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Best 802.11n 5ghz router?

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Posted

Well my lovely isp Cox... decided to start enforcing data caps. So I need a new router to replace my beloved Apple Airport Extreme (have no issues with this). A router that does 802.11n in 5ghz and 2.4ghz mode, so dual band. But one thing that I'm looking for, is one that has a firmware that lets me monitor bandwidth usage, or just tools in general. Sad I have to keep track of things like that, but it seems to be the case now :(.

So if anyone has any suggestions? I really don't care what brand, as long as its good and performance is top. I've been using the Apple routers for years now, so no idea whats the next best thing.

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IMO all consumer routers are rubbish, Go for something like an referb/end-of-life cisco access point like the Cisco Aironet 1250

They're light years ahead of the junk on the market today with vlans + multiple ssid and support the management you are looking for using snmp.

scVyU.png

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Posted

Well my lovely isp Cox... decided to start enforcing data caps. So I need a new router to replace my beloved Apple Airport Extreme (have no issues with this). A router that does 802.11n in 5ghz and 2.4ghz mode, so dual band. But one thing that I'm looking for, is one that has a firmware that lets me monitor bandwidth usage, or just tools in general. Sad I have to keep track of things like that, but it seems to be the case now :(.

So if anyone has any suggestions? I really don't care what brand, as long as its good and performance is top. I've been using the Apple routers for years now, so no idea whats the next best thing.

I'm in the same leaky rowboat, albeit for a far different reason - my ISP (Comcast)-supplied single-band N router is acting cornflakey (after a milk bath) and needs to be replaced.

Like you, I'm looking dual-band N (though I have only a single wireless-G resident device - Mom's laptop, currently) with all-gigabit LAN/WAN (the current router has that, so why backstep)

My current finalists:

1. Netgear WNDR3700 and all progeny thereof - The NETGEAR WNDR3700 was designed to compete heads-up with the old flagship Linksys prosumer WRT6xxN, and has no less than seven progeny; the latest is the 450mbps bi-directional (by that I mean up to 450 mbps in each direction wirelessly on the 5 GHz band) WNDR4500, which can be found at under $200 both online and brick-and-mortar. The entire family also supports IPv6 (via either factory firmware or third-party optional firmware, such as DD-WRT/OpenWRT). Even better, you can find factory-refurbished versions of the WNDR3700 for under $100.

2. LinksysByCisco EA2700 - No USB support, but all the other features for a growing LAN, including dual-band and all-gigabit LAN/WAN ports; like the WNDR3700, it can be found under $100.

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Posted

Well my lovely isp Cox... decided to start enforcing data caps. So I need a new router to replace my beloved Apple Airport Extreme (have no issues with this). A router that does 802.11n in 5ghz and 2.4ghz mode, so dual band. But one thing that I'm looking for, is one that has a firmware that lets me monitor bandwidth usage, or just tools in general. Sad I have to keep track of things like that, but it seems to be the case now :(.

So if anyone has any suggestions? I really don't care what brand, as long as its good and performance is top. I've been using the Apple routers for years now, so no idea whats the next best thing.

Your ISP should have a website to log onto to see how much traffic has been used up - I know where I live it is just a matter of logging in and it tells you the amount with only a slight delay between usage and recorded.

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Your ISP should have a website to log onto to see how much traffic has been used up - I know where I live it is just a matter of logging in and it tells you the amount with only a slight delay between usage and recorded.

It does, but it doesn't help me manage which device/user is using the most bandwidth. Right now I'm tracking it like a hawk, and noticing insane amounts of bw being used even tho no one is using their computers/devices much. (Yes my wifi is secure :p).

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Posted

Asus RT-N66U allows you to monitor bandwidth. Also - you could get router that supports tomato usb firmware which also does this.

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Posted

Asus RT-AC66R

Link

I have this router for the last 3 months and will say so far the best.. I use this to stream large movies to my tv from my Mac and PC and no issues even for 1080 movies (large files).

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Posted

It does, but it doesn't help me manage which device/user is using the most bandwidth. Right now I'm tracking it like a hawk, and noticing insane amounts of bw being used even tho no one is using their computers/devices much. (Yes my wifi is secure :p).

IIRC Draytek's firmware is pretty sophisticated or you could choose a router that is supported by DD-WRT.

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Posted

I'm in the same leaky rowboat, albeit for a far different reason - my ISP (Comcast)-supplied single-band N router is acting cornflakey (after a milk bath) and needs to be replaced.

Like you, I'm looking dual-band N (though I have only a single wireless-G resident device - Mom's laptop, currently) with all-gigabit LAN/WAN (the current router has that, so why backstep)

My current finalists:

1. Netgear WNDR3700 and all progeny thereof - The NETGEAR WNDR3700 was designed to compete heads-up with the old flagship Linksys prosumer WRT6xxN, and has no less than seven progeny; the latest is the 450mbps bi-directional (by that I mean up to 450 mbps in each direction wirelessly on the 5 GHz band) WNDR4500, which can be found at under $200 both online and brick-and-mortar. The entire family also supports IPv6 (via either factory firmware or third-party optional firmware, such as DD-WRT/OpenWRT). Even better, you can find factory-refurbished versions of the WNDR3700 for under $100.

