Recommend me a new Router

The problem with trying to future proof is that you're also prepaying for obsolescence.

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wirel...

I also have the N66U, and have had no issues with it yet. It just sits quietly next to my patch panel, not bothering anyone. I just counted and we have 15 wifi-enabled devices talking to it without any issues.

I picked up the AC a few months back, it was only $20 or so more expensive IIRC. Works like a champ.

My DLink DIR-655 is getting sporadic. Reboot for wifi connectivity to be restored, range seems to be getting smaller as well. Is there anything less than $130 that's a viable alternative ( that ASUS jumps from $130 to $150 depending on the wind)? I do run a web server from the house, other than that, we're the standard multi device family.

So we're using a Verizon mifi Jetpack for home innernet. It's okay for now, but the Jetpack is fairly limited on its functionality and has no Ethernet port. I have a DIR-655 with Ubicom chipset, which seems to be the deal-breaker for dd-wrt or the like. I wanted to use it to bridge so I can hook up my desktop which has no wireless capability.

Failing that (still looking), I've considered just getting a USB wifi dongle. They seem so variable in price and features, so I thought mayhap some among you had particular models or versions that worked best for you.

EDIT: The Jetpack also supports Ethernet-over-USB, which I'm looking into. Impressions/experience with these devices would also be helpful. I'm reading reviews and such.

Is it a temporary or permanent situation that has you using the Jetpack?

If temporary, I'd just pick up the cheapest USB dongle with the highest ratings and call it a day. The cheapest USB ones won't have a big antenna, but also only run about $10-15 shipped.

If permanent, I'd grab a non-Rosewill PCI-E x1 card if you've got the space. When I built my rig, I knew it would have to live on wifi indefinitely, and went with this one. If you don't have the space, then I'd step up to a USB dongle with an antenna.

McIrishJihad wrote:

Is it a temporary or permanent situation that has you using the Jetpack?

If temporary, I'd just pick up the cheapest USB dongle with the highest ratings and call it a day. The cheapest USB ones won't have a big antenna, but also only run about $10-15 shipped.

If permanent, I'd grab a non-Rosewill PCI-E x1 card if you've got the space. When I built my rig, I knew it would have to live on wifi indefinitely, and went with this one. If you don't have the space, then I'd step up to a USB dongle with an antenna.

That's the card I use and it's bad-ass. Haven't dropped a connection yet, always at least 3 bars (with the office door closed) and my desktop is a good 30 feet from the router in the other room. Helps that I have the Asus RT-N66U, as well.

This is likely to be permanent. I was thinking of using one of the USB - Ethernet adapters to attach my DIR-655 to the Jetpack and then manage my wireless LAN through my router. I thought the DLink might be more robust at managing the connections. I don't trust the Jetpack and want to minimize the number of connections it's dealing with. Superstition, of course, as it's untested.

You probably want a firewall between you and the Jetpack, anyway. That's probably going to be exposing you to the Internet directly.

Do you have any option to buy/rent one with an Ethernet port? That would be way easier.

Malor wrote:

You probably want a firewall between you and the Jetpack, anyway. That's probably going to be exposing you to the Internet directly.

Do you have any option to buy/rent one with an Ethernet port? That would be way easier.

Sounds like a great idea I'd considered only subconsciously. Unfortunately, we've already taken delivery of the unit and it's the only one we can grab with this particular setup, I believe. It does have a USB port specifically allowing Ethernet-over-USB, thus my consideration of that. I think I'm going to grab an adapter for ~$30 and hook up my DIR-655.

Thanks for the reminder.

Is the price difference between the RT-N66U vs the RT-N65U worth it? The white version of the RT-N66U is $114 vs the RT-N55U at $110.

The N66U has been coming down - just bought the black version last week for $125.

Edwin wrote:

Is the price difference between the RT-N66U vs the RT-N65U worth it? The white version of the RT-N66U is $114 vs the RT-N55U at $110.

