Why I love this router.

Discussion in 'ASUS N Routers & Adapters' started by got_milk, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. got_milk

    got_milk Regular Contributor

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    A lot of problematic threads in this forum - I want to lighten it up a bit!

    I had about 11GB of video I need to encode to play on a TV that I needed to move from my laptop to my main desktop to do the actual encoding on. Usually over wireless I'm looking at a pretty long wait and I generally just end up digging out an extra ethernet cable and doing it over wire.

    I haven't needed to do a large sustained transfer really yet with the RT-N66U...except for today. I figured, why not?

    This is on the 5GHz band, in a room across from the router (separated by two walls), using firmware 3.0.0.4.260. It took about 7 minutes to transfer it. The client is a 2011 MacBook Pro running Windows 8 under Bootcamp.

    [​IMG]

    I've owned routers that promised and were reviewed to have excellent wireless performance and have really let me down on that front. I am utterly shocked by how fast that transfer went with the RT-N66U, however. And it looks like Asus is continuing to add useful functionality through updates!

    It might've been one heck of an expensive router, but it's sure worth it.
     
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  3. dsring

    dsring Regular Contributor

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    Agreed...the RT-N66U is the best wireless router that I have ever owned.
     
  4. mromero

    mromero Regular Contributor

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    Do you have QoS enabled?
     
  5. kerriskandiesinc

    kerriskandiesinc New Around Here

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    I recently changed from a ( v fast) WNDR4500 Netgear.....and regularly copy 4GB+ files, wirelessly, distance from NAS to MacBook Pro avg 75 feet........now the Netgear was fast..( gave it to my M in Law)..........the Dark Knight is even faster.........taking on avg about 10-20% less time!!!...

    Now...if only I can get it to play nicely with my USB attached external, Mac formatted H-Drives!!!!! :(
     
  6. got_milk

    got_milk Regular Contributor

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    Yes I do, there's enough network activity that playing games would be miserable without it!
     
  7. jsmiddleton4

    jsmiddleton4 Senior Member

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    Me too.

    Can't imagine playing with as many firmware's as I have on any other router and not have bricked it by now.
     
  8. Mark the Red

    Mark the Red Occasional Visitor

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    Hear! Hear! This thing is awesome. Its like a super fast router with a pretty fast / stable NAS to boot. Just love being able to whimsically watch .mkv files on my TV with ALL my computers off. :eek:
     
  9. SoCalReviews

    SoCalReviews Regular Contributor

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    With the RT-N66U I have never needed to use QoS for gaming, VOIP or any other application. I leave QoS turned off to avoid extra processing power required to prioritize the packets. It doesn't make sense to negatively impact the router's processor to sort out, prioritize and delay certain packets when the real bottleneck, lags and delays are coming from the limitations of the internet connection itself. Those limitations aren't going to be solved entirely with the router's QoS settings. It may be an issue of the better your internet bandwidth the less important QoS becomes. I can use VOIP or real time gaming with multiple systems while streaming HD video over my 100Mpbs down cable internet without any problems. However with my older Netgear WNDR-3700v2 it seemed like I needed to use QoS but it never worked very well. I noticed a decrease in lag and big improvement for responsiveness while doing online gaming (PS3) when I switched to the RT-N66U with the default of QoS turned off.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  10. RogerSC

    RogerSC Very Senior Member

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    The best router I've had for full-house wireless coverage, reliability, and robustness in the face of lots of firmware version flashes *smile*. Very little worry that it will stop working, and it works better and does more than any other router that I've had.

    There have been some bumps in the road, but generally speaking I've chosen to drive over them *smile*.
     
  11. got_milk

    got_milk Regular Contributor

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    Unfortunately with a 16/1 connection and 3-4 consistently heavy users of that bandwidth I simply cannot get by with having QoS off. Low-latency applications can be miserable to use when the connection's bogged down.

    I also came from a WNDR3700v1 with OpenWrt and noticed an improvement with the RT-N66U overall with QoS on. I don't think it's having QoS off, I think it's how much better the router is. :)
     
  12. ChrisR

    ChrisR Regular Contributor

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    I have a 60/6 connection. Router is extremely stable. To connect to my office phone, I use Cisco VPN, Cisco IP Communicator and a bluetooth headset. With previous routers, I got at least 4 disconnections a day, with bluetooth turned on for my headset it disconnected each minute (and I had to use wired connection. It happened with Dell and Lenovo laptops with different wireless cards).

    With my new RT-N66U, using since a few months, I face a disconnect once in the 2 weeks (or less) and even can use my bluetooth headset with wireless connection (2.4) without any problem!!
     
  13. SoCalReviews

    SoCalReviews Regular Contributor

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    Of course the main reason for QoS settings on a gigabit router is to overcome the internet WAN connection bandwidth bottleneck for high priority services (VoIP, video teleconferencing, critical applications, etc.). As long as your LAN side is running up to gigabit speeds and your router hardware can handle the traffic then the WAN side is where the problems with QoS happen. If you have adequate internet bandwidth with low latency on the WAN side then QoS shouldn't be needed. Forcing the router to prioritize and analyze packets when there is no internet bandwidth bottleneck to begin with only increases it's processor workload and more than likely will decrease overall performance to some measurable degree.

    Another consideration is that the BCM chipset in the RT-N66U already handles the WAN to LAN traffic prioritization in the hardware along with integrated default optimized settings in the OpenWRT firmware. If the router has to expend more processing power analyzing and prioritizing the packets based on custom settings in the firmware as opposed to utilizing optimized default settings for the hardware then it is logical to assume there will be performance penalty. It may not be as noticeable with the RT-N66U since it has high quality hardware optimized for performance.

