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  #1  
Old 10-04-2019, 4:11 AM
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Default Need a new router... seeking opinions for sub ~$175, NO ASUS

Looks like my ASUS RT66-U router finally kicked the bucket, and with all the issues I have had, and addressed with ASUS, I am not looking to go there ever again, too glitchy/buggy... <$100, but worked ok for ~3+ years.

I am not a Cisco guy, so that is not an option.

I don't think I need a $200+ router.

How are the sub-~$175 802.11AC D-Links these days?
My mom got a D-Link a few years back, and it was horrible... Windows software required for initial setup, and couldn't even get into via IP/URL it until this was completed.

What about NETGEAR Nighthawks?

I do like them to respond quickly via web interface, not chew on data too long before going to a different internal page (premature mastication), or changing a config.
Suggestions would be appreciated.
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-04-2019 at 4:23 AM..
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  #2  
Old 10-04-2019, 6:30 AM
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Nighthawk is pretty good. My buddy just got one and it cured all the wifi woes he was having with his old Linksys.

I generally pick routers off of the DDWRT list as I haven't used stock firmware in as long as I can remember...
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2019, 7:17 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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Whichever router you chose, put a fan and filter on it. Your Asus died because the router cartel overclocks and/or sub-optimizes their software, resulting in sustained high-CPU usage profiles and more heat than the unit can handle, passively.

Had you taken many board-members’ advice and ditched Asus-WRT on your previous router it may have been a better experience and a longer-lived piece of equipment.

For me, Asus is rock solid and the most reliable, but then again, I understand what these companies do to get their benchmarks.
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:57 AM
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Check out this web site, it focuses on home routers and other small network stuff: https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/tool...ts/router/view

I've had good experience with D-Link and my current Linksys routers. I've been in my current home for 16 years and these are the only 2 routers I've purchased. I work from home too so they're constantly being used.
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  #5  
Old 10-04-2019, 7:46 PM
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I got the Rigid from Home Depot...good router...lots of power...




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  #6  
Old 10-04-2019, 9:26 PM
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I just dumped my ASUS mesh routers. Stand alone, they work fine, but mesh, they need a lot of work.
Just set-up tonight the google wifi mesh routers.
Bought a four pack from Costco for $299
Thought I'd need 4, but installed two and the coverage is good.
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  #7  
Old 10-04-2019, 9:30 PM
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If you want corporate quality and reliability go Cisco but open your wallet. Short of that ASUS is the best you can do on your budget. Good luck. (CIO, I run Cisco Meraki at work and ASUS at home).
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2019, 3:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotron2k84 View Post
...Had you taken many board-members’ advice and ditched Asus-WRT on your previous router it may have been a better experience and a longer-lived piece of equipment.

For me, Asus is rock solid and the most reliable, but then again, I understand what these companies do to get their benchmarks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misterclick View Post
If you want corporate quality and reliability go Cisco but open your wallet. Short of that ASUS is the best you can do on your budget. Good luck. (CIO, I run Cisco Meraki at work and ASUS at home).
My issue was not with performance on the ASUS, WIFI and net. performance was great, but the firmware itself was glitchy. Settings would not work correctly, such as turning off throttling, or just disabling a Guest SSID, which glitched into making the guest SSID the MAIN SSID (all which were features in the web interface, but didn't work, as settings got tattooed over firmware revs, and a factory reset, then dropping the config again didn't fix). It was just issue, after issue with things not working, and I don't change much, but the settings I did/do whacked out constantly.
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-05-2019 at 3:50 AM..
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2019, 8:17 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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Seems like you’ve answered your own question on performance, and you just need to take the extra step and load up DD/Tomato or equivalent.

You can’t really call yourself a computer tech if you are afraid to flash an alternate firmware.
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotron2k84 View Post
Seems like you’ve answered your own question on performance, and you just need to take the extra step and load up DD/Tomato or equivalent.

