In the market for a new router

krnmastersgt

Platinum Member
Jan 10, 2008
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Don't need a particularly strong wi-fi as all devices that use it are within 50 feet of the router, and my walls are paper thin >_>

That aside the main reason for this is that my stupid Comcast all-in-one (my own Motorola Surfboard) is giving me a lot of annoyances lately and I'm almost done with my NAS/HTPC box so I want a good router to stream the info through the house or at least to myself and my TV.

Number of computers connected wirelessly is 2-3, usually 1-2 at most times of day. As far as wired devices there's 3 computers currently and they're almost always going on something, and my box is going to be adding to that so definitely want something that doesn't mind a lot of inter-network traffic.

I have an old Asus somewhere in the house that worked excellently except that the firmware was atrocious and it recognized custom firmwares like tomato and refused to flash to them. All the routers I've used last few years have terrible firmware and don't like saving settings or port forwarding.

So with that said recommendations? Would prefer to keep this in the neighborhood of $100 or less.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
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Don't need a particularly strong wi-fi as all devices that use it are within 50 feet of the router, and my walls are paper thin >_>

That aside the main reason for this is that my stupid Comcast all-in-one (my own Motorola Surfboard) is giving me a lot of annoyances lately and I'm almost done with my NAS/HTPC box so I want a good router to stream the info through the house or at least to myself and my TV.

Number of computers connected wirelessly is 2-3, usually 1-2 at most times of day. As far as wired devices there's 3 computers currently and they're almost always going on something, and my box is going to be adding to that so definitely want something that doesn't mind a lot of inter-network traffic.

I have an old Asus somewhere in the house that worked excellently except that the firmware was atrocious and it recognized custom firmwares like tomato and refused to flash to them. All the routers I've used last few years have terrible firmware and don't like saving settings or port forwarding.

So with that said recommendations? Would prefer to keep this in the neighborhood of $100 or less.

Check out www.smallnetbuilder.com and get some ideas on what you'd like to do with it.

If you stick to the more reliable names like Asus, Netgear, D-Link, Buffalo, TP-Link, Trendnet and even Linksys (although they are a branch of Belkin now) then you should be fine. Most n300 or n450 routers will probably serve your purposes. You may want to consider a dual band router that let's you host a network on the 2.4GHz band and on the 5GHz band. It's useful if you live in a neighborhood that has a lot of interference from other people's routers.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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If you stick to the more reliable names like Asus, Netgear, D-Link, Buffalo, TP-Link, Trendnet and even Linksys (although they are a branch of Belkin now) then you should be fine..

I do not agree with this. All vendors have many Bad and Mediocre Wireless Routers and once in a blue moon one good specific model thus brand name is rather meaningless in this segment of the Networking market.

During the years I found myself recommending Wireless Routers from SMC, Buffalo, Linksys (and may be one or two more).

The recommendation is always for a Specific Model and Not a brand name.

Currently my preferred model is the Asus N66U.

http://www.amazon.com/RT-N66U-Dual-B.../dp/B006QB1RPY


:cool:
 

krnmastersgt

Platinum Member
Jan 10, 2008
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Yeah I expected a few recommendations to be the N66U, probably the highest rated consumer router I've seen since the WRT54G for many of the same reasons: strong wireless, decent onboard firmware, tons of custom firmware options.

I do work in retail in a section that sells networking equipment so am familiar with most of the big name units, just wondering if there was something unheard of that might be surprisingly good for low-ish cost. What I was planning on currently was either the N66U or one of the slightly lower range Buffalo units (forgot which models my place carries) and I get a decent discount on most of the networking equipment!

Was just wondering if the networking gurus here knew of a hidden gem of a router since I primarily just need good firmware (or at least flashable to custom) and strong gigabit ethernet ports (I've apparently burned out 2 of them on this Motorola). Also need to pick up a new DOCSIS 3 modem but I don't think there's that much difference between most of the stuff on the market.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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This Buffalo Model is a good unit.

Its half of the price of the N66U -

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833162071

However, it depends on your specific needs. Its switch is Not Giga and it rated 200 Mb/sec. If you do not need a Giga switch in the Router and your Wireless load is Not very high it will work well.




:cool:
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
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I have an old Asus somewhere in the house that worked excellently except that the firmware was atrocious and it recognized custom firmwares like tomato and refused to flash to them.
How's that even possible!?

