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Customer Discussions > Networking forum

Best Wired Router with GigE

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Showing 1-25 of 31 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 21, 2011 12:46:51 PM PDT
David Linden says:
I am looking for the best wired router with at least 4 GigE ports. Any recommendations?

Posted on Oct 3, 2011 12:12:06 PM PDT
G. Wilson says:
I love my NetGear WNDR3700.

Posted on Oct 12, 2011 9:44:13 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 12, 2011 10:05:41 AM PDT]

Posted on Oct 13, 2011 9:04:12 AM PDT
D. Davis says:
Peplink Balance 20

Posted on Oct 24, 2011 1:47:50 PM PDT
B. Kerr says:
Check for consumer routers. The top 6 GigE wired routers for WAN to LAN throuput are 1. ASUS RT-N56U 2. Belkin F9K1103 3. Netgear WNDR4500 4. Cisco RV 220W 5. Linksys E4200 6. Netgear WNDR4000

Posted on Nov 15, 2011 12:38:37 AM PST
Posimosh says:
I would go with this : Cisco Systems Cisco 892F, unless you need something industrial grade... How Technical is your household? what will you be using it for mainly? Will you use cat5 or cat6? How many devices are on your lan? what are they?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2012 9:31:42 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2012 9:43:06 PM PST
A. H. says:
posimosh: It looks like the OP wanted a wired router, the Cisco 892F is a wireless unit. I too am looking for the best wired only router out there, I have an old Linksys BEFSR41 that's been chugging along fine for years, but as I just got my connection speeds upgraded from Comcast, and have a new shiny gigabit Motorola modem, I'd like to make my entire (wired only) network gigabit. I think I'll do some research on J. Kerr's suggestions, but it looks like Linksys/Cisco is out after reading the reviews on a couple of their produts.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 9, 2012 9:39:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 9, 2012 9:40:17 PM PST
A. H. says:
J. Kerr: Sheesh, didn't you read the OP's request, he was looking for a Wired router, as am I, and after looking at all your suggestions, they are all wireless routers. I'm having a hard time finding a good quality, affordable gigabit router to replace my aging Linksys BEFSR41. If they made that exact same unit in a GigE version, I'd be all over it, as I'm sure a lot of other ppl would be as well. It's worked for years without a hiccup, solid, it just works. Reading reviews on newer models of Ciscos and others, it seems like the features are up but the relability is down. The Dlink GamerLounge DGL-4100 looked interesting, but hasn't had any updates in almost 6 years, and is ending support this year. Figures. I must be a dinosaur or something...

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 2:45:27 AM PST
MikeT says:
Hiya Hanson,
Why don't you just turn off the wireless portion on any suggested routers that also include WiFi?
IOW: Why completely ignore a router that fills your wired needs just because it also offers an additional feature (WiFi) that you don't need? Just turn that feature off. :)

Posted on Mar 10, 2012 7:35:47 AM PST
B. Kerr says:
The most important part of a good gigabit router is the LAN-WAN throughput. Wireless is an add-on that can be turned off like MikeT says. The hard truth is that most routers can't handle a 100Mbit WAN connection and if you start adding meaningful security measures like an intrusion prevention system, the performance is drastically reduced. Verizon had to get Actiontec to make a dual core cpu line of routers to serve the 100Mbit+ customers and it was not until the MI424WR Gen2 rev. G that they could move data fast enough to service the WAN speed without slowing down. Higher WAN speeds have made most routers worthless as they can't even service a 30Mbit WAN connection. After much research, I went with a used core 2 duo PC(less than 100 on ebay) running pFsense(free security router OS) and added some of the included packages like snort. To get a dedicated router with similar features even used was much more expensive. Now, memory, storage space etc are not an issue on the router and I can upgrade with ease. You can even choose from lots of router software besides pFsense at your pleasure(DD-WRT, Untangle, etc..). If you want simple, then look at for the best WAN-LAN throughput you can afford and be done with it. If your router can't handle the throughput of your WAN connection then you might as well reduce your WAN speed and save the money as you can't use the extra speed until you get a router that's fast enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 10, 2012 12:25:52 PM PST
A. H. says:
Hmmm, I hadn't thought about that, getting a dedicated PC, and put in a dual port server level network card. Maybe get one of those little dells that are about the same size as couple large books, my dad's wife has one, they are capible enough. As long as they have one PCIe slot, I can get an Intel dual port gigabit card, and look into the software you mentioned. Thanks for the inspiration!