You can’t really call yourself a computer tech if you are afraid to flash an alternate firmware.
I wouldn't trust alt.firmware like factory firmware from the MFR. Is there a back-door? Are there holes? Hell, I COULD drop pfSense on this Firebox I am just using as a rack-shelf, but do I trust it?

The problem is that I cannot even drop firmware on it in recovery mode, so it's probably toast, anyways.
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-05-2019 at 10:29 AM..
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  #11  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:17 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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You trust stock closed source firmware over one you can inspect the source code?

Enough. You are lost
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  #12  
Old 10-05-2019, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robotron2k84 View Post
You trust stock closed source firmware over one you can inspect the source code?

Enough. You are lost
Most Techs. don't even know Linux at all, but firmware/hardware hacking for alt.repurpose is something I love to do, just not on my home router, as I have had issues with DD-WRT on Linksys devices being slower after the fact...

Have you built router firmware from source (non-x86/non-x86_64)?
I haven't personally, so I can't verify the source was what they built the firmware from... Do you know how to check?
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-05-2019 at 10:39 AM..
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  #13  
Old 10-05-2019, 11:59 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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I do and I do. Many of my posts on here state that I roll my own. It’s the only way to carve out the features and programs you want on the device without adding external storage.

I’ll put it another way for you...Asus forks OpenWRT to make Asus-WRT for their hardware. Do YOU think they check very thoroughly for bugs and vulns, given how buggy the end product is?

Seriously?

Code:
init noinitrd
  ├─buttons
  ├─console
  │   └─sh
  ├─crond
  ├─cstats
  ├─dkimproxy.out -I/opt/lib /opt/bin/dkimproxy.out --user=*** --group=*** --daemonize --pidfile=/opt/var/run/dkimproxy_out.pid --conf_file=/opt/etc/dkimproxy_out.conf
  │   └─dkimproxy.out -I/opt/lib /opt/bin/dkimproxy.out --user=*** --group=*** --daemonize --pidfile=/opt/var/run/dkimproxy_out.pid --conf_file=/opt/etc/dkimproxy_out.conf
  ├─dnsmasq -c 1500 --log-async
  ├─dovecot
  │   ├─dovecot-auth
  │   ├─dovecot-auth -w
  │   ├─imap
  │   ├─imap
  │   ├─imap-login
  │   ├─imap-login
  │   ├─imap-login
  │   ├─imap-login
  │   └─imap-login
  ├─dropbear -p 22
  ├─eapd
  ├─hotplug2 --persistent --no-coldplug
  ├─httpd
  ├─httpd -k start
  │   ├─httpd -k start
  │   └─httpd -k start
  ├─klogd
  ├─master
  │   ├─anvil -l -t unix -u
  │   ├─pickup -l -t fifo -u
  │   ├─proxymap -t unix -u
  │   ├─qmgr -l -t fifo -u
  │   ├─showq -t unix -u
  │   ├─smtpd -***
  │   └─tlsmgr -l -t unix -u
  ├─mysqld_safe /opt/bin/mysqld_safe --datadir=/opt/var/lib/mysql --pid-file=/opt/var/lib/mysql/asus.pid
  │   └─mysqld --basedir=/opt --datadir=/opt/var/lib/mysql --user=*** --pid-file=/opt/var/lib/mysql/asus.pid --skip-external-locking --port=3306 --socket=/tmp/mysql.sock
  │       └─mysqld --basedir=/opt --datadir=/opt/var/lib/mysql --user=*** --pid-file=/opt/var/lib/mysql/asus.pid --skip-external-locking --port=3306 --socket=/tmp/mysql.sock
  │           └─mysqld --basedir=/opt --datadir=/opt/var/lib/mysql --user=*** --pid-file=/opt/var/lib/mysql/asus.pid --skip-external-locking --port=3306 --socket=/tmp/mysql.sock
  ├─nagios -d /opt/etc/nagios/nagios.cfg
  │   └─nagios -d /opt/etc/nagios/nagios.cfg
  │       └─nagios -d /opt/etc/nagios/nagios.cfg
  ├─named -u named -n 1 -c /opt/etc/named/named.conf
  ├─nas
  ├─nmbd -D
  │   └─nmbd -D
  ├─p910nd -b -f /dev/usb/lp0 0
  ├─radicale /opt/local/bin/radicale --config=/opt/etc/radicale/radicale.conf
  │   └─radicale /opt/local/bin/radicale --config=/opt/etc/radicale/radicale.conf
  │       └─radicale /opt/local/bin/radicale --config=/opt/etc/radicale/radicale.conf
  ├─radiusd
  │   └─radiusd
  │       ├─radiusd
  │       └─radiusd
  ├─rstats
  ├─shellinaboxd -***
  ├─smbd -D
  ├─splashd
  ├─start_server.sh /opt/libexec/radicale/start_server.sh
  │   └─sleep 5
  ├─stunnel /opt/etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf
  │   └─stunnel /opt/etc/stunnel/stunnel.conf
  ├─stunnel /opt/etc/stunnel/stunnel_client.conf
  │   └─stunnel /opt/etc/stunnel/stunnel_client.conf
  ├─syslogd -L -s 1024 -O /opt/var/log/messages -b 10
  └─vpnserver1 --cd /etc/openvpn/server1 --config config.ovpn
Here is a sanitized process listing of an Asus I built for a friend a couple weeks ago. This one has a 128GB SSD hanging off the USB port for storage.

