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on November 18, 2012
Well, where to start. I've been meaning to decommission my old, D-Link DIR-655 router for a while now; it's been running fine for the past 3 years, but as of late, I've been having issues with it - constant disconnects, signal fluctuations, and degraded throughput. It's become a hassle to reboot this thing once every couple of days. I tried numerous other routers to replace D-Link, like Netgear and Linksys, but everyone had their own fare share of issues. I actually ran Netgear for a month, until it committed suicide, and I had to return it. For anyone looking to replace the good trusty WRT54GL with a newer technology router, know it's no small feat. Competition is scarce and mostly it's a hit or miss type of affair. Enter WZR-300HP! Comes preloaded with DD-WRT right out of the box. Performance has been great, much faster than my old D-Link! So my here's my list of pros and cons.

Pros:
* DD-WRT v24SP2-MULTI (07/09/12) std - build 19438
* Better wireless range and signal strength
* Atheros AR7242 rev 1.1 CPU clocked at 400 MHz
* 64 MB of RAM
* Gigabit LAN: 4 Ports
* Gigabit WAN: 1 Port
* Wall mounting hardware included
* WDS (Thanks to DD-WRT)
* AOSS
* DLNA
* Setup Assistant available for simplified router configuration.

Cons:
* Some features are only available with the original Buffalo firmware.
* Move Engine (QoS) button is useless; does not work under DD-WRT.
* DD-WRT maybe overkill for novice users (Buffalo firmware on CD).
* No auto update for DD-WRT (you'll have to check the site periodically).
* DD-WRT QoS is a bit complex for average user.
* Antenna design is questionable (looks flimsy/cheap plastic).
* Needs to be in a well-ventilated area or may overheat (runs a bit hot).
* Guest wireless? I haven't found a way to configure that yet.

Conclusion:
This is probably the best bang for your buck at the present time. Features, stability, range, and price, all work in favor for this router. I highly recommended.

Update:
NAT Loopback option, under Security Tab DOES NOT WORK.

To enable NAT Loopback, save the following as a FIREWALL script in the COMMANDS section of the router config:

iptables -t nat -I POSTROUTING -o br0 -s 192.168.x.0/24 -d 192.168.x.0/24 -j MASQUERADE

Make sure to replace the 'x' in the IP's.
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VINE VOICEon April 4, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I am conflicted when it comes to this device.

For many of you familiar with dd-wrt, you can skip down to the next paragraph. For others of you, I will explain dd-wrt. dd-wrt is an open source firmware for routers(i.e. you can get it for free). A couple of years back, many of the routers didn't offer advanced networking features, so many power users started using dd-wrt to better protect their network. I'm not talking about MAC filtering or SSID masking. These are easily hacked and not considered a good precaution anymore. I am talking about port security/firewall settings, NAT, WPA-2/AES(pretty standard now), and other REAL security features. Modern routers have gotten much better at this. But many power users still prefer all that dd-wrt has to offer. I won't go into great detail as to all the dd-wrt features, but you can do a quick google search and ascertain the information. dd-wrt is somewhat complicated for the novice user. It requires a decent bit of knowledge beyond what the average lay person has. If you have a techie friend who can help you set this up, or if you consider yourself tech-savvy and want to learn how to have full-control of your home network, then this device is a good place to start.

That being said, this is not a dual-band router. 802.11ac with 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band capabilities is the current standard for power users. These features come with a $200 price tag, so many/most should defer to a 802.11n router with dual-band capability. 802.11n isn't really last gen imho. I consider it current gen. 802.11ac is more future gen. Considering 99.9% of wireless devices currently aren't capable of 802.11ac, 802.11n will give you the most bang for the buck. The additional price of the 802.11ac will buy you future-proofing with very little current-gen benefit. For most people, I would recommend a good 802.11n dual-band router.

So that brings me to the problem I have with this router. I don't see someone who is interested in dd-wrt settling for a single band router on a NEW purchase. Personally, ALL my wireless devices, except my PS3, can handle the 5GHz band. I'm talking tablets, smartphones, TVs, blu-ray players, and printer. Now if you don't have a DLNA set-up and don't do a lot of high-def streaming within your network, then you may not notice a drastic difference. But if you have a media server and stream high-def MKV video files with DTS audio to other devices on your network, then this router will not work for you.