I prefer to have one of these in my home:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/qM6S5k7l.jpg)

On a serious note, I'd just get the RT-N66U at that price difference. It did have advantages over the RT-N56U back when I checked reviews extensively. Not sure about the RT-N65U except that the RT-N66U still looks way cooler. It's a fantastic wireless router. I still have no complaints, and I bought one right around when they were released. It's a solid buy.

I just checked, and the current uptime on my RT-N66U is at 234 days. I really can't recommend it enough.

Yes. RT-N66U. This thread should be locked, since there's nothing else to recommend. Just sticky this thread and re-title it "Need a New Router? RT-N66U. Done."

Seriously, this thing is a beast. I can't wait to try wireless streaming to a Steam Machine to see what quality it can manage.

I'm jealous of people who get to pick their own router. I'm stuck with the FIOS Actiontec POS. The only way I could use my own would be to piggy back it but that would cause other network problems.

I opted for the RT-AC68U the other day for future proofing and it's been great. I debated a lot between it and the Netgear R7000 which has slightly better hardware specs (and it's cheaper), but the AC68U gives me the option of Asus Merlin in addition to DD-WRT.

Actually, if your primary use for the router is wired routing, with wireless being not as critical, the RT-56NU is faster at routing than the N66, and it costs half as much. The 56 only does N, but if you only have N clients, it's a good unit.

Note that, however, that this is the difference between 800Mbit combined up and down versus 1.2 gigabit, so unless you're on a fiber ISP, the speed difference won't matter. Most places in the US, you'll probably have AC wireless clients before you have to route a gigabit.

It's just that... the 56 is a surprisingly powerful unit, and it's only about $95.

All my wireless devices are N. My work laptop, ipad3, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 (2013), Galaxy S4.

Love me my asus AC router, which i got on recommendation from this thread. Hasn't turned off once since i got it.

EvilDead, you could turn off the ActionTec wireless, put an N66U in front of it via cat 5 to the router and get dual band goodness using the N66U as an access point. Right?

Oh no! I guess I didn't transfer over all my firewall rules from my old router. I'm on the road and can't access my RD gateway now. I swear I tested it when I set it up though. I wonder if the VM is down... I don't have WAN access to the router or any other backdoors set up right now either, so no SSH tricks or anything. Oh well, I didn't really want to connect back to my work laptop anyway.

Robear wrote:

EvilDead, you could turn off the ActionTec wireless, put an N66U in front of it via cat 5 to the router and get dual band goodness using the N66U as an access point. Right? :-)

Trust me I have been thinking about it forever. People have put diagrams all all the ways you can piggy back routers for FIOS but they all have drawbacks from being double NATed to remote DVR not working.

Many wireless routers will let you put them in 'dumb' mode, where they just bridge the wireless and Ethernet segments, but don't do anything else that routers usually do, like DHCP and DNS. This is called "wireless bridging", and is not the same as "client bridging".... the similar naming was not such a hot idea.

Regular wireless bridging is quite common, and it gives you a wireless signal that's bridged to an Ethernet port. Basically, it's 'stupid AP mode', where it serves as an AP but does nothing else. This lets you break the routing and access point functions into two separate devices. This is how my network is set up: it's let me upgrade the pieces separately for, hmm, more than a decade now. Most routers will offer this ability, though they'll call it by different names. You can put one router in normal mode, but turn off its wireless, and then use a second router in dumb AP mode, turning off everything else.

Client bridging is where the AP pretends to be a laptop, and bridges the wired connections behind it onto the wireless. This is an uncommon feature; at one time, you basically had to use DD-WRT or OpenWRT to get it. It's a pretty simple idea: the client bridge is just another laptop, only offering Ethernet ports for other devices to share its connection. You can only use client bridging when you already have another access point to connect to. At one time, this was an absolutely killer, awesome feature, but it's less useful than it was, as so many devices can just talk to wireless networks directly. But I still like client bridging, because it reduces network contention when multiple devices want to talk at once, and it also means that your network name and security key are put being put into fewer devices that you don't control, and which may be compromised in various ways, whether by hackers or by the government. A client bridge AP can usually connect either four or five devices, which reduces your chance of credential leakage by SOME amount, though how much is open to question.

