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Ask Slashdot: DD-WRT Upgrade To 802.11n?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the bending-over-backwards-for-flexibility dept.

Networking 196

First time accepted submitter krinderlin writes "My home network consists of a Linksys WRT54GL for WAN access and a WRT54G version 8 for a wireless bridge for my Blu-Ray and old XBox 360*. Due to a recent move and coaxial jack placements, I can't run Ethernet to the office, so I'm now looking at about 8 wireless clients at any given time. I'd like to start piecing together a network upgrade to 802.11n, but want to keep the flexibility and power of DD-WRT. So what 802.11n routers do you have with DD-WRT? What would you recommend for PCIe x1 and USB adapters? *Because $100 for a 802.11g adapter is pure insanity."

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196 comments

Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831360)

Quite a powerful router, I use it heavily for my VPN. It also allows you to upgrade to DD-WRT right through their interface.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320038&Tpk=asus%20rt-n16

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (2, Insightful)

AdamJS (2466928) | about 2 years ago | (#37831460)

It should be noted right away that the RT-N16 is only a single-band router, which could be make or break for many people. I use one, the thing is designed for custom firmware. But if you have to use the stock firmware for more than an hour, submitter would go insane.

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about 2 years ago | (#37831846)

I have one using Tomato, and I love it. I was a huge fan of DD-WRT, but the simplicity of Tomato won me over. It has plenty of power for me, and the UI is pretty. It handles torrents very well since it's pretty well loaded with RAM.

Having N at only 150mbps wasn't a dealbreaker for me. Wireless is just more reliable with multiple antennae.

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (1)

PhracturedBlue (224393) | about 2 years ago | (#37831956)

Agreed. I've had my RT-N16 for about a year. It is great with DD-WRT (I guess it supports Tomato, but I haven't had a need to upgrade). I did have problems with mine overheating (not overclocked or anything), but some left over heatsink coolers from way-back and an ancient graphics-card cooling fan completely fixed the issue for me.

The RT-N16 seems to have some quality control issues, but for the price, there was nothing better when I bought mine. There may be better options now though.

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832024)

This is a better resource for answering the question:

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832038)

I really liked my RT-N16 while it still worked. Thing ran hotter than I believe it should have though, and one day it just stopped powering on entirely.

Re:Great experience with Asus RT-N16 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832420)

I'll chime in with a vote for the RT-N16 as well. It's been running my network for almost a year now and I've never *had* to reboot it. All the reboots I've put it through were due to me tinkering around trying to make it do things no one would have imagined it should do. (If you want gspca webcam drivers for it, let me know :) )

lmgtfy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831368)

uh hmm check their hw database to see if they support hw with 11n radios?
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=dd-wrt+11n+radio

Re:lmgtfy (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831414)

Yes, but as I've seen from experience working with a friend's D-Link router, "Supported" on the database does not always equate to "Good Experience".

Re:lmgtfy (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about 2 years ago | (#37831418)

Confirmed for not paying attention.

He already knows they support 802.11n, he's asking which router is the best one.

WNDR3700v2 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831370)

This router is an absolut beast in terms of range and throughput. The DD-WRT support is terrific and the device is rather cheap.

If you do not absolutely need 450 Mbit/s, but are satisfied with 300 Mbit/s, go with the WNDR3700v2

WNDR-3700v2 (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | about 2 years ago | (#37831372)

The Netgear WNDR-3700v2 is powerful, reasonably cheap, and well-supported. It also is the target of the CeroWRT project, which deals with bufferbloat, and should be of interest to advanced users at this point. Bufferbloat changes are also being adopted into stock OpenWRT and the Linux kernel, so eventually will make it to more routers.

Re:WNDR-3700v2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831890)

The Netgear WNDR-3700v2 is powerful, reasonably cheap, and well-supported. It also is the target of the CeroWRT project, which deals with bufferbloat, and should be of interest to advanced users at this point. Bufferbloat changes are also being adopted into stock OpenWRT and the Linux kernel, so eventually will make it to more routers.

+1 to this router. I have two of these and they are great units. I see several other comments making the same recommendation and they are not wrong!

WNDR3700v2 (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#37831374)

Check out the WNDR3700v2 [amazon.com] . The folks doing serious research [bufferbloat.net] into home network performance have settled on this unit. Check out the prices on Amazon's refurbished stock - equivalent to what I was paying for 54GL's back in the day. I picked up a new for the office and a refurb for home.

They have lots of RAM, a decent processor, and dual-band radios. I think it's the 54G for the new decade.

