Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

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Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 12:39 pm

I'm fortunate enough to have AT&T's GigaPower (U-Verse) internet service at home. It's currently 300/300mbps, but I recently received an email that they're going to be moving up to the full gigabit shortly.

I'm currently using a Netgear 3700 wireless router that has been rock solid for years and years. I think the last time I rebooted it, it had 450+ days of uptime, and I don't have any issue with drops or slowdowns. I can currently get 320/320mbps throughput on this router, which is really close to the ~340 that Small Net Builder shows this router can do.

Anyway, my router will be the limiting factor once I'm upgraded by AT&T, so I'm looking for a router than can handle the bandwidth. Netgear's R7000 is currently at the top of my list, mainly because of it's speed and reviews, but I'm really concerned about reliability. It seems it has a relatively high failure rate, and lots of people seem to have performance/reliability issues after a couple of months (ie -- outside of the return window, and Netgear support's reputation is not stellar).

I only use it for wired and wireless connections, not storage, so USB/VPN/<insert kitchen sink feature here> isn't important to me. I do use both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and run a variety of devices (iPads, iPhones, Nexus devices, Kindles, Nooks, Chromecast, laptops, TVs, BluRays, Chromebooks, wireless ethernet converters, streaming video, printers, PCs (mostly hardwired), etc), so I need something that will work with most devices and provide good performance with lots of simultaneous wireless connections.

I also require a guest WiFi network on both frequencies, with the ability to isolate clients on the guest network so they cannot see each other.

The Asus RT-AC68U looks good as well, but it seems to have an even higher failure rate.

Performance is important, but stability and reliability are more important to me, as long as the performance is quite a bit better than what I have now.

Any suggestions for devices in the $200 range? I've scoured Small Net Builder, Newegg, Amazon, etc and it seems that the Netgear and Asus are the best, but it's a gamble on whether or not you get a good one. I expect to keep it for at least 5 years, so I'm willing to spend a reasonable amount on it.

BTW, I'm using AT&T's Motorola device as a "modem" only -- it has no part of my internal network. It passes all traffic to my router. It might be capable of the bandwidth, but I don't trust AT&T with my internal network, and the device is severely limited with options and configurability (the new made up word of the day!).

Thanks in advance!
Dieter
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:00 pm

I just grabbed the Netgear 6300 V2 for our church a month or two ago, it is a pretty nice unit. Newegg reviews don't look promising for reliability, but we haven't had any problems (Yet). #1 selling point for me was the almost brainless DD-WRT flash process. Kong is doing active development on this unit which means you'll probably get more DD-WRT updates than factory firmware from netgear.

Relevant DD-WRT links:
http://tips.desipro.de/
http://desipro.de/ddwrt/K3-AC-Arm/


Again, I can't speak to the long-term reliability though, since it isn't old enough to hit the failure window.
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:06 pm

Dieter wrote:I'm fortunate enough to have AT&T's GigaPower (U-Verse) internet service at home. It's currently 300/300mbps, but I recently received an email that they're going to be moving up to the full gigabit shortly.

I only use it for wired and wireless connections, not storage, so USB/VPN/<insert kitchen sink feature here> isn't important to me. I do use both 2.4 and 5GHz bands, and run a variety of devices (iPads, iPhones, Nexus devices, Kindles, Nooks, Chromecast, laptops, TVs, BluRays, Chromebooks, wireless ethernet converters, streaming video, printers, PCs (mostly hardwired), etc), so I need something that will work with most devices and provide good performance with lots of simultaneous wireless connections.


Don't spend your money on consumer stuff. Buy the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter POE (wired only, can route up to 1 Mil packets/sec) with the Ubiquiti UniFi wireless access point (up to 100 simultaneous clients). T
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:11 pm

Thanks highlandr.

WRT compatibility is a nice to have, but not a requirement for me. I read somewhere that not all WRT implementations have full hardware acceleration, so I'm wary of 3rd party firmware in this case, since in software I think most routers can only do ~200mbps. Merlin uses the Asus firmware so hardware acceleration is enabled AFAIK, but things like Shibby are software only (last I read). I'm not sure about Kong, but I'll definitely look into it!

I ran DD-WRT on Buffalo routers (before they offered it OEM) with great success for years, but that was on 20 or 30mbps connections, so doing everything in software was OK.
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:25 pm

notfred
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 1:30 pm

ptsant wrote:Don't spend your money on consumer stuff. Buy the Ubiquiti EdgeRouter POE (wired only, can route up to 1 Mil packets/sec) with the Ubiquiti UniFi wireless access point (up to 100 simultaneous clients). T


I briefly looked at Ubiquiti, but I couldn't figure out the right combination of router and AP for a reasonable price. Is there a specific combo you can recommend? It looks like maybe the Edgerouter Lite and UniFi AP AC?

