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Best Router for ~$100

Kursah

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#1
I can get an Asus RT-N66U for $100 right now. I have been meaning to replace my cheap Belkin router for a while...it's just been dependable and gotten us through with having the basics covered. It'll be an excellent backup or AP.

I was wondering what you guys recommend at this point for something at this pricepoint?

I want to be able to have some decent management and control options, and a smaller footprint. I wish I could do a small ITX build dedicated to routing, but that's just not in the cards atm. I would like a decent router though!

I just moved to a much more saturated network, but my old lady's phone won't connect to our network with the SSID off...she may have to deal with it as her new phone with 4G LTE does just fine without wifi. Just not quite as snappy.

Regardless...anything have an edge on the N66U? Can I get the same quality for less (I'm on a very tight budget...but just sold off some things...if I can save some cash my basement wiring project can start early!).

Thanks folks! :toast:
 

OneMoar

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#2
get the RT-N66U soild unit,fast,replaceable antenna and DDWRT,tomato,merlinwrt support
if you don't need WIFI AC then the RT-N66u is the one to go with
http://cl.ly/W4Tb/Image 2014-06-15 at 9.20.06 PM.png
if It doesn't have external antenna's then its gonna have exactly no range
 

Kursah

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#3
Ya me Belkin has internal antennas and it does okay in the new place...but it's dependability has been touch and go. It's a good backup or AP but that's about it...I don't want to risk depending on it.

I don't need AC yet...I have no WiFi AC devices in the house as of yet.
 

OneMoar

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#4
Last edited:

Kursah

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#5
Ya I looked at it initially...and while my Belkin is okay with its internal antennas for now...I'd have to mod my next router for externals (I'm sure it can be done)...I'd rather just have one that has externals already. I am still debating the AC56U for the price though...I might have to go for it... my$100 option is gone... now it's $129 new. I can get a refurb for $100...but lack of warranty...
 

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#6
wow kursah we actually run n66us at work for the shops. We were on dd-wrt and it was great but the stock firmware is actually fantastic. and the routers themselves are great units. you really couldnt go wrong.
 

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#7

Kursah

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#8
We run ciscos and Sonicwalls at work and for our customers...but I have started getting them to branch into Asus products for our home-based users. I'm not sure of the exact models we're using yet...but that AC66R refurb seems awfully tempting....thinking that may be the one! Then at least I'll have AC capabilities in the future.

I won't lie...a quick read of the all the port failures on this AC66R have me kinda nervous that I should just get my first choice...I guess it's always a gamble. I just hate not having at least a 1-yr warranty with a part.
 
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#9
Asus firmware is insecure tho. You hook up a USB drive and the world can see it if you enter a special URL. Also its a bit on the unstable side.

There are also other vulnerabilities reported on reddit and ars as well. Too tired to find em..


If you go with asus than you need to get 3rd party firmware.
 

OneMoar

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#10
Asus firmware is insecure tho. You hook up a USB drive and the world can see it if you enter a special URL. Also its a bit on the unstable side.

There are also other vulnerabilities reported on reddit and ars as well. Too tired to find em..


If you go with asus than you need to get 3rd party firmware.
naa the issue was ASUS had ftp running in anonymous mode by default
you had to manually enabled FTP tho just a cause of bad defaults
 

Kursah

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#11
Good to know! Thanks guys! I'm still researching and hoping a sale strikes any moment for a new one closer to my budget! :toast:
 

Kursah

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#12
I'm really debating that Asus AC66u refurb for $109 with 90-day warranty... but seeing that the new N66U is $126 it's tempting to go new and have a 2yr warranty.

I am concerned with all the negative reviews for the AC66U and it's dead WAN ports... I don't want to spend money on something that has a high failure rate...but it makes me wonder how many of those issues are firmware updates and unknowledgeable users.

Both review really really well...it would be nice to have AC for the future too...
 

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#13
Just to put it out their our A66U was bout when our 3rd store was opened mroe than a year ago. We do backups on multiple machines everyday throughout the day as well as downloads etc your talking 20+ machines running the network at once. 2 5 port switches are connected to the router as well as a few data drops and our NAS has a direct connection. all the stores have a 66u in shop with the same network infrastructure. except 1. that 1 store also has a 66u but we provide internet to the rest of the plaza as well and not a single one has failed. We keep our firmware upto date however.

To be extra extra fair though I was looking at some asus AC units and drooling.
 

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#14
Well that makes me lean more towards the N66U... $20 and fewer features, but with a warranty... or save some $$$, shorter warranty by 21 months but more features....like I said if I hadn't have read all the negative reviews I wouldn't be up in the air.

Both rate so well, I just wish I had the $$$ to buy the AC new... I don't have any AC wifi gear yet...who knows when I will...but when I do it will sure as hell be nice to already have a router that supports it! That is never how it works out for me. And maybe it shouldn't this time...I'm happy with N speeds for the Wifi and I'll be connected to the gigabit ethernet for now anyways.

Maybe I should make a poll lol. I just want to make the right decision...I am going to have a tough time swinging the $130 for the new N66US router...it would be easier for me to buy the refurb'd AC66R...but the risk with it...hmm.

:toast:
 

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#15
I cant speak for the R unfortunately and AC sounds fine and dandy but a spool of 1kft cat 5e isnt that bad and I can just data drop my house which would make AC irrelevant not to mention AC wifi gear is kinda pricy N can be had for next to nothing.
 

