What router to buy for XBMC AT2?

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Nekolas Offline
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Post: #1
Hey guys, hope Im not posting this the wrong place :o

I want to buy an AT2 and put XBMC on it, and access my media both from a PC but also from a USB hdd connected to the router, for that I need a new router. Ive made some research but am still not certain which one to buy Confused

Basically Im looking for the "Best" (range, speed?) dualband router with USB for connecting and sharing an hdd with the price equal or lower than an airport extreme.. Connected devices are 3 PCs, 2 iPhone 4, a 3GS, an NMT, an iPad, a PS3, an airport express and an Apple TV. performance is more important than interface, "features", etc.

Been reading about a few like airport extreme (have an airport express to possible extend network), linksys e4200, Netgear wndr3400 and 3700 and Asus rt-n56u... Is there any consensus on the board about Which is recommended?

Any help is greatly appreciated ^^
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procrastinator Offline
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Post: #2
Personally, I don't know much about routers, but if I was to go out and buy a new one today then I'd try and get one which you can install DD-WRT on (some even come with it pre-installed now). The reason for that is that DD-WRT is a linux based custom firmware that should allow you to eek out high end features and performance from low end routers. The DD-WRT website has a list of compatible devices. See link below

home page: http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index
compatible devices: http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/support/router-database

For a (far) more informed opinion on which router to go for you might be better off asking in the hardware forum. Make sure you do a search of that forum before posting though - you may find that this has already been discussed
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poofyhairguy Offline
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Post: #3
Second the DD-wrt suggestion. It really helps. For a good but cheaper option look here:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...6833122273

I have used that with DD-WRT for over a year now successfully.

Mini/Micro ITX Frontend (with SSD) + Mediaserver/NAS + Logitech Harmony + LCD/LED/Plasma TV + Nice AV Receiver + XBMC + USENET + sabnzbd + sickbeard +couchpotato

My Setup--HTPC Building Guide- Start Here--Advice on Hard Drives and SSDs--Mediaserver Guide--Harmony Guide
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dazex Offline
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I think the Linksys/Cisco E3000 has good performance as demonstrated by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/802....05-20.html

[Image: Bandwidth%20Monitor%20to%20Router.jpg]

It runs DD-WRT as well should you go that route. I did on mine.

If you don't mine refurbish, you can score one for ~$85+tax.

And for the hackers among you, you can try getting a WRT610n and flash to the E3000 for $62: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2549449

Lots of info in those links should you need them.
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toitle Offline
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Post: #5
Without a doubt the best home router I've ever used. The flexibility and stability rivals that of most we have in our racks at work.
Install the Tomato firmware, stock is junk. Follow the guides for adblocking and QOS and it really rocks.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.as...-_-Product

http://tomatousb.org/

Best of luck.
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dekoded Offline
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Post: #6
How about some HomePlugs and the iOmega iConnect, you could then use your mains electrical wiring to connect your ATV to your network?

I'm using the iConnect to share my 2TB USB hard drive on my network, via my router, with the price of external USB drives so cheap it's really affordable to create a huge NAS.

I'm hoping to get another 3 2TB USB drives, so I'll have 8TB of storage on my network for around £350.

2TB USB drive approx £70

iConnect approx £70

A pair of HomePlugs? probably between £50-£100
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IsleOfMan Offline
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Post: #7
I'll be trying the Netgear WNDR3400's USB NAS functionality with a 2TB WD Essentials drive in the next few days (likely setting it up over the weekend). On the off chance that the HD isn't "supported" I have a slightly older 1TB WD Passport that is on the officially supported drive list. I've read very mixed reviews regarding the speed of USB NAS read/write performance but for the price ($40 refurbished, TigerDirect) it's a pretty decent even if just for a simultaneous dual-band router, especially one with separate guest networks for both bands.

