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Topic # 197871 16-Jun-2016 03:19
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I keep seeing these threads on Geekzone and since I am a bit of a router horde (the Edgerouter for me is by-far the best) I thought I'd better make a thread with mine and others experiences, and what works best for the average home dependant on some situations, budget, features and ease of use and include other experiences in an easy to find and Google place.

 

First Category - all in one routers:
These routers are best if you're wanting something with everything built into one unit that offer decent WiFi.

 

1) Huawei HG659 - Supports all connection types, suitable for Gigabit connections, decent WiFi and available cheaply. This router is currently provided by Spark, BigPipe and Vodafone however is designed as a home CPE device so doesn't have too many configurable features. Also, not suitable if you're one to use Netflix unblockers but for your general purpose all in one router this is a hard one to beat. Also, has VoIP. For those tinkernuts @solutionz has posted an excellent guide on how to get superadmin access and even root access on this router with the default, unrestricted BigPipe firmware (firmware image available here under advanced settings - is able to be flashed on any providers HG659 baring in mind the normal "disclaimers" apply).
2) Netcomm NF8AC - Pricing - This router supports all connection types, a decent array of features. As far as all in one devices go if you have to buy one then let it be this one. Supports Gigabit connections and has pretty good WiFi too (suitable for a small home).
3) ASUS DSL-AC68U - Pricing - Excellent WiFi, features and performance. A bit more pricey than the above options however if you're wanting something a little more advanced it is one to consider.
4) Fritz!Box 7490 - Provided by many ISP's, can route Gigabit and has a bunch of features including SIP however doesn't have the best WiFi. You can often pick them up for cheap and therefore have now been included on the list.

 

Second Category - routers only (advanced users):
If you're wanting something a little more advanced going for one of these is a surefire bet. Just don't expect the most simple to use interfaces or a 5min setup if you're not experienced.

 

1) Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite - Pricing - Has support for almost everything including insane packet switching speeds for the price. I've got a guide Here on the general configuration. The Edgerouter-X is also a great router (at a little over $100 - Price Link) for people who'd like the EdgeOS interface however are on a bit more of a budget. The Edgerouter 4 (Link) is one of Ubiquiti's newest routers and quite frankly it is nuts - if you've got a Gigabit connection it is well worth considering over the Edgerouter Lite.
2) MikroTik RouterBOARD RB750Gr3 - Buy - This is an advanced and cheap router in the Mikrotik range. Doesn't have WiFi, is able to route Gigabit connections - an excellent start for somebody wanting a cheap Gigabit capable router and wants more advanced functionality.
3) Mikrotik RouterBOARD RB3011UIAS-RM - Buy - A more advanced router for those wanting Gigabit routing with Mikrotik RouterOS.
4) Ubiquiti UniFi Security Gateway - Buy - The exact same hardware as the Edgerouter Lite however links up to a UniFi Controller. Great for people who just want a basic router with advanced features. Very easy to set up and configure straight from the UniFi controller and ties in well if you've got other Ubiquiti gear. Runs well on Gigabit connections.
5) Grandstream GWN7000 - Buy - Incredibly good router for the price, supports Gigabit and has a huge list of features. Pair with one of the Grandstream ceiling mounted access points (like the GWN7610) and you've got a killer setup. The GWN7000 also has a built in wireless controller.

 

Third Category - routers w/ access points for UFB:
These routers are for your more advanced users that want the flexibility of doing what they want - and have alternative OS support (such as Tomato and DD-WRT). Currently, there are no all in one units that support alternative operating systems and there likely never will.

 

