Help with wireless router

arlo

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2016
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North Eastern
I have a pair of ASUS RT-AC86U routers running ASUS-Merlin. One is hooked to the cable modem (Arris SB6183) as the primary and the other is set up as an access port. Mesh was just activated with the latest ASUS-Merlin firmware update. I haven't tried it yet but according to the forum the results have been great.
Asuswrt-Merlin
[Release] Asuswrt-Merlin 384.13 is now available
ahhh i see that in the latest asusmerlin. it's updated. next, to play with it and take a look-see.
 

smokey982

Thread Starter
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Sep 7, 2005
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Cleveland, TN (Chattanooga Market)
So I’m still in the hunt for a new router. Considering the size of my home and what it will be used for I really would like to stay in the $150-$200 range. My options are still open but after some internet reading today I may have narrowed it down to the Netgear Nighthawk R7800 (AC2600) and the Netgear Nighthawk RAX40 (AX3000).

I know the AX3000 is WiFi 6 ready. And although we don’t currently have anything that uses WiFi 6. We’ll probably be upgrading to the iPhone 11 after the first of the year. Does anyone have any feedback on either of those units?
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
And although we don’t currently have anything that uses WiFi 6. We’ll probably be upgrading to the iPhone 11 after the first of the year.
Consider spending much less and waiting until you have more devices that can take advantage of the new technology. Bleeding edge is cool to brag about but if you can't effectively use it, there's not much point in going through the teething process of a new protocol. Intel's phone chipset isn't currently Wi-Fi Alliance certified (nor are any of Apples phones since the iPhone 4S) so this may be somewhat untrodden territory for Apple.

Perhaps more important that its theoretical top speeds is Wi-Fit 6's ability to handle a large number of devices. If that doesn't match your environment, it may not be the protocol you're looking for.
 

smokey982

Thread Starter
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Sep 7, 2005
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Cleveland, TN (Chattanooga Market)
Consider spending much less and waiting until you have more devices that can take advantage of the new technology.
I agree with that statement. What caught my attention was the AX3000 was only $10 more than the AC2600 on Amazon. WiFi 6 abilities aside. Isn’t the AX3000 technically a higher end unit anyway? (Maybe I’m wrong. I’m just learning about these routers from my research).
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2016
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North Eastern
I agree with that statement. What caught my attention was the AX3000 was only $10 more than the AC2600 on Amazon. WiFi 6 abilities aside. Isn’t the AX3000 technically a higher end unit anyway? (Maybe I’m wrong. I’m just learning about these routers from my research).
Heck. I use routers I find in pawn shops and Craigs. My ISP doesn't even use IPv6 yet and no plans to in the distant future.
For me what is important though is DD-WRT, Tomato, OpenWRT hardware compatibility. 2.4 & 5 GHz wifi will get you what you need for home networking.
To seal the deal I set most of my home devices to static IP addresses and in the router web interface to assign a static IP by MAC for those devices.
Certainly nothing wrong with keeping up on technology. Wifi security is important if you live close to others. I live in the sticks and still use a secure password. No guest network setup, but the capability is there. If you ask yourself. Will I need 250+ devices on my home network? All routers, switches support that in the box.
I dislike devices that have funky chipsets that the manufacturer may throw out 1 firmware upgrade and call it a day.
Last years $300 router for $150 today that has great reviews and is tried and true sounds nice to me. That free WRT54g in my garage with DD-WRT on it sounds better though.
...opinions may differ
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
If you have speed problems with devices that can only do Wi-Fi, using an old -G router isn't the answer regardless of what open source software you flash on it.

You need to take an inventory of your terminal devices to see how many there are (people often forget about home automation devices that use Wi-Fi) and what technologies they support.

If you have 100Mbps Internet service, you surely won't realize much benefit from having 300Mbps Wi-Fi on your phone or tablets. Apple Devices in particular are often dependent on your connection to iCloud. If you have a media server or a backup system, fast connections are useful but if you don't, it is mostly a numbers game that nobody really needs to play.
 

smokey982

Thread Starter
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Sep 7, 2005
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Cleveland, TN (Chattanooga Market)
Well I finally bought a new router last night and got everything hooked up. I now have blazing fast WiFi. All I’ve done so far is turn off the WiFi on the AT&T router and I’m showing well over 300mbps on my phone speed test. But from my research I’ve read that I need to turn on IP passthrough on the AT&T router (among some other tweaks). But I’m just wondering what turning on IP passthrough will do? What exactly will that help? Because so far I’m very pleased with my results.
 

EarDemon

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Dec 5, 2014
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Without knowing much about AT&T, I would think pass through is similar to bridge mode on cable modem gateways. A cable gateway in bridge mode disables all of the router features (wifi, NAT, firewall, DHCP, etc) and turns it into essentially a dumb standalone modem that allows you to directly connect one and only one device to it. The one device you connect to it receives the public IP address from your ISP. If you want to connect multiple devices, you need to supply your own router. I would assume enabling pass through on an AT&T gateway is very similar if not the same thing.