Re:WNDR3700v2 (1)

dintech (998802) | about 2 years ago | (#37831952)

Have you tried HomePlug instead of wifi? I find the bandwidth to be a big improvement over wifi. I can at least max out my 50Mb cable connection and no ethernet cables running through the house.

Re:WNDR3700v2 (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#37832090)

Have you tried HomePlug instead of wifi? I find the bandwidth to be a big improvement over wifi. I can at least max out my 50Mb cable connection and no ethernet cables running through the house.

I use HomePlug in my neighborhood network. The version 2 stuff (is that 'AV'?) is really good - v1, not so much. I get about 50Mbps between a garage and the house's basement, and didn't have to dig new conduit, so totally worth the price (I think those were Netgear too). It sits behind a 40Mbps VDSL link, so plenty.

I get complaints from my wife about having to plug in the laptop to recharge it, so different use cases - she's not plugging in to surf Facebook. My house has Cat5e haphazardly for access points, and I was going to do more HomePlug for, e.g. Roku, but 802.11 turned out to be good enough, so that was easy to not buy.

Linksys (1)

gshegosh (1587463) | about 2 years ago | (#37831382)

I had WRT300N for a dozen of months or so, it worked fine. Since few weeks ago I'm using E4200 which is dual band and cannot complain.

Check the list (1)

DreddUK (255582) | about 2 years ago | (#37831386)

Could you not just check the list here:

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Supported_Devices [dd-wrt.com]

and go with your favourite supplier of quality hardware? Also, bear in mind that some of your connected equipment isn't and can't be N-enabled (PS3 it think from memory). Therefore, you'll want something that can gracefully handle both G and N at the same time (ideally as separately configured wireless networks).

Re:Check the list (2)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831680)

The plan is to find a Firmware that supports making the extra router into a wireless bridge and run Ethernet from XBox 360 and Blu-Ray to a second router acting as a bridge and forwarding DHCP and what-not back and forth. As I've stated before, "Supported" does not mean "Good experience". I've seen that database burn plenty of people. :-)

Re:Check the list (1)

JimMcc (31079) | about 2 years ago | (#37831758)

Because he isn't looking for a compatibility list. krinderlin said "So what 802.11n routers do you have with DD-WRT? What would you recommend for PCIe x1 and USB adapters?" Notice that he said "what ... do you have ..." not what will work with.

WNDR3700 (1)

thue (121682) | about 2 years ago | (#37831396)

I have seen the WNDR3700 [dd-wrt.com] recommended as being a good option. The hardware itself is relatively powerful, with a 680MHz processor, 64MiB RAM, and 8MiB flash. The 4 internal+1 external RJ-45 ports are gigabit. It costs US$120 from Newegg.com .

Re:WNDR3700 (1)

bn-7bc (909819) | about 2 years ago | (#37831492)

hmm I wonder if the back-plain and cpu actualy can manage 4+ Gbps, has anyone actually tested this under full load on all ports?

Re:WNDR3700 (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#37832282)

hmm I wonder if the back-plain and cpu actualy can manage 4+ Gbps

The switch? Maybe. The CPU? Not a chance.

No, I haven't tested this model, but I've test-driven enough routers to know that a 680 MHz processor isn't going to route even 1 gbps.

Re:WNDR3700 (1)

networkBoy (774728) | about 2 years ago | (#37832346)

No, the backplane can not handle 4Gbps, however it can handle a smidge over 1Gbps sustained throughput based on the tests I ran. One thing it does not handle particularly well is ARP table exhaustion in a very short time window. Of course I was cheating to do this (http://www.ecrunch.com/listing/Spirent_Netcom_SmartBits_SMB-200_200_w__2x_Spirent_Netcom_SmartBits_ML-7710_10_1.html [ecrunch.com] ). Sending random MAC and IP addresses as source and destination, at wire rate (with 4 1Gbps blades), with minimum IPG and random payload data. I've seen carrier class equipment buckle under proportionally equal loads (Cisco Cat 12K with all ports maxed out incl. ATM links).

All in all I like this little router, and it's what I use. I have a somewhat aggressive home network and it seems to hold up nicely.
-nB

Why DD-WRT, it's not stable (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831408)

I run DD-WRT, but it's not stable on my Netgear 3700 using the recommended N config settings. I've gotten it to bi-monthly resets, and it's not a high enough priority to reconfigure different firmware at this point. But looking on the DD-WRT forums would have told you that.

So why run DD-WRT? Seems there are many other options (Tomato, even stock firmware), I'd look there first. DD-WRT is rarely updated, not open, and as far as I can tell buggy as hell, even for 'supported' devices.