Anyway, for stable firmware without worrying about signal strength, you can't beat the price of the Belkin 8301/4301. Gigabit/dual-band for $30, just flash to Tomato and go.

Still, for futureproofing horsepower Newegg is currently offering the Tomato-flashable ARM-powered Asus AC56u for $90 with code. I'd definitely consider that.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
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Antenna are inside.

It is a good Router. But if distance and area of coverage are import, you are better of with 66.





:cool:
 

Kneedragger

Golden Member
Feb 18, 2013
1,192
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]Don't need a particularly strong wi-fi as all devices that use it are within 50 feet of the router, and my walls are paper thin >_>[/I]

That aside the main reason for this is that my stupid Comcast all-in-one (my own Motorola Surfboard) is giving me a lot of annoyances lately and I'm almost done with my NAS/HTPC box so I want a good router to stream the info through the house or at least to myself and my TV.

Number of computers connected wirelessly is 2-3, usually 1-2 at most times of day. As far as wired devices there's 3 computers currently and they're almost always going on something, and my box is going to be adding to that so definitely want something that doesn't mind a lot of inter-network traffic.

I have an old Asus somewhere in the house that worked excellently except that the firmware was atrocious and it recognized custom firmwares like tomato and refused to flash to them. All the routers I've used last few years have terrible firmware and don't like saving settings or port forwarding.

So with that said recommendations? Would prefer to keep this in the neighborhood of $100 or less.

Antenna are inside.

It is a good Router. But if distance and area of coverage are import, you are better of with 66.





:cool:


I think it might work but you will only really know once used..
 

krnmastersgt

Platinum Member
Jan 10, 2008
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Well I have no issues with the 66U, and I already know how good of a router it is. It's pretty much the full usage of the budget I have set for it after my discount, was just wondering if there were other strongly recommended units in a price tier below it since as Knee brought up from my former post, don't need a strong wi-fi as every wi-fi connection is close by and not that speed reliant (as long as it can stream Youtube and the like my family won't complain lol).

I can actually just try one out, will try the 56U first, I suppose anything with a Gigabit inboard switch should handle my needs just fine, just want firmware that wasn't translated from Chinese and actually understands what I'm telling it to do and saves it lol.
 

s44

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 2006
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I can actually just try one out, will try the 56U first, I suppose anything with a Gigabit inboard switch should handle my needs just fine, just want firmware that wasn't translated from Chinese and actually understands what I'm telling it to do and saves it lol.
I'm sure Asus stock firmware is decent enough, but do be aware that it's the *AC*56u that's supported by Tomato, not the N56u. The AC also has a much, much better CPU (dual Cortex A9) than the N56u (or N66u or even AC66u).
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
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Unfortunately, I don't have much to add about hardware, but I'd definitely look for DD-WRT compatible hardware up front...

My 12 year old Linksys WRT54-G 2.0 recently kicked the bucket. I wasn't ready for it to die the quick death it had, so I didn't have a budget for anything ready. I got a DLINK DIR-655 using a Dell Gift Card that was about to expire (so it was free to me).

It's got decent range and features....decent reviews....but I can't recommend it because ANY change you make to the configuration requires a full router reboot. Like I said, it works great, but annoying if you make any changes to the config.

Ohh....and stay the hell away from Netgear. They lack support and have had more hardware problems than any of the others.
 

Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
4,100
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Ohh....and stay the hell away from Netgear. They lack support and have had more hardware problems than any of the others.

No issues with Netgear here. I still have my old WNDR3700 and it works like a champ. I got it for free in a contest, so no complaints there ():) I am moving to a larger house so I was thinking about getting the new Nighthawk or the Asus N66U, a model with exterior antennas.
 

Scarpozzi

Lifer
Jun 13, 2000
26,389
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No issues with Netgear here. I still have my old WNDR3700 and it works like a champ. I got it for free in a contest, so no complaints there ():) I am moving to a larger house so I was thinking about getting the new Nighthawk or the Asus N66U, a model with exterior antennas.
I wasn't saying it to hurt anyone's feelings. If it works for you, great. I'll just never throw my money away on Netgear again....and this is from a guy who used to recommend them for 10/100 NICs to thousands of people... They just burned me with a bad product and overseas support told me I was SOL after hours of being on hold so they're on my list. :)
 

Face2Face

Diamond Member
Jun 6, 2001
4,100
215
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I wasn't saying it to hurt anyone's feelings. If it works for you, great. I'll just never throw my money away on Netgear again....and this is from a guy who used to recommend them for 10/100 NICs to thousands of people... They just burned me with a bad product and overseas support told me I was SOL after hours of being on hold so they're on my list. :)

But my feelings.... :'(

No worries, I that happened to me I wouldn't be too happy either.
 

