A key part of the Local Area Network in a home is the router, that is the multi purpose unit that likely cpontrols much of the traffic between the units.

Even if the modem provided by the ISP has a number of RJ45 ports and WiFi, the general recommendation is to only use it for interfacing the ISP service. The WiFi is typically not of the most current standard (AC) even if several of your devices might be and the general throughput between the ports it also typically not state of the art. Mine acts as VDSL2+ modem on the “WAN” side and Ethernet to the router on the LAN side,¬†and manages the IP telephony. I don’t do any switching inside my LAN as it’s quite slow on that.

Next is the¬†router, In my case it’s an ASUS RT-AC66U. A fine piece of equipment that has 801.11 A/B/N/AC WiFi, DualBand (both 2.4 and 5 GHz), three omnidirectional antennas for great MiMo, four GB LAN ports and two USB ports for file and printer sharing. (One notch more power would be the AC68U – comparison here).

DiscoveryIt must be said; the ASUS router GUI is very nice. The only real feature I was missing was to be able to tell if the attached clients were attached to the WiFi via the internal WLAN of the Guest one. Still I ran into issues. My computers told me that they couldn’t access it. The ASUS Discovery tool¬†found the IP but still no access. It did switch traffic but the GUI was not responding.

Before you do anything; If access to Internet relies on the unit working, fetch ALL the files you need as you will not have access when you play with it. So ensure you have the flash tools and the firmware BEFORE starting to mess.

What is possible is to clear all the settings and hope that takes care of the situation.

# Power off the unit, and while powering it on hold the WPS button for thirty seconds. Releasing the button should reboot the unit and you should be back to default.

Restoration# Firmware restoration Рdownload the tool and the relevant firmware whereafter you install it. Here you unplug the power cable and then hold the reset button while putting the power back. You should see the power LED flash if the unit is in rescue mode. The firmware is in a trx file format.

Having been recommended to test alternative distributions I was very keen to try one of them out. The router is based on the Broadcom chipset which means that there are several distributions to chose from.

# DD-WRT (here)

# TomatoUSB (here)

# AdvancedTomato (here)

In general, there are many options depending on router. For list, please check here.

Installing the TomatoUSB, first issue was to set-up the guest network.

I must recommend the guide here, which is fully to the point but shows that this is NOT a distribution for the n00bs. Any webpage that is overly complex, where the descriptions even only contain the word “only” will tell you its a product for geeks. ūüėČ

Edit: Yesterday night, I was in a stable condition with TomatoUSB installed but a few minutes ago I reverted to the much nicer looking AdvancedTomato.

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