Re:Why DD-WRT, it's not stable (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831634)

Hmmmmm...valid. DD-WRT is not one of those things you update often. I've been running DD-WRT stably on 54G's of various versions for at least 4 years. I really haven't had any issue with them EVER so I've never really done much other than visit the Wiki and main pages on occasion when flashing a new 54G. I'd not though to check into how DD-WRT was doing on 802.11n devices.

D-Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831410)

I use a D-Link DIR-825 for my home network. DD-WRT can be flashed to it and it runs dual band which is a HUGE deal for me in an apartment setting. Works great!

Yes you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831420)

Yes, you CAN run ethernet anywhere you want. I'm guessing that you just don't want to. You can always place it along baseboards, you don't have to drill through walls and floors/ceilings.

Re:Yes you can (1)

jbigboote (1544809) | about 2 years ago | (#37831606)

well there are limits on the length of runs before you need to add a switch. back when I made CAT5 twisted-pair copper runs by hand, 100 meters was the limit. not sure if that has changed with CAT6

Re:Yes you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831770)

It's still 100M.

Re:Yes you can (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831826)

Grammar Police just dropped off my citation. :-)

Yes, I won't run Ethernet. I have pets. Short some interesting routing requiring in length ten times the line of sight distance, running Ethernet is just ugly. If I run it across a door way, there shll be tripping, and crazy cats, and curious dogs causing me all sorts of grief. Also, it's likely to freak out our highly Conservative, Bible Thumping, Internet-is-for-porn-and-porn-alone landlord.

"THEY HAVE WIRES HANGING OFF THE CEILING RUNNING FROM THIS BOX TO THAT BOX!!! THEY'RE TERRORISTS!!!"

The last reason is purely in jest and really isn't the deciding factor.

Re:Yes you can (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831898)

Don't let him know the wifi is whats causing his headaches:) (and perhaps visions of Yeshua

Yeah, don't wire rentals unless it's dead easy. (1)

Medievalist (16032) | about 2 years ago | (#37832314)

If you buy a house at any point, take the time to properly wire it inside the walls with the best cabling you can afford. You won't regret it, signal isolation is a wonderful thing (and pets aren't as likely to chew the wires inside a wall).

But no way is it worth any real effort to wire up a rental.

You're on the right track.

Re:Yes you can (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about 2 years ago | (#37832442)

OK, if you're renting I can understand the reluctance to actually pull the cable everywhere.

But IMO, finding creative ways of getting the cable all the places you want is a fun exercise and a great way to learn about the nooks and crannies of your house. Also an excuse to get fish tape, a cable stapler, nifty plumb-bob things and especially a fishing reel/dart gun combination dingus.

Any functionality from DD-WRT in particular? (2)

Neil_Brown (1568845) | about 2 years ago | (#37831426)

So what 802.11n routers

I've ended up replacing most of my previous kit with acquired-from-eBay Apple kit. 802.11n over 5Ghz for some devices, and over 2.4Ghz for others, with fallback to 802.11g for older devices. Airport Extreme for the main routing, with some Airport Express units for the music system. I used one as a wireless bridge for the PS3 for a while, but, since switching to an old Apple TV for playback, everything's streamed fine over Wi-Fi.

Was there particular functionality you wanted, which led you to DD-WRT? Or might other routers be able to do what it is that you need?

do you have with DD-WRT?

None :)

Re:Any functionality from DD-WRT in particular? (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831912)

Primarily:

  1. Ability to auto-update OpenDNS with my ISP assigned IP address
  2. Ability to configure a secondary router to act as a wireless bridge and forward DHCP requests to the primary router
  3. QoS stuff. Haven't used it before, but now that we're exclusively streaming through the XBox or watching OTA HDTV, I'd like to guarantee Netflix and Hulu streams to the TV even when my other half is torrenting por...Linux Distro CDs.

General reaction is DD-WRT is crappy these days. I don't really know. These 54Gs were flashed some years ago. It's been so long since I've had them that I had to do some searching in my Evernote to find my network docs to get into the routers after we moved. Hence, I haven't even visited the Wiki in years and never visited the forums.

Re:Any functionality from DD-WRT in particular? (3, Informative)

afabbro (33948) | about 2 years ago | (#37832356)

General reaction is DD-WRT is crappy these days. I don't really know.

Not only crappy but a fairly evil project as well. Closed source, deceptive project leaders, software activation.

