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Ask Slashdot: Best Flash-Friendly Router To Replace Aging WRT54GS?

timothy posted about 2 years ago | from the when-you-want-to-control-the-vertical-and-horizontal dept.

Wireless Networking 334

New submitter Juggler00 writes "I have been running DD-WRT (v24-sp2) on my Linksys WRT54GS for a couple of years now. I'm now finding that the box cannot keep up with the requests/requirements I have for it--it simply does not have the MIPS/horsepower. I am turning to the collective wisdom of the Slashdot community for 2 things: what alternative firmware should I be using (DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT, or something else?) and based on the answer to this question, what is the suggested router to purchase to flash? My software requirements include DynDNS client, DHCP server providing option 66, static IP assignment based on MAC, port forwarding, and basic QoS (bittorrent lowest priority). For hardware, I'm looking for GigE ports and 802.11N (5.8GHz not a requirement)."

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Jedi? (3, Funny)

mx+b (2078162) | about 2 years ago | (#38228910)

DHCP server providing option 66

What did the Jedi ever do to your DHCP server? That seems a bit harsh.

Re:Jedi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38228980)

Took me a second...mod parent up!

Re:Jedi? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38229312)

i'm glad i didn't get that joke, and not really happy that i'm starting to infer where it comes from

my lack of ignorance is disturbing

Re:Jedi? (0, Redundant)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#38229054)

Wouldn't that be "order 66"?

Re:Jedi? (0)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 2 years ago | (#38229526)

Ok, I admit it: I don't get it. I don't remember anything about the number "66" in the classic Star Wars movies. If this has anything to do with those stupid prequels, then this is a bad joke, as those movies are complete trash.

How many threads like this? (5, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38228946)

This is at least the second, if not the third Ask Slashdot on this subject in the last few months.

I'll make the same recommendation as before: Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH.

Re:How many threads like this? (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38228968)

Also, on firmware: OpenWRT if you want to do something really fancy or unusual, DD-WRT if you just want a feature/reliability improvement.

Re:How many threads like this? (4, Funny)

JBMcB (73720) | about 2 years ago | (#38229024)

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo //off-topic, but relevant

Re:How many threads like this? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229128)

I'll make the same recommendation as before: Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH.

I would no longer make that recommendation. Buffalo has silently started shipping WZR-HP-G300NH2 (version 2) models in the old WZR-HP-G300NH boxes. The G300NH2 models have a different Atheros wireless chip which does not work fine under DD-WRT, and hence with its own custom Buffalo firmware. The end result is constant wireless drop outs (BSSID is broadcasting, client shows as connected, but packets go into la-la land). I have tried two different G300NH2 routers and both have the same issue. Buffalo forum is filled with posts about this issue, and what makes it worse, is that Buffalo U.S.A Tech support has no knowledge of this router (version 2) existing, and say that product is only supported in ASIA. DD-WRT firmwares also can't be flashed into this router as it will brick them.

Disclaimer: I too have a WRT54G(L) router that needs replacement and have already began researching. Going to try Cisco Small Business WRVS4400N-RF due to the number of features it seems to have.

Re:How many threads like this? (2)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229318)

Good point, OpenWRT is adding support, you can build a prerelease version for it right now. I see people in the DD-WRT forums saying they've flashed their v2s but I can't find a binary for it.

Re:How many threads like this? (4, Informative)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 2 years ago | (#38229404)

I'm glad I bought mine a year ago, then... even if it did take me some time to figure out why my wireless network would randomly shut off.

Apparently the router will shut off its wireless antennas if it determines another router on a different network is broadcasting on the same channel... and the neighbors were *just* close enough and conditions would be *just* right for that to happen every few days.

Re:How many threads like this? (1)

adolf (21054) | about 2 years ago | (#38229134)

Is the WZR-HP-G300NH substantially different from the WZR-HP-G300N? I've used several of the latter and while they all seem to work OK (given the correct build of DD-WRT), there are still hardware functions which don't seem to play right (VLAN, for instance).

Re:How many threads like this? (4, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229298)

The N variant has swappable antennas (which the NH doesn't) but no gigabit LAN (which the NH does).

Re:How many threads like this? (1)

watice (1347709) | about 2 years ago | (#38229260)

I use the WZR-HP-300N at one location, & the E2000 seems to fit all the OP's requirements.

netgear n600 (wndr3800) (4, Informative)

Oo.et.oO (6530) | about 2 years ago | (#38229330)

is still top of the charts in most regards at smallnetbuilder at reasonable price point and open-firmware compatible

n750 is a bit faster but way more $$. now someone find me one with good external antenna connectors!

