. I have OBi-202 behind the router. I don't use DMZ. Everything work fine. I have OBi-202 configured with Anveo (incoming/outgoing), CallCentric (incoming/outgoing), CallWithUs (outgoing)

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
reply to WhyADuck
For the record, plenty of us are using Tomato routers with Asterisk. I don't dispute that the other poster had issues, but I wouldn't leave Tomato permanently off the table. Tomato is an excellent distro and in my experience performs far better for VoIP than any stock firmware I've ever used.

PX Eliezer
Premium
join:2013-03-10
Graustark
kudos:6
Reviews:
·Optimum Voice
·callwithus
·Callcentric

1 recommendation

reply to JoeSchmoe007
said by JoeSchmoe007:

I use this router behind OOL cable modem.

OOL = Optonline (Cablevision) for those outside of this area.

In that context sometimes OOL is also Out Of Luck.

Ole Juul

join:2013-04-27
Coalmont, BC
Reviews:
·Callcentric
reply to Mango
said by Mango:

For the record, plenty of us are using Tomato routers . . . Tomato is an excellent distro and in my experience performs far better for VoIP than any stock firmware I've ever used.

I'm only using basic VoIP functions, but my Tomato installation seems glitch free. As a Tomato fan, I would also like to point out that there are an awful lot of varieties and versions so using the term generically may not be appropriate in the context discussed here. I'm using Tomato Shibby AIO 105 which has so many configuration options that I don't doubt that someone could make it unfriendly to VoIP if they didn't know the ins and outs of how this protocol works.

Oh, I almost forgot, my PAP2 is actually behind yet another router which is running the old small version of Tomato 1.28. So, my VoIP is making it through two different routers running two different versions of Tomato.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX

1 recommendation

reply to Mango
said by Mango:

For the record, plenty of us are using Tomato routers with Asterisk. I don't dispute that the other poster had issues, but I wouldn't leave Tomato permanently off the table. Tomato is an excellent distro and in my experience performs far better for VoIP than any stock firmware I've ever used.

I did not spend much time to try to figure out why asterisk does not work behind my Tomato router (E2000 with TomatoUSB1.28). Since DD-wrt works fine for me and I got used to DD-wrt, I just simply went back to DD-wrt. I did not mean to eliminate Tomato as an option. Actually, all the ATAs behind Tomato work perfect. BTW, one big advantage of Tomato over DD-wrt: it is much easier to setup WDS with Tomato than DD-wrt. So, normally I use DD-wrt as main router and use Tomato routers as WDS clients.

Well, at least for this particular router (N66U), the stock firmware works very well so far with asterisk and ATAs behind it.

hceuterpe

join:2011-07-13
reply to WhyADuck
It's not really your router that matters. It's your Internet Connection that matters.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX

1 edit
reply to WhyADuck
After one week use of the RT-N66U router with built-in firmware, I found that the asterisk server behind it have problems sometimes and could not work stable, while the same asterisk server works ok behind DD-wrt router. It seems that some sip providers such as sipgate/voipms could not be registered from this server, while ATAs behind it have no problem. The asterisk server also gives "sip-retransmission" warning sometimes. It seems that NAT may not be handled properly in the built-in firmware. I may have to flash this router to DD-wrt.

Update: after enabling multi-cast routing, the warning message disappear, and sipgate/voipms registering is ok now in the asterisk server. Will see if it is stable in the long run.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw

1 recommendation

reply to hceuterpe
Your router absolutely matters. A router will make or break VoIP performance. For example, some routers have SIP ALG that can't be disabled and causes VoIP to fail. Others have inappropriate UDP timeout settings. Others have non-working "attack detection" (I'm looking at you, D-Link) which classifies normal internet traffic as attack traffic.

I would rather have a great router and a crap ATA, than the other way around. (Though as it happens I use an excellent router and an excellent ATA )

Hard_Drive

join:2008-10-04
Muskegon, MI
said by Mango:

Your router absolutely matters. A router will make or break VoIP performance. For example, some routers have SIP ALG that can't be disabled and causes VoIP to fail. Others have inappropriate UDP timeout settings. Others have non-working "attack detection" (I'm looking at you, D-Link) which classifies normal internet traffic as attack traffic.

I would rather have a great router and a crap ATA, than the other way around. (Though as it happens I use an excellent router and an excellent ATA )

What router are you using? Also I agree 110% the router absolutely matters.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
I use an Asus RT-N16 with Tomato firmware. I like Tomato because it allows me to configure timeouts and inspect connections currently tracked by the router. So if my VoIP equipment ever doesn't register, or incoming calls don't arrive, now I can troubleshoot and find out exactly why.

