I’ve been running a pfsense gateway for a few years now and it’s been terrific. Easy to use, excellent PPTP VPN, and most of all – rock solid reliability. Unfortunately, it has very poor wireless support in the older 1.2.3 release, which I use. I tried out the latest 2.0, but got terrible throughput. I had very unreliable VPN connectivity also. So, I had to implement some wireless-N routers I had as access points and make due that way. It’s worked well until recently.
My primary wireless router is a rebadged D-Link DIR-615 that I got from Fry’s over a year ago and flashed with DD-WRT firmware. It worked very well for the cost and was very solid until a couple of months ago. That’s when I had to move out of my office and take up using a laptop and finally utilize the wireless connection on a full-time basis. At first, I had Googled up that the periodic dropped connections I was having was some incompatibility between D-Link routers and the Atheros chipset my integrated 11n adapter was using. I found that was not the case later on as my new Acer tablet encountered the same issue, and then, my desktop started dropping out when I brought it up to re-image it – I used a 150Mbps 11n USB adapter in it. Same thing. It had to be the router’s wireless dropping out. I suppose all three devices could be incompatible with that router, if what I found on Google was true, but I can’t imagine they would all drop their connections at the same time. That’s just too much of a coincidence.
Anyway, I’ve looked around and decided on getting a Cisco-Linksys E2000. I’ll probably load DD-WRT up on it also so I can get VPN support, although I may end up using the old Fry’s router for that since there are no problems with the hardwired networking with it. I would kind of rather have a dedicated device for VPN handling…we’ll see. What I really like about the E2000 are that it has gigabit ports – my first router of any kind having those.
Unfortunately for my pfsense gateway, it will mean the end of it. I intend on decommissioning it so that I can go with a single device for routing and wireless access. It will allow me to take an old PIII Gateway (the irony) system offline and two wireless routers that have been covering my house up to now. I figure there’s a good amount of electricity to be saved there.
The only thing I have to think about now is placement. Since I’d like to have this router upstairs, I’ll have to move my cable modem and Vonage adapter in order to maintain the necessary order of connections. It would be easy to do in the attic, but it gets too hot up there. I’ll have to figure it out unless it has really good range from the basement.
We’ll see when it gets here. I ordered it from Amazon with free shipping, but stuff normally gets to me in a couple of days. I’ll hope for Friday!