WRT54GL upgrade

Discussion in 'hardware' started by IRONY, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. IRONY

    IRONY Registered Member

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    I've been using the WRT54GL (DDWRT) as the main CEP on my network for some time now and it's been a great router/firewall. In attempts to upgrade my home network it's just awfully lacking throughput with no gigabit support, however. Would anyone here have any suggestions for a router equivalent to the WRT54GL?
     
  2. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Router equivalent? Not sure what you mean. Are you just looking for a basic router with 1Gbps Ethernet (as most are these days)? Or do you need something that includes a WAP for wireless support too?

    Note that typically, most users are bottlenecked by the bandwidth provided by their ISP, not the 100Mbps of the 10/100 Ethernet networking. So 1Gbps networking, unless streaming with multiple devices through a single port, is not likely to yield better Ethernet performance. However, a newer wireless router that support 802.11n or 11ac wifi networking should provide a significant boost for wireless connected devices.

    I personally really like my Netgear WNR3500L. It has served me without problems for 4 years now with flawless Netflex streaming via the wireless side, and Ethernet at the same time to up to 6 connected PCs.
     
  3. imdb

    imdb Registered Member

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    the right question should be "equivalent in what way?".
    i think he's looking for a router which is as robust & reliable as wrt54gl.
     
  4. IRONY

    IRONY Registered Member

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    What I mean is a router that is equivalent to the WRT54GL in quality and options, however, the WRT54GL does not support Gigabit networking which is needed for my LAN. If I move to an area that has FiOS or Gigabit services it'd be nice to have something that would support it as well. I also plan to switch to Advanced Tomato, than continue using DDWRT.

    I was looking at the Netgear WNR3500L after posting this and I'd say that may be my best option, especially with the amount of nand/ram available. Though it doesn't support Gigabit eth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  5. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Note the WNR3500L is not new and only supports 802.11n wireless protocols and that is still fine for me as I have no 11ac devices. Netgear has newer models that now support 11ac. If you have now, or may get 11ac devices in the future, you may want to look at them. My point really was that my 3500L has served me well and I do not hesitate to recommend Netgear products. And when I am ready to upgrade, I most probably will get Netgear again.

    Ummm, sure it does. It says in multiple places Gigabit. Note the Specifications page where it says 10/100/1000M for the WAN and 4 x 10/100/1000M for the Ethernet (LAN) ports.
     
  6. IRONY

    IRONY Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm aware the WNR3500L is not new, though, new would be nice... but it's not really needed, unless I decide gigabit wireless would be necessary.
     
  7. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    WRN3500L great router, had one for years too, as much I would recommend it, I am wondering it will be suitable for your potential future needs.

    Do you plan on using QoS - a word of warning if you plan to use Tomato, that the WRN3500L only has enough CPU power to handle a summed throughput in both directions of around 30mbps with QoS enabled and the reason I upgraded to an ASUS AC56U, a dual core router as could not handle QoS for my 40mbps connection.
    The ASUS routers are well supported, you get regular stock roms from ASUS of OK quality, you get ASUSwrt from Merlin who makes them great quality and also excellent DD-WRT support. When I last looked Tomato support of these newer ARM dual core routers was not very good (and not for the developers trying !).

    If you plan on getting Gigabit internet, beware that you will need a faster router than the WRN3500L to support those speeds, if you look at small net builder performance charts the WNR3500L can only manage a summed throughput in both directions of 300mbps LAN to WAN, using WIFI and other features drops that significantly, in my experience of the WNR3500L wireless LAN to WAN pretty much halved. For comparison my AC56U can only manage around 800mbps range.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
  8. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Ummm, sorry, but that is not true.

    Understand as I type this, my grandson is streaming a movie on Netflix, my granddaughter is glued to YouTube, and I am getting this:
    http://www.speedtest.net/result/4829365631.png


    And yes, QOS is enabled:
    http://i195.photobucket.com/albums/z181/Digerati_Bill/QOS.jpg

    As I noted, the WNR3500L is getting long in the tooth, and if you want to put out decent chunk of change, you can certainly get better performing routers. But the WNR3500L is not the slouch you are making it out to be.
     
  9. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    I don't have a recommendation of what you should get, but I'd stay away from the WNDR3700. We've gone through 2 (or was it 3?) in the past 3 years. We currently have a 4300 and I think it might be starting to die as well. I don't know if it's because we have a LOT (always at least 10, but usually more than 15) of devices connected and it's straining them (4 simultaneous Netflix streams is not uncommon) or what but eventually they refuse to power on.
     
  10. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    The number of connections or bandwidth consumed should have nothing to do with the life expectancy of the device. I would suggest either dirty power, or heat or both is shortening the life of your devices. I have all my network gear connected to my UPS along with my primary PC. And my 3500L is sitting on top of my desk's hutch (not in a cubby hole) so any heat generated can easily escape.

    That said, I am not so loyal to Netgear that I would only consider them. I have also used Linksys/Cisco, D-Link, and Buffalo devices in recent years with no complaints either.

    It is important to note that all these network devices MUST conform to industry standard protocols to ensure compatibility. This allows D-Link routers to work with Netgear switches to support all sorts of integrated NICs and wireless dongles so they can communicate through Arris/Motorola modems. So it is not like the different makers can apply some proprietary hocus pocus to make their products perform better than others.

    Yes, there are single channel, dual channel, simultaneous dual channel, and more features, but again, they all must conform to industry standards. Beyond that, the quality of the parts used and construction certainly come into play - but until Man can create perfection 100% of the time, even the best makers will have samples that fail prematurely, or don't measure up to specs.

    And of course, when it comes to Internet networking, unless you have fiber to the house, your ISP will most likely be your biggest (smallest?) bottleneck.
     
  11. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    Big mistake on my part - I forgot to mention when using TomatoUSB. The stock QoS does not have this issue.
    Sorry !
     
  12. CrusherW9

    CrusherW9 Registered Member

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    All of the routers were/are out in the open so no chance of a heat issue. Additionally, the 4300 and the last 3700 was plugged into my UPS (APC Back Ups Pro).
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    No big deal. Of course, everyone's mileage may vary.
    I don't know what to say then. Bad luck? I don't know, but I have not seen any reports to suggest Netgear has a quality control problem any worse than the other major players.
     
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