The tomato project is much better run and does everything that DD-WRT does. I like tomato-USB but there are several other flavors.

Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831444)

Runs around $80 at most places. Setup is pretty easy and conversion to OpenWRT (which I like better, and seems to be more stable) is very easy.

Re:Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#37831580)

+1 for this. OpenWRT is better if you want to do some serious fancy stuff, but if you're not doing anything exotic DD-WRT will do the job and is more convenient. Just keep in mind this model has a problem getting a gigabit link on the WAN port with DD-WRT, probably not a problem for most applications but keep it in mind.

Re:Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (2)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#37832266)

It's practically impossible to get a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH in this day and age. They are now selling the WZR-HP-G300NH2, even though the box says its just the NH. There is no DD-WRT support to speak of for the NH2, last I checked. But if you use the professional firmware, you can fix the broken NAT Loopback (or lack thereof)

Just go into the “Administration” menu and the “Commands” submenu. Save the text string below as a “Firewall command.” In other words, paste the command in, and then click the “Save Firewall” button. It will now apply itself after every reboot. Be sure to paste it as a single line. Be sure to change the network (“192.168.1.0) to the appropriate address of your network.

iptables -t nat -I POSTROUTING -o br0 -s 192.168.1.0/24 -d 192.168.1.0/24 -j MASQUERADE

Re:Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (1)

allenw (33234) | about 2 years ago | (#37832336)

+1 on this one.

We've been using the Buffalo modified version of DD-WRT for a few months now. It replaced a Linksys E3k that was continually dropping connections. Overall, we're pretty happy with it (QoS, DHCP, etc). I'll definitely check on the link speed, although it is connected to DSL modem that can't do gigabit anyway. :)

WRT150N (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 2 years ago | (#37831450)

I've installed refurbed Linksys WRT150N routers ($30-$45 each from Tiger) with DD-WRT in several installations now, including my dorm room at college to act as a wireless bridge the campus 802.11n network, my house and my parents house. I get pretty good signal strength between my basement where the router is and my second floor where the office is with only minor tweaking. I don't think they carry the WRT150N anymore, but whatever replaced it in their lineup should work just as well if not better.

Dlink DIR-825 (1)

AnonGCB (1398517) | about 2 years ago | (#37831454)

I've been using one with ddwrt for a while, it was pretty simple to get setup and AFAIK it is fully supported.

Netgear WNDR3700 (1)

r6_jason (893331) | about 2 years ago | (#37831476)

This question was asked before as I recall. I currently use the Netgear WNDR3700 router w/ Firmware: DD-WRT v24-sp2 (06/14/11) std. It's been pretty solid for me. It's dual band(2.4 and 5.0 Ghz) so you can use your current bridges just fine. As far as USB adapters go, I got a few WUSB600N refurbished for around $30 each, though I haven't any issues w/ any of them at all. For laptop upgrades I very much like the Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230.

TP-Link TL-WR1043ND (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831510)

I'm not a network admin or anything, so take my advice with a grain of salt. But I've owned a lot of consumer grade wireless routers over the years, and the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND is the best I've had. Plus it has ready support for DD-WRT. No telnet dance necessary - you can hit the stock firmware's upgrade page, point at the DD-WRT bin, and you're done. It has been a rock-stable router (maybe 1-2 reboots in over a year), has gigabit ethernet, great range (3 big antennas), can't say enough good things about it. It was ~$50 back when I bought it.

The only potential downer is it isn't dual-band N. If you browse wireless networks at your house and 50 of them pop up, you might want to spring for dual band. I haven't had a problem though.

Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (1)

Keith Mickunas (460655) | about 2 years ago | (#37831514)

I use a WZR-HP-G300NH and it has worked well for me for quite some time. I've probably had it for a good 18 months now. With DD-WRT I am limited to 130mbps instead of 300, but other than that it's rock solid.

Re:Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831552)

+1 for this router. Although I got it mainly to run a gigabit cabled network and the customization as there is loads of extra space on the flash for adding more services.

Re:Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH (1)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#37832616)

Same here. When I actually want an AP, I'll go get something with a 5G antenna. But for wired routing including some more esoteric VPN etc, the extra flash space makes this a great box. Also note: that USB port can indeed support a hub and the usual plethora of Linux drivers, so you can use it for your RF remote, rs232 ports, whatnot. Man was I glad to retire that old whirring laptop.

Why not ethernet over power line? (1)

pesho (843750) | about 2 years ago | (#37831556)

I had the same problem a year ago, plus interference from my neighbors routers. I opted for ethernet over power lines. I got a couple of single port netgear XAV101v2s adapters (you can get a pair for $70.99 from newegg) and a 4 port XAV5004 for my home entertainment system. I use the wireless only to hook laptops and cell phones.

