difference between a $60 router and $300

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Dan, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Dan

    Dan [H]ardness Supreme

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    So right now i have a netgear n300 and it seems to be getting inconsistant and ill need to reboot it randomly. Its 10/100/1000 on the ethernet jacks and I dont really use wifi too much in my home. If i were to pick up a blackhawk or something It wouldnt make a difference in my hardwired connection correct? Its mostly all just wifi speed + distance?
     
  2. charold

    charold Limp Gawd

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    Those things were junk, I've had/seen quite a few and none ever turned out reliable. They start out fine, but usually after a year they just started getting really flaky. I got a nighthawk, and the wireless capability far outstrips it, its significantly more stable, and has a lot more features to boot. I use an external switch, and a couple of the internal switchports (Gb link speeds), and all works just fine for what I need (if not a bit overkill).

    I ended up getting an ASA 5505 on the cheap though, so I'm really only using the R7000 as a switch/WAP.

    A lot of people recommend the TP-Link routers which are significantly less, but I always wonder about the future support (then again that netgear stopped getting love early on). I think the dedicated devices are just the way to go though, thats what I do at work, and starting to do at home.
     
  3. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I don't know if it's an issue on newer routers, but this sounds like something that's usually caused by torrents.
    So... do you torrent?
     
  4. Ocellaris

    Ocellaris Ginger @le, an alcoholic's best friend.

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    It doesn't matter what the user is doing on it, the router shouldn't implode due to perfectly normal use. I know plenty of people that run Torrent apps 24/7 and they don't complain about routers rebooting or anything because of it.
     
  5. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    plenty of routers have limited connection tables that torrenting fills up.
    extremely common with stock firmwares.

    Well.. WAS extremely common.

    and OP stated he had to reboot it; not that it reboot itself randomly. At least, that's what he wrote.
     
  6. Dan

    Dan [H]ardness Supreme

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    I dont care about my existing router, Its time i upgrade anyway. No, I dont/havent torrented in a year or 2 honestly.
    The post was really asking if its worth buying a nice 150-300 dollar router when I only have 2 PC's hardwired to it and maybe 2-3 wireless devices. I want to know if the better router will give me better HARDWIRED speeds, i could careless about wifi speeds. I know its 10/100/1000 but would a better router get me a better speed at all? i doubt it right?
     
  7. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    If you're mostly worried about wired usage, then 300 dollars buys you nothing. I'd argue 300 dollars is insane to spend on an all in one solution regardless, but for wired no.

    You just need something that is reliable, and $300 hardly buys you reliable in routers. Plenty of high priced routers out there that were absolute junk from the go.

    If you're just looking from some consumer junk (cause it is all really junk), I don't really have anything to offer because I would never. I'm just answering your question about if it's worth spending hundreds when you're primarily worried about wired reliability/speed. Unequivocally no.
     
  8. hity645

    hity645 [H]ardness Supreme

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    The more expensive routers are more about WiFi connections; speed/distance/strength etc. I bought a N900 and only have one device hardwired. Everything else is Wifi. 1000sqft apartment and I have a great signal everywhere, even across the street. The most I'll spend on a router is around $100.
     
  9. gimp

    gimp [H]ardForum Junkie

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    you're best bet is to check out the reviews on smallnetbuilder.com
    They do a ton of bandwidth testing on routers; LAN to LAN, LAN to WAN, WAN to LAN, Wireless to LAN, WAN to wireless.

    From reviews I remember reading some time back, the more expensive routers were not always the best performing routers.

    Currently the Netgear R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 has the best WAN to LAN throughput

    It looks to run just shy of $200 on Amazon

    To see wireless throughput, you'll need to select which wireless frequency you are using
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  10. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    Its not always price driven. A lot of consumer equipment tries to jam in a bunch of flash and fancy features that are partly implemented or just crap.

    A $50 Edgerouter X is better than most $300+ consumer routers.
     
  11. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I gave up on consumer grade routers over a year ago now.

    Every one I had would last about a year and then start flaking out. Wireless range sucked AND they would just stop working and have to be rebooted every few days.

    The last one I had was a high end Netgear. About a month after it was out of warranty it started messing up. I took it apart and found that the heatsink that was supposed to keep the chip cool was a joke.

    It was mounted by a single through the board solder post. The solder had cracked which caused the heatsink to move off of the chip and caused it to fry.

    Not only that, but the heatsink was not even big enough to cover more than about 50% of the chip the way it was mounted off to one side.

    After that last one I said screw it and decided to build my own.

    I started off with an old single sore machine with a wireless card and a dual port Gigabit NIC and ran ClearOS. It never gave me any problems but the wireless range was not that great.

    Instead of buying some high gain antennas I ended up picking up an older Cisco AP off of Ebay and using that for wireless. The range went from really poor to I could connect outside the house almost all the way to the main road.

    I have since changed the computer and switched over to Sophos UTM. Much easier to do the initial setup but the firewall is just so crazy locked down by default that a lot of rules have to be made to let through what needs to get through.

    It also does virus scanning, intrusion prevention, etc. Way more than I really need.. but for the small amount I spent on a dual NIC and an AP (less than $100) it can't be beat.