2. LinksysByCisco EA2700 - No USB support, but all the other features for a growing LAN, including dual-band and all-gigabit LAN/WAN ports; like the WNDR3700, it can be found under $100.

I have the WNDR3700 and it's ok... it's just that the 5 GHz mode is pretty weak and it has to be reset occasionally to work properly. And of course sometimes when they updated firmware they introduced new or older problems.

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Posted

Any linksys combined with tomato, best coverage and best firmware.

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Posted

Asus RT-N66U allows you to monitor bandwidth. Also - you could get router that supports tomato usb firmware which also does this.

I have the N56U and that only lets you see what bandwidth is being used, but not what is using it. With a lot of devices it would get confusing trying to figure out which one is using bandwidth.

That said, the N66U might have improved firmware. Just wanted to point that out anyway :p

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Posted

Tell you one thing, these routers are like 3x the size of the Airport, and all have stupid antennas sticking out. Is there anything that doesn't have any of those?

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Tell you one thing, these routers are like 3x the size of the Airport, and all have stupid antennas sticking out. Is there anything that doesn't have any of those?

Asus RT-N56U is a fairly small black diamond shape without external antennas, but like I said it doesn't show you which clients are using bandwidth. Although you can see whether bandwidth is being used on the 2.4/5GHz bands or through Ethernet.

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Another vote for RT-N56U. Using it since 2 years. Go for RT-N66U if you have triple wifi antenna support in your laptop or PC.

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Posted

uh... anything that runs DD-WRT or TomatoUSB will do you fine.

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Another vote for the Netgear WNDR4500. Awesome router. If too expensive, get the WNDR4000.

ASUS are new to routers and their buggy firmware is still a problem IMO. While they look good on paper and speedtests, they have proven to not be very reliable.

I have never found Netgear to be any good until their WNDR3700/4000/4500 series. They really are excellent wireless routers.

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Tell you one thing, these routers are like 3x the size of the Airport, and all have stupid antennas sticking out. Is there anything that doesn't have any of those?

I believe I already mentioned Linksys.

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Posted

Is it not possible to change ISP? I'd be so p**sed if my ISP did that.

If you can get hold of a Cisco Linksys E4200 V1 (Broadcom, v. important) you can stick DD-WRT or another custom firmware on. I've found this to be rocksolid and can highly recommend it!

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Posted

Here's a screenshot from my ASUS RT-N16 running TomatoUSB+VPN.

Live stats per-device. There's also historical stats (daily & monthly).

routercopy.png

Anything that can run custom firmware (as mentioned, the most popular ones being DD-WRT & Tomato) will give you infinitely more options than those that leave you at the mercy of the vendor firmware.

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Posted

I'd prefer go for Asus RT-N56U, a great router for the price

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I have the WNDR3700 and it's ok... it's just that the 5 GHz mode is pretty weak and it has to be reset occasionally to work properly. And of course sometimes when they updated firmware they introduced new or older problems.

That is why I like the option of third-party firmware (such as DD-WRT/OpenWRT/X-WRT - which HAS been known to support features factory firmware lacks).

Another vote for the Netgear WNDR4500. Awesome router. If too expensive, get the WNDR4000.

ASUS are new to routers and their buggy firmware is still a problem IMO. While they look good on paper and speedtests, they have proven to not be very reliable.

I have never found Netgear to be any good until their WNDR3700/4000/4500 series. They really are excellent wireless routers.

That is, in fact, why I recommend the WNDR3700 and its progeny; you aren't tied to factory firmware. Also, you can buy the Netgear routers brick and mortar (you aren't stuck buying online and thereby relying on online for support).

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That is why I like the option of third-party firmware (such as DD-WRT/OpenWRT/X-WRT - which HAS been known to support features factory firmware lacks).

That is, in fact, why I recommend the WNDR3700 and its progeny; you aren't tied to factory firmware. Also, you can buy the Netgear routers brick and mortar (you aren't stuck buying online and thereby relying on online for support).

The DD-WRT version's range is worse... Right now I'm using OpenWRT and it's so far the best option.... but 5 GHz still isn't really an option.

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Custom firmware or not for a little bit more you could get a referb/end-of-life enterprise access point like Aironet which will do all a consumer device an do and more multiple SSID's VLan SNMP automatic frequency selection etc

Same with switches once they go end of life their cost plummets, One generation old enterprise hardware will own any current gen consumer equipment.

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I have a Cisco/Linksys E3000 running TomatoUSB and it is phenomenal. Can't recommend it enough, seems like it would be perfect for you. I got it refurb from Newegg for $50 w/ free shipping.

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