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Newbie with fairly basic needs trying to select optimal mod for Asus RT-N16

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by VerumSeeker, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. VerumSeeker

    VerumSeeker Reformed Router Member

    I am currently running Asus RT-N16 with Tomato Firmware v1.28.9054 MIPSR2-beta K26 USB vpn3.6. I am adding an AP (TP-Link WDR4300) and thought that it might be a good idea to go ahead and update my RT-N16.
    Wow. A lot has changed in the Tomato world since I last flashed my router. So, now I am trying to choose which flavor to install.
    • I mostly just need basic routing capability
    • I am interested in trying to figure out use of Torrents
    • I just got an OBi110 and am interested in figuring out how to use Google Voice to do VOIP (so that I can stop paying my phone company) which I think means QoS is important
    • I would like to set up a Guest Network
    • I may be interested in trying to overclock (although that might be too scary for me)
    • I may also be interested in figuring out how ad blocking works

    I read the chart at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomato_(firmware)#Feature_comparison and it looks like the Shibby, Toastman, and RAF are the most up-to-date. And those three look very similar to this untrained eye. I think that I am leaning toward Shibby because it seems to have a few more features (not sure that I will need the extra features, but just in case...). I actually really like the ease-of-use capabilities of Advanced Tomato, but am concerned that it might not be keeping up with the underlying Shibby upon which it is built (otherwise, I would probably go down that path).

    Other than features that might help with the list above, I am also interested in stability. Maybe even more interested in stability than other features? As you can tell from my current firmware (listed above), I am not a network engineer or system administrator and am not really interested in flashing my router every month to stay on the bleeding edge. Would like to get a stable version that has superior basic performance and at least a few bells and whistles. And then leave it in place for a while. So, I am not 100% sure on which mod to go with and also not 100% sure which version (if I do go with Shibby should I go ahead and use 112 or a previous version, like maybe 110 which would also then enable Advanced Tomato?).

    I would like to ask the group here for input on which direction I should go (and why) and for input on specific version; keeping stability (and bug-free-ness) in mind.

    Thanks for your guidance. And thanks to all who have done development work.
  2. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    There's no best Tomato version. If you want to play with torrent client on the router, go with Shibby or Advanced Tomato. If you want a local basic web server or if your throughput to the ISP is over maybe 100mbps then go with Victek. Toastman's version is very stable. If you don't need either, then all three are excellent.
  3. VerumSeeker

    VerumSeeker Reformed Router Member

    Thank you for the response (I know that not everybody will respond to a newbie post). I do understand that there is no "best". I should have tried harder to convey the question as, "what is the most appropriate for my situation" (rather than "best").

    I do not have a > 100mbs connection (but would certainly like one). :)

    I would be especially interested to hear your thoughts about whether I should go all the way to Shibby 112 or stay with 110. I have read the change log (once I figured out to click the English link), but cannot tell for sure how critical the updates are. Looks like 111 had a lot packed in (which may mean I do need to go to 112 instead of 110?), but again, I really do not understand all the details of all the line items.
  4. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Will be stable and functional regardless. 111 is fine, but 112 has smaller images and useful IPv6 change to help in the future.
  5. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    I generally stay a couple versions behind current (or really, really, really behind current if it's a site I don't visit often, nor can take down for extended periods to perform upgrades) since the issues with it are "known" and (usually) well documented, I really only move up if there's a serious security flaw or bug that affects me.
  6. VerumSeeker

    VerumSeeker Reformed Router Member

    Is there a definitive step-by-step guide for how to update my RT-N16 from one version of Tomato (v1.28.9054 MIPSR2-beta K26 USB vpn3.6) to another (Shibby tomato-K26USB-1.28.RT-MIPSR2-112-AIO.trx)?? Again, it has been awhile, but I seem to remember having to install linux to put the Tomato on originally, but the WDR4300 I just flashed had a .bin file that was fairly easy to install.
    Thanks for any pointers.
  7. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Going from one version to another is fairly easy, so long as the new bin is compatible (MIPSR1/MIPSR2, small enough for flash, supports your model router) you can just upgrade through the Tomato router administration website to the new version (http://your.router.ip.here/admin-upgrade.asp).

    If you experience any problems you should long erase NVRAM and set everything up by hand. If you're setting up a router for someone else or another "remote" site, long erase NVRAM and hand setup is the safest option after upgrading to the new version.

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