Getting Gigabit Internet Soon Looking to Replace Asus RT-N16

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by quihong, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    My Asus RT-N16 has served me well for the last 5 years as my main router and I think it's time to upgrade.

    I actually picked up a TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 (on sale) and was thinking of switching to OpenWRT as my main router. However, yesterday I just found out that I will be getting gigabit internet ( in SF) in the "next few weeks, not months". The Archer C7 running OpenWRT doesn't support hardware NAT which I knew about beforehand and didn't care about since it wouldn't had matter because my internet was only 10Mbs. Now that I'll be getting gigabit, I want something that will support gigabit internet at full speed.

    I'm a big fan of Tomato by Shibby and want to go with a TomatoUSB ARM router and considering the Asus RT-AC68U.

    The Archer C7 will not be wasted. I would use it as an AP for the back of the house for additional coverage in the backyard.

    Should I be considering any other routers? Any issues I should be aware of? I believe this is the best (or one of the best) TomatoUSB ARM routers, but just looking for confirmation as I've haven't been in the market for a Tomato router in a few years.

    Wireless speed is not too important to me as most of my main systems are connected via wired. What is important to me is CPU speed, memory, flash and price as I plan run a site to site VPN (minimal traffic) and would like to run SAMBA at decent speeds (20MB+).

    I see a few different version of the RT-AC68 - AC68W, AC68R but haven't figured out the different yet, so if you have some insight to share on that I would also appreciate it.

    BTW, I'm in the U.S.

    Thanks for the feedback.

    Edit - Maybe the Netgear R7000? 1Ghz versus 800Mhz
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2015
  2. alfred

    alfred Addicted to LI Member

    You have almost the same situation and request like me.

    I also have primary router N16 and Archer C7 access point.

    Two days ago, I brought a RT-AC68U, but temporarily worked as an access point only with stock FW, because dual stack IPv6 can't be run on ARM-tomato now, AC68U will be the primary router until tomato-ARM IPv6 works, I need dual stack IPv6.
  3. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    Thanks for the reply @alfred. I don't use IPv6 or have any idea what dual stack IPv6 is (two IPv6 addresses on the same interface?) so can't comment.

    I'm leaning toward the Netgear R7000 because of the slightly faster CPU, but haven't decided yet. I might actually just use a VM on my Windows Server as my gateway to the internet. Not sure if I want to spend close to $200 on a router.
  4. pegasus123

    pegasus123 Addicted to LI Member

    are you not thinking buying refurbished router? i know there are lot of those in the US. Its not like you care for warranty as you will flash Tomato anyway :) Also these routers are so tough should last us good years without breaking the bank on refurbished ones.
  5. remlei

    remlei Networkin' Nut Member

    I would avoid any SoHo routers for a gigabit speeds.

    there's a atom based pfsense router on their pfsense website that can handle gigabit speeds at ease with less than r7000's power consumption, and not relying to some kind of CTF that bypasses youre software firewall.
  6. Malakai

    Malakai Networkin' Nut Member

    Looking to replace my RT-N16 too. I also have a gigabit connection but for now (with the RT-N16) I only get like 120 MB/s down and up.

    What would be the highest speed I could hope to reach with an R7000 using PPPOE (as this is what my provider uses) and no CTF (as I need some functions to work on the router that CTF will disable)?

    Another router that is better than the R7000 (and compatible with Tomato)?

    I plan to use some x86 hardware later (like in maybe 1-2 years) but for now I would like a hassle free solution.
  7. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    You cannot use any consumer class hardware with a gigabit internet connection. They're simply not capable of pushing packets between interfaces that fast, at least not without resorting to CTF (and even then most of them are still SOL).

    You're not at the point where you can just use X megabits of your gigabit connection - your connection will be overwhelmingly faster than your router. Your router will be dropping packets left and right due to complete CPU saturation. And if you call your ISP to complain about your internet performance, they are going to laugh in your face once they discover what you've done. It will not be pretty.

    Get a router capable of handling your connection. For a reasonable price an x86 system is the way to go, unless you want to get a business class piece of equipment... at business class prices. You can still use Tomato to manage your bridge between ethernet & WiFi. pfSense, etc. isn't going to replace the WiFi component, it's just going to be for shoving packets between ethernet interfaces.
  8. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    I'm open to a refurbished router.

    I see that the Asus RT-AC68P (faster CPU versus AC68U) is on sale on newegg for $110 now.

    Not sure if Tomato by Shibby is supported on it though. [Edit] 68P supported since build 129 -
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  9. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    Do you have a link to a atom based pfsense router? I have a Atom Nettop (nt-330i) - - which I can repurpose as a router, but it only has 1 Gigabit Ethernet Port and USB 2.0, so I don't think it will work.
  10. remlei

    remlei Networkin' Nut Member

    ^nope that wont do.

    You need at least a Rangely chipset for your needs, that processor may only handle around 300mbit or lower using USB gigabit LAN cards will make it worse.

