Looking for DD-WRT capable N router

Discussion in 'Networking' started by Fishy007, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    Hi Everyone!
    I'm looking to replace a dying WRT310 router with something newer that's DD-WRT capable. I can also do Tomato, but I don't have any experience with it. So far, I've narrowed the choices down to a few routers, but I'm not 100% sure which is the best choice. I may have also neglected to look at a better choice.

    Here's what I'm looking at so far:
    1) Asus RT-N16
    2) Linksys E2000
    3) Linksys E3000
    4) Linksys E3200 (no DD-WRT yet)
    5) Netgear WNDR3700

    Things to note:
    - I don't need dual band, but I do need good range and good signal
    - I can replace stock antennas (Asus) if needed
    - I've been burned badly by Netgear's products, but hear good things about the product I listed
    - I can wait until DD-WRT is supported if something has decent firmware
    - I need gigabit connectors
    - Going to run 1 wired computer, 1 wired NAS and 2 wireless computers off of this. One is an HTPC streaming 1080p video
    - Have demoed an E3000 in home and it works well 95% of the time. Range to HTPC is good and have no stuttering

    Thanks for any help or input!
     
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  3. RampantAndroid

    RampantAndroid Diamond Member

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  4. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    Hmm. I don't know this brand, but it's gotten some decent reviews and does support DD-WRT. Do you have it running 24/7? I've found that some of the less robust routers tend to overheat when on all the time or in a warm room. The room the router is in can get up to 30c at times.
     
  5. RampantAndroid

    RampantAndroid Diamond Member

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    Yeah, it's on all the time. I'll check its temp. Hell, I'll have my videocard/PSU air outlet blow on it to see :)

    I have no problems with it, and tossed a 310N in favor of this.

    The range is pretty good - I live on the 3rd floor in my building, car is on floor '0' - and I get reception right as I enter the elevator using my phone. I also stream over Wireless N to my XBox at 1080p.
     
  6. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    Wow. That's really good range! Thanks for the info! I'll see if anyone else has some other suggestions, but I think this is the new frontrunner. Cheap AND powerful :)
     
  7. RampantAndroid

    RampantAndroid Diamond Member

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    Like I said, I'll play with it some tonight temp wise to make sure I'm not misleading you :)

    Also, I think park of the reason my reception is good is because I bumped the TX power in DD-WRT.
     
    #6 RampantAndroid, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  8. JackMDS

    JackMDS Super Moderator<BR>Elite Member
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  9. RampantAndroid

    RampantAndroid Diamond Member

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    From one of the reviews: preinstalled DD-WRT is extremely powerful, though unreliable with the Atheros chipset

    ??

    The TP Link router is also on an Atheros chipset and seems fine...I thought Broadcom chipsets usually did worse with DD-WRT.
     
  10. Emulex

    Emulex Diamond Member

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    the new e4200/wndr chipsets don't support fast switching either. so dd-wrt is just falling behind the times.

    sigh
     
  11. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    BUFFALO WZR-HP-G300NH
    CPU Atheros AR9132 rev 2 (0xb9)
    CPU Speed 400 MHz
    Flash ROM 32 MB
    RAM 64 MB
    Radio 2.4 GHz
    WLAN Support B/G/N
    WLAN Max Speed 300 mbps
    Antenna Location 2x fixed external (?? dbi)
    Switch 4x GigE + 1 WAN
    USB 1x USB 2.0


    Asus RT-N16
    CPU Broadcom4718A
    CPU Speed 480MHz
    Flash ROM 32MB
    RAM 128MB
    Radio 2.4GHz
    WLAN Support B/G/N
    WLAN Max Speed 300 mbps
    Antenna Location 3x external detachable (3dbi)
    Switch 4x GigE + 1 WAN
    USB 2x USB 2.0


    TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND
    CPU Atheros AR9132
    CPU Speed 400MHz
    Flash ROM 8MB
    RAM 32MB
    Radio 2.4GHz
    WLAN Support B/G/N
    WLAN Max Speed 300 mbps
    Antenna Location 3x external detachable (3dbi)
    Switch 4x GigE + 1 WAN
    USB 1x USB 2.0



    OK. These are the three choices. The Asus wins on specs alone, but it does have crappy antennae. I can replace those with 11dbi ones for better signal. The TP-Link one is very well reviewed, but with a slower CPU and the smallest amount of RAM, I'm not sure I'm better off buying it over the Buffalo or the Asus.