It’s running:

Full LAMP stack
OpenVPN server
SMTP/IMAP server with DKIM
iCal server
Radius and EAP for WPA2 Enterprise
Webshell for remote recovery, hosted by a VHost under Apache secured by a SSL cert with certificate auth.
BIND stub DNS resolver
File and print services
Nagios for checking it all (which required python, ruby and perl be installed, ugh)
Stunnel for advanced encryption on programs that don’t automatically support recent cipher suites.

Plus much secret firewall sauce, and multiple SSIDs, that secures it all. It isn’t powerful enough to support more than a small workgroup, but through process tuning and setting priorities, it can still stream 4K video to two devices while doing all its other functions.

It’s not rocket science, but it isn’t child’s-play either. You need a Linux VM to compile all of the system and other programs.
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  #14  
Old 10-05-2019, 7:35 PM
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WOW, are you collecting bounties on XDA for custom deodexed Android ROMs?
You should be, I assume the build/fork is similar to what you are doing for routers, all of which is above my head.

I recall dropping a $75-$100 bounty for a better ROM for the Sidekick 4g, as stock was VERY unstable OOTB.

I have never dug-in too deep with custom kernel building, Vanilla was always kosher for my use, and I never had time (to even learn that... in addition, as I pretty much stopped playing video games while getting my M$ cert. and learning the Linux CLI for a few years).
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-05-2019 at 7:42 PM..
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2019, 7:40 PM
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NETGEAR - AC1750 Dual-Band Wi-Fi 5 Router works great.
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  #16  
Old 10-06-2019, 12:22 AM
Robotron2k84 Robotron2k84 is offline
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Embedded Linux and Android are worlds apart. EL is still mostly a Linux system with a squashed boot loader, Android is targeted for a smaller footprint that needs to take CPU accounting and power profiles into account. I.e. while you can put OSS servers on Android, they have no awareness of the special considerations of the platform.

EL is much simpler, just a skinnier version of a normal server. In the case of routers, the platform is about as powerful as a ‘90s Pentium, but memory and I/O are much slower. Sacrifices to operate in a < 20W footprint. Luckily 32-bit ARM and MIPSel binaries are tiny by modern comparison. The largest binary I have is Perl and its all of 4 megs, where it’s upwards of 20 on x86 when built as monolithic. RISC CPU’s are great for embedded.