Ethernet over powerline is slow (1)

1800maxim (702377) | about 2 years ago | (#37831740)

I opted for Ethernet over powerline in my house, to run from 1 floor down to another. Performance / lag times vary, and it is not as good as I would expect. Sometimes there is certain "lag".

It depends a lot on the wiring in the house, so the system is sensitive in that way. The wiring in my house is good, though.

Re:Why not ethernet over power line? (1)

dmomo (256005) | about 2 years ago | (#37831742)

This works well for me as well. The DLink adapters I got can only do 10mbs, though. It's only an issue when I want to transfer large amounts of data to a network share that isn't in the same room.

Re:Why not ethernet over power line? (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37831972)

What's the throughput on that? Not the spec stuff, but you're actual experience. I'm planning on going DOCSIS 3.0 also, so I want to be able to take advantage of that.

Also, am I going to have a mob and angry CB enthusiasts trying to lynch me? :-P

Re:Why not ethernet over power line? (1)

pesho (843750) | about 2 years ago | (#37832514)

I haven't done proper benchmarking, but you can run an upgrade of Ubuntu, while watching Netflix in HD (both going trough the same EoP device). I have docsis 3 to Comcast (~20Mbit/s download) and I am pretty confident that the home network is not the bottleneck. As 1800maxim pointed out (and this is a common complaint) the throughput may vary depending on the quality of the wiring of the house.

Another vote for the E3000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831562)

I picked up the Linksys E3000 about 3 months ago, popped DDWRT on it and it's been rock solid. I even risked it and picked up the recertified version for $65 shipped from Newegg. As long as you're not going more than about 100' or through more than 5 walls you should be ok.

Tomato (5, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | about 2 years ago | (#37831564)

DD-WRT development is basically dead. There hasn't been an update on their homepage in over a year.

There are unofficial builds in the forums, but even those are at this point old. For example, the "Recommended" version for Broadcom-based devices still includes an ANCIENT release of inadyn that doesn't work with most dynamic DNS providers at this point (nearly all implemented SSL security which breaks with older inadyn.)

Tomato/TomatoUSB are the way to go at this point. (Tomato itself isn't updated much either - TomatoUSB has improved support even for non-USB devices.)

Re:Tomato (2)

Reapman (740286) | about 2 years ago | (#37831694)

Another vote for TomatoUSB over DD-WRT - open source and very feature rich. The Asus RT-N16 runs great on Tomato - that's what I use and love it but like mentioned above it's only single band.

Re:Tomato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831974)

Tomato does get updated, but not with the frequency of Flash or Java. Also, there are modified versions of Tomato that include 802.11n support. Google for "tomato firmware mods" and you'll find 'em. There might also be a link to them off the main site for Tomato, too.

DD-WRT is more oriented toward working with some hardware builders and paid subscription users. Free download versions aren't the focus any more. Even the last of the free versions were bloated and locked my router up frequently. Went Tomato and didn't look back.

Still kickin (2)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 years ago | (#37832062)

DD-WRT is not dead but the developers work in the strangest of ways and can't be coaxed toward sanity. If you browse the file directories on the server (many links in the DD-WRT forums) then you can find updated beta builds. The beta builds that we forum moderators recommend is getting old but that is because the newer builds have several major bugs, but you're free to run any build you want.

Just look at the DD-WRT Trac for proof that it's still being developed.
http://svn.dd-wrt.com/timeline [dd-wrt.com]

Re:Still kickin (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 2 years ago | (#37832268)

I have to agree. I bought a Linksys E4200, and while it more or less works in DD-WRT with some manual config edits and in very specific configurations (only 2.4GHz N, only 10MHz channels, and only on the default channel numbers), it has dozens of bugs. OpenDNS updates don't work, I had to write my own fix for loopback operation, the router has to be rebooted daily to prevent wireless drop-off, etc...

None of these bugs ever seem to get fixed, but instead I see the couple developers who do write code fixing lots of "typos" on a daily basis. There's may 30-60 minutes of development going into DD-WRT on a daily basis, when it basically needs about 10x that amount to make any kind of progress against the massive list of hardware they sorta-kinda support. I think if they would maybe focus their efforts on a handful of targets, they might get somewhere, but as is, it's resulted in haphazard support for newer hardware.

