Router Recommendations?

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Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:14 am

My DLink DIR-655 is starting to give me problems. Its about 3-4 years old and the longest lasting router I've had. The unit locks up and has to be restarted.
I'd like to keep it in the $100 range if possible. I game a lot and the kids watch Netflix on it. Not sure if I have any B/G devices accessing it it but I will start looking at that.
I'm not even sure what I should be looking for right now as I haven't looked at routers in several years so any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:21 am

Compressed air. Like 3/4th of all "router" issues I've seen have been absolutely filthy with dust.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:41 am

^^^

If that doesn't work, the Asus RT-N16 is a common choice & you can run third-party firmware like Tomato or DD-WRT on it.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 9:59 am

Third party firmware?
I didn't mention that I don't game wireless, just wired so would it make much of a difference what router I use for that purpose?
I do stream Netflx to 2 g devices, I can upgrade 1 but not the other. Everything I have is g or n 2.4 gig.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:16 am

I too used to have a DIR-655 (toasted mine) , changed it recently for an ASUS RT-N16.

Consider this an endorsement for the ASUS, they have done some great work on the firmware side, ASUS really seems to have upped its firmware game recently.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:51 am

been looking at the RT-AC56U. It looks like it will meet my now needs and future needs. No price on it yet but it will most likely be out of my budget. I like the fact that it has a USB 3.0 port as I am thinking of getting an external hard drive to backup mine and my wife's computers. And I could hookup the printer to it as well.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:25 am

Just an FYI about the USB ports on routers - they tend to be really piss slow, as in slower than the worst cheapo thumb drive at <10MB/s, even with a fast drive hooked up to them. It might work for you anyway depending on how much you plan to write to them over the network or how tolerant you are of tasks that last a longer than they otherwise could but at least now you know to look it up in some reviews. I like using ports like that for networked printing or streaming (reading) media where the slow speed doesn't matter.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:54 am

Another vote for the Asus RT-N16. Been using mine now for...18 months now? zero problems.

The interface at the start was pretty bad but a firmware update Asus released a while back fixed that right up and now is pretty good to navigate. I don't use any of the "advanced" features, I just have 3 computers wired directly in and 1 laptop on wireless.

I had great plans to see if I could hook up an external drive to the USB, but that fell through. I haven't used the port, so I can't speak as to the speed.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:12 pm

My Asus RT-N56U is excellent and there is a custom firmware available which is also brilliant.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:12 pm

Anything you an run dd-wrt on. I've found that the main difference between consumer class routers and professional level routers is the garbage software loaded onto the consumer class routers. I have a pair of linksys 54wrt's with years of uptime, both running dd-wrt. It's hard to say that about that router with it's factory firmware.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:17 pm

jss21382 wrote:Anything you an run dd-wrt on. I've found that the main difference between consumer class routers and professional level routers is the garbage software loaded onto the consumer class routers. I have a pair of linksys 54wrt's with years of uptime, both running dd-wrt. It's hard to say that about that router with it's factory firmware.

Same with WRT54GL and Tomato. Comes down to choice of UI in the end.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 4:31 pm

keltor wrote:Compressed air. Like 3/4th of all "router" issues I've seen have been absolutely filthy with dust.
Yeah, and they need to be somewhere air can circulate; unfortunately, they're often stuffed deep in a shelf and/or on top of a cable modem or some other heat-producing device. They generally pack their components as compactly as possible, barely capable of cooling themselves adequately with free convection; impair that at all and they cook themselves sooner or later.

I've tried a bunch of routers over the years dating back to the legendary Linksys WRT models; but Linksys effectively died under Cisco and these days I generally prefer NetGear and ASUS. However just this week I had a low-budget specific use (didn't need dual band or any fancy features, but required removable antennas) so I went with a Buffalo N300 DD-WRT and was pleasantly impressed with the firmware: it runs a branded version of DD-WRT out of the box, and it's nicely responsive (no long waits whenever you change a setting). The next time I'm looking for a high-end model I'll definitely include Buffalo in my evaluations. The documentation kind of sucked, though, so it might not be a good choice for someone who doesn't already know their way around routers (or DD-WRT).
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:46 pm

Pville_Piper wrote:My DLink DIR-655 is starting to give me problems. Its about 3-4 years old and the longest lasting router I've had. The unit locks up and has to be restarted.
I'd like to keep it in the $100 range if possible. I game a lot and the kids watch Netflix on it. Not sure if I have any B/G devices accessing it it but I will start looking at that.
I'm not even sure what I should be looking for right now as I haven't looked at routers in several years so any help would be appreciated.

