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Cheap ADSL Holds Up 802.11n Router Design

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the wouldn't-mind-an-isp-price-plunge dept.

Networking 268

sholto writes "Ever wondered why you can't find the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage? Australian ISPs used to give away modem routers to consumers with expensive ADSL plans, but competition has forced them to drop the plans' prices so low they can't subsidize the boxes any more. D-Link Australia says R&D into N routers is now becalmed in a Catch-22."

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DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon,etc (5, Insightful)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662018)

The perfect 802.11n router for me is the one that just acts as a reliable AP and doesn't overheat, crash, drop connections, or have special compatibility problems. How about making it WORK before you add more "value"?

DDWRT helps but the hardware on the market is just garbage. And it's NOT because it's made of commodity components, but because it's poorly engineered. Best example of this is the horrific power/thermal management on newer Linksys products. Ethernet _switch_ traffic alone is enough to make the whole system overheat and crash no matter what firmware you're running. A competent engineer could have made it work right for the same BOM. I used to make wireless devices and our biggest category of support problems was crappy wireless routers either spontaneously rebooting, or needing to be rebooted. I just can't believe we are still at the same state of reliability as the 802.11b days - actually it seems worse now.

PS I don't mean to pick on Linksys, it's just that they're the ones I'm most familiar with. Overall the fails seemed to be in proportion to market share although every one had its particular problems.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (2, Insightful)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662052)

Agreed. I don't care in the slightest about any advanced features. What I want in a router.

* 802.11n (duh).
* 5+ Gigabit ports
* ADSL2+ Modem
* Reliable NAT, including basic UPnP port mapping
* Software that isn't entirely shit (I'm looking at YOU d-link).

I'm happy to pay $300+ for a reliable router, but it's damned hard to find one even at that price range. D-Links products are notoriously bad. The web interface for the last one I used would only work in IE6. (And specifically only IE6).

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (3, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662100)

Why in the world would you want an ADSL2+ modem (or any modem or media adapter other than ethernet or USB) built in to your router?

That's rather like wanting a boat trailer built in to your automobile. They work just fine as separate components, thank you, and putting them together will not foster competition or improve performance.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (3, Insightful)

SlightOverdose (689181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662128)

Because I currently have three boxes sitting in the corner of my living room taking up space, causing a cable mess, wasting electricity, and just generally being annoying.

Putting them all in the one device makes perfect sense for me, when they are all essentially components of the same system.

That's like saying "Why would I want an email client, twitter client, ipod, *and* telephone in the same device"

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662158)

I want the ADSL modem built in so I can run PPPoA with a 1500 octet MTU, instead of PPPoE which requires me to configure *all* my LAN clients with an MTU of 1492.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (4, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662174)

Why in the world would you want an ADSL2+ modem (or any modem or media adapter other than ethernet or USB) built in to your router?

Because it's a home, not a datacenter.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662190)

But it's not likely to happen. There are still too many methods of connecting to the internet (too many broadband even) to justify the cost of building in to a separate device.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (4, Informative)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662226)

Not in Australia there isn't. There's ADSL, and there's only one single ADSL standard (well, two if you consider ADSL/ADSL2+). and there's Cable. (and dialup modems/satellite if you want to be picky, and lets face it, who doesn't!). No one's really investing in cable anymore, since the infrastructure for ADSL already exists, and just requires exchange upgrades and back-haul upgrades, instead of in-street wiring of cable and back-haul upgrades.

That's several million homes in Australia who all get an adsl modem from their ISP, and if the isp recommends a wireless router/adsl modem, then they're pushing a path that allows them to invest in R&D on newer features. They all still offer the simple ADSL modem, but there's plenty of room for people with multiple computers (something a large fraction if not the majority of australian households now have) to warrant the availability and simplicity of a modem/router pre-configured by the ISP to just work when you plug it in.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662450)

But it's not likely to happen.

Reality strongly disagrees.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

badran (973386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662232)

It is much easier to manage 1 device than to have:

1. Modem.
2. router.
3. Switch.
4. AP.
5. Network Print Server.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

mikesum (840054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662254)

Not having to walk people through bridging the modem, less cable/jacks to go bad so easier to troubleshoot.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662444)

Why would you want 3+ devices to have one ADSL bridge, one router, one switch, and one WAP (and a firewall, and a print server, and a NAS) when you could get all that in one single device?

