Router Information

Games, Gaming and Hardware
I'm purchasing a new router for WoW, as our old one is continuously crashing, especially when both my wife and I play WoW simultaneously.

However, I know fairly little about routers (i.e. nothing) other than the fact that the one I have now is old enough they no longer support it, and haven't for several years

SO, tech wizards of the forums, I'm coming to you to ask..

1) Are there any routers I should avoid (Routers that aren't compatible with WoW... this might be a crazy question, but I'd rather as now).

2) Is there going to be a huge difference if I buy an expensive router versus an 'el-cheapo' model from wally-world?

3) Are there any specific routers I should examine specifically? (Holy grails of router-dom, perhaps?)

Any help would be incredible - Thanks in advance! it's all much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Shreazla
2. There is definitely a difference between a cheap router and a more expensive router. Cheap routers will come with a slower processor and less memory. So while they will work they will bog down when you have a good number of connections going through that router. While a more expensive router will have a faster processor and more memory. Also the more expensive router will most likely have a better radio card in it for the Wifi.

It really depends though on how you use your router. If you only have one computer on it and you only do basic web browsing. Then a cheap router would probably be suffice.

Now if you are in a situtation where you download torrents and play online games and you have multiple computers connected to it and you have other devices like smartphones as well. Then a cheap router will probably have problems with all those connections going back and forth.

3). The better routers are those made by gateworks, routerboard, PCengines is another one as well as x86 based routers. But these are expensive routers. My gateworks avila cost me $300 just for the board and nothing else. Also they use an open source operating system. In most cases either dd-wrt or openwrt.

I'd suggest something in the consumer grade but I haven't seen what is out there in quite sometime.
Thanks for that; At least I'll have something to go off of... if nothing else, I'll go pick the brains of the guys at Best Buy for an hour or so, then do my own research and find something that way... I'd love to say I'm savvy enough to utilize dd-wrt, but if it's not from the box in an instruction manual, I'd be up a creek without a paddle.

Thanks again!
1. It's not beyond the realm of possibility but I can't think of any. I suppose you could check with the tech support forums just to see but I'd doubt you'd find anything.

2. Not necessarily, you could just end up paying for features you don't need. Sure, you can get better quality, but without knowing your usage pattern (as mentioned above), I can't say it would make a difference.

3. I like Buffalotech, their routers are easy to use but also work with DD-WRT/OpenWRT/Tomato on purpose.

And I got it for cheap off Woot.

So yeah, give us your use scenario, I'll tell you if it's worth bothering chasing the bling or if you should just get something affordable.
If you are willing to spend $$$, consider top-end ASUS routers (they go for nearly $200).

Old Linksys routers were pretty good -- particularly WRT54GL and its variants.
Anecdotal, but I've had nothing but good experiences with the Cisco M10 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833186010).
The reviews aren't kind but as someone who has personally had it for a year now, I've had absolutely zero issues.

My actual down speed is somewhere in the realm of 6MBytes/s, and I can be downloading a torrent at 3MB/s with a Steam download at 2MB/s and still browse the web without any ping issues. It's a godsend compared to my old router, which would just shudder and die outright if you ever tried to torrent something or load the Steam server list for TF2.

The 'easy' setup software is a bit of a hassle if you're an advanced user and want to tweak things. If you're more interested in just plugging it in and having it work, I'd recommend it on the lower end of the price spectrum.
I don't know if you have any Linux knowledge or not, but if you do, one possibility is to get an old computer with two ethernet cards in it (and possibly a wireless card) and build your own router. If you do this, you will have one that you never have to reboot, and can run really complex QoS rules that normally only $10k Cisco routers can do, to avoid lag.

Here is a handy bash script that I just finished creating over the past couple days to avoid lag in WOW when my roommate was torrenting or downloading from Steam.

