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Advice on NAT Gateway Router for Home Use

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
Hello!

I am looking to add a faster NAT router/gateway to my network between my 6 month old ASUS CM-16 DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem and my unmanaged Linksys LGS124P Gigabit PoE+ switch which is connected to all of the wired CAT5e jacks in my home at my patch panel.

I have (2) 802.11 ac AirPort Extremes set up in bridge mode as WAPs, one on the second floor (bedrooms/office) and one on the main (living/kitchen) floor. I found the Linksys LRT214 on sale for $90. This is a wired VPN router. I have no need for a WAP in the basement where my rack is located, and was looking for a device that could handle NAT with speeds faster than the 686 mbs my modem can deliver. My provider offers a 500 mbs service with 50 mbs upload which I think should be fine for the next 5 years. They do offer up to 1,000 mbs, which would require a purchase of a new DOCSIS 3.1 modem.

Is there another option anyone would recommend? My cable modem is the bottleneck in this scenario at 686 mbs. According to the results of the test run by SmallNetBuilder on the LRT214 gave a WAN to LAN speed of 697 mbs, and a LAN to WAN of 733 mbs.

I think 500 mbs should be fast enough for my HomeKit smart home which has about 40 devices on the network including Lutron Caseta switches, Phillips Hue lights, 2 Apple TVs, 3 Schlage Sense deadbolts, 2 Logi Circle 2 cameras, a HomePod, an iMac, an iPad, 2 iPhones, 2 connected TVs, microwave, a few speakers and a home theater.

The VPN functionality of the LRT214 is interesting, and I will most likely connect my iPhone to the VPN–but it's not the primary reason for this purchase.

Have I overlooked anything? Thanks in advance.
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
It is kind of hard to follow your setup. I diagram would be better. But it sounds like you using multiple NAT setups in your home and you are asking for greater speed. NAT is slow why not push all your local traffic through a switch with VLANs that way you don't need multiple NATs.

It could be you are just asking for a wired router.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
It is kind of hard to follow your setup. I diagram would be better. But it sounds like you using multiple NAT setups in your home and you are asking for greater speed. NAT is slow why not push all your local traffic through a switch with VLANs that way you don't need multiple NATs.
Currently, I'm using one NAT device (an old AirPort Time Capsule) between the cable modem and the switch. I plan to replace the AirPort Time Capsule with the LRT214.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
Internet > ASUS CM-16 > WAN port on AirPort Time Capsule > LAN port on AirPort Time Capsule > port on Linksys LGS124P switch. All of the wall jack terminations on the patch panel are patched into the switch's PoE ports. 2 of the ethernet runs have AirPort Express' at the other ends. The AirPorts are in Bridge mode (no NAT or DHCP).
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
If you can use a wired router the Cisco RV340 will go all the way up to a gig. They are not real expensive. It works with my small HomeKit running on my AppleTV(4K). I do like the way HomeKit sets up and works.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
If you can use a wired router the Cisco RV340 will go all the way up to a gig. They are not real expensive. It works with my small HomeKit running on my AppleTV(4K). I do like the way HomeKit sets up and works.
Thanks, but I would only be interested in the Cisco RV340 if it cost about the same. It looks like it's twice as much as the LRT214.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
I think most of my question boils down to spending $90 on a router that can get me the full 500 mbs connection my ISP can provide. Currently I am limited between 320–420 mbs with my Time Capsule or AirPort Extremes running NAT. Could I spend less to get a device to do NAT and deliver 500+ mbs? The LRT214 seems to be released around the same time the AirPort Extremes I have– around mid-2013. I think the LRT214 was released in late 2013 or early 2014. Linksys currently offers only 2 business VPN routers– the LRT214 and 224. The Linksys LGS124P switch I have was released around the same time.
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
Well only use a router which has current support which sounds like the LRT214 has because there have been a lot of hacks over the last 5 years.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
Well only use a router which has current support which sounds like the LRT214 has because there have been a lot of hacks over the last 5 years.
I just called Linksys and they told me the last firmware update was released in March of 2019. It's still in their current product lineup, so I'm hoping they will continue to support the device for the next few years.
 

