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Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the but-the-neighbors-will-object dept.

Hardware Hacking 104

First time accepted submitter DeathByLlama (2813725) writes "Years ago I made the switch from DD-WRT to Tomato firmware for my Linksys router. I lost a couple features, but gained one of the best QoS and bandwidth management systems I have seen on a router to date. Admins can see graphs of current and historical bandwidth usage by IP, set minimum and maximum bandwidth limits by IP range, setup QoS rules, and see and filter graphs and lists of current connections by usage, class or source/destination — all from an elegantly designed GUI. This has allowed me to easily and intelligently allocate and adjust my network's bandwidth; when there is a problem, I can see where it's coming from and create rules around it. I'm currently using the Toastman's VPN Tomato firmware, which has about everything that I would want, except for one key thing: support for ARM-based routers (only Broadcom is supported). I have seen other firmware projects being actively developed in the last few years, so in picking a new 802.11ac router, I need to decide whether Tomato support is a deal-breaker. With solid bandwidth management as a priority, what firmware would you recommend? Stock Asuswrt? Asuswrt-Merlin? OpenWRT? DD-WRT? Tomato? _____?"

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Pfsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782465)

nuff said

Re:Pfsense (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 6 months ago | (#46782519)

In your haste to get FP, you missed the requirements in TFS.

I use pfSense extensively, but its bandwidth controls are not easy to use, and nobody would recommend deploying it on ARM in 2014.

Re:Pfsense (2)

AaronLS (1804210) | about 6 months ago | (#46782949)

From the perspective of the rest of the network, the architecture of the router is pretty irrelevant, but I understand why they might want ARM but they didn't identify those reasons. I have a feeling their desire for ARM is not a direct requirement, but an indirect requirement from a desire for some of the attributes of ARM. They might find that an Intel Atom box meets the same needs. Low profile, low heat, cheap, passive heat sinks(eliminates risk of fan failure).

I went with PFSense + Intel Atom box and am happy. The web interface is pretty straightforward. Getting setup initially is a bit of a pain, attaching SSD/Card to one box and flashing, etc. Some of the documentation is terrible.

Agreed that certain scenarios are indeed poorly documented and/or pain to setup. Not that pfsense supports those scenarios poorly, but you just have to dig into command line/config editing and really have to know what you are doing.

Re:Pfsense (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about 6 months ago | (#46782951)

nobody would recommend deploying it on ARM in 2014

Guess they were wrong on one point.

Re:Pfsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46783019)

I switched to pfSense because I needed to run my router on X86 instead of ARM, and I really miss Tomato's QoS. pfSense is awesome in every other way. I would pay money to have Tomato's QoS on pfSense.

Re:Pfsense (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46783885)

Someone recently asked this on the PFSense forums and the response was the Tomato's QoS is too simplified. They could create a wrapper to translate QoS style GUI into PFSense settings, but it wouldn't play well if some decided to make any manual changes. PFSense has a much more powerful QoS.

pfsense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782485)

enough said.

cfw (3, Informative)

hypergreatthing (254983) | about 6 months ago | (#46782487)

toastman?
Aren't those builds really, really old?
If you're going to use tomatousb, use shibby.
Use merlin if you want custom firmware as close to stock looking as possible.

Re:cfw (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782731)

I don't know. I don't think a build on Monday is really really old.

http://www.4shared.com/dir/v1BuINP3/Toastman_Builds.html#dir=t6vb5PBo

Re:cfw (1)

SammyIAm (1348279) | about 6 months ago | (#46782739)

Shibby is definitely the way to go. I've been pretty darn happy with mine, though I don't use more than some basic throttling features in the bandwidth department.

Re:cfw (1)

synapse7 (1075571) | about 6 months ago | (#46786801)

I use shibby builds and they are nice. Toastman had a changelog dated for the 14th so not that old. I believe shibby lists toastman as a contributor for some recent features also...

Re:cfw (1)

jman.org (953199) | about 6 months ago | (#46796079)

Advanced Tomato is a redesigned UI based on Shibby's releases. I'd recommend it.

http://at.prahec.com/ [prahec.com]

pfSense (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782491)

pfSense all the way!

OpenWRT all the way (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782497)

OpenWRT Is a real linux distro with package mgmt that spun out from the DD-WRT project. DD-WRT is really designed around the wrt54g and never really broke away from that model. Tomato and some other projects are front ends to OpenWRT. I think all the movement these days in this space comes from OpenWRT.

Re:OpenWRT all the way (1)

monkeyhybrid (1677192) | about 6 months ago | (#46783353)

OpenWRT rocks, but as far as I am aware, there is no support for the type of bandwidth management the OP is after within the web interface. I'm sure you can achieve the same control from the CLI with a few extra packages and command line magic, but it sounds like the OP specifically wants all this to be done from the web interface.

Re:OpenWRT all the way (5, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46783561)

Tomato is a fork of HyperWRT, not OpenWRT, and in fact has nothing to do with it. HyperWRT itself was a fork of the stock WRT54g firmware.

OpenWRT is good, but not for the faint of heart. Tomato is suitable for everybody though, and in fact is IMO THE firmware to use if you are just all around unsure of which one to pick. I'd use Tomato over DD-WRT for many reasons, but the biggest one being a much cleaner UI (also in spite of what TFS says, Tomato actually has all of the same features as DD-WRT in addition to some extras; rather the author probably just isn't sure where to find the features he thought was missing.) Pretty much the only case I could ever think to take DD-WRT over tomato is that DD-WRT works on some hardware that Tomato does not; however if your router supports Tomato, there's no reason not to use it over DD-WRT.

Re:OpenWRT all the way (1)

omems (1869410) | about 6 months ago | (#46783753)

Any idea if version Tomato 1.27 is afflicted by heartbleed? I spent some time googling around for the answer, but came up empty. I'm not an expert, so I probably don't know the right places to look. Thanks!

Re:OpenWRT all the way (5, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 6 months ago | (#46784033)

Dunno but I wouldn't use that anyways. Without even looking it up, I'd actually wager that Tomato 1.27 was last updated before the patch that made heartbleed possible ever existed, so it isn't even relevant.