The build environment uses the existing ipkg system and the packages are built to altroot depending on if they are being included in the trx file or added post-flash to an external file system. So, I can just tick off the packages to include and they all are bundled into the firmware. In that case, you need configuration files. That presents some challenges. You can employ JFFS as part of the MTD layout and store configs there, mapped to /jffs or if the config data is small enough, NVRAM has a facility to write out files to /etc on boot. Easiest is if I know that there will be storage attached is to redirect config files to /opt. As of now, I don’t have plugins for the GUI menu system to configure the servers that I add, and they are text UI over SSH only.

Overlaying config files is sort of an art, as well, EL has a really crude init, so I usually keep my own that manages the firewall and is a bit more robust than what comes with the build environment.

As for the binary packages, this is the toughest part, because you are porting to a target that not every software project supports. You have to know a decent amount of programming in some cases to build the patches to compile, Apache, for instance.

In any event, it’s not a system that is flexible enough to switch between models of installation (stand alone, storage attached), so a new build needs to be made for when things change too much. The MTD is just too small to build a fully configured Linux system that is that flexible.

Otherwise, it’s just like configuring a normal Linux server, except that you have to use ebtables and vlan configurations more and need to know how to configure NVRAM for your uses.

But, you can Tl;dr this whole post and just install one of the firmware offerings from WRT, Tomato, DD and with relative confidence have a more stable system than from the vendor. I recommend Advanced Tomato if you want to get started. Just make sure to go to their list of supported devices to check and make sure what you want is listed.
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  #17  
Old 10-06-2019, 9:44 AM
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Go with the Porter-Cable 690. It may be a little old, but its always been the classic standard. Hard to improve upon.
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Old 10-07-2019, 6:21 PM
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Go with the Porter-Cable 690. It may be a little old, but its always been the classic standard. Hard to improve upon.
I didn't say 80% ROOTER.
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  #19  
Old 10-08-2019, 9:47 AM
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Motorola makes the best radios. Period. They have combo options and individual router/modem options. Won't use another brand, they work fantastic.

https://motorolahome.com/home/cable-...ange-extenders
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Old 10-09-2019, 3:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Anonymous_Ghost View Post
Motorola makes the best radios. Period. They have combo options and individual router/modem options. Won't use another brand, they work fantastic.
I never really thought about Motorola, they are not typically even on the radar, but should be, as wireless IS what they do! Motorola AC2600 @ $99 very reasonable too. Thanks for the input, they are now on my list, and I doubt they would be OC'ing their proc...

I'd like to hear what Robotron thinks about Morotola routers before I pull the trigger on this.

I am also considering the Nighthawk AC2600 (R7450), even though I have no other 802.11AC MIMO hardware.

This Netgear R6080 router I take when I travel isn't bad, and keeps up for the time-being:


AND just an FYI: Telling your son that you are going to throttle his Internet speeds helps get the lawn mowed, & the dishes done too!
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-09-2019 at 4:29 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-09-2019, 4:26 AM
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The motorola MT7711 looks interesting. Reviews are good...
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2019, 7:25 AM
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The Motorola stand-alone routers are mostly rebranded D-link models with worse software. Motorola doesn’t make consumer products themselves.

Their DOCSIS/combined devices are not consumer products as they are tail-end cable infrastructure.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2019, 7:41 AM
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Default Need a new router... seeking opinions for sub ~$175, NO ASUS

Wow. A whole nother subculture of modding and tweaking. Cool.

The last time I programmed any kind of comm device, was configuring remote terminal servers to call home to the mother ship, via 52k baud modems.
20 years ago....

PS. Another vote for the Netgear Nighthawk series.
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Old 10-09-2019, 8:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 357manny View Post
Wow. A whole nother subculture of modding and tweaking. Cool.

The last time I programmed any kind of comm device, was configuring remote terminal servers to call home to the mother ship, via 52k baud modems.
20 years ago....

PS. Another vote for the Netgear Nighthawk series.
I still remember when I upgraded from a no-name 2400 baud modem to a US Robotics 9600 HST.