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 1:35:25 PM PDT
B. Kerr says:
Most PC's have a built-in NIC so you usually only need to add one. Any core 2 duo or better will be more than enough and a P4 should be good enough. It gets sticky when you start with the intrusion prevention systems like snort that eat cpu time and memory. Still easy to do but make sure you get a PC that has cheap RAM. If you want to run 64 bit, the CPU must support it or the router os will never be able to. I have had great success with HP corporate PC's off lease like dc5700, dc5800, dc7700, dc7800. The are easy to find at the 100 or less price.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2012 8:04:23 PM PDT
A. H. says:
I ended up finding a Dell Optiplex 780 Small Form Factor PC, it has an Intel E8400 3.00GHz Core 2 Duo proc, 4 gig RAM, 250gig HD, DVD drive, was a bit over $100, but not terribly so. It should be well up to the task, and I found an Intel Ethernet Server Adapter I350-T2 to use for the I/O, so between those 2, I should have a system that's pretty much future proof, once I spend the time getting it config'ed correctly. I'll look into the software recommended earlier, not familiar with it but hopefully won't be too difficult to configure.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 15, 2012 7:40:44 PM PDT
Cisco e4200 i *think* has 4 GigE

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2012 7:34:54 PM PST
Gone Don says:
If we beginners understood what your alphabets soup and"snort" and "pfsense" was about, it might be a great post.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 10:33:45 AM PST
B. Kerr says:
Read from the first post and it's pretty simple. You don't need to keep going once you reach the answer that suits you. If you want simple, go to and check the best routers for LAN-WAN throughput and you will find the current leaders for serving a high speed WAN connection. Check to make sure the one you like has gigabit Ethernet and you have the answer to the best simple gigabit wired router as this thread was started to find. You can go on and google the terms you don't understand if you would like to understand the rest. This is free advice and it distills many hours of research and experience so you are getting a small look at the end result of our search to satisfy our networking needs. I use a small PC for my router running pFsense and it is much faster than any packaged router that can be purchased for less than about 1000.00. If you don't want to bother, than just buy a packaged router like the ASUS RT-N66U and you will have one of the best available right now. If you feel a bit more like walking on the bleeding edge of tech, then try something like the ASUS RT-AC66U for the newest (but still "draft" and not finalized or fully debugged) wireless standard 802.11ac. I don't recommend 802.11ac products yet but you have to decide how much you want to fiddle with this. If you want cheaper, go down the list and find the best one you feel like buying. Just remember this discussion is about the best wired router and wireless speeds are not the top concern. Unfortunately, to get the best in a packaged router, you usually have to take the wireless as well because very few good cheap routers can be purchased without wireless today.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 7:32:15 PM PST
A. H. says:
J.Kerr, thanks again for your advice, it was much appreciated, and as to the "alphabet soup" comment, I couldn't agree with you more. I had no idea reading it what exactly you were referring to, but within a couple hours I had a decent idea, and decided to go with it. Google truly is your friend nowadays. Don't know how we got along without it years ago... So, Thank You again, you have added meaningful information to this thread, and allowed those so inclined to go for a more robust and fairly inexpensive solution, if one is willing to do the work. Kudos.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 7, 2013 11:25:01 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Sep 7, 2013 12:20:50 PM PDT]