1) Netgear R7000 - Pricing, however places like Noel Leemings often have sales. - Can support a full Gigabit connection on Advanced Tomato (Tutorial Here), also was my router before I had the Edgerouter. Rock solid, runs cool and has great WiFi (better than the all in one router's above in my personal experience). This is now an older router but remains on the list due to its excellent support of third party firmware.
2) ASUS RT-AC68U - Pricing - Stock firmware on the ASUS units is incredibly good however if you get bored this unit has the capability to load custom firmware too (like Advanced Tomato). Good for Gigabit connections, and has good WiFi.
3) TP-Link Archer C7 - Can run OpenWRT however some users have reported WiFi instability with other OS builds, otherwise an excellent router.
4) Ubiquiti Amplifi - Pricing - if you want strong WiFi everywhere in the house this is one to consider. Very simple to setup, supports Gigabit and VLAN tagging and rather cheap for what it provides.
5) Synology RT2600ac - Pricing - I've never personally tried this however the UI is really nice (based on the Synology NAS experience), not as many apps as the Synology NAS (but not as powerful) but it includes a torrent client, RADIUS server, VPN (SSL, IPSEC, OpenVPN) as well as UPNP/DLNA media server. USB 3.0 for storage, SD card reader, USB 2.0 for networked printer. Easy to install certificates process, parental control (filtering, time management) and more. Also ssh access with root if needed. Dual WAN (primary and fallback, or load balancing). Hardware-based QOS and software-based IDS.

 

For ADSL / VDSL using a router without a modem:
1) Draytek DV130 - Pricing - Supports bridging meaning you can fully utilise your router, also ADSL + VDSL.
2) Draytek DV120 is also a cheaper option for ADSL only connections if you can find one.

 

Gigabit Connections:
Most of the above options will be fine for Gigabit connections. The cheapest router with support for a full Gigabit connection will be the Huawei HG659 which is a great buy given what it can handle. Just because a router has Gigabit WAN doesn't mean it can route Gigabit connections as this is a task normally reliant on the CPU or dedicated hardware. Some of the cheaper routers also will claim to have Gigabit on the WAN port but be switched internally by the CPU either via VLAN's (the likes of some Linksys routers), via a USB bus (also seen on some cheaper routers) or via VLAN + a 100Mbit internal connection to the switch. I will compile a full list once I and others have had experience with these routers.

 

Also note NO router will do Gigabit over WiFi so at these speeds there is no guarantee of WiFi performance. It is a little easier to predict on a 200Mbit connection but Gigabit is another story again.

 

Wireless Access Points:
If you're needing excellent WiFi through your home / office there are a couple of solutions. I'd recommend ceiling mounting these in your home and disabling WiFi on your router.

 

1) Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC PRO - Pricing - This is the ducks nuts if you're wanting good performance WiFi.
2) Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC LR - Pricing - Good performance WiFi and very good wireless coverage at more of a budget.
3) Ubiquiti UniFi AP AC Lite - Pricing - A managed wireless AC access point on more of a budget. Great for smaller houses or larger houses if you're using more than one.
4) Grandstream GWN7610 - Link - An excellent access point for the price - simple to use, pairs well with the routers intergrated controller (Grandstream GWN7000).
5) Cambium E600 - Link - This has recently come down in price from nearly $800 per access point and is the only access point I've successfully gotten a full Gigabit over WiFi on. It is what I am (currently) using at home and have been darn impressed with its performance.

 

Ubiquiti Managed Gear:
I've created an UniFi Controller Here any Geekzone member can sign up to (assuming they live in NZ). This gives you far more control over your UniFi powered network. There are ways to set up UniFi gear without a controller however if you've bought managed gear you may as well get the full experience with a controller.

 

TR-069 Management:
Due to the crap and misinformed news article here (thread also here for a laugh) there have been some queries regarding TR-069 management on ISP supplied routers (like the HG659 given out by many providers). This is more a "feature" as it allows your ISP to provision changes out to your router and is in use by essentially all ISP's in NZ. There is nothing to be worried about, it is safe and considered secure and you've got to remember that your provider have security teams looking out for you. Turning this off is not recommended as your ISP will have no way of updating your routers firmware or updating configuration as they update things themselves which may cause loss of services (Vodafone TV, VoIP or even Internet to name a few) or even may introduce security vulnerabilities to your network. The non ISP provided routers will not have this enabled so you're responsible for all configuration, firmware upgrades etc. It is important to keep an eye on your router manufactures website to keep your router up to date.

 

A note on products marketed towards Gaming:
Honestly don't get sucked into products that market themselves towards gaming - they don't work (from experience). Most of the time it is just a generic router the company sells with "Gaming" added and a black theme on the web interface - a pure marketing strategy. You're often spending way more money on these products where a cheaper product (like the Ubiquiti USG or the Grandstream GWN7000 combined with a dedicated access point) will actually do a better job. Sure, they look cool in most cases but they're a waste of money. This goes for all networking products. They may work with slower connections but if you're on Fibre then save your money.