Tomato Shibby on the other hand is what you'd want, and yes, it definitely has that particular issue resolved as of the latest release:

http://tomato.groov.pl/?p=595 [groov.pl]

Re:OpenWRT all the way (1)

omems (1869410) | about 6 months ago | (#46784841)

That's what I was thinking too. Thank you, kind Wolf.

Re:OpenWRT all the way (1)

S.O.B. (136083) | about 6 months ago | (#46785227)

I'm still waiting for my 5 year old Linksys WRT320N to be supported by OpenWRT. Still in progress.

However, it's been supported by DD-WRT for a number of years.

From where I sit the only movement from OpenWRT is of the bowel variety and apparently pretty constipated from what I can see.

Re:OpenWRT all the way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46786877)

OpenWRT [...] spun out from the DD-WRT project.

You got that wrong. DD-WRT was a spinoff of an old version of OpenWRT.

You need what's called a "linux kernel" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782499)

OpenWRT has said "linux kernel", other might but they just suck.

When you have linux kernel you follow linux tutorial: http://www.lartc.org/howto/lartc.cookbook.fullnat.intro.html [lartc.org]

You could give Gargoyle a try.... (3, Interesting)

SQLGuru (980662) | about 6 months ago | (#46782549)

You could give Gargoyle a try......
http://www.gargoyle-router.com... [gargoyle-router.com]

Seconded. (2)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 6 months ago | (#46783069)

Before I posted, I searched to see if someone else had mentioned Gargoyle already. And, indeed... someone had. I really like it. It's *NOT* as powerful as (say) OpenWRT, but jeepers, it's got a nice GUI and pretty much all the features you discuss, and a decent (but not great) slate of plugins. I'd definitely recommend kicking the tires on it.

Re:Seconded. (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 6 months ago | (#46783871)

I love how easy it is to setup QoS, VPN and such with Gargoyle. With OpenWRT the only real solution to this was to open an SSH and edit files. I normally don't have an issue with the command line, but trying to setup a VPN server on OpenWRT is a lesson in humility. The first point in the document tells you to learn every minutia about different VPNs and their technology. That's great if you want to learn about it all, but if you just want to set up a server and connect your laptop to your home network when you are away... you don't need to know that. There's also a lot of terminology thrown around that may not be necessary.

Re:You could give Gargoyle a try.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785671)

When I read TFA's requirements Gargoyle immediately came to mind. Been using it since DD-WRT went to shit and OpenWRT is only for command-line junkies which I'm not when it comes to routers. Gargoyle is the answer. Tomato is a waste of time, DD-WRT can gag on a bag of cocks.

Re:You could give Gargoyle a try.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785787)

I also second this suggestion, I have been using Gargoyle for a while now (over a year) and bandwidth management is simple and it actually works.

Shibby tomato mod (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782557)

Shibby recently announced an ARM branch of his tomato mod.
http://tomato.groov.pl/?p=590 [groov.pl]

The Shibby mod is fairly active, with updates every couple months. Use 117 for the OpenSSL heartbleed fix.

gone to hell. where to route to from hell? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782559)

seriously. took few days withdrawl from backlash dhot. digging seems cool. but again the dot gave me an ad to hide. now a month bye to yall. if i see another when i return or have one talk to me again, i'll miss u

Out of scope I think but.... (5, Informative)

Raxxon (6291) | about 6 months ago | (#46782611)

Personally I've been enjoying Mikrotik. I don't think it's in the range for you because I'm 98% sure you can't load it on your hardware (I have a RouterBoard-based router/AP) but it's been damn solid and gives me WAY more features that I really plan on using... If you plan on upgrading routers at some point I'd suggest looking at them.

Re:Out of scope I think but.... (3, Interesting)

BillTheKatt (537517) | about 6 months ago | (#46782803)

I second Mikrotik. I've deployed them to all the small branches in our company and at the core as well. You get an amazing amount of features for the price. You can also get smaller units that are perfect for home use and cost around the same as a home AP.

Re:Out of scope I think but.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46791373)

I second Mikrotik. I've deployed them to all the small branches in our company and at the core as well. You get an amazing amount of features for the price. You can also get smaller units that are perfect for home use and cost around the same as a home AP.

I'm sorry, but if you're doing Mikrotik at the core... your entire business is tiny.

Tomato (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782615)

Personally I use a build of Toastman tomato usb and love it. I did DD-WRT for a while but got tired of it. Sure it's got a ton of features, including a kitchen sink, but most things other than the basics seem like a total pain to setup. I setup USB printer sharing on an old Asus 802.11G router with a usb port and it was a total pain. Combine that with the mantra of you must always reset you settings when you flash a new version and you can't reimport your old settings file and it's just crazy to me that it is so popular. When I upgraded my Asus router to an N unit I made the switch to a Toastman tomato usb build and it is so much better. It has a few less feature than DD-WRT but it is so much easier to configure things and I can actually upgrade the firmware with out dreading the process.

I can't imagine moving back to DD-WRT. If you really need a new AC router go with something that Tomato supports IMO. DD-WRT is just too much of a step back.

IPv6 support (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about 6 months ago | (#46787551)

I checked out the wiki page [wikipedia.org] , and looks like out of the 11 models, 6 support IPv6 (and a few other features such as VLANs, 5GHz) while the other 5 don't. How exactly does one know if one is getting Tomato which ones do? Also, the bandwidth management & superior QoS - is that there for both IPv4 AND IPv6? Also, except Shibby, none of them have IPSEC support.

Incidentally, which CPU is Tomato geared towards? MIPS? Given that it's there for Broadcom routers?

Toastman Tomato (1)

stazeii (1148459) | about 6 months ago | (#46782619)

Toastman Tomato, far and away. Tested DDWRT, Tomato, Asus-Merlin, stock Asus... none of them, except Toastman, did everything I needed (ipv6, dns, nat local redirect, upnp/nat-pmp, etc). Been using it for over 6 months, have never been happier with a home router. That said, pretty sure they haven't patched Heartbleed yet (supposed to be coming anytime).

I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46782625)

The problem is all those consumer wifi+router deals tend to have kinda crap firmware. While there are, in theory, OSS alternatives they seem to be less than speedy with the updates and support for new hardware.

