12 votes

Looking for >1Gb/s networking hardware

I recently got my home internet upgraded to 10 Gb/s. I currently have the following hardware:

  • 10 Gb/s fiber modem (from the ISP)
  • 1 Gb/s ASUS combo router/AP/switch (needs replacement)
  • 2.5 Gb/s 4 port switch (not currently in use)
  • 5 Gb/s USB C ethernet adapter

My ASUS router is the bottleneck in my current setup. My actual internet speeds are more in the 2-5 Gb/s range when plugged directly into the modem. So I'd be happy if I can get 2.5 Gb/s hardware between my laptops and the modem. That makes my existing ASUS router the bottleneck and in need of replacement. Is there a good, relatively cheap, standalone router (no switch or AP) I can build/buy that supports >1Gb/s speeds? Or is there a good all-in-one solution that isn't way too expensive? I'd honestly prefer to have different components each doing just one job.

I already tried hooking the switch into the modem directly to see what happens. Under that configuration only one device plugged into the switch has internet access.

7 comments

  1. [2]
    cfabbro
    (edited )
    Link
    After only 2 years of use I recently had to replace my old home router after it started failing (8-13% packet loss, requiring frequent power resets, etc). And after a frankly exhausting amount of...

    After only 2 years of use I recently had to replace my old home router after it started failing (8-13% packet loss, requiring frequent power resets, etc). And after a frankly exhausting amount of research, and finally consulting with several sysadmin friends, I came to the conclusion that the two best options were either to go with a Ubiquiti Dream Machine or enterprise-grade UDM Pro and UniFi access points (very expensive but rock solid), or just keep buying the latest consumer-grade WiFi router and replacing it every few years after it inevitably failed.

    I was going to go with a Ubiquiti setup, but COVID basically made that impossible as all their products are completely sold out and on back-order here in Canada, and I needed a router ASAP. So as a stopgap until I could get a Ubiquiti, I simply went with the best reviewed, <$150, consumer-grade WiFi router that I could actually get my hands on, which was the ASUS RT-AX58U. And so far I am happy with it, since I'm getting as advertised speeds, and my packet loss is back to normal (0-0.5%). It's not 5/10GbE so I'm not utilizing the full speed of my fiber internet connection on all my devices (only my main PC which is temporarily wired directly to the modem), but it'll do until I get my Ubiquiti. However there are faster consumer-grade routers out there, and if you want to do your own research to find one, I highly recommend checking out smallnetbuilder.com as they have a really good rep, and the most comprehensive reviews and comparison charts out there.

    7 votes
    1. babypuncher
      Link Parent
      The standard UDM only offers 1gbps on the WAN port and the built-in switch, so I do not think OP would get much use of it. The UDM Pro goes up to 10gbps, but only on the SFP ports. So aside from...

      The standard UDM only offers 1gbps on the WAN port and the built-in switch, so I do not think OP would get much use of it. The UDM Pro goes up to 10gbps, but only on the SFP ports. So aside from buying a very expensive rackmount router, OP would need to invest in SFP transceivers to plug these into their consumer-grade multi-gig equipment.

      2 votes
  2. [4]
    vord
    Link
    This one is probably a bit expensive for what you're looking for, but the Mikrotik CRS328 has an amazing featureset, and having POE means it's a breeze to setup stuff like access points and IP...

    This one is probably a bit expensive for what you're looking for, but the Mikrotik CRS328 has an amazing featureset, and having POE means it's a breeze to setup stuff like access points and IP cameras.

    If you're comfortable rolling your own solution, you could always grab some 10GB network cards and slap them in an old workstation and throw OPNsense on it.

    Be warned, both of those options are fairly professional-oriented. They'll be somewhat frustrating if you're not well versed in networking, OPNSense in particular.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Greg
      Link Parent
      Seconding the DIY option - I set up pfsense last year (no shade on OPNSense, I just picked the one that I found more tutorials for!) and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s kind of reminiscent of...

      Seconding the DIY option - I set up pfsense last year (no shade on OPNSense, I just picked the one that I found more tutorials for!) and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s kind of reminiscent of setting up desktop Linux back in the mid-2000s; there’s a learning curve and you’ll definitely need documentation, but it’s very doable for a technically minded person even without specific networking experience.

      I’m using an Intel NUC, and it looks like the 11th gen does have 2.5GbE on board as well as 2x Thunderbolt 4 40Gbps for future upgrades to 10GbE, but Thunderbolt 10GbE adapters look to be wayyy more expensive than PCIe so it might well work out better to go with a basic mini-ITX board and the card above even if you don’t have a spare machine lying around.

      Admittedly either of those options (again, assuming no spare hardware already) is in the $500 range, which is already in the “extremely high-end gaming router” end of the market, but they come with enough headroom and upgradability to last a solid decade IMO. I’m also reading between the lines and assuming networking is a priority for anyone with 10Gbps WAN in 2022!

      2 votes
      1. vord
        Link Parent
        FWIW OPNsense is a fork of pfsense, so a fair bit of the documentation is compatible. For my own uses, when I moved into a smaller home I ditched my OPNsense+AP setup in favor of a Linksys 1900AC...

        FWIW OPNsense is a fork of pfsense, so a fair bit of the documentation is compatible.

        For my own uses, when I moved into a smaller home I ditched my OPNsense+AP setup in favor of a Linksys 1900AC with OpenWRT. Simpler to setup and maintain overall, which became a priority.

        2 votes
      2. Greg
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Thought about this again and I figured I’d check what my own ISP offers with their 3Gbps packages: looks like it’s the Zyxel Armor G5 which has 2.5GbE WAN, a single 10GbE LAN to hook up a switch,...

        Thought about this again and I figured I’d check what my own ISP offers with their 3Gbps packages: looks like it’s the Zyxel Armor G5 which has 2.5GbE WAN, a single 10GbE LAN to hook up a switch, and then four standard gigabit ports as well. I’m guessing they spent the extra on LAN rather than WAN to allow for more headroom in bridging the wired and wireless networks?

        It’s £200/$300, so seems decent value given everything else I’ve seen in the space is more enterprise