Best ADSL2+ router/modem combo?


For a while, I've been able to live and cope with the SpeedStream 6520 ADSL2+ modem/router combo that was provided with the account Telstra (this family's ISP) gave us.. but its issues can't be worked around anymore so it's time for this thing to be replaced.

Up until now, I've been able to successfully get around all the issues I've had with this unit, including 100% unusable wifi support (dropouts every 3-6 minutes = *unusable*!) - I've had to use Ethernet for all machines (which were pretty much all desktops), a poorly designed configuration interface (15+ frames anybody?) and poorly coded management engine (I can switch port #4 to WAN mode but not back to LAN mode unless I hard reset) and an incident where I had to upgrade the firmware to keep the connection stable... not good.

_However_, 99.9% of the time I've had perfectly stable, usable 10Mbit ADSL2+ (yes, ADSL2+, the account is 10Mbit but I maintain a 12690000kbps link to the DSLAM - that's both up and down) that hasn't dropped out and overall the unit is fairly usable, although it has a few quirks.

_Therefore_, I need a device that builds on the features of the current unit I have and also adds more.

The features I currently enjoy are:

- 99.9% uptime - no dropouts whatsoever

- Fast, reliable uplink to DSLAM

- Port (and port range) forwarding

- DHCP MAC IP filtering (only 4 IPs though)

- A nice bug that lets me set my PC's IPs to 192.168.0.x and the router IP to (which I've stopped using actually...)

I don't think I've forgotten anything, although if this turns out to be a popular post I might add more things as I remember them.

This is the list of things that I need/like to bug about/would like in a new router/modem:

- The same nice uptime and fast link of my current unit - if this in any way changes I'll be taking whatever gets bought straight back. No exceptions.

- *WORKING WIFI*! I need something with a LOT of range and a nice POWERFUL antenna. Currently in a 2-storey house (so the signal needs to get through the ceiling/floor) but will be going into a single-level situation sometime soon, and when that happens I'll need to be able to use wifi from the backyard (which will be large) etc, so the signal needs to be powerful enough to exit the main walls of house.

- _I_need_something_with_8_ports!_ 16 or 32 ports would also be nice

- I basically want to have flexibility... I don't know how many PCs I might have at any one stage so a router with 32 ports would just be awesome, although a unit that is *designed* to connect to additional routers or switches would work just as well. And actually be affordable. :P

- I want a device that officially runs Linux as its platform, not something that had Linux slapped on it "just for a kernel". I also don't want a WRT54G because as far as I know those are no longer in development.

- I want to be able to telnet or (PREFERABLY) ssh to this device! I am supposedly able to telnet to the SpeedStream 6520 but *no* username/password I use will work. Yes, I've tried that one you're thinking of, and it didn't work.

- Despite the fact that I'd consider myself an advanced user, I still appreciate an admin panel, although such a feature is completely unneccessary, as I'm fine with the commandline. If the device does have a web admin panel, _PLEASE,_NO_FRAMES!_ I can-NOT- handle frames within frames! Tables are equally as bad but I guess I could work with those if I *had* to.

- I want to lift settings from the router such as uptime, link speed, KBs used, MBs/second, etc, so I need a router with either sanely-coded web admin panel pages (as noted in the last point) so I can extract content using scripting -or- a sane way to get data out of it via ssh or telnet, not that I would know how to use something like that. Yet.

Okay. That's that.

Now, there are a few things I DON'T need. These are:

- Anything to do with bittorrent - I don't use bittorrent.

- I don't play games - including internet-based games, so anything related to gaming in the router would never be used. Game-related settings in the port forward section of the router (or any other section, really) would only be an annoyance which I would want to remove. I've wanted to remove the gaming-related ports in this modem/router's port forwarding panel for too long now... I've never used them...

- As far as I've seen, QoS is related to bittorrent and gaming so is in my view a completely unneccessary feature. I may find use for it though.

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