So I'd look elsewhere. The two things I'd put at the top of your list:

Monowall, on an APU.1C. It is like $150 for the unit, and then $20-30 for an enclosure and CF card. Monowall should support everything you need, it is really feature rich, is pretty easy to use, and the APU.1C is fast enough it shouldn't have issues even with fairly fast internet.

A Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite. This is a funny looking and named lil' router with quite a bit of performance under the hood, thanks to the hardware routing logic its chip has. $100 and it can push gigabit speeds for basic routing setups. It is also extremely configurable, since it runs a Vayetta fork, which is a Linux OS customized for routing. However to configure the kind of things you want, you might have to hop in to the CLI, I don't know that the GUI has what you need. It supports that though, and you can even hop out of the specialized routing CLI and get a regular Linux prompt where you can install packages and such.

If you want a more supported solution, you could look at a Cisco RV320. Costs like $200 and is a fast lil' wired router (uses the same basic chip as the Edgerouter, just slower). I haven't used one but I'm given to understand you can make them do a lot. Sounds like they firmware may be a little flakey though.

You then just set your consumer WAP+router in to "access point" mode and have it just do the wireless functions.

This is all more expensive and complex than just running on a consumer WAP+router, but more likely to be able to do what you require. It also means you can change out components without as much trouble. Like say your WAP gets flakey, and you want a new one with the latest technology. No problem, just buy it. You don't have to worry if it supports the routing features you need because it doesn't do that for you.

If you are stuck on doing an all in one, then you could look at a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 or the new Linksys WRT1900AC. The Netgear does have bandwidth management and QoS in its native firmware (I haven't played with the features, but I can confirm they are there as I own one) and there is a "myopenrouter" site that has OSS firmware for it (ddwrt mod I think). The Linksys router supposedly is going to have OpenWRT support soon as Linksys worked directly with the OpenWRT team for it.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782759)

+1 on the Ubiquiti Edgerouter Lite.

I use one at home, and have installed them for friends as well, it is very fast and powerful.
The GUI is not extensive, but they are making progress.

The forums are helpful and because it is linux you can run UniFi wireless management, etc. on it too.

Though it sounds like you already have a solution that you like, your just going to have to find supported hardware.

Using DD-WRT (Kong latest "old" driver version) (1)

aussersterne (212916) | about 6 months ago | (#46782987)

on a Netgear R6300 and it has been very fast, great with signal quality, and the QoS features are working as expected.

Both the R6250 and R6300 have a dual-core 800MHz CPU, so they have the power to handle a decent QoS requirement without bogging down potential throughput too much. I'm satisfied, and it wasn't that expensive. If your situation isn't too terribly complex (many dozens of users and extensive QoS rules) then it might be a good choice.

The R7000 is even faster and supports external antennas, so I second that suggestion, but it's also twice the price of the 6250/3000, which can be found on sale from $100-$125 brand new if you're a good comparison shopper and/or patient.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (1)

tobiasly (524456) | about 6 months ago | (#46783159)

WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE???

I must have been using the wrong search terms.. I scoured NewEgg up and down for something exactly like that Edgerouter Lite but kept coming up empty. I knew there had to be something between some crappy consumer router that I prayed I could get a halfway-decent firmware running on, an uber-expensive business-class rackmount unit, and building my own micro PC. Many thanks, I'm ordering one now...

Glad to help (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46783247)

It's a pretty new product, which is why you haven't heard of it. It isn't the greatest thing EVAR, as its web UI could use some work, and some of the features it has can hit the limited CPU pretty hard (VLANs and encryption notably) but it is pretty damn good.

It is what lives at the edge of my home network, and I'm real happy with it.

They also make larger models, should you have the need.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about 6 months ago | (#46783859)

I am highly skeptical of claims toward the OSS router firmware scene being less useful than manufacturer provided ones. You're right that speed to support new features lags in OSS, but who cares? I buy the router based on the hardware compatibility list, not the other way around. Reliability and longevity is a lot more important to me than the new shiny. You're also right that today it may be difficult to meet all the requirements with open code, with AC support being a sore point. I'd use that as a reason to delay the purchase until i can though, not as an excuse to head any distance back toward less open development models.

I still have two Linksys WRT54GL units left in operation. Long after Cisco/Linksys stopped worrying about that hardware, I was happily served by the software communities around DD-WRT and then Tomato. Manufacturers like Ubiquiti are useful to me to the extent they embrace that philosophy. In the last year Linksys seems to be moving back in the right direction again. We'll see how that plays out.

I'm also skeptical that having two points of failure in a network can ever be more reliable than one, which complicates your flexibility argument. Whenever I decouple routing and wireless onto separate boxes, problem resolution is harder compared to having a single unit to swap out. One of the reasons I ended up with so many cheap WRT54GL units is that I could easily have a spare with a duplicated configuration for every install. At any scent of trouble, I just replaced the whole unit.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46787633)

Ummm, if you bothered more than a cursory glance at my thing you'd notice I AM advocating open solutions. Monowall is FreeBSD, with some mods and a nice WebUI stuck on it for configuration. EdgeOS, that runs on the ERL, is a fork of Vayetta, which is a fork/mod of Debian.

Both are open solutions but both are under active development and support by a team. Hence I'm a pretty big fan. Monowall was last updated in January, and they still support their legacy version for old hardware like WRAP systems, and their new version for more powerful systems. EdgeOS was updated in March, and they have an alpha for the next version going you can opt in to.

On the other hand the OSS firmwares are half-abandoned it seems. When I Google for Tomato I get a page that talks about it as a WRT54G firmware and looks like it hasn't seen updates in 5-8 years. Further down there's a "Tomato USB" mod on it that was updated in 2010 and still runs on 2.6.

This sort of thing does not engender trust in long term viability or freedom from bugs/exploits.

Also there's the issue that some of us have high speed needs. My Internet connection is 150/20mbps. So I need something that can support that. Triple stream N is pretty much the minimum (dual stream N maybe can in ideal cases) and AC is a better choice. Also the "router" part of the router needs to be able to keep up with that kind of speed, even when I've set up my firewall rules and such.

Finally you seem to confuse reliability with swappability. Sure, you can have a whole host of cheapass old routers and if one dies, put in a new one. However it is hard to do when you need more powerful, and thus expensive, hardware but also that isn't reliable, that is just having extras. I'd rather just have something that has less issues, that works for years on end with no problems, and not have to mess with it. That's what you get with something like a monowall box.

