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Would A New Router Give Me "Better" WiFi?


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#31 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 15:27

So yeah, I ordered the ASUS RT-N66U

AmazonASUSPurchase.jpg

Main reason I did so, was this comparison chart.

i actually really thought my current router supported Gigabit speeds, but it does not. No wonder file transfers between my networked computers have been much slower since I changed ISP's :blush: As everything else in my home network, all switches etc., are definitely Gigabit. So my router should be as well.

So that was one motivation.

The other was the potential Data Range / Speed bump I should also hopefully achieve.

So for people who own this Asus router, is the Merlin firmware (suggested on Page 1 of this thread) the suggested route to go? Or is there Hyper DRT or whatever that firmware is called? Etc. Definitely open to hearing what the best firmware out there is, and or do I just stick to the stock firmware (which I am more then willing to do, considering I am not a power user by any means, but perhaps I will become one)


#32 xendrome

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 15:31

So yeah, I ordered the ASUS RT-N66U

AmazonASUSPurchase.jpg

Main reason I did so, was this comparison chart.

i actually really thought my current router supported Gigabit speeds, but it does not. No wonder file transfers between my networked computers have been much slower since I changed ISP's :blush: As everything else in my home network, all switches etc., are definitely Gigabit. So my router should be as well.

So that was one motivation.

The other was the potential Data Range / Speed bump I should also hopefully achieve.

So for people who own this Asus router, is the Merlin firmware (suggested on Page 1 of this thread) the suggested route to go? Or is there Hyper DRT or whatever that firmware is called? Etc. Definitely open to hearing what the best firmware out there is, and or do I just stick to the stock firmware (which I am more then willing to do, considering I am not a power user by any means, but perhaps I will become one)


I'm using stock firmware and haven't had any issues, I went from a WNDR3700 to the RT-N66U and am totally happy. My signal is at least 2x better then it was with the Netgear. Also when you get it there is a new firmware just released from Asus, so go ahead and update.

#33 PGHammer

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 15:44

I'm using stock firmware and haven't had any issues, I went from a WNDR3700 to the RT-N66U and am totally happy. My signal is at least 2x better then it was with the Netgear. Also when you get it there is a new firmware just released from Asus, so go ahead and update.


DD-WRT has their issues with non-Broadcom dual-band N router chipsets (including the ASUS), which is why I'm actually somewhat glad that it doesn't support the Atheros chipset in my WNDR3700v4 yet.

And though I like DD-WRT, I would have to have a reason to switch to it - right now, the factory firmware of my WNDR supports everything DD-WRT does (including IPv6) and doesn't have the teething issues DD-WRT does with 5 GHz N. (In other words, Netgear's own firmware has stepped things up; amusingly, it is also open-source these days.)

Which version of the WNDR3700 did you have? I'm pleased as can be with my v4 (and the new Atheros chipset) - the V2 and v3 have different chipsets (the v2 used an older Atheros chipset, while the v3 used a Broadcom chipset).

#34 Raze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 15:49

Here's a review for the Asus RT N66U - http://www.smallnetb...router-reviewed

and a review of the Merlin firmware - http://www.smallnetb...merlin-reviewed

#35 eXtermia

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 16:04

It's funny that you mention this specific problem. I'm in Westchester County, same ISP and same included router. Lately I've been noticing the exact same thing! We have about 5 devices on the wireless - 2 laptops, 2 smartphones, and a TV. Past few days I've been noticing a ton of dropped signals, major slowdowns, etc. I haven't tried it yet but I'm going to call Optimum pretending to be somewhat computer illiterate, complain, and see if they'll give me a better router. No idea if it will work but may be worth a shot before you buy a new one. ;) If that doesn't work, I'll likely be going the same route as you and picking up a new router.


I was streaming media to PS3 a few days ago (and xbox too) using universial media server over wifi. I have a dual band router and my source feed was on 5ghz the PS3 was on 2.4GHZ everything was working great till someone turned to microwave oven to cook popcorn adn the stream started stuttering and failing. Anyway why I am sayin gthis is there are factors that can interfere. Microwave Ovens, other WiFi, and even portabale (landline phones). My microwave wasn't even in the path of the router and the ps3 but is on the same floor as the PS3 but about 25 meters away diagional.

#36 Shadrack

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 16:17

Gosh, DirtyLarry - Weren't you JUST having whole-house WiFi issues related to getting some iOS device? (Or am I mistaking you for someone else?)

All I can share is my own story regarding routers and this advice: get something that lets you install a custom firmware. I know that seems ridiculous but I've been through 3 Linksys routers and a Netgear router. My last Linksys router was dropping connections left and right and the wife and kids were also complaining about "invalid IP" messages (because the router would assign two different devices the same IP address). I thought that the router was just 'dead' and I needed a new one. Instead a guy at work convinced me to try DD-WRT on it. I installed it and haven't had a single problem yet. On top of that, I've been able to use the features of DD-WRT to block the kid's devices from porn while still giving me and the mrs. devices full access ;).

#37 Roger H.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 17:49

Glad you changed SSIDs as that's what I was gonna suggest. My Intel 6300 has an option in the drivers page (device manager) to prefer 5Ghz over 2.4Ghz so in my case I can use the same SSIDs for both frequencies but it's better to just seperate them. Glad that's working great now. I too have a E4200 and would recommend it as well (i have V1 but V2 is great other than no 3rd party firmware). They have the new EA6500 which is the AC chipset so that's the top dog now, the lowly E4200 can be had for $99 last I checked. I got mine in January 2011 and it's been rock solid since then.