It's like getting an SUV with a sunroof and a trailer hitch. Sure, the sports car, the convertible, the minivan, and the truck all exceed the SUV in some manner, but who cares? A single integrated device is much easier to manage, keep in the garage, and when you are in a place where you will be having an ADSL2+ modem no matter what, it makes sense to have it built in.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662626)

Actually, considering you're talking SUVs.... You're making exactly his point... :-)

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

dreold (827386) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662140)

Check out AVM http://www.avm.de/en/Produkte/FRITZBox/index.html [www.avm.de] I have 7270 working just fine here in the US (ordered in Germany) with Verizon DSL. Built-in. SIP adapter. Has the ability for custom firmware (freetz.org) add-ons with proper firewall and other (dd-wrt-like) stuff. The 7390 model has gigabit but there is no custom firmware for it yet. HTH

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662498)

Try TP-Link, their stuff works very well for me.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

Black Sabbath (118110) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662072)

I hear you.

Overheating is my biggest problem (D-Link in the roof-space).

Can anyone recommend a "thermally" reliable ADSL2+modem and/or Wireless N router (don't care if its one or two devices).
Alternatively, anyone got any ideas (or even better, out of the box solutions/something I can buy) that will keep devices cool in my roof space (I've recently been thinking of putting a wine fridge up there and sticking my devices in it).

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662116)

Well in the case of my 350n I cut an opening in the top of the case to reveal the (totally encapsulated in plastic) shield / heat sink. Then mounted an 80mm fan on a little bracket 2 cm away. That solved the problem. But mine was in a well ventilated room temperature space - in an attic you're probably going to have problems in the summer no matter what. Maybe put your whole installation (I'm assuming you have more equipment) in an enclosure and use a bathroom exhaust fan to push cooler outdoor air through it. Or run in/out ducts into your living space (eg vent through the ceiling in a closet) if that's cooler.

I no longer trust D-LINK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662138)

Yeah and on this front D-Link should learn to STFU after the GamerLink DGL-4500, their prized N router for which they screwed an initially solid firmware up so badly that in the end some groups of people simply couldn't leave it on for a few days without it locking up, but they refused to allow firmware downgrades to known-working versions. This went on for months, and months, and months. I don't know if they ever solved the problem. I gave up on my $150 investment and bought their competitors product and couldn't be happier.

http://www.google.com/search?q=dgl-4500+firmware+issues [google.com]

@D-Link: Whaa whaa whaa. Maybe when you actually support your N router buyers I'll care to hear your complaints.

Re:I no longer trust D-LINK (2, Interesting)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662308)

MOD UP!!! AC is correct. I too was a victim of the DGL-4500 firmware fiasco. Apparently, the DNS forward lookup would buffer overflow and lock up the router. D-Link sat on their ass for what seemed like a year. They also screwed me on a DNS-323 storage NAS. Fuckers! I will never buy D-Link shit again!

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

shadowbearer (554144) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662272)

  Oh hell yeah. I would mod you up, but for some reason the moderation system just doesn't seem to be working for me tonight - I have mod points, but I try to mod and nothing happens. (Let me add that "cheap" often is equivalent to "overheats, crashes, drops connections, slow, etc"

  Anyway, I agree entirely with what you are saying. The home router market is saturated and due for a buggy whip ugrade. I upgraded recently only because I wanted one that did network printer sharing, and it still does it poorly, even after reflashing the router with a custom system.

  In the last six months I've installed a lot of of print server solutions for customers. That's been a cast iron bitch making them work with even some of the best printers on the market - and HP has been better than most, but forget most of the garbage cheap printers.

  Customers want to have a router that does wifi and print serving and talks to anything laptop, windows, macs, etc. The first company that delivers that will make a killing.

  Open call, for open standards ;-\

  SB

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662300)

Personally, I blame the race to the bottom with RAM and flash, leading to the copious (mis)use of VxWorks. Especially when it comes to consumer routers, VxWorks doesn't.

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (4, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662382)

The odd thing is, I already have the router that both you, and the article describe...

It has:
    Simultaneous dual band
    Ability to broadcast a guest network as well as my secured ones 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz ones
    Gigabit ethernet switch
    Range good enough to get from one corner of my house to the other far corner, and probably more.
    USB print server
  Ability to add storage
    Ability to act as a backup server
  Doesn't overhead
    Hasn't crashed since it started running several months ago
    Hasn't ever dropped a connection
    Hasn't ever had compatibility issues with random 3rd party hardware/software

What is it? Oddly... it's an Airport Extreme [apple.com]

Re:DO NOT WANT: print server, storage, P2P daemon, (1)

seanadams.com (463190) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662470)

I don't disagree with you. I have not yet tried the airport extreme, as I managed to resolve my major linksys problem by adding a fan. But I still have problems with Mac clients occasionally failing to reconnect when roaming and/or waking from sleep and I would hope that's not a problem if the APs are from the same vendor. Do you know if the guest mode would work in the case where another router (Cisco ASA) is doing NAT to the internet? It would be important that the guest network only be able to access public IPs and not the secured LAN, but I'm not clear in that case how it would know the difference if it's assuming a typical home network with a directly connected WAN. I would be surprised if it lets me assign the guest network to a VLAN that I define, but that would be ideal. In any case it's a feature I can live without - as I was saying, a reliable AP is the only must-have.

