BTW Running my own name server has solved a lot of weird slowdowns I used to experience when browsing the web or sshing. According to namebench, my router doesn't even crack the top three when it comes to response time so I used to have it forward queries but in practice, after it warms up, it's more reliable and delivers a smoother experience than either my ISP or Google.
Cisco also has made crappy hardware in the past, I've had stacks of Cisco 2960 switches with dead ports, but they make up for it on the business side by having really good RMA processes if you have support agreements. They also make phenomenal hardware as well - I had a Cisco 7206 keep running without any human involvement whatsoever for 10+ years.
I'd be willing to pay $500-$550 for a solid 4 Port GE, 1U Rack Mountable, fully open, appliance that I could drop whatever operating system (OpenBSD preferred), that had gone through some extensive HALT (Highly Accelerated Life Testing) at temperatures -55C to +85C that suggested an average of 20 year life in typical consumer (23C) environments. I bet there are 10s of thousands of people who likewise would jump at the opportunity.
My experience with TP-Link has not been that great. I have three TP-Link devices (wireless router, Gig-E switch, and wireless AP) and I've had stability issues with all three since I got them. I regularly have to reboot each device, as each one will inevitably lock up after being powered on for a few days. I've also tried open-source firmware on the router, and it ran terribly no matter which flavor I tried; my 25Mbps WAN connection was reduced to about 5Mbps across the board. It runs at the correct speed with the stock firmware.
I'm seriously considering a build like the one in the article, however I'll probably go with a dual NIC Atom based nano-ITX board instead. Not only will it be cheaper, it will be easy to repurpose as a full fledged PC if I upgrade routers again in the future. A good example is this complete machine for $250, case and all: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008KB5YCK
They basically get a (minimal) job done. (Though, unlike the WRT54GL, the USR Robotics modems are pretty reliable).
What I don't understand, is why nobody ever built a somewhat robust version of the WRT54GL?
Just build a robust device with a Skyworks 802.11a,b,g,n,ac FEM and maybe four GigE ports. Something plain, vanilla, that you can stick on your desk for 10 years. I bet they'd sell millions of them.
Merely setting a different DNS source immediately shows off the full potential of the link. I still need to setup my own local DNS server so that I can be rid of this problem entirely. :(
> you still wouldn't use OpenBSD (or anything other
> than Linux) for QoS.
The latter has a complete open-source OS, you can ssh in and re-flash it yourself easily, a great community, the same TCP hardware offload, etc. I have been spec'ing out a BSD+soekris board setup for years, but when the Edgerouter came on the market it was a no-brainer. The fact that it works-out-of-box with little effort (for someone experienced with networking) is a big win, and that its quite easy to re-flash it and tweak as desired sure doesn't hurt.
While I really dig the DIY-router stuff, and was about to do it myself, Ubiquiti has sure made it hard to go that route when they can supply dang good products for the same price or less.
Edit: Added bit that this isn't a "zero effort for newbs" type product. If you've never setup a router, there'll be some research in your future to setup an Edgerouter, or BSD router.
Doing some speed tests I've seen speeds fluctuate around 500/700. Never really reached 1Gbit on any public speed test yet but it's helluva lot better than my old alix router.
I love the fact that the APU has an open bootloader, and as far as I can remember it was cheaper than what is mentioned of soekris here. I seem to remember the whole package costing me around 100 eur.
The BSDs aren't distros, though some do have what might be called distros, such as PC BSD, pfSense, &c. being distros of FreeBSD, EdgeBSD being a distro of NetBSD.
The ports system is a rolling release system for non-base software though, though the base OS isn't. The closest BSD to come to having a rolling release schedule for the base OS is OpenBSD, with its six-month release cycle. The thing is that the BSDs can't have a rolling release schedule as is found in some Linux distros because the base OS is managed separately from the ports/packages: the core OS components aren't packaged, so there's no sense in which they can 'roll'.
Personally, I'd never use an OS with a rolling release cycle on a server. Too much can go wrong.
It takes more research and work but it's more simple than having to install everything onto a clean OS install.
But PC-engines boards are nice for their price. I'm considering to get one at home. That or spend a bit more on soekris box/
those two boards have more CPU power than my home theater PC... which crunches 720p video all day long without a decent GPU.
> Routing traffic just isn't as trivial as you think it is
Width 6.89 11.40
Height 14.17 1.41
Length 17.15 6.11
Volume 1675.31 98.21
some other mini-ITX boards by random manufacturers in that space
However, this is a different design: http://store.netgate.com/ADI/RCC-VE-4860.aspx
Which as-far-as-I-know comes with all open source software, it very well supported by a large community.
You can also run OpenWRT though installing it is described as "Not straightforward."
The downside of this OpenBSD setup, is that you still need a consumer grade AP next to your router (that's exactly the setup I have).
OpenBSD still doesn't support 802.11 > g, regrettably.
That said I roll pfsense on a thin mini-itx intel board and its great.