"What's the Best Router..." thread. Ask/post here

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KingJL
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Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 14:13    Post subject: Best range 2.4 GHz Reply with quote
Note: originally posted as a separate subject. Re-posted in this thread at the request of our moderator.

I travel extensively in an RV and usually have access to wifi. The wifi signal quality is good 40% of the time (depending on RV site location). The remaining times the signal is extremely low to marginal. Most of the times the network is open (no-security). Approximately 2% of the networks are n capable and use WPA2-AES.

I currently am using a wrt54g V1.0 (running dd-wrt) in repeater mode (using WPA-AES security for the VLAN). Most of the time, my wrt54g suffices, but when the signal is marginal to extremely weak, I may or may not get adequate connectivity.

To keep my throughput as high as possible I am thinking of using a configuration that uses a 2.4GHz router configured as a client which in-turn will feed a good dual band router w/USB configured as an AP for my in-RV network (2 wifi printers, 2 notebooks, occasionally streaming NETFLIX to TV). I am leaning toward the Linksys E4200 for the dual band router. I am looking for recommendations for a 2.4Gh N-router with the best range to use as a client (must be capable of running dd-wrt). I have a Linksys E2000 router, but I believe that the internal antennas have too little gain to meet my needs. I have been researching the Buffalo Nfinity high powered whr-hp-g300n, but I do not see many favorable reviews.

Any feedback or additional information would be greatly welcome.

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Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H build 17461, pixelserve
Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH, OpenWrt (trunk build 29606), ath9k drivers, pixelserv
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Peabody
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 15:01    Post subject: Reply with quote
The buffalo HP-G54 has always been considered to be a stable router that has a built in amp so it has good signal strength.
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TheShanMan
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Joined: 23 Jul 2007
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 15:55    Post subject: Reply with quote
FWIW I did pick up a pair of N12's and they've been running for almost 7 hours now, so it looks like wireless dropping isn't an issue (fingers crossed). Applying a WPA2/AES key was a pain point though because sometimes applying the key would only result in a 1 way connection but applying it a second time would succeed. Not sure what's up with that, but it isn't a show stopper (just a time waster! Laughing).

Thanks for the input, even if I didn't end up using the 615 suggestion Embarassed. Still felt a little gun shy about it but really it was due to the N12's being at a more convenient store locally. I would try the 615's again next if I had to.
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 20:38    Post subject: Reply with quote
Alot of this depends on exactly what you are wanting to do, if you just want to do simple linking with not many bells and whistles then that whr-hp-g300n will do fine.

The thing to keep in mind with it is that its a 4MB atheros unit, which is somewhat different than say a 4MB broadcom based unit because there is no flavor variation of builds that come out for it, so its very pre-baked. Like 4MB atheros builds, atleast the one i have (which is the whr-hp-g300n), wont have openVPN and/or certain services you may want to use. But that sacrifice is made up in raw radio power. So there is alot of trivial factors involved.

If you want a great range unit, like Peabody said, and i have to totally agree, the buffalo whr-hp-g54 is still my best range unit, with not a shitload of features. I have to many units to count, but as far as my tests were concerened, check for yourselves.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=84084

http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=88310

Matter of fact i just got a D-Link DIR 825 that i have not even broke out of the shrink wrap yet, just haven't had time, and not to mention my stuggle to become the "laziest man in L.A. County" doesn't allow for such activity to often.

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KingJL
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Joined: 04 Feb 2011
Posts: 95

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 21:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Buddee, thank you for that reply with links to actual test results and review of the WZR-HP-G300NH. With all that info, I think I have made up my mind. For the client router, I m going to go with a WZR-HP-G300NH. I am still leaning toward a e4200 for the in-RV network AP.

Some may ask why 2 routers (why not just 1 in repeater mode). Two reasons: (1) I need access to the VLAN network even when no network available to repeat (this is possible in broadcom only). (2) I have had issues when repeating some WPA2 networks. Every day at 9 AM the primary (wpa2) network would do some kind of housecleaning and result wireless client connections being disconnected and not being able to re-connect (WLAN keeps refusing connection). Wired client connections were OK. I would have to reboot the router to clear this condition. This condition was consitent with both WRT54G (builds 12533, 13594, 15943) and e2000 (build 14929). Using dedicated client mode and AP mode devices would clear this condition.

Now if I can locate a refurbished WZR-HP-G300NH!

