Recommend a router with good user control

I am currently running a SonicWall router that’s a few years old. I like the commercial-grade stuff for reliability and would prefer to replace this one with something over consumer-grade, but the cost differential is making me ask for a cheaper option.

The SonicWall has to go because it has a hardwired 10-user limit; no more than 10 LAN users or devices can access the WAN at any one time. Since we have four users and a number of shared devices, problems with maintaining connectivity are frequent. (Actually, I can expand the 10-user limit, but the license costs more than the unit or any replacement is worth. Pit SonicWall here…) Also, I want better user access control.

Can anyone recommend a good, solid router in a reasonable price range that will handle Comcast cable modem connectivity and wired downstream (I have Unifi pucks for wireless and don’t need a wireless router), with good, strong and flexible user access control, including time control?

By user control do you mean QOS, access control by machine, or actually by who’s logged into a particular machine?

I’m tempted to get one of these just to play with.

I’m looking to control individual user/system access to the WAN by schedule, as well as user-by-user domain and address filtering if I can get it. Very advanced and un-jinkable net-nannying, basically.

MikroTik’s RouterOS has an embedded RADIUS server and can do just about anything on inexpensive hardware.

+1 MikroTik if you want cheap. Cisco ASA (not the consumer/linksys stuff) if you don’t.

Erm. I don’t think I’ve looked at anything so cryptic since my IMSAI 8080 days. After 20 minutes of reading the sites and several user manuals, I am still completely in the dark about the implementation of this equipment.

But really nice pictures of the system boards. I remember when I could spend hours peering at those. I just can’t remember the last time I saw them in an equipment manual…

In small words, please explain the relationship of the packaged routers (you know, the ones that actually come with cases) and RouterOS. Seriously, I can’t find anything that explains the interaction except a vague implication that I have to dedicate a Linux box to run the routing OS…

ETA: I ain’t stoopid, really. But my days of having time to assemble my own gear from component modules is long past.

I use a variable speed Black & Decker plunge router. It has fine tuning depth control that locks in place. And 1/4 and 1/8 in. collets. A removable guide. A 1/4 HP motor. A vacuum attachment for dust collection. Best of all my bartender bought it for me in exchange for converting her kitchen cabinets to have glass fronts.

For several years I blocked our teenagers by having two routers: the main router, to which they did not have physical access, and a spare old Linksys WRT-54g plugged into the main one, which I had installed DD-WRT on.

I left the main network wide open but never let anyone have the wifi password. I gave them access to the DD-WRT router network.

I then used DD-WRT to configure access times, throttling their Internet hours as the demands of school made “time wasting” a privilege and not a right. All the while, the rest of us enjoyed fully open Internet.

The only trick to such a setup is configuring the second router to have a different network (192.168.2.x, for example), since it will be double NAT’d.

This worked out much better for me than trying to manage devices directly in the router since wifi devices keep multiplying like rabbits and I would rather block access at the source rather than have to flag each iPod, netbook, iPad, or XBox individually.

Sure but does it give you a nice ogee edge?

I have a decent Ryobi router, 2 HP, but every time I ask for an RJ-45 adapter the guy at Home Depot just looks at me funny. I did upgrade from ogee to ohshit bits, though.

:smiley: 2HP damn what do you route with that thing stainless steel?

Huh? Look at the “Integrated Solutions” section right there on the front page of Those are all integrated devices of various types (routers, switches, APs). No building systems, buying bare components, etc. E.g. take a look at