Re:Tomato (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | about 2 years ago | (#37832164)

Absolutely right, I am using Tomato USB on both my WRT160N-v3 and E3000, there is also some interesting "mod" like [i]Toastman[/i] builds.

I have had a lot of problem with dd-wrt running on a WRT160N-v3, N was dropping about every hours, I tried dozens of build for more than a year before switching to TomatoUSB.

Re:Tomato (1)

Frederic54 (3788) | about 2 years ago | (#37832198)

damn [i]...

I can add that my E3000 runs flawlessly in ABGN mode, no problem with 2.4GHZ and 5GHz, support USB drive sharing, etc.

Re:Tomato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832274)

It's also FAR easier to set up the dev environment for Tomato to cross compile your own stuff. The Toastman builds are great, especially if your router has 8MB flash and USB. Stick a small thumbdrive in there, install the opt/ipkg mods and your humble router is now a webserver/fileserver/somanyotherthings.

Re:Tomato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832664)

Misinformation.

Latest versions for DD-WRT is June 2011 [dd-wrt.com] , while the latest version for Tomato TomatoUSB [tomatousb.org] was released November 2010.

Not sure what is meant by "unofficial", since the entire project is is community driven. Also, Tomato is only available to a severly limited set of routers, not including the mentioned WNDR3700, as far as I know.

Ubiquiti and Mikrotik (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831598)

Check out Ubiquiti for their wifi router (one of the best performers put there) and/or Mikrotik for the PCIe adapters. Both are producing remarkably reliable and cheap products. You won't be disappointed.

http://ubnt.com/powerapn
http://routerboard.com

Consider building your own (2)

vanDrunen (1075573) | about 2 years ago | (#37831628)

DD-WRT isn't what it used to be anymore, the build environment is a mess, a lot of drivers are binary only and often you have to dig around in the forums to find which builds are stable. I had a lot of bad experiences with consumer grade wireless routers (Linksys WRT610N... $#!&) and building my own router was the best choice I ever made. You can use OpenWRT on a broad range of devices and it has similar features as DD-WRT and also a very nice web-interface. It runs perfectly on low power embedded PC's such as PCEngines Alix (X86) or Ubiquity RouterStation (ARM). Nice enclosures and also complete pre-built systems can be found on eBay. The best choice for wireless network cards would be Atheros based, using the ATH9K driver in Linux. Ubiquity (www.ubnt.com) makes some very decent high power versions (SR-71 series) and Wistron DNMA92 is perfect as a budget solution (can be found on the pcengines online store). The RouterStation Pro and some of the Alix boards allow you to connect multiple wireless network cards for Dual Band radios. I would strongly suggest to use 5 GHz in addition to 2.4 GHz for the devices that support it. The 2.4 GHz range is overcrowded.

TP-LINK TL-WR1043ND (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831668)

We have a TL-WR1043ND router running OpenWRT and a TL-WN821N USB adapter in our household and never had an issue with either of them. I used to be wary of TP-LINK (bad rep as a cheap-o-brand), but at the time I was browsing for the router, the consensus among Amazon reviewers seemed to be, that while sporting a poorly implemented, official firmware, the device performed really well with any of the usual xWRT variants. That's been pretty much our experience as well.

Belkin N300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831674)

I have a Belkin N300. I think they go for about $30 bucks now. For the price, you get ,Gigabit wired connections, two usb connections, wireless N and it takes DD-WRT just fine. I have been using it as a wireless access point/ print server/ miniswitch for wired connection/backup disk for a year now and haven't had any issues.

SuDZ

Moca (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#37831678)

You don't have to use wireless if you don't want too. You said you have coax. There is IP over coax that has a backbone of 100-250MB/s called MoCA. Just ebay it, they have routers and endpoints. You don't need a MoCA router, just endpoints. They work as a switch where each port can be located off a coax line, and the backbone is the coax network.

Re:Moca (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#37831784)

This is what Comcast and Verison use as their backbone for multi-room DVR. It will give you the most reliable connection. You can have multiple endpoints, and you have have multiple MoCA networks over the same Coax lines. They use QAM channels over 1GHZ that will not interfer with your cable TV. And they will auto detect existing networks, either join them or create their own based on security settings. Additionally you can hang a switch off an endpoint to have more ports at a location.

Re:Moca (1)

Joe U (443617) | about 2 years ago | (#37832102)

I have a cable tv line that isn't being used anymore (2fl office to basement). It's completely disconnected from the cable company. Do I need to have this live with the CableCo or can I run it over the currently unused cable?