Also like I said, one component may need replacing before others. My Edgerouter Lite will last me a long time, unless it breaks, since it can handle around gigabit speeds with the setup I have (I've tested it). However if I get much faster Internet, I'll need a new cable modem, since mine is only 8x4 stream, and to go much above where I'm at you usually want 16 streams down. Likewise if my WAP is likely to get replaced sooner than the ERL, but probably not as soon as the cable modem.

I can have latest tech where I want it, older tech where I don't and it is all good. Also in my experience setups like that are extremely reliable.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46784857)

I've tried M0n0wall, Smoothwall, pfSense, IPCop, Untangle and clearOS in the last 6 months.

I run my router as a VM on ESX on a desktop with 3 network cards so switching and moving around is very easy. I have other VM running on that ESX server so adding a my router there is not a big deal and requires no additional hardware. Just installing, configuring and moving machines into different vswitches.

M0n0wall, pfSense, and IPCop are great and very stable routers and firewalls but they are not updated often and lack individual bandwidth statistics for traffic flow. I don't remember exactly what I I did not like about Smoothwall, maybe setting up multiple user subnets? Maybe not

ClearOS and Untangle used to many resources for me. I don't want a Windowing system and a large package management system on my router and some and require money and registration for some options.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 6 months ago | (#46787651)

pfsense has a plugin that lets you track bandwidth per device.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | about 6 months ago | (#46785375)

I concur.

Been running m0n0wall for about 5 years on an Alix board and for many years before that on a P3 500. Never had to reboot it once. When my WAP54g started to flake out I replaced it with an Ubiquiti UniFi UAP which blows the old Linksys WAP54g away. The old 54g could barely push a signal 2 floors down to the kitchen, living room, and the basement was a dead zone. Now I have a strong signal throughout the house. It has a boat load of features and is 70 bucks on newegg.

I did not know about the APU.1C, thanks for posting that. The only thing is m0n0wall is not SMP aware, though it will run on an SMP system like the APU.1C. You are better off running pfSense which has SMP and 64 bit support. That board should have no issues pushing over 100Mbps while running multiple services and VPN encryption. My only concern is the use of Realtek gigabit chips. I wish there were Intel nics on there.

Soekris Engineering makes some pretty solid hardware but it comes at a price. The net 6501 has up to 2GB ram, single core Atom 1.6Ghz, 4 intel Gigabit ports, SATA, mSATA/USB, mPCIe and up to 2 PCIe x1 slots for actual PCIe cards. A top of the line 6501-70 and case will run you $470 without any accessories (storage, power supply, etc.). Before the 6501 came out I was going to buy a net 5501 but I couldn't justify the price so I went with the Alix.

Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 6 months ago | (#46797469)

If you like Ubiquiti you could look at their Edgerouter Lite. I'm real happy with mine. $100 and it'll outperform monowall and pfsense on way more expensive hardware. With a basic NAT setup, plus SPI firewall (the basic "permit established and related, drop others" rules) I've measured it at over 500mbps throughput. It probably would do faster, it's CPU wasn't fully loaded, that is just as fast a test server as I could easily get to.

Now of course it is more on the routing, less on the firewall n' such so if you need powerful firewall config, it isn't as much your thing (and won't get as good performance). If you load it down with too much stuff it'll slow way down, particularly since part of its speed is derived from hardware acceleration on its chip, so if tons of stuff is hitting the software it won't be as fast.

Just another option to look at.

In terms of the realtek chips, ya it sucks but it is what you get for the price. Intel NICs are expensive, because Intel knows they are worth it. They charge more for their chips than other vendors by a good bit, so you don't see them in cheap solutions.

Mikrotik? (5, Informative)

imag0 (605684) | about 6 months ago | (#46782667)

I've had really good luck with my RB2011UAS-2HND-IN [amazon.com] from Mikrotik [routerboard.com] . It's pretty easy to configure queues by interface, all the way down to tagging the packets and throttling down to individual TCP/UDP ports.

Costs slightly more than a cheap home router, but you have something pretty sturdy and extremely flexible to work with.

Re:Mikrotik? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782931)

Mikrotik/RouterOS is the way to go. Just make sure you use winbox to access the management interface and not the web interface. It is the most flexible router I have seen to date. Great support for bandwidth management, queues, queue trees.

Re:Mikrotik? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782969)

Does it support bandwidth quotas, as in limit IP 192.168.100.2 to 2 GB per month?

Re:Mikrotik? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782989)

RB2011UAS-2HND-IN [amazon.com]

The Republicans that rule over Amazon.com have censored that link. Do you have a link to a source that is less right wing?

Re:Mikrotik? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46783291)

Seriously, that site is dead to technical people. Bezos and his racist ultra-conservative beliefs have destroyed that company. If you see a product you like, you should buy it immediately because there is a good chance those conservatives will censor the product. That site is useless now, and there's a reason they are in a death spiral

Re:Mikrotik? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46783549)

Are you insane, retarded, just a troll, or some combination of the three?

Re:Mikrotik? (0)

greg1104 (461138) | about 6 months ago | (#46783925)

Amazon is in a death spiral, or is already dead to technical people? Dude, you know how to tell a funny story, I'll give you that. I am more troubled by Bezos's inconsistent stand on patents than knee-jerk characterization of his personal politics. Hint: is he a conservative Republican tool, or a super rich liberal [halfsigma.com] ? Labels are so tricky.

Re:Mikrotik? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46783519)

I got one of these a few weeks ago. Trust me, you will never look at another consumer grade router after you see what this puppy can do for the same price. The learning curve is steep, but that's because the router is so feature rich; you can configure everything you can think of down to the most granular level. Also, the wireless on this thing is just ridiculously powerful.

FWIW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782687)

It's possibly the most expensive router on the market now at $249 but the new, retro looking, dual-core ARM-powered WRT1900AC will eventually have open source firmware available at openWRT.org:

"While the Linksys WRT1900AC provides an outstanding experience via SMART Wi-Fi immediately out of the box, advanced users can further modify the router, which will have Open Source firmware available from third-party websites such as openWRT.org. Developed for use with OpenWRT, an open source, Linux-based operating system, the router offers an additional layer of customization to suit an individual's needs."