Give this one a try if you don't need a long range coverage:
http://www.amazon.com/Medialink-Wireles ... dge+router

If you need a long range coverage you should try this one:
http://www.amazon.com/RT-N66U-Dual-Band ... ds=rt-n66u
Just be warned that Asus' own firmware can be a little bit "unpredictable" :wink: But you can always "roll back" to more stable version. Oh, and I would not bother with built-in USB ports on any router regardless of firmware - they tend to be slow and unreliable. If you want a reliable shared storage - buy a proper NAS.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:46 pm

Buffalo or Asus are the way to go if you dont use/need real hardware.

I use a Cisco 1941W. It works quite nicely.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:53 pm

Pville_Piper wrote:I do stream Netflx to 2 g devices, I can upgrade 1 but not the other. Everything I have is g or n 2.4 gig.


Just out of curiosity, which is the one you can't upgrade?

Is your N device configurable to 5GHz? What kind of range/interference would you be looking at between the router and the device?

Also, are you looking to future-proof it with 802.11ac?
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:58 pm

My daughters net book would be a pain to upgrade and as of now I don't have any 5 ghz capable units. I am thinking that getting one for the wife's computer would be good because hers is the other unit and it often Streams Netflix for the grandkids. I think I am looking to future proof a bit. that is why I was thinking of getting the RT-AC56U.
I'm really surprise that the USB ports are so poorly rated. I would think the USB 3.0 would be a good solution. I just a 2 TB external drive on New Egg for under $100 that would easily work for my needs. I am using a 1 tb external Seagate drive for my work laptop and it works very well.
My main goal is to segregate all that streaming crap from my gaming connection. As someone else mentioned, my daughter set the router on the cable modem and it was very hot. So maybe I can live with the router until I can afford the RT-AC56U if it turns out that it is a good unit. That one should keep me going for the foreseeable future. Thanks for all the great advice.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:11 pm

Pville_Piper wrote:I'm really surprise that the USB ports are so poorly rated. I would think the USB 3.0 would be a good solution.

Router CPUs and available RAM spend all their time serving net traffic and thus have nothing left over to service true USB 3.0 speeds. I'm sure someone could write a custom firmware that dumped net traffic in favor of USB, but then you're bottlenecked on the net side. Much easier to get a cheap Ethernet NAS box where all the smarts are in the box and the router just passes traffic like it always does.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:27 pm

I bought the NetGear R6300 about a year ago and it has been fantastic. Works well with Android, iOS, and Windows systems both wirelessly and wired. Currently I have no 802.11 AC devices, but I do have N devices, and have had no trouble.

The R6300 is expensive, but highly recommended, though they probably have newer models available now.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Sat Jun 29, 2013 11:29 pm

The N16 is a great entry level router, it replaced my still working DIR-655 when I moved out of my apartment and left it with the landlords that supplied the internet connection at no cost.

I bought the N16 and loved it, 3 antenna and the USB for external drive sharing, ect. The newest firmware also opened up the ability to host VPN connections, which is pretty awesome for a $70 router.

So I moved from that apartment after it flooded and sold the N16 to my landlords in favor of a new N66U. I had hooked these up at customers houses and small offices and love them. They are loaded with 128mb of RAM IIRC, and Asus "supports" or suggests that you can install DD-WRT on it, and maybe even Tomato (not sure about the latter)

I won't touch anything Linksys anymore, and DLink is alright but for home and small small offices Ive gone pure Asus.

Asus N56U - If you don't need the external Antennas, this still gets a pretty darn good range.
Asus N66U - More memory, 3 external removable antennas, 900mbps, and probably other features I'm unaware of. I recall finding reviews showing it to be number 2 on router throughput, second only to its bigger brother the AC66U.
Asus AC66U - 1gbps speed, pretty much the N66U but a little bit faster with a premium, the new AC standard instead of wireless N. You need to have AC adapters which are extremely pricey. Unless your and early adopter, its not really needed. I've heard reports of this router overheating too, so that's something to be wary of.