What we do in Germany (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662580)

If we want an all-in-one router with WLAN-N, Gbit-ethernet, VoIP, ISDN, POTS, DECT, answering machine, call-forwarding, fax, USB-printing and -storage, built-in DSL modem (can be bypassed) and 3G modem support, we buy a FRITZ!Box. These things just work.

You have got to be shitting me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662034)

This is the most poorly blatant piece of propaganda I have seen in years!

Its the ISPs fault? (3, Interesting)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662036)

Is it really the ISPs fault? Most people I know bought there own router and connected it to the modem supplied by their ISP. I'm still on my old Linksys WRT54G with Tomato on it because its the best thing out there. I'd buy a new 802.11n router in a heart beat if it supported gigabit lan and wan, dual band, external antenna(s), OpenWRT support, and a USB port or two would be nice but not really needed. I really don't think its to much to ask but last I looked no company makes one.

Re:Its the ISPs fault? (4, Informative)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662176)

Except for OpenWRT, Apple Airport Extremes have been doing that successfully for years. I have one that is 3 or so years old and it works great. And though you won't get OpenWRT, you do get WDS support. And they are under $200.

Five gigabyte ethernet ports, one USB2 for printing or network storage or both (you can connect a hub to it), dual band, WPA2, WDS, etc., etc.

Re:Its the ISPs fault? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662206)

Oops... and no external antenna. Forgot about that. But still, it is the highest or close to highest signal strength of any of the routers in my neighborhood (and yes, I mean even outside my home wandering around, I did a survey), and it is quite sensitive to incoming signals, too. All in all, I recommend it based on experience.

Re:Its the ISPs fault? (1)

bennettp (1014215) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662256)

Mod parent up. Airport Extremes are fantastic. And they're not bad value at $230.

Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662044)

Wireless N router, or Wireless N modem? I hate those combo units.

Right now I'm using a SpeedTouch 516 modem. It has one ethernet port. It works well with my ADSL, and I can stick wireless routers, gigabit switches, etc. behind it.; I'm tired of ISPs trying to pack everything into those all-in-one units, usually in a poor fashion that requires bi-weekly rebooting.

P.S. Where did my AJAX comment box go? For some reason slashdot started loading new pages whenever I click on comments? Ugh...!

Re:Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662086)

"Where did my AJAX comment box go? For some reason slashdot started loading new pages whenever I click on comments? Ugh...!"

I was wondering whether it was just me having that problem, but I guess it's not :).

Re:Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662122)

yep... same here.
Slashdot - now officially the shittiest comment system on the web!

Re:Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (1)

Macman408 (1308925) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662164)

I hadn't noticed this problem... until I clicked on this post to read it. Irony, thy name is /.

Mods, send me those -1 Offtopics, if you don't mind.

Re:Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662614)

Actually, moderation is broken as well. I tried to give you a +1 Funny and now I get a separate page for this post. Hmmm, maybe /. has started duping old features as well as stories.

Re:Where'd my AJAX posting box go? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662616)

the ajax is still working on chromium (using chromium due to this)

I prefer combo units (1)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662162)

I've had shitty combo units but I'e also had shitty dedicated units too. I think that it's an issue of quality and being prepared to pay a bit of a price.

For me a combo unit gives you less points of failure, takes up less space and is easier to administer.

At the moment I have one of these [idg.com.au] and have been very happy with it.

Re:I prefer combo units (linksys) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662312)

I got that from the ISP with the broadband. It worked for 1 week then problems started:

1. Connection from laptop through wifi to the desktop which uses cable to the modem causes the internet connection to drop. It resumes after few minutes of not using the LAN (192...) ips.

2. Problem 1 was solved by setting up a static route on the laptop to the desktop pc

3. After 2 weeks the wireless started acting up, not being able to connect reliably.

4. I put my old G router back and stuff works like it should again, without the static route.

After explaining all those points in detail to the tech on the Linksys live support chat he just disconnected from the chat. Offered wireshark traces to him too since it seemed like the firmware is bugged and there is no updates for it.

5. I read on linksys forums the router reset button doesn't work as it's incorrectly wired. Some kind of custom adapter not sold anywhere is needed to hook up to the serial port in order to properly reset it.
6. I also read that using UPNP for extended time can cause it to brick itself. Well I need upnp and was using it so maybe that caused the problems above.

Time Capsule (2, Informative)

Tom (822) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662064)

the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage?

It's called the Time Capsule. I own one, and it offers all that. What, exactly, was the question?

