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Pulling the trigger on a new router?

LiquidRetro 12,661 4,824 August 27, 2015 at 08:41 AM More Newegg Deals
I currently have a WISP (Wireless ISP) that is giving me some troubles, but I also think some of my troubles might be router related too. I have some testing via wired, and directly the POE injector and found some differences but not a ton. I have a Asus RT-N16 that’s a little over 5 years old and has been running a build of the Shibby Tomato firmware forever. It’s generally pretty reliable but wireless performance has never been great, especially when streaming video. I have tried tweaking settings and had it to the point of mostly working. However after 5 years and what seems like an increasing amount of trouble I am about ready to throw in the towel and replace the hardware and relocate it a bit by moving it to a little more central location in the basement.

I mostly have 2.4ghz devices right now, and a rough estimate is under 10 wifi devices most days in a ranch style house approximately 1800sq ft.

My list of want’s for the new router is improved wireless performance. 5ghz in my neighborhood is not being used from a scan with my phone, so having that is a plus at least for the devices that can use it. Improved 2.4ghz is important too. I would also like to setup a VPN server on the router for when I travel. I don’t plan to use it a lot but it would be good to have on hotel wifi etc. So a dynamicDNS like service on it would be good too since my IP will change periodically. USB Support is probably good but not critical. I should probably mess with this some on a new router with decent performance. 3rd party firmware support is a plus for me. While I generally don’t use all the extra features its nice to have, and the security tends to be better it seems.

So what I have been looking at.
Asus AC68u (Or P Variant)
Right now the refurbished version of this router is on sale for $120 for the P variant. This is a good deal as it’s normally $180. Not a huge fan of refurbished but for the savings ok. Performance for the price this one might be too hard to pass up. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Pro...228&cm_sp=
This router ranks favorably all over, especially over at smallnetbuilder.com in the AC1900 category http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/to...900/rev8/6 3rd party firmware of various flavors is available and seems to work well. Router has beamforming although most tests of the technology says it doesn’t matter much.

TP-Link Archer C9 or C7
Money is about the same but for a new router. The Wirecutter loves the C7 as it’s their top pic. SmallNetbuilder was not a huge fan of the C9. It’s performance just was not as good as it’s peers. http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wi...ed?start=2 For the C9 it doesn’t look like 3rd party firmware is as good, C7 has pretty good support and seems to be the crowd favorite for the under $100 price range.

The Google Router
It’s expensive but it’s features look tempting. Lack of lan ports while frustrating is easy to fix with a switch. Hard to jump on board with nothing being tested much yet.

Thoughts/comments/other suggestions?

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#2
I have the C7, actually gave up a WDR3600 to my mother and I still think that was a better device w/ OpenWRT. C7's 5Ghz has been reportedly wonky for a while on 14.XX, there is a 15.XX on RC3, but I'll wait until full release. Performance wise it was identical, possibly even worse on 5Ghz than the WDR3600. Also for some reason WiFi goes to crap whenever anyone with an iphone 6 comes over, no joke. If you are planning on stock then ignore this.

Wait for the reviews on the google router, I am also very intrigued by it. If it has CoDel support and great reception I might jump.

Asus is too expensive IMO, but to each their own. You're basically paying 2X the cost for some slight improvements.
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#3
Quote from brbubba View Post :
I have the C7, actually gave up a WDR3600 to my mother and I still think that was a better device w/ OpenWRT. C7's 5Ghz has been reportedly wonky for a while on 14.XX, there is a 15.XX on RC3, but I'll wait until full release. Performance wise it was identical, possibly even worse on 5Ghz than the WDR3600. Also for some reason WiFi goes to crap whenever anyone with an iphone 6 comes over, no joke. If you are planning on stock then ignore this.

Wait for the reviews on the google router, I am also very intrigued by it. If it has CoDel support and great reception I might jump.

Asus is too expensive IMO, but to each their own. You're basically paying 2X the cost for some slight improvements.
Ya I would agree the new Asus products are too expensive, but refurbed you think $120 is too much for the 68P? Retail is like $180
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#4
This unit from asus is 76 after 20 rebate.
http://www.amazon.com/Dual-band-W...op?ie=UTF8
Gigabit...and ac1200...Usb 3.0 port on front...built in asus vpn.
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#5
Can't recommend the Asus AC68 enough. Pricey but worth it. Recommend Merlin's firmware for it which is just a modified stock. Solid and has all the features you need. If you have t-mobile post-paid you can get one for free..
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Ya I would agree the new Asus products are too expensive, but refurbed you think $120 is too much for the 68P? Retail is like $180
Well compare the best deal on the C7 with the best deal on the Asus, that would apples to apples IMO. Time is on your side though, I would definitely wait on the full ONHub review.
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Quote from EyeBaller View Post :
Can't recommend the Asus AC68 enough. Pricey but worth it. Recommend Merlin's firmware for it which is just a modified stock. Solid and has all the features you need. If you have t-mobile post-paid you can get one for free..
Not a Tmobile customer unfortunately. Glad to year you like the review and the merlin firmware.

