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TP-LINK N600 Wireless N Dual Band Gigabit Router w/ 2x USB Ports (TL-WDR3600) EXPIRED

Discombobulated 73,449 February 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM in Mail In Rebate (8) More Newegg Deals
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Promoted 02-19-2013 at 07:17 AM View Original Post
Newegg.com has TP-LINK N600 Wireless N Dual Band Gigabit Router w/ 2x USB Ports (TL-WDR3600) for $68.99 - $15 w/ promo code EMCXVWL24 - $15 rebate = $38.99 with free shipping. Thanks Discombobulated

Price Research: Our research indicates that this TP-LINK TL-WDR3600 N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router w/ 2x USB Ports is $27 lower (41% savings) than the next best available price from a reputable merchant with prices starting from $66. - brisar

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Edited February 19, 2013 at 01:57 AM by Discombobulated
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Community Wiki

Last Edited by The Debater March 20, 2013 at 03:33 PM
Update to latest stock firmware if not planning to use a 3rd party firmware (OpenWrt, DD-WRT). The latest stock version includes several important stability fixes:
http://www.tp-link.us/support/dow...version=V1

Note: flashing to a 3rd party firmware will void your warranty. Proceed with caution. If you follow the directions carefully, you will be fine.


Note also (unsupported 3rd party feature): 3rd party firmware does not currently support the hardware NAT feature of this router and probably will not any time soon. Flashing back to stock will restore this functionality.



This router is the cheapest router to get OpenWRT's newest branch, Attitude adjustment which implements CoDEL a new parameterless bufferbloat solution.

Bufferbloat = latency lag when network approaches full usage.

Example: VoIP, VidChat, gaming, latency sensitive apps start stuttering once that other dude in your house starts his NetFlix streaming. You cry and stop doing what you were doing until he's done. OR you can buy this and setup codel and be happy. ^^

Installing OpenWRT isn't necessarily quite as easy but it's straightforward. If you've installed dd-wrt or Tomato, I have confidence in you that you can install OpenWRT Wink
If you know someone who would probably struggle putting dd-wrt/tomato on a router... don't have them install this. They might mess it up.

Got mine and got OpenWRT installed, so far so good....

Here's what I did (Disclaimer, if you are technically challenged I do not suggest doing this or find the beta builds of DDWRT or Gargoyle):

Original link stopped working here's a new link, if it no longer works see below.
http://downloads.openwrt.org/atti...actory.bin

If that still doesn't work here's the path from the openwrt downloads page.
Attitude adjustment...
12.09-rc1...
Ar71xx...
Generic...
Openwrt-ar71xx-generic-tl-wdr3600-v1-squashfs-factory.bin

1.) Connect an ethernet cable to the LAN side of the router, navigate to 192.168.1.1 (It may be 192.168.0.1). Username is "admin" password is "admin".
2.) Rename your OpenWRT image to "factory.bin". Navigate to the firmware upgrade page and update the firmware with your OpenWRT image.
3.) Once upgrade is done, manually set your computer's IP to 192.168.1.X (whatever you want on 1.X subnet). this step wasn't necessary for me, I got an IP via DHCP right after flashing just fine
4.) Use Putty or some other program to telnet into 192.168.1.1. Type "passwd" at command prompt and set a root password. Type "exit" and get out of the telnet session.
5.) Connect an ethernet cable from your modem to the WAN (Internet) side of the router. The blue port. The router needs internet access for the next step.
5.) Reopen Putty and do an SSH session to the same IP, login as root with your new password. Type "opkg update" and return. Type "opkg install luci" and return. To enable Luci to start on boot, type "/etc/init.d/uhttpd enable" and return and then type "/etc/init.d/uhttpd start" and return. I would also install the Luci qos module, type "opkg install luci-app-qos" and return.
6.) You can now login to Luci via an HTTP interface at 192.168.1.1. Good luck with the rest, just make sure you enable your wifi interfaces and configure them.

NOTE: It has been widely reported that LuCi is already installed and running after the install of OpenWRT. After you do the initial upgrade try navigating to 192.168.1.1 to see if the LuCI interface is up and running. If it is not then you should run through the steps listed above.

7.) Optionally, you may change to a more user friendly interface by installing the bootstrap theme (now available from the software installation function built into the web interface).
Info about bootstrap theme: http://nut-bolt.nl/2012/openwrt-b...-for-luci/
To install: System --> Software --> search for bootstrap in available package --> click install
To activate theme go to: System ---> Language and Style ---> Design ---> Bootstrap Smilie

More info, including instructions for setting up Codel on OpenWrt: https://gist.github.com/petedoyle/4129668. (he does it in a bit more complicated way than necessary, if anyone has easier instructions, please update).
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Gargoyle install: (i.e. the easy way)
If you want the simple method and are ok with a simplified interface then download the gargoyle image here http://www.gargoyle-router.com/do...actory.bin and do the upgrade with that. It already has the GUI installed and running so you can go directly to 192.168.1.1.