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2143623/linksys-wrt1900ac-wi-fi-router-review-faster-than-anything-we-ve-tested.html

Lacking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782757)

No open source router firmware other than Gargoyle allows you to set a bandwidth quota easily. I can't for the life of me figure out why all the Tomato derivatives ignore this much needed feature in favor of setting rate limits.

All black-box garbage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782805)

That includes Cisco shit, which is flaky even in "enterprise" level products.

If you just need a basic home or small office router find a mobo with 2 ethernet ports and install Linux.

tomato is old and rotten (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46782959)

tomato of is old they are still running k2.6.* no real progress has been made in terms of core functionality or fixes in -lit years
running QOS on a router is a silly idea gargoyel looks like something 1998 threw back

NONE, get a smart switch (2)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46783307)

Seriously, dont rely on a consumer grade router for this, add a consumer grade managed switch for it. I use a Netgear GS108T. That way your router can keeps its CPU dedicated to encryption and throughput. I'm sure there are some badass routers out there, but this is an easy and relatively cheap add-on that works for sure.

Re:NONE, get a smart switch (2)

greg1104 (461138) | about 6 months ago | (#46783613)

I don't know when you got your Netgear GS108T units at, but somewhere in that product's lifecycle it turned bad. My experience mirrors the highest rated critical review at Newegg [newegg.com] , circa 2011 and talking about the decline. There are several reasons why the current version of the product only averages 3 stars there, and why 28% of buyers are giving this 1 star now. I have a good, older GS108T and a worthless newer one. Each firmware update is rolling the dice.

That's actually the core argument behind why I won't buy a manufacturer only firmware network product anymore. When the Netgear firmware on a Netgear product is broken and that's the only option, you now have a paperweight. The Tomato firmware upgrade scene for routers is more complicated than I'd like sometimes, but it always gives you multiple options. I'm using an Asus RT-N66 right now, and I don't ever expect its CPU performance is going to be a bottleneck for me. I'm using the Netgear switches only to add more wired ports than it supports.

Re:NONE, get a smart switch (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 6 months ago | (#46783845)

The only problem i have had with mine is that the heatsink detached during shipping, but i fixed it with with some thermal paste and super glue.

dd-wrt works for me (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#46783377)

I set hard limits, ran speedtest.net, seems to work. No idea how bulletproof it is.

Tomato RAF (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46783421)

Tomato RAF is an up to date branch of Tomato that has support for AC routers. Here is their router list:
http://victek.is-a-geek.com/downloads.html

Anything that fixes 2.4GHz on RT-AC56U? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46784131)

The 2.4 on this thing is terrible. My 5GHz devices are fine, but I have some older rigs that hate it. Should have bought a used Dark Knight for the same price.

The bufferbloat experimenters user cerowrt (1)

davecb (6526) | about 6 months ago | (#46784313)

Lag the bleeding edge by a week or so and you'll have rather good performance (:-))

OpenWRT on AR71XX hardware. (1)

hackus (159037) | about 6 months ago | (#46784579)

Only if you Pick AR71XX hardware though.

Which I use the WDR4300/TPLINK

Does an excellent job for managing QoS bandwidth in my house.

It has a nice GUI if you are not a technical person, and you can build the firmware source by yourself.

Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (5, Interesting)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46784685)

Almost all router bandwidth management is shit.

Bandwidth management schemes currently used by everything you mention are all base on rate limiting packet delivery based on some mythical QoS value, and they ignore the actual problem that the people who are using these things are attempting (and failing) to address.

The problem is that the point of a border routers is to hook a slower border uplink to a faster interior connection; on the other end of the slower uplink, you have a faster ISP data rate. In other words, you have a gigabit network in your house, and the ISP has a gigabit network at their DSLAM, but your DSL line sure as hell is *NOT* a gigabit link.

What that means is that software that attempts to "shape" packets ignores an upstream-downloads or a downstream-uploads ability to overwhelm the available packet buffers on the high speed side of the link when communicating to the low speed side of the link.

So you can start streaming a video down, and then start an FTP transfer, and your upstream router at the ISP is going to have its buffers full of untransmitted FTP download packets worth of data, instead of your streaming video data, and it doesn't matter how bitchy you are about letting those upstream FTP packets through your router on your downstream side of the link, it's not going to matter to the video stream, since all of the upstream router buffers that you want used for your video are already full of FTP data that you don't want to receive yet.

The correct thing to do is to have your border router lie about available TCP window size to the router on the other end, so that all intermediate routers between that router and the system transmitting the FTP packets in the first place also lie about how full the window is, and the intermediate routers don't end up with full input packet buffers with nowhere to send them in the first place.

Does your border router do this? No? Then your QoS software and AltQ and other "packet shaping" software is shit. Your upstream routers high speed input buffers are going to end up packed full of packets you want less, and you will be receiver live-locked and the packets that you *do* want won't get through to you because of that.

You can either believe this, or you can get a shitty router and not get the performance you expect as the QoS software fails to work.

Then you can read the Jeffrey Mogul paper from DEC Western Research Labs from 1997 here: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/v... [psu.edu] ...after which, you should probably ask yourselves why CS students don't read research papers, and are still trying to solve problems which were understood 27 years ago, and more or less solved 17 years ago, but still have yet to make their way into a commercial operating system.

BTW: I also highly recommend the Peter Druschel/Guarav Banga paper from Rice University in 1996 on Lazy Receiver Processing, since most servers are still screwed by data buss bandwidth when it comes to getting more packets than they can deal with, either as a DOS technique against the server, or because they are simply overloaded. Most ethernet firmware is also shit unless it's been written to not transfer data unless you tell it it's OK, separately from the actual interrupt acknowledgement. If you're interested, that paper's here: http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/v... [psu.edu] and I expect that we will be discussing that problem in 2024 when someone decides it's actually a problem for them.

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (1)

lucifer_666 (662754) | about 6 months ago | (#46785861)

OK, as someone who has been trying different methods of QoS over the past years, with varying levels of success, mainly to have my VoIP phone rock solid over DSL, I'm very interested in what you're saying.

Is there a reason this approach hasn't been implemented yet? Does it break something? If my router is lying to one my upstream router about its TCP window size, wouldn't that impact both the FTP and video stream?