 

----

 

If you've got any more suggestions then post them below. I'll keep this post updated as I honestly configure so many of these damn things so have experience in quite a wide variety. If you're just wanting better WiFi look at grabbing something like an Ubiquiti UniFi AP which are excellent access points offering solid performance, and is simple to set up for your standard home user. Also, look below at other suggestions. There isn't any need to start up (yet another) topic asking "what is best" anymore.

 

Last updated: 03/04/2018





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  Reply # 1574790 16-Jun-2016 07:28
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Since you have the DSL-AC68U in the first category, you might put its cousin the RT-AC68U into the third category. It can run tomato etc.

Edit - Forgot to say, very good idea to have this guide and looking good so far!

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  Reply # 1574792 16-Jun-2016 07:32
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The often recommended TP-Link Archer C7 router only will do VLAN 10 tagging with this BETA firmware that I had to request directly from TP-LINK

 

(onedrive link rar file)

 

https://1drv.ms/f/s!Arx4bfuw41F_hM0DxKvOY1RWNEAVqw


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1574806 16-Jun-2016 08:05
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macuser:

The often recommended TP-Link Archer C7 router only will do VLAN 10 tagging with this BETA firmware that I had to request directly from TP-LINK


(onedrive link rar file)


https://1drv.ms/f/s!Arx4bfuw41F_hM0DxKvOY1RWNEAVqw


Though curiously, when I bought mine (for bigpipe, which doesn't need vlan 10), I saw many retailers advertising the model as vlan 10 enabled. So I wondered if maybe they are coming factory ready.




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  Reply # 1574819 16-Jun-2016 08:40
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A "common" combination for ADSL/VDSL (and also one that I'm using) is draytek modem (ADSL 100$ / VDSL 200$) + wifi-router such as mikrotik hp ac lite (100$)

 

You want draytek, because it does PPPoE-PPPoA pass-through, allowing your router to directly control the connection.

 

I tried a few different routers, and experimented with custom firmware (you don't have to if you do not want to), and I found that my current mikrotik is pretty darn sweet. Still sometimes I find it a bit limiting in terms of tweaking (awkward scripting), and I'm planning to try an edgerouter someday.


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  Reply # 1574906 16-Jun-2016 10:37
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TP-Link Archer C2 is another Router+AP You can get on a budget, has gigabit LAN and AC Wifi. It does the job. Use it on Bigpipe 100 UFB

No custom firmware support


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  Reply # 1574917 16-Jun-2016 10:57
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lxsw20:

 

NF8AC does not have a built in ATA.

 

 

For some of us VOIP support is necessary for an all-in-one solution.

 

Is there a version of the NF8AC that does support VOIP? I read here a thread from Jan 15 that intimated such a version was planned.

 

If not, what other recommended options (excepting the HG659 which I currently have, noting the issues re Netflix) are there for a single box solution, ie router, wifi and ATA in one? The third option listed (ASUS DSL-AC68U)?

 

I'd rather avoid having to buy an ATA as well as a router; alternatively are there any recommended routers that also do VOIP that I can pair with the HG659 to handle the wifi? It doesn't look like the Edgerouter Lite has a built-in ATA. (Connection is BigPipe fibre with 2Talk, if relevant.)

 

Thanks for any thoughts.


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  Reply # 1574928 16-Jun-2016 11:13
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Im surprised you have a Netcomm on there. Their software is diabolical and its pot luck whether the current software release works or not. Sort of like UBNT v1 software - might as well call it a beta.


mdf

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  Reply # 1575190 16-Jun-2016 17:37
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Has anyone tried a Cambium R201/201P? I've been fairly impressed with the cnPilot controller on my E400s (though they've not been fully deployed yet. The stickers are even still on them). And I really like the idea of a single platform to control both router and APs. Particularly at my mother's house - a web interface for fixing her problems seems just _grand_. Specs for the router seem really good for a $200 + GST device too.

 

However, I can't find a single online review. Has anyone used one?

 

If not, @rwittert - any chance of a Geekzone review unit? I'll pay the shipping.


