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Access point recommendation?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by mackeyk, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. mackeyk

    mackeyk Reformed Router Member

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Thanks to Shibby and Toastman for their work, and all others who have helped.

    This borderlines belonging in a different forum, but I wanted to get some opinions on your go-to access point. I'm using RT-N16's w/ tomato as routers, and while I don't mind putting the same in as access points, I don't know if that's overkill or not? (It obviously works, one of the first N16 tomato AP's I put in has an uptime of over 350 days and still going.)

    1. AP has to be stable. Should I stick with tomato?
    2. Are there any AP's you recommend with internal antennas? The N16's are kind of gaudy when they can't be easily hidden. =)

    Thanks for any suggestions! Now that I finally have an account I'll help out when I can.
     
  2. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    I like the Linksys E3000 due to its dual 2.4 and 5Ghz support, relatively cheap price nowadays especially if you buy the refurb units, and nice box design (internal antennas as you want), and pretty wide Tomato support. I have one running as an AP with Shibby firmware, in conjunction with another one running as a router also with Shibby firmware.
     
  3. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek Addicted to LI Member

    Depending on your budget, used / refurbed WRT310N's can be had pretty cheaply on eBay. I was running one as a WDS AP connecting to a RT-N16 until recently. It was very stable with Toastman 7634 std. If your AP's are wired I imagine they'd be even more stable. I replaced it with a RT-N12 B1 which has been rock solid but of course it has external antennas. I'm running Toastman firmware exclusively, haven't tried Shibby.
     
  4. quihong

    quihong Serious Server Member

    Amazon has the TomatoUSB compatible Belkin N600 (dual band, 2 USB port, gigabit, internal antenna) for $35 right now. That's a steal I think.

    For $35 bucks you get the stability of Tomato and 5 gigabit ports. Add a cheap USB sound card and flashdrive and turn it into an AirPlay device also.

    Flashing instructions here (Apologize if this is a little spammy) - http://blog.qnology.com/2012/12/tutorial-apple-airplay-on-tomatousb.html
     
  5. mackeyk

    mackeyk Reformed Router Member

    Thanks for the suggestions so far! What's funny is all 3 recommendations are discontinued hardware (E3000, WRT310N, Belkin N600).. I was hoping for something more I can use long-term and won't disappear forever in the next months/year when the refurbs run out. Now looking at the supported devices though maybe I don't have much of an option!

    Last question...

    Is there any benefit to using an N16 over an N12 as an access point (distance?). Maybe I'll do that when I can physically hide the APs easily, and resort to using Unifi's when they are out in the open...
     
  6. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

  7. Elfew

    Elfew Addicted to LI Member

    What about asus n66
     
  8. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    But is that v1? Only the v1 not the v2 is tomato-compatible if I remember...
     
  9. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

    It's the v1. Why would I suggest a non compatible router?
     
  10. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    :) was just checking to be sure as I couldn't find any indication of version on that page. It's a good deal.
     
  11. eahm

    eahm LI Guru Member

    It's the best deal if you don't want to spend more and get the N66U.
     
  12. quihong

    quihong Serious Server Member

    The Linksys E4200 has the same cpu/ram (but with a 16MB flash versus 8MB) as the Belkin N600. It also cost more than twice as much and is refurbished. Not sure about the coverage (which tends to be very subjective) between the two though, but worst case is, get two Belkin and you'll definitely have better coverage than one E4200.

    We're recommending discontinued hardware because they are typically the best deal. I guess you can spend $160 bucks on the N66U if you really need longer term "support".


     
  13. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Manufacturer-refurbished electronic items go through in-depth quality assurance to ensure that they are in working order. New in box items have not undergone the same scrutiny. When flaws are systematic (e.g. Xbox 360 at launch) then the refurbished models are modified and actually superior to retail.

    Refurbished is not the same as returned to store and sold as-is.

    I've gotten 4 refurbished E4200's so far, each between $50-70 CAD (about the same as USD). With tomato have never had to reboot, ever.
     
  14. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    That varies wildly by manufacturer and even by product. Linksys may be doing things right, but I've seen plenty of refurb products DOA or other issues. For some the idea of testing seems to be seeing the power LED light up, and "refurb" is a blast of air to clear the dust and a new box.

    I still don't mind refurbs. With most electronics if it works the first week, your good to go, if not return it.
     

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