I used to be partial to Linksys before their acquisition by Cisco, but the last EA router I had was a POS until I installed dd-wrt.

+1 on the Netgear Nighthawk line.
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Old 10-09-2019, 10:57 AM
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I’ve got several solid options:

- Netgear. I’ve had 15+ years of nothing but great experience with Netgear’s networking products; switches & routers. Really like them. Nighthawk routers; I’ve had several different models & they have all been just superb.

- Linksys Velop Mesh System - installed 3+ or so, very good systems if you need a mesh system. Ironically I have not had the best luck with Netgear’s Orbi mesh system...

- Ubiquiti. Very, VERY Good quality small business / home networking gear.
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Old 10-09-2019, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrjonesUSA View Post
I’ve got several solid options:

- Netgear. I’ve had 15+ years of nothing but great experience with Netgear’s networking products; switches & routers. Really like them. Nighthawk routers; I’ve had several different models & they have all been just superb.

- Linksys Velop Mesh System - installed 3+ or so, very good systems if you need a mesh system. Ironically I have not had the best luck with Netgear’s Orbi mesh system...

- Ubiquiti. Very, VERY Good quality small business / home networking gear.
Solid choices here. I have a hybrid with Netgear serving as the router to al the wired connections and then two Upiquiti access points plugged into the network to handle the wireless connections throughout the property
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Old 10-09-2019, 3:26 PM
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Solid choices here. I have a hybrid with Netgear serving as the router to al the wired connections and then two Upiquiti access points plugged into the network to handle the wireless connections throughout the property
Thanks!
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  #28  
Old 10-10-2019, 3:24 AM
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the86d the86d is offline
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Originally Posted by DrjonesUSA View Post
...
- Ubiquiti. Very, VERY Good quality small business / home networking gear.
Don't these require a proprietary software install to setup or reconfig, not the run of the mill Web interface?
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Old 10-10-2019, 4:38 AM
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Originally Posted by the86d View Post
Don't these require a proprietary software install to setup or reconfig, not the run of the mill Web interface?

Kind of...like with anything, it’s give and take.

Part of what is so great about Ubiquiti is you can manage it from a web interface, from anywhere - for no added charge.

Technically; yes, you do have to either install some “controller” software in order to setup and then reconfigure Ubiquiti gear. The easiest route to go, IMO, is to buy their “Cloud Key” which acts as a controller and allows you to manage your gear via Ubiquiti’s web portal.

The great thing about Ubiquiti vs similar vendors (MERAKI) is there are no subscription fees; you pay for the hardware once & that’s it.

But again; if you go full Ubiquiti; you can manage your switches, WAPs, Router (if you get a Ubiquiti router too) - all of those from a web browser from anywhere in the world.

It’s cool....they also give you a ton of insight into your network; traffic, connected devices, bandwidth used, all sorts of stuff.
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Old 10-10-2019, 9:46 AM
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Originally Posted by 357manny View Post
Wow. A whole nother subculture of modding and tweaking. Cool.

The last time I programmed any kind of comm device, was configuring remote terminal servers to call home to the mother ship, via 52k baud modems.
20 years ago....

PS. Another vote for the Netgear Nighthawk series.
ATDT18002224922. I can't believe I remembered that BBS phone number to National Board of Education .... I think it is sex talk line now...
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iPhone users can now take "vertical pictures" with multiple lenses... in HI-RES!!! Their kids will regret looking at the vertical pics on wide-screen monitors (few really use vertical monitors) after they have passed, but whatever, it's all about holding it wrong...

Last edited by the86d; 10-11-2019 at 4:11 AM..
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Old 10-11-2019, 4:19 AM
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the86d the86d is offline
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Welp, I dropped about $15 more than it WAS priced, as it is now $161.63 (after tax) for the NETGEAR Nighthawk AC2600 Smart WiFi Router (R7450).

We'll see how she chooches,
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