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#16
wth do you need a warranty for the warranty on mine was good for about 25M after I got it hooked up and then I flashed DDWRT
as for the port issue that was a problem sometime ago asus acknowledged the problem and offered free replacements/repairs
 
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#17
For consumer 802.11ac wait till later this year or early next for the MU-MIMO that bascially is like going from a hub to a switch... it's called Multi-User MIMO and it will be able to handle multiple clients at once rather then everyone "taking turns" and also beamforming will get better as well as even better 2.4Ghz performance.
 

Solaris17

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#18
For consumer 802.11ac wait till later this year or early next for the MU-MIMO that bascially is like going from a hub to a switch... it's called Milti-User MIMO and it will be able to handle multiple clients at once rather then everyone "taking turns" and also beamforming will get better as well as even better 2.4Ghz performance.
really even 2.4? im excited.
 
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Power Supply 620w Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620M
Mouse Logitech G700s/G502
Keyboard Logitech K740
Software Windows Server 2012 x64 Standard
Benchmark Scores Network: APs: Cisco Meraki MR32, Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC-LR and Lite, Ligowave NFT-3AC
#19
Improved signalling and radios
 

newtekie1

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Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
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#20
I can say that every ASUS router I've bought has been a refurb, and not a single one has failed.
 
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System Name RemixedBeast
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Display(s) Samsung SyncMaster P2350 23in @ 1920x1080 + LG Flatron 19in Widescreen 1440x900
Case Antec Three Hundred Two
Audio Device(s) Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 // Fiio E7 Amp/DAC
Power Supply 620w Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620M
Mouse Logitech G700s/G502
Keyboard Logitech K740
Software Windows Server 2012 x64 Standard
Benchmark Scores Network: APs: Cisco Meraki MR32, Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC-LR and Lite, Ligowave NFT-3AC
#21
What firmware do you use?
 

newtekie1

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Processor Intel Core i7 4790K@4.6GHz
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Video Card(s) ASUS GTX960 STRIX @ 1500/1900
Storage 480GB Crucial MX200 + 2TB Seagate Solid State Hybrid Drive with 128GB OCZ Synapse SSD Cache
Display(s) QNIX QX2710 1440p@120Hz
Case Corsair 650D Black
Audio Device(s) Onboard is good enough for me
Power Supply Corsair HX850
Software Windows 10 Pro x64
#22
Shibby Tomato
 
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System Name RemixedBeast
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Memory 16GB Corsair XMS3
Video Card(s) EVGA Nvidia GTX 650 Ti SSC 1GB
Storage 1.5TB Seagate/128GB Samsung 840
Display(s) Samsung SyncMaster P2350 23in @ 1920x1080 + LG Flatron 19in Widescreen 1440x900
Case Antec Three Hundred Two
Audio Device(s) Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80 // Fiio E7 Amp/DAC
Power Supply 620w Antec High Current Gamer HCG-620M
Mouse Logitech G700s/G502
Keyboard Logitech K740
Software Windows Server 2012 x64 Standard
Benchmark Scores Network: APs: Cisco Meraki MR32, Ubiquiti Unifi AP-AC-LR and Lite, Ligowave NFT-3AC
#23
Yeah I've heard better things about using 3rd party firmware instead of the default on those.
 

Kursah

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Motherboard Asus Z87-Pro - BIOS 2103 | Asus Z87-Pro - BIOS 2103
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#24
Well...I'm getting the AC one then. I might not need it or even use it..but it's cheaper than the N. Thanks guys! I'll report back. :toast:

Edit: Order placed. I did the 3-day shipping for $5. Gonna be nice to have a decent router. I wish I got better deals on Sonicwalls at work...but this Asus should fit the bill at home perfectly. Thanks again guys.
 
Last edited:

Kursah

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Processor i7 4790k 4.0/4.8 @ 1.26v | i7 4790k 4.0/4.4 @ 1.18v - Both delidded w/CLU
Motherboard Asus Z87-Pro - BIOS 2103 | Asus Z87-Pro - BIOS 2103
Cooling Noctua NH-U14S Push-Pull | Cooler Master 212 EVO Stock - Using NT-H1 and AC MX-4
Memory 16GB (2x8) Corsair Dominator DDR3 2400 CL11 | 32GB (4x8) G.Skill DDR3-1600 CL9
Video Card(s) MSI GTX980 Ti Gaming 6G LE @ Stock | Onboard Intel HD 4600
Storage 850EVO 250GB SSD, 960GB SSD, 1x2TB | 840 120GB SSD, RAID10 6x2TB (6TB) + 8TB Backup
Display(s) Samsung 32" TV IPS 1080p, Dell 23" U2312HM IPS 1080p | 19" 4:3 Dell LCD..mostly RDP.
Case Corsair 600C - Stock Fans on Low | Lian Li Lancool PC-K7 - Cougar fans
Audio Device(s) Aune T1 mk1 > AKG K553 Pro + HiFiMAN HE-350 (Equalizer APO + PeaceUI) | Realtek ALC1150
Power Supply EVGA 750G2 Modular + APC 1500VA UPS | EVGA KR500 80+ Bronze + CyberPowerPC 1000VA UPS
Mouse Logitech G502 | Dell USB Laser Mouse
Keyboard Logitech G15 rv2 | Dell USB Keyboard
Software Windows 10 Pro x64 | Windows Server 2012 R2 (GUI Core,Hyper-V + VMs)
#25
Router in, hooked up, firmware upgraded, setup was quick and easy...amazing router! Uber happy so far. Signal is sooooo much better! I expected that, but it's something to truly appreciate too. Thanks for all the help folks! :toast: