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Pitfalls of buying a modem/router in haste...

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I recently rushed out and bought an Asus DSL-AC56U modem/ router since I was in a bind. I knew I was paying over the odds buying from a local retailer but that was OK (keep local businesses going!).

Great interface - fixed my ADSL syncing problems and router OK.

Problems started when I found that, for restoring to base (factory) conditions I needed to restore using the CD s/w which was PC only (my MBP "Superdrive" packed up ages ago).  They admitted it would not work with a Mac and after a protracted discussion with the retailer I eventually got a refund.

So - where to next please for a similar price to the Asus?

I really need something that will allow me ADSL/VDSL connection and perhaps, rumour suggests locally, the ability to get FTTP connection next year: (you know rumours - will probably only be FTTC)

So, any recommends in the gigabit area please (I have just rewired through the house with Cat6 cable)?  I shall probably need to daisy chain to an old Extreme and a Synology RT1900ac router.

All help and hints gratefully received.



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networks are not PC or Mac specific. so you do not need a “mac” solution. it is weird that the ASUS needed a specific Windows disc to return it to zero. I have ASUS routers around me and I cannot think of when re-flashing it required using Windows. usually the “plug it in while holding down the RESET button” is enough to return it to zero.
I am a fan of splitting up functions to specific devices. while it makes it look more complicated you have far more control and in the long run it simplifies taking care of the network.
look for a dumb as rocks DSL modem. it does not have to support DHCP. it just needs to connect to the service provider. by making the connection the only function here you get a lot more choices for the how the rest of you network works. and you are not paying for more expensive an all-in-one box that you might have to replace if part of it fails. buy used on eBay. or there are a few modems you can get new. look for a link below.
the DSL modem has just one ethernet port which you will connect to the WAN port of your router. there are many router possibilities. my choice is something that I can flash to run DD-WRT, Open-WRT, Tomato (which only supports old routers), or one of the other OSS projects. the idea is to get out of stock vendor provided to get better security and updates.
as wireless routers tend to fail my preference is for cheaper, lessor known brands. TP-Link is flashable. the ASUS routers support OSS firmware. and the D-LiNK… which can be updated from your Mac have consisted releases. Linksys, which makes pretty boxes, are about 2X the cost by comparison.
finally, for my devices that are not connected via wireless there is a Gigabit Switch or switches where all this plugs in. the desktops, printers, file server, camera, PLEX… if I hooked it all up to the router I would run out of ports. plug this into that and tada… more than enough!
the last upgrade I did for my home network was to install a Edgerouter X. what an improvement this was. the old router could not keep up connection, it needed to be rebooted often, and it seemed to… flashing it to a newer version helped. the new little router is amazing by comparison. as of today it has been up for 2 months, 3 weeks, and this many hours. this makes it trouble free as far as day to day use goes. the Wireless router is now in dumb access point mode meaning it never gets pinged or hit or attacked anymore. it has not failed either. and the Arris cable modem being dumb as rocks means that Comcast / Xfinity cannot weird it into doing anything else. I like my network again.
you could do a similar thing.
here are the parts I mentioned:
good enough switch
gigabit router that you can flash with anything
dumb as rocks DSL modem
Edge router X
Edited by johnfoster

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here is a visual of the three ways I described above. 


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