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (2)

tlambert (566799) | about 6 months ago | (#46786077)

OK, as someone who has been trying different methods of QoS over the past years, with varying levels of success, mainly to have my VoIP phone rock solid over DSL, I'm very interested in what you're saying.

Is there a reason this approach hasn't been implemented yet? Does it break something? If my router is lying to one my upstream router about its TCP window size, wouldn't that impact both the FTP and video stream?

You lie about the window size on a per connection basis, so no, since it's not a global policy, it's a resource policy by application, and potentially by port/IP tuple, so it's not a problem. The point is to keep the upstream router packet buffers relatively empty so that the packets you want don't have to be RED-queued. Nothing breaks because of it.

It generally won't work, unless everyone "plays fair", and the port overcommit ratio for upstream vs. downstream bandwidth is relatively low. As the downstream data rate increases to approach the upstream data rate, the technique loses value, unless you get rid of overcommit, or do it on a per-customer "flow" basis (as opposed to a per virtual circuit "flow" basis) within the upstream router itself, or move to a "resource container" or similar approach for buffer ratio allocation in the upstream router.

So in theory, Comcast (as an example) could do it if they made everyone use the router they supplied, and their routers all participates in limiting upstream buffer impact.

Maybe the next time they replace everyone's cable modems, they'll bother to do it?

Without the deployed infrastructure, it's easier to RED-queue and just intentionally drop packets, forcing a client to request a retransmit as a means of source-quenching traffic. This wastes a lot of buffers, but they probabilistically get through, and for streaming video, that's good enough if there's a lot of client overbuffering going on before playback starts (JWZPlayer, for example, is a common player used for pirated content that will habitually under-buffer so intentional drops tend to make it choppy).

For VOIP, unfortunately, forced retransmit causes things to just typically suck, unless you use a sideband protocol instead, where the router at the one hop upstream peer agrees to reserve buffers for specifically that traffic. This is why Skype is terrible, but your phone calls over your wall jacks which are actually wired to the same packet interface instead of a POTS line are practically as good as a land line or cell phone.

Google hangouts tend to get away with it because they are predominantly broadcast, and are either "gossip"-based CSMA/CD (ALOHA style) networks between participants (i.e. people talk over each other, or wait until the other end is done before talking themselves). It means they tolerate large latencies in which 1:1 VOIP/Skype connections won't. They can be a bit of a PITA for conference calls because of that (Google uses it internally, and gets away with it, but mostly because Google has its own, parallel Internet, including transoceanic fibers), but if Google employees never see the problem, they never fix the problem. Same way any company that assumes local-equivalent bandwidth works as well for their customers as it does for them (free hint to Microsoft inre: Office 386 there).

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46787005)

Dont mess with TCP. It is designed to detect and react to drops. TCP will close the the window itself in the presence of congestion. Policing based on priority at the ingress queues is the right thing to do. Let TCP do it's job.

AC

QoS (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 6 months ago | (#46789829)

TCP window sizes are on a per-connection basis, and obviously only affects TCP traffic. Most VoIP, gaming, and many common file sharing protocols don't use TCP so any of these would be unaffected by QoS using the above techniques. Also, having many multiple simultaneous TCP connections in the order of hundreds or thousands would also render this technique useless as you would need to shrink each window so small so in case they all filled up that you could respond in a reasonable time frame that latency (vs inflight buffer) would kill the throughput of any TCP link. Which are reasons why this wouldn't work, and why it isn't implemented in anything beyond niche experimental stuff.

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46787037)

Typical bullcrap spewed by those who actually may know better but who can't quite get a handle on context or that sometimes "adequate" is completely good enough.

I don't really care what's in the receive buffers on the other side of the link if the end effect of this is that my packets seems to, more or less, stay prioritized the way I want. The mechanism behind why it works could be entirely different from the mechanism that *ought* to be doing it, but as long as it works I'll accept that teeny tiny fairies dance in the ISP's lines and like to pick those I've tagged as their partners, slowing them down a hair. Let the jerks on the other end of my ISP's link worry about their overfilled buffers.

"QoS software fails to work..."

Right, seemed like he was happy with the one he's using, which I'm sure qualifies as a "shitty router." So, get off your high horse and get to helping this guy with his problem instead of yelling about receive buffers and how everything he could use - including the thing he IS using that he's happy with, sucks.

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46792883)

Neat that this was totally shoved under the rug.

"What is this new learning!"

"Well, I've had this wonderfully working router...."

"Too bad, it sucked. Did you know that the ISP kicked your puppy? And you held it for them while they did this?"

"No, really, I just wanted a new router that did pretty much like my old router."

"Well, you can't have it. In fact, you can't have your OWN router, it didn't do what you thought and in fact did nothing at all."

"But it did EXACTLY as I thought...."

"Nope."

That's ok, though, this will be left at exactly a score of 0. Even when there are other posts that actually *help* the OP with their problem, explain things, give them well thought out alternatives. No, this P will be left at score 5, interesting when all it says is "you and your equipment suck! AND THERE'S NO FIX FOR THAT!"

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 6 months ago | (#46787733)

The correct thing to do is to have your border router lie about available TCP window size to the router on the other end, so that all intermediate routers between that router and the system transmitting the FTP packets in the first place also lie about how full the window is, and the intermediate routers don't end up with full input packet buffers with nowhere to send them in the first place.

What? The TCP window is meant to be negotiated only by the end points, not the routers. Core Internet routers don't care about TCP windows, that's layer 4, they just forward packets as fast as the can. If your downstream is getting overwhelmed, blame your your client OS or blame your ISP for over-subscribing too much, but don't blame the bandwidth differences.

If you have reliable download bandwidth, you shouldn't get latency issues. I have a baseline 12.5ms ping and it may "spike" to 30ms if I'm downloading at my full line rate from multiple sources. Slightly more than 30ms, and I get packet-loss, but my ISP properly manages buffers and doesn't cause my ping to skyrocket.

Re:Almost all router bandwidth management is shit. (1)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | about 6 months ago | (#46788369)

Exactly. It's a problem of over buffering, not a lack of layering violation voodoo.

Research papers (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 6 months ago | (#46789765)

Well, you might want to reread the first paper, which talks about live lock, which is a completely different cause than the one you describe, although similar. You seem to understand what the problem is, but I fail to see how you don't understand why your solution is so wrong.