(oh yeah, maybe you don't like Apple for whatever reason. That's not the point. The point is that such a device does indeed exist, contrary to the claims of the author that it doesn't.)

Re:Time Capsule (1)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662144)

Hear, hear. I bought a dozen or more wireless routers in my life searching for the holy grail until I finally threw down the good money for the Airport Extreme. Solid as a rock, even if you don't get the version with the hard drive built in.

Re:Time Capsule (1)

jnnnnn (1079877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662152)

The Asus RT-N16 has been great for us. The wifi signal is stronger than the one you suggested. It's also $92 (maybe $150 with a hard drive -- it has two USB ports for hard drives) compared to your minimum $299.

Re:Time Capsule (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662332)

But your Asus isn't simultaneous dual-band. It doesn't even have a 5GHz radio at all!

Re:Time Capsule (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662214)

It's called the Time Capsule. I own one, and it offers all that. What, exactly, was the question?

(oh yeah, maybe you don't like Apple for whatever reason. That's not the point. The point is that such a device does indeed exist, contrary to the claims of the author that it doesn't.)

No ADSL support, and that may have been an implicit requirement of the submitter.

Re:Time Capsule (4, Informative)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662218)

If only it had built in ADSL it'd be the real deal. But as it is, I'm back up to having two boxes. I'm not saying that's a total deal breaker, but it certainly means it's not perfect. Belkin do models that cover all of this assuming you don't mind external USB storage. Also, Time Capsule 2Tb is £388.00 from the UK Apple store. Oucheroo. You'd be under £250 if you bought the top Belkin model and a 2Tb USB disk.

Re:Time Capsule (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662412)

Well then Fritz!Box 7390: http://www.avm.de/en/press/announcements/2010/2010_03_02_5.php3 [www.avm.de] It has 802.11n (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz), two USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, VDSL and ADSL, print and media server, internal storage - also acts as a DECT base for cordless phones.

Re:Time Capsule (2, Insightful)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662620)

It's called the Time Capsule. I own one, and it offers all that. What, exactly, was the question?

Before telling us which device may or may not have the features required it may be a good idea to know what the question is.

No I'm not going to say RTFA, heck I'm not going to even say RTFS, I will say Read The Fucking Title though! We are talking ADSL modem routers. Unless you magical capsule has an internal ADSL2+ modem it frankly is off topic, just like the 10s of other devices with similar golden functionality from other manufacturers (to appease the Apple haters) which are just as good yet equally off topic. We want all in one devices, not most in one and a bit in the other.

So next time you go accusing the author of knowing or not knowing something maybe it would be wise to even read what they said.

Hmmmm (1)

NetNed (955141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662068)

Sounds like a bunch of BS in the article. I don't live down under, but I would bet it would be a tough task to find speeds as fast as they say for the price they said. It sounds like a "poor me" tail. If a ISP finds doing business is sooooo hard, maybe they should close up shop?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

ashridah (72567) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662244)

It's more that a bunch of subsidies that the ISPs were relying on dried up a few years back and weren't renewed. They had to scale back the installation of equipment in rural areas well. Also, Australia has roughly the continental area of the US... but only 20-odd million people (mostly on the coast, fortunately). This makes things a bit more spread out and more expensive. Then there's the $rape charged for data, which the ISPs currently can't control easily.

What you describe exists. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662082)

"You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage?"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_Extreme#AirPort_Extreme_Base_Station

Dual band? Check.
Great range? Check (covers my house).
USB Print and storage? Check.

You're welcome.

Re:What you describe exists. (1)

Capena (1713520) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662156)

Even cheaper from Netgear ($150 in cart, it was the first item in the router section):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122326 [newegg.com]

It has "simultaneous dual band", USB support, etc. I don't see what the problem is.

Re:What you describe exists. (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662374)

I have that Netgear and it has terrible range on 5GHz. I blame the internal antennas, though I had an earlier Linksys (the 400N, I think?) that had internal antennas and better 5GHz range. Too bad the Linksys didn't have gigabit ethernet support and rebooted itself once a week. With the Netgear I just have to deal with suboptimal positioning of the unit in order to cover my highest traffic wifi areas.

Re:What you describe exists. (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662600)

I have this one, and agree with your comments, at least as far as 802.11N is concerned. Horrible range. Just horrible.

Re:What you describe exists. (1)

p_ni_0 (1664541) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662258)

How about this one, Bubba|2 from Excito (http://www.excito.com): Dual Band N-router, Router/Firewall, Storage, Printserver, RAID, Webserver / Mailserver, No fans, OPEN SOURCE

Re:What you describe exists. (1)

JorDan Clock (664877) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662338)

Except it doesn't have ADSL support, which is part of the issue TFA is discussing.

What a load of (2, Insightful)

enoz (1181117) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662084)

I can't believe I wasted my time reading that dribble from D-Link.

