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Best, cheap router setup: DD-WRT, Tomato, or something else?

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Old 01-04-10, 05:52 PM Thread Starter   #1
g0dM@n

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Best, cheap router setup: DD-WRT, Tomato, or something else?


I have several routers to choose from. Lately I've been running DD-WRT v24 (07/03/08) std on my Netgear WNR834Bv2. I have 2 of these. One is upstairs and the other is set up as a bridge downstairs, hooked up to home theater setup, which is my HTPC (also a file-server) and my other xbox 360.

Often, when I APPLY SETTINGS in the admin CP on the main router, the GUI crashes and although the router still works, I have to manually reboot the router or I have to telnet and reboot the router to get the GUI to work again. This is annoying. I tried swapping the main router with the client bridged one downstairs (changed their roles by running backups and restoring) and this made no difference.

This isn't the biggest pain in the butt. The biggest pain in the butt is the QoS on DD-WRT. Is it just me or does it simply just STINK!?? If it does work at all, it does a major lousy job. I need QoS badly. I'm sick of having to pause my FTP and other gadgets when I'm playing a video game or using logmein or RDP. I have to pause my HTPC (file-server) connection any time I want to download something through my browser on my gaming machine, my gf's laptop, etc.

I'm sure you get the idea. I read up about Tomato having good QoS, but I've no idea if I can get it to install on my Netgear WNR834Bv2. If it would work, I'm not the guy to figure it out alone. It's not on the list on tomato's website:
http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato

So here are my choices:
  • Have someone help me get Tomato on my Netgear
  • Use one of my other routers I have in stock - I'm sure DD-WRT will give me the same QoS problems, so perhaps get Tomato on one of those. Here is a list of what I have available, but none of these can do Wireless N. Is it really that beneficial to be using draft N on my Netgear WNR834b right now? I've compared draft N to some other G routers I've had and I recall the difference with my file-server was 2mbytes/sec vs roughly 4-6mbytes/sec
    • ASUS WL-520gC - supports DD-WRT
    • ASUS WL-520gU - supports DD-WRT and Tomato (too bad tomato says it wouldn't support the USB port but oh well)
    • BUFFALO WHR-G125 - supports DD-WRT and Tomato
    • NETGEAR WGR614 (don't think this can be flashed to 3rd party)
    • Might have more, but that's what I remember
  • Buy a new router, if so, which one? Really TIGHT on finances, but I run a business from home too, so this is somewhat urgent. I know D-Link has some nicer wireless N routers.
  • How else can I manage QoS?

Currently where my optimum modem/phone is I have the main Netgear WNR834Bv2 is hooked up to it, and then hooked up to the netgear is an 8-port trendnet (green) gigabit switch, a usb port hub that goes to my printer, and an xbox 360. Everything else goes through the gigabit switch. There's a couple more items, but that should explain enough.

Optimum's connection sucks as it is. I can range from 1500kbytes/sec download to as low as 150-250kbytes/sec!!!!!!!!! During the day, peak hours of the evening, holidays, days people are snowed in, and weekends, the download speed is stupidly slow. The only time I get close to full bandwidth is between like 3-5am. It's quite sad... hopefully I'll go with FIOS, but I live in a co-op and that will take a while to get approved.

Once I figure out the best choice for QoS, I also want to know if there's a QoS out there that can handle inconsistent bandwidths, such as cable.

Thanks in advance.

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Old 01-04-10, 11:07 PM   #2
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DD-WRT has major issues with QoS that have been known for quite a while now. Even their WIKI page states the issues with the different QoS methods that are used. They have unfortunately not been fixed...

I read some people were able to inject the basic Linux source code into the Netgear router and were able to merge Tomato into it. However, that was back in 2007 and no one every supplied an actually firmware that was pre-made.

There is a mod version for the WL-520gU with USB support. I actually just switched back to DD-WRT, so I would have to go check where I got the USB version of Tomato for that router.

In regards to Draft-N, it's hard to say. If you transfer lots of large files over the network, N might help you. Otherwise, G might still fit your needs.

*EDIT*
If you decide wireless-G is okay with you, here is the thread I used for the USB Tomato firmware for the 520gU.
http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=60185

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Old 01-04-10, 11:20 PM Thread Starter   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thehacker010 View Post
DD-WRT has major issues with QoS that have been known for quite a while now. Even their WIKI page states the issues with the different QoS methods that are used. They have unfortunately not been fixed...

I read some people were able to inject the basic Linux source code into the Netgear router and were able to merge Tomato into it. However, that was back in 2007 and no one every supplied an actually firmware that was pre-made.

There is a mod version for the WL-520gU with USB support. I actually just switched back to DD-WRT, so I would have to go check where I got the USB version of Tomato for that router.

In regards to Draft-N, it's hard to say. If you transfer lots of large files over the network, N might help you. Otherwise, G might still fit your needs.

*EDIT*
If you decide wireless-G is okay with you, here is the thread I used for the USB Tomato firmware for the 520gU.
http://www.linksysinfo.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=60185
Thank you so much for the info, buddy!!

As for wireless N, the reason I want it is that my HTPC has a ton of HD content and I sometimes stream it, and I also want to be able to stream it to my WD HD Media Player someday in the bedroom so I can watch HD movies while falling asleep.

I'd LOVE to get tomato on my netgears!!! Any idea why my GUI crashes when I "Apply Settings" half the time? The router itself doesn't crash and I could still telnet into it, but curious if I should be sinking anything inside that might help?

I also would do an antenna hack if I could manage to get QoS to work with my Netgear... such as here:
http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=39422

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Old 01-05-10, 12:02 AM   #4
thehacker010
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There is also the Sveasoft firmware that supports the WNR834B. Unfortunately, I have never used it as it costs money. Also, I have no experience with what type of QoS features it has. Perhaps that is something you might want to look into though.

Also, here is what the WIKI says about your problem with DD-WRT.

http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php...d_hit_apply.3F

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Old 01-05-10, 02:02 AM Thread Starter   #5
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I guess I could always use the ASUS as my main router and then set up Wireless N downstairs... I guess it's worth a shot to try the ASUS with tomato. I just really need good QoS.

Another option is IPCop. I built an old 700-800mhz celeron (server parts) with 384mb RAM, a few years ago when I used to live @ my parents. I set it up in the basement as my router and then popped in an 8-port gigabit switch to it. That thing ran like a CHAMP, except it's not energy-efficient like a small router.

I don't know why, but my electric bill was just over $180!!!!!!! It's been around that lately and it's KILLING ME. I live in a 2 floor co-op and it's not even that big... my parents still have my 2 younger brothers living with them and their elec. bill isn't even close to mine, and it's a 4 bedroom (2 floors and a basement) house... funny I annihilate their elec. bill... must be my damn 37" + 24" monitors, and my watercooled PC. I just checked today and just working during the day (home office) with 2 monitors and some music, I suck up 550 watts!!!!

So... as much as I'm inclined to grab that IPCop PC and use it, I know I will regret it later.

I'm wondering if I could build something to run with onboard video and a usb/flash... still gonna use 25-30watts at best...

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Old 01-05-10, 11:03 AM   #6
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I've had good experience with Tomato's QoS myself.

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