So who is the target audience of such a device? I would say it is a budget-constrained network savvy user who values security over convenience. Or a novice user wanting to expand his networking knowledge. I would consider this device a low-end wireless router with a powerful open-source(free) firmware/operating system pre-installed. I'm not a marketing expert, but I would think this is a small group. Novice users generally want easy setup. Power users generally want more speed. But if you value security above all else but can't afford a faster router, then this is a good router for you. But know in advance, you are buying an outdated product that you will need to replace sooner rather than later.

Full disclosure...I am a networking professional by trade. I tried to write this review for all audiences. I do read your comments. If you have any questions or comments, please post and I will reply. Thank you.
2020 comments53 of 62 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 18, 2013
After studying many reviews, I went with the Buffalo because it promised good penetration through masonry. I live in an old adobe house, 14-inch thick mud-brick internal walls and 2000 square feet, and most routers give limited results.

I have had the Buffalo for several months now and am very pleased with its performance. I now get almost as strong a signal at the back of the house (through multiple thick walls) as I did in the same room as the previous router (a Motorola Surfboard). And as for range, I just tried it at the back of the garden, a distance of over 50 yards, and got 13mbps and smooth NetFlix streaming!

The stability is very laudable too -- we get little power interruptions in storm season, and I typically had to reset the Surfboard anytime there was a power blip. The Buffalo is rock-solid through power downs -- a nice change.

The setup was not quite "plug and play", the directions a bit confusing, but after not-quite-an-hour of fiddling I was able to get it to recognize what I wanted. Set aside a bit of time and patience for the setup.

As far as the technical features it is over-featured for what I need -- all I need to be able to do is set port forwarding for gaming, and that at least is straightforward and the controls responsive.

It works well with the Arris cable modem I got from Comcast -- 25 mbps downloads, not bad for the standard service.

All in all, I am very pleased with this Buffalo router. I admit I had never heard of the company before, but this unit is so powerful and stable that I am now loyal to the brand and would recommend it to anyone who is willing to invest a bit of time to get it set up.

UPDATE (1/6/14)

More than six months of constant use after the review above and I am still very pleased with this router.

Over the holiday we ended up with the router on the same power strip as the Christmas tree, so it got switched off every night. Each time it was powered back up it was active in less than a minute, and there has been no drift on the settings. As mentioned, I have had problems with having to reset other routers after power interruptions.

I am pleased and impressed with the stability of this unit.

UPDATE (03/22/14)

The router has been in service for one year now. Zero problems, and I've never had to reset it. I wish all electronics might be this stable.
0Comment10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon November 5, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is my second Buffalo AirStation and I'm very impressed with the price, speed, features and stability of this unit.

Since it comes with DD-WRT already built-in, the access point is very configurable and has many features you can't get with other access points. I used my second AirStation to set up a Bridge that extends my wireless network to other parts of the house and back yard. I could never do that with my old LinkSys routers. I also like the VPN feature for securely accessing my home network while I'm away.

When I was researching routers before buying my first N300, I saw that the Airstation had significantly more RAM and flash memory as well as a higher clock speed from other routers and came with DD-WRT already built in. DD-WRT can be installed on other brands of routers, but knowing it's going to work out of the box is a huge plus for me.

I've had zero problems with either of my AirStation N300 routers and recommend them to my friends.
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on December 15, 2012
I bought this router because it came out of the box with DD-WRT which I wanted in order to support some more advanced features like VLANs, DNSMasq, and advanced routing rules. For the price you get features found on enterprise class switches/routers that cost more than 10x this router. My only disappointment is that DD-WRT DOES NOT support port based VLANs on this router which is using an Atheros wireless chip, in only supports VLAN Tagging - which threw me since I assumed it then must support VLANs, which it does via WiFi but not port-based. After some research I decided to move over to OpenWRT which was a very easy upgrade directly from the DD-WRT command line and then I had port-based VLANS and every other feature I could imagine. I could even reassign the functions of the buttons and the many LEDs on the box to support my custom configuration.

