In case you’ve not already guessed our home is extremely network dependent. VoIP for our telephone service, torrents and streaming for our television and a host of domestic interconnected devices that serve a variety of purposes.
For the last three years we have had a Linksys E3000 router running TomatoUSB firmware (Broadcom 480mhz, 64MB RAM and 8MB Flash) as the central hub of our home network, and I’ve had few complaints. The range of the router was more than sufficient to cover our home, and with the expanded features of the TomatoUSB firmware (QoS, parental controls, bandwidth tracking) our needs were met.
The configuration of the E3000 was ‘just right’, and it concerned me that a failure on its part would not only take us offline, but cause all manner of work (on a fairly urgent basis) at an undoubtedly inconvenient time. A backup was needed.
I thought we would roll the dice rather than simply obtaining a refurbished E3000 from Ebay. A LOT of online reading followed. Looking for a router that would notionally offer the same features AND work with custom firmware if needed. In the end I settled on the Asus RT-N66U (Broadcom 600Mhz 256MB RAM 32MB Flash).
A host of features come standard (Dual usb ports, guest wifi, parental controls, DD-WRT ready and allegedly coming with a fairly robust stock firmware) and it seemed the best bang for the buck, and so we plunked down the cash and took one home.
After spending some time copying the DHCP and Port Forwarding tables over I shut down the E3000 and plugged everything into the RT-N66U hey presto near seamless change-over.
Initial impressions are favourable. Configuration was fairly easy and the stock firmware appears to offer enough functionality that there is no immediate need for a change to DD-WRT or other firmware.
Early days yet, but looking good so far.
(Return policies suggest that it’s prudent to make the RT-N66U the primary unit and relegate our E3000 to the position of “backup device” at least until we’re certain the RT-N66U will do the job.)