    The Buffalo is the mystery to me. It's VERY well reviewed and people say you can use the stock firmware easily if you don't have time or need to upgrade to DD-WRT. I'm definitely going to go to DD-WRT, but I may not get a chance to do it right away. It may sit for a week or two. The downsides seem to be the CPU speed and the lack of ability to upgrade the antennae.

    I don't know how much CPU and RAM matter in a router. Can anyone shed some light on that?
     
  12. RampantAndroid

    RampantAndroid Diamond Member

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    I never see my CPU or RAM go to full usage, honestly. More ROM means a larger DD-WRT package can go on, but above 32MB you don't need much.

    In past, some broadcom chipsets didn't work well with DDWRT, dunno it that changed.
     
  13. Emulex

    Emulex Diamond Member

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    wzr is 843mw stock. you can bump to 1 watt easy. it has 2dbi on 2 directionals (not omni!!) and 1 board omni (2T 3R). you can pop 25dbi (ebay) yagi on all 3 and you would be over the legal limit ;)

    if you have alot of machines or alot of torrent connections (*nix/osx machines or windows server doesn't have the connection limits of windows 7/vista/xp) you can hit the limit.

    DD-WRT leaks ram - FACT - always has. even the stock firmware does too.

    I like the WZR because it can run the stock firmware OR DD-WRT. and it's licensed - they pay DD-WRT for a commercial licensed copy of dd-wrt. They contribute. you don't have to brick the router to upgrade because it comes with it.
     
  14. Modelworks

    Modelworks Lifer

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    I've been using one of these with DD-WRT for about 4 months without a problem. Bought for $40 refurbed .
    http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-M20-Cisc.../dp/B003B4AVSS

    If there is a memory leak in DD-WRT it is a VERY slow one. In the 2 months since last reboot and averaging 180GB per month traffic:
    Memory
    Total Available 25.8 MB / 32.0 MB Free 13.3 MB / 25.8 MB

    Used 12.5 MB / 25.8 MB

    Buffers 1.3 MB / 12.5 MB

    Cached 4.1 MB / 12.5 MB

    Active 0.9 MB / 12.5 MB

    Inactive 0.7 MB / 12.5 MB
     
  15. MtnMan

    MtnMan Golden Member

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    I want to upgrade to dual band wireless due to the number of wireless devices I now have, but it MUST support DD-WRT.

    I'm currently running a Buffalo WHR-G54S with DD-WRT, and it is 100&#37; stable. It has run as long as 8 months without a restart or power cycle, and was restarted only then because of an extended power outage, that outlasted the UPS I have it and my cable modem connected to.

    WRT also allows me to control the radio power, which keeps the heat down since 40mw works fine for me since I don't need a lot of range.
     
  16. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    Thanks for all the info guys! A friend is going to lend me a Netgear WND3700 for a week or so. It's a bit much for what I want, but it apparently runs cool and is very stable. If it works out, I'll buy one for myself. If not, I'll go with the Buffalo router.

    The Asus looks good, but can overheat easily. The 'office' in my house can get up to 30C at times and is not a cool environment. I definitely need something that can keep a cool head :)
     
  17. smakme7757

    smakme7757 Golden Member

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    I have the WNDR3700 which works fine with DD-WRT, but USB support doesn't work which forced me to go back to the stock firmware.

    Also it's worth noting that the latest version available for the WNDR3700 is too big to fit on the firmware chip causing constant rebooting. You have to install a specific version, i forget the number, but i have the file on my PC if you want it.

    I also have instructions if you want to unbrick your device if you happen to brick it :).

    http://jack-brennan.com/Downloads/wndr3700_dd-wrt.rar
     
    #16 smakme7757, Jul 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  18. lotust

    lotust Diamond Member

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    the E4200 does support DD-WRT in a beta form. the only thing that does not work is the media server.


    FYI: even linksys current firmware does not work with the built in media server. Its been busted for over a month.
     
  19. MtnMan

    MtnMan Golden Member

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    I'm keeping my eye on the E4200 status on DD-WRT site. I'd like it to get past beta. If not for the stability of my Buffalo with DD-WRT I'd probably already be there.
     