Quote from brbubba View Post :
Well compare the best deal on the C7 with the best deal on the Asus, that would apples to apples IMO. Time is on your side though, I would definitely wait on the full ONHub review.
The more I read the more I learn. The C7 is a MIPS based processor which has bad VPN performance. The C9 and the ASUS are both ARM based which have a lot better vpn performance.

I have not read anything about the OnHub having VPN capability really. I still don't like the idea it only has 1 LAN port even though it can be fixed with a switch. I wonder how it will compare with external antenna units? It's also more expensive. My router is in the basement storage area so I don't really care about what it looks like. The software looks nice though. Your right time is on my side and maybe I should wait a bit to see. Not in dire need just tired of my problems.
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Last edited by LiquidRetro August 27, 2015 at 11:45 AM
#8
If you want custom firmware, something Atheros based like the C7 gives you the most options thanks to the quality open source drivers. With Broadcom based devices like the Asus you're more limited but you still have good options. I've also been running an rt-n16 forever, and I love how hard it is to brick.

To run stock firmware, the Google router might be your best bet short of an Apple Airport. Those are probably the only companies I'd trust to maintain and keep secure their stock firmware. Asus has been a disaster in this regard, and I don't have much more confidence in tp-link. I'd wait for it to be out for a while though, as there will undoubtedly be some issues to iron out on launch.
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#9
Quote from quotidian View Post :
If you want custom firmware, something Atheros based like the C7 gives you the most options thanks to the quality open source drivers. With Broadcom based devices like the Asus you're more limited but you still have good options. I've also been running an rt-n16 forever, and I love how hard it is to brick.

To run stock firmware, the Google router might be your best bet short of an Apple Airport. Those are probably the only companies I'd trust to maintain and keep secure their stock firmware. Asus has been a disaster in this regard, and I don't have much more confidence in tp-link. I'd wait for it to be out for a while though, as there will undoubtedly be some issues to iron out on launch.
The broadcom chips are better for VPN from what I have read, thats part of the reason I am leaning that direction. I think the 68U/P is my favorite at the moment. Pick up a refurb for the value or maybe one of the tmobile ones. I agree about the firmware/security. Thats part of the reason why I like the 3rd party stuff so much. It's hardly ever effected in these security trouble and if it is, someone updates it within a couple of days.

I ended up trying to move my old router. Not sure why it took me 5 years to try it but it seems to have helped. I think i'll try it through the weekend and see where I am.

What are you running on your N-16?
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Last edited by LiquidRetro August 28, 2015 at 09:24 AM
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The broadcom chips are better for VPN from what I have read, thats part of the reason I am leaning that direction. I think the 68U/P is my favorite at the moment. Pick up a refurb for the value or maybe one of the tmobile ones. I agree about the firmware/security. Thats part of the reason why I like the 3rd party stuff so much. It's hardly ever effected in these security trouble and if it is, someone updates it within a couple of days.
I don't think it's going to blow the C7 out of the water, i.e., show me the numbers. How many tunnels are you planning on running here? If you want VPN performance build your own pfsense box w/ a cypto accelerator. Either DIY or get something from mini-box.com. Or if you have a file server you could run the VPN from that.
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Last edited by brbubba August 28, 2015 at 10:48 AM
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
The broadcom chips are better for VPN from what I have read, thats part of the reason I am leaning that direction. I think the 68U/P is my favorite at the moment.
Ah, yeah, I didn't realize quite how much of a difference in CPU power there was between those two routers. From a practical perspective, getting a good dual core ARM CPU is probably worth a lot more than getting a chipset with good open source networking drivers. You really only lose OpenWRT by going with Broadcom.

Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
What are you running on your N-16?
I've run a bunch of different firmwares, but ended up the same as you: Shibby Tomato (MIPSR2-131-K26-AIO). It's been working well for me. OpenWRT is a bad option due to the lousy broadcom support, DD-WRT hasn't released in forever (although they do seem to be coalescing towards a stable release), and Merlin has dropped the RT-N16 from his AsusWRT fork.
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Reviews of Onhub have hit... According to 2 reviews It appears that range is very good, possibly the best yet of any home router. Although in another review the AC68U beat it on transfer speeds by quite a lot at a "normal" working distance. It's also unclear what future features will be built in which could be much of the value add.
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#13
Quote from brbubba View Post :
Reviews of Onhub have hit... According to 2 reviews It appears that range is very good, possibly the best yet of any home router. Although in another review the AC68U beat it on transfer speeds by quite a lot at a "normal" working distance. It's also unclear what future features will be built in which could be much of the value add.
Thanks ill have to read up on those tonight.
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Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
Thanks ill have to read up on those tonight.
Looks like Ubiquiti just revamped their lineup, might be worth looking at if you are willing to spend the $$. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/20...to-review/
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Quote from brbubba View Post :
Reviews of Onhub have hit... According to 2 reviews It appears that range is very good, possibly the best yet of any home router. Although in another review the AC68U beat it on transfer speeds by quite a lot at a "normal" working distance. It's also unclear what future features will be built in which could be much of the value add.
Do you have a link for the onhub?
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