OlafSicky

Platinum Member
Feb 25, 2011
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N hardware is old tech now and overpriced $80+ for N56 is just too much. It also amost works for HD streaming.
The AC stuff is overpriced and in a state of flux with new versions of AC coming soon. The market will be totally different a year from now. So get yourself a $10 router and wait till then.
 

PliotronX

Diamond Member
Oct 17, 1999
8,883
107
106
I do not agree with this. All vendors have many Bad and Mediocre Wireless Routers and once in a blue moon one good specific model thus brand name is rather meaningless in this segment of the Networking market.

During the years I found myself recommending Wireless Routers from SMC, Buffalo, Linksys (and may be one or two more).

The recommendation is always for a Specific Model and Not a brand name.

Currently my preferred model is the Asus N66U.

http://www.amazon.com/RT-N66U-Dual-B.../dp/B006QB1RPY


:cool:
Brands can apply to ranges of products. For example I'm hating Linksys lately with the wizard interfaces. Could have great hardware but I need to tweak parameters and having to use a CD is ridiculous. Netgears in general have failed to impress me lately in terms of reliability. Asus is the standout in my mind and so this narrows down the search. Their entire line in general has been exemplary of SOHO networking hardware. Then there is fun to be had with flexibility in firmware.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,389
23
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N hardware is old tech now and overpriced $80+ for N56 is just too much. It also amost works for HD streaming.
The AC stuff is overpriced and in a state of flux with new versions of AC coming soon. The market will be totally different a year from now. So get yourself a $10 router and wait till then.

This is pretty accurate. If you have to have something in the meantime:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833122461

Cheap and reliable if you don't mind taking chances with refurb. I've purchased 2 and they both worked fine.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,471
387
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This lacks the one thing OP definitely needs: gigabit. Don't know why people keep recommending "the last thing I bought".

That because many ignore the fact that us and our environment are Not clones and what works for me might not be a Good solution for other.

Look at the One Star reviews on the Internet. While many are informative, sizable amount might say.

"I got a new car it takes me to work and to wherever I need to go and it works well.

However, it is No a Mercedes" . "Boom" one star because it is Not a Mercedes.


:cool:
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,389
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This lacks the one thing OP definitely needs: gigabit. Don't know why people keep recommending "the last thing I bought".

It's not the last thing I've bought. I have just had good luck with them in the past. OP didn't seem to need a lot in the way of a router and I agreed with OlafSicky that ac wasn't necessarily mature, yet.

I'm similarly surprised at people that consistently recommend the last thing THEY bought. Just about any of the Asus routers appear to be overkill here. Where did you glean that the OP NEEDS gigabit? Most people don't and can't tell the difference.

I only recommended this on the idea that it was a stop-gap replacement on the cheap.
 
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krnmastersgt

Platinum Member
Jan 10, 2008
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Summary of what ended up happening:
1. Realized how many connections I'm going to need hardwired so just picked up a random TP-Link 8 port gigabit switch, going to put all the stuff that isn't mine on it :p

2. Don't particularly like Belkin, actually one brand I quite dislike so opted out of s44's suggestion. I'm sure the unit/model is fine but I've just had too many run-ins with them to want to try them for something this central to my network.

3. Checked prices after discounts and such and ended up just getting the N66U since it only ended up costing me ~$90 before tax, which was at most like $30 more than anything in the range of hardware I was considering.

Only thing that I might take it back for is the WNDR3700 v4, reason being that I think it's one of the most commonly used routers with DD-WRT (if you count all 4 versions anyways) so the support is pretty well known, has the gigabit I need and enough wireless to keep the rest of the family happy and currently also features a rebate which would bring it down to about $45 for me, half the price of the N66U.

Really don't need the additional wireless range YET but apparently we want to move in a few months and I figure the extra spent now will save me from having to get another router to extend wireless connectivity through a bigger house.

Thoughts?