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

Discombobulated 14,769 97,915 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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#61
Could never bring myself to buy anything from this manufacturer. Got an access point from a buddy for free and it was the worst. Felt cheap and had to be rebooted several times a day.
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Joined Jan 2004
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#62
Quote from drawz View Post :
No Tomato for Atheros-based routers, such as this one.
Tomato USB has not been updated for a few years now.

I read that nobody wants to open the source code the 5Ghz. Why is that?

How does this router compare to the Linksys E3000?

Can DDW-WRT support alot of DDNS? I need this, not just 4 of the popular DNS.
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#63
Thank OP!
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#64
Quote from WingsOfF View Post :
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
I've been a tomato fanboy for years, but I'll go to whatever works well. I think everyone is getting a boner over OpenWRT due to the CoDel support, which is very very impressive.
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#65
Quote from blochead21 View Post :
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.
No, there is no support for Time Machine from the Router in terms of Time Machine discovery, etc. It is just available as a mountable drive from the router. It can be mounted on a Mac and used as a Time Machine Drive but you will have problems if you want to do so from multiple Macs and/or also want to use it for non Macs. This is what NAS systems are for. People seem to want to convert their routers to be a NAS which is not their strongpoint.

The only good usage for the USB port in routers, in my opinion, is for a drive that can be used by third party firmware add-ons such as stand-alone torrent downloads, etc.
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#66
Thanks, OP! My brother's been needing a router and bought one.
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#67
Quote from WingsOfF View Post :
No, there is no support for Time Machine from the Router in terms of Time Machine discovery, etc. It is just available as a mountable drive from the router. It can be mounted on a Mac and used as a Time Machine Drive but you will have problems if you want to do so from multiple Macs and/or also want to use it for non Macs. This is what NAS systems are for. People seem to want to convert their routers to be a NAS which is not their strongpoint.

The only good usage for the USB port in routers, in my opinion, is for a drive that can be used by third party firmware add-ons such as stand-alone torrent downloads, etc.
Can be added via third party firmware, but speeds will be kinda slow. Agree that a real NAS is the way to go.

Quote from chong67 View Post :
Tomato USB has not been updated for a few years now.

I read that nobody wants to open the source code the 5Ghz. Why is that?

How does this router compare to the Linksys E3000?

Can DDW-WRT support alot of DDNS? I need this, not just 4 of the popular DNS.
Tomato is being updated, but it's sort of confusing how to get to those updates. The core tomatousb is not update and hence the webpage is not. But there are "mods" out there that are updated regularly and add support to a lot of devices, including those with 5 GHz band support. Click on the "mods" link on the left side of the tomatousb home page for some links. Tomato Shibby mod seems to be the most popular, but Toastman is nice and has a very robust built-in QOS configuration. Wikipedia has a nice table detailing the difference between all the tomato mods. They're all version 1.28 with different build numbers, which makes it confusing regarding when it was last updated.
Note: The drivers are actually not open source, but Broadcom did release enough to enable updated tomato builds. Note that the closed source Broadcom drivers that only work with linux kernel 2.6.xx are the reason that codel is not supported on Tomato.
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#68
Isn't wireless printing also a good reason for a router with usb ports? Right now to print a document from my laptop on my wired printer, I upload the file to dropbox, go to my desktop to retrieve the file from dropbox, then print. I would love to be able to share a printer via wifi somehow. Maybe it's a lot more complicated than just plugging my printer in to this router though.
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Last edited by ruok February 19, 2013 at 08:33 AM
#69
Bought one of these during BF, this thing is junk, it lost wireless capability on the second time I turned it on.
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#70
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?
Not really...Kia has a better warranty because its owned by Hyundai.

Asus (who I love) is great if you want all the fancy features built in that ddwrt or Openwrt will give you, you are basically paying for the advanced software. So if you are afraid of flashing a diff firmware and rather have a working out-of-box product with support for said advanced software, go with the Asus, otherwise you will LOVE this router.

I bought it first time around and running OpenWRT, using a USB as root partition (have more space for more packages), I have a:

1. swap partition so I can transfer larger files without the system crashing,
2. I have a USB 3.0 (no support for 3.0 but backwards compatible to 2.0) powered Hub connected to it,
3. that powered hub has a HDD (formated with EXT4 as more efficient than NTFS) and a USB printer connected (didn't have to buy a new network/wireless bounce ) to it working with CUPS to turn the printer into a wireless printer,
4. Samba installed and sharing the HDD over the network, specially to my raspberry pi Big Grin ,
4. I also have OpenVPN installed and setup so I can remotely connect to my network over a secured connection to access my shared files on the HDD when needed.

OpenWrt is awesome, and this router for this price makes it more that worth the Asus in my opinion.

If anyone has questions on how I accomplished this or needs help let me know, don't mind helping you out. (oh look at that someone to support your newly purchased router)

Quote from chong67 View Post :
Tomato USB has not been updated for a few years now.

I read that nobody wants to open the source code the 5Ghz. Why is that?

How does this router compare to the Linksys E3000?

Responses to questions/comments:
Can DDW-WRT support alot of DDNS? I need this, not just 4 of the popular DNS.
Yes, it can. I have used OpenWRT,DDWRT, and TomatoUSB and all of these popular router firmware's support DDNS, but depends on the router and the version you are using, typically newer versions only have them (aka past year 2012/2011 builds).

Quote from ruok View Post :
Isn't wireless printing also a good reason for a router with usb ports? Right now to print a document from my laptop on my wired printer, I upload the file to dropbox, go to my desktop to retrieve the file from dropbox, then print. I would love to be able to share a printer via wifi somehow. Maybe it's a lot more complicated than just plugging my printer in to this router though.
Yes, works great with CUPS, this is exactly what I used to do, albeit I shared the files over the network instead of Dropbox. If you get OpenWRT working, then follow this simple guide to get it working for you:
http://mattie47.com/getting-cups-...n-openwrt/

Quote from intex45 View Post :
Bought one of these during BF, this thing is junk, it lost wireless capability on the second time I turned it on.
You probably just got a defective one, as quality control now-a-days sucks, so i would get it replaced. I have one from last deal was posted without any problems with either stock or custom firmware, but you HAVE to updated the firmware to the latest (stock) as i heard someone else having same problems on forums I have read.
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Last edited by stopspazzing February 19, 2013 at 08:46 AM
#71
Quote from hardcoremofo View Post :
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.
+1

I got an openbox ASUS RT-N56U from newegg for $60 and once I put the open source firmware [google.com]this thing has been rock solid! Have 3 connections wired in (PS3, Viera ST50 & Vonage) and use both bands for ipad, iphone, laptop and desktop. Love it!
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#72
Thanks OP, scored one. Repped
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#73
For anyone using dd-wrt w/ this router, do you happen to know the memory/flash capacity? Best I could find was the following link suggesting 128MB/8MB.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/view...p?p=713686

TIA
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#74
Quick question. I'm using an older Linksys wireless G router for going on about 7 years. It streams Netflix to my Bluray player without any hiccups. I can also stream video to my netbook while Netflix is running and still I have no issues. It has ran for over 2 years without having to be reset. Do I gain anything by upgrading to wireless N?

I'm paying $54 a month for my ISP so I guess my thought process is heading in the direction of upgrading my router and then stepping down a tier speed wise for my connection to save some money. Is that plausible or should I stay where I'm at?
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#75
Quote from eibgrad View Post :
For anyone using dd-wrt w/ this router, do you happen to know the memory/flash capacity? Best I could find was the following link suggesting 128MB/8MB.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/view...p?p=713686

TIA
yes 128/8 - see openwrt wiki
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