I Have A Dream: The Perfect Gigabit Wireless Router With VPN And QOS

I’m pulling my hair out (what I have left, anyhow) trying to find a good home/home office wireless router that includes all the features I need. Granted, I’m a bit of a power user, but I’m honestly a bit surprised I can’t find what I want out there somewhere. You’d think someone would build it. My list of features and performance requirements includes:

  • Gigabit WAN and LAN ports – and needs to have four LAN ports
  • VPN capability that I can use cross-platform – an SSL VPN might be the best option, but whatever works well and lets me connect with Windows, Mac, etc. is what really matters to me
  • Working, reliable and effective QOS – routers I have used in the past have either been terrible or mediocre at properly shaping and allocating traffic for VoIP and other services
  • Reliable and full-featured administrative capabilities in firmware
  • Quiet, reliable hardware
  • IPv6 support

Until recently, I have been using a D-Link DIR-625 router, which has been stable and reliable. But it’s a 100-megabit device and the QOS is marginal for VoIP traffic in my experience. Plus the firmware has not been updated recently and there is no VPN capability. It’s rock-solid at what it does, though. I’ve only had to reset it a couple times since I have had it.

I’ve looked at the D-Link DIR-655 router, which is the currently-touted gigabit version of the 625 model. It’s still on my list of possible solutions, but with no VPN it doesn’t meet all my needs, and D-Link doesn’t seem to have one that includes all the features.

Yesterday I picked up a VPN router with gigabit and QOS made by Linksys, the WRVS4400N. It’s not cheap and honestly I’m not sure why I allowed myself to buy a Linksys product after all the headaches I have had with them before. The net result of the past 12 hours of use is that I’m going to return it today. Between the slow reboots required with every other change I make and the lack of capabilities in the software (and some stuff that just doesn’t work), it’s already frustrating me. D-Link has seriously spoiled me in the admin interface/firmware capabilities department, even without releasing any updates. Add to that the high-pitched whine the Linksys router makes and the heat it generates when plugged in and there’s just no way. The whine is pretty awful, and gives me a serious headache within minutes if I am near it. Back to the store it goes.

So, I am left without a solution that meets all my needs. I may just have to pick up the D-Link DIR-655 and live without VPN and then find a separate VPN solution, but I don’t want to if I don’t have to. Any ideas anyone? Is there an option out there that will meet my needs and expectations?

  • http://wp3.lockergnome.com/nexus/theoracle/ the oracle

    I feel your pain. I need what you do also, and I would prefer 8 LAN ports.

  • Tim

    Well again compromises… but!
    I’m currently using a WRT54GL with a DD-WRT VPN build. I’m using OpenVPN and it works great with 3 road-warriors. Has all the features I would use, but does lack gigabit. I’d check out the DD-WRT forums and see if there is a router out there that could support this firmware. It’s rock-solid stable(and I’m currently running beta) and has a load of features – give it a shot! you may even have an old WRT lying around to test with.

  • http://www.thejoe.com TheJoe

    I agree with ya, I too am searching for the home/home office dream router. Does it exist?

    I’d love to know what you come up with. If I come up with anything, I’ll let you know.

  • Pingback: www.TheJoe.com » The Home Office Router search()

  • strat

    You might look into the Netgear FVS124G. You probably don’t need the dual WAN failover, but I have beat one to death with streaming video on a gig-E LAN and found it to be quite stable.

  • Jason

    I’ve been looking too…

    Have you finally learned your lesson about buying Linksys? They never work properly!

  • Marc

    I guess I am confused. The specs for the DIR-655 states “The DIR-655 can pass through VPN sessions. It supports multiple and concurrent IPSec and PPTP sessions, so users behind the DIR-655 can securely access corporate networks.” Is this not true?

  • http://www.hwside.net Savino

    Ladies and gentleman… DRAYTEK VIGOR 2930vn.
    This is the answer. Google it and read the tech specs. I’m in the same situation and now I need to find the best price for this.. in case .. let me know.

  • Todd W. Bucy

    why dont you just grab an old junk p4 download a flavor of bsd, throw in a wifi card and a nic and a 4 gig usb stick for a router. you could probably do it for less then $100 and a second had computer store.

  • mcm

    well – i was looking for something like this to use in a soho environment as well. and now there finally seems to appear something on the horizon: the AVM Fritz!Box 7390.

    4x GBit Ethernet, WAN Port up to 100MBit/sec (which is sufficient for Germany), Dual-Band Wireless-N Networking (2.4 + 5 ghz at the same time), 2 USB Ports (they even deliver Software to put your Scanner on the net and use it as a l o c a l device, at least under Windows), UMTS Failover, VPN S e r v e r, built-in Telephone Routing, built-in DECT Base Station, built in ADSL, ADSL 2+, VDSL Modem while still being capable of routing e.g. to a cable modem via LAN1…

    This is what i call feature rich. But: available in Q3/2009.

    Seems like it’s worth waiting for. I’m currently using an AVM 7270 (current top-of-the-line model with 10/100 mbit and single-band (2.4 or 5 ghz) WLAN only, available at around 170€ – no problems so far.

  • cellis

    netgear srxn3205

    only 3 problems ive had with it
    1) bit pricey $280 from my dell guys
    2) their cert on their activex ssl-vpn control lapsed and they have been slow to reissue the firmware to fix it
    3) not as good an interface as the dlinks, useable tho.

    otherwise it does all you ask,

  • http://www.eqmltd.co.uk Andy Galloway

    Some interesting stiuff on this site and a few queries I can answer having just been done over by a phone company who convinced me that I could use my existing “pass-through VPN” routers for the remote VOIP phones attached to our new system Then comes the day to set it all up and I need to buy three new routers with “Fixed VPN” capability. What this means is that the VPN routers in the workers’ home offices keep the VPN tunnel open to the VPN router at the main office, regardless of whether a computer is switched on or whather the phone system is passing traffic (phone calls) across it.

    In theory, a fixed VPN using properly designed VPN routers will be more secure than pass-through VPN and should be significantly faster (as the remote device does not have to spend time maintaining the VPN tunnel it can get on with what it does best).

    The answer to the main point of this discussion is “Yes”, I have found approximately 30 devices that have all of the above features. My Google search term was “VPN Routers Gigabit Wireless”.

    I have been looking at the Cisco gear (Cisco Wireless-N Gigabit Security Router with VPN (4 x 10/100/1000Base-TX LAN, 1 x 10/100/1000Base-TX WAN) WRVS4400NUK). It’s a bit more expensive, but I get the feeling from reading the tech specs of the various devices that Cisco have given the design a bit more thought. They explain that a router of this calibre should not be compared with a device that is intended for home use. I am still undecided, but I need to buy 3 of these in the next few days to get the company phone system working as intended.