The end result is now that things are configured properly, and my devices always automatically recover after a power or internet failure. I never need to manually power cycle or reboot anything and I'm quite happy with that.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX
reply to WhyADuck
Well, the longer I am using this router, the more problem comes out. Right now, with the built-in firmware, most of my sip clients registered to my asterisk server work without problem, but one of the sip client using CSipSimple in an Android phone has problem: phone can ring, but most of times, there is no audio, sometimes, it becomes normal. The same phone worked fine when I use DD-wrt router. I could not figure out what is wrong yet.

Hard_Drive

join:2008-10-04
Muskegon, MI
said by davidnewt:

Well, the longer I am using this router, the more problem comes out. Right now, with the built-in firmware, most of my sip clients registered to my asterisk server work without problem, but one of the sip client using CSipSimple in an Android phone has problem: phone can ring, but most of times, there is no audio, sometimes, it becomes normal. The same phone worked fine when I use DD-wrt router. I could not figure out what is wrong yet.

Please keep us posted, especially if you put DD-WRT on it. I am really interested to know how well it works on that router.

Hard_Drive

join:2008-10-04
Muskegon, MI
reply to Mango
said by Mango:

I use an Asus RT-N16 with Tomato firmware. I like Tomato because it allows me to configure timeouts and inspect connections currently tracked by the router. So if my VoIP equipment ever doesn't register, or incoming calls don't arrive, now I can troubleshoot and find out exactly why.

The end result is now that things are configured properly, and my devices always automatically recover after a power or internet failure. I never need to manually power cycle or reboot anything and I'm quite happy with that.

So if you were buying right now for the first time would you go with the RT-N16 with 480MHz or the RT-N66U with a 600MHz in it? I ask because I have quite a large network and I feel like the bottle neck is my router.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
The RT-N66U has better wireless performance. It operates at 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz (RT-N16 is 2.4Ghz only). If that's important to you, that would be a good reason to choose the more expensive router.

I don't use wireless because my house has CAT5e in every room. My internet speed is 15/1. At the moment it's almost maxed out (limited slightly by my QoS rules).

root@AsusRTN16:/# uptime
 21:51:14 up 150 days, 11:08, load average: 0.09, 0.04, 0.01
root@AsusRTN16:/# free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:       126952        21760       105192            0         3272
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:       126952        21760       105192
 

For my purposes, this router is quite appropriate and has capacity to spare. On the other hand if your internet speed is many times faster than mine you may wish to choose the faster router so as to squeeze as much performance as possible out.

For your consideration, you can write complex QoS rules that make web browsing fast even under heavy use. Here is a very detailed article on the subject: »tomatousb.org/tut:using-tomato-s-qos-system

AVonGauss
Premium
join:2007-11-01
Boynton Beach, FL
reply to davidnewt
It's been a bit too long for me to remember the details, as I recall I too did have issues with SIP phone connections to an external VSP using the RT-N66U using the stock firmware. I believe disabling the hardware accelerated routing helped resolve some of those issues, but I don't recall if it did entirely.

On two of them today, I run TomatoUSB (Shibby build) with SIP phones and have no issues.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX
said by AVonGauss:

It's been a bit too long for me to remember the details, as I recall I too did have issues with SIP phone connections to an external VSP using the RT-N66U using the stock firmware. I believe disabling the hardware accelerated routing helped resolve some of those issues, but I don't recall if it did entirely.

On two of them today, I run TomatoUSB (Shibby build) with SIP phones and have no issues.

The problems I am having now are for the asterisk server. All the sip clients (ATAs, mobile phones with CSipSimple, softphones) all work fine. But several sip clients from outside registered to the asterisk behind this router have audio problem (registrations are all ok). This behavior seems to be similar to the problems I had when using a Tomato router as main router. There are several items maybe related to these problem: UDP Timeout Unreplied, SIP Helper etc.

Hard_Drive

join:2008-10-04
Muskegon, MI
reply to Mango
said by Mango:

The RT-N66U has better wireless performance. It operates at 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz (RT-N16 is 2.4Ghz only). If that's important to you, that would be a good reason to choose the more expensive router.

I don't use wireless because my house has CAT5e in every room. My internet speed is 15/1. At the moment it's almost maxed out (limited slightly by my QoS rules).

root@AsusRTN16:/# uptime
 21:51:14 up 150 days, 11:08, load average: 0.09, 0.04, 0.01
root@AsusRTN16:/# free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:       126952        21760       105192            0         3272
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:       126952        21760       105192
 

For my purposes, this router is quite appropriate and has capacity to spare. On the other hand if your internet speed is many times faster than mine you may wish to choose the faster router so as to squeeze as much performance as possible out.

For your consideration, you can write complex QoS rules that make web browsing fast even under heavy use. Here is a very detailed article on the subject: »tomatousb.org/tut:using-tomato-s-qos-system

Like you I have cat 5e to every room in my house and do not use wireless at all so I don't care about that, but my internet connection is 30/4. So are you saying that the RT-N16 is almost maxed out by your 15/1 connection? Sorry for the confusion I am just not sure if you are saying the connection is maxed out or the router.

