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Standard User DrTeeth
(knowledge is power) Fri 04-Jan-13 22:39:30
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Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[link to this post]
 
Has anybody get any experience with the thrid party firmwares available for this router? The Tomato documentation is lamentable, the DD-WRT documentation contradicts itself several times and in several places and only the Merlin firmware site is clear.

I will start using the router with the latest Asus or Merlin firmware - the latter is a modifed version of the former and looks the same AFAICT.

Can anybody let me know what pluses the Tomato or DD-WRT firmwares bring, even on a different router.

TIA and Happy New Year,

DrT

Stress - the condition brought about by having to resist the temptation to beat the living daylights out of someone who richly deserves it.

Edited by DrTeeth (Fri 04-Jan-13 22:41:09)

Standard User boxst
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 04-Jan-13 23:19:08
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: DrTeeth] [link to this post]
 
I use Merlin http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node for no particular reason in that the default firmware was working fine.

I found the DD-WRT and Tomato firmwire confusing.
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Thu 10-Jan-13 05:41:27
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: DrTeeth] [link to this post]
 
I wish I had tried the stock so I had a comparison (I got rt-16u but uses same firmware as rt-66u almost).

Tomato has a severe lack of documentaton as is the case with most voluntary software, the QoS doesnt work well for me and also severely restricts max throughput as is extra processing load, eg. when I enabled QoS I maxed out at 60mbit/sec even if limit set higher although the nt-66u with more cpu may not have that issue. The bandwidth logging is brilliant however, its superior to dd-wrt in that respect, can break down vs connected lan device etc.

Whats poor is that so many settings cause a full network reset, when on a isp with dynamic ip this is a real nuisance, eg. changing the wireless channel forces a ppp recconect. I dont know if the stock firmware has that issue, if it doesnt then I would suggest merlin as thats based on stock.

I think I jumped the gun a bit going straight to a custom firmware and am considering trying stock or merlin for a bit to see if I prefer them.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20

Edited by Chrysalis (Thu 10-Jan-13 05:41:49)


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Standard User dmaidmen
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 10-Jan-13 10:15:07
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: DrTeeth] [link to this post]
 
Took the plunge and bought the rt-n66u. Only got it on Tuesday so haven't done much with it yet but the stock firmware seems excellent however I haven't used a proper router for a few years. It is a massive step up from Thomson and Technicolor wink

At the weekend I plan on trying out Merlin. Glad to see there's some other people on here with the same series of routers. The thinkbroadband review of the router was the deal clincher, oh and of course the name 'Dark Knight'.

Duncan

plusnet Extra fibre
Standard User DrTeeth
(knowledge is power) Thu 10-Jan-13 20:54:21
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: dmaidmen] [link to this post]
 
It is a fantastic bit of kit. Worth it for a nice GUI that just works. Not only that, but my son gets a better signal from this router *without* the repeater* that we had to use with the previous router.

*His room is on the other side of the house on the first floor at the front - Iand the router and I are on the ground floor at the opposite side - and the repeater was under his room.

I set up the router with the latest stock firmware and then flashed with the latest Merlin - the latest version of the latter is dated Dec 2012.

The instructions for the DD-WRT are fragmented in the extreme and I will not be upgrading. I have said why here http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=733504#... and a fellow poster has made the same point better then I.

DrT

Stress - the condition brought about by having to resist the temptation to beat the living daylights out of someone who richly deserves it.

Edited by DrTeeth (Thu 10-Jan-13 21:05:00)

Standard User dmaidmen
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 12-Jan-13 20:57:28
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
I'm trying Tomato now. I installed Shibby's 101-AIO-64K. What version are you running?

I agree about the network reset, its a real pain. I didn't notice this on Merlin. Ideally I want to use Tomato as it has a bandwidth limiter function that's outside of QoS and can be configured per device.

Merlin's like stock but better. Tomato is completely different and as mentioned in this thread the documentation is very sparse..

plusnet Extra fibre
Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 12-Jan-13 21:09:54
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: DrTeeth] [link to this post]
 
I reccomend merlin.

I used tomato at first and its actually ok but fails on a few things.

1 - too many setting changes require a full network restart. Thats just lazy programming.
2 - lack of documentation (as you have discovered).
3 - the much heralded QoS I found somewhat overhyped.
4 - wireless performance is bad
5 - has to be installed I think via recovery mode, merlin can be flashed direct as a sus firmware upgrade.

merlin has its own issues but I think they easier to work around. the ones I am facing right now are.

1 - cant easily automount cifs (windows shared drive which i am using to store traffic monitor data)
2 - cant easily adjust service configs such as dnsmasq, this has to be done via a config file manually in ssh, on tomato can be done in gui.
3 - no built in vpn client (but this is only issue on nt16 my router, its on the nt66 firmware), plus I dont use a vpn currently anyway.

merlin is based on asus stock, and its basically enhanced asus firmware, bugs fixed and few extra features such as traffic monitoring added.

tomato still has some things I still miss such as able to use CFE whilst using traffic monitoring, better per device monitoring, the better usb feature support and auto cifs mounting.

asuswrt-merlin is probably as powerful tho just less of it is done for you, certian things have to be done in ssh if you want them done and can install own extra software.

I would avoid dd-wrt, this seems problematic on asus routers. The realistic choice is between tomato and merlin. I would choose merlin unless tomato has a feature you need.

this supercedes my previous post.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20

Edited by Chrysalis (Sat 12-Jan-13 21:22:38)

Standard User Chrysalis
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 12-Jan-13 21:16:06
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: dmaidmen] [link to this post]
 
I was using 102 (am now on merlin), 104 doesnt even work barely, it makes the router behave as if its bricked.

102 for the most part is ok and I did get it configured quite well for my use and would still probably be using it if I was on a static ip and the wireless wasnt so bad.

merlin seems better for my situation as doing things like adjusting the wireless config doesnt drop the internet connection. it also has much superior wireless performance. But merlin did drop the internet connection first time round when editing port forwarding before I rebooted it, so its not clear cut why that happened before and doesnt now.

BT Infinity 2 Since Dec 2012 - Estimate 65.9/20 - Attainable peak 110/36 - Current Sync 71/20
Standard User dmaidmen
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 14-Jan-13 13:30:33
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Re: Asus RT-N66U third party firmware


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
104 seems to work ok. I went via 102 with the recovery mode route but then used the Tomato gui to upgrade the firmware to 104. There is a pretty big flaws that I experienced on both 102 and 104 that has already been mentioned above regarding the network reset occurring at the slightest change.

This on its own would be inconvenient but for some reason Plusnet won't let me reconnect for between 5 and 7 minutes after I lose connection. I get the following in the logs: Timeout waiting for PADO packets

I tried experimenting with 'connect on demand' rather than 'keep alive' however this seems even more buggy.

I'd go back to Merlin if I could limit the speed of a single network device outside of QoS but haven't been able to find that feature in any other firmware yet.

Duncan

plusnet Extra fibre
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