Doing this lets your own router be charge of your network, not AT&Ts gateway. In the cable world running your own router behind a non bridge gateway can increases in latency and create a whole host of problems due to double NATing

https://www.pcworld.com/article/3175739/how-to-identify-and-resolve-double-nat-problems.html
 
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harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
If you want to be able to access devices inside your home while you're away, it is important to not have the gateway interfering. Services like dynamic DNS can't build a route to your favorite router if there's another router in the middle. You could do it on the gateway, but it is just easier to take the gateway router out of the picture altogether.
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2016
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North Eastern
More coffee! I spent last evening with my wireless client bridge router tweaking settings to get the best performance. I allows me to use a router in the garage across the yard as a virtual Ethernet cable. It gets all IP's assigned from the home router. IP pass through allows the garage router to get assigned IP's from devices plugged in to it from the main router in my home.
As opposed to the garage router assigning possible duplicate IP's and causing a conflict.
Usage is good for cascaded routers.
The garage router is my wireless connection to the house where my computer in the garage is hooked up with cat5 cable. The garage router in client bridge mode disables using it's wifi to connect wifi devices. Else traffic throughput would be halved. The radio only bridges the 2 routers.
I have a wifi router in the garage too for wifi. It does its job well as a wifi router and ethernet cable can be plugged into it also for laptops, etc.
That router gets passed assigned IP's from the home router. Again eliminating conflicts. If I screwed up any info, it's all because of not enough coffee!
Good over view here:

Linking Routers - DD-WRT Wiki
 

harshness

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May 5, 2007
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how do ya' figure? what's your view to trim the gadgets down?
My answer to that question was built into my response. A router and probably a switch in the house and an access point ("range extender") in the outbuilding. If you have multiple wired devices in the garage, you might need to add a switch. When you get industrious, you can replace the wireless connection with fiber for relatively cheap.

I see little point in using enterprise grade equipment in a single family residence. It is like bringing your work home.
 

arlo

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 4, 2016
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41
North Eastern
My answer to that question was built into my response. A router and probably a switch in the house and an access point ("range extender") in the outbuilding. If you have multiple wired devices in the garage, you might need to add a switch. When you get industrious, you can replace the wireless connection with fiber for relatively cheap.

I see little point in using enterprise grade equipment in a single family residence. It is like bringing your work home.
Ahh. I see. But it's all consumer grade stuff. The only thing that improves tweakability is using dd-wrt firmware.
In my final mods here which returns a speedtest.net speed of 35-15 down/up in the garage on a 2.4 client bridge. I'm happy.
All on the same subnet. So I can play all of my media without a hitch and see all of my indoor toys. I've added an AP in the garage for wireless devices. Again, with a repurposed wrt54gs router running....you guessed it. DD-WRT. I retired the ATT 2wire dsl modem used in bridge mode for an AP. She was a good one though!
So my final map is:

Cable modem>Asus router> wired devices and wifi 2.4/5GHz>cat 5 to AP. There is a gigabit switch in the mix too. We have a lot of stuff.
AP is at the end of the house in the cellar way facing the garage (they call it a barn up here...it's big) quite a distance away.
Beam from it is concentrated with an old DN dish to the barn.
Client bridge in the barn is radio only. Looking towards the cellar way. 2.4GHz for range and signal. Wired devices (Linux PC, surveilance camera, remote controlled thermostat) are plugged in the back of the client bridge router.
And 1 port on the bridge goes to the AP.

Fiber would be awesome. Cat cable too. If there weren't so many boulders out there under the dirt. And frost would shear direct burial unless down 4ft. Nah. lol!
Bringing work home means you really enjoy your job and career. Sharing talents with others means you aren't afraid of losing it.
 

harshness

SatelliteGuys Master
May 5, 2007
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Salem, OR
Fiber would be awesome. Cat cable too.
Cat cable isn't great for significant distances (>100m). For shorter distances it can offer POE but if you've got wired devices in the outbuilding, power to run the network gear probably isn't an issue. I have an outbuilding that is 800' away and fiber takes it completely in stride. The cost for cabling and media converters was under $400. I buried a 2" conduit for phone wire and the fiber along with the water and gas lines. Fiber also whacks any concerns about differences in ground voltage between buildings (as does wireless). In my case, another outbuilding popped up in between the two original buildings so wireless would have needed a major reconfiguration to continue to work.

I don't recommend direct burial. Conduit is more money but in the long run it gives you much more flexibility.

For new construction or major remodeling, I think it is a great idea to put in a separate low-voltage conduit so you can run other sensitive connections (data, intercom, whole-home speaker system) through the "quiet" conduit.
 
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