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Quick buying question... RT-N66U

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by occamsrazor, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Hi, am looking to upgrade from my E3000 for two reasons:

    1. To get better 5Ghz Wifi throughput speeds for Wifi-LAN file transfers from 2012 Macbook Pro to LAN devices (desktops, NAS, etc). If I'm correct the E3000 only supports 2-stream, whereas the RT-N66U supports 3-stream and my Macbook supports 3-stream. That should result in significantly higher speeds, right? I am usually located a couple meters from the router. Currently for such transfers I get around 15-16 megabytes/second. What can I expect from RT-N66U?

    2. To have a router capable of running Shibby AIO builds (the E3000 has only 8MB flash).

    Would I be correct in saying that given the above, the best router currently available is the RT-N66U?

    There's no point looking at AC routers, right, as none have been supported yet? And even if they were supported later I wouldn't want to have to use a USB Wifi AC dongle.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    If I'm in the same room as an RT-N66U and have 5Ghz 40Mhz channels with zero interference, I can push over 50Mb.

    5Ghz signal strength drops rapidly with walls and other solid objects.

    As an added bonus these tests were performed with a Macbook... running Windows, but the hardware is at least similar.
     
  3. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Nice, thanks for that, very impressive figures. Looks like the one for me, just placed an order. I've been reading a few threads about stability issues with wifi cutting out after a day or so requiring reboot. Have you had any such issues, which firmware are you using? Thanks
     
  4. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Beware the bits and Bytes....
    15 megabYtes/sec is double the throughput of 50 megabits/sec. Both are respectable "n" speeds, with 15 megabYtes near the maximum for two streams and 50 megabits about half that.

    If the actual value is 15 megabits, then you're only getting "g" speeds and probably have a settings or interference issue (e.g. WMM off, 802.11a devices, non-WLAN devices)

    If the actual value is 50 megabYtes then I'm very jealous.
     
  5. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    I'm getting 15 megabytes/sec on my E3000, I assume (and hope) Monk E Boy is also talking megabytes...
     
  6. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    You'll definitely see some improvement with a three stream router then.
     
  7. maurer

    maurer LI Guru Member

    50 MB/s (~400 mbps) wireless transfer speed is only possible on 802.11ac
     
  8. Daky

    Daky Network Guru Member

    what is the maxt transfer rate on n66u? i see like 13-15MB/s most of the time
     
  9. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    That's about right. Running the Lantest benchmark I once pushed it to around 160-180 Mbits, but that was on the 5 GHz band, and only 3 meters away from the router.

    The difference between link speed and actual throughput is mainly caused by the encryption overhead, plus the nature of wifi in general.
     
  10. Daky

    Daky Network Guru Member

    Perfect, thank you for confirming sir :)
     
  11. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    No, I was talking Megabits (Mb), since that's the metric for internet connections.

    Wireless is inherently inefficient, if you want fast transfers you need to have a wired connection.
     
  12. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    I know wireless can't compare to wired, but 50 megabits/sec is only 6.25 megabytes/sec. I'm getting double that on my E3000 on 5Ghz with 40Mhz channels a few metres away... and that's only two-stream. I would expect a three-stream router to get 50% more than that...

    Edit: Added some LAN speed tests of E3000 / 5Ghz / 40Mhz channels / 1 metre away from router with 300mbps link speed, with transfer files sizes of 128/256/512MB. This is from MacBook Pro over wifi to/from a NAS on the LAN.

    lan001.jpg lan002.jpg lan003.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  13. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Sorry, I think its a case of different priorities. All I care about is making sure we can utilize our internet connection to its fullest extent.

    You will likely need to have a client capable of utilizing both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz 802.11n channels, plus 40Mhz channel widths on both, in order to push any kind of real bandwidth over wireless. Since 2.4Ghz is a polluted cesspool of uselessness all my RT-N66s here have it turned off. At home I have it turned on, but occasionally neighbors will be neighbors and change channels, install new access points, etc. and make 2.4Ghz useless until I change channels.
     
  14. Marcel Tunks

    Marcel Tunks Networkin' Nut Member

    Three stream throughput will be better in a low-interference environment, but probably not a full 50% better. There's a lot to recommend the N66 beyond wireless performance, so it's a good choice anyway. Easily the best Tomato router at this point.

    All this discussion because of a capitalization question. Sorry I brought it up...
     
  15. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Personally I think differentiating by capitalisation was always a stupid idea prone to misinterpretation, but that's another story....
    I should have my RT-N66 by the end of next week so it will be interesting to re-do the above tests on the new router to see the difference. Comparing from one person to the next is always unreliable but a side-by-side comparison using same network and testing software should prove useful.
    On another note I've been reading up on the best way to do a first flash, and it seems there are differing methods. I'm also confused by the CFE and NVRAM size "issues" with this router. Can anyone point me to the best way to flash it? I want to run Shibby's latest AIO build I think...
    Edit: Just been reading a lot more on this and still confused. Most of the guides out there seem to be old, and I see mention that recently-shipped models come with a newer version of CFE that supports 64K NVRAM. How this affects initial flashing I'm not clear. Would be great if someone could write an updated definitive guide. PS - I'm no newbie to flashing Tomato, but this particular model seems to have its own quirks one needs to be aware of.
     
  16. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Ok so I thought I'd revisit this topic now that I have my RT-N66U running Shibby's latest (v112) AIO build. Overall I am VERY happy with the new router. I upgraded from the E3000 both to be able to run AIO builds and also for faster wireless transfers to/from devices on my LAN.
    As you can see from the LAN transfer speedtests attached, the wireless is significantly faster on receive, though not so much for Transmit. I expected some increase due to 3-stream vs 2-stream 802.11N, but I'm quite impressed by how much for download speeds. Test conditions were identical (software used, location, etc) as to the previous test with the E3000.
    What I also find interesting is that the transfer rates appear to be more stable/smooth, at least judging from the graphs.
    As to range, I haven't made any real tests, but when both routers were on in same place and my macbook was about 30 feet away, the signal from the RT-N66U was much stronger.


    LAN001.jpg LAN002.jpg LAN003.jpg
     
  17. Goggy

    Goggy Network Guru Member

    Hello!

    Short Question: the Asus RT-N66U ist still the best "Allround-Tomato-Router"?

    Thx!
    Goggy
     
  18. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    I guess the best in theory is the RT-AC66U, but at additional cost. I decided against that because I realised I didn't want to use USB-Wifi adapters on my laptops anyway, so wouldn't gain the AC Wifi speed advantage. I'm very happy with the RT-N66U.
     
  19. RMerlin

    RMerlin Network Guru Member

    Currently, I'd go with the N66U, until the AC66U support gets stabilized.
     
  20. Goggy

    Goggy Network Guru Member

    Thx for you suggestions. I decided to go for the AC66U even if i will not use AC Wifi speed.
     

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