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Months of wireless router madness finally resolved with new toy from Newegg!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So a little back story. Had a beloved D-link Gamerlounge DGL-4300 I got back in Jan of 05 and it ran with nary a problem for nearly 6.5 years until the lame power supply gave up early summer last year. Tried as I might, I couldn't find a suitable replacement for it and I had to sadly retire my beloved 4300.  Did some searching around and picked up a Linksys E3000 from Costco as my last router was the infamous WRT-54GL years ago, so I decided to give the big L another round.

 

3.jpg

 

 

 

Router ran decently enough though the wireless rang was kinda crappy which was fine as I just had my Droid X and it ran pretty hot so I put on some rubber spacers to help it breathe. Earlier this year, it started to randomly flake out on me and no matter what I did, it just kept getting worse until I finally had enough as I couldn't go even an hour without the damn thing not crashing and rebooting.

 

eff39f02b27cb6361fb9f4e1613a866e.jpg

 

 

 

Frustrated but luckily, I was able to exchange it at Costco even after 7 months*love those guys* and decided to try my first Netgear, a WNDR 3800. Was not impressed at all other then nice GUI and decent wireless range but beyond that, it was buggy, ran really hot and took forever to take setting changes in the GUI, like a minute or even more in some cases! Damn thing didn't even have blinking LED's for traffic indication for LAN, WAN or wireless, I simply couldn't believe that.   I didn't have any issues with wireless drops like alot of other people have with Netgears but then again, I didn't keep it more then two days cause I was so unhappy with it.

 

WNDR3800_Standing_HiRes.jpg

 

 

 

 

So I took that back to Costco disgusted and got my money back. More research later and I decided to spend a little more and "upgrade" to the well talked about Linksys E4200. Again, the thing ran pretty hot so I put that on rubber stilts and now, my wireless range was back to so so, even in my small,  2 level townhouse.  Not even 2 months later, it also starts acting weird with the Cisco light blinking continually, not able to hard reset properly even after a couple of tries as well as not getting WAN IP from my Cable modem, even with newest firmware and default settings until I actually had to reset AND do a old firmware flash. Arrrrrrghhhh!!!!!!

 

damnlinksys.jpg

 

 

 

 

Finally just about ready to throw my 3rd router through the window, I decided to do some more research into the hyped Asus RT-66U I had been hearing about for a few months. Now that the unit was actually out and the firmware bugs getting ironed out, alot of people were liking it. Newegg had it this week for free 3 day shipping, so it was time to see if forking over close to $200 would finally solve my issues and returned the E4200 and impatiently waited all week while entire my network was down other then switching connections back on forth on my single ethernet cable modem, ungg...

 

 

Da brown gave me this later in the day, I love packages from newegg, it makes everything good in life!

 

boxhappy.jpg

 

 

 

The box felt pretty heavy and I was surprised even though I had heard the router is heavy and it does feel really solid and sturdy, it makes everything from D-link, Linksy, Netgear feel like cheap, hollow china toys. Even the box has a smooth, silky feel to it, very nice!

 

happyinside.jpg

 

 

 

Setup was a breeze once I realized I had to go to the Gateway IP and do a quick hold my hands walkthrough. First thing I did was update to newest .108 firmware with more bug fixes and additional settings. After that, it was real simple with the very nice and easy GUI interface to set up everything. Haven't seen one this nice since my D-link 4300.

 

blueawesome.jpg

 

 

 

Once I get all my network settings in place I decided to see how everything was working and if I had to tweak settings like portforwarding and crap like I had to with the linksys's for my Xbox and work VPN. I was surprised that my Xbox NAT was fully open with great connection stats all around according to Halo Reach. My work laptop seemed to connect faster to my VPN then it ever has before. My gigabit network file transfers are now rocking well past 80megs a sec and hardly drop at all!

 

But by far my biggest surpised was my wireless network is completely rebuilt. Using wifi analyzer on my Droid X, I was getting constant green zone -55 -45 dBm readings all across my two floor town house and I was just on 2.4ghz auto channel select on the default 80mW power setting for the antennas for my 802.11n devices as I don' t have any 5ghz .11n at this time to test. All my other routers wireless strength dropped to the yellow -85 -65 dBm range when I went into bedroom just down hallway or even went dowstairs right below the router, the kitchen was even worse.