In short, you can't buy the magical 802.11n router “because the market is not asking for it”.

Re:What a load of (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662198)

In short, you can't buy the magical 802.11n router "because the market is not asking for it".

The Australian market, no less. As if the factory in China gives a toss what the state of the Australian ISP market is like when they decide what products they are going to clone next week.

Re:What a load of (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662552)

The market for DSL modems in Australia isn't really different than the market for DSL modems in the US though. Hell, in most cases, both countries use the same models with just a different power plug (due to different voltage and plug shape).

There's a couple of firmware/configuration differences (e.g. WiFi channels 12 and 13 are usable in Australia, but not in the US due to FCC regulations).

As others have said though, there are good products out there ... but not the cheap ones that ISPs are likely to recommend. The Airport Extreme is pretty decent. As are some high end Billions. But for every vaguely decent one, there are 10 terrible ones with buggy software, poor interfaces, and insufficient processing power to keep up with gigabit LAN connections (or in some cases, even to keep up with fast ADSL2+ connections!)

Re:What a load of (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662562)

Bull shit, Dlinks market is not asking for it sure, because everyone has been bitten by their shoddy power adapters and tight wad customer support and brought a Billion router.

Ahem, ADSL1/2/2+, gig-e 4 port switch, WAN port for future (read fibre or cable) modem use, wireless N, voip, firmware that doesn't crash daily, power adapter worth a damn, real phone support... and thats still just a consumer modem (7404VNPX). They (billion) are bringing out newer models with more bells and whistles, as well as their "ol' faithful" plain modems and stuff without having to astroturf about "oh woe is them".

Dlink, your products suck, no informed customer wants them anymore, bye :)

Re:What a load of (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662576)

Woops, sorry parent, didn't meant to sound like I was annoyed at you, I meant to quote the cheesy line from Dlink about what the market wants :)

Mainly, the market just wants a router/modem that works, a feature set Dlink seem not to put much stock into lately...

Becalmed? (1)

WatcherXP (658784) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662088)

Becalmed, seriously?

AirPort Extreme (2, Informative)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662112)

It's a little bit expensive at ~ $200, but you get what you pay for. It has great features for the price and is rock solid. Dual-band 802.11N, Gigabit Ethernet, IPv6, SNMP, bridging and routing modes, etc, etc. The only drawback is the proprietary GUI required to configure it (no web interface). This is a show stopper it if you do not have a Windows or OS X based computer at your disposal, but few people are in that situation.

The only reason to pass it up is if you're one of those weirdoes that immediately write off anything with an Apple logo.

Beyond a few rare anomalies, every other consumer router I've used in nearly a decade has been complete garbage, I'd sooner build a PC based Linux or BSD gateway over dealing with that nonsense.

Re:AirPort Extreme (2, Interesting)

oblivionboy (181090) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662170)

Sorry, but I just had to comment on this one. In a mixed OS office like the one I work in (ie: Mac and PC laptops across the board - 8 people), it can have problems. The first is it takes Windows machines forever log into it. And then after there are dropped connections, setting up printers can be a nighmare, and the Samba shares are hard to keep online. All these problems on the Windows side granted. We switched to a Linksys with Tomato and haven't had a problem since on either Mac or PC.

Re:AirPort Extreme (2, Interesting)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662222)

I've never had simular problems, what do you mean by "it takes Windows machines forever log into it" and "setting up printers can be a nighmare, and the Samba shares are hard to keep online," if I'm interpreting that correctly it sounds like you're actually using the disk and print sharing features of this router, or are you implying that Samba connections that just plain pass through it are giving you problems? If the latter, I've never seen such issues. If you're talking about the former, I don't actually use the file and print sharing features on the Airport, it could be complete garbage for all I know.

Then again, I'm the type that wants a router to "route" and a file server to share files. Any printer in 2010 that can't share itself over the network via a built in print server is also not worth my time.

Are you seeing any problems with non-disk and print sharing features?

Re:AirPort Extreme (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662380)

I never had simular problems

o really? have you ever had fucking similar problems then? why is this shit all fucked up and I get a new page every time I click on a thread. WHAT THE FUCK!?

Re:AirPort Extreme (1)

rxmd (205533) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662514)

If you're talking about the former, I don't actually use the file and print sharing features on the Airport, it could be complete garbage for all I know.

Then again, I'm the type that wants a router to "route" and a file server to share files. Any printer in 2010 that can't share itself over the network via a built in print server is also not worth my time.

Well, seeing how your requirements and usage patterns are apparently completely different from those of the person you're replying to, and also from those of the story submitter who wanted "dual band, great range, USB print server and storage", it's not really a surprise that you don't experience the issues those persons are having with your hardware, is it?

