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Manchester, UK
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I have to add a note here to say that Draytek ( ) make (IMHO) the best routers currently available for an "affordable" price. You do pay something of a premium - a quick poke around the internet tells me the 2820n I am running is 20-30% more expensive than the ASUS box Jeff is singing the praises of (here in the UK, at least) but I think it's worth it. You get all the stuff you'd expect from a premium-ish product like this (QoS, VPN server and client, extremely granular firewall etc) plus, depending on the model, a couple you maybe wouldn't - multiple WAN ports (ethernet, DSL and/or a mix thereof), and a USB port to which you can connect a 3G modem for additional WAN failover or a HDD for network storage. In terms of reliability, I have now in my professional capacity installed 70-80 Draytek boxes, only one of which has ever been properly bricked and that was entirely my own fault. Draytek are a German company and the firmware is closed source - very much nicht für der fingerpoken - but they maintain updates well with regular firmware updates, sometimes until long after the product has been retired from the market. I know many of you here will be avid SO/SF/SU members and will like the idea of using open source firmware because it gives you the option to... well, let's be honest, bugger about with it and find new and interesting ways to break it. While you can't pull the firmware source itself apart, you can bugger about with all sorts of don't-touch-me-or-you'll-break-stuff type settings through the (admittedly not very intuitive) telnet/SSH interface. All-in-all I love these things, but here is a more or less complete list of stuff I don't like, just so no-one can say I didn't warn them. The web interface can be very slow. This is just the built in web server being a little bit crap, the routing functions themselves leave nothing to be desired. The wireless on some of the older (b/g) models could be a bit flaky. I have not had any problems with anything since they started supporting 802.11n. Personally I use separate APs as I don't like to give my routers too much to think about - I'd rather they just be left to get on with the job of routing. Similarly VLANing on some of the older models was flaky. Again, no complaints in this respect on recent devices. You can't configure a full set of custom DHCP options. There aren't many (any?) SOHO routers on which you can do this, I just remember the good old days when everyone (I) used Netgear DG834s and you could just hack them and configure them however you wanted because they were running dhcpd underneath. OK, gush over. Now go save up your pocket money for a few weeks and buy a Draytek! On a side note, @Dummyacctforsso I'm willing to bet that at least 50% of new arrivals to codinghorror are either coming from StackExchange or at least have an account with SE. And since SE is an OpenID provider ( ), I had no problems whatsoever signing in for the first time within about 20 seconds. I am sorry to hear you are so disenchanted with OpenID and I agree that there are currently far too many providers and not enough consumers, and a lot of those consumers are making life a lot more complex than it needs to be for their users. Still, I hope you'll get on board with the OpenID idea, it certainly can work and I think the biggest challenge is probably education rather than implementation.
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Aug 1, 2012