Need a new Router, any Recomendations?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by miakayuuki, Jun 14, 2010.

  1. miakayuuki

    miakayuuki Networkin' Nut Member

    So, as much as I do enjoy my first gen WRT54GS routers with tomato, I believe the time to upgrade to N standard has arrived. So, the question becomes, which one is the best in terms of hardware and hackability (like I am going to run the default firmware, yeah right). I love Tomato, but would consider another firmware if the router was that much better.

    I am not shopping for a bargain here, I want good (but not absurd).

    Thanks for any though or input.

    -- Mia
  2. burritoboy9984

    burritoboy9984 Addicted to LI Member

    Asus RT-N16 looks pretty good for tomato :) ~$90 online.

  3. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Asus RT-N16 gets you into 2.4GHz N with external antennae, Linux 2.6 kernel and 2 USB ports, and lots of ram/flash.

    If only it had 5GHz N, to get away from inter-operability with Wireless B/G, and there still seems to be issues with Broadcom closed source drivers...

    The headline CPU speed of 480MHz in the MIPS-R2 architecture doesn't appear to be as good as it sounds - it appears to mean it can sometimes do 2 operations at 240MHz at same time, but at other times behaves more like a 240MHz router, so not the speed-up you might expect.
  4. miakayuuki

    miakayuuki Networkin' Nut Member

    Are there any currently supported (and or good) dual band routers available? I am finding that the 2.4Ghz frequency is exceptionally crowded between bluetooth, phones, Wifi, Baby Monitors, and heaven forbid someone microwave a bag of popcorn, then it all goes down.

  5. occamsrazor

    occamsrazor Network Guru Member

    Agree on the need for 5Ghz support, but currently it seems there is none, see here:

    Your alternative if you really need it would be to use your Tomato router as a router, and add a dual-band access point
  6. dbt78

    dbt78 Networkin' Nut Member

    I Agree with mstombs.
    I have a RT-N16 (Asus) and a WRT320N (Linksys)
    I found the Linksys more efficient. (Tomato software on both).
    Why ..??..
  7. Azuse

    Azuse LI Guru Member

    Can you elaborate? I thought it shared the same cpu as the WNR3500L @ 480mhz? Actually, the Broadcom4718 is a 533mhz cpu, so why are both routers under-clocked?
  8. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    Users have reported performance not *2 as expected from CPU clock alone from a 200/216 MHz router.

    Check the Linux bogomips report, for WRT54G type routers it reports the CPU speed. It times a tight loop to work out delays, not unusual for different architectures to get different multiple.

    Then check definition of CPU speed nvram parameter, you will find there is a CPU clock, a ram clock and peripheral bus clock.

    Reports suggest the ram is being overclocked from 200 to 240, and random crashes if upped to 266.

    There is also the issue of moving from Linux 2.4 to 2.6, it seems Broadcom have issues with the netfilter nat modules and keep trying to use custom 'fastnat' to speed up the bottleneck (how this is not GPL I do not understand).
  9. EricCartman

    EricCartman LI Guru Member

    I'm using Asus RT-N16 and I'm not having any problem, USB works on it i have tested Torrent works, no crashes , net speed is faster then WRT56GL.
  10. miakayuuki

    miakayuuki Networkin' Nut Member

    The option of using Tomato for the networking interface and pushing off the AP duties to a dual band router is not without merit. This does however raise one question in my mind. If I am going to go the route of removing Tomato from the Wi-Fi management duties, and just to focus on the nat side of things, is there perhaps any easy way to get the tomato interface on a dedicated pc? That would certainly give Tomato a resource boot in memory and speed, and no need to put it on a router if the router is not serving a special purpose.

    I would bet even my old 1.2Ghz Pentium system with 1GB of ram would be a performance upgrade.

  11. ndoggac

    ndoggac Network Guru Member

    Netgear WNR3500L
    Comparable speeds & features to the ASUS.
    My friend got the ASUS RT-N16 and it had overheating problems.
  12. windozer

    windozer LI Guru Member

    Similar features plus it's dual band wireless.
  13. miakayuuki

    miakayuuki Networkin' Nut Member

    It was my understanding that the WNR3500L was not a dual-band router, and was 2.4Ghz only? Am I mistaken in this?

  14. mstombs

    mstombs Network Guru Member

    I also thought that Netgear only 2.4GHz. The Linksys 610N is dual band, but only has internal antennae.

    Note that it is not too clear what the issue with the RT-N16 and heat is, some early shipments did not have a heat sink on main chip, but later ones did, so early ones probably need it added. Some users report improvements by fitting bigger heat sinks/ fans, others no difference.

    It is clear that there are still issues with the Broadcom closed source wireless drivers, and that Asus are working with Broadcom to resolve this - new drivers being used in beta firmwares under active development. These issues will be common to all firmwares using the 4716/8 soc at present. dd-wrt seem to have different source for new-d2 drivers, but they also have slightly different reported Linux kernel version.
  15. jersully

    jersully LI Guru Member

    There are several Linux firewall distros that would do the job nicely. IPCop is one of the most popular, Untangle and ClearOS are very pretty and especially user friendly.

    For home use my own personal preference is to use Tomato with a few extras on it rather than having to power/manage/find a location for/listen to another PC Server.
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