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  Reply # 1575210 16-Jun-2016 18:21
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come now, wheres the fritzbox!





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  Reply # 1576031 17-Jun-2016 21:29
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zespri:

 

A "common" combination for ADSL/VDSL (and also one that I'm using) is draytek modem (ADSL 100$ / VDSL 200$) + wifi-router such as mikrotik hp ac lite (100$)

 

You want draytek, because it does PPPoE-PPPoA pass-through, allowing your router to directly control the connection.

 

 

 

 

Used a Draytek 120 for a few years in pass-through mode which was linked to a pfSense box for firewall, vpn etc

 

Worked well.




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  Reply # 1576034 17-Jun-2016 21:31
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Thanks for the suggestions - I'll update this tonight. I knew I couldn't hold all the knowledge here ;)

 

And regarding the NF8AC I did this post at around 4am. I was thinking of the other router given out by providers at that time but was well aware of the firmware bugs too, it is still an otherwise stable router.

 

hio77: come now, wheres the fritzbox!

 

You must be trolling... No.





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  Reply # 1576169 18-Jun-2016 12:05
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I was thinking about the features I look for on a router. Is this format summary helpful (these are just the routers I currently have in a semi-operational state)? Other fields required? Not useful at all?

 

Brand: D-Link

 

Model: DIR-868L (stock firmware)

 

Type: Router only

 

Wired LAN: Gigabit

 

Wifi: 2.4GHz g + n, 5Ghz a, n + ac

 

Wifi performance: Good [calibrating this could be an issue]

 

Stability: Good [calibration again]

 

ATA: No

 

VLAN tagging (UFB): Yes

 

Smart DNS support (adblocking, geo-unblocking): No

 

USB: 1 x 3.0

 

Technical ability: Moderately-savvy home user

 

 

 

Brand: D-Link

 

Model: DIR-868L (DDWRT)

 

Type: Router only

 

Wired LAN: Gigabit

 

Wifi: 2.4GHz g + n, 5Ghz a, n + ac

 

Wifi performance: Poor

 

Stability: Average

 

ATA: No

 

VLAN tagging (UFB): Yes

 

Smart DNS support (adblocking, geo-unblocking): Yes

 

USB: 1 x 2.0 (necessary to throttle software performance)

 

Technical ability: Ability to follow complex instructions (setting up)

 

 

 

Brand: Netgear

 

Model: R7000 Nighthawk (Advanced Tomato firmware)

 

Type: Router only

 

Wired LAN: Gigabit

 

Wifi: 2.4GHz g + n, 5Ghz a, n + ac

 

Wifi performance: Excellent

 

Stability: Excellent

 

ATA: No

 

VLAN tagging (UFB): Yes

 

Smart DNS support (adblocking, geo-unblocking): Yes

 

USB: 1 x 3.0, 1 x 2.0

 

Technical ability: Ability to follow complex instructions (setting up)

 

 

 

NB. I don't have UFB. There's an option for VLAN tagging / 802.1q in the above, but I have never used so can't confirm it actually works or not.


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  Reply # 1597726 24-Jul-2016 14:20
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As a cheapo router for unblocking overseas internet services, I have helped a few people out with Vodafone branded Huawei HG556a flashed with OpenWRT.

You can pick these up from Trademe for fewer than $10.

2.4GHz wifi, 4 Ethernet ports (100Mbps), several USB ports. Get hardware version B if you can because it has magnetic shielding. Version C lacks magnetic shielding. I don't know about version A.


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  Reply # 1597880 24-Jul-2016 22:37
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I've got a UniFi Security Gateway and AP AC access point - had it for over a year and everything is going well. Yes it does have a bit of a price tag but it is one of those things that you buy, setup and then just ignore because it just keeps doing what it is supposed to do in the background. Its been up for 49 days since the last reboot and that reboot was for a firmware update. No problems with either Mac or Windows computers but I would strong suggest to give up on trying to use 2.4GHz since almost every man in his dog has their Wifi access point spewing 2.4GHz signals even if they're not even using wifi. The latest firmware that is available makes setting up a fibre connection using VLAN tagging as something pretty easy to do when compared to a year ago which required logging in via ssh to manually setup the connection.





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