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firmware comparison: anybody here have a WRT600N

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by bigclaw, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    This forum tends to have a higher percentage of knowledgeable people than the WRT forum, so I'm posting the question here.

    Soon I will have two laptops with wireless N cards, and I'd like to see whether any stock firmware is good enough for my to abandon my current G setup (see signature for my current setup.)

    I'd really want to keep Tomato, but the dual-band WRT600N is looking more and more attractive. Does anybody have any experience using one?

    My usage is pretty simple. As long as the firmware supports static DHCP and reasonable QoS, I'm cool. Since I'm re-terminating some of my existing in-house wiring as Ethernet instead of telephone, I don't even need WDS or any other bridging function in the near future anymore.
  2. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    You may have some serious trouble using telephone wiring for Ethernet. It is NOT Cat-5.
  3. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    I discovered, by accident, that my builder used a star pattern of individual Cat5e cables going to individual rooms, one cable per room. Every room already has a Cat5e jack, and the jack is already terminated as T568A.

    All cables then terminate into a 1x9 telephone board. It SHOULD (don't know yet) be as simple as yanking the majority of the cables from the telephone board and re-terminate them into a patch panel. I also already have a spare gigabit switch somewhere that I can use.

    I'll probably leave a couple for telephone lines and use cordless phones throughout the house.

    Again, I'm thinking that it should work. At any rate, it should be easy to test it out. Worst case is going back to WDS. :)
  4. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    It sounds like you lucked out! The only personal experience I've had with an electrician and CAT-5 went poorly. I gave him the cable and the ends and he looked at me like I was crazy. I told him to just run the cable, I'd crimp it myself. :rolleyes:

    Anyway, back to the topic.
  5. mikester

    mikester Network Guru Member

    Other way round I think...
  6. The Plague

    The Plague LI Guru Member

    i got this router and it seems to have some very big problems..
    the switching is totaly messed up, at least on the wireless side..

    i cant copy not one file bigger then 1 meg from one PC to another using wireless.. i would hold off on this router till linksys fixes all of the problems with it.. im very dispointed with it after spending 270.00 bux on it ....im hoping that DD-wrt will release a file for it some day
  7. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    Thanks for sharing. I initially became interested in the router because of the smallnetbuilder.com review, which was the most comprehensive review I could find. Another router it recommended was the D-link DIR-655.
  8. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    My favorite PC magazine gave the WRT600N their coveted Kick@55 award. They don't give out many of those, and their only complaint was the cost. It's a short review, but it includes real-world metrics comparing it to three other routers they've reviewed.


    MaximumPC are Tomato fans, BTW, and is where I found Tomato.
  9. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    Thanks. I do think it's an interesting router. Now if they could have an equivalent dual-band, multi-radio router without the stupid storage link functionality at a reduced cost, it would be great. Having said that, the 600N can be had for around $160 now. Not too shabby.
  10. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    Update: since I'm restructuring my network anyway, I've decided to place the DSL modem and the Tomato router close to where telephone lines come into the house (on the first floor.) The Tomato router will continue to function as the primary router (PPPoE, DHCP, QoS, etc). I may turn its wireless on just to serve legacy B/G clients.

    On the second floor, I'll have a 600N router as an access point, serving wireless N clients.

    Question: when a WRTxxx router functions as an access point, is its integrated switch still on? It'd be nice if I could continue to make use of the 600N's gigabit switch.
  11. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    but Cat-5 will work over 100m, and only 2 pairs are used* - so 4 core telephone cable might work over much shorter distances - and its really hard to get external grade Cat-5, much easier for telephone, and I might be using about 15m on the outside of my house here...

    * so you can also run 2 Ethernet connections down one 4-pair cable, you can buy special adaptor plugs for this - or easy if you can swap single for double outlets.
  12. bigclaw

    bigclaw Network Guru Member

    Well since few are interested in answering my original question, I'll go off topic too, again... :)

    I considered running one 100Base-T plus two dial tone lines to each room and quickly turned away from the idea. It seems that nowadays it's generally considered bad practice to do so because of the high voltages carried by phone lines and their potential interference. Running two 100Base-T connections per cable is probably more kosher, but one loses gigabit bandwidths on both lines.

    So right now I'm restructuring my network as follows:

    * Existing wiring done by the builder: one CAT5e going to each room; some rooms have two.
    * All CAT5e cables are currently terminated into a telephone patching board. They will be re-terminated into a patch panel.
    * Phone line(s) that comes from outside will be re-terminated into a telephone patching board with RJ45 ports.
    * From the patch panel, rooms that are network-enabled are patched to a gigabit switch. Rooms that are phone-enabled are patched to the telephone board. Rooms that have two existing cables (living and master bed) will probably get one for network and one for phone. Since all equipment uses RJ45 ports, all patching is done through simple patch cables. (Thanks a million for the fact that RJ11 is compatible with RJ45).

    This way I will have gigabit Ethernet throughout the house, with phone jacks at a couple strategic locations as well. (Other places can use cordless.)

    I can also dynamically reassign any outlet in the house to be network or phone; all it takes is reassigning some patch cables at the wall panel.

    This is probably the most flexible plan given the existing wiring.

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