Asus/Linksys/Buffalo/Netgear...which one is most awesome?
March 1, 2012 5:13 AM   Subscribe

Searching for router suggestions. Must support DD-WRT/TomatoUSB, list of requirements within.

Usage will be small-offices, no more than 12 active computers @ once.

-G/N bands
-Highest throughput possible
-Gigabit ports (duh)
-Support for DD-WRT/TomatoUSB (Ideally mega builds w/ onboard VPN)
-Durability, I can't be there to look at it every day, although there are tomato scripts to autoreboot on broadcast fail I understand.

Would Likes:
-Dual Band N
-Multiple USB ports (2, not sure if you can put a hub in the routers with 1)
-Upgradeable external antennas

In the Past:
I've never been impressed with NetGear products, although I understand that the WNR3500L is pretty bulletproof with TomatoUSB.

I've never had problems w/ Linksys or Asus products, although the most I've gotten out of a Linksys router is about 2 years.

Really would like to be sub-$100, buying two to start---one for home and one for a client.
posted by TomMelee to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I have the aforementioned 3500 with tomato (and teddybear and ddwrt at various times) and its been amazing for me. Solid as a rock compared to previous netgear and other brands.
posted by chasles at 6:11 AM on March 1, 2012

I have an ASUS N32 or whatever (as recommended by MetaFilter) and it is kicking the ass of any Linksys I've ever had...
posted by k8t at 6:19 AM on March 1, 2012

I use a pair of Buffalo WHR-HP-G300Ns, which support (and indeed, ship with) DD-WRT as the default firmware.

I will say, however, that I had some stability issues with the build of DD-WRT that they included and I ended up falling back to Buffalo's stock firmware. The stock firmware is clunk and obviously not nearly as fully featured as DD-WRT, but it's good enough for what I need, so I left it in place.

There has since been at least one DD-WRT firmware update from Buffalo, but I haven't had the time (or inclination) to give it a run. FWIW, others reported that DD-WRT ran great on it. Newegg has them for around $50.
posted by jquinby at 7:18 AM on March 1, 2012

Rats, I missed your USB/Gig-port requirements. Never mind.
posted by jquinby at 7:34 AM on March 1, 2012

The Linksys/Cisco E3000 is an awesome router for around $100, works really well with DD-WRT and looks like it meets all of your requirements. You can also get it refurbished, which is what I did, for even cheaper.
posted by Capa at 8:32 AM on March 1, 2012

I'd had lots of good results using Buffalo products with DD-WRT, but my experience with the WZR-HP-G300NH turned me completely off the Buffalo/DD-WRT combination. I finally followed the recommendation on the DD-WRT forums to switch to OpenWRT, and have been very happy.
posted by Runes at 9:23 AM on March 1, 2012

Response by poster: I would really prefer TomatoUSB over DD-WRT...but I run DD @ home right now.

I was looking @ refurb E3000's yesterday, but on newegg it seems that they're more "used" and less "refurbished" and getting a good one is kind of hit and miss.
posted by TomMelee at 9:26 AM on March 1, 2012

For the dual USB ports, the best I've used is the Asus RT-N16 but it does not have the dual band but had the rest of the specs you are looking for.

I like both the E3000 and the WNR3500L as well. Just saw a deal on E3000 Refurbs with DD-WRT installed up

I think they have RT-N16s and WNR3500L's as well. I've ordered and E4200 from them before and all of their refurbs have been basically or in used condition and arrive with DD-WRT on their which is pretty sweet. I don't believe the WNR3500L can run a mega build because it's an Atheros and to run a DD-WRT mega build you need a Broadcom which the Linksys and Asus have.

Hope this helps.
posted by buscemifan at 10:44 AM on March 1, 2012

Response by poster: Indeed it does. Our AP at work just took a dump, so I went ahead and ordered a 3500L next day from Amazon Prime, so I guess I'll be experimenting with that tomorrow. I've heard that write speeds on a USB drive are pretty abysmal, I guess I'll have to look. TomatoUSB says that the 3500L runs their deepest package w/ VPN and such, so I'll find out how well exactly it works.
posted by TomMelee at 11:27 AM on March 1, 2012

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