As for the Asus, i'd also recommend it as i've installed them in other places. If I didn't have a working router i'd go for that one myself. My next upgrade though will be an .11AC router since the one I have now is already great, i can wait another 2yrs before jumping on that boat :)

Hope it all works out DL - i should come by your house next time i'm in NJ to enjoy all the sweet gear you have! :)

#38 Yusuf M.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 18:21

So yeah, I ordered the ASUS RT-N66U

AmazonASUSPurchase.jpg

Main reason I did so, was this comparison chart.

i actually really thought my current router supported Gigabit speeds, but it does not. No wonder file transfers between my networked computers have been much slower since I changed ISP's :blush: As everything else in my home network, all switches etc., are definitely Gigabit. So my router should be as well.

So that was one motivation.

The other was the potential Data Range / Speed bump I should also hopefully achieve.

So for people who own this Asus router, is the Merlin firmware (suggested on Page 1 of this thread) the suggested route to go? Or is there Hyper DRT or whatever that firmware is called? Etc. Definitely open to hearing what the best firmware out there is, and or do I just stick to the stock firmware (which I am more then willing to do, considering I am not a power user by any means, but perhaps I will become one)

You're going to love that router. I bought it to replace my D-Link DGL-4500 Gaming Router. I've had it since 2008 and it just couldn't handle the amount of devices in my house. The setup process is very easy and the signal strength on the 2.4 GHz band is superb. 5 GHz is better since it's less crowded which means you'll get better throughput. However, your signal strength might not be as good as the 2.4 GHz because lower frequencies have better penetration. I'm on the 5 GHz band in my room and my router is 2 floors down. I usually get 4 out of 5 bars compared to a full 5 bars all the time on 2.4 GHz. Since the difference in signal strength is minimal, I've opted to use 5 GHz.

The stock firmware will get the job done 99.9% of the time. The only time you should use custom firmware is if you know what you're doing and you want a specific feature that the stock firmware doesn't have like monthly bandwidth usage reports. Just like xendrome, I haven't had any issues with it. I'll probably use a custom firmware when ASUS stops updating it. With that said, I recommend that you stick with the stock firmware for now. It's a hassle to find the right custom firmware version for your router and it's even more of a hassle to get it setup properly.

#39 jerzdawg

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 18:53

Im currently using the Asus 56U as my secondary router and love the stock firmware/gui. I use my fios router as my default G wireless and any of my N devices use the asus. Never have any issues with picking up all the networked devices and I think I have at least 18 devices hooked up either wired or wireless and never run into any connection issues. Be sure to post back on the results... im curious if the 3 antennas are worth my upgrading my 56u to the 66u

#40 Raze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 20:00

New firmware - ASUS RT-N66U B1 Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.270 - installed no problems, working very well. I :heart: this router!

http://usa.asus.com/...TN66U/#download

#41 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 22:48

Gosh, DirtyLarry - Weren't you JUST having whole-house WiFi issues related to getting some iOS device? (Or am I mistaking you for someone else?)

All I can share is my own story regarding routers and this advice: get something that lets you install a custom firmware. I know that seems ridiculous but I've been through 3 Linksys routers and a Netgear router. My last Linksys router was dropping connections left and right and the wife and kids were also complaining about "invalid IP" messages (because the router would assign two different devices the same IP address). I thought that the router was just 'dead' and I needed a new one. Instead a guy at work convinced me to try DD-WRT on it. I installed it and haven't had a single problem yet. On top of that, I've been able to use the features of DD-WRT to block the kid's devices from porn while still giving me and the mrs. devices full access ;).

Yep that was me. :laugh: And I think those issues were because of this router I currently have and am about to replace. :punk:


New firmware - ASUS RT-N66U B1 Firmware Version 3.0.0.4.270 - installed no problems, working very well. I :heart: this router!

http://usa.asus.com/...TN66U/#download

Nice, thanks for making my life easy.

I am very happy with the fact I ordered this router. If it was not crap weather where I am I even would have sprung the extra money for Saturday delivery, but I knew there was no way in hell it would have made it to me. So Tuesday delivery it is.

Thanks again for all the comments, help, etc. I will post back once I have the Asus setup and have some impressions, etc. Naturally if I have questions as well.

#42 Xilo

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 22:56

I LOVE my Netgear WNDR3400 but let's call a spade a spade. The thing is atrocious when it comes to wireless signals. I consistently have issues with it. The only reason I haven't replaced it yet is because I can't figure out which route I want to take (How I want to set things up). It's a fantastic little beast when wired, but wireless....yeah no.

How can you love something that doesn't even perform well for the other half of it's function?

#43 nekkidtruth

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 00:13

How can you love something that doesn't even perform well for the other half of it's function?


Easy. I love the look of it. As I said, it also works like a beast wired. The software isn't bad either, easy to use etc. Why do people "love" their last car that crapped out on them?

#44 xendrome

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 00:25

Easy. I love the look of it. As I said, it also works like a beast wired. The software isn't bad either, easy to use etc. Why do people "love" their last car that crapped out on them?


To love a functional piece of technology that isn't an antique based upon it's looks is the least reason why anyone should love it. People love their cars because they worked great before they crapped out. The car didn't half-work or have half of it's functionality disabled while it was working.

#45 Detection

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 00:25

DD-WRT thread for your free ISP WNDR3400 router

http://www.dd-wrt.co...ic.php?p=706843



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