I thought with the Asus RT-N16 I finally had the perfect router. However, one day suddenly everything on our network stopped working. I checked the Asus, and sure enough it was “lights out”. I’ve had a couple of different Asus and Netgear routers, and most died with similar symptoms – maybe it was the power supply, but I’m not completely sure.
I set out to find the new perfect home router. I read many different reviews – the cost of many of these top-notch home routers was exceeding the $200 level and most were starting to look like plastic spaceships which the truly nerdy would setup for everyone to see… I wasn’t interested.
This time I started looking at routers which were more commercial in features, but not in price. This lead me to the Ubiquiti Networks Edgerouter or the Mikrotik routers. I chose the Mikrotik Routerboard Sfp Port plus 10 Port Ethernet.
Even though I already own the Ubiquiti Networks UniFi product and am completely satisfied with it, I felt that the EdgeRouters integrated Command-Line Interface (CLI) was more mature than their graphical user interface. Maybe it was just the particular model I was looking at.
The Mikrotik router came with the RouterOS operating system loaded and licensed. Both this router and the OS are highly rated.
When the package arrived I had some concerns on whether it would work out of the box. Although most of the reviews were positive, some mentioned that configuration was needed just to get it working on a simple home network – that was not my experience. I connected the cables and powered it up and it automatically worked with our Comcast/Xfinity broadband modem. No configuration was needed.
However, I did make a couple of configurations to the wireless AP settings: The Network Name (SSID) and the Wi-Fi password. I did this to match the settings of our old router. Once these wireless settings were changed the family mobile devices connected seamlessly, like nothing had changed.
One thing you do need to make sure to change if you already have a router/gateway from your broadband provider is to turn off the router portion of the gateway by setting it to “bridge mode”. This essentially turns off the routing features and passes the broadband through to your own router.
I’ve only started exploring the features of my new found home networking device, but oh my, there is so much to see. The menu has options I’ll probably never use, but I certainly plan on exploring many of these.