For XBMC, I'll be streaming over the network to an ATV2 and P4/Win7 x32 PC via HomePlug, an ATV2 over 802.11n, and a Phenom X2/Win7 x32 PC over 10/100 Ethernet. I'll be testing file transfer with an AMD X2/Win7 x32 desktop over HomePlug, a Core i5/Win7 x64 laptop over 802.11n, and the above mentioned PC connected via Ethernet. If the ATV2 connected via 802.11n and ATV2 connected via HomePlug can sustain simultaneous 1080p playback, I'll consider it fast enough regardless of file transfer speeds.

My backup plan is a PogoPlug (similar to the iOmega iConnect and other USB NAS adapters). With either the router or PogoPlug I plan on experimenting with internet file sharing as well, since a good friend of mine across town shares similar media preferences and downloads new content a lot more frequently than I do. One of the main limitations you find with a lot of USB NAS adapters is they are limited to FAT32 or are read-only NTFS. This is a deal-breaker for most XBMC users given the file sizes of most/many HD movies exceeding 4gb.

I really want to move away from being dependent on ANY PC running 24/7 as a server. Eventually I want to get away from PCs completely, at least as XBMC clients. I'm 100% satisfied with the ATV2 as an XBMC client, even with the 720p output restriction. After replacing an aging 32" Philips 4:3 CRT HDTV (no HDMI) with a higher end Sony 30" 16:9 CRT HDTV (with HDMI), every display in the house had at least one HDMI input. The two remaining PC XBMC clients in the house are my original Phenom X2 based PC in the theater which is major from a hardware standpoint, and the P4 PC in the living room which was cobled together from spare parts. Replacing both with ATV2 would minimize AC power consuption and probably make for a net profit if I sold the Phenom X2 PC.

I'll report back this weekend on the WNDR3400's USB NAS performance.
(This post was last modified: 2011-07-20 22:21 by IsleOfMan.)
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IsleOfMan Offline
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Post: #8
To report back, I've had generally good results with the Netgear WNDR3400 and its USB NAS performance. The router, in general, seems to offer very quick network throughput over both 10/100 wired and 802.11n connections. Copying files from PC-to-PC (one wired, one over 2.4g 802.11n, both Win7) went at about 5-7 MB/sec.

Specific to the USB NAS feature, I'm using a 2TB Western Digital Elements HDD formatted NTFS. So far I'm not overly impressed with the file transfer speed, but it seems to be adequate for my purpose. Transferring from the USB NAS to a PC (either wired or 2.4g 802.11n) ran at anywhere from 1.5 - 3 MB/sec, with some sustained dips as low as 500 kB/sec.

That said, I didn't have any trouble streaming two different 1080p streams (8-10gb each) to different XBMC clients regardless of combination of wired/wireless clients. I haven't tested 3 x 1080p streams yet, but that would be a rare occasion in our household. I also don't have any native BD rips or files over 10gb to test, and this may be where the USB NAS speed becomes a bottleneck. That said, the bulk of my files are and will remain 720p and even my 1080p files should never exceed 8-10gb.

I have seen some peculiar issues pop up, though none affect daily operation:

[INDENT]1.) The ATV2s around the house don't have any trouble connecting to the USB through SMB, but they misread the file size of anything over 4gb... an 8gb file would report as .98gb, or a 4.5gb file would report as 318mb. That said, files play through completely without issue so I'm not overly concerned.

2.) If I connect the ATV2 devices to the 5g network, they cannot see ANY SMB shares, either the USB device or other shares on Windows PCs.