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WRT54G V1.0, build 14853 VINT mini_USB_FTP, USB mod, pixelserv
Buffalo WZR-HP-AG300H build 17461, pixelserve
Buffalo WZR-HP-G300NH, OpenWrt (trunk build 29606), ath9k drivers, pixelserv
Ubiquiti Bullet M2, AirOS
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 7385
Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 23:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
Well here is another tittybit, The WZR-HP-G300NH is a great unit, Its my main AP and runs in AP mode of course. But in my testing of using it in a repeater style setting

Atheros units are different in respects that different modes will reflect to the antenna chains and Txpower. Like say i wanted to run the WZR-HP-G300NH in atheros' repeater mode (client mode with VAPs) the WZR is a 3x3 MIMO unit, with its antenna chain setting to 1+3 | 1+2+3 with a default dBm of 20 in AP mode (AFAIK the highest dBm i have seen in AP with the buff is 23) and i wanted to repeat a G router (any signal/model should work, does for me anyhow) You would have to set the WZR to client mode | G-only mode and if you were going to create VAPs for wireless clients on your end to connect with, you would need to switch up the chains to 1+3 | 1+3 since G doesn't use a 3 antenna setup, and this will affect your Txpower, in my testing with it, the Txpower was lowered to 19dBm. Otherwise if you left it default 1+3 | 1+2+3 then the VAP clients on your end won't be able to connect, atleast mine couldn't, it would connect for a split second and then anytime i tried to do any network activity, it would cut the connection.

And yes i know, alot of digital jazz there, but its what i have learned with it.

I still recommend the whr-hp-g54 for any style repeater setups, as its the best all around performer/features for doing that. It has VLANs as you know and still of all my units here, has the best range. The WZR-HP-G300NH is better served as a main AP IMHO, it does well as a repeater to, but as i stated in the jazz above, certain modes will cut Txpower because of how Atheros chain settings work.

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DigitalMocking
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Joined: 23 Oct 2007
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:54    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have a large-ish office building to cover, but very little money to do it on. How would 3 of the WZR-HP-G300NH units work configured to use WDS?
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 7385
Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:03    Post subject: Reply with quote
DigitalMocking wrote:
How would 3 of the WZR-HP-G300NH units work configured to use WDS?


Hrm, not sure if i should bullshit you and say it will work great or not, i mean, thats more or less something you would have to test out for yourself.

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claes
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Joined: 01 Mar 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 0:20    Post subject: Re: wrt400n vs rt-n16 or others? Reply with quote
claes wrote:
Hi! First post just looking for some advice. I am primarily interested in the asus rt-n16 and the linksys wrt400n. From what I've read people have been having flaky performance with their rt-n16s, overheating and slow connection speeds, but I can't find any real reviews of dd-wrt on the wrt400n. Has anyone had experience with either of these routers and care to share?

My primary concerns are performance and stability. I am poor, so something that won't overheat on me would be nice. I've got a gigabit switch laying around so that's no real loss with the wrt400n. Primarily g clients but will be upgrading soon, few GB clients including a nas running many torrents (private trackers though - few connections) and serving media to an htpc.

Seems like the Asus has the ram and memory but on smallnetbuilder and the like the wrt400n seems to outperform it.

Also considering the buffalo wzr-hp-g300nh but have seen inconsistent reviews and it's ugly... but if the shoe fits?

second time around! looking at wrt400n and e3000, even if I buy a brand new gigabit switch the 400n is about $30 cheaper... any comparisons/thoughts/recommendations at all on these routers running dd-wrt or tomato with the e3000 would be extremely helpful! really - which one is more stable/faster/better?
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
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Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Mon Mar 07, 2011 1:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
Of those options you are listing in your choices, the E3000 probably would be best for you. And yes i use a WZR-HP-G300NH, pair of them actually, and they work great for me, but like you i have read of many complaints with it. I don't have these "issues" with any of my WZR's and i been using them since xmas and have pretty much let one of them be my main Gateway/AP. Only thing i feel it lacks is port based VLANs.

The WRT400N is a fairly good choice, but from the ones you listed, the E3000 would probably do you best. The RT-N16 is a great choice to, mine does very well, its performance for me is about parallel with my E3000, cept the E3000 has 2 radios and the RT-N16 only has 1.

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m4p
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Joined: 08 Oct 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 18:50    Post subject: Reply with quote
buddee wrote:
Currently using 16214. Seems to work fine for me, so much that i bought a pair and put one of them up at my work for me and my fellow workers to use, my co-workers love it and have considered purchasing one as well, but most of them up there don't know much about wireless routers, so they just use whatever.


