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Old 05-23-2014, 11:31 PM  
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Home networking enthusiasts...anybody using a bleeding edge AC1900 router?

I'd be interested to know if anybody has any experiences they'd like to share.

I have now tried the Netgear R7000, Asus RT-AC68U, and the Linksys EA6900. Tomorrow, I'm going to test the Linksys WRT1900AC, the most expensive router in the group.

So anybody else take the plunge?
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Old 05-24-2014, 12:27 AM   #2
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:10 AM   #3
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Is the default username/password admin:admin?
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:24 AM   #4
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Nobody?

Here are some quick rankings based on my experience/environment, in case anybody is considering buying:

Wireless Range - 2.4Ghz
  1. Linksys WRT1900AC
  2. Netgear R7000
  3. Asus RT-AC68U
  4. Linksys EA6900
Wireless Range - 5.0Ghz
  1. Linksys WRT1900AC
  2. Asus RT-AC68U
  3. Netgear R7000
  4. Linksys EA6900
Wireless Throughput - 2.4Ghz (not tested)

Wireless Throughput - 5.0Ghz
  1. Netgear R7000
  2. Linksys WRT1900AC
  3. Asus RT-AC68U
  4. Linksys EA6900
Notes: The EA6900 was significantly worse than the other 3 in this category. The R7000 suffers from a bug when doing AFP file transfers to/from OS X. If you are transferring files larger than 10GB, the AFP transfer consumes 100% of wireless bandwidth, making multi-tasking impossible. The file transfer still completes without error, however.

Ease of Setup
  1. Linksys WRT1900AC
  2. Linksys EA6900
  3. Netgear R7000
  4. Asus RT-AC68U
Notes: Both Linksys routers use the same GUI and are equally easy to get up and running.

Features
  1. Asus RT-AC68U
  2. Netgear R7000
  3. Linksys WRT1900AC
  4. Linksys EA6900
Notes: The Asus firmware has a ton of features including telnet/SSH support and several other things the other routers don't have but for me, it was just one step short of DD-WRT and just too cluttered IMO. The Linksys firmware is very basic but does include features like USB NAS storage, FTP server, DHCP reservation, port forwarding, and IPv6 support. Despite being short on other features, the Linksys firmware supports a completely separate guest network on it's own subnet and uses splash page authentication with an open SSID. Both the Netgear and Asus use a secure SSID with WPA2-PSK but guest users are placed on the same subnet as the private LAN and rely on ACLs to separate guest traffic from the LAN (see "Stability" below). the AC68U supports both PPTP VPN and OpenVPN. The Netgear supports OpenVPN but the distro they use is quite dated and only allows for the use of deprecated 1024-bit keys. The Linksys firmware does not support VPN termination at all.

USB File Sharing Support
  1. Linksys WRT1900AC
  2. Netgear R7000
  3. Asus RT-AC68U
  4. Linksys EA6900
Notes: This one is kind of tough and very subjective. I don't tend to use this feature but here are some things to consider. All of the devices have 1 USB2.0 and 1 USB3.0 port. The WRT1900AC also has an eSATA port but reportedly it doesn't outperform USB3.0 in this configuration. The RT-AC68U is apparently the only device of the 4 that can natively support Apple Time Machine backups. The RT-AC68U also lacks the design/shielding of the other devices. Many people can't get the USB3.0 port to work at anything about USB2.0 speeds because it creates interference that affects wireless stability. The Netgear and Asus both allow you to expose your file shares to the outside world. The Linksys firmware only allows file sharing within the private LAN.

Stability
  1. Linksys WRT1900AC
  2. Asus RT-AC68U
  3. Netgear R7000
  4. Linksys EA6900
Notes: The Asus router running RMerlin 3rd-party firmware seemed very stable. However, there are a couple of bugs. The worst one is that there is an error in the ebtables config that allows users on the guest network to access the router admin page even thought they're not supposed to be able to access the private subnet. The Netgear firmware appears to have memory leaks. It is quite stable for 2-3 days and then things start failing. You have to reboot in order to calm things down, at which point it is stable again for 2-3 days. The EA6900 comes in last here because of a hardware issue. The Linksys firmware appears to be very stable. However, the EA6900 has a ton of high-powered electronics packed in a very tiny space and the feet on the bottom of the router provide less than 1/8 inch of clearance from the surface it's sitting on. I had seen reports of the unit reaching temps 25 degrees above safe operating specs and despite having a 4-inch fan on it 24x7 and adding after-market foot pads to give it over an inch of clearance, I still noticed it getting VERY hot. If I hadn't made all of those alterations, I'm sure it would have crashed.

Average Price (Low to High)
  1. Linksys EA6900 - $180
  2. Netgear R7000 - $190
  3. Asus RT-AC68U - $210
  4. Linksys WRT1900AC - $250

Bottom Line: I am sticking with the WRT1900AC. The extra $$$ is worth it.

Last edited by htismaqe; 05-24-2014 at 09:31 AM..
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNull View Post
Is the default username/password admin:admin?
The default usernames for the R7000 and AC68U are both "admin". The default passwords are both "password".

The Linksys GUI no longer utilizes a username and password but rather just a login. By default, it is "admin".
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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Last time I needed a router, I just bought whatever router they had at Best Buy (Linksys E1200). Does that qualify me to be a home networking enthusiast?

What I did splurge on was an UPS so that I didn't have to reset the whole modem/router rig every time the power blinked. That got old.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:31 AM   #7
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I just want my router to be a router / wifi AP. I don't want it to be a print server or a file server or have 6 antennas or any of that shit. I usually just buy a good midrange device that can handle Tomato or DD-WRT.
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Old 05-24-2014, 09:33 AM   #8
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpio View Post
I just want my router to be a router / wifi AP. I don't want it to be a print server or a file server or have 6 antennas or any of that shit. I usually just buy a good midrange device that can handle Tomato or DD-WRT.
I'm the same. I really don't use any of the advanced features except to play around. I have a dedicated NAS and all that jazz.

That being said, the performance of these devices as routers and wireless APs cannot be understated. Dual core CPUs with high-end wireless amps.

The range and wireless throughput of all of these routers is at least DOUBLE of my old Netgear WNDR3700, which at one time was the fastest N600 router available. In addition, all of these routers can handle near 1Gig WAN/LAN routing, so Google Fiber people would do well to take a look.
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Old 05-24-2014, 03:48 PM   #9
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Upgrading from a baseline N router to a dual band N increased our network throughput significantly, and even boosted wireless download speeds two-fold. On a 30 Meg connection we've pulled downloads as high as 4 MB/sec.
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:02 PM   #10
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by 'Hamas' Jenkins View Post
Upgrading from a baseline N router to a dual band N increased our network throughput significantly, and even boosted wireless download speeds two-fold. On a 30 Meg connection we've pulled downloads as high as 4 MB/sec.
On this Linksys, I'm pushing 216Mbps consistently on the 5Ghz band.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:10 AM   #11
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Any idea which ones are more prone to interference?
Typical things like home theater equipment, microwaves, cordless phones, etc?
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:56 AM   #12
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Originally Posted by nstygma View Post
Any idea which ones are more prone to interference?
Typical things like home theater equipment, microwaves, cordless phones, etc?
First of all, they all operate on the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands, so all wireless routers are susceptible to the same interference, whether your talking about an old Linksys G router from 2005 or one of these new guys.

You're not likely to get interference from home electronics (with one notable exception below) but microwaves definitely can interfere with 2.4Ghz signals. Bluetooth runs in the 2.4Ghz spectrum and can cause problems.

However, the biggest interference problem on 2.4Ghz is simply the limited amount of spectrum. There's only 3 non-overlapping bands, so if you have 3 neighbors and yourself on 2.4Ghz, your competing with at least one person. The good news is that since their all running the same protocols, it's really not "interference" but rather contention (unless you're at fringe distances where the protocols don't function correctly).

On the 5Ghz side, there's one primary, common offender - 6.0 cordless phones. They use the upper end of the 5.8Ghz spectrum, which will absolutely cause significant problems with 5Ghz router transmissions.

Interference is really not a huge concern in this day and age. Wireless contention (on the 2.4Ghz) is a much bigger issue and after that, stability and quality of the individual device is paramount.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:19 AM   #13
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Do any of these offer a site to site VPN secured w/ IPSec? If not, i'm not interested.
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:36 AM   #14
htismaqe htismaqe is offline
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Do any of these offer a site to site VPN secured w/ IPSec? If not, i'm not interested.
The Asus might.

Then again, site-to-site tunneling isn't exactly a "home networking" feature, Saul...
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Old 05-25-2014, 09:38 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
The Asus might.

Then again, site-to-site tunneling isn't exactly a "home networking" feature, Saul...
I want to bring a router with me when travelling to extend my home network to my hotel room.
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