Re:netgear n600 (wndr3800) (4, Informative)

loxosceles (580563) | about 2 years ago | (#38229762)

wndr3700 or 3800.

They are atheros based, so there's the issue of occasional wireless drop-outs that may be fixed in openwrt snapshots (check svn changelog for late November '11), but that's a lot better than the wndr4500 and other broadcom SOC devices that are proprietary and difficult to reverse engineer.

Also, the wndr3700 is hard to brick, and easy to tftp to. There are similar atheros-based devices like the buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh (2.4GHz-only) and ag300nh (2.4 + 5 GHz), but they're harder to flash and maybe have quality control problems on transmit power (some people complain).

Re:How many threads like this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229338)

This is at least the second, if not the third Ask Slashdot on this subject in the last few months.

I'll make the same recommendation as before: Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH.

I have 9 WRT-54GLs running Tomato which give me no trouble whatsoever. I purchased a Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH looking in the same direction you are and was completely disappointed. The stupid thing wouldn't even stay on long enough for me to tinker with it.

No thanks.

Re:How many threads like this? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229454)

Sounds like you got a defective unit. I have 2 and there's been no trouble.

More than that I'd say (1)

BLKMGK (34057) | about 2 years ago | (#38229522)

With all of these requests and demand you would think someone would sit down and figure out a good set of hardware for this and build specifically for it - completely open and supported! I too have a WRT54G that needs replacing and spotted a cheap dual radio Linksys on BlackFirday sale for $70 that I ordered when I noted the comments stated it worked well with OpenWRT. That will be an interim solution at best.

Honestly I'd even build an Atom PC or something like it to best support this if I could find a distro that worked and hardware that made sense. So far no go....

Re:More than that I'd say (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229704)

There are a decent number of models aimed specifically at firmware modders who want high-end hardware, the demand isn't going unnoticed.

Re:How many threads like this? (3, Informative)

skids (119237) | about 2 years ago | (#38229706)

Seconded. Bought one for home. Liked it so much, I had work buy one for a terminal server (via USB hub/dongles.) Running OpenWRT. DHCP, iptables, tc, iproute2, ipset, freeradius, strongswan, perl, all available as precompiled packages. Minus getting oriented on the hardware and with a bit of the config file layout, was easy to configure to do everything my old laptop-based router did, while drawing 1/5th the power and making no noise whatsoever.

Buffalo (4, Informative)

zbobet2012 (1025836) | about 2 years ago | (#38228960)

The buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH [buffalotech.com] meets all of these requirements and ships with DD-WRT. However, as the last, very recent thread mentioned DD-WRT is not well maintained anymore. Your best bets are either TomatoUSB [tomatousb.org] or straightforward OpenWRT. I prefer openwrt because it allows simple configuration of hardware taged vlans.

Re:Buffalo (2)

nschubach (922175) | about 2 years ago | (#38229070)

I just put Tomato on my v1.0 WRT54G router and it breathed new life into it. I had previously been running DDWRT. I'm not sure if the submitter can do "option 66" with Tomato but it has everything else.

Re:Buffalo (1)

billcopc (196330) | about 2 years ago | (#38229482)

I've got the WHR-HP-G300N with DD-WRT, and yeah, support has been kind of nonexistent in the last year. That's always been the problem with DD-WRT though, it's kind of half-assed, presumably to create a market for the Pro edition. QoS is still very hit-or-miss.

Look at boxes at best buy. Check DD-WRT compat. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38228962)

Was that really so fucking hard? Ask slashdot.

Which consumer level piece of shit should I buy?

Lol

Don't forget the monster cables, mister big shot IT man.

Re:Look at boxes at best buy. Check DD-WRT compat. (0)

ysth (1368415) | about 2 years ago | (#38229232)

Was that really worth your time to post?

Possibly related (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38228964)

http://ask.slashdot.org/story/11/10/25/1429235/ask-slashdot-dd-wrt-upgrade-to-80211n

I remember seeing some decent suggestions here.

Other alternatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38228978)

I'll throw in a plug for pf:Sense, on the off-chance you don't mind having it running on whatever surplus PC hardware you have lying around.

