Need router recommendation

spacediver

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I live in a house with 6 of us sharing a connection, and we're spread through three floors. Our (cable modem) connection is 35/3 (mbits) and we're using a Linksys WRT5GL with Tomato. It's a solid router, and with Tomato I'm able to monitor bandwidth and set up QOS. I'm connected with ethernet to the router, but everyone else is wireless.

I'm the only one that gets to enjoy the full speed of the connection, and I suspect that this is due to the router being out of date relative to newer standards/speeds. Also, one of the tenants here who lives upstairs has unreliable connectivity, due to the distance and/or wall interference from router.

So I'm looking to upgrade to a modern router, and could use some advice.

I think simultaneous dual band is the way to go, and I also would like to be able to install custom firmware such as tomato or DD-WRT. My most pressing needs are bandwidth monitoring (for entire network and/or individual ips, and the ability to set up QOS).

I'm not sure I need much else in a router, so I'm trying to avoid paying for features that are of no value.

I'll be purchasing from Canada Computers, but am also open to buying one online. I'm also open to buying a wifi extender or two if necessary.

Does anyone have any advice?

thanks!
 

diizzy

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http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=27_1046_1047&item_id=050695
http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=27_1046_1047&item_id=063780 (make sure it's v2)

Would however recommend this one if 11n is enough:
http://www.ncix.com/detail/tp-link-n600-wireless-dual-band-ff-77455-1251.htm

The 11ac model (dunno if its v2 though)
http://www.ncix.com/detail/tp-link-archer-c7-ac1750-dual-1c-91525-1251.htm

They run fine using OpenWRT and most likely DD-WRT but you have to look it up by yourself.
//Danne
 

spacediver

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thanks, those are useful starting points to learn more. I'll have to do some more reading to figure out whether 11n is enough.
 

dandragonrage

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For 6 people, 11N is likely not enough, though I guess if you actually have good things to say about the WRT54GL (which I would have agreed with... 10 years ago), you might not mind it.

My recommendation is the Asus RT-AC66U or RT-AC68U. They have a version of Tomato. Some people run DD-WRT on those or on a Netgear Nighthawk or something but DD-WRT is crap. OpenWRT is good though I don't think those Asus models support it.
 

spacediver

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thanks dandragonrage,

those models are quite a bit more expensive than the 11ac model linked to above (the TP-LINK AC1750 Archer C7). What would the Asus offer that the TP-Link doesn't?

I am definitely set on 11ac, btw.
 

diizzy

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@ dandragonrage?
Hmm? What makes you say that? You still have dual radios so serving 6 devices isn't an issue at all...

@spacediver
Nothing as it's closed source so all third party firmwares are just "hacks" on the vendor provided one whereas the Archer C7 v2 is fully supported as an open source device.

//Danne
 

devman

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@ dandragonrage?

@spacediver
Nothing as it's closed source so all third party firmwares are just "hacks" on the vendor provided one whereas the Archer C7 v2 is fully supported as an open source device.

//Danne

I bought an Archer C7 v2 recently to use as an AP. I'm not so sure I'd say "fully supported", there are ongoing issues with 802.11ac support.

https://dev.openwrt.org/ticket/16589
 

diizzy

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Apparently they've included wrong/old firmware in trunk, that will be addressed shortly.
//Danne
 

spacediver

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So, through an extremely unforeseen and fortuitous turn of events, I am now in possession of a brand new Linksys EA6900 AC1900 router. Is there anything I should be wary about?

It's not the WRT model, does this mean I'll have issues installing custom firmware? I can also return this, so if the model won't fit my needs, I'll get the Archer.
 
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diizzy

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There's no third party support for this model as far as I can tell at all so you're stuck with the vendor provided firmware. If it's sufficient to your needs I do not know.
//Danne
 
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SticKx911

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those models are quite a bit more expensive than the 11ac model linked to above (the TP-LINK AC1750 Archer C7). What would the Asus offer that the TP-Link doesn't?

May be related to me having a refurb, but I thought I would chime in. I have a tp-link that I used stock and open firmware on and I get way slower speeds than I should (when less than 15 ft away and no walls). I have a lot of wireless devices and if I get a handful of things going it crashes, and a few things just wont connect to it all. I had to disable dual band or the wifi would just stop transmitting data multiple times a day. It would stay "connected" but be useless. I paid like $25 for it, so I can deal with the downsides. If I needed something reliable and 24/7 stable, I would not recomend it.
 

SticKx911

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Sounds like you have a bad device and/or poor settings.
//Danne

I'd go with device because I've gone through pretty much every config I could (ddwrt and stock) and this average stability is the best I can achieve. Still better than the very old and (pointlessly) overclocked wrt54g it replaced so it tides me over until I can spring for a better one, but since it's a tp-link factory refurb I still give them some of the blame over the bad unit.
(And no, I never OC'd this one. I modded that 54g to have active cooling back in the day and beat it to death over the years. the many war driving escapades of a young adolescent, so it was just time to move on. haha)
 
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devman

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Apparently they've included wrong/old firmware in trunk, that will be addressed shortly.
//Danne

Hopefully. That particular issue has zombied a few times already, there is also a thread going regarding performance degradation in 3x3 operation compared to stock firmware https://forum.openwrt.org/viewtopic.php?pid=252476.

I have faith that these will get ironed out, eventually. The issues are probably all interrelated to the ath10k driver.
 

spacediver

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The speeds in that thread are way above what I'd need (our connection is 35 Mb down). I suppose if we were using the router to transfer files from one machine to another it might be an issue, but if all we're using it for is connecting to the internet, should be fine right?
 

spacediver

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Set up the router two or three weeks ago (the Archer C7 version 2). Installed openWRT and LuCi QOS. Everything works like a charm - I'm very impressed.

thanks for all who helped here!
 

wdeydwondrer

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Have a WDR3600 running ddwrt and loving it. For the price, this is pretty decent hardware. Not getting the Asus name plastered on it, but I do get ACTUAL external dual band antennae (easily upgraded!).

If you use the 2.4 spectrum, a lot of the archer units have the 2.4 radios on the board and the externals are only 5 gigs. Something to be aware of even though their marketing says the antennae is dual band, the 2.4 radios aren't hooked to them on the board.
 
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