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 Post subject: Re: Router Died
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:07 pm 
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I have just upgraded from a dlink DIR-655 to linksys E4200. Not because the DIR-655 died or anything -- it was working great. But because the DIR-655 is going to move into the detached garage/guest house for wireless access there, and the E4200 is for in the house. So far so good with the E4200 ... and it has a lot to live up to, as the DIR-655 was one of the most reliable wireless routers I've ever had.

I'm running stock firmware on it, and wish it had more features (from having run DD-WRT at a my vacation cabin)... really missing the bandwidth monitor from DD-WRT. But it looks like from the chatter on DD-WRT forums that the DD-WRT builds for this router are not quite ready for prime-time. In fact, that seems to be the story for DD-WRT at the moment, unless you have it running on a really old router (I have it on a WRT54G at the cabin -- very reliable). Last fall I purchased one of the Buffalo routers just because it had DD-WRT on it from the get-go. In short, it was a POS - would constantly drop wireless connections. In order to make it useful, I had to load what Buffalo calls their "user friendly" firmware. Missing many of the DD-WRT features, but at least the wireless works.

I'm kind of bummed that DD-WRT seems like a work-in-progress at this point, because when it works, it is really nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Router Died
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2011 10:58 am 
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while pondering if I want to install DD-WRT on my Ageing WRT-610N I ran across this:

Unstable WLAN (especially when wl1 radio is enabled)
It seems that the WRT610n rev 1 and 2 have some issues when the wl1 (5ghz) interface is enabled, which have been experienced from r13064 to r14929 so far. When wl1 is enabled and WPA is activated, the router randomly disconnects its clients.


This is exactly what is going on with mine. So now its less of a my modem is dying and more of Crap I bought junk...


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 Post subject: Re: Router Died
PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:41 pm 
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Meh - all access points are pretty much crap when it comes to router/firewall functionality. Yeah, you can flash some of 'em with alternate firmware but it's still not ideal.

I've been running pfsense for years. It's an appliance install of BSD Unix with a nice web GUI. Fairly plug and play. Setting up firewall rules can be a bit hairy at first, but there are some good tutorials online. If your willing to tinker a little, you get a very fast and powerful system that can give you all kinds of extra functionality. I like the bandwidth tracking - and there are several add-on packages (one click install) that give you different ways to slice and dice your traffic.

I used to use an embedded fanless PC = a Cyrix x86 clone, but I noticed here after Comcast bumped our speed I wasn't seeing all of it. I snagged an HP Micrososerver from MacMall (!!) a couple months back, scored an Intel based two port SuperMicro PCI express server NIC for $40 off ebay and turned that into my pfSense firewall. Yup! My old box was the bottleneck - I've gotten sustained downloads of almost 80 mbps in the evening! I also really like having my router/firewall separate from my wifi. If I were really paranoid, I'd put the wifi on it's own port/subnet off the firewall and segment stuff out - but I'm not that paranoid 8)

My Apple Airport Extreme is just in bridge mode - and as such it works fine. No DHCP, no firewall - nothing but passing packets from my wired network to the wifi. It also does a way better job at printer and hard drive sharing than any linksys or netgear routers I have used in the past - but not as big a deal now that I have my WHS.

If I were to get a new access point today, it would be a Ubiquity Unifi - the management software is sweet and the radios are top notch. And it's designed to be ceiling mounted which would work great in my living room - would look like a cool smoke detector. I might wait for the Unifi Pro to get 5Ghz back, but to be honest for what little I do with wifi, the 2.x Ghz bands are fine. Heck, the Unifi Mini is probably more than adequate for my needs and those are $60. Indeed, I think I just talked myself into it. I will wait for the Unifi Pro to ship - hopefully when it's released the other units will shift down a little in pricing - not that the current unifi units are expensive. And if you have a big house or property and need more than one access point to cover it, I can't recommend the Unifi units enough. The management app they come with is top notch - I installed a three pack at a non-profit I support and they are working fantastically. Yeah, they don't have the fancy near-celluar hand off of the Cisco/Ruckus/etc. systems, but then again a three pack of long range access points with the management software included was $360 compared to a minimum of $5K plus for the enterprise class systems.

Finally, if your on a Mac this is an awesome site survey tool - and it's free: http://www.netspotapp.com/ Dunno if something similar exists for Windows - my Windows box is a desktop and my laptop is a Mac :)


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