The other question is, if you are the type that rejects file sharing functionality in a router on principle, why spend the extra premium for this functionality?

Re:AirPort Extreme (2, Informative)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662224)

No UPNP, not for me. Otherwise it is perfect.

Re:AirPort Extreme (1)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662286)

...but it does have NAT-PMP - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAT_Port_Mapping_Protocol [wikipedia.org] an IETF standard that handles at least the NAT traversal features in a similar fashion. There's nothing else in UPNP that I care about. Although not everything supports NAT-PMP (PS3 for example, last I looked).

Still would be nice to have the option for those that need it, I suppose, but the lack of it has never concerned me in the slightest.

Re:AirPort Extreme (3, Interesting)

ActionDesignStudios (877390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662240)

The proprietary software to configure the AP is a pain, but it runs just fine with Wine on Ubuntu 10.04 (one caveat, it didn't show up on a network scan, I had to specify it's IP manually). I have mine in bridged mode off of a Cisco ASA5505 and it works much better than anything I've tried. I can certainly attest to its reliability. It's worth the extra cash to not have to reboot your AP every week (Like my WRT54G running Tomato).

Re:AirPort Extreme (2, Informative)

Denis Lemire (27713) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662326)

Nice to know that it works in WINE, nice option for people that are exclusively running Linux. I use Macs primarily for my desktop machines, so for me it has never been an issue.

I have mine in bridge mode as well (behind a FreeBSD gateway) but I've set it up as a full out NAT router for many other people.

Uptime is certainly great:

lilpapa:~ denis$ snmpget -v 2c -c *REDACTED* airport DISMAN-EVENT-MIB::sysUpTimeInstance
DISMAN-EVENT-MIB::sysUpTimeInstance = Timeticks: (709918432) 82 days, 3:59:44.32

I'm sure if I investigated I'd figure out I either had a power outage or updated my config 82 days ago? ;)

Having worked in for several large scale WISPs for the last 8 years, I know I'm getting sick of the "My internet is broken" - "Power cycle your damn router" dialogue I hear over and over again on a daily basis. What's the uptime on a Linksys before a reboot is required nowadays, an hour or two?

Re:AirPort Extreme (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662512)

But it misses a deal-breaker. It isn't a DSL router. It's an Ethernet router. Roll all those features into a router that has the WAN port as ADSL2+, and it would be the answer to the question asked.

Cliche-22 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662118)

The next time I hear someone say "it's in a Catch-22" I'm going to punch them in the face.

Re:Cliche-22 (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662538)

So, should we say it's a... dependency conflict?

T-shirts collections (-1, Offtopic)

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Re:T-shirts collections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662528)

I hope your family died in that flood. And that your factory burns down.

How is Australia driving this? (2, Insightful)

BulletMagnet (600525) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662188)

Disclaimer: I'm really not to trying to come off like an arrogant sounding Yank, I did live in Australia some time ago and believe the Aussies are spot on by saying they live in God's Country down under, not Seinfeld's "asshole of the planet" comment he made on his tour there....

...but HOW is the fact that Telstra/Optus/Whoever is giving away AYCE DSL the entire driving force behind the fact that not ONE of the consumer hardware manufacturers (D-Link, Linksys/Valet/WhateverCiscoIsCallingThemTomorrow, Netgear, et al) is investing the R&D into building a good N router? I could understand if all the Bells in North America (including our Northern neighbors) had such a racket going on (~350M people between the US and CAN) but 22M in Australia is really holding back development and innovation the N Router market?

Since we're on the topic of Australians holding back the market...why are y'all hoarding the Four'N Twenty's, eh?

Slashdot worships Aussies. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662266)

Or more accurately, certain Slashdot 'editors' worship Australia, which is why you cannot go even a single day without seeing some piece of shit article about Australia, and usually more than one.

Remember when people used to bitch about of Slashdot's USA-centric flavour? That almost seems like the Good Old Days now.

Re:Slashdot worships Aussies. (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662574)

There is just as much stuff about the UK as what there is about Aus...

Re:How is Australia driving this? (1)

Cimexus (1355033) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662586)

I think that the summary/article is just written for an Australian audience, that's all. I think it could equally be applied to the US or Europe or any other major market. Let's face it - the same modem/router brands as are common in AU are common in the US too. In many cases the exact same models.

I think the point is "cheaply available DSL (all over the world) has led to stagnation in research into consumer-level DSL modem/routers". It doesn't even really matter if the ISP throws one in for free or not. The ISPs that DON'T include a modem almost always have a few models that they will sell separately to the user. So even if the user has to pay for one separately, 95% of the time they are going to go the cheapest, crappiest one the ISP 'recommends' to them anyway. Same result.

Win, lose, fail: pick any two. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662202)

If Dlink don't want to develop new routers, I'm sure their competitors will take up the slack.