Live lock as described in the paper you linked was solved over a decade ago using the method described in the paper under section 5.1, at least under windows. It's a standard property to rate limit the interrupts under heavy load, and many network cards have many setting that allow you to tweak this from off to fixed to multiple dynamic methods.

whatever you use, use HFSC (3, Informative)

HighBit (689339) | about 6 months ago | (#46784693)

I just use a fanless box (made by cappuccino pc, but there are other vendors too) with several ethernet ports (at least two for WAN and LAN) running standard debian.

But then I apply linux's best-kept traffic shaping secret, HFSC. See https://gist.github.com/eqhmco... [github.com] .You should be able to apply that same script to any linux distro or mini-distro.

The idea is you do AQM first, and QoS only later or even not at all, to get both low-latency for interactive TCP sessions and throughput for bulk session.

AQM is all about dropping packets to throttle TCP and prevent it from overwhelming your ISP's bandwidth caps. When done properly, it works amazingly well, and HFSC + SFQ can do it properly.

Inbound trafic (1)

manu0601 (2221348) | about 6 months ago | (#46784779)

The problem with bandwidth management at the DSL router is that you cannot control inbound traffic that gets inside the uplink bottleneck. You would need to control the DSLAM to do it properly.

Re:Inbound trafic (1)

cdogg4ya (198266) | about 6 months ago | (#46785669)

Correct, once the packets are transmitted to you, its too late to apply QoS. The only thing you can control is your outbound requests which as it happens has a directly (although not linear) relationship to the amount of traffic sent back to you. This article outlines it brilliantly and is a must read for anyone using QoS on most consumer grade equipment:

http://www.linksysinfo.org/ind... [linksysinfo.org]

That said, classification of traffic is a much more challenging problem than QoS is and is what really needs to be addressed. This comes from a "Network Guy" on a 4/1Mbps DSL connection who works from home and has to compete with his kids playing XBOX and streaming Netflix so I play with this a lot. At this point in time, it seems like Palo Alto has the best classification engine out there and that with their QoS polcies may be the best solution around but I haven't had a chance to play with it.

(FWIW I too run Tomato Shibby on an Asus N66U)

Vyatta (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46784831)

Its a heavy weight but the only thing you are missing is mpls.

Other wise it is on par with Cisco and Juniper

CeroWrt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46784945)

CeroWrt is designed to manage your bandwidth intelligently without needing to fiddle with all kinds of QoS settings.

http://www.bufferbloat.net/projects/cerowrt

CeroWrt is a project built on the OpenWrt firmware to resolve the endemic problems of bufferbloat in home networking today, and to push forward the state of the art of edge networks and routers. Projects include proper IPv6 support, tighter integration with DNSSEC, and most importantly, reducing bufferbloat in both the wired and wireless components of the stack.

Shibby (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785097)

Shibby on the Asus RT-N66U just works for my clients. I made the mistake of getting the AC66N for myself. It works fine, just a little more difficult to setup.
best QOS ever. A local phone provider uses this for custom router installations and bandwidth management.
New version 1.17 just came out this week.

Re:Shibby (1)

jomcty (806483) | about 6 months ago | (#46786633)

I concur, I also run Shibby's Tomato-USB edition on an Asus RT-N66U. Do several speed tests to establish a baseline upload/download speed, enable QoS and set the download speed to 80-85% of you average download speed.

Still running dd-wrt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785247)

I'm still running DD-WRT. I know people like tomato, but I haven't tried it so I don't really know. Sounds like it has some nice features.

TP-Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785441)

Stock firmware of the TP-Link Routers does a decent job of bandwidth mgt. and it is pretty simple to set up. MAC assigned IPs to control who gets what IP, then IP based bandwidth rules ensures my kids don't take all my torrent bandwidth.

get a microtik (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46785681)

Just get a better router, such as one of these:

http://www.balticnetworks.com/mikrotik-routerboard-493-assembled-to-order.html

Why not RouterOS? (1)

thesinfulgamer (2537658) | about 6 months ago | (#46786015)

Yes it's a nightmare for newbies, however RouterOS is more feature packed than everything else I've seen on the opensource front. http://www.mikrotik.com/softwa... [mikrotik.com]

Fuck Routers, use a PC (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 6 months ago | (#46786177)

Why do people spend $150 on a shitty little computer for which they then spend a week of their time trying to find an ideal firmware that manages to squeeze all of the features they want into a measly 4 MB of flash memory? ...and, fuck, last I checked I still couldn't find one with IPv6 support.

You know that PC you have in the closet that's always on, doing whatever the fuck important task you have it performing 24/7? For a mere $30 you can add a wireless network card, a second ethernet card, and a five port switch. Holy shit, you just turned your spare CPU cycles in a router! What's more, due to being a full installation of Linux, it has all of those features you can't seem to find anywhere else, like full IPv4 support, and the ability to install any software you want. You can use it as a file server, a print server, even install MythTV on it and make it record television shows. The possibilities are endless!

Routers just suck. They're great for your average user who doesn't know what a switch is and couldn't configure Windows to do NAT if their life depended upon it, but if you know enough to install a custom firmware on a router, there's no reason you can't meet your routing goals with $30 plus a computer you already have.

Good point: Dual Homing, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46786729)

The ONLY thing you'd lack is the stateful packet inspecting abilities of a true firewall. You've got the NAT end, doing what you're up to, but you lack the filtering.

APK

P.S.=> Feel free to correct me where I am off, OR if you know a way to augment the PC acting as a router via dual homing for not only NAT, but also true 'stateful packet inspecting' firewall filtering abilities - probably MIGHT be out there nowadays via a usermode front-end + a layered filtering driver (or NOT that tough to make really) - that (my 1 constraint) is FREEWARE & no licensing involved... apk

Addendum: NetConfig & Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46786745)

I've done EXACTLY what you noted (didn''t get that in my last post) using what's in my subject-line above - however/again: I lacked the stateful packet inspecting abilities a "True firewalling router" has... I had the NAT end of it though, that way, & VERY easily.