Posted on Oct 7, 2013 10:27:22 PM PDT
TF says:
I would agree with J. Kerr's general theme, but would strongly suggest due diligence on your shopping list, especially when it comes to consumer-level stuff -- the likes of Linksys, D-Link, Netgear, Belkin, Asus, TP-Link and most mass-made stuff by generic OEMs -- most are just flat out poor when it comes to network robustness and reliability over the long haul (have a look at all those Asus 3-6 month port failures on NewEgg as an example). It helps to look for Atheros-based units (easily searchable on WikiDevi) but ultimately it's how well the firmware is written, implemented and the unit is supported, and quite often these brands fail right there, over and over again. They're so concerned with marketing, that they effectively pump out units with beta-level firmware, and then people wonder why so many of these things end up with barely mediocre feedback over time -- ie. if the specs are solid, then the firmware is crap, or if the firmware is seemingly well-written, then the internals suck or die prematurely... Now yes, every now and then you get a winner, and/or the bugs get worked out in a year or two's time with many supposed "top-end" models... but if you can afford to go well north of $100-200 and are network-savvy enough, then I say go business-class and get something that works the way it should *right now*. At least something like a Zyxel USG20 (need we not even mention Cisco or Juniper...). For $140, it will smoke the pants off most any consumer equivalent, in terms of reliability if nothing else. Or the 20W for $170 if you want wifi built in. For more power, wire in an Engenius ECB-350 for $100. Game over. And finally a nod to common sense -- it will be at least a couple years (if not more) before AC wifi takes hold and is proven enough in practical application to make or break a buying decision now. If you have the hobby interest in tinkering with beta-ware, by all means, dabble with over-spec'd, over-blown consumer models and mess with DD-WRT, Tomato, etc. If you need mission critical, though, and can pay for it, then SonicWall, FortiNet, Cisco or Juniper is where to look (with Zyxel or DrayTek being the value purchase). GL!

Posted on Oct 8, 2013 1:05:14 AM PDT
B. Kerr says:
While agree that business class has reliability, to get performance in business class requires money. An example is the Zyxel USG20 you mention. Smallnetbuilder tests show a base throughput of only 58Mpbs while the Asus RT-N66U is good for 810Mpbs. I like the RT-N66U because it's built with a massive heatsink and performs great out of the box. It's always a struggle to get the balance of cost vs. performance while maximizing the features/services that may be of use to you. Asus seems to be commuted to performance as being more important than cost so their consumer routers tend to be more bang for your buck. The truth is that most low cost routers are based on the same chipsets as the competition and you have to go for the engineering that sets them apart. Firmware is the most obvious thing that sets units apart but reliability is also a factor. Linksys became a big player by providing mostly broadcom based routers that balanced everything into a good value that was reliable. As with all routers, each chipset has it's issues and you have to hope whatever you buy does not turn out to be a lemon. Or you wait and buy something that's been out a long time and it's traits are known while hoping that a factory revision doesn't ruin the model.

If you have a fast internet connection, why strangle it with a router that can't handle the connection? If you add services like VPN, SSL or IP-Sec, the throughput drops very fast, so start with a router that can handle the highest throughput you can afford while delivering the functions you need. The router won't get faster but my broadband connection has been upgraded several times over the years and the basic routers provided by my ISP could not handle the load very well. New subscribers may get routers that can handle the service but customers that upgrade to faster connections sometimes have to make a lot of noise to get free router upgrades to handle the speed they are paying for. The early FIOS customers were struggling with the Actiontec MI424WR rev. a-e routers as they had a very hard time servicing the higher speeds you could subscribe to.

I love to use business grade but it's very hard to justify/spend the money for home or small business applications. Even a tiny unit that runs an intrusion prevention system costs 300+ and you usually have to pay a subscription fee. It' easy to say buy the Zyxel VFG6005 as it's only 135.00 or so but it's only good for 300Mbps base throughput. Ubiquiti Edgemax lite is good for 1300Mpbs for 96.00 on You have to know what services/features you need before a comparison means anything.

An old PC running pFsense and snort can be free. You can subscribe to get snort updates faster but even with the free ones, it beats a consumer router easily. Got an old laptop you can get more than ethernet port working in? Give it a shot, you might find a fast solution with little expense that runs for very low energy cost. That's my next project so I can put it in a wiring closet at a client site and not worry about heat buildup. I tried a full C2D SFF PC but it put out enough heat that I could not leave the door closed. I want to get the most performance I can with the lowest thermal output I can manage.

Since I started my posts in this topic 802.11ac has come out and is more widely available now so I think people should start looking at it for Wifi needs. I will assume you are reading this thread because you wish to purchase a router now and this thread is about wired routes but since the subject came up, I think ac is worth buying now unless you will replace the router in a year or so.

Posted on Oct 8, 2013 10:55:04 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 8, 2013 11:13:23 AM PDT
TF says:
Hi J,

Good points -- and you're right, things do get pricey if you want to match business stuff pound-for-pound with consumer... It is a balancing act. That said, I've found most residential and small-business lines in my region (northeastern US) are just beginning to venture into 50-100mbps territory, so even most lower-end firewalls still have enough throughput to probably work for several years more... Like you said, though, it all depends on the situation and what the goals are. If we're talking fiber-to-home or dedicated lines at 100+mb speeds, then, yeah, top-end stuff can get pricey, fast. On the tinkering side of things, I haven't explored pFsense (yet) but I do expect to get a couple dual-nic boxes retired from the field pretty soon, so I may mess around with it when I get the chance. Thanks for the suggestion! =)

As for a GigE consumer "all-in-one" - I'd probably go Atheros/SOC-based, which for whatever reason seems at least moderately more reliable. Even so, D-Link, Netgear and others have demonstrated a head-scratching ability to neuter plenty of those, too... So one still needs to go on a case-by-case basis, but my overall point remains that many of these over-spec'd consumers devices may seem all well and great, but what good are they when the level of firmware bugs and/or time-to-failure figures are as poor as what I've noticed in the places I look for feedback... Yes, I know we can chalk up a lot of it to users who just don't know what they're doing, but that still leaves a fair amount of doubt when looking at the prices of these things. So perhaps that's why I'm a bit less than excited when thinking about spending $200 on the likes of a Netgear Nighthawk, Asus BoneCrusher 3Million, or whatever other hilarious names they're giving these things now... as opposed to just choosing a proven wired appliance and whatever solid AP suits me for the time being. ;)

I don't know, perhaps I don't have enough faith that the consumer stuff just "works" more often than not...? I'd love a new trend to prove me wrong, that's for sure. :)

Posted on Oct 9, 2013 8:15:55 PM PDT
B. Kerr says:
Hi T,

I agree. The only point I disagree with is the 50-100Mbps one. As a FIOS customer in the NE US, I had the fun of dealing with routers as household connections kept being upgraded. When it was 15Mbps, you could service the connection with almost anything and be OK. As speeds went past 30Mbps, old hardware started showing it's limitations even in simple use. A customer could always beat a router with enough active connections or data streams but you had to look much harder at your hardware to get full use out of the connection you paid for. An WRT54G was an awesome device for 2004 but could never serve a 20Mbps+ connection without becoming a bottleneck. When 15Mbps was normal, it was a great value for money and 3rd party firmware did a good job of fixing factory firmware short comings. Now we are in just further along the evolution of routers and we can expect basic functions to work and we look for more. I really did not want to spend the money for my Asus RT-N66U (180.00 at the time) but I needed the wireless speeds and more than 1 GigE port to fill a whole in my wireless coverage. We are now in the age when people think it should be easy to stream an HD video feed over Wifi and it's a pain to educate them about why this is not so easy. This discussion is about wired GigE routing so I will leave the matter there unless people with to explore it.