    I got mine with Supermicro motherboard, that is based on slighltly newer atom processor that is quadcore clocked at 2.4ghz. with 4GB RAM and a flashdrive which has a pfsense on it, powered using a 60watt picopsu but only consumes around 8-15watts. Cab achieve gigabit speeds on NAT and supports passthrough on Intel NIC that supermicro uses, so those 5 gigabit ports that is included on the motherboard (minus 1 for management port), 3 of them is used on LAN with passthrough on it and 1 for WAN connection.

    it cost me around $300-ish with this kind of setup.
  11. Malakai

    Malakai Networkin' Nut Member

    It is what I'm using right now with the RT-N16 and I don't have any problem of packet loss, everything seems to be good except the fact that I can't go beyond 120 MB/s as the router can't process more.

    What have I done? I can't seem to understand.
    I can't complain to my ISP knowing that the limitation comes from my router. And also they don't provide a router, only an ONT to transform the fiber signal into ethernet cable. When I plug the ethernet cable directly in my desktop computer and connect using PPPOE I can get like 700 MB/s top speed on download (as my pc is kind of old I blame the "limitation" to 700 MB/s on my pc as the ISP advertises to have a new generation processor and an SSD to get the full speed, which I don't) but with the RT-N16 the limitation is 120 MB/s.
    All this to tell that I'm not going to call my ISP knowing that the speed is limited by my equipment.

    So to get back to the question : if with an RT-N16 with PPPOE and without CTF (as I need some functions that would be incompatible with CTF) I can get 120 MB/s, how much would I get with an R7000 and the same setup (PPPOE and no CTF)?
  12. The Master

    The Master Network Guru Member

    About 400-500Mbit. Depends on your needs.

    Shibby wrote this a long time ago.
    Malakai likes this.
  13. Elfew

    Elfew Network Guru Member

    What about mikrotik? I use turris router v2 from cz.nic which can handle up to 1000MBs
  14. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    OP here. Looks like my ISP will be providing a FTTN modem/router. Darn, I was looking forward to buying a high end router.

    "Fusion FTTN residential service includes an equipment fee for the modem/router and the analog telephone adaptor. A shipping fee applies for delivery and return of the equipment.

    Customer may not use their own modem/router for Fusion FTTN."

    Edit - turns out I was confuse. FTTN is fiber to the node and DSL to the house.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  15. trevorw

    trevorw LI Guru Member

    I had the same problem some time ago and actually ended up with an Asus N56U. Unfortunately it doesn't support Tomato however there's an open firmware for it (called padavan).
    And yes, it runs on PPPoE nevertheless, at 1Gbps up and down. Note that it relies on a proprietary CTF like module so things like QoS will not be working. Frankly though at that speed, you need Cisco-like hardware for proper QoS.

    From what I can tell, outside the x86 route, one need to use the dedicated Broadcom/Mediatek chips which provide kernel modules to achieve these speeds. I mainly looked at Asus hardware since I've had good experience with them and anything higher then N56U (meaning AC56U and so on) with open firmware should work in your case.
    The nice thing about N56U and AC56U is that they cost 100$ or less (I'm not a fan of the 200$ router either since I'm mainly wired myself).

    I really wish there would be a Tomato based router that can handle these speeds, CTF or not, without breaking the bank.
  16. Malakai

    Malakai Networkin' Nut Member

    What about the Asus RT-AC68U?
    In my country the Netgear R7000 seems to have disappeared. You can't find it anymore in any shop (physical or online). So I was thinking of the Asus RT-AC68U (that is on sale); would it get same speed on WAN->LAN than R7000?
    Is there a reason to prefer the R7000? Or is the RT-AC68U as good or maybe better?
  17. gawd0wns

    gawd0wns Network Guru Member

  18. Malakai

    Malakai Networkin' Nut Member

    The site helps indeed but I think that those speeds are with the stock firmware and CFT enabled. I, on the other hand, asked for the max speed possible on those devices with Tomato (by Shibby) and without CFT. In this case there could be no difference between the R7000 and the RT-AC68U.
  19. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    The smallnetbuilder numbers are virtually meaningless for real world usage. Unless things have changed recently they are wired wan to lan routing with no nat or firewalling at all.
    Toastman and Malakai like this.
  20. quihong

    quihong Networkin' Nut Member

    Alright, I finally got Gigabit Fiber installed on Monday from It took a little longer than I was told, but I'm a happy camper and getting 900Mbs down and 100Mbs up.

    I was supplied a pace 5268ac router/modem. However for fiber, I'm not using the modem feature of the router and any router will actually work since the fiber to ethernet conversion is handled by the ONT device.

    I also had a chance to test my stock firmware
    TP-Link Archer C7 AC1750 router and was able to get close to 900Mbs.

    Since my original post, I've learned that the LAN to WAN throughput is really only an issue with aftermarket firmware such as Tomato, DD-WRT and OpenWRT and is related to drivers and/or hardware NAT support.

    Here are some LAN to WAN throughput numbers - - which supports my own testing with my Archer C7.

    Quick question if anyone knows (I've posted in the other forum already), does Asuswrt-Merlin firmware support hardware NAT? Thanks
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