    It may be that other routers experience more bottlenecks and problems using QoS due to lower performance hardware and inadequately optimized firmware. I know that I had to use QoS settings on my 100/5 cable internet connection with the WNDR-3700v2 or major problems would occur with my latency sensitive applications (VoIP, online gaming, etc.). When I replaced it with the RT-N66U not only did I not have to use QoS but with QoS off all my latency sensitive applications seemed to run better with QoS off on the RT-N66U than they ever did with QoS turned on in the WNDR-3700v2 settings. I can have multiple video steams, HD video streams, multiple wireless devices connected and large file downloads running through two other gigabit routers (using double NAT) and several gigabit switches...all happening simultaneously but at the same time I can still send regular fax over my VoIP system with no problems (when it used to not be possible) and I experience little if any noticeable lag during latency sensitive online gaming (when the lag during online gaming made it almost unplayable before).
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  14. got_milk

    got_milk Regular Contributor

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    Source? The closest thing I can think of that you're referring to is cut-through forwarding, but that's not prioritization. As far as I know, without QoS, packets are received and routed in the order which they are received in the buffer, no prioritizing.

    Your connection and use case simply doesn't warrant QoS then. QoS is only really meant to help when the WAN link is saturated entirely and services are being affected. On my 16/1 connection, I simply cannot get away with that kind of usage while maintaining stable connections throughout.
     
  15. SoCalReviews

    SoCalReviews Regular Contributor

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    SNB review of the RT-N66U

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...al-band-wireless-n900-gigabit-router-reviewed

    Most of the newer routers like the RT-N66U use the newer Broadcom chip sets with chips such as the Smart GbE Switch BCM53115.

    "The BCM53115 architecture is the optimal solution for consumer switching needs with its support for high-performance line rate capabilities and ability to identify and prioritize different data packet types within the switch while simultaneously assigning voice packets a higher priority for outbound communications."

    http://www.broadcom.com/products/Switching/Home-and-Small-Business/BCM53115

    I am not sure how the features of these newer BCM chips are utilized by the RT-N66U router but I heard Asus claims that they optimized the firmware for maximum performance of the router's hardware right out of the box. Unless you absolutely need to change the settings for your network then the default settings are suppose to offer the best performance. With the exception of changes to the wireless radio settings using fixed channels I run the default settings and it's blazing fast.

    I am not doubting that you may need QoS but just to make certain and not to just go with assumptions... Have you tried turning QoS to the default of "off" to see how it impacts performance of latency sensitive applications on your network?
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  16. kuby8388

    kuby8388 Occasional Visitor

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    it is a fast router when it's working perfectly as it's capable off....

    although I think that's only for 75% of the owners.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013
  17. got_milk

    got_milk Regular Contributor

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    What about connections over wireless? They wouldn't go through the switch, therefore wouldn't be prioritized.

    ICMP response time to google.ca during upload bandwidth saturation (QoS off):

    [​IMG]

    ICMP response time to google.ca during upload bandwidth saturation (QoS on, set to 90% of average upload bandwidth):

    [​IMG]

    ICMP response time to google.ca during upload bandwidth saturation (QoS on, set to 85% of lowest measured upload bandwidth (as per Toastman's QoS guide)):

    [​IMG]
     
  18. SoCalReviews

    SoCalReviews Regular Contributor

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    I am not a designer of integrated gigabit switches so I couldn't explain to you exactly how it works. The link I provided before does say that the 5 port switch IMP for "glueless connection to a CPU or WLAN". The WLAN traffic has to pass through the same gigabit switch to route to the LAN or the WAN. I can't imagine a BCM53115 gigabit switch chip in the Asus router configured not to manage the connection to the CPU or WLAN nor would it make sense for the chip specifically to be designed and marketed to handle packet prioritization but not have that feature actively enabled for a device using a set of Broadcom integrated chips designed for use in consumer routers. I don't claim to be an expert on chipsets or router design so if you can explain how it works better than Broadcom does then I'm open learning something new.

    Smart GbE Switch

    Features

    Highly integrated, 65-nanometer (nm) process, non-blocking 5-port 10/100/1000 switch silicon that integrates five 10/100/1000 PHYs and two fully integrated, GMII/RGMII/MII interfaces Inband Management Ports (IMP) for glueless connection to a CPU or WLAN.

    http://www.broadcom.com/products/Switching/Home-and-Small-Business/BCM53115


    Ultimately its your choice how you want to configure your RT-N66U with QoS on or off. You provided upload data in your above post. It isn't difficult to saturate 1Mbps of upstream internet bandwidth. If upload is your critical bottleneck it might work better on your network with QoS on and custom rule settings. I know that many router manufacturers including Asus warn about performance degradation when enabling certain settings and customizations. Customized settings that may be required for one design of router don't always work as well with another. I also know from experience that for my network QoS off on the RT-N66U equals the lowest latency and highest throughput with my network under load than any other previous router I have ever owned.

    I do have a unique setup in my home. I have both a 12/1 DSL connection and a 100/5 cable internet connection with a RT-N66U on both connections (two separate Asus routers) to test with. With the exception of the radio settings they are set up with the rest of the exact same settings with QoS turned off. I have had up to thirty devices connected via Ethernet and wireless at the same time when testing the routers. I almost never experience latency problems on the cable connection. It does depend on the traffic load but under moderate usage I seldom experience latency issues on the DSL connection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

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