paraplu

Regular Contributor
I think most of my question boils down to spending $90 on a router that can get me the full 500 mbs connection my ISP can provide. Currently I am limited between 320–420 mbs with my Time Capsule or AirPort Extremes running NAT. Could I spend less to get a device to do NAT and deliver 500+ mbs? The LRT214 seems to be released around the same time the AirPort Extremes I have– around mid-2013. I think the LRT214 was released in late 2013 or early 2014. Linksys currently offers only 2 business VPN routers– the LRT214 and 224. The Linksys LGS124P switch I have was released around the same time.
Two routers come to my mind which should be able to handle your requirements for cheaper:
Mikrotik Hex
Edgerouter X
Both can handle 500mbps NAT easily, and provide proper L2TP/ipsec vpn speeds. Both are more popular than linksys.
 

Greg72

Senior Member
First off, your modem is only getting half of the channels required for up to gig speeds. Second, unless you are getting Static IP’s and sending to different Managed Switches, you need to start be re-evaluating the network first.

Upgrade the Cable Modem to one that is Docsis 3.1, which has the capability of handling 32x6 channels. Then for the router it is what you are looking for in features. You could do a Managed Switch for a Hybrid managed network with backbone to other upstream unmanaged switches in certain locations and a managed Wireless Mesh Network. It is really l depending on your mix of wired and wireless devices for how in detail and taking up your time to manage the network in your off hours from work.

I am just using a RT-68u with a mix of IoT and wireless devices, that total around 18 devices. I decided in how this new network was set up to make it easier on my life not harder like my previous network was.

I have Gig Internet through Comcast and speed is not lacking across the network in any way with three of us streaming online at any given time. The majority of use is Wifi with just two devices (Printer and Desktop) that need to be on a wired connection.
 

oso2276

Regular Contributor
Two routers come to my mind which should be able to handle your requirements for cheaper:
Mikrotik Hex
Edgerouter X
Both can handle 500mbps NAT easily, and provide proper L2TP/ipsec vpn speeds. Both are more popular than linksys.
Thanks for the tip

Sent from my Moto Z3 Play using Tapatalk
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Backing up @paraplu here. At your stipulated budget, I'd look at a $60 Ubiquiti EdgeRouter-X, perhaps a MikroTik HeX (similar price), but if you find EdgeOS a bit daunting, you'd likely find Mikrotik's RouterOS cryptic. So I'd probably lean towards the ER-X.

Presuming you have enough simultaneous egress traffic to saturate your uplink, I'd even further suggest the ER-X, as it offers more modern QoS via flow queue management (versus more legacy firmwares on "VPN" routers), allowing you to control against bufferbloat on that 65Mb uplink, right on the gateway itself, as opposed to needing to replace your L2 PoE switch with a L3 model with much bigger buffers and deeper QoS support, which would typically be way more than $90.
 
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scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
First off, your modem is only getting half of the channels required for up to gig speeds. Second, unless you are getting Static IP’s and sending to different Managed Switches, you need to start be re-evaluating the network first.

Upgrade the Cable Modem to one that is Docsis 3.1, which has the capability of handling 32x6 channels. Then for the router it is what you are looking for in features. You could do a Managed Switch for a Hybrid managed network with backbone to other upstream unmanaged switches in certain locations and a managed Wireless Mesh Network. It is really l depending on your mix of wired and wireless devices for how in detail and taking up your time to manage the network in your off hours from work.

I am just using a RT-68u with a mix of IoT and wireless devices, that total around 18 devices. I decided in how this new network was set up to make it easier on my life not harder like my previous network was.

I have Gig Internet through Comcast and speed is not lacking across the network in any way with three of us streaming online at any given time. The majority of use is Wifi with just two devices (Printer and Desktop) that need to be on a wired connection.
I'm not sure why you're recommending I change my modem and switch. I already own them and 500 mbs should be fine for the foreseeable future. There are very few sites that deliver 1,000 mbs transfers at this point, and I'm mainly using my connection for IoT and 4K TV. So, what my question boils down to is– is this $90 router/gateway a good deal for my 500 mbs connection? The Edgerouter X is in the price range and might be a better option than the LRT214.
 