Post-Snowden, in my own network, devices that I don't fully control don't get credentials I care about. I now have a separate wireless network I use for consoles and TVs and phones and such. There's just no way to know which are controlled by National Security Letters. I still trust (relatively) my laptop and desktop, but not the smaller devices....and I may be foolish to trust even that much.

Malor, this is the chart I was referring to. I could try #3 which sounds like how you may have your network setup (?) but I have read a few threads of people having problems. That would also cut out a lot of the benefits of using such a beast of a router.

My biggest problem with the Actiontec is that I have to reset it every few weeks because UPnP or some other feature stops working as intended.

which sounds like how you may have your network setup

Yeah, that's pretty much how I used to have my network running, with an external firewall/router and then an AP in dumb bridge mode. In my last place, I also had a WRT54G in client bridge mode in the front room, to give my consoles a network connection. (I don't need to do that anymore, as the current consoles have wireless.)

Post-Snowden, I've moved to a more complex model, where the wireless is on a physically separate network segment, but I ran my network for many years in that #3 configuration. It works very well.

How does your network come in from Verizon? Is it Ethernet, or something else? And you do want remote DVR?

The fiber optic cable comes into a huge ONT box. IIRC the technician ran coax cable which is split and goes to the modem / router and the other cable box. I think the ONT box may have connections for Ethernet as well but I would have to take a closer look.

Yes, we use remote DVR. Verizon is really slow at updating their equipment as they only just started giving people single band N routers by default.

Do you have any pointers to info on how the DVR function works? If you've got Ethernet available, I'm thinking maybe you could use the new router as your external connection, and forward one or more TCP ports to the Actiontec, but that really depends on how it talks to Verizon. If it's a layer 2 thing (underneath TCP/IP), where it's talking directly on the fiber to the central office, then that won't work.

I assume, to connect to your DVR, you talk with some Verizon server? You don't just connect directly to your house or something? It seems like they'd almost have to offer some kind of lookup service, but if you're lucky, it'll all run over TCP, which would let you put another router in between. If it's a wire protocol, then the Actiontec would have to be connected to the outside.

Another thought: if you have Ethernet, you might be able to pay Verizon a few extra bucks to have both ports live at the same time. One is just purely the Actiontec, and that's how you do your DVR -- it just keeps working the way it always does. And then the other router has a separate IP. This would mean that streaming from the Actiontec would probably always be 'remote viewing', going through the Verizon forwarding service, but depending on how you use it, that might be all right.

In that version, you could also run two separate wireless networks, one for video and one for normal use, and then just switch back and forth if you wanted to stream to your laptop(s).

edit to add: You might also be able to get tricky, and have them BOTH think they're routing for the same network, but you simply configure your local clients to talk to the Internet through the new router. In other words, they'd each have different external IPs, but they'd both connect to your internal network, say 192.168.0.X. The new router would be on .1, and the Actiontec would be on .2. You'd set your default route to be .1, so all your Internet traffic would go out the new router, but any internal functions you're using now should still work, just the same as they already do.

But all that's dependent on whether or not you have Ethernet. If the connection comes in on coax or something else nonstandard, you'll have to have the Actiontec as your external router.

edit to add: and it also depends on whether Verizon is willing to light up both port types at once.

The remote DVR has to go through some remote server since all I had to do was punch in my Verizon username and pw. What I'm thinking is it seems like a bit of a project that may have me spending $120 for mixed results but If I can score one of those Asus routers on an amazon flash deal or something similar I will bite.

I will have to check the their forums again and see if anyone has tried stuff similar to your proposed setups.

Just moved to the N66U from my DLINK DIR-655 - upgraded to the merlin firmware, and now it's up and running.

Really like some of the options this thing has