Replacement advice for old and slow but awesome WRT54G?

Discussion in 'Tomato Firmware' started by lanmtl, May 1, 2013.

  1. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member


    I have been using a WRT54G v2 for all my wireless, QoS and routing needs for years.
    I am using Tomato 1.28 and I love it.

    However, I just upgraded to a 50/50 FTTH connection. And this router cannot keep up, it maxes out at around 20mbits on WiFi and 30 mbits on ethernet.

    So I am looking to upgrade.

    Here are my needs:
    - Tomato support
    - VLAN tagging (my WAN needs to have VID 35 for PPPoE and internet to work)
    - Deliver 50+ mbits over ethernet
    - 802.11n
    - Less than 70$
    - 5Ghz could be nice

    I was looking at the Asus RT-N12/B1 but can't find a definite opinion about it on alternative firmwares.

    Can anyone recommend a replacement? Thanks!
  2. FlashSWT

    FlashSWT Network Guru Member

    I'm no expert, but I'd think the Asus RT-N16 would fit the bill. I view it how I viewed the WRT54G for so many years (the default/basic open source router).

    The "VID 35" is the only thing I'm not sure about. It also doesn't have 5 Ghz.

    Looking forward to hearing others thoughts and recommendations.
  3. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Thanks. The problem is the RT-N16 comes in at around 90$ after taxes which is too much
  4. jerrm

    jerrm Network Guru Member

    Question has come up a lot recently.

    Some of the mentioned:
    RT-N16 is a good unit, 16MB flash, 128MB RAM, 2.4ghz, gigabit Ethernet and almost unbrickable, but over your price at $84 amazon.
    Refurb E4200v1, 16MB flash, 64MB ram, dual band, gigabit, $80 from Linksys.
    Refurb E3200, 16MB flash, 64MB ram, dual band, gigabit, $60 from Linksys.
    Refurb E2500, 8MB flash, 64MB ram, dual band, 100mb, $60 from Linksys.
    Belkin F7D8301, 8MB flash, 64MB ram, dual band, gigabit, $35 amazon.
    Belkin F7D8302, 8MB flash, 64MB ram, dual band, 100mb, $35 amazon.
    Belkin F7D7302, 8MB flash, 64MB ram, 2.4ghz, 100mb, $25 amazon.

    If you think you want to do a lot with the router, and want the possibility to avoid entware/optware then stretching the budget a little may be worth it.

    If budget is an issue, my Belkin units (a dozen or so) have been solid, biggest negatives they can't be wall mounted, and internal only antennas. If refurbs are OK, then the e3200 may be the best option.
  5. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    I'm running Tomato Firmware v1.28.0501.3 MIPSR2Toastman-RT-N K26 VLAN-Std on a RT-N12 B1, which I bought to replace an elderly WRT54G. VLAN tagging is available with this firmware, although I haven't tried it yet. It's been equally stable as either WDS AP or wireless ethernet bridge. At 40Mhz channel width I see consistent 300/300 TX/RX rates. Downside - No 5ghz, no USB. There are several on eBay for around $40.
  6. digiblur

    digiblur Networkin' Nut Member

    I would go for the 66u. My n16 got hit by lightning and I am so glad it did now since it forced me to upgrade.

    Sent from my little Note2
  7. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Interesting, do you do QoS? VPN?
  8. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    No and no. It's a secondary router so the WAN port is disabled - I run QoS on the main router, which is a RT-N16.
  9. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Ok I ordered one and will give it a try. I hope it will keep up, switching packets between LAN and WAN requires more CPU power than switching on LAN Only.
  10. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    You may need to flip between firmwares a bit to find one that works correctly with whatever features you want to have turned on with an RT-N12. I have a couple of them and they're rock solid, but they're not used as routers. There have been reports of the RT-N12B1 having issues when used as a router. I suspect they're due to inbound/outbound QoS being set incorrectly (too high) and other general QoS issues but...

    I gave one to a sibling, and it worked for a time, but they kept getting frustrated with their slow internet connection, held down the reset button (because resetting a router always speeds up a 1Mb/256Kb DSL line), then ZOMG IT DOESNT WORK (because they just disabled the DHCP server). I gave them my old RT-N16 and they've been relatively satisfied since (coincidentally they upgraded to a cable modem connection shortly before, so no more pointless resets).
  11. Toastman

    Toastman Super Moderator Staff Member Member

    Monk E.Boy, Thanks for the praise of the RT-N12 B1!

    My own take on the subject is that wherever I've been, I've noticed 5GHz signals are always weak and low throughput, so it wouldn't bother me in the least - if the price is a problem, the RT-N12 B1 sounds the way to go.
  12. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Thank you for your answers, I should receive it next week and it will hopefully perform as I need.
  13. mvsgeek

    mvsgeek LI Guru Member

    If it doesn't, let me know and I'll make you a reasonable offer:)
  14. shibby20

    shibby20 Network Guru Member

    I you have a money i suggest you buy RT-N66u. This is the most popular tomato`s router in the world (look to Tomato Anon). If you don`t need 5GHz radio, then i prefer RT-N16.

    Best Regards.
  15. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Thanks but I don't have so much money to “invest” right now. I hope the RT-N12B1 will be enough
  16. shibby20

    shibby20 Network Guru Member

    IMO better choice will be Netgear WNR3500L. Even revision v1 is better than rt-n12. Or used RT-N16.
  17. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    I had Netgear stuff in the past, I was not impressed at all. 128MB RAM and 128MB NAND is nice though.
  18. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    Noted. I'll have a look should the RT-N12/B1 fall short.
  19. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    So, RT-N12B1 doesn't support VLAN tagging.
    It's fine for all the rest and my ISP's modem/router allows bridging so I can PPPoE with the RT-N12 and have the ISP's box do the tagging. Note so dramatic, just adds to the clutter with one more device.
  20. Monk E. Boy

    Monk E. Boy Network Guru Member

    Hmm. That's odd, it should support VLAN tagging so long as you flashed a VLAN build to it. Even a WRT54GL supports VLAN tagging with the right firmware.

    I will say, though, that the Tomato VLAN tagging interface is a little confusing. It all works, but depending on what you're used to it could take some mental adjustment.
  21. lanmtl

    lanmtl Addicted to LI Member

    It says it's not supported and when I enable it (have to check an option warning of the experimental nature of the stuff) then I am locked out of the router
  22. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 LI Guru Member

    I wouldn't ditch the old WRT54G v2 just yet - keep it as a spare. I discovered that WAN speed can be really opened up nicely by using a Kernel 2.6 variant of Tomato, like Victek's RAF port. I'm currently seeing 60Mbps on the WAN side through my Charter service, and a full 100 on the LAN side through the home network of Windows 7 machines and IBM eServer. I was getting ready to upgrade from my WRT54G-TM until I tried Victek's RAF1.28.9006 MIPSR1_RAF K26 VPN-NOCAT. I just added a cheap Wireless-N access point to cover that side of the spectrum.
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