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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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by house In reply to hmm

Sorry about that. No one would have known who I was talking about if you didn't respond; post editted either way.

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by apotheon In reply to Changed
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by Choppit In reply to Home routers - The best o ...

I like, use, and implement Linksys kit. I've always found it to be stable although every UK model (4) I've ever encountered had some issue with PPTP pass-thru not working. I usually have to install US firmware to resolve these problems. Linksys also have a habit of releasing firmware updates and then withdrawing it a few days later without notice. Unfortunately not all the models yet support SNMP logging as I found out when I replaced my BEFW11S4 for a WRT54G. Once working properly though , I never have problems.

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Give Smoothwall Express a look-see

by CourtPCTech In reply to Home routers - The best o ...

I've been using Smoothwall for nearly 3 years (gosh, doesn't seem that long, though), and have had no problems with it. About the only capability that you've mentioned wanting to implement that isn't directly supported with an "out-of-the-box" installation is remote logging. And, knowing the Smoothwall community, I wouldn't be surprised if it's been accomplished. You'd have to follow someone else's instructions to implement it, but if you're relatively comfortable with *nix, you'd be in good shape. Even such, the Smoothwall forums are a great place to look for info.

I'm currently using a Smoothwall Express 2.0 Fixes 4 box (fixes 5 is out, but I haven't installed it yet), and it's working great. It's got support for up to 3 nics, one for external (red), one for internal (green), and one for DMZ (orange). DMZ is effectively isolated from each of the other two interfaces, but the firewall will route the traffic as it needs to to get it passed to where it's going. My box is a 6x86-200 with 64 Mb of ram, a 3 Gb hard disk, and 3 nics. I'm running Snort and a VPN with no problem.

You've also got support for dynamic DNS, so that your network would be available by name on the 'net. Additionally, you've also got a timeserver that you can use to server NTP. It will give you access to the firewall from outside for management purposes, which you can be careful with that portion. There's also port forwarding, DMZ pinholes, IP blocking, and other stuff.

I know, this is a long post, but I figured you might like a rundown of the major features. If you want to add wireless later on, you can go with either a wireless access point (as I've done), or a wireless router that can be configured as such. For the budget-conscious with a spare P5-class machine laying around, this is definitely the way to go in my opinion. I've even run it on a P5-120 with 32 Mb of RAM. Your biggest issue with less than 64 Mb of RAM is in patching the system to install updates, but even that can be overcome. At any rate, the price is definitely right.

Just remember, YMMV.....

Good luck!

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Snap Gear

by skull In reply to Home routers - The best o ...

I have had a D-Link 704 for years, did the firmware upgrades and it has worked for me til this day. If it is not broke, don't fix it.

The Snapgear 530se has a nice firewall that is linux driven with a nice GUI, great tech support but you would need to add a switch to hook up a small home network.

It is twice the price as what you are looking for, but I might consider that my next move from my old, reliable D-Link 704.....but not yet anyway.

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Bought My New Router

by house In reply to Home routers - The best o ...

Linsys WRT54G. It's a beautiful thing.


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by apotheon In reply to Bought My New Router

I hope that works out for you. Let us know what you think of it, in detail.

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I already told you

by house In reply to Congratulations!

It's a beautiful thing.

When I start tinkering with a few hacks, I'll have more to say for sure.

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I've had a few laughs

by house In reply to Congratulations!

Go here...

then, click on the forums link - teehee

* crap - they took down the hack

They've decided to take it upon themselves to licence and charge for their 3rd party firmware. Looks like some source folks got to them.

I got a screenshot of this one.

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Try this

by dafe2 In reply to Bought My New Router

It is a beautiful thing. :-)

If don't already use it (or something else), try this:

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