Better wifi than WNR3500L

PcGuy

Occasional Visitor
Have an old Netgear WNR3500L running dd-wrt on a 50/5 internet connection. Looking for faster internet throughput in a dual radio router for business usage.

I had thought of putting a WAP like a Ubiquiti UAP-AC-LITE but thinking the WNR3500L is the bottleneck with its older processor. Looking for a reliable router that preferably can take dd-wrt capable of support clans and if at all possible 802.1Q.

I got a severe headache looking through the router reviews elsewhere since it seems people have issues with every brand model dying a year or two if that.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
Do you want to keep dd-wrt?
If yes, look at popular models with good support. Netgear R7000/R7800, Linksys AC1900/3200, etc.
No VLANs support in consumer routers with stock firmware. You can go with SMB equipment, if you like.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
What is the budget here? What are the expectations? What are the requirements/prereqisites?

If the WNR3500L cannot provide a 50/5 Mbps connection throughout a standard office, anything will be an upgrade. :)
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
From home routers I would probably go with Netgear R7800.
Stock Netgear, Voxel's, DD-WRT, OpenWrt - many available options. Good hardware too.
 

PcGuy

Occasional Visitor
The issue with the WNR3500L is that printing to a wired printer from a wireless device like a phone seems to take a while for the printer to receive a graphic file and start printing it. Doing a Speedtest to a distance major city showed a 25/5 connection whereas the wired connection showed a 50/5 speed.

I would like to be able to use dd-wrt so I am not hamstrung with only stock firmware. There is a possible need for a couple of vlans down the road.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
The phone and/or the printer seem like possible bottlenecks, already. :)

Do you have a NAS (with many HDDs) or an SSD equipped hardwired computer where you can do a proper throughput test from the phone?

Is the router placement optimal in the space it serves?

How big is the graphic file it is sending? What model/year printer is this? Does it have a GB NIC or is it only a 10/100Mbps Port?
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
I would like to be able to use dd-wrt

Look at DD-WRT forum. Find threads for R7000 and R7800. Choose the one that fits your budget and has less issues reported. Find the stable DD-WRT build for it. DD-WRT needs some testing. All the builds are beta.

Does it have a GB NIC or is it only a 10/100Mbps Port?

L&LD, printers don't really need Gigabit ports.
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
It depends on what they're printing. :)
 

L&LD

Part of the Furniture
That's a small image for some of my customers, and even then, what would be sent to the printer would be in the hundreds of MB's (depending on the size, even in the TB's). :)
 

K-2SO

Very Senior Member
I agree. This what I can generate from my PC and PhotoShop.
I don't expect hundreds of megabytes coming from a phone though. Lets see what @PcGuy has to say first.
 

PcGuy

Occasional Visitor
Printer is a Brother MFC-L5900DW printer connected to the WND3500L via a wired connection. A QR code graphic was sent from an Android phone and the printing took 45 secs to a minute for the printer to start printing.
 

PcGuy

Occasional Visitor
The less business disruptive option is to add an AP. This one is cheap and speedy:
https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wir...o-gigabit-ceiling-mount-access-point-reviewed
Your router is good for 50/5 ISP. It also has Gigabit LAN. The weak spot is the WiFi. The AP above has configuration GUI.

That what I was thinking of as an alternative. What about a Ubiquiti unit ? I did not know if the WNR3500L had enough processor power to support a WAP.

Re the R7000 I had one partially die on me at another location where 2 of the 4 lan ports stopped working 2 months after its warranty lapsed. Still using it as a WAP where the ports are not needed. Just hesitate to get another R7000 since the Netgear forums seem to have a fair number of people reporting this issue.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Since this is for a business, I would move beyond custom firmware on consumer gear to stuff that's actually built for the job and whose feature set is fully supported, out of the box. It doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Something as basic as a $60 Ubiquiti ER-X plus a $60 TP-Link EAP225v3 sounds like it would more than suffice. EdgeOS will also provide SQM QoS, which you'll definitely want running on that 50/5 link, no debate (once you experience it on slow links, you'll never allow any WANs that slow not to have it again).

Data Point - Knock on wood, but I have somewhere around 15 two to ten-person micro businesses running ER-X's on slow cable links (100/10), Smart Queue on, and never a peep from any of them about issues with service quality, or anything else for that matter. For $60, that's outstanding.
 
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K-2SO

Very Senior Member
You probably manage yourself your network, @PcGuy. What @Trip is suggesting is the way to go. I wasn't comfortable to offer such solution. You may need time or pro services to set it up. I just mentioned SMB above to see what the reaction is going to be. :)

Another suggestion, quick and easy:
- use the router for WAN to LAN traffic only, should be good to about 100Mbps
- if you need VLANs, get a managed switch, create VLANs there
- if you don't need VLANs, get a dumb switch for $20
- connect LAN devices and AP to the switch, Gigabit WLAN to LAN traffic
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
That TP link WAP looks interesting. Even here in Canada it is about $70 and even getting a PoE injector for it would be less than the Ubiquiti unit I was thinking of. I also noticed that in the forums TP Link has come out with another model TP-Link EAP245 AC1750 for $20 more https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07NMZR3F1/?tag=smallncom-20
At least for the US versions, the TP-Link EAPs all come with PoE injectors included. And yes, the EAP245 is the 3x3 brother of the 2x2 EAP225v3. Identical in all other respects, the extra receive gain from another spatial stream/antenna often, produces slightly better effective throughput over distance for clients (say, 5-20% depending).
 

PcGuy

Occasional Visitor
I had thought of using the Ubiquiti ER-X but have never personally used it. Was wondering if it is capable of supporting vlans and 802.1Q since there are two vlans being utilized on dd-wrt in this particular instance.
 

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