There's a note to be made here. The article talks about a particular set of market circumstances ending in a particular outcome. However not all competitors are equal. For example if the "Microsoft" of routers decided to enter the market. One could afford to lose money in the short run in order to end up with a market lock by dint of competitors couldn't do the same and drop out.

This comes from some guy who works for Dlink... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662262)

Now. Lets think.

Why is it that no-one buys dlink equipment? because its notorious for being crappy, overpriced junk that does not work? And, if you're lucky enough to get a dlink that works, it will fuck up after 12 months, forcing you to buy another modem at your own expense.

Read: Consumers don't like the shitty useless bug ridden featureless pieces of crap dlink has pushed on us for so long. Now dlink is fealing the heat. And try to blame Australia because no-one buys their fucking shitty products any more?

Fuck off!

Disclaimer: I'm an Australian who bought dlink once, and never again.

Re:This comes from some guy who works for Dlink... (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662572)

Fuck yes, that's 100% correct. D-Link is notoriously bad. I had one, the damn thing would freeze whenever I tried to use torrents! Discarded that shit and moved to TP-Link -- no more connection problems!

This article is RIDICULOUS (1)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662270)

So we are supposed to believe that AUSTRALIA is the primary motivator for Internet technology innovation??

19M Internet users in the whole country. That's about 2/3 of the Internet users in the state of California.

And even disregarding the completely obvious question of numbers, Australian Internet service is famous for the slowest, most expensive broadband ISPs in the world.

AND - even disregarding BOTH of those points, I bought a router about 9 months with "dual band, great range, USB print server and storage" - for about $150, which I consider to be a great deal for all of those features.

And... oh, nevermind. There is nothing left in this article to dispute...

Re:This article is RIDICULOUS (1)

zdzichu (100333) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662358)

You seem to forgot who developed big part of Wifi standards. It was CSIRO - Australian entity.

anitpodes.... (1)

leuk_he (194174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662526)

You forgot the fact that Australian needs different boxes that have the buttons on the other side, you know everything is upside down at the other side of the word. You would think it would be easy to develop in Europe, and deploy in Australia, but it is easy to forget that all electrons are upside down at the other side of the world.

A simple mirror won't fix that either.

Fritz box 7270 (2, Interesting)

cheeni (267248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662274)

http://www.avm.de/en/Produkte/FRITZBox/FRITZ_Box_Fon_WLAN_7270/index.php [www.avm.de]

Best piece of electronics I've owned, bar none. Sip telephony, answering machine, nas, print server, fax, dsl modem, dect base station, wireless N 300 mbps with triple antennas, usb port for 3g modem fall back connectivity, vpn server, firewall, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some features here.

Runs linux, and hacker community has extended firmware to run p2p daemon for example.

Re:Fritz box 7270 (1)

Golden_Rider (137548) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662370)

http://www.avm.de/en/Produkte/FRITZBox/FRITZ_Box_Fon_WLAN_7270/index.php [www.avm.de]

Best piece of electronics I've owned, bar none. Sip telephony, answering machine, nas, print server, fax, dsl modem, dect base station, wireless N 300 mbps with triple antennas, usb port for 3g modem fall back connectivity, vpn server, firewall, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some features here.

Runs linux, and hacker community has extended firmware to run p2p daemon for example.

Yes, the AVM routers are damn nice. If you can live without having a DECT base station, there is also a cheaper version of this router (ca. 100 euro) http://www.avm.de/de/Produkte/FRITZBox/FRITZ_Box_WLAN_3270/index.php [www.avm.de] - although I can find that one only on the German version of their website. Using the community firmware and some attached USB storage, this is one extremely versatile piece of hardware.

Why o why? (2, Interesting)

scdeimos (632778) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662282)

Ever wondered why you can't find the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage?

Because you've got myopia and you're only looking at the D-Link range? D-Link hardware's ok, as far as cheap goes, but their tech support is the pits.

The problem IS wireless N. (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662288)

The big problem with wireless N gear is is that the vast majority of people don't *need* wireless N. The ISPs know it, so why would they try to sell it if it's not going to turn them a profit? Wireless G is reasonably fast for most applications.

Heck, I'm a fairly nerdy guy and *I* don't see why I need wireless N. None of my wireless gear supports it (PS3, Wii, iPod touch, cellphones, netbook... all b/g or bluetooth) and the only thing I'd care to have that kind of speed on (media storage) is handled by boring old (faster, secure) copper cable. The only other advantage to N is range... and I live in a condo; but how many people seriously need 200+ ft of wireless range in their house?

Wireless N is and always has been a solution looking for a problem. We'll start seeing better and more affordable N-spec gear when that problem decides to show up... and by then they'll probably be working on Wireless Q or something equally useless for consumers.