Re:Other alternatives? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229204)

pfSense is good for office firewalls but it's severe overkill (at least in hardware) for most home uses.

Re:Other alternatives? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 2 years ago | (#38229446)

Probably true -- I use pfsense in my office and I like it a lot. However, I wouldn't discount it for slashdotter home use -- there's a good liklihood the person asking this question has a computer in a closet he hasn't been using -- perfect pfsense platform for the cost of a wireless card, a gigabit nic, and gigabit switch (assuming he doesn't have a few of those laying around as well -- if he does, pfsense just costs the download).

Re:Other alternatives? (1)

bussdriver (620565) | about 2 years ago | (#38229612)

I'm running it at home.

Doubles as a file server and uses only about 60W power! VIA mini + 2 HDs + Intel multi-port nic + boots from flash and almost is the size of a lunchbox. (I couldn't fit the HDs into the lunch box I bought for the project. next time...) An oversized Fanaflow fan and the thing is fairly quiet. Someday I may add a music server since it has audio out and I'm thinking about a bit torrent client (since my desktop uses way more power doing that.) I have a USB wifi nic but haven't bothered to play with it yet. Plus it runs from 12V DC (80W) so I can easily have a redundant power supply. Oh, if your curious, I made the case from sheet metal HVAC ducts and pop rivets.

While not as stable as I'd like, I can run snort as well. Otherwise it runs longer than the WRT54G did between crashes.

Re:Other alternatives? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229786)

I have my home server down to 40W @ idle, doing BT, file server, HTPC and more. It has 4 HDDs, 2 are spinning most of the time. I'm using some cheapo mobo with an Intel 2.8 dual core CPU (E5500) and cheapo PSU. All onboard peripherals except one hot-swappable SATA controller. I set up passive CPU cooling with a script to reduce the CPU frequency stepping if it gets too hot. If I had money to throw away, I'd get a fanless PSU and a mesh-faced case, and go with positive pressure passive cooling - just one jumbo filtered intake fan to cool everything, and it would stay clean inside.

Re:Other alternatives? (1)

ifrag (984323) | about 2 years ago | (#38229492)

Or at that point, just go all out and pick a BSD distro if spare hardware is on hand. Although beware that the OpenBSD version of pf has diverged slightly, so the syntax is going to be a little bit different going with anything past 4.6 IIRC. Supposedly NetBSD has the fastest IP stack of them all though, and should probably have the more classic pf.

And if anyone feels the need to chime in about iptables here, I don't care what extra useless features it has, pf is much easier to use.

Buffalo N300 (1)

sohmc (595388) | about 2 years ago | (#38228982)

I've found it to be very useful since it runs DD-WRT already and has many of the features you mentioned.

It's a bit on the pricey side but I didn't want to do Linksys again after they've locked their routers.

buffalo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229000)

I replaced my 54G with DRT300N from buffalo and works perfectly with DD-WRT. If I'm not mistaken they even sell one with it as default firmware.

Netgear WNDR-3700 (5, Informative)

Microlith (54737) | about 2 years ago | (#38229020)

Or its newer variants. Loaded with OpenWRT, there's nothing you can't do with them. Newer variants have even more flash and RAM.

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (2)

noahm (4459) | about 2 years ago | (#38229344)

Seconded. I've got WNDR3700 and I love it. I'm running a custom build of OpenWRT that has all the following built in to the squashfs image:

  • ISC DHCPD
  • ISC bind9, including slaving some authoritative zones from my master
  • racoon for ipsec
  • xinetd running munin-lite for metric graphing
  • radvd for IPv6 router advertizement

It's really pretty impressive what you can pack in this thing. Note that I save a bunch of space by not including the web interface at all.

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (1)

Oo.et.oO (6530) | about 2 years ago | (#38229352)

second

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229406)

Yup, WNDR3700 rocks, and has enough CPU to switch and ROUTE and near-gigabit speeds.

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (2)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38229418)

But if you get the WNDR-4000, first thing you do is update the firmware. The one I got kept toggling the wireless on and off until it snagged a patch. Pretty sure it will phone home the first time you plug it in, but check manually to see.

I don't know about other models, but this one has gotten some bad customer reviews, and NetGear are proactively responding and trying to get those reviewers to update their comments now that things are working cleaner.

Of course, if your goal is to go open-source, none of this is really a problem for you. It's a nice piece of hardware.

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229712)

This. They're supported as hackable by the manufacturer:

http://www.myopenrouter.com/

I love mine.

