Feedback on DD-WRT.v24-K26_R6300-25-02-2013

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javamarket's picture
Feedback on DD-WRT.v24-K26_R6300-25-02-2013

So as most folks who have lived in the IT space know, maintenance windows come and go quickly and have to be managed accordingly.

The same holds true for me at home, as I work from home and any change to the network really impacts me greatly.  Weekends are the only time I get to experiment and then have to decide at some point Sunday whether to rollback or "take a chance".

I'm happy to report after some frustration that I'm comfortable enough with this recent release that I can test it into the week with hopes I will not have a critical need of a mid-week change.  That all said (which was meant as a little appreciation for getting us here - I know how this things can be difficult) here is some feedback on what I've experienced in a very compressed time - in no real order of significance below:

  • There is great stability improvements from previous releases.
  • 5GHz band channels above CH48 do not work properly.  This causes many associated issues that will likely be remedied in tandem.  AC bandwidth will not be there until those higher channels are accessible.  Handshake between nodes shows connectivity on this problematic channels to be ~ 216Mbps
  • In the 5GHz band, CH48 and lower handshake properly advertise up to 450Mbps speeds.  (I'm not talking throughput here mind you, just the node to node handshake.)
  • Internet bandwidth for me is equal to that of the stock firmware on a tethered basis.

I quick break here to describe my particular setup.  I had a repeater setups R6300 <--> R6300 with stock firmware.  That was very stable but the performance was not quite what I expected.  Signal strength, however was very good.  Yes, I'm quite aware repeaters halve speeds, etc.

With DD-WRT, one of the attractions is a proper implementation of WDS which Netgear will never do on the residential products.

There's quite a bit of info about WDS, what it is and isn't on the ww-drt site.  Feel free to read up, much of it is interesting.

  • I'll mention here that I was quite careful to do the 30^3 reset before and after flashing on both devices to ensure to the best of my ability NVRAM was clear and corruption would come into play
  • WDS is a fairly straight forward setup.  It seems stable at the moment but I don't have throughput metrics to share yet.
  • I spent hours trying to get security to work with WDS.  Simply - no go.  The various papers (the most current) profess that WPA2 & AES will work however it does not on this firmware - which I'm pleading to have addressed.
  • I did go down the road of a poor-man's MAC filtering while I test but this is hardly a security strategy for anyone with any background.  With turning of the beacon and filtering I should be ok to run some further tests for a while.
  • Wireless signal strength at the highest power setting is still 10-15% less than stock firmware.  Rest assured I'm not "counting bars" on the OS but taking real measurements.  With WDS (depending on the number of routers) sometimes you actually want less signal (called pico-cells) but I get no sense that WDS is limiting power.  Measurements without WDS active were also lower than expected.
  • The popular NEST thermostat refuses to acknowledge the network controlled by WW-DRT.  The NEST website indicates it does not support WW-DRT, but I was hoping for a bit of luck.  The NEST is a fantastic device and I was hopeful it would sneak through - no such luck.
  • WDS does not appear to be working on the 5GHz band

There are a couple competing initiatives now.  Kong is on the hunt (I look forward to his release) as well as the pending Droidifi firmware.  Hopefully one of these will settle in to place as a solid replacement.

javamarket's picture
Just a little more info:

Just a little more info:

While monitoring the wifi for metrics, there was one hard disconnect on the 5GHz band.

Throughput on both bands is about 60% of the stock firmware.

Because of these conditions and the lack of WDS security I've rolled back to the Netgear image.

This was a nice step forward, but unfortunately not ready for production in my view. Onward and upward as they say.