With OPenWRT on the router I have been very, VERY impressed with what this little device can do. Its like a whole enterprise class network in a single box!
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on December 27, 2012
I got this for my grandparents, they needed a network router, and this was on sale for $40, for an open source DDWRT router this thing is great, super easy for DDWRT users to setup, range is great and price was nice.

I would consider a higher dual band buffalo DDWRT router for my setup once my cisco 400N craps out.

The NAT did not work out of the box in the version of the firmware this router had, but after some goggling it was an easy command fix. There is a know problem with network translation, which should be addressed in the next few DDWRT releases.
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on December 1, 2013
I love this thing as a router. It's DD-WRT firmware has a nice feature set.

And the wireless signal is strong. It reaches further than any other router I've owned.

Once awesome feature is connecting two of these over a wireless connection - separate from the wi-fi connection that your devices connect to. But this connection becomes very slow over a few days time so that one or both routers need to be rebooted to restore reasonable speeds.

Other than that, it's a great router. For power users, I haven't yet found anything better in the sub-$300 price range -- and this one is now sub-$40!

Cons:

AOSS/WPS does not work. That is, the easy connection of a router and its repeater using a button press on each device. After hours of trying on the line with Tech Support (multiple times, multiple units), I've given up thinking that this feature was fully developed.

And the "Easy Setup Wizard" is not available if you want to use the DD-WRT firmware (which is essential in my opinion, unless all you don't want a repeater and just want a high-signal-strength wi-fi router).

The Gigabit wired connections work great and have always been reliable. The router also has lot of value in that it is running DD-WRT. And for that reason, and because of the low cost, I intend on continuing to purchase these.
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on December 14, 2012
We purchased a Buffalo WZR-300HP router so my wife would have wireless internet for her laptop and the new Kindle Fire that she's getting for Christmas. The product specs were quite good and just what we we're looking for. The first unit arrived completely bricked, the only lights that would come on were the power and Diag LEDs. I reset it several times and attempted to configure to it anyways. No luck.

Went through Amazon and got an RMA, they replaced it with a new unit immediately. The new router would power up and let me configure it, but the speed was 1/20th of the speed(both wired and wireless) of my 5 year old router. I spent the better part of two days researching, troubleshooting, resetting the unit, changing cables and loading and unloading the two different firmwares(old versions and the newest), all while trying different settings. The speed remained unchanged. This router will be going back to Amazon also.

We will definitely be choosing a different brand to replace it and hopefully receive it before Christmas. Needless to say there is NO way I would recommend this product to anyone. Buyer beware.
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on December 8, 2013
Read quite a few reviews before settling in on this model. I did not need any high bandwidth at short distances (everything needing this was a wired connection already) so the 5 Ghz wasn't really going to help me much. Stuck with the 2.4 Ghz on this model. Set up was easy and the interface is super. It comes out of the box set up to run at 130 Mps so you need to reconfigure it to run at 300. Doing this kicks it into dual mode and takes up more channels. In my case, I got worse performance in this mode due to interference on certain channels. Use inSSIDer to see who is transmitting on what channels in your area - if you are able to run the wider channel spread. For me, too many neighbors and adjacent frequencies. Kept getting slow downs. Reset back to 130, settled in between the two pesky competing routers and have been getting good results ever since. It is a solid router and a huge step up from my old Lynksis running G at 56
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VINE VOICEon November 20, 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My previous router was a Linksys that I flashed the firmware to upgrade to DDWRT. That upgrade went well, but the online guides told me that I was risking my router by doing the update. The BUFFALO N300 having DD-WRT preinstalled is a huge plus in my book.

Why would you want DD-WRT? Go to LifeHacker and look for the article called "Turn your $60 router into a $600 router" and you'll discover some of the benefits. This is a relatively old article, 2008 vintage, but it will give you some tips, like boosting the power of your radio signal on your router.

Should you buy this router? I can definitely recommend it. What's it missing that I would like? The ability to have a separate "guest" network is high on my want-to-have list for routers. The N300 doesn't offer that option unfortunately.

I'll leave you with one last tip if you get this router. In the DD-WRT interface, check out the Administration > Backup screen. After you get your network settings all figured out and working like you want, you can download a backup of your settings. It's been a while since I've used a non-DDWRT router, but it's good reason to go for DD-WRT.
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