Decent dualband router

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Michael, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. Michael

    Michael
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    Essentially, we need a new router to replace the pooperhub, and it needs to be 2.4 and 5Ghz simultaneous (all my devices are 5 compatible, but unfortunately others are not).

    Aiming to spend around £50, but it is entirely flexible.

    Reliability is important, and QoS is a must. I plan to set up an NAS soon, and although this will likely be via gigabit ethernet. Anything faster than the current router, which chugs along at 2MB/sec (16Mb/sec) over cat.

    I was looking at the Asus EA N-66, but some poor reviews of the firmware have soured it slightly in my eyes.
     
  2. mickevh

    mickevh
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    It's hard to believe your router is constraining local ethernet performance - it's really rare that anyone gets ethernet wrong. Are you sure the problem isn't somewhere else (point being that a new router wouldn't fix it if so.)

    If it's just ethernet you need to "fix" a GBit switch is pretty cheap (albeit it's an extra box.)

    Are you looking for an ADSL or a cable router...?

    I've recently acquired a Western Digital "MyNET" router for the bargain price of about 23 GBP and thus far it's a complete steal. I believe the price has returned to a more normal 45 ish, but even at that price it seems a decent box...

    GBit ethernet, dual band, guest SSID, static routes (not that many will use that,) a bunch of "smart QOS" features for the ISP link for things like YouTube, Skype, etc. (though I'm not using them) NetBIOS Master Browser (nice,) uPNP, DynDNS, WPS, 2 stream 2.4GHz, 3 stream 5GHz, Short Guard Interval, USB storage (though again I'm not using it) and the form factor looks fairly robust - it's "plastic" but it doesn't "feel" cheap (though of course that's completely subjective opinion.) There's a setting to switch between "router" and "Access Point" mode if you just wanted one as a AP.

    My only criticisn thus far is that the 5GHz channel availability seems "restricted" to C36-C48 ("indoor channels") which misses out a whole bunch of 5GHz channel choice. However, to utilise these "other" 5GHz channels, AP's need to implement something called DFS to avoid any conflicts with local RADAR which obviously is an additional implementation complexity (ie cost) so I'm not overly surprised it's been omitted. Until the upcoming 802.11ac roles out, 5Ghz channel usage in the SOHO realm is much less crowded that 2.4Ghz, so I've no problem finding a channel all to myself, even with dozens of neighbours and only 4 5GHz channels to choose from. Thus far, InSSIDer says I'm the only 5GHz user in my locale.

    It's certainly a step change in functionality from a BT HomeHub 3 though I'll qualify that by saying I'm not using my router as anything more than a "traditional" router/switch/firewall/AP.

    When assessing new kit, I always like to try and get hold of the manuals before buying - it's often very revealing. Web site SmallNetBuilder is a good resource too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
  3. cjed

    cjed
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    Like mickevh I've been using some of the currently very cheap WD My Net N750 and N900 routers as additional access points. They seem to fit this role very well.

    My main ADSL router is a Netgear N750 , which has pretty much the same feature set, but cost around £100 new. It's been trouble-free for the last year or so.

    The price of the WD My Net N750 seems to have gone back up to around £40 to £50 (it was as low as £19.99), but PC world still have the WD My Net N600 (dual band, but only Fast Ethernet ports, not gigabit) for £14.99 online here.
     
  4. Michael

    Michael
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    It is just the router we need; I will set the shub to modem only mode and split from there.

    I never did get to the bottom off the low files transfer speeds. Laptop was connected to router, locked at gigabit speed, so was the HTPC, but somehow it still went slow.

    Those look like some great suggestions, and I'll have a recce when I have a few minutes.

    Restricted 5GHz channels shouldn't be a problem, as I doubt that there is even another 5GHz in use in the whole street.
    Mind you , with all the new Superhub 2's arriving...
     
  5. mickevh

    mickevh
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    There are tools such as iPerf and NetIO that you can run up on Windows PC's to test network throughput between the two. They avoid using the HDD's in the source and sink devices which are often cuplable in file transfer performance issues.
     

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