For wired routers, I do like Atheros based but the truth is they are harder to find. Broadcom is the 800 pound gorrilla turning out chipsets that get the job done cheaply and in such volume that firmware people get to know them very well and work out firmware bugs quickly. I would not recommend anybody buy a new model until it's had time to be tested and improved. As an example, the Asus RT-AC66U has been out for more than a year and the firmware has matured enough to be very good. I did not buy one last year as it was not bug free enough for me then and 802.11ac was just finalized. Now it's an expensive but good product. Wired only routers seem to be a dying breed but there are still some decent choices. The problem is that it's not much of a difference to get the same routing performance with wifi and just shut the radios off if you don't want them. It's very hard to find a GigE router for less than 100.00 and it surprises me that you can buy a decent GigE router from your ISP for about what you can buy one retail. It used to be a no brainer to avoid the ISP router and get your own but it's harder to say that at this time. FIOS customers need the Moca funtions in the supplied router for PPV and guide info so (if they have a MI424WR rev.F or newer) they usually have a much harder time making the leap to 3rd party routers. Comcast and other cable ISP's seem to be pushing routers with built in cable modems as they try and keep customers tied to their hardware. We are now in an age where it's a lot harder to justify spending more without a compelling need.

I wanted to try and increase security so I started looking for IPS solutions and ended up with pFsense and Snort. People tend to forget about the router and when security holes are discovered they don't know how vulnerable they are. At least with an active IPS, you have a chance it will adapt to new intrusion methods without you having to be an expert or monitor it 24/7. I came to feel no ISP can be counted on to protect the networks I am responsible for and something had to be done to address the evolving security threat. It may turn out that my solutions are wrong but something has to be done. The odds keep climbing that you will get hit with some kind of attack. Keep your gateway router current and if firmware updates stop being made, start planning on replacing it within a year or 2 at most.

As for consumer stuff just "works", I agree but I have more trouble with power and non-FIOS internet feeds than I do with routers themselves. I've got Comcast clients that have to reboot the modem at least 1/week or it will just stop without warning. Most of the router problems I've fixed were either poor electrical service (irregular voltage, bad grounds, etc..) or transformers that were not up to the load. Lots of times I find the transformer can't feed the voltage and amps the router needs and that's why the router acts poorly. There seems to be a problem with quality control in the manufacturing of the transformers and you never know what you have until it's in use. I now see many more transformers running hot than I used to and this is an easy way to tell that they are being asked to do more than they are able. It's less common in business class gear but I'm seeing it more often there as well.

Posted on Oct 19, 2013 8:14:16 AM PDT
J. W. Beene says:
Hello gentlemen, I have Comcast cable and live in Ma. Would like suggestion on router connecting comcast rg45 to a router which will also run rg45 connections to two computers, then connect computer to TVs using hard wiring.

I know it might be easier to use wireless router. But I want it to be as reliable as a light switch.

Thank in advance for any suggestions.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 5, 2014 8:30:11 AM PDT
Scott in Pgh says:
FortiGate-40C is loaded with options and a good solid small bus, or home router.

Posted on Apr 5, 2014 7:02:54 PM PDT
B. Kerr says:
Fortinet makes a good product but you have to purchase a subscription to keep it protecting you. The qualification that you want it to be reliable as a light switch kind of kills all consumer products. Consumer gear is reliable until it is not. Might be a year, 5 years or whatever but it's not built for longevity and it's partly luck of the draw. Everybody seems to have more quality control problems than in the past. Power supplies are really luck of the draw and seem to be the heart of many compaints.

If you just want to connect a cable modem to a wireless router, then I would say the Asus RT-AC68U and plan on replacement every year. You may get years out of it but maybe not. For your needs and without wireless, you could just get a ASUS RT-N56U for 87.98 here on It's a gigabit 4 port wired router with very good performance. Just turn off the wireless and you have a very fast wired router with the added bonus that it should last longer without the power draw of the wireless radios. Any of the Asus RT-N56 to N66 models or RT-AC models will be great wired routers. They have very high throughput and the lowest model can handle 500Mbit+ internet connections so they should not be a bottleneck until gigabit connections start showing up in homes.
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Discussion in:  Networking forum
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Initial post:  Sep 21, 2011
Latest post:  Aug 2, 2015

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