Is their router just a router or does it have easily configured firewall features as well? Their quick specs don't really say. I also haven't looked at Ubiquiti's wifi featureset before, but I'm guessing you can do guest isolation and such? Or, is that done at the router level?

Sorry for all of the questions -- I have experience with Meraki APs but not Ubiquiti, and their site isn't as detailed as I expected.

Also, are they easy to configure? One thing going for home systems is that they're easy to configure, even for advanced features. I'd prefer to not wade through lots of technical references to do simple configuration changes. I'd rather leave work at work! :-)

Thanks!
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 2:52 pm

Dieter wrote:
ptsant wrote:I briefly looked at Ubiquiti, but I couldn't figure out the right combination of router and AP for a reasonable price. Is there a specific combo you can recommend? It looks like maybe the Edgerouter Lite and UniFi AP AC?

Is their router just a router or does it have easily configured firewall features as well? Their quick specs don't really say. I also haven't looked at Ubiquiti's wifi featureset before, but I'm guessing you can do guest isolation and such? Or, is that done at the router level?

Sorry for all of the questions -- I have experience with Meraki APs but not Ubiquiti, and their site isn't as detailed as I expected.

Also, are they easy to configure? One thing going for home systems is that they're easy to configure, even for advanced features. I'd prefer to not wade through lots of technical references to do simple configuration changes. I'd rather leave work at work! :-)

Thanks!


I completely understand what you are going through. I did the same thing trying to find the "right" wireless router/AP combo and just decided to separate them. I decided to get the Edgerouter so I could relocate a ASUS RT-N56U to another part of the house and replace it someday.

I have had the Edgerouter lite for more than a year now. It has been stable for me. I'm not pushing the bandwidth by any means (Cox cable Preferred level about 30 - 35 Mbps).

It runs Debian Linux underneath with fork of the Vyatta router software. The web interface manages DHCP, static routes, OSPF, firewall, NAT and port forwarding settings. It uses DNSmasq which is more configurable at the command line than the web interface. The web interface manages the PPPoE settings and the VPN (PPtP or IPSEC). There is also a basic traffic dashboard on the interface.

You can also ssh into the router and manipulate the router in the router's "shell" or at the bash shell level. Also, you can access the command line from the web interface if you do not want to or cannot enable ssh. CLI access is useful to make changes that are not currently supported in the web interface.

You can install debian packages (OpenVPN or other things) if you want. Package changes are lost in upgrades, so you will need to keep track of changes you make at that level to reapply. There is a "safe" configuration area where you can put data/config files that survive upgrades.

Ubiquiti's support forum (community.ubnt.com) is good. IIRC, there are a couple of quickstart howtos there that are easy to follow. There are employees that participate when they can in the forum. Upgrades come every couple of months. There is an open beta program. And if you really want to play around, the router source is available for download. The Cavium MIPS compiler and SDK are downloadable from cnusers.org.

HTH,
Alan
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 4:27 pm

I'm in the same boat trying to decide on a replacement for my trusty V1 Netgear 3700. (Though I still have craptastic Comcast internet and am wanting to upgrade for the boosted AC throughput.)

First suggestion: Stay the hell away from the Linksys WRT1900AC. We got one for evaluation at work, and it couldn't reliably handle anything you'd want a router to do, wired or wireless.

Second suggestion: Anecdotal evidence from friends and colleagues has been very favorable regarding the higher end (relatively speaking) Asus stuff. Buddy of mine has a pretty darn speedy FIOS connection and a *lot* of wired and wireless clients, and it's been flawless with the latest stock firmware. Seems to do well on Smallnetbuilder reviews as well if I remember correctly.

The failure reports on the Asus reviews are a bit scary, but it's pretty tough to find a router with glowing reviews all around. Even the 3700 that you and I have had great luck with has plenty of awful, scorching, "total garbige i'll nevar by a nother netgear ever again!!!1!" type reviews.

FWIW, I'm probably going to ultimately go with the Asus and flash the Merlin firmware. If I get unlucky and get a flaky Asus, at least I'll have a fairly capable backup 3700 to put back into service.
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Wed Aug 13, 2014 5:06 pm

I can't vouch for it regarding gigabit internet, but at my previous gig we'd bought an Asus AC-66U (the new model is the 68U), and it was very much rock solid. The interface was really easy to work with, too.
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Re: Good home wireless router for gigabit internet?

Postposted on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:35 am

Alan: Thanks for the detailed info on Ubiquiti. It's more than I want to pay, but might bite the bullet to get something that will last a long time and work well. Fortunately I'm not under any serious time constraints.

divide_by_zero: Mine's a v1 as well. Worth every penny for its years of solid service!

I'm tempted by the Asus routers as well (when they're good, they're good) -- I guess I'll just have to find somewhere with a really good return policy and stress test it heavily (maybe cover all the vent holes! -- just kidding!) early on.
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