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

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Promoted 02-19-2013 by brisar 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

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#196
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Hmm now I'm not sure if I need CoDel and IPv6(US resident) or would the latest stock firmware will be able to handle my traffic which includes: 3 laptops, 3 desktops, 2 iPhones, 2 Touchpads, 1 iPad, 2 Android phones, 1 Wii and 1 Playstation. All of them are connecting to my Netgear wndr3500 wirelessly except for the Playstation. So the router choke at night during high traffic time when almost everyone is using the internet in some form or another. YouTube video streaming comes to a crawl in HD mode, Skype gets drop. Plus there are about 4-5 other competing router signals in my neighborhood that I can see using inSSIDer. Shit, maybe i should have spent 180 bucks for the ASUS N66U so it can handle all my traffic during peak time LMAO
No router is magic!
It depends what your problem is and you may need to do some troubleshooting to figure that out.

Codel might help with Skype latency
QOS if not enabled would certainly help prioritize everything
A faster router (N66U) might help (doubtful) - note the N66U has a processor that is only 10% faster than the TP-Link mentioned here and 25% faster than your current router.
Going to the 5 GHz band might help if wireless interference on the 2.4GHz band is an issue (4-5 other routers, especially if on another channel, is not a big deal). You could test this by seeing if a wired device is impacted during these heavy activity periods. If you still have the problem wired, it's not a wireless interference issue.
Upgrading your connection speed (if that's an option)

IPV6 is almost certainly irrelevant for you and won't impact speed at all.

Tomato and/or DD-WRT might be available for your router. You could at least try out their QOS and see if that helps you. Tomato Toastman builds have pretty comprehensive QOS rules built-in by default, so I would start there. In addition, the bandwidth monitoring would let you see just how much of your available bandwidth you are using, which might help you figure out if the bottleneck is your internet connection.
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Last edited by drawz February 20, 2013 at 08:01 AM
#197
Would someone please enlighten and educate us IT-ignorant members regarding what exactly is hardware NAT and why it is better than software NAT? Also, if you flash with a third party firmware and loose the hardware NAT feature and then re-flash it back to the stock firmware, wouldn't you get back the hardware NAT feature? Or is it the case that once its gone, its gone forever unless someone puts that feature in the third party firmware.
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#198
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Would someone please enlighten and educate us IT-ignorant members regarding what exactly is hardware NAT and why it is better than software NAT? Also, if you flash with a third party firmware and loose the hardware NAT feature and then re-flash it back to the stock firmware, wouldn't you get back the hardware NAT feature? Or is it the case that once its gone, its gone forever unless someone puts that feature in the third party firmware.
to a normal user there is no difference.

and dd-wrt and tomato will run on your existing router
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Last edited by fyu February 20, 2013 at 07:58 AM
#199
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Would someone please enlighten and educate us IT-ignorant members regarding what exactly is hardware NAT and why it is better than software NAT? Also, if you flash with a third party firmware and loose the hardware NAT feature and then re-flash it back to the stock firmware, wouldn't you get back the hardware NAT feature? Or is it the case that once its gone, its gone forever unless someone puts that feature in the third party firmware.
You probably would not notice the difference. It lowers the CPU load on your router, but unless you're doing something else intensive on the router (torrents maybe?) or have a VERY fast connection with a lot of users (think a medium to large business), you won't notice the difference.

And yes, you do get it back if you flash back to stock.
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Last edited by drawz February 20, 2013 at 08:02 AM
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#200
Quote from drawz View Post :
These are pretty extreme statements. Yes, stable stock firmware generally works well for the vast majority of people. In fact, Asus' firmware is a fork of Tomato, which was a fork of HyperWRT, which was a fork of Linksys GPL firmware from the WRT54G.

The problem is that a lot of stock firmwares aren't that stable or don't give all the options/features that some people want. For me, that was codel, better QOS in general, the ability to adjust transmit power, bandwidth monitoring, logging, a better interface, and a consistent interface/features/options when moving to different hardware. Other people have other needs, such as more complicated VLANs, multiple SSIDs, guest SSID, wireless bridging, use as a torrent downloader, file sharing, etc.

TP-Link's firmware is not bad, it just isn't fancy. Most importantly, it is stable. Most people will be perfectly happy with it. In fact, I would go as far as to say that if you don't know why you want 3rd party firmware, you probably don't need it. The exception being if you're router comes with unstable firmware and there is a stable replacement available.

With regards to hardware NAT, I wouldn't say it'll "NEVER" happen because Atheros has released the source code. However, the OpenWrt devs have determined that the code is too ugly and would be difficult to implement without a lot of hacks. That doesn't mean Atheros won't clean it up or that somebody won't try eventually. The information is out there and it is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Most routers don't have hardware NAT anyway (do the ASUS routers?).

Everyone's needs are different. In the end, it's up to the individual to decide what they need and what they want (not always the same thing). There is no right or wrong.
Iagree


Very well stated... I just wanted to get out there that you don't "Have to" ALWAYS GO third-party firmware in EVERY SINGLE CASE like most of these router threads claim.