Re:Netgear WNDR-3700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229742)

Netgear WNDR-3700 is a great router in most aspects, but if range is an issue, it's nowhere near Buffalo's HP models.

Look at TomatoUSB (4, Informative)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | about 2 years ago | (#38229050)

I've been a long-time DD-WRT user, but its development seemed to stagnate. I recently put TomatoUSB on my Linksys WRT160N v1, and it is working wonderfully. The interface is much nicer, and exposes more QoS and bandwidth management features which I've found useful. Check out the TomatoUSB [tomatousb.org] website for a list of routers it supports.

Re:Look at TomatoUSB (1, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | about 2 years ago | (#38229288)

I've been a long-time DD-WRT user, but its development seemed to stagnate.

The last release of TomatoUSB was over a year ago [tomatousb.org] . My own version of DD-WRT dates from about the same time. I don't see how you can hold the former up as making more progress than the latter.

Re:Look at TomatoUSB (3, Informative)

Elbart (1233584) | about 2 years ago | (#38229460)

tomatousb.org isn't the only place, where progress is being made. http://www.linksysinfo.org/ [linksysinfo.org] is another one.

MIPS/horsepower? (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 2 years ago | (#38229052)

Sorry, which activity is CPU bound here?

Re:MIPS/horsepower? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about 2 years ago | (#38229258)

Um, all of the routing? You know, the stuff that a router does?

Re:MIPS/horsepower? (1)

Oo.et.oO (6530) | about 2 years ago | (#38229484)

tack onto just general routing ANY QOS stuff, or say a VPN server, or SSH tunneling and my wrt54gs ground to a halt.
i have a wndr3700 now and it flies and does everything i want with dd-wrt/open-wrt on it

Re:MIPS/horsepower? (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38229506)

That may actually be done in hardware. And shouldn't be much of the router's processing. I mean, just how many routes are you trying to resolve in a second, anyway?

ASUS RT-16N / DD-WRT (5, Informative)

jipis (677451) | about 2 years ago | (#38229056)

I recently put an RT-16N in service in my office running DD-WRT. As the the Internet sez, the stock firmwire is crap, but this thing flies while running DD-WRT.

RT-N16 also runs Tomato (2)

LanMan04 (790429) | about 2 years ago | (#38229210)

This is what I run at home, and it works awesome (although I use Tomato).

Also supports sharing an NTFS or NFS drive to the network via a USB2.0 port.

Re:ASUS RT-16N / DD-WRT (1)

Ron Harwood (136613) | about 2 years ago | (#38229694)

I'm going second this recommendation. I've got an RT-16N and it's a pleasure to work with. Between the USB ports, the decent amount of RAM and flash... and the peppy CPU... It's more than one should expect for the price.

Re:ASUS RT-16N / DD-WRT (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | about 2 years ago | (#38229772)

It is also compatible with Tomato/TomatoUSB. The Asus RT-N16 is a monster with 128 MB RAM and 32 MB flash. That's overkill for most people, but hardcore dorks need that extra RAM and flash for their Optware packages. But OpenVPN works awesomely with TomatoUSB and the Asus RT-N16. If you don't need dozens of concurrent connections, it will probably do the trick for most small businesses.

Re:ASUS RT-16N / DD-WRT (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229808)

Agreed. The RT-16N is the best way to go. It's open and runs TomatoUSB great.

I don't care for DD-WRT and especially wouldn't suggest that to someone who just wants an appliance. Tomato is much more friendly.

Just went through this myself (2)

G (2545) | about 2 years ago | (#38229060)

I finally landed on the Netgear WNDR3700-v2, a nice dual-band atheros box. Got two of them for wireless bridging.

So far I've flashed DD-WRT and OpenWRT without any trouble at all. Though I've historically used WW-DRT and Tomato I'm still torn on which will be permanent. Tomato isn't an option with these due to them not being Broadcom based. I'm leaning strongly to OpenWRT as it seems to be the most mature and flexible of the two.

Re:Just went through this myself (1)

G (2545) | about 2 years ago | (#38229102)

P.S. This is sold as the Netgear N600.

Use a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229062)

Buy a p2-350 for $5 and a dual port PCI video card. Set forever.

Re:Use a PC (2)

schnikies79 (788746) | about 2 years ago | (#38229514)

and spend 10x as much for electricity to it. No thanks.

Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N (1)

FlashBuster3000 (319616) | about 2 years ago | (#38229080)

I just ordered a Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N for 30€ (Amazon Cyber Monday).
Had the same thoughts.. running a WRT54GL with Tomato and want to upgrade to 802.11n.
The Buffalo one runs DD-WRT, so it seems like a good choice..

Re:Buffalo WHR-HP-G300N (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 2 years ago | (#38229220)

Just remember the N-variant has swappable antennas but no gigabit LAN, the NH-variant has gigatbit LAN but non-swappable antennas.

WNDR3700v2 (1)

raul (829) | about 2 years ago | (#38229086)

Just because for installing this great firmware http://www.bufferbloat.net/projects/cerowrt/wiki/Wiki [bufferbloat.net] Kill the bufferfloat, and make your wifi faster and you can play with incredible mesh technologies.

Asus makes a good one. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229104)

Personally I have become a fan of the Asus RT-N16. VERY fast, TONS of RAM, USB ports for expansion, runs TomatoUSB and DD-WRT. These have been dead on reliable so far (I have one personally, and we use 4 for remote offices at work). The only negative I can say is that the LED's are extremely bright. You won't need a night-light in your living room with one of these, that's for sure.

mini-ITX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229148)

mini-ITX system. You get the distro options, performance and future compatibility of the x86 platform. I've never considered going back, well worth the extra money.

Pedant Slashdotter is Confused! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229150)

TFS says:

I'm now finding that the box cannot keep up with the requests/requirements I have for it--it simply does not have the MIPS/horsepower.

Ummm... millions of instructions per second-horsepower?

I can't do any sensible dimensional analysis on this.

Stepping back a bit... does this mean you have a mechanically-powered firewall? I can see why you'd want to replace it.

Re:Pedant Slashdotter is Confused! (1)

matty619 (630957) | about 2 years ago | (#38229254)

Pretty sure he's just clarifying that he needs hardware with more processing power. MIPS for the geeky geeks, horsepower for the casual geek. Take your pick. But i'm pretty sure he's not looking for a router w/ a pull-start lawnmower style.

Re:Pedant Slashdotter is Confused! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229382)

That router also supports OpenWRT as well and has tons of horsepower. Plus the bufferbloat project has a LOT of work into their firmware that makes effective use of that power by reducing buffer fill situations which keeps your downloads running smoothly. If i was going to buy a router right now this would be it.

Re:Pedant Slashdotter is Confused! (1)

blair1q (305137) | about 2 years ago | (#38229596)

It's a tradeoff metric. If you want it to go faster on the freeway you may have to give up some integer-processing performance. A unit with more MIPS/horsepower would let you get more of either or both.

And now I'm actually highly curious as to what a table of MIPS/horsepower would look like for current production vehicles. Some new cars have upwards of 100 embedded CPUs. [eetimes.com]

I prefer hardware that's designed to be flashed (2)

matty619 (630957) | about 2 years ago | (#38229160)

Like an Alix Board [netgate.com] and run pfSense on it, with the available packages, there are likely few network related tasks you'll find that pfSense 2.0 on Alix hardware cannot handle. You can also put in whatever wireless card you want, but I prefer to run a dedicated AP. Used Cisco Aironets can be found on Ebay for under $100 and are rock solid.

Re:I prefer hardware that's designed to be flashed (1)

Victor_0x53h (1164907) | about 2 years ago | (#38229444)

This is my exact setup, but I used Soekris [soekris.com] hardware with Slackware. A little more expensive than buying consumer-grade hardware and flashing, but I learned a lot and it's much more flexible.

eBay (2)

acoustix (123925) | about 2 years ago | (#38229172)

Just go to eBay and buy some used enterprise equipment dirt cheap. Cisco 2600 (2611 or 2621) or 2800 series routers will do what you want and have the horse power and code base for your needs. There are some good bargains to be had.

I guess they probably won't support DynDNS, but everything else should be covered.

Re:eBay (0)

PetiePooo (606423) | about 2 years ago | (#38229416)

Steve? Is that you? Or are you some other Apple employee that took his lessons to heart?

I just love it when someone say, "I'm looking for a motorcycle," and some smart alec says, "What you really need is a pickup," like he knows better than the OP what it is he really wants...

Re:eBay (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#38229572)

send me a message, I've got about fourty 2651XMs in the storage room I need to get rid of, I'll give you a good deal.