Thanks.

davidnewt

join:2009-08-10
Conroe, TX
reply to Hard_Drive
said by Hard_Drive:

Please keep us posted, especially if you put DD-WRT on it. I am really interested to know how well it works on that router.

After 2-days frustration, I finally installed DD-wrt on the RT-N66U router. It seems that the Asus firmware is not friendly to asterisk. The internal sip clients all work fine, but for those 10 active external sip clients registered to this asterisk server behind this router, the behaviors are not predictable: some work all the time, some work most of time, but occasionally have no audio, some have no audio most of time and occasionally work fine. I tried different setting for SIP Helper, UDP Timeout options etc., but just could not make them all work. This behavior is similar to Tomato router I tried before. I really want to keep the good features for USB applications on the Asus firmware or Tomato, but it is clearly to me that they are not friendly to asterisk (even though they are fine for ATAs), so I have to choose DD-wrt which do not have those problems. I am using the dd-wrt build 21570 now which seems ok except one problem (vlan page not working, but I don't need that yet). So far, those external sip clients seem to work fine now.

Mango: BTW, I know you have good experience using Tomato with asterisk. Can you let me know how many external sip clients for your server? Which value you use for UDP timeout in Tomato? Thanks a lot for sharing your experience.


Trev
IP Telephony Addict
Premium
join:2009-06-29
Victoria, BC
kudos:6
reply to Hard_Drive
said by Hard_Drive:

Like you I have cat 5e to every room in my house and do not use wireless at all so I don't care about that, but my internet connection is 30/4. So are you saying that the RT-N16 is almost maxed out by your 15/1 connection? Sorry for the confusion I am just not sure if you are saying the connection is maxed out or the router.

I also use the RT-N16 with my 25/2.5 connection.

Time Sun, 12 May 2013 02:40:08 -0300
Uptime 40 days, 04:42:46
CPU Load (1 / 5 / 15 mins) 0.00 / 0.00 / 0.00
CPU Usage 5.90%
Total / Free Memory 124.05 MB / 115.36 MB (92.99%)

My performance has never been limited by the router. It never breaks a sweat even with torrents running hundreds of connections alongside email, web browsing, and phone calls.

I don't limit the speed of torrents in the torrent app. It's all done by the very effective QoS in the Toastman build of Tomato. Web browsing is always snappy and larger web downloads are prioritized accordingly so web browsing itself remains snappy, even under load.
--
I represent AcroVoice, a full service Canadian VoIP Provider.
Buy your Obihai ATA shipped from within Canada.

Mango
What router are you using?
Premium
join:2008-12-25
www.toao.net
kudos:13
Reviews:
·AcroVoice
·Callcentric
·Anveo
·Shaw
reply to davidnewt
said by Hard_Drive:

So are you saying that the RT-N16 is almost maxed out by your 15/1 connection?

As you can see from my paste, the load average on the router was very low (0.09) and the router was using only 17% of its memory.

So no, the RT-N16 was not almost maxed out. (I was referring to the internet connection.)

said by davidnewt:

Mango: BTW, I know you have good experience using Tomato with asterisk. Can you let me know how many external sip clients for your server? Which value you use for UDP timeout in Tomato?

It's been quite some time since I did this - now my PBX is installed on a commercial server with a public IP. (It's not a dedicated PBX - but it had capacity to spare so I used it.)

Lately I've been using the options on my SPA921 "Handle VIA Received" and "Handle VIA Rport". (My OBi device has the equivalent "X_DiscoverPublicAddress" turned on by default.)

Using these options, I can negotiate direct audio (i.e. not proxied by the Asterisk server) without having to use port forwarding, STUN, or SIP Helper. If you try it again, perhaps this would help.

As for UDP Timeout, the Unreplied timeout should be less than your registration, qualifyfreq, and NAT Keep Alive interval, and the Assured timeout should be greater. 10 / 300 is a safe starting point but it depends on your specific configuration.

mazilo
From Mazilo
Premium
join:2002-05-30
Lilburn, GA
kudos:4
reply to Mango
said by Mango:

root@AsusRTN16:/# uptime
 21:51:14 up 150 days, 11:08, load average: 0.09, 0.04, 0.01
root@AsusRTN16:/# free
              total         used         free       shared      buffers
  Mem:       126952        21760       105192            0         3272
 Swap:            0            0            0
Total:       126952        21760       105192
 

If your router has /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches, you may want to try this:
sync
echo 1 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo 2 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
 
Then, check memory usage again. ;)

--
don't and stop are the ONLY two 4-letter words considered offensive to men, but not when used together.