People think its third-party firmware a miracle worker and a MUST... IT CERTAINLY ISN'T

Like you say OVERALL STABILITY is key. You are lucky this router has decent stock firmware as an option..some don't.
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Last edited by boltman2007 February 20, 2013 at 08:14 AM
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#201
Quote from gaillangford View Post :
You say that the linksys WRT54G is good? That's a relief, because I've had one for years and now I have to keep unplugging it 2-3x's a day to reset the wireless. I must have it configured wrong, or is it just too outdated? I have 2 computers Wired, 2 Blu-Ray Wired, 1 computer wireless, and 4 smartphones WIFI. Is that too much?? HELP!
Several people have suggested putting Tomato on it. Do it, it opens that router up to many more features. In the administration settings you can set the router to reboot any day of the week at any given time. I have mine reboot daily at 4AM... even if you are up at 4AM the reboot takes less than 1 minute. This did wonders for me.
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#202
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Hmm now I'm not sure if I need CoDel and IPv6(US resident) or would the latest stock firmware will be able to handle my traffic which includes: 3 laptops, 3 desktops, 2 iPhones, 2 Touchpads, 1 iPad, 2 Android phones, 1 Wii and 1 Playstation. All of them are connecting to my Netgear wndr3500 wirelessly except for the Playstation. So the router choke at night during high traffic time when almost everyone is using the internet in some form or another. YouTube video streaming comes to a crawl in HD mode, Skype gets drop. Plus there are about 4-5 other competing router signals in my neighborhood that I can see using inSSIDer. Shit, maybe i should have spent 180 bucks for the ASUS N66U so it can handle all my traffic during peak time LMAO
The N66U uses a 600Mhz processor, the WDR3600 uses a 560Mhz processor, not that big of a leap. The only thing the N66U has going for it is that it can do 450Mbps on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Although you'll never pull 450Mbps on 2.4Ghz with any other signals around.
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#203
Quote from brbubba View Post :
As I said, only a serious concern with VoIP/Skype/Gaming/etc. We were having MAJOR skype issues where even a single download would screw it up.
Quote from drawz View Post :
While these are probably the most important applications, codel will still improve the responsiveness of web browsing when you have any large downloads going (or high bandwidth streaming).


Yep, available from Luci. Just search for ipv6 on the software installation screen.


My parents WRT54G quit working due to the AC adapter sending a noisy signal. A new AC adapter and all was good again. This was on Tomato FWIW.


A lot of traffic could mean a lot of different things, but yes, generally most helpful if you're pushing the limits of your connection in some way (large downloads, lots of streaming, etc.). If you don't, probably any router with a reliable signal will be fine.


Yes, this is true, but I think it's extreme to say it will *never* be supported. Hardware NAT may not be that important unless you have a VERY fast connection. The SoC (CPU) is one of the faster ones available today and is fast enough to handle pretty much any current broadband connection with software NAT. The vast majority of other routers out there are using software NAT as well. I'd say codel > hardware NAT, but everyone's requirements are different.


If you've set up a router before without utilities, you probably won't need these either. They just make things easier. No clue if they're included - I didn't even look at the included CD.
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Iagree


Very well stated... I just wanted to get out there that you don't "Have to" ALWAYS GO third-party firmware in EVERY SINGLE CASE like most of these router threads claim.

People think its third-party firmware a miracle worker and a MUST... IT CERTAINLY ISN'T

Like you say OVERALL STABILITY is key. You are lucky this router has decent stock firmware as an option..some don't.
Which brand do you think provide the most stable firmware for their routers? Ive had good luck with Netgear in the past.
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#204
Quote from boltman2007 View Post :
Iagree


Very well stated... I just wanted to get out there that you don't "Have to" ALWAYS GO third-party firmware in EVERY SINGLE CASE like most of these router threads claim.

People think its third-party firmware a miracle worker and a MUST... IT CERTAINLY ISN'T

Like you say OVERALL STABILITY is key. You are lucky this router has decent stock firmware as an option..some don't.
Glad we agree Smilie Sometimes people just jump on the bandwagon blindly. (I'm sure I've been guilty of this at some point too).

Maybe this statement should go in every wiki post about every router deal:
If you don't know why you need 3rd party firmware (e.g. DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWrt), then you probably don't need it and shouldn't bother.

There are certainly some routers that I wouldn't use with stock firmware due to instability.
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#205
Quote from brbubba View Post :
The N66U uses a 600Mhz processor, the WDR3600 uses a 560Mhz processor, not that big of a leap. The only thing the N66U has going for it is that it can do 450Mbps on 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. Although you'll never pull 450Mbps on 2.4Ghz with any other signals around.
Your devices have to support 450mbps as well, which most don't. As you noted, the 2.4 GHz band is crowded as well.

Perhaps more importantly, your internet connection is not 450mbps, or even 300mbps, or even 150mbps, or probably even 54Mbps (wireless-G is 54mbps), so you're bottleneck when the internet is involved is the connection to the outside world (ie your cable/DSL pipe). Faster wireless speeds only help you move stuff around inside your own house.
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#206
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Which brand do you think provide the most stable firmware for their routers? Ive had good luck with Netgear in the past.
Netgear tends to be pretty good I think, but I must admit I haven't used stock on anything in several years. Until the arrival of codel, I always bought tomato capable routers, which meant I had a consistent interface/features and stability was never an issue as long as the underlying hardware was OK.
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#207
Can anyone comment on the throughput of this model with both radios enabled?
I currently have an N router (TP-Link running OpenWRT) acting as a bridge in my detached, cinder block garage with an external antenna. I also have an N router (Buffalo running OpenWRT) in my house that it connects to. If getting two of these would increase my throughput, I'd be interested in picking up a pair.
Also, does anyone know how these dual band routers claim to have different wireless speed through puts? I'm assuming it has to do with transmit power? Or are the radios actually different? I guess another downside to going with a model like this [newegg.com] would be the fact that I'd need 3 external antennas.
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#208
Y is it so hot?

It's not the brand new wireless ac.
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#209
Quote from hsh1904 View Post :
Y is it so hot?

It's not the brand new wireless ac.
do you have any wireless ac equipment?
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#210
Quote from hsh1904 View Post :
Y is it so hot?

It's not the brand new wireless ac.
It is hot because for the price you are paying, you are getting a lot..

Gigabit Lan Ports, Fast CPU, External Antennas (Pretty good range), and allows third party firmware to be installed.
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