Linksys E3000 (3, Informative)

chis101 (754167) | about 2 years ago | (#38229178)

I've been very happy with TomatoUSB on the E3000. Only $60 refurb, or $70 new from NewEgg ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124419 [newegg.com] ). Simultaneous 2.4/5GHZ g/n, USB port for NAS/Printer, 64MB RAM, gigabit switch. Only has 8MB flash though, if you were planning on storing lots of programs on it (you would want to put those on a USB flash drive anyway, so I don't think internal flash really matters)

Netgear WNDR3700 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229184)

This is the router currently being used in testing by the bufferbloat.net project (a fascinating read ) and they have a custom linux based build they are tweaking. This is a project aimed at reducing bursting traffic that overflows buffers on routers causing TCP resets once the buffers are full.

The WNDR3700 Seems to also support the WRT based firmwares as well.

WNDR3700 + OpenWRT (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | about 2 years ago | (#38229264)

Really, OpenWRT is the only clean firmware out there.

Avoid anything with a broadcom wireless nic. The open source drivers aren't on par with atheros yet.

The Netgear WND3700, with its 680 MHz CPU, 64MB RAM, gigabit and concurrent dual band support is still pretty much the top. Some newer routers support 3x3 MIMO (450 Mbps) instead of 2x2 (300 Mbps) but I don't think they run alternatives firmware well yet.

Re:WNDR3700 + OpenWRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229512)

Ah you see, Broadcom has already approached Netgear on that matter...
And 'ow and behold the WNDR3700v3 is a Broadcom solution [Brilliant, isn't it?]!
But if you want the WNDR3700 you'll have to get the WNDR3800.

PacketProtector (1)

jensend (71114) | about 2 years ago | (#38229290)

Up till recently I would have recommended PacketProtector [packetprotector.org] , which has a lot of useful features including Snort, DansGuardian, and ClamAV integration. But both because OpenWRT, which it was based on, has lagged in hardware support and because the main developer's work and Masters are eating up all his time, it's kind of stagnated. If one or two people were to pick up some of the slack it could again be a fantastic solution.

This subject has been beaten to death (4, Informative)

funkboy (71672) | about 2 years ago | (#38229322)

1: go read smallnetbuilder [smallnetbuilder.com] and decide for yourself.

2: Mikrotik [routerboard.com] probably has something you'd be happy with for not a lot of money.

pfSense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229324)

Get a the cheapest x86 compatible motherboard you can get running something low power like a i3 2100T (my favorite!) and atom or an and brazos.
Throw in a small ssd (smallest you can get probably) and install pfsense.

You will need a standalone wifi router in addition, but you get a router that do not reboot every time you change config and which will not die just because you run bittorent.

Well worth the extra expense in the long run!

pfSense + WRT54GS (2)

iMouse (963104) | about 2 years ago | (#38229326)

You could always set the WRT54GS as a wireless bridge and use pfSense 2.0 on the backend for all of the firewall, DHCP, QoS, RADIUS, etc.

You won't be upgrading to 802.11n support or GigE on the wireless end, but you could certainly use an old PC with GigE NICs in pfSense on the backend.

I currently have an old Dell Dimension 2400 configured with pfsense 2.0 and two WRT54G v.2.2 APs with Tomato in bridged mode and have no performance complaints (other than maybe the 54Mbps limitation of the actual AP)

For those on a budget (1)

ndogg (158021) | about 2 years ago | (#38229332)

WNR3500L

I put Tomato (by far the best firmware for a router ever made) on it, and it works like a charm. They can be found pretty easily on eBay and other places for $40 to $70.

RouterStation PRO by ubiquity (1)

LinuxOnEveryDesktop (14145) | about 2 years ago | (#38229346)

It ships with (an old version of) OpenWRT preinstalled. It doesn't get better/friendlier than that :)

Add a nice case (for instance from netgate.com - they have them but the page for that product seems to be broken right now, sigh) and powersupply (48V DC, netgate has them too).

Finally, add up to three minipci wifi cards (and make sure to get pigtails and antennas). A good vendor for that stuff is pcengines.ch; the Wistron DNMA92 Atheros 802.11a/b/g/n card is cheap at $26 and it uses the ath9k driver (no binary blobs). PCengines also has cheap pigtails and antennas.

All in all this costs quite a bit more than your run of the mill access point, but this puppy is a lot more powerful than your average access point.