Greg72

Senior Member
The LRT214 is the same as the RV042g/vs. You also have to remember that Belkin now owns the Linksys brand since 2007.

https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/lan...49-linksys-lrt214-gigabit-vpn-router-reviewed

You have already stated that your modem is the bottleneck because kt does not have the capability of the newer Docsis standard that ISP’s are using.

Regardless of the router you choose, your Cable Modem, the other elder devices you have on your network are always going to cause issues.
 

Greg72

Senior Member
I am using just the Asus RT-68u for everything behind the Xfinity/Comcast xb-6 with a 1000mbps cable connection. Wireless works flawlessly across the house with no issues.

My old network was a Cisco RV-320, Engenius EAP-1750h, Synology DS-218+ with 8gb RAM installed, Netgear unmanaged switches. You could cover up to a 125’ radius with no bottlenecking with the Engenius WAP. That network had over 30 devices with full time video streaming

Go with what is going to not cause headaches and not take up all of your time to manage. If your bottleneck is the Cable Modem, get one that is up to today’s standards and then build the network on tech that will handle the next LAN standard for Wifi without choking on WAN to LAN throughput.

&our airports are starting to show their age and will not handle the Wifi-6 standard. Look at least a max of 6 years with the majority of networks before equipment starts to get replaced eith the generation that will last at least another 6 years for the next standard that comes about.
 

coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
I agree on the above. The current standard is gig. Setup for it. Trying to setup for less than that now days is not a good idea. Maybe you can't afford all of it now and that's OK just don't cut yourself short and end up doing it twice.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
I agree on the above. The current standard is gig. Setup for it. Trying to setup for less than that now days is not a good idea. Maybe you can't afford all of it now and that's OK just don't cut yourself short and end up doing it twice.

Update:

So I got the Linksys LRT214 for $90 (certified refurbished on Amazon) and I'm getting about 480-500 download this morning with this setup. I wonder if I had a DOCSIS 3.1 modem and signed up for the 1 Gas package if I would see it hit the the limit of 697 (according to SmallNetBuilder's test results). I was expecting to see it consistently hit 500 easily since both the modem and router are rated to hit around 700 Mbs. I understand it might depend on time of day, as cable modems share bandwidth in the neighborhood. Last night I was seeing around 250-350 speed. I'm guessing because of "peak usage hours"?

I'm also assuming that most of the advice above was to get a gateway/NAT router that could exceed a 1 Gbs connection instead of topping out at around 700, so it would be future-proof for when I decide to replace my modem with a newer model that could handle DOCSIS 3.1? Like I've said earlier, I just got the CM-16 around 6 months ago and don't plan to go up to 1 Gbs for a few years. My contract with WOW! is for 2 years. Doesn't it make sense to spend less now and upgrade the equipment at that time? The modem was around $70 and the router $90. Since I bought the modem, it should pay for itself well before the 2 year contract is up, as opposed to renting one from WOW! for $10 a month. Also, it seems that routers that can do NAT at or faster than 1 Gbs are going to cost at least double what I paid. I'm thinking in 2 years time DOCSIS 3.1 modems and 1 Gbs NAT Gateway/routers will come down in price.

My ideal setup would be a Unbiqiti setup with a Cloud Key, Security Gateway, PoE switch, and 2 in-wall access points (to give me both wired and wireless access). This setup would probably cost me closer to $1,000 to put together. My house was set up with CAT5e when I bought it, and I realize I probably won't ever be able to get 10 Gbs speeds, but 5 Gbs might be possible due to the short length of the runs? My house is around 1450 sq/ft.

There is a return window with the gateway/router (what should I be calling this NAT device?), so I can exchange it if someone makes a compelling argument.

I'd love to hear more comments and suggestions! Thanks everyone.
 
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coxhaus

Part of the Furniture
If you buy a newer modem with more channels you will see less congestion. This is assuming your ISP has support for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
 

scottlitch

Occasional Visitor
If you buy a newer modem with more channels you will see less congestion. This is assuming your ISP has support for a DOCSIS 3.1 modem.
They can support DOCSIS 3.1. You're saying I should get something like the ARRIS SURFboard SB8200 DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem and get rid of my CM-16 that I bought over 6 months ago?
 

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