Question New Wireless Router Advice

Mar 9, 2021
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Hi All

I would really like some advice on wireless routers I am looking for a new one as my old Netgear DGND3700v2 is starting to show it’s age. The price does not matter to much if I am getting good equipment but obviously I don’t really want to be paying stupid prices needlessly. I have always had Netgear equipment before but I am happy to swap to something else if the features are right.

I do online game a bit but just with friends, I remote into work a lot using VPN and RDP, and I have quite a few wireless devices so need good wireless. I would like a new router to have as many of the following features natively supported by the router OS I really cannot be bothered/don’t like flashing one with different/open source OS’s.

Essential for new router
4x 1gb network ports (minimum)
Very Good Wireless range or easy expandability (may need external access point for garden)

Would be Very Nice
Fibre modem built in if possible (so I can get rid of the white BT Box)
VPN Client Natively (I use Nord as my VPN) can live without this but I really would like it

Some routers I have looked at are
ASUS DSL-AC68U
Netgear D7000-200UKS
Upiquiti dream machine (expensive but I do have some ubiquiti switches as well)

Thanks in advance
 

RealBeast

Titan
Moderator
I would not get a combined router/modem.
The Netgear R7000 is an excellent router, with pretty much all the capabilities of newer models that either don't work or really don't make a difference at present.
Yes, go with an AP for your dead spot, a cheap router (like TP-Link AC router) configured as an AP would work fine.
No reason to spend a huge amount for no additional performance. Good site for real data.
 
The routers you have linked mostly have DSL modems in them. This means you have to make sure they are compatible with the ISP equipment.

What is confusing is why would you even need a dsl modem if you have fiber terminated inside the house. It is common to use dsl to run to a fiber box near your house but if they actually put the ONT inside your house they normally have standard ethernet ports.

It is highly unlikely the ISP would ever let you replace the fiber box, india is one of the countries it seem they do but it then greatly restricts which routers work on their system.

There are a lot of vpn routers but you are going to cap your speed to 20-30mbps. The encryption is very cpu intensive and routers have small cpu. Now there are a small number of routers that have encryption accelerators but I have not seen any with DSL modems in them. Then again if you are running DSL maybe 20-30mbps is not really going to restrict you that much.
 
Mar 9, 2021
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What I was thinking for the VPN client would not be used for regular browsing I was thinking more along the lines of being able to force X wireless/lan device down the VPN while other stuff carries on using the normal internet for example an amazon firestick always being on a VPN set to another country, not even sure that is possible.

But on occasion I would also like to be able to force all the traffic through the VPN but not often.

The fibre connection I have is sadly is FTTC not FTTP I stand absolutely no chance of getting FTTP the way BT do things around where I live it’s hard enough getting them to fix bad/broken lines never mind upgrade anything.

Are routers with built in modems that bad of an idea? I am just thinking about the early days of ADSL where I had to have a ADSL modem which was horrible and ended up causing me more problems then it was worth was so happy to finally get a router with a built in ADSL modem.

Thanks
 
DSL there really is not real optimum solution. Unlike a cable modem a DSL only modem is kinda rare. You almost have to get a router with a dsl modem.

I guess it depends on what the problem is with your current router. You might be able to run it in bridge mode but even then it is messy the second router most times must run PPPoE on the wan.

You might be able to just run 2 routers. Keep your first one but just turn off the wifi. You would then move everything to your second router. As long as the first router can move data between the lan port and the DSL it should be fine. This can cause issues if you need stuff like game consoles hosting or you have other reasons for hosting servers.

There are a number of routers that can do vpn the way you want. Asus routers tend to have very advanced VPN options. I run merlin so I have not looked at factory images for a while. I think but am not sure the DSL version of some of their routers runs the same VPN. I think asus added the ability to do what you want, this is many times called split tunnel. I know merlin can do it but normally you can't run third party firmware on a dsl router. You would have to check there is another firmware based on merlin that I think runs on asus dsl devices. I never read the details.

Note running the software that does split tunnel will put even more burden on the router. Again you are likely lucky in some ways you have dsl speed. When you have a fast ...say more than 200mbps internet connection...you have to use a actual PC based router to get vpn and other fancy features.
 
Mar 9, 2021
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Hi

Thanks for the info, well my old Netgear router has just decided to die (well I am not fully sure if it is the router or the modem) it was only giving me a 8mb download and weirdly 12mb upload but this was decreasing every day, I managed to get my ISP to send out a replacement one, which has a built-in modem (which is getting 54mb download and 12mb up) it is serving a purpose at the moment but it is lacking a fair few of the more advanced features I would like.

I have been recommended the Asus RT-AC86U or to future proof a bit the Asus RT-AX86U and I am wondering what other people thing of them.

Does anyone know if the Ubiquiti Dream machine (not the pro cannot afford that plus no space for it) can do the VPN client/split tunnel? I cannot seem to find much information on it.

Thanks for the help.
 
The ac86u is the best choice for VPN it has a hardware vpn accelerator. It also can do split tunnel...I think. I would load the merlin firmware on it, I know you can do split tunnel on that firmware. Asus factory firmware integrates features from merlin from time to time so I forget what is in one each.

Wifi6 is the perfect example of the "future proof" idea mostly being a scam to get people spend more money. Wifi6e is equipment is becoming more common and wifi6 is already obsolete and not "future". There maybe other routers out by now but the asus axe11000 is the first wifi6e router. It is outrageously expensive in my view.
 

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