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

Discombobulated 14,809 98,041 February 19, 2013 at 12:00 AM in Mail In Rebate (8) More Newegg Deals
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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

428 Comments

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#46
I've had this router for about two months now and it has worked great. Signal reaches all the way from the basement to the upstairs. The Gigabit ports have held up well when having about ten people over for a LAN party. My wife can watch Netflix while I play games online. My one complaint would be the WPS button is hit and miss. Sometimes it connects laptops, sometimes it doesn't. So I usually just enter the password stuff manually.

I haven't installed DD-WRT or Tomato or whatever. I honestly don't see the point of going through that trouble. The stock firmware seems to work fine for me and the TP-Link interface is easy to use but still gives access to some advanced options. Honestly, why does every thread on a router deal have to go on and on about installing the 3rd party firmwares?
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#47
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?
Any reason you are not getting ASUS RT-N56U which costs much less than N66U and has dual-band, gigabit LAN and two USB ports.

I got an open box RT-N56U from newegg (30 day no questions returns) for $60. The out of the box asus firmware was not stable as I had to restart the router every day but once I put the open source firmware [google.com]this thing has been rocksteady. The router has been up past 8 days and I have downloaded over 100GB of stuff from newsnet the past week!
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#48
Using this router with DD-WRT and it works wonderfully on 2.4 and 5GHz. I am using guest wifi multiplexing, dynamic dns and local dns resolution and it has been rock solid. I recently updated to the latest release and have experience no issues (or improvements).

DD-WRT v24-sp2 (02/11/13) std
(SVN revision 20675)

I upgraded from the WRT-160Nv3 which is functionally equivalent to the E1000, on which I ran DD-WRT.
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#49
Quote from schezwan View Post :
And the connection type is??????
http://www.tp-link.com/us/product...TL-WDR3600
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#50
I've tried 2 TP-Link routers in the last 2 years and neither of them lasted long.
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#51
I am new to router technology development........

what's the fundamental difference between G series and N series routers?

I have an old Linksys router as well as Verizon Westell FiOS device and both are G series devices. Both devices tend to give almost 50% of speed (at approx. 15 to 20 feet away from router) on wireless compare to what I get on ethernet. I tried to change channel band for both routers and that did not help as well. In order to get wireless speed close to wired, device must be within 5 feets range. Will N series router help much?
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#52
Quote from BMFPitt View Post :
I've tried 2 TP-Link routers in the last 2 years and neither of them lasted long.
CISCO / Linksys is best
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#53
Does anyone have any experience with the USB ports? Specifically, can I hang a HDD off it and back up every PC in my house to the drive via the router. I ask this b/c for my case a 25.00 router works just as good s a 150.00 router. Each time I have had problems with dropped connections it turnedout to be a bad cat5 wire fromrouter to modem or the Virus software and an occasional stale ip, so I see a lot of discussions about range and software I have yet to see anyone mention print servers or hard drivesor the use of the USB ports. TIA.
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#54
I just got a refurb airport extreme for $90 but this router seems to have all the same features. How does it compare and should I return it and buy this to save some cash?
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#55
Quote from dealmonkey View Post :
So its safe to say for a reliable router that you dont want worry about using 3rd party firmware, the Asus is the way to go? (Granted its 4x the price)
Even if I had the Asus router I would still put a third party firmware on it. Asus routers have in general been great for me because I slapped the third party on there.

Quote from Tnyc View Post :
According to one of the reviews, yes you can configure the router to disable one of the bands. The 5Ghz is usually the sucky band that people might want to disable it.
Quote from Tnyc View Post :
Well I meant the 5Ghz sucks in its current form (wireless N) due to the short range and other issues. It will be MUCH better implimented with the coming AC format/routers. I'm still tempted to get this router and once they thoroughly improve on the AC format, I will jump on that and abandon wireless N routers all together.
You'd have to be a numbnuts to disable 5Ghz. There's no reason not to use it and absolutely none of my neighbors have started running 5Ghz so it's open and clear and fast. Yes, the transmission distance isn't as far, but as long as you connect at all, it's very likely going ot be faster than 2.4Ghz.


