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Separate ADSL2+ Modem & Wireless Router

willowen100

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Sep 9, 2014
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I'm looking to buy the Linksys WRT1900AC wireless router and I want to move away from the all in one ADSL modem/wireless router combo I have used in the past. This is because I've had no luck with reliable firmware and performance in any of the routers I have owned, such as the Asus DSL-N66U which currently has worse WiFi performance than my BT HH3 (that I've had to fall back to). To put into aspect the range the routers were pushing, the dBm reading was from -78dBm to -76dBm, with the BT HH3 showing the latter of the dBm readings, unlike the Asus which fluctuated around -78/75dBm. However, the BT HH3 has awful port forwarding that never works and there isn't any advanced features such as QoS or media server features which is why I chose the Asus router.

Originally I looked at the WRT1900AC as it looked powerful in terms of hardware and offered open-source firmware support in the future. Some reviews said that it performed very well whereas others said it did worse than some Asus routers and its rival Netgear's Nighthawk R7000. The WRT1900AC lacks advanced wireless settings and the stock firmware is a bit limited for such a premium device. On the hand I did some digging into the Netgear Nighthawk R7000 and this outperformed the WRT1900AC on a benchmark review found on www.smallnetworkbuilder.com

As I don't want another Asus router I'm now debating between the WRT1900AC and the R7000. Netgear's router stock firmware does look better than Linksys, though I'm not to keen on the style of GUI; looks a bit like a menu a child's PC video game menu. The only risk I have with the Netgear router is problems that other routers have had in the past, such as the poor WiFi range and throughput of the DGND3700 for example. All I'm asking from a new router is to be able to do the following:-


  • QoS/bandwidth control

    Good range and speed especially on 2.4GHz for the home's older devices

    Traffic manager/usage meter

    UPnP that works (something I didn't get to work on my Asus DSL-N66U router)

    DNS server support

    Printer support via USB without the need of additional software on the client devices

    A reliable smartphone companion app
In terms of an internet connection
I'm currently on a ADSL connection so I will clearly need a modem to attach to the. I looked at D-Link's ADSL2+ modem but there is a security flaw with the DNS or something where it redirects you to dodgy websites. Does anyone know of any other reliable modems that would work with the WRT1900AC or R7000 router?
 
I would first see if you can force your dsl router into bridge mode to avoid having to buy a dsl modem.

Your best bet with the feature you want is to get a router you can load third party firmware on like dd-wrt. That is the huge downside of a modem/router combo that you can not load third party firmware.

Which brand of router you get does not make a lot of difference what matters is the chipset they use. Pretty much 2 routers with the exact same processor and radio chips will pretty much perform the same. Sites like wikidevi have more than you would ever want to know.

It is almost impossible to guess based on reviews which device will perform well. The ASUS you complain about was one of the most popular router with people saying it had the best coverage. Unfortunately what a review of a wireless router really is is a review of that persons house.

Feature wise you may want to see if you can load the latest ASUS firmware. They have gone to a single source concept so even the older routers are getting features on the new ones. With it being a factory firmware they do not have the open source issues and can build images that have the dsl drivers in them to run on devices that have dsl modems.

Other than that just be careful not to chase the big numbers. A lot of the 802.11ac feature ...like 4 antenna are not supported on any nic so it is just magic marketing for now.
 

willowen100

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Sep 9, 2014
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Thank you for your reply it's much appreciated.

The BT HH3 doesn't have a modem/bridge mode to allow it supply the PPoE connection to another router. However, I have heard you can turn off the DHCP and disable the firewall and Wi-Fi and then bridge it to a better wireless router via its LAN port.

In regard to my current router, on paper the Asus DSL-N66U is impressive but all I've had is trouble with the firmware. Bandwidth control is still not working as my whole connection on my games consoles, despite having highest priority, get lagged out by my PC doing a speedtest. On the same section of QoS's GUI web interface is traffic manager, and this has never displayed anything on the ADSL graph, and is currently the only way I can connect to internet so the Ethernet WAN I'm unable to test.

The biggest issue has to be UPnP not working as my Google Chromecast has never connected at long distances unless I turn my BT HH3 into wired bridge with the wireless AP in which it connects perfectly fine then. I know UPnP isn't working because my torrent client says it can't connect and my PlayStation 3 also says not available.

In your personal opinion which router would you pick? In terms of what you said about the chipsets would you pick Marvel or Broadcom?
 
I would go with broadcom seems much more popular.

UPnP will not work if you have 2 routers in the picture so be sure you run one unit as a AP or your main "router" as a modem only.

The concept of traffic management is most a dream for home internet connections. You can really only limit the upload speeds and most times it is your download bandwidth that is being exceeded. That is in full control of the ISP, no router can recreate data the ISP dropped. There are complex configurations that will allow allow some control by configuring QoS policies on the download side but what you are really doing is attempting to trick the end client into not requesting as much data. It works for some things but tends to not work as well on slower connection like DSL. The DD-WRT firmware has some ability as well as tomatoe but don't expect miracles.
 

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