Although very functional, Gargoyle is kind of ugly by default, so if you care about that sort of thing, install a theme Smilie

NOTE: Gargoyle does not have all the options that LuCi does, it was designed this way. It has QOS and Codel installed by default. If you don't know why you want all the options available in Luci, then you probably don't need them.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here are some other helpful links that I used: bimologist
DDNS Client: http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto...using.luci
OpenVPN Setup: http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/howto/vpn.openvpn
Guest WLan: http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/recipes/guest-wlan (non Luci) (I could not get the Luci directions to work)
Guest WLAN via Luci (does not work for some): https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?id=34092

Instructions for setting up QoS and CoDel for OpenWRT peeps:

Pulled from OpenWRT forums:
Quote :
First of all, the values to enter in the qos configuration are your maximal net bandwidth minus some headroom that qos needs to be effective (I hink this is no longer true for the post-backfire codel-based qos). Especially the upload value needs to be lower than the maximum you observed empirically.
I have a "up to" 16Mbit / 1Mbit line. The observed actual net rates are for me about 12Mbit and 950 kbit respectively. I hence entered this in the qos config
option download 12000
option upload 800
Since you cannot control downstream in a meaningful manner I left it at 12000, but upstream needs the headroom and through testing with simultaneous saturating upload traffic and pings I settled on 800.

I also have this stanza
onfig classify
option target "Express"
option ports "22,5190,5060,5222,19295,19301-19310
where the 19xxx ports are for Google voice and video chats, 5060 is supposed to be VoIP, but I have a hunch that this is only the port for negotiation not payload data. 5222 is XMPP instant messaging.
I’m not sure you can successfully prioritize Skype because Skype hides on port 80 and port 433, which are the usual HTTP(S) ports.
Also see, https://gist.github.com/petedoyle/4129668

To add a USB flash-drive to expand the capacity of your router, follow: http://klseet.com/index.php/tl-mr...ap-extroot

428 Comments

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#4
In for one. Just bought a refurbished Linksys E1200 for $23.39, but will use one or the other as a backup.

Thanks OP!
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#5
I was looking at buying the Asus N66U, but I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger at $170. This router has the external antennas, dual band, and the speed I want. I'm willing to spend more money if it means better reliability. Anyone use both routers? Is it like comparing a Kia to a Mercedes?
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#6
Thanks OP

Quote from dealmonkey View Post :
I was looking at buying the Asus N66U, but I'm having a hard time pulling the trigger at $170. This router has the external antennas, dual band, and the speed I want. I'm willing to spend more money if it means better reliability. Anyone use both routers? Is it like comparing a Kia to a Mercedes?
Out of the box, this router is nothing to brag about. Add OpenWRT or DDWRT, and all of a sudden its rock solid.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#7
Has anyone tried both OpenWRT and DD-WRT on this router? I've used DD-WRT on all of my routers, so it makes sense for me to put that on this router. However, I've heard mixed results from both sides.
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#8
FP stuff Big Grin
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#9
Quote from CoBrA2168 View Post :
Has anyone tried both OpenWRT and DD-WRT on this router? I've used DD-WRT on all of my routers, so it makes sense for me to put that on this router. However, I've heard mixed results from both sides.
OpenWrt is much better than DD-WRT, especially for atheros routers such as this one where there is support for codel to reduce bufferbloat, which reduces latency quite a bit during heavy traffic.

Unfortunately, OpenWrt is definitely more complicated to set up initially. Gargoyle is an OpenWrt-based firmware designed to be easier to use and is probably a better alternative for most people. Luckily, this router is supported by Gargoyle. Biggest downside of Gargoyle IMO is the ugly default skin, but this is easily fixed. Previous posts on this router (and the N750 version WDR4300) discuss getting Gargoyle installed.

Of course, if you're used to DD-WRT you may be more comfortable sticking with that.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#10
What is the range on these routers with Open-WRT? I managed to brick a Belkin N300, so I need a good replacement but one that has better range than the Belkin.
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#11
I have DD-WRT on one of these routers. It's still buggy but it works for the most part at this point (using the latest nightly builds).
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#12
seems like this has tomato support.
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#13
Quote from fyu View Post :
seems like this has tomato support.
No Tomato for Atheros-based routers, such as this one.
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#14
Note that it's now a manufacturer's rebate, not a newegg rebate.
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#15
Quote from drawz View Post :
OpenWrt is much better than DD-WRT, especially for atheros routers such as this one where there is support for codel to reduce bufferbloat, which reduces latency quite a bit during heavy traffic.

Unfortunately, OpenWrt is definitely more complicated to set up initially. Gargoyle is an OpenWrt-based firmware designed to be easier to use and is probably a better alternative for most people. Luckily, this router is supported by Gargoyle. Biggest downside of Gargoyle IMO is the ugly default skin, but this is easily fixed. Previous posts on this router (and the N750 version WDR4300) discuss getting Gargoyle installed.

Of course, if you're used to DD-WRT you may be more comfortable sticking with that.
Hmm..I'm fairly technical, but have never dabbled into OpenWRT. How do I know which build to use?
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