Quote from schezwan View Post :
What type of connection are the antennas? I'd like to connect a cable for an outdoor mounted antenna. Anyone have experience with this routers antennas and connection type?
Watch out for your cable length and signal attenuation. You can't just hook up a 20ft cable to the back and expect results. Typically outdoor antennas are tied into the router in an outdoor enclosure and the cable is no more than 1 foot.

Quote from pioneercom View Post :
CISCO / Linksys is best
Yeah that's why Cisco is selling Linksys right.


I got this router in the last sale and it's been incredible with OpenWRT. I no longer have Skype latency issues. My last set of devices would kill skype for any network transfer or any download. Haven't had any issues yet. Just this past weekend I had three downloads running, one network transfer to the NAS, and the roomy was streaming netflix in HD, not a single issue.
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#56
Quote from sbx007 View Post :
Does anyone have any experience with the USB ports? Specifically, can I hang a HDD off it and back up every PC in my house to the drive via the router. I ask this b/c for my case a 25.00 router works just as good s a 150.00 router. Each time I have had problems with dropped connections it turnedout to be a bad cat5 wire fromrouter to modem or the Virus software and an occasional stale ip, so I see a lot of discussions about range and software I have yet to see anyone mention print servers or hard drivesor the use of the USB ports. TIA.
In theory you can do it but I wouldn't advise it. The USB connection is slow and the security minimal. You are much better off attaching the drive to one of the PCs and sharing fom there to backup to. Haven't tried the print server.
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#57
I have no interest either for installing another parties firmware. I just want to turn it on, set a password, and be done with it.

Is there any router out there that "DDWRT/TOMATO" ENTHUSIAST would recommend that would meet this criteria? I also have 2 machines with "B" antenna's but the remaining 7 devices are all "N" capable.

Please tell me there is one such device. This forum is my only hope. Smilie

Quote from AaronDotNET View Post :
I've had this router for about two months now and it has worked great. Signal reaches all the way from the basement to the upstairs. The Gigabit ports have held up well when having about ten people over for a LAN party. My wife can watch Netflix while I play games online. My one complaint would be the WPS button is hit and miss. Sometimes it connects laptops, sometimes it doesn't. So I usually just enter the password stuff manually.

I haven't installed DD-WRT or Tomato or whatever. I honestly don't see the point of going through that trouble. The stock firmware seems to work fine for me and the TP-Link interface is easy to use but still gives access to some advanced options. Honestly, why does every thread on a router deal have to go on and on about installing the 3rd party firmwares?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#58
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?
I got the asus 56u, an older model for $100. It works really well, surprisingly. I stream Netflix, hulu every night; fast forwarding etc. is quick. Also my range increased. Like you, the $170 price tag just not justifiable. 56u is a good option if that's the case.

I was stuck with a dlink for 3 years before. I wouldn't even touch the cheap routers anymore.
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Last edited by hardcoremofo February 19, 2013 at 08:09 AM
#59
Quote from sbx007 View Post :
Does anyone have any experience with the USB ports? Specifically, can I hang a HDD off it and back up every PC in my house to the drive via the router. I ask this b/c for my case a 25.00 router works just as good s a 150.00 router. Each time I have had problems with dropped connections it turnedout to be a bad cat5 wire fromrouter to modem or the Virus software and an occasional stale ip, so I see a lot of discussions about range and software I have yet to see anyone mention print servers or hard drivesor the use of the USB ports. TIA.
Im in the same boat. I want to see if i can attach a hard drive to the USB ports so I can back up my Macs with Time Machine. I'm still trying to find a definitive answer if it will work with this router though.
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#60
Quote from AaronDotNET View Post :
I haven't installed DD-WRT or Tomato or whatever. I honestly don't see the point of going through that trouble. ... Honestly, why does every thread on a router deal have to go on and on about installing the 3rd party firmwares?
It has been solid for me with the latest stock firmware as well.

3rd party firmware have long been so much superior to router stock firmware that it has been a no-brainer to use them. It is slowly changing as the 3rd party fimware have plateaued in features and stock firmware is catching up.

But these TP-Links in particular get overzealous promotion from OpenWRT fanbois because for a change they get to gloat over the DD-WRT given the respective states of development. It is like a football fan thing. Smilie
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