#!/bin/bash
TC="/sbin/tc"
MGL="/sbin/iptables -t mangle"

DEV="eth1"
UP=960

${MGL} -F PREROUTING
tc qdisc del dev ${DEV} root 2> /dev/null > /dev/null

if [ "$1" = "stop" ]
then
exit
fi

${TC} qdisc add dev ${DEV} root handle 1: htb default 15
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1: classid 1:1 htb rate ${UP}kbit ceil ${UP}kbit
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:10 htb rate $(($UP / 4))kbit ceil $(($UP / 4))kbit prio 0
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:11 htb rate $(($UP / 4))kbit ceil ${UP}kbit prio 1
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:12 htb rate $(($UP / 12))kbit ceil ${UP}kbit prio 2
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:13 htb rate $(($UP / 12))kbit ceil ${UP}kbit prio 2
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:14 htb rate $(($UP / 24))kbit ceil ${UP}kbit prio 3
${TC} class add dev ${DEV} parent 1:1 classid 1:15 htb rate $(($UP / 8))kbit ceil ${UP}kbit prio 3
${TC} qdisc add dev ${DEV} parent 1:12 handle 120: sfq perturb 10
${TC} qdisc add dev ${DEV} parent 1:13 handle 130: sfq perturb 10
${TC} qdisc add dev ${DEV} parent 1:14 handle 140: sfq perturb 10
${TC} qdisc add dev ${DEV} parent 1:15 handle 150: sfq perturb 10

${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 1 handle 1 fw classid 1:10
${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 2 handle 2 fw classid 1:11
${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 3 handle 3 fw classid 1:12
${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 4 handle 4 fw classid 1:13
${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 5 handle 5 fw classid 1:14
${TC} filter add dev ${DEV} parent 1:0 protocol ip prio 6 handle 6 fw classid 1:15

${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p icmp -j MARK --set-mark 0x1
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p icmp -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST,ACK SYN -j MARK --set-mark 0x1
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --tcp-flags SYN,RST,ACK SYN -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 1119 -j MARK --set-mark 0x2 # high priority for battle.net
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 1119 -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 3724 -j MARK --set-mark 0x2 # high priority for battle.net
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 3724 -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 27014:27050 -j MARK --set-mark 0x5 # low priority for Steam downloads
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 27014:27050 -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Minimize-Delay -j MARK --set-mark 0x1
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Minimize-Delay -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Minimize-Cost -j MARK --set-mark 0x5
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Minimize-Cost -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Maximize-Throughput -j MARK --set-mark 0x6
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -m tos --tos Maximize-Throughput -j RETURN
${MGL} -A PREROUTING -j MARK --set-mark 0x6
Usage Scenario is primarily online gaming, and lately online gaming with multiple computers (My wife and I both play WoW a few nights each evening).

I play Starcraft, D3, WoW, LOTRO, as well as several other (less memory/internet intensive) online games.

I don't really torrent much at all (four-five things in my entire life) so that's not an issue, and we don't do massive downloads often at all... and even if I am downloading something (Like Dragon Age Origins) I can handle waiting a while for it.

I'm mainly looking for a quality router that will let my wife and I play WoW together (Or let me play Sc2/D3 while she plays WoW or watches YouTube vids), without freezing up, lagging, or giving temporary spikes of packets then stopping, etc.

Current download speed tops out for one computer at around 300KB/s on a great day

Question; I realize DD-wrt is highly recommended in the tech world... for someone who is essentially tech illiterate on this end of things, (Wonderful with sound/music, awful with computers), how difficult/essential would it be to learn how to set up DD-wrt with my router, overtop of using the basic setup it comes with? (in short, is the effort of setting up my router with dd-wrt worth it, moreso than just using the out-of-the-box configuration?)

Thanks for all of the help so far everyone! It's been much appreciated.
On an off-note, all of the people who are helping me are Hordies... I think I need to change factions; there has to be something in the water which makes you tech-literate over there ;)
12/06/2012 06:53 AMPosted by Shreazla
Usage Scenario is primarily online gaming, and lately online gaming with multiple computers (My wife and I both play WoW a few nights each evening).


Wirelessly for both? Or wired for one? If the former, I'd suggest something with simultaneous dual-band support just so what of you can use the 2.4 band and the other can use the 5.

That does open up some interference concerns for the latter, but at least it probably won't be with each other.