Re:Moca (1)

whitedsepdivine (1491991) | about 2 years ago | (#37832284)

The system is seperate from the cable company system. You can actually grab two of these and run a single coax cable between them and they will work. We once used two like this before because they actually have a longer cable distance than cat5 and we had to run a longer cable than 100m. An additional note is that extremely short cables will not work, 6 inches and below are too short anywhere in the coax. It will cause reflection and decrease the single strength. Also, you can have multiple splits in the coax network, and it will still work. Usually you put a Point of Entry (POE) filter at the root of the coax system so it does not leak outside your house.

Linksys WRT310n (1)

tguyton (1001081) | about 2 years ago | (#37831754)

I have a Linksys WRT310n at home running DDWRT serving as a bridge for my desktop. Setup was fine, no issues for me at least.

On a related note, the reason I ended up setting it up as a bridge for my desktop is that the Linksys AE1000 USB wireless n adapter I bought is an absolute piece of junk. Almost every time I would reboot my computer or come back from sleep mode, the connection speed would drop to a crawl - usually around 30 kbps. It was easily fixed by unplugging the adapter and plugging it back in, but that got old really quickly. My boyfriend has the same adapter and never has any issues with his, but a quick jaunt over to google revealed that I'm far from being the only one with this problem. I'd recommend steering clear of that particular adapter.

Since when is this news for nerds? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831788)

Seriously, this is someone asking for advice and opinions....it's not news. Why was this even posted?

Re:Since when is this news for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832018)

Maybe this stuff matters?

WRT600N (1)

RMingin (985478) | about 2 years ago | (#37831798)

I have one of these, been running DD-WRT since late on day 1, no issues. Dual band, dual radio abgn. Might be getting difficult to find, but the high end Linksys routers are a fairly safe bet, and the DD-WRT wiki will answer your questions.

other considerations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37831896)

As noted above check the compatibility list, but also you might want to consider Tomato firmware as it's a bit easier in the interface and has QoS. What it lacks is VLAN support from the web gui (you can do it command line). Development is current though there are a few variants available. I have this on a WnNR3500 running for quite a few months and it is solid as a rock.

One other thing for Wireless N is whether you want a dual channel. If so, there is really only one choice I know works 100% and that's the Linksys WRT320. Dual channel is a challenge because the third party firmwares only work with certain chipsets and as noted above, the development is spotty because these people do have full time jobs as well.

As for adapters, I found USB "n" adapters for $15 on newegg and they are just fine. But I also saw a 100 foot ethernet cable for $7 on eBay so that's another option if you don't mind making holes in your drywall.

The 200 Mbs adapters work surprisingly well (1)

MetricT (128876) | about 2 years ago | (#37831918)

Not in the sense that you'll ever actually see 200 Mbs, but that they work in some harsh environments. I can get 6 Mbs over 400 ft of buried ROMEX electrical cord between my parents house and garage which is full of electric motors and spliced lines. I expect the upcoming generation of 1Gb G.hn adapters would hit 10-15 Mbs real world. Not bad at all.

In my house with its 1960's wiring, iperf is showing a consistent 44 Mbs.

Switch to MikroTik/RouterBoard (2)

macmouse (525453) | about 2 years ago | (#37832056)

I have been using dd-wrt/tomato for years and I agree with some of the other posters, that development is nearly at a standstill.

IMHO, you should switch to a different platform - MikroTik!

The software is *way* more powerful than dd-wrt, has been more stable and performed exceptionally for me. I must admit, there is a bit of a learning curve but there is a lot of guides out there now and they have added a windows-based GUI, as well as significantly improved their web interface, so most basic stuff is point and click now. You can do some really powerful stuff that you would have to shell out big bucks for a cisco or the like.

They have just released a new model that supports 802.11n, using a internal diversified/MIMO antenna that transmit up to 1 Watt! (Most AP's use a 10th of that)
All for only $59! They make the hardware and the software, so you know all of the drivers are going to work.
http://routerboard.com/RB751U-2HnD [routerboard.com]

You can do stuff like make a separate SSID for guests (without a password), put it on a separate subnet to isolate it from your home network, setup strict firewall restrictions based on bandwith/port/packet shaping rules so they can't run bit-torrent and suck up all your bandwith,etc.

------
You could also buy a 802.11n router, turn off the router mode (disable DHCP) and just use it as an access point. Boom - you get all of the features of dd-wrt (by still using the old model for routing) but use the new one for wireless access. I've also done that for a number of years and it works great.

Not enough info (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 years ago | (#37832168)

This question really belongs on the DD-WRT forums but free advertising is always good.

