Need to upgrade my router..advice?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by Andrew Gill, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. Andrew Gill

    Andrew Gill New Member Member

    Hi, I currently have a Linksys E1200 v2 which works, but I need to upgrade it.
    Through my ISP, I can get approx 14 mbps. Using IPVanish's own android app, I can get approx 13 mbps, but through the E1200, I'm lucky if I can get 6 mbps.
    Can anyone recommend a router that will get me as close as possible to what I can get with the IPVanish software (13 mbps)?

    Many thanks for your help
  2. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    Unless you're using a truly POWERFUL router (and at that point you might as well use a standalone PC), you'll never get the full bandwidth offered by your VPN provider. Not unless your VPN provider's offering is so feeble that it doesn't matter (and 13Mbps seems pretty feeble to me if that's what your getting w/ the Android app, or a desktop app).

    FWIW, I grabbed several TM-AC1900 routers from the many T-Mobile deals on They've been as low as $40, but more often between $48 and $60. The TM-AC1900 is actually a modified ASUS RT-AC68U, which can be converted back to the original RT-AC68U. An awesome router given the price. Even so, at 800MHz and dual-core, the best I've been able to get is 16-18Mbps (using NordVPN, if it matters). Contrast that to their desktop app providing nearly full ISP bandwidth (118Mbps).

    I suppose there are newer routers available, but I tend to buy slightly older, more stable routers, and only those that support dd-wt and tomato. And the RT-AC86U fits the bill perfectly, imo. Esp. at that price.
  3. cloneman

    cloneman LI Guru Member

    I've never explored this much but it would seem like an interesting option is to keep your existing router for convenience and status quo , while adding a dedicated PC (or high performance ARM single-board computer) for the VPN. The router' DHCP would push the dedicated computer' IP as the default gateway when it assigns IP addresses.

    The only disadvantage is adding complexity and multiple points of failure, additional power usage, etc, but would seem like it's possible to find something that makes sense without bogging down your main router.

    As far as making sure your computer never tries to use the router as the direct gateway to the internet, I'll let others chime in as the best way to accomplish this, if necessary.
  4. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    You could also turn the E1200 into an access point (a bridge between WiFi and Ethernet) and get an ethernet-only router. You could go with a prebuilt solution like Ubiquiti's ER-X for around $50, though you'd have to look into compatibility with your particular VPN solution but since Tomato works its probably compatible with OpenVPN. Slightly up in price is the SG-1000 running pfSense. Around the same price as the SG-1000 are some low-end Mickrotik routers (though there is a pretty big learning curve with them). Further up are micro PCs that can run pretty much any x86 router software under the sun, many of which are free for home use.

    The big feature you get from routers like these are hardware offload for crypto operations, with hardware offload the speed of your VPN connection is the speed of your internet connection (or the VPN hosting provder). Tomato does all VPN operations in CPU which is very costly, a decent x86 box w/o hardware offload can shovel a whole lot of VPN through, but with hardware acceleration its crazy how you can go. If you go this route just be sure the router has hardware offload - without it you could end up stuck in the same boat as you are now.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  5. eibgrad

    eibgrad Network Guru Member

    I suspect you could also use the VPN provider's desktop app, enable routing on the PC, and assign that PC as the default gateway in dnsmasq for your devices. IOW, if you're already running a powerful device on the LAN, use it instead of the router for VPN services.
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