recommendations for a new wireless router?
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  1. #1
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    recommendations for a new wireless router?

    An electrical surge apparently fried my ASUS RT-N16. I plug it in and the pretty blue lights come on for about half a second and then shut off.

    Does anyone have a router they are really loving? I had DD-WRT installed on my ASUS router which not only allowed me some pretty fancy routing options, but also let me connect a network printer and storage via USB. It was pretty awesome until it died. Also worth noting is that, although old, my Linksys WRT54GL survived the power surge and a factory reset and is still working smoothly.

    I am not sure a) what the latest wireless protocols are that I should support (802.11ac?) and b) what open source router firmware might be easiest to set up and configure. DD-WRT was a pain in the ass as I recall but entirely necessary because the ASUS RT-N16 firmware was complete garbage. I know there are others like TomatoUSB, etc., but suspect that some are easier than others and that some routers are friendlier to certain distros, etc.

    If anyone has a success story regarding routers, I'd surely appreciate it. Some features I shall need:
    * map a consistent LAN ip address onto a particular MAC address
    * route WAN traffic from some subnet (e.g., WWW.XXX.YYY.0/24) on a particular port to some machine on my LAN on some other port -- e.g., public visitors to my IP address on port 1234 might be routed to port 80 on my dev server.
    * IPV6 support?
    * DynDNS configuration. I.e., login to NO-IP.com when my ISP allocates me a new IP so that my domain will point to the new IP address.
    * should be linux-based
    * USB support so I can attach network storage and a printer for use by all computers on the LAN
    Last edited by sneakyimp; 12-19-2012 at 08:42 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I've been running my DLINK DIR-655 since it was new. I love it. Can't say anything negative about it. The interface is super easy to use. It's rather outdated now I guess, but honestly if I could find one new somehow, I would buy it again. Its successors are the DIR-825 and DIR-835. I'm a huge fan of DLINK; all my networking devices are DLINK. Never had a single problem with them.

    EDIT: Not sure about the features you require as I've never really needed them. I don't think it has a USB port, though (I would check but my media server's cable is dangling precariously and if I move it slightly I will lose the connection. I could replace the cable but such is life being lazy)

    EDIT 2: You can however use a NAS for network storage and also set up a printer on a computer that can be accessed and shared on the network. The only caveat is the computer needs to be on.
    Last edited by Bonesnap; 12-20-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input, Bonesnap. I've been thinking more and more about NAS/RAID systems for more reliable backups and/or network file storage -- it's such a pain at the moment to share files between my various machines. The downer is that I'm running Windows, Macs, and Ubuntu machines on my network and haven't really thought of any convenient way to unify them all. The printer issue is kind of complicated for the same reasons. I had previously managed to set up my Samsung printer on the RT-N16 (connected via USB) and it was a chore to configure each computer but once I did it was super convenient to print. Sharing a computer sort of suggests that my macs would need to speak windows or vice-versa.

    I was looking today at an ASUS RT-AC66U (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833320115) which supports all kinds of much more recent protocols, crazy fast data rates, and dual-band radio:
    * IEEE 802.11ac, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n, IEEE 802.3/3u/3ab
    * Up to 450+1300Mbps Wireless Data Rates
    * 1 x 10/100/1000M WAN; 4 x 10/100/1000M LAN

    Unfortunately, the dd-wrt firmware has not been finished yet.

    It's hard to describe how much better dd-wrt is than most firmware I've seen. DD-WRT is based on the linux kernel and is not only more full-featured, it is also faster and more reliable. When my RT-N16 arrived, it would not stay connected more than a few minutes and I was constantly rebooting it to reconnect to my cable modem. The USB ports were worthless -- I couldn't connect printers or storage to it. It was essentially useless. I replaced the factory firmware with dd-wrt and it changed everything. I think I restarted it 3 times in two years. I was able to hook up storage and a printer. Night and Day, I tell you.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp View Post
    The downer is that I'm running Windows, Macs, and Ubuntu machines on my network and haven't really thought of any convenient way to unify them all.
    Assuming you don't mind installing an extra driver on your Mac (or settle with one-way sharing), NTFS is readable and writable by all three.

    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp View Post
    Sharing a computer sort of suggests that my macs would need to speak windows or vice-versa.
    ... both of which are certainly possible (and done quite often - especially in environments like schools/universities).

    Quote Originally Posted by sneakyimp View Post
    It's hard to describe how much better dd-wrt is than most firmware I've seen.
    C'mon; no it isn't. IT'S THE BEST. See? That was easy.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your input, BG. DD-WRT is truly, totally the best. It will turn your crappy router into the real deal -- but only if dd-wrt supports it. I've also heard good things about TomatoUSB but have yet to try it.

    I've been eyeing an ASUS RT-AC66U, a dual-band router that seems to support all the latest protocols and has some good hardware specs too. Unfortunately, dd-wrt support for it doesn't seem ready for prime time.

    I do know that some brainiac named Merlin has published a customized version of the ASUS firmware but I get the impression it's not as full-featured as dd-wrt. It's also been my experience with my rt-n16 that the asus firmware totally sucks.

    My RT-N16 is still under warranty but I expect it'll be weeks before they fix it and send it back -- if they do so at all. They might balk if they discover that I installed custom firmware. I'm a bit reluctant to buy the fancy $200 router and not have it work right. I'm thinking I might have to buy another RT-N16 so I can get my workstations back online. Or perhaps a dlink 655 or something.
    IMPORTANT: STOP using the mysql extension. Use mysqli or pdo instead.
    World War One happened 100 years ago. Visit Old Grey Horror for the agony and irony.

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