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benesch 449 days ago | link | parent

So if Belkin hasn't ever made good hardware, and Linksys hasn't made good hardware in a few years—what company is making solid consumer networking hardware at a decent price?

Legitimately curious.



libria 449 days ago | link

Asus. I've had a rock solid WL-500Gp and 2 WL-520gU's. They're running DD-WRT, but the stock firmware would probably be ok since the hardware's been excellent. I'm considering the RT-N66U next[1] which is a little pricey but ranks well on SmallNetBuilder throughput charts[2] and supports a custom firmware build that uses the native optimized drivers[3] (or DD-WRT/OpenWRT, etc.).

Also, any Linksys router with an external antenna has been OK, but those are rare now. Netgear and D-Link have been hit or miss for me.

//edit: A couple folks have said Apple Airport. +1 from me as well; I've used one without any incident for a couple years connecting primarily Windows/Android machines.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006QB1RPY/

[2] http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lanwan/router-charts/view

[3] http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/319...

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EvanKelly 449 days ago | link

I bought a Buffalo router a few years ago based on Newegg reviews, and have had very good luck with it.

One of the pluses was that it came pre-loaded with DD-WRT.

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bifrost 449 days ago | link

Basically nobody, its pretty hit or miss at this point. The only device which I'd say is solidly worth buying is the Apple Airport, however its pretty low on features.

I see a fair amount of these sorts of devices and I can tell you most of them make me want to stomp on them and swear at the people who buy them. They're so terrible.

I know that some people love them, but as someone who does network engineering for money, people need to get real.

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danilocampos 449 days ago | link

I know next to nothing about networking hardware, so fuck me, but...

I always had to power-cycle my routers, no matter the brand, for years. Some once a week, one every other day. Then I bought a Time Capsule from Apple. It seemed kinda pricey, but I wanted the convenience of the backups.

This was in 2008. Five years later, that thing still works perfectly. Never had to power cycle it. Entirely reliable. So Apple will keep getting my money for consumer networking gear.

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zorlem 449 days ago | link

It's good that you haven't had any problem with your Time Capsule, especially overheating. Due to poor engineering and industrial design, there are a lot of people that have had issues with that and had to physically modify the case [1].

In general Apple has a solid history of various problems (I'd speculate mostly due to design decisions taking over engineering concerns) with their hardware - "antennagate", Mac Mini overheating, dust inside DVD drive slots, Time Capsule and Apple TV overheating [2].

I guess there are more, but these are the problems people around me have actually stumbled upon.

Not exactly what I would call a manufacturer of durable hardware.

[1] http://leonidas.org/2012/04/13/time-capsule-reborn/

[2] http://olitee.com/2010/04/overheating-apple-tv/

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happycube 449 days ago | link

For consumer routers, the Netgear 3xxx's have been pretty good (aside from bad batches), and I hear good things about ASUS routers, too.

IIRC Cisco axed the Linksys people around 2009 after a GPL violation suit caused by Broadcom not providing gcc source.

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singingfish 449 days ago | link

I've had significant problems with netgear kit.

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stephen_g 449 days ago | link

I had a terrible Zyxel router was really unreliable. Replaced it with a Billion 7404VNPX and haven't looked back. They're aimed more at home/small office than just being consumer, so they have better configuration, ipv6, etc. (but are a little ugly, but who cares?). Still pretty cheap.

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dagw 449 days ago | link

I've got a TP-Link router I've been using for the past year and a bit. Works great, no stability issues, and has all the hacky config options I need right of the box.

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gmac 449 days ago | link

Same here (TL-WR1043ND). Plus it was really cheap. TP-Link Ethernet-over-powerline adaptors also performing awesomely as part of this setup.

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augustl 449 days ago | link

I use a home-built router and a TP-link WiFi access point, works great! Building your own router is as simple as having a Linux box with two ethernet plugs and installing a DHCP server, and some iptables tweaking for NAT.

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whalesalad 449 days ago | link

Seems like overkill power wise though, right? I wouldn't mind repurposing an old box for that either but even something with a 250w lightweight desktop PSU is gonna out-juice a little embedded device.

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zokier 449 days ago | link

That depends. There has been low-power CPUs along the history[1], if you manage to find a box with one of those then I wouldn't be surprised if you get way below 50W. Of course that probably is still significantly more than what an embedded solution would consume, but on the other hand you should get better performance and more flexibility. You could use the same box for eg NAS.

[1] Intel ARK finds 108 =<35W desktop CPUs, from the original Pentiums to modern day i5 Ivy Bridges.

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augustl 449 days ago | link

Linux runs on Linksys routers (dd-wrt, for example), so Linux != lots of power :) There are some cool boards you can get pretty cheap with 10/100 ethernet, which is probably all you need for an internet conneciton (I have 60 up/down at home so it's enough for me).

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mhurron 449 days ago | link

I bought a low power VIA board to run OpenBSD on. You can get them far lower than 250W.

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raylu 449 days ago | link

I did this too and it was great. Then, one day, I wanted wifi. (I've been warned away from HostAP.)

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zokier 449 days ago | link

Buffalo makes decent hardware (don't count on the software though), so does TP-link. But in any case the OEM firmware is most probably horrible, so most important factor imho is OpenWRT (or some other distro) support.

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singingfish 449 days ago | link

I've been pretty impressed with TP-Link's stuff. Seems to be cheap and good.

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angryasian 449 days ago | link

hardware is cheap and commodity. your best bet is looking through dd-wrt and finding what hardware offers the best specs and easy to install this firmware

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uptown 449 days ago | link

Netgear wndr3700. Best router I've ever owned. Never fails. Has the features I want. Rock solid.

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starky 449 days ago | link

My Netgear WNR3500L has been nothing but rock solid since I bought it. The router is advertised to be compatible with Tomato, DD-WRT, and Open-WRT. I think I have had to reboot the router a grand total of one time, and it was completely my fault.

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