This question gets asked all the time and the first answer is almost always "you didn't provide enough info" which applies here as well. What features do you want besides 802.11n (802.11n isn't even very specific, do you want simultaneous dual band 802.11n? how many MIMO streams?) such as USB or gigabit Ethernet, and what is your price range? There are MANY options available nowdays and it's not so simple as "buy a wrt54g because it's the only model" like it was a decade ago.

Linksys ftw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832178)

Linksys WRT350N, very happy with it

Netgear WNDR3300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832222)

I recently got a refurb Netgear WNDR3300 from tiger direct for $20 and installed dd-wrt on it. I attached it to my WRT54G (also running ddwrt) via an ethernet cable and configured the netgear as a wireless N 5ghz only AP (no dhcp, instructions can be found in ddwrt wiki)

Linksys E3000/4200 is great (1)

Scragglykat (1185337) | about 2 years ago | (#37832310)

I see someone else recommended the Linksys E4200 already. I've set up an E3000 (predecessor of the E4200) with DD-WRT and it works great. Very fast CPU, dual band 2.4 and 5ghz, B/G/A/N support with 2.4 and 5ghz simultaneous. It also has a 5 port gigabit switch and a USB port for hooking up a harddrive or printer. 480mhz processor, 64mb of RAM, 16mb flash ROM, it's a pretty powerful router for the price. Most sites have it for $159 or so, but Costco carries it for $130 if you have a membership. Also, I read yesterday, if someone you know has a membership, have them purchase a $10 gift card for you, and you can shop without a membership to use it, and pay the extra with a debit card or amex card, or with cash. I plan to get one soon for myself, to replace my WRT54GLs since I'm about to start purchasing some N equipment and setting up gigabit wired in my home.

MoCA. (1)

nbvb (32836) | about 2 years ago | (#37832328)

Seriously, if you have coaxial jacks, get MoCA bridges. They're awesome.

Re:MoCA. (1)

djs98052 (932447) | about 2 years ago | (#37832566)

I will second the MoCA recommendation. You can probably get 200-400Mbit/s over MoCA which is a lot better than you will actually get with 802.11n. The Netgear MCAB1001 kit is $80 on Amazon right now. I recently bought two used Westell 9100EM routers (predominantly used by Verizon in FiOS installations). They have MoCA, an Ethernet switch and 802.11g wireless. You might need to upgrade your cable splitters to pass the >1GHz signals and allow bidirectional flow, but those are simple upgrades.

Re:MoCA. (1)

krinderlin (1212738) | about 2 years ago | (#37832590)

Unfortunately, there is ONE coax jack in the apartment and the cable company and property management company refuse to have any more installed. :-( I did some research on MoCA and was greatly saddened that it's out of the question for my situation.

A mixed recommendation: WNDR3300 (1)

Kufat (563166) | about 2 years ago | (#37832578)

DD-WRT is very stable on my Netgear WNDR3300, but the CPU reaches 100% usage at relatively low throughput. See here [dd-wrt.com] for some benchmarks recorded by another user.

I'm looking to get a better router and to OpenWRT in the near future. (The amount of writable flash on my router is too small to have a usable OpenWRT install with a JFFS2 partition.)

an upgrade to an 1800s house with 3 floors. (1)

Machtyn (759119) | about 2 years ago | (#37832624)

1 x Linksys E2000 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4/5GHz Selectable Dual Band Gigabit Wireless Router up to 300Mbps [newegg.com]
4 x ENCORE ENUWI-2XN42 USB 2.0 Wireless N300 Adapter, 2dBi [newegg.com]

Those were the most recent purchases I made to upgrade an old 1800's house where the owner preferred no holes to be drilled to run wire. I believe I left a wrt54gn on the third floor for a multifunction printer that could not utilize a wireless device. Both routers were equipped with dd-wrt. The Encore adapters work very nicely.

Run Cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832648)

Go to home depot (or equivalent)... buy some fish tape. Get yourself spool of cat 5e, jacks, wallplates and a crimper.

That will run you about 100 bucks. Then run cable, it's really not that hard. I just bought a home in July and had never fished cable before.. it was tricky at first, but not bad once I got the hang of it..... and once you have it in it's AWESOME. Even 100 Mbps over the wire is WAY faster than 802.11n... and gigabit is another planet.

ASUS (RT-N13U/B) Wireless-N 300 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#37832678)

ASUS (RT-N13U/B) Wireless-N 300 , completely supported, cheap and works incredibly well. Check Amazon I got mine for 39.99 after a mail-in. I recommend it to everyone.

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