    So basically... consumer routers suck and are a waste of time and money.
     
  12. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

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    @ cyclone3d
    If you're doing it wrong yes they do, otherwise they work great...
    * Looks at his running 180d+ (VPN and a lot of nice things)
     
  13. Raekwon

    Raekwon [H]ard|Gawd

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    The EdgeRouter X is a great choice, and easy to setup for most home users. I've got one with an Aruba AP and I couldn't be happier. You could try pairing it with one of Ubiquiti's APs and I'm sure you'd be happy also, and it would be <$200 total depending on AP.
     
  14. farscapesg1

    farscapesg1 2[H]4U

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    Personally.. I'm in the "never again" camp for off the shelf wireless routers. I've had several over the years and always ran into one issue or another. For example, my last two were a Netgear WNDR3700v2 which replaced a Dlink DIR-655. Both were pretty well recommended at the time of their release, and both were nothing but issues for me. The DLink required a power cycle about once every 2 weeks, starting about 3 months after purchase. Basically, wireless devices could see the wireless network, but would fail to connect until it was restarted. The Netgear had similar issues where every couple weeks even though the wireless devices said they were connected.. no packets would get transferred. Unfortunately, that one also seemed to lock up the physical switch ports about once a month until a hard reset. And that's not even mentioning the horrible signal strength that had issues penetration even one wall.

    Since I run a VMware lab at home, I gave up and virtualized the router using Untangle and tried just using the Netgear as an AP and that worked better. It stopped locking the physical ports up at least, but of course I still had the signal strength issues and the random wireless lockup issues. To get a stronger signal upstairs, I used the DLink as another AP with the same SSID, but found out that when wireless device quit working, figuring out which AP it was trying to connect to was a pain. Gave up and set them with different SSIDs and that helped because when one router locked I could switch to the other network and keep working while the first was reset.

    Fast forward to today and the Untangle version I was using didn't support VLANs and I wanted to simplify my home setup anyways for when I am away and the family isn't VMWare savvy :) Went with an edgerouter lite and a single UAP-LR and it's been rock stable for over a month with a stronger signal through the entire house (plus the entire back yard and 2 houses down the street). I don't miss the "faster" N600 speed of the Netgear because honestly I never could get that speed in the first place unless sitting in the room with the router itself.

    Waiting on the new Ubiquity AC APs before finalizing my config/layout and getting my modem/router/AP combo all on UPS to provide wireless Internet for 1-2 hours of complete power outage. Honestly, if I need to install OpenWRT/DD-WRT/Gargoyle/etc. on a consumer device, might has well go DIY or "prosumer" like Ubiquiti or Mikrotek and learn something anyways.
     
  15. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

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    I've used several routers just fine (OpenWRT) for years so I highly disagree...

    Asus WL-500G Premium (v1 and v2)
    Planex MZK-W04NU
    TP-Link TL-WR1043ND
    Netgear WNDR3700 (v1 and v2)
    Western Digital MyNet N600 and N750
    TP-Link TL-WDR3600/4300
    D-Link DIR-860L (HW: B1)

    Given the low memory on the Asus, Planex and TL-WR1043ND they could be a bit flakey at times unless you did some tweaking.
    That said, I do find the ERL highly overrated... (I do own one)
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015
  16. trick0502

    trick0502 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I am also done with all in one routers. I'm running a erl and ap-lr. Waiting on the AC-pro to upgrade. For about $180 I spent, I felt like it was the best way to go.

    I feel like I have a high number of wifi devices (2 iPhones, iPad, win tab, wii, bluray, tv, 2 laptops, chromecast, Apple TV), and the list keeps growing! Add in all of the wired devices plus torrents, my old router couldn't keep up.
     
  17. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    You'd do well to take heed of the advice to just bail on the idea of buying any router that has ever been or ever will be sold at best buy, or could even possibly sit on a shelf at best buy.
     
  18. DouglasteR

    DouglasteR Limp Gawd

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    I am becoming more and more a Ubiquiti guy.

    Before:
    - Best Asus Router/AP - Lots of problems with Wifi and reboots. Eventually bought a UnifiAC and start using the Asus just as router.
    - Still have random strange problems with reboots, spikes etc.

    After:
    - Bought an EdgeRouterLite and tied it together with the UnifiAC and really dont have any more problems.

    Everything just works and the ppl, on their forums are always nice and patient.

    I wish i had money for an Ubiquite Switch full poe :(
     
  19. Grentz

    Grentz [H]ard as it Gets

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    The biggest hurdle with Ubiquiti is learning their logic to setting up and implementing things. It is a bit different with the software controller, no web guis on the APs, etc. but once you get it....its AWESOME.

    I run a centralized controller for quite a few clients and all I have to do on site is point the AP at the controller URL, hit adopt and BOOM it gets its config and is ready to rock.
     
  20. diizzy

    diizzy 2[H]4U

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    Keep in mind that they're still using consumer hardware just like everything else discussed, it's just the software that's different...
    Magically (apparently to some here) the consumer hardware mentioned above works just fine even for offices (VPN etc).