Give TP Link a try (1)

Megor1 (621918) | about 2 years ago | (#38229354)

I have been using linksys E3000/E2000 routers, but recently I have switched to TP-LINK, they are Atheros based and take the usual custom firmwares (DDWRT etc). They are much cheaper than the other brands, the high end model is only $55 (Newegg even had them for less over the weekend) and works much better than my Linksys WRT400n/E3000/E2000 ever did.

Mikrotik (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229426)

Get a Mikrotik. Linux-based, does everything, cheap.

Mini-ITX (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 2 years ago | (#38229436)

I've been running various routers (Linksys, Asus) under DD-WRT or Tomato, but I'm finally just going to bite the bullet, and build a Mini-ITX machine with a flash drive and a wireless AP card. Then I can install a full pop Linux install without all the oddities I've experienced under DD-WRT and its cousins and derivatives. The worst one was a Tomato router that was supposed to run two segregated subnets with one subnet having full access to the other, but not visa-versa, but the iptables script would be overwritten after a minute or so, obviously because some other daemon was starting and resetting iptables. After an hour or two of kicking this around, I pulled out an old shitty desktop box, tossed another NIC in it and built a router with Debian. My time is money, so even if a mini-itx hits five hundred bucks, it represents a lot more functionality.

Re:Mini-ITX (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229624)

I used a setup like that with a VIA C7 itx board but recently switched to a Netgear something or other (not at home, cant check model) and flashed the firmware to Tomato. Its been running smooth since and i didnt have to hack something together to support wifi.
Throughput is pretty much the same and uses probably 1/10 of the amount of power.
I do miss being able to run pretty much anything that can run headless on it but my workstation is on 24/7 anyway.

re WRT-54GS (1)

freddieb (537771) | about 2 years ago | (#38229452)

I have struggled with the same. I have put dd-wrt on a couple of clones and ending up bricking them with updates or modifications. I have two suggestions. Mikrotik has just come out with a high power ap / router for under $100 bucks. Their routeros is linux based and the new ap/router has a usb port also. I have had good luck running hostapd on a linux server. I presently use one of the high power (EPI-3601S) available from Amazon or Newegg and the latest version of Ubuntu server edition. Works great however, this card doesn't have wireless N.

Really? I mean, really? (0)

Elbart (1233584) | about 2 years ago | (#38229498)

(5.8GHz not a requirement)

Quo vadis, Slashdot?

Oh look (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229516)

It's this fucking thread again.

Bah, "Flash-friendly", get with the times.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229532)

HTML5 for the world!

Oh, you didn't mean that crappy Adobe software, eh?

Cisco E4200 with Shibby's Tomato build (1)

Gordo_1 (256312) | about 2 years ago | (#38229570)

Rock solid combo that I use:
Cisco E4200 refurb for $99: http://homestore.cisco.com/en-us/Routers/Linksys-Refurbished-E4200-MaximumPerformance-Wirelessn-router_stcVVproductId133604734VVviewprod.htm [cisco.com]

Shibby's Tomato build (use AIO for most complete featureset):
http://tomato.groov.pl/index.php?dir=K26RT-N%2Fbuild5x-079V-EN%2FE4200 [groov.pl]

Do not use DD-WRT with this router as it's a mess (been there done that.)

Linux? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 2 years ago | (#38229586)

whats wrong with x86? just build a cheap x86 box and add whatever components you want. you could even throw untangle [untangle.com] on something. i'm sure you've got an old pc sitting around somewhere, or someone has one you can have.

Build your own... (0)

djsmiley (752149) | about 2 years ago | (#38229642)

build a linux box.... maybe not x86 but arm due to power requirements but it'll teach you lots and that seems to be partly what you want....

If your not looking to learn / something _that_ customisable, fraid I can't help.

NETGEAR is on a roll for DD-WRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229668)

for 25 bucks you can pick up a wnr2000v2 load ddwrt onto it and never worry about it again. has 32mb of ram, Has no problem maxing out my 20mbps line. WNR3500L is probably the best router to pick up though.

Would recommend. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38229748)

I'd recommend a Netgear Wndr3700.

Apple Airport Extreme (4, Informative)

Wingsy (761354) | about 2 years ago | (#38229774)

I've used several routers in the recent past, and every single one of them would bog down to around 100-300kbps when I had a couple hundred peers connected in a torrent. Then I got an Apple Airport Extreme and now I get my full bandwidth of 15mbps with the same load. That sold me.
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