[plug] Wireless router recommendations

Brad Campbell brad at fnarfbargle.com
Wed Nov 16 15:03:20 AWST 2016

On 16/11/16 14:43, Thomas Cuthbert wrote:
> I think i've had one major crash which wiped my configuration and caused
> it to boot back into the linksys image (this was a while ago and I've
> since done a few upgrades). I sometimes (very rare) have to reboot the
> router as I lose wifi but that could just because of my macbook pro. My
> suggestion would be to archive an encrypted copy of your configuration
> to your personal FTP storage on your ISP or remote disk.

Thanks, we have a pretty comprehensive multi-site backup system in 
place, and all OpenWRT routers get backed up any time a config change is 

> I barely scratch the sides in terms of mem/cpu utilisation but I'm not
> doing heavy SSL VPN. I personally have it connected to Telstra Velocity
> which gets handed to me via UTP/Cat5 PPPoE as well as a Fixed Wireless
> Service which is similiar to NBN ie provisioned via DHCP. If you require
> ADSL you will need to get a modem and attach it to one of the ethernet
> ports I think.

The FTTP terminates in an NTU in the garage. From there its Ethernet 
into the router with a PPPoE transport. So that's already sorted. It's 
all working with the existing router, there are just serious throughput 
issues that frankly I'm pretty sure are actually congestion in TPGs 
network (ie speed test @ 21Mb/s at 9am and 8Mb/s at 5PM).

Dad has been pestering me to upgrade the router as that is the easiest 
thing to blame. To be fair, its wireless performance isn't that great, 
and speed tests routinely test out 10-25% faster on copper than over 
Wifi, so this was low hanging fruit. Once this is done I can more easily 
point the finger at the upstream provider knowing that the local network 
is a bit better provisioned.

Honestly, his old ADSL was syncing at about 22Mb/s. That was bridged 
into the router, so the absolute config hasn't changed (ethernet/pppoe). 
It's just the upstream has moved from an ADSL to a FTTP NTU. It worked 
fine for him on the old ADSL, and given the plan he's on is capped at 
25Mb/s downstream anyway I don't see how it can be much different. 
Browsing whirlpool (and I now see why they call it that as it diverts 
hours from your life down the plughole) would indicate that TPG has a 
bit of a rep for congestion, particularly on international links, so 
we'll see.

I have a couple of servers in the UK, so I'll try some iperf tests 
to/from those vs a VPS somewhere in Sydney. That'll probably be more 
illustrative than the old web-based speed tests.

I could use faster wireless at home too. I'm using an old Netgear 
WNDR3700 with OpenWRT as a WAP. If the Linksys works out ok for him and 
the wireless seems solid, I'll look at upgrading too. The built-in 
antenna on the WNDR3700 are not great at 2.4GHz and pretty woeful at 5.

Thanks for the advice all.


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