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Home routers - The best of the cheap

By house ·
Any solid unbias reviews of cheap hardware routers?

ie. Linksys, D-Link, etc...

I am interested in getting a newer device with a solid firewall interface, more advanced options, ICMP rules, wireless connection certificates, DMZ... perhaps even logging to a network share (does that even exist on these things?). My current router is crap.

Basically, I want the best of the $50 - $150 range. Any reviews, suggestions, issues? Of course, I would rather run a *nix box firewall OS, but that'll have to wait.

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Problem with residential cable in US

by jdclyde In reply to PPPoE is flaky

They block ports. Lots of them.

DSL just started to do this with port 25, as pointed out in another post, but you can opt-out of the blocking as I did.

I have had less down time with my DSL over the last three years than I did in the ONE year of cable before that. (cable was faster though).

When DSL goes down, it is because of a masive ice storm or something. When cable goes down it is because it is down again and will be up before 24 hours of the time you report it or they don't have to reimburse you for the down time.

Charter Cable is just awful.

The only problems I really heard about for DSL is some providers don't work well with Linksys.

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by house In reply to Problem with residential ...

Is prone to less, but more serious, problems. Synch problems, authentication errors, server disconnects... these issues are sometimes more serious than a simple wiring or software issue. Maybe the lines in my town suck... yeah, that's probably it. We provide DSL for Ontario and Quebec, but most of our inquiries are from our local clients.

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Cable outages

by doug m. In reply to Problem with residential ...

The view I took when it came to cable or DSL, is that my phone has always worked for me, whereas cable seemed to always go out a lot. Sure, maybe cable is faster, but I took the reliability of DSL into account when deciding. What good is fast if it isn't working, right?

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Gotta agree

by LiamE In reply to To answer this question

I'm a big netgear fan in general, but I've had problems with several wireless hubs /routers dropping connections for no apparent reason.

And it can be a PITA adding non-netgear nodes (ie centrino notebooks) to a netgear wireless network.

I'd shy away from netgear for a wireless router at the moment, if you were considering wireless.

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I'm only considering wireless...

by house In reply to Gotta agree

for future implimentations. I do not use wireless at all in the home right now.

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by doug m. In reply to To answer this question

One problem I had with my Netgear, and I don't know if this is the fault of the product or user error, is that it kept dropping connections when I had DHCP enabled. Once I went with assigned addresses the problem went away. And if you lose your IP address, it makes it much harder to access the router as you have to go thru your browser to configure.

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How about open source?

by Dave Flick In reply to Home routers - The best o ...

Why not try setting up a linux based firewall? I have used smoothwall and I love it. All you need is an old PC and a couple of NICs. Download the software from, burn the ISO to CD, pop it in the old PC and boot. The installer detects your hardware and installs the software. The price is perfect and you will end up with a really powerful firewall.

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by Choppit In reply to How about open source?

Also consider IPCop, which I believe originally branched off from the smoothwall project. Added benefits over a commercial router box would be the inclusion of squid cache and Snort IDS. It would be good as a home router/ firewall if you're OK with having an extra beige box sitting around consuming power.

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by house In reply to IpCop

Apotheon told me about that one... I'm really interested in setting up a 'real' box eventually. That is one of the pieces of software that I am looking at playing around with.

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by apotheon In reply to Yeah

People are referring to me by name. I should double-check my profile to be sure that my name is still in it, then. Heh.

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