APK

P.S.=> In fact, & I almost *hate* to say this? It was free, easy, & easier than doing it with Windows... apk

iptables (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 6 months ago | (#46789945)

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking, as I had to look up "dual-homed" as I've never heard the term before, and it sounds like a contradiction as the descriptions I'm seeing say that dual-homed hosts specifically don't route between their two network connections, which would rule out NAT.

Are you not aware of iptables? The kernel itself supports routing, or if you want a "dual-homed" host it also supports not routing, and it certainly does the stateful packet inspection necessary for NAT. There's no need for any additional software, you just have to be willing to spend a week learning to use iptables. ...and apparently next month you get to toss that knowledge and learn its replacement, nftables, since they can't seem to stop replacing their routing configuration tool.

In any event, all of these custom firmwares are Linux-based, so I can't imagine how they accomplish anything you can't do in Linux on a PC.

I do wish Slashdot would tell me when ACs reply to my posts so that I don't have to manually check them all. This war on ACs is retarded.

Re:iptables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46790767)

See my NetConfig post (addendum to my original). Yea, I have heard of iptables (firewall). Should work. You're right (as I said, a Windows man). When I did that with NetConfig? It was bck in ipchains days now that I think about it (circa 2000 iirc). Dual homed = dual nics (to me @ least). Sorry for confusion in terms, you have clarificaiton now as to what I meant. It's how I heard it termed. Should be correct. Is correct.

Re:Fuck Routers, use a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46790419)

Around here, we went from 1mb to 2mb to 100mb to 1gb in the past 5 years. I sure hope your $30 computer can handle 1gb of symmetrical bandwidth. Even my mom out in farm land can get 100mb/100mb unlimited. 40 minute drive into the middle of no where with cows and corn, 100mb/100mb fiber Internet. Welcome to Midwest USA.

Re:Fuck Routers, use a PC (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 6 months ago | (#46791341)

I sure hope your $30 computer can handle 1gb of symmetrical bandwidth.

The computer isn't $30, that's just the cost of the components you need to use the computer as a router. As for whether it can handle it, my router (a WRT54GL) has a 200 MHz single-core CPUs. Anything it can do, my PC can do with 2% CPU utilization.

Anyway, my point is that most people who desire to load a custom firmware onto their router probably already have several computers anyway, and at least one that is always on for one reason or another. I personally just don't ever turn my computers off. I also use MythTV and so, even if I did regularly turn them off, I'd keep one running 24/7 for MythTV. A lot of other people have always-on computers that function as file or print servers. As long as this is the case, why buy a $150 router and fudge around with custom firmware when, with only $30 of parts, you can use that computer to do your routing, NAT, firewall, bandwidth management, and anything else Linux can do? Why spend hundreds on a device which isn't even going to do what you want until you void the warranty?

As for prices, here's what I found on microcenter.com:

gigabit switch: 5 port for $20, 8 port for $25
gigabit wired PCI card: $10
wireless b/g/n PCI card: $15

So that's $50 for gigabit. If you don't want gigabit it's even less. Plus you've got $100 left over. If you want to spend another $50 you can get a 16-port switch. Maybe blow your last $50 on a more expensive wireless card with a special antenna you can put wherever you want. For the same money you'll end up with something far better than a simple router.

Obviously there are cheaper routers, but the routers people are buying to load custom firmware onto aren't the cheapest ones. Not only do they need routers that are Linux-compatible, but they also require larger flash memories, and they want features like USB ports so they can use them as file and print servers, and attach external storage so that they can keep log files. At some point you have to realize it makes more sense to just use a spare computer for the task.

...and let's not forget that every time you flash a new firmware onto your router you risk bricking the device. Then you'll really wish you'd spent your money on something more useful.

Re:Fuck Routers, use a PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46803687)

And what happens when the hard drive dies in the computer that's doing your routing? This may make sense in a SMB or corporate environment, or for someone who wants to fuck with this as a hobby. Most people want to load firmware onto a dedicated device that uses a fraction of the electricity and takes up a fraction of the space, and not touch it for 3 years except via web gui. The shitty chipset on your $10 gigabit card will let you down too, if you ever start actually pushing it, and your $15 PCI card will probably provide about half the range of my router.

It makes NO sense to use a spare computer for the task unless you prefer excess and hassle or are a very small subset of the population that isn't even a significant portion of the slashdot readerbase at this point. The backend costs will eat up your savings in the long run.

such misinformation in these posts.

If using a spare PC is what you think people should be doing you should be talking about running dedicated Security Appliance like the free Sophos UTM Home Edition (http://www.sophos.com/en-us/products/free-tools/sophos-utm-home-edition.aspx) which provide A/V for 5 PCS, IPS, firewall, NAT, WLR failover, load balancing, bandwidth throttling by application/host/etc., VPN tunneling, spam filtering, email encryption, REGEX filtering, and plenty more. Not Windows. This should be able to handle the average home's services running on an old dual core 2Ghz intel or AMD desktop processor no problem. You can run it in a VM or on hardware, you have a second one running in hot-standby for failover, its pretty sweet.

Mikrotik.com Routerboard.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46788019)

Get yourself a Routerboard that comes with RouterOS and use that. You can damn near do anything you want to with it. Way more powerful than any of those you listed, and it runs great, especially on good hardware.

CeroWRT (1)

Porbes (84611) | about 6 months ago | (#46788243)

CeroWRT [bufferbloat.net] could be worth a try. It's focused on traffic management, and has had good reviews in terms of handling throughput intelligently.
Hardware support is a bit limited though (it's beta and somewhat of a development/research platform, so they're not aiming for multi-platform support).

Why (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46788971)

waste your time with the ultra cheap and low end routers you buy from local electronic stores? For less than $300 you can buy a Juniper SRX that will do 10x more than the $60 router from wally world.

wrtbwmon (1)

kbahey (102895) | about 6 months ago | (#46808363)

If you want to know how much each device uses by hour, day, month, then you need wrtbwmon.

It is a simple shell script that uses iptables, and runs on OpenWRT just fine.

wrtbwmon shows a graph for each device by MAC address. if you configure OpenWRT to use a fixed IP address per MAC address, then you see the device name that you assign on all graphs.

The original is here [google.com] . There is also this fork [gitorious.org] .

I have modified it to run off of a USB memory stick, and store its data there as well. It does not use much storage, barely 85 to 100 kilobytes per day. So even an old 512MB USB stick should last for many years.

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