Using DD-WRt Want to switch, have a few concerns

i live in a large house with multiple people and probably 30-40 devices. i have a WRT3200ACM running DDWRT and we have had nothing but issues. It will kick devices off the network. It will give 169.254 addresses to devices it hasn't encountered before. We have cameras and their systems will randomly lock up (but i wonder if that's more on the camera side then ours) we pay for fiber and get gigabit speeds. even when its just a couple people home and only about 10-11 devices we still get 10-20mbps on 5ghz near the router. we will have the entire thing just derp and die at times too. I dont know if OpenWRT is the solution with better management and options. we pay a lot for fiber and its fast but only on ethernet. we bought the router figuring it was powerful enough to handle the load. im just wondering if tomato/owrt is the answer

Taking in consideration that the DDwrt version supporting your device is beta version, I'd say you can give it a shot.
However don't set your hopes too high with 30-40 devices if they connect mostly by wireless, as well as if there is no QoS in place to provide fair access to the resource.

FYI the 169.254... addresses mean that the PC was probing for a DHCP server but never got an answer and there was not alternative configured.


might be worth doing a survey.... if you haven't already

there are some nice simple apps you can get on your phone.......

a long shot..... but when faced with fundamental performance issues, prudent to see where you stand on the physical level.

( i.e. a neighbour might have discovered some new cracking app - and you send all of two weeks trying to work out where your network is flailing :wink: )

afaik most consumer router/ap's cannot support that many clients.
consider using multiple ap's (with lower txpower) or specifically look for device/software that can support 50 devices at once.

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I think OpenWrt will work better for you, but maybe not perfectly. I would definitely add one more AP and hopefully cut the number of clients per AP down. You can use a second WRT32x for example, on different channels

Also on 5ghz use 40Mhz channels not 80 or 160, the chance of interference is much higher on wider channels

I would modify that statement to say "afaik most consumer router/ap's cannot support that many wireless clients."

I have a small business client for whom I have set up a Netgear R8000 router (which is approximately comparable to the WRT3200ACM), connected to a 24-port Ethernet switch. Their network has around 10 desktop machines (Ethernet), 10 VoIP phones (Ethernet), a few servers (Ethernet), and the employees' laptops and mobile devices (about 12 devices, wi-fi). The R8000 handles on average around 50-60 devices on a daily basis without any problems. I recently did some upgrades on the R8000 and rebooted the router 5 days ago. Previous uptime for the router before that was around 1.5 years.

I only ever installed stable releases of LEDE/OpenWrt on that router. Echoing @trendy's observations, I wouldn't recommend installing any beta or nightly versions if you have that many clients. Also, for that many wireless clients, installing SQM/QoS to do some sort of traffic shaping might be a good idea.

If at all possible, try to reduce the number of clients that are trying to connect using wireless, and use as many Ethernet connections as you can. Ethernet is full-duplex, and Wi-Fi is half-duplex. This means that any router will be able to support many, many, many more Ethernet-connected devices and stay performant than it will lots of wireless connections.

Rule of thumb is 25 but if its just web and email traffic you can have more.


master runs well however 2.4 is (supposedly) a bit more unstable than 5Ghz but I guess that boils down to clients.

The WRT3200ACM should have sufficient power to handle all of the main routing and network controller functions. And the radios should be fine in general, but having a lot of clients on a single radio will always create bottlenecks.

I would recommend considering multiple APs to help reduce the load on the radios in your router. You can use the built-in radio systems, but I would supplement with additional dedicated APs. You can configure dumb APs using additional routers using OpenWrt, or you can use other dedicated APs (which you may or may not decide to use with OpenWrt).

As for AP hardware that is really good, I love my Ubiquiti UAP-AC-PRO units. I use them with the standard Unifi software (which is really well designed), but OpenWrt can be used on these devices, too. Using 2 or more APs will help to distribute the load of the client devices, and coupled with hardwired back-haul connections to the main router/switch, you will see dramatically improved overall performance.

EDIT: I realized I never commented about OpenWrt vs DD-WRT. I personally prefer OpenWrt -- it has been rock sold (release builds), is high performance, and extremely flexible/extensible. In addition, it is running much more modern modules and core technologies (kernel included) as well as a very expansive list of available packages to install for all sorts of added features. Hopefully you will also find that this community is enthusiastic and helpful so that if/when you run into issues or if you are experimenting with new/advanced networking techniques (or anything you're not already familiar with), you will likely get some great support.

Also, I'd recommend setting up another device with OpenWrt to use as an experimental/dev device. It could be another router (same model, or maybe something else -- depending on if you need to replicate your production environment). But you could also set up OpenWrt within a VM which can serve as a reasonable test bed for certain things. With an extra system of any sort, you can gain confidence with OpenWrt since you'll be able to experiment -> mess up -> reset -> repeat without affecting anything that is in active use/production.

Are you suggestion dumb AP as in does not do routing, only WiFi?

@cantenna - Correct. A dumb AP is a wireless bridge (think of it as a wired<->wireless adapter).

For clarity and completeness, my suggested configuration would have a single device configured as a standard router and 2 or more wifi APs. There are a number of ways to approach this from a hardware selection standpoint.

Your existing WRT3200ACM, like many consumer network devices in this category, is known as a 'wireless router.' But actually, these are all-in-one devices consisting of 3 key parts: a router + ethernet switch + wifi AP. As such, you can use these things as an all-in-one router + switch + wifi AP, but you can also you use them as an AP only (the 'dumb AP') by simply disabling the router functions.

With that said, you could use the WRT3200ACM for routing + wifi if you like, but I would add at least one more AP to your setup (maybe more) -- you can choose to do this with more all-in-one wireless router type devices, or get some hardware that is intended to be used as dedicated APs.

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unfortunately i dont really have the resources for another router. The place is not wired for Ethernet to run a AP anywhere. I have to do any maintenance at night. The router runs that camera system and the boss will flip if they go down when they are up working. And I ca only do work on it one night a week: Thursday. I have an older linksys router (an e2000 i believe) that has OpenWRT support. but i dont know how i would get internet to it. Its kind of a bad situation but i have to work with what i got.

Maybe worth having a conversation with the boss to get some budget for hardware upgrades/purchases and scheduled downtime for the network. Set the expectations if this is not approved or otherwise not possible - the network may not improve in reliability or bandwidth without some concessions from the top.

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Worth considering to call an electrician to run a few cables around the company premises.

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ill talk to him but he is the typical Mr. Krabs money money money types asking that of him would likely result in a "well we will just go back to the xfinity router then" witch would make it not my problem but would make the problem worse and id suffer too. so im trying to find some middle ground. Is there any reason i cant just run a second router in AP mode like 5-6ft away? clpose enough where a cleverly hidden Ethernet cable wouldn't be noticed

If there is no channel overlap ( i.e. that is 2Ghz and the other is 5Ghz )

but i wouldn't want my desk / bed / etc. to be situated nearby.

that wouldnt make much of a diffrence would it? they are separate radios.

It would decrease the load of one single AP handling a lot of clients. Such a short distance between them would not provide wider coverage though.

Yeah, your probably right.... generally when additional AP's are installed it's done sloppily with channel overlap and dBm cranked....

If that is avoided then yeah.... probably no overall difference....

Running a dedicated device for wifi functions is a really wise move... in any environment with more than say 8 wifi clients....

its kind of a crappy station i looked up a quote for running 1 drop and its like ~$400 that would get me laughed at. Getting the ACM was enouh of a fight