Re:The problem IS wireless N. (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662330)

I need the extra range, and I when setting up my home network had to choose between running cables through the walls (hard), having ugly cables along the outside of the walls, or using wireless. We picked wireless, although several of the devices are stationary so I would like to get the same speed I would be getting if they were attached via cables. I also live on an acre of property so it's nice to have coverage a good area around the house in case I am outside with my iPhone or something. So the need does exist, maybe it's not the majority of people that need it, but there are uses for 802.11n

I use an Airport Extreme, btw

Re:The problem IS wireless N. (1)

Xenna (37238) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662452)

Come on, range is a problem in many houses, including mine. Just one concrete floor is enough to degrade the signal far enough to cause problems in some devices. And I am using N already.

Re:The problem IS wireless N. (1)

lala (28594) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662490)

Luxury! We used to dream about concrete floors!

Whatever happened to plain old access points? (2, Interesting)

Osty (16825) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662306)

I don't want a router. My linux box works quite well for that, thank you very much. However nobody sells a simultaneous dual-band, gigabit, 802.11n access point (at least not in an affordable, consumer-grade package). Instead I have to pay for crap that I don't want and that just makes things more complicated (I have to figure out how to turn stuff off, if it can even be turned off at all).

Also, internal antennas suck, especially for 5GHz. If I put my router/ap in a central closet that I have wired for ethernet and power, I'm lucky if I get 2 bars on 5GHz in my main usage area. Now instead of having my access point neatly tucked away I have to have it sitting out in a different room just so I can cover half of my house. And I don't even have that big of a house!

what the fuck is wrong with slashdot comments? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662324)

why is this shit all fucked up and I get a new page every time I click on a thread. Turn that shit off!

asus-rtn16 + dd-wrt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662396)

it's not gonna come from your isp for free ... but for $90 shipped, i just got the asus-rtn16 and installed dd-wrt. it's already doing all that and then some, ie. 2 usb2 drives, gbit ethernet, vlans, iptables and openvpn. i'd definitely recommend it.

This is a lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32662408)

"but competition has forced them to drop the plans' prices so low they can't subsidize the boxes any more

That's just not true!

My girlfriend's brother's boss's uncle's secretary heard the local ISP's CEO say, and i quote: "it's going to be a cold day in hell before I'm forced to eat cheap caviare on two of my five private jets just so some damn user can get a better router."

strange pattern I'm noticing here. (1)

wangbangersanonymous (1830288) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662486)

more often than not, when it comes to operating systems on just about any device (be that a standard pc, laptop, server or router) I've noticed that Linux users just inherently love and I mean, they REALLY love a thick set of cock n balls in the face.

Linksys WAG-320N (1)

Martz (861209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662488)

For ADSL2+ (Annex M) I use the Linksys WAG-320N

Before moving to this ISP/router I've always used a Cisco 877 at home, and I liked it because it let me learn a little about the cisco config. If I wanted Annex M functionality I'd have to rebuy the Cisco 877 M K9 for it to work :(

The Linksys is a great little device, has a USB port for NAS. Responsive web GUI and it doesn't reboot itself each time a change is made to the config.

I sync at 19Mb down and 2.1Mb up, which is very good for my distance from the exchange and ADSL2+ technology.

What's suprising about this is... (1)

bernywork (57298) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662504)

Everyone I knew back in Aus had their friendly neighbourhood geek (Or asked the IT guys at work) who would tell them who to sign up with and what plan to get. As part of this, they usually went out and bought a decent ADSL router instead of what came in the box. It was usually described as "What's in the box will get you going, but this is what you really want".

Maybe I'm in the minority, but I didn't know anyone who used the modem that came in the box (Except one or two business customers who had to as the modem was considered CPE by the provider)

Anyone else experience anything different?

D-Link=Garbage. AEBS=Full of Win. Sholto = Shill (3, Interesting)

Weedhopper (168515) | more than 4 years ago | (#32662582)

I've gone through so many bad experiences with D-Link equipment over the years that I will never buy any equipment from D-Link ever again. I will go out of my way to get people I know to replace these craptacular pieces of shit every chance I get.

I've had D-Link PCMCIA cards, routers, modems, etc and every single one of them is an overheating piece of garbage. It's like no one in the company has ever heard of heat management.

OTOH, I set up an Airport Extreme Base Station at my parents' house last year. It has all of the features Sholto says you can't find (Dual band-N, great range, USB print and storage, etc) and does it without needing to be reset every ten fucking days. Care to venture a guess the uptime this AEBS, D-Link? 16 MONTHS. I'm usually pleasantly surprised when D-Link crap can make it 16 days without needing a reset.

I suppose I have to give the old Linksys WRT-54 units their props.

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