Thanks for the reply, Buddee. Is the 16214 the DD-WRT one, or is it the Buffalo branded DD-WRT? Right now I actually have the Buffalo whr-hp-g54 running Tomato. It's rock solid but I wanted to upgrade to N for purposes of streaming to my bluray player. I also had the Buffalo wireless ethernet converter, G speed. But when it died, Buffalo was nice enough to upgrade me to their N one, the wli-tx4-G300N. So I thought getting the wzr-hp-g300nh would be good. I've also thought of waiting until the release of their new dual band router, but not sure the 5 Ghz band is worth the extra cost. My cordless phones run on 5.8 Ghz so not sure if that would conflict or not.
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 7385
Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 19:28    Post subject: Reply with quote
mp4 wrote:

Thanks for the reply, Buddee. Is the 16214 the DD-WRT one, or is it the Buffalo branded DD-WRT? Right now I actually have the Buffalo whr-hp-g54 running Tomato. It's rock solid but I wanted to upgrade to N for purposes of streaming to my bluray player. I also had the Buffalo wireless ethernet converter, G speed. But when it died, Buffalo was nice enough to upgrade me to their N one, the wli-tx4-G300N. So I thought getting the wzr-hp-g300nh would be good. I've also thought of waiting until the release of their new dual band router, but not sure the 5 Ghz band is worth the extra cost. My cordless phones run on 5.8 Ghz so not sure if that would conflict or not.


I use the community builds of dd-wrt for the WZR, i tried the buffalo 14998 dd-wrt build, both worked fine for me. There is a link in the wiki for the WZR un-encrpyted reversion file should you need to revert back to buffalo (and buffalo dd-wrt) firmware, but word of warning if you do use the file is give it plenty of time, it takes almost 12 minutes if not longer for it to fully revert back using the un-encrypted firmware, but its the easiest way.

For this unit it works like this, any of the buffalo firmwares, even the buff dd-wrt build, are interchangeable, you can flash from one to another, but once you flash this unit with the community dd-wrt build, you can only upgrade/downgrade using the community builds, if you try to revert back with the buffalo firmware or the buff dd-wrt build, it will fail. To revert back, you have to use the un-encrypted file linked in the wiki, or use the tftp method, which is listed in the same wiki for de-bricking procedures.

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claes
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:15    Post subject: Reply with quote
buddee wrote:
Of those options you are listing in your choices, the E3000 probably would be best for you. And yes i use a WZR-HP-G300NH, pair of them actually, and they work great for me, but like you i have read of many complaints with it. I don't have these "issues" with any of my WZR's and i been using them since xmas and have pretty much let one of them be my main Gateway/AP. Only thing i feel it lacks is port based VLANs.

The WRT400N is a fairly good choice, but from the ones you listed, the E3000 would probably do you best. The RT-N16 is a great choice to, mine does very well, its performance for me is about parallel with my E3000, cept the E3000 has 2 radios and the RT-N16 only has 1.

I apologize for my neurotic curiosity, but why the e3000 over the wrt400n? Do you think I could get a pro/con between the two (or even the asus and buffalo as well)? Seems like you are lucky enough to have owned most of these units Surprised
buddee
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 7385
Location: Little Rock

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 3:42    Post subject: Reply with quote
The E3000 over the WRT400N on my preference to gigabit switches.

For my opinion break down would be like this..

RT-N16 - Great all around performer, plenty of ROM/RAM, plenty of features.

WZR-HP-G300NH - Another great performer, but Atheros based so most of the dd-wrt infos will be somewhat different in application for it, also no port based VLANs support.

E3000 - Probably the best N broadcom unit i have out of the bunch, has gigabit/usb/dual band/radios N, only one setback i think with this unit was linksys's shitty choice of design, this also gets the hottest out of all my units. And the case design doesn't help disperse heat very well. But i have since modded it by cutting an opening in the front face plate, now heat is not problem ;)

WRT400N - Great unit with good radio strength, dual radios/dual band N as well, but no USB (not to big a deal because i don't use the USB much anyways on routers), and 10/100 ports, no port base VLANs as well, i would like to say it would be a good straight forward unit for not doing many complex setups with.

hope thats somewhat helpful.. best regards

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claes
DD-WRT Novice


Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:27    Post subject: Reply with quote
That's very helpful - a little discouraging about the e3000 heat issue, though. Why the strong gigabit preference - isn't the only slowdown in wired to wireless? I might prefer the wrt400n if my only loss is heat (very simple network here) as I'll save $35 even after buying a new GbE switch...

And, sorry again but, wndr3700 v1/37av?
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