3.) The router runs fairly warm and will shut down if it or its surroundings get too hot. I previously had my modem/router/homeplug-switch in a cabinet in the attic that gets VERY warm during the summer, but the networking hardware never seemed to flinch. This new router shut down 4-5 times over the course of the last 4 days. After relocating the modem and router to the TV cabinet in the living room, everything has run rock-solid. This arrangement actually gave me the opportunity to streamline my network wiring/layout a bit and eliminate a 10/100 switch I previously had in the bedroom (connecting Tivo, BD Player, and XBMC client). [/INDENT]
In general I would recommend the WNDR3400 if you want a solid 802.11n router and can live with mediocre USB NAS speed (though still fast enough for 2 x 1080p streaming) and only 10/100 wired performance. The price has dropped even further to $35 + SH at TigerDirect, so this really is a bargain if these two caveats don't bother you.
(This post was last modified: 2011-07-25 17:40 by IsleOfMan.)
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canadave Offline
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Post: #9
+1 on the Asus RT-n16 router with TomatoUSB firmware. That's what I've been using for months, and it's been the proverbial "rock solid" with great performance. Can't imagine needing anything else.
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bluray Offline
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i have this one- D-Link DIR-655. i never have any problem with it.
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RudolfR Offline
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Post: #11
I own a WNDR3700, love it.
(Running OpenWrt)

No, not for the speed, for the possibilities.
Some say the (Wireless) speeds are better on stock, but with OpenWrt the possibilities are endless.
I use my router to download nzbs (nzbget) and torrents (Transmission)
(This post was last modified: 2011-07-26 10:28 by RudolfR.)
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rflores2323 Offline
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RudolfR Wrote:I own a WNDR3700, love it.
(Running OpenWrt)

I have the same one (stock). was is the plus on getting OpenWrt on it?? Will I get faster speeds or something? Sorry dont know what the advantage is (going to read about it right now) but just want your opinions also.

ATV1 with crystalbuntu (12.2 frodo) as main theater. Theater remote URC MX-810, droidx with xbmc remote, or transformer tf101 with YATSE. 3 x ATV2 (V12.2 frodo).

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edwinmcdunlap Offline
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Post: #13
dazex Wrote:I think the Linksys/Cisco E3000 has good performance as demonstrated by Toms Hardware:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/802....05-20.html

[Image: Bandwidth%20Monitor%20to%20Router.jpg]

It runs DD-WRT as well should you go that route. I did on mine.

If you don't mine refurbish, you can score one for ~$85+tax.

And for the hackers among you, you can try getting a WRT610n and flash to the E3000 for $62: http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2549449

Lots of info in those links should you need them.

How does the E2000 compare to the E3000?

[Image: emcd_mc360.png]
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seand Offline
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Post: #14
canadave Wrote:+1 on the Asus RT-n16 router with TomatoUSB firmware. That's what I've been using for months, and it's been the proverbial "rock solid" with great performance. Can't imagine needing anything else.

Second this. I've used both DD-WRT and Tomato and TomatoUSB with Asus Rt-N16 is a winner.

Here's the guide to setting up a NAS on Tomato and installing optware on it like torrents, downloaders, etc.

http://tomatousb.org/tut:how-to-set-up-n...otal-noobs

Its not required that you format the USB drive to ext4 but performance is apparently better.

I've been hosting and downloading video with Tomato N16 and a USB drive for over a year now. Never a hiccup.

I found it very easy to control Transmission on the N16 from iphones, Macs, android phones, PC's no problem. Even setup a watched folder with TED and TV Shows automatically dropping in torrents, though now I use SickBeard and usenet for much the same thing.

Acer Revo 3610 w/ Ubuntu 10.10, Giada Cube Win 7, 2 ATV 1's one w Crystal HD card, UnRaid server w/ SAB/SickBeard/Couch Potato/Transmission, MacBook Pro, Hackintosh Dell Mini 10v
(This post was last modified: 2011-08-02 22:28 by seand.)
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edwinmcdunlap Offline
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Post: #15
seand Wrote:Second this. I've used both DD-WRT and Tomato and TomatoUSB with Asus Rt-N16 is a winner.

What sort of transfers speeds do you get to/from a USB hard drive connected to the RT-N16? I have a Netgear WNR3500L and I'm only getting like 1.5 MB/s max.. Really disappointing. I'm in need of something faster.

[Image: emcd_mc360.png]
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