Current download speed tops out for one computer at around 300KB/s on a great day


That's a bit hard to measure in terms of how it matters. I got over 6MB/s the last WOW patch I downloaded, but what connection are you on?


Question; I realize DD-wrt is highly recommended in the tech world... for someone who is essentially tech illiterate on this end of things, (Wonderful with sound/music, awful with computers), how difficult/essential would it be to learn how to set up DD-wrt with my router, overtop of using the basic setup it comes with? (in short, is the effort of setting up my router with dd-wrt worth it, moreso than just using the out-of-the-box configuration?)


That depends somewhat on the router. For some(even most), it's as simple as uploading the DD-WRT firmware directly through the default interface, for a few there's some steps that might require JTAG manipulation or other stuff.

It's a bit scary, but not impossible. Would I recommend you look up the router to see if it is supported by DD-WRT(or other such firmware)? Sure. Would I necessarily say you must get it? No.

12/06/2012 06:55 AMPosted by Shreazla
On an off-note, all of the people who are helping me are Hordies... I think I need to change factions; there has to be something in the water which makes you tech-literate over there ;)


If you want, I can post on an Alliance toon.
If you are willing to spend $$$, consider top-end ASUS routers (they go for nearly $200).

Old Linksys routers were pretty good -- particularly WRT54GL and its variants.


This. I have the ASUS RT-AC66U and it's a beast across the house. I spent extra on it since it's 802.11ac and that's still in the infant stages, but the RT-N66U is a good alternative for $150. I gave my 10+ year old WRT54GS router to my aunt and it still works great as well.
Wirelessly for both? Or wired for one? If the former, I'd suggest something with simultaneous dual-band support just so what of you can use the 2.4 band and the other can use the 5.

That does open up some interference concerns for the latter, but at least it probably won't be with each other.


Wirelessly for both; We both play on Macbook pro's - I frankly thought the issue was that my computer was getting to old for WoW (2009 model), but my wife just got a brand new Macbook and has the exact same issues.

That's a bit hard to measure in terms of how it matters. I got over 6MB/s the last WOW patch I downloaded, but what connection are you on?


When you say 'what connection' do you mean wirelessly versus wired? if so, that's answered above. However, I get the exact same download rates even if I hook up with an cat5 cable - It just tops out at ~300Kb/s

Thanks for the headsup about DD-wrt - I'll look into it for the future, but it's nice to know it's not a 'must have'

And as far as ally-horde, psh, I could care less which you post from.

Thanks!

Shreazla - A Frood who knows where his towel is
Wirelessly for both; We both play on Macbook pro's - I frankly thought the issue was that my computer was getting to old for WoW (2009 model), but my wife just got a brand new Macbook and has the exact same issues.


Yeah, certainly go with the simultaneous dual-band then, one of you can connect on the 2.4 the other on the 5.

It might not help, but at least it'll take some distractions away.

When you say 'what connection' do you mean wirelessly versus wired? if so, that's answered above. However, I get the exact same download rates even if I hook up with an cat5 cable - It just tops out at ~300Kb/s


No, I was thinking of your ISP. Maybe that's on their end, they could be throttling you, or it could be what you're paying for, or there could be some other issue.

For me, that speed would be slow for anything large, for you, maybe it's what you're paying for, I don't know.
Ah, I'll have to check the bill - I got married, and got a job up around where my wife lived, so she had everything already set up - I haven't checked into what exactly we're using, as far as internet packages yet.
Worst case scenario you can give your ISP a quick call and they should be able to give you the information you need.
12/06/2012 01:04 PMPosted by Shreazla
Ah, I'll have to check the bill - I got married, and got a job up around where my wife lived, so she had everything already set up - I haven't checked into what exactly we're using, as far as internet packages yet.


At 300KB/s then you have the 3Mb/s download package. It isn't all that fast today and there is definitely faster out there. However you might be living in an area where 3Mb/s is the fastest you can get. If you can't upgrade or don't feel like doing so. I wouldn't worry about it it is still fast enough to game on.
Yeah, I'm not worried about increasing my speed; when it's running consistently, my wife and I are fine playing... it's the dropping of our connection that's problematic, lol

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