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Gerbil XP
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Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:02 pm

I was thinking of getting the Linksys WRT54GL from newegg.
I plan to hardwire my desktop and wireless for laptops and phones.
I just want something reliable and effective. I dont need something fancy.
If I did get this router id probably put tomato on it but its not a requirement. (my first router with tomato if i did do it)
Is this router getting near the end of its life? Is there a newer/better router out there?
I prefer to spend around $50 but will maybe go up to $100 USD.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:06 pm

I have been using a DLINK DIR-655 hw A4, fw 1.21 for 3 yrs now w/o issue. It can typically be found for 60 bucks.

All depends what you are using it for.

Smallnetbuilder, router charts is always worth a look.
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Gerbil XP
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:51 pm

WRT54GL is still a pretty good router as long as you don't need 802.11N-wireless, since the WRT54GL only supports 802.11G and 802.11B. It's what I use in my home (with the Tomato firmware) and it seems to work pretty well. Much like you I have my desktops/server wired, and use the wireless for laptops/phones.

The only caveat I would have about the WRT54GL or the DIR-655 is that both of them can only use 2.4ghz frequencies (not 5ghz), and depending on where you live the 2.4ghz frequencies can be pretty busy and have a lot of interference. It usually doesn't affect speeds too badly, but it can make your latency very inconsistent and cause some dropped packets.

5ghz routers do cost more, but it may be worth it if you live in an area with tons of wireless routers/signals.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:18 pm

I also use a D-Link DIR-655. It has only dropped the connection maybe twice since I got it about two years ago, and it could have been my cable modem which was at fault. If you want a router that can handle a ton of concurrent connections and keep rock-solid stability, get a DIR-655.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:31 pm

WRT54GL is pretty old nowadays. It'll do basic wireless well, but you might be wanting 802.11n speed soon, or 5 GHz to avoid congestion, and its flash storage is small (only 4MB) so your options as to 3rd-party firmware are limited compared to newer models; in particular you might have trouble finding one that lets you do IPv6 and/or VPN later on.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:55 pm

Asus RT-N16 with tomato firmware. Been using mine for the past 3 years. Fast,m solid, stable, and fun to tweak ( if you want to ).
OR Asus N66U also supported by tomato and has a large community of people using this combination.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:11 pm

Or, if you want to go with 5GHz on the budget side, this might not be a bad option: ... s=WR2543ND

Unfortunately, it doesn't support DD-WRT yet (though OpenWRT apparently runs fine on it), but the stock firmware is OK for home or small office needs. :) If you don't mind using 2.4GHz or insist on DD-WRT, you can check this one out for even less: ... s=WR2543ND

I was wary of the low price initially, but so far I've installed and support at least 10 1043ND's, some of them in offices with 10+ people constantly sharing files between PC's and to a server running daily backups and they hold up pretty well even with the stock firmware. :)
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:36 pm

I will throw the Netgear 3500L into the ring as well.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:49 pm

WRT54GL is a workhorse, but it is getting long in the tooth. I would pick up something with gigabit ports rather then the fast ethernet ports on the 54GL. I've had a 54GL for five years now, and I still don't have a reason to replace it.

I've been buying Asus RT-N16s todo various things for remote users, and they haven't had any complaints. TomatoUSB seems to run fine on them, but there are a few more steps in getting Tomato on the router versus the 54GL. The RT-N16 will also have more features then the 54GL since it has much more space and better hardware.

If you want to step up, there is the Asus RT-N66U which has two radios instead of the single radio in the RT-N16.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:06 pm

Hmm... been mostly picking up WNDR3700 v1's or v2's or WNDR3800's or WNDR4000's. Also the Linksys E4200 (original, not the V2).

The Asus RT-N16U is also fairly well regarded.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:08 pm

I'll strike one against the DIR-655 and anything else that isn't 5GHz- in a 2.4GHz rich environment, the WiFi signal may very well be less reliable than an AT&T DSL modem. I have the cheapest TP-Link that can do both, and switching to my 2.4GHz net means endless headaches for my desktop, only 25ft from the router with one half-wall in-between. Never had the problem before moving to this apartment, but man, is it annoying.

Note that you may be able to circumvent this with good WiFi adapters, but good really means Intel only, and they don't seem to be interested in putting their adapters on PCIe cards.
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Re: Need a basic reliable router with wireless.

Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:06 pm

I had (still have actually) an older Linksys WRT54G v2 that started acting funny.

As it happened, IIRC, Newegg put the following on sale for like $14.99:

Linksys LINK-M20-RM Valet Plus Wireless-N Router ... 0AT0GN8961

Current price is all of $27.99 for 802.11 B/G/N and 4 x 10/100/1000Mb ports.

I loaded it up with DD-WRT firmware and it's been working great. The standard firmware was fine if you wanted something simple, but DD-WRT offers a ton of more and advanced options for those so inclined.

It was a little difficult finding the correct firmware and getting confirmation, but it loaded up fine (use IE only to upgrade the firmware from stock the very first time, after that I've used Palemoon to update firmware) and I've upgraded the firmware twice since then, no issues at all. Very advanced and FREE firmware update from DD-WRT.

You can get the DD-WRT firmware at:

(Downloads, Other Downloads, eko, V24-K26)

SVN18946 04-07-2012 is the latest version, working great.

I apologize for the very high price of this particular router.

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