  20. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    So I tried a couple of routers yesterday thanks to a little help from my friends.

    WNDR3700
    Worked decently with stock firmware, but the HTPC downstairs (about 50m away) had some trouble getting connected to it. Modded it with dd-wrt and put in all the tweaks for Atheros chipsets only to get the same results. Video to the HTPC had one hiccup, but worked well after that. I'm not sure it's worth the $$ though.

    Linksys E3000
    Works very well with the latest stock firmware. Runs REALLY hot though. HTPC had no trouble connecting to it and there were no hiccups with the video. I haven't tried modding this with dd-wrt yet, but will attempt to do so tomorrow. I'm hoping that perhaps dd-wrt will help scale down the CPU usage and keep the unit a bit cooler. It works well now, but I don't know how it'll fare when the office gets to be 30c+.

    Still trying to get my hands on a Buffalo router to test. I've read many things about wi-fi dropouts on the WZR-HP-G300NH, but I'm not sure if newer firmware has fixed that issue or not.
     
  21. najames

    najames Senior member

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    First thing I'd do is look on the forums to see how people like them. There is a lot of unhappiness over Netgear's 3700 v1, v2 AV37, etc model labeling, some problems with them too. Didn't look good to me, plus I read that moderators like to delete posts that give Netgear a black eye. 3800 might replace all of the 37xx series too.

    I looked at Cisco stuff too, long time WRT54G user here. New stuff from them is not without problems too, although at least they seem to be up more front about stuff than Netgear.

    I'm making sure whatever I do will run IPV6 since I keep stuff for a long time. FWIW, I wouldn't buy a bunch of stuff, test, then return it, unethical in my opinion.
     
  22. 1sikbITCH

    1sikbITCH Diamond Member

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    BUFFALO WZR-HP-G300NH

    I just bought this router in an attempt to turn it into a repeater. I could not get it to work as a repeater. Even after flashing out of the stock DD-RT I was able to get it to bridge but not wireless bridge.

    I finally got sick of screwing with it and gave my boss my old WRG54S which works great in repeater mode and I am using the Buffalo router in AP mode. It works good enough so far. From my 2nd floor I get 3 bars in the basement and my wife never bitches about dropped connections.
     
  23. ethebubbeth

    ethebubbeth Golden Member

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    I am running 2 E3000 units. One is the gateway/dhcp server in the living room, the other is serving as a client bridge from the office.

    They do tend to run a little warm out stock but they just need a little more clearance to vent. I put some thicker rubber stoppers in the corners to raise them a little and have no problems with them overheating in rooms that are 80 F / 27 C during summer.

    I am running DD-WRT 14853M on both units. It has proven the most stable build for me, but I haven't tried any new builds since April because I haven't really had any issues.

    The bridge is over 5ghz wireless N and it typically connects at 216mbps, with file copy throughput in Windows 7 happening at about 10 MB/s. I run at the stock transmit power of 71 mW. This seems pretty good to me, since the apartment seems to cause tons of signal inteference. My girlfriend's phone will sometimes lose connection going from room to room. Mine drops fairly low sometimes as well.

    I have never had to reboot either unit outside of updating the firmware, and I have a NAS that is running bittorent 24/7 as well as acting as an SSH/SFTP server.

    If you are not looking for dual band, I think the E2000 should meet your needs just fine. However, the units you've listed above should work just as well or better. Hopefully some of my incoherent rambling has proven useful!
     
  24. Muse

    Muse Lifer

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    I'm curious, running a Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 wireless router right now in a room that gets pretty warm sometimes. For you centigrade challenged people (like me), 30C = 86F. I think the room does sometimes get that hot. I don't know how much my network would benefit from an N router. One of my laptops has N wireless, but another doesn't.
     
  25. Muse

    Muse Lifer

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    Why am I consistently not able to hit links such as the above? I get a message from Firefox like this:
    --------------------
    Unable to connect



    Firefox can't establish a connection to the server at www.tkqlhce.com.
    --------------------
     
  26. Fishy007

    Fishy007 Member

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    Are you doing any video streaming with this Buffalo router? I don't think people would notice brief wi-fi slowdowns or drops when doing regular surfing, but it would be terrible for streaming video or audio.