I hope you find the right router :D
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:48 am

I've got the Asus 56U and have attached a NAS to the USB port.. I was pleasantly surprised at the speeds and functionality that it provided. I'm pretty sure I'm not a power user, but it was able to stream one video to my HTPC with no hitches, and normal traffic around. The Asus stock firmware is pretty good, and very functional. I'd try it out before putting on DD-WRT or Tomato (I did that with my previous Linksys/Cisco routers, and I'm much happier with the Asus). Keep an eye out on Newegg.. I've seen both the 56 and 66 go on sale for $69-$99
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:04 pm

If you want to get fairly in depth reviews of routers, this is the best site I know of: http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

As for USB storage speed, yes it can be sufficient for general use but it's still way slower than what you would expect for USB. For the RT-N56U that druidcent has:

I ran a file copy of our standard ripped-DVD test folder and measured write speed of 7.6 MB/s and 9.5 MB/s with FAT and NTFS-formatted drives, respectively. Reads came in at 13 MB/s for both formats. This performance is typical of embedded router file servers.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 3:03 pm

Thanks for the info Madman... That should be enough to do what I want which is just general backup duty.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:36 am

Maybe it's just the specific hardware I've tried it on, but DD-WRT has never worked that well for me. Recently I put the OpenWRT-based Gargoyle on a DIR-615 C1 and it's been working quite well. QoS is straightforward and seems to work and stability hasn't been a problem yet.

Personally I'm using an old single core Celeron 420 powered computer running pfsense off a usb flash drive as my router, hooked up to a ten year old wired router using as a switch and a first gen 802.11n Airport Express as the wireless access point. The range on the Airport Express isn't exceptional and I'm thinking about getting a TP-Link TL-WR1043ND and running Gargoyle on it until 802.11ac parts come down in price.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:06 pm

Awhile ago I went with a pfsense for routing/firewall and a good openwrt build flashed on a AP with nice radios and never looked back. (way overkill box for pfsense, wndr3700 for wifi)

My uptime is as close to 100% as possible, the only reboots have been scheduled (upgrades, moving things around) or from unplugging on really bad storms like the derecho last year.

Its obviously more involved than just buying the router-of-the-week on newegg/amazon/etc but nothing a tech nerd can't figure out if you pick parts properly.

I'm so done with the consumer electronics style firmware, once you have a nice connection and really use it, they all suck.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:19 pm

I have a Belkin AC1200. I bought it when the wireless AC devices just started coming out. I love the power of the router but the belkin firmware and features leave much to be desired.

Side note, I did upgrade from a DIR655 myself and I know the feeling of going from a long term stable router.

Everyone I know (including friends who are techs with a big national ISP in Canada) who has a ASUS recommend them for being both friendly and powerful and versatile.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:38 pm

Another vote for Asus routers.

Just got the N66U because my old router can't handle the increaesed internet speeds from my provider.
The firmware is pretty amazing too.

A bit expensive but completely worth it.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:44 pm

I use the Asus N66U.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:54 pm

Man I have a DIR-655 too and it's been my favorite router I've ever seen. So reliable and configurable. So many great options! And I run over 20 servers through this thing for 2+ years now.

I say get another 655!

I went D-Link after a Linksys wouldn't work for an online game i was playing quiet some time ago (wierd problem right??). Well, I never looked back. The won me over and now I think D-Link makes the best consumer routers.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:10 pm

I have been running a Linksys WRT54GL for 6 or 7 years now. It's been rock solid. It's only 802.11 b/g but it has two or three machines plus our Wii and network printer attached to it, and the router doesn't seem to have any issue with that. Antennas are detachable, if you need to install a better one. If you don't like the Cisco / Linksys firmware, it's easy to modify using dd-wrt or tomato firmware. They're still available for around $50.
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Re: Router Recommendations?

Postposted on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:16 pm

Until we have a router with fatal1ty branding on it, nothing will be sufficient.
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