 

Needless to say, my Droid X that used to crawl even with my 30meg cable connection now freaking flies with this Dark Knight router! I can't wait to get a tablet soon and get to play with media streaming across my house with it on this awesome router!

 

I've only had it less then a day but already, i've fallen in love with this dark bad boy from Asus! They really got their act together on the firmware updates so i'm not experiencing anything weird from my testing that other early adopters have. The router feels rock solid all around and it uns warm, but that HUGE heatsink keeps it much cooler then either of my Linksys models ever where, even under loads.

 

Gonna run to P2P and torrent connection test tonight but i'm SOOOO glad I spent the extra $20 vs the E4200v2.  I think the last time I was his happy about a purchase was my first 24" LCD years ago from Dell. I'm one happy networking camper and I highly recommend you check this badboy out if your in the market for a solid and dang good looking wireless router!

 

 

 

EDIT:  This is why you won't have to worry about this badboy overheating, the heatsink is massive!
 
Also, great SNB review on it
http://www.smallnetbuilde...igabit-router-reviewed

 

asus_rtn66u_board1.jpg


Edited by 1ceTr0n - 3/30/12 at 8:56pm
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post #2 of 11
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post #3 of 11
Nice to know. I've been partially on the bandwagon myself.

Started out with a: Trendnet TEW-452BRP -> Trendnet TEW-652BRP -> DLINK DIR-615 B2 (still working today as my testing Router / Backup) (BestBuy)

Bought another DIR-615 E1 (to try DD-WRT, but ended up having dying switchports), Linksys E2000 (first Tomato Router /w Stability issues) -> Netgear WNDR3700v2 (Main Router @ Home /w Stock firmware) (Futureshop)

Bought a Linksys WRT400N (got it for 50 bucks slapped a Laptop Cooler under it running DD-WRT like a charm).

Secondary Router @ Home running DD-WRT ASUS RT-N13 v2 (64 mb of RAM and great as a G access point)

Linksys i'd say your best off with a Laptop Cooler on hot situations. (E2000, WRT400N)(Heard well with the E2500 as 3 of my friends have it)
Netgear - i've had the WNDR 3700v2, and my friends have the 3700v2 and the 3500L (Rock Solid).

Trendnet / DLINK - Good Routers if you don't have too much load / clients so a good starter Router.
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

See, thats what really annoyed me with current Linksys routers, you SHOULD NOT have to buy a freaking laptop cooler just to keep a modern router running stable, that's just utter crap.

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post #5 of 11
I never knew about ASUS routers before this thread. And i must say, WOW! That router is super sexy, especially that GUI! I mean it even has a network flow chart in the damned thing!. So sir, i thank you for suggesting my next router.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

Yeah, its my first Asus and im real happy with it so far

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post #7 of 11
nice post.
I was just thinking about picking up a E4200 too.
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post #8 of 11
I went through the same products myself. Went from the D-Link 655 to the Linksys 4200v2 and finally the Asus Dark Knight. The throughput is simply awesome and it can handle my 1gbps fiber line with no problems. The Linksys gave me a few problems so I sent it back. The Dark Knight worked right out of the box and just does everything right. I did update to the latest firmware, so no issues there either. With P2P I get 6-8mbps downloads and sometimes even faster. I was able to download a single 15gb file at 38 minutes, where as my D-Link 655 would drop out or reboot. Runs cool to touch with no issues. Also can handle to Xbox 360's with open NAT if some of you need that. Def initely worth a look. Pic is with my dedicated 1gb Fiber Onu Box and the Dark Knight.

download2.jpg 113k .jpg file .
Edited by R3d T34rz - 4/2/12 at 6:08am
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post #9 of 11
Nice router. I used to have the RT-N16 but it died. I hope they have gotten their firmware act together across the board it used to be a mess but then again Tomato USB worked great on the 16.

Im broke so i had to settle on the TP Link TL-WR1043ND as its replacement. Though i fixed my original issue with a drill bit and some cat 6 I still needed a gigabit switch and top floor wireless.
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post #10 of 11
Thanks for the review! As soon as Newegg restocks these, I'm picking one up.
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