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  1. #1

    Can today's wireless routers run on stock firmware to our standards?

    My trusty ASUS RT-N16 is starting to show it's age so I've been shopping around for a replacement but can't quite figure out which one to use. I've always used DD-WRT on my Linksys routers and currently run Tomato on the RT-N16 but from reading over the DD-WRT forums and various internet searches the support from both is spotty. It is all in the works but not what I would call finalized. DD-WRT has support for the newer ASUS and Linksys but it seems to break some things while fixing or adding others and needs constant updates. There also seems to be a better chance of bricking than there used to be. Tomato for the most part is not supported except for a couple people working the old builds for use on the newer generation of routers. Add all that to the fact that I just don't have the time to tinker that I used to, I would rather run something out of the box if possible. I don't really use most of the extras Tomato or DD-WRT add to the router, I mainly use their firmware for the reliability factor they bring so giving up features is ok. Does anyone use a newer AC router with stock firmware that can attest to the reliability of it? For example this RT-N16 has run problem free with almost no reboots for years up until recently. Can the new wireless routers do the same?

    I realize "our standards" are dependent on each person's needs but I assume for the most part we all have the basic needs (reliability, security, etc) then look for the extras so I am looking for personal opinions here. Thanks!
    Last edited by BugFreak; 04-16-17 at 10:27 AM.
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  2. #2
    Bluefalcon13's Avatar
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    As a former network engineer (4 years, had a CCNA and CCNA-Voice), I am pretty happy with the stock firmware in my Asus RT-N66r. Has some odd issues... Randomly needs to be rebooted cause the wifi just chokes. But it has openVPN built in, and tons of other options. Been very happy with it overall.
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  3. #3
    freakdiablo's Avatar
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    Personally I use a Netgear N7000 Nighthawk on stock firmware that's been running solid for months. Before I moved I was using a refurbed D-Link DIR-868L that ran stock firmware and was like a rock as well. Ran for a year straight, only rebooted once when I knocked the wall wart out of the plug.

    On the flip side, I ordered my parents a D-Link DIR-859 as they wanted something other than the basic router that came from their ISP. Stock F/W. Now my dad said he can maintain a good connection to the router but "will occasionally lose internet access until he reboots the modem". I'm not sure if he's mixing it up and means the router, or if he really means the modem and it is still somehow a router issue. But this is once every 2-3 months, if that.

    The only time I considered putting 3rd party firmware on an AC router was on a couple of TP-Link Archer C9s. Before getting the D-Link my dad got a few C9s to try to cover the house (single story ranch) and a detached garage. He heard they were easy to set up in bridge mode, so he could use one as the main router and the other two as extenders.

    Well, they weren't. Devices were only able to get web access through one router at a time, and exactly which router cycled seemingly randomly. Add in the main router needed to be rebooted daily and constant calls to CS, and it didn't take long before my dad was asking for me to pick him out a new one.
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  4. #4
    Good info thanks. The nighthawk is one of my top picks so far. It also has some of the more active dd-wrt builds so far in case I get the itch to tinker again.
    Intel i5 6600K ||| Intel i5 4690K @ 4.8
    ASUS Sabertooth Z170 Mark 1 ||| MSI Z87I Gaming
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    Thermalright Venomous X ||| Swiftech H220-X

    "Those who would sacrifice a little freedom for a little order, will lose both, and deserve neither." - Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5
    I've been running a TP-link archer C5 for about 2 years or so now. I literally have never had to reset it, and it has never not delivered the bandwidth promised. It's paired with a motorola sb-6141 and a 150 mb/sec connection.
    https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-Gigab...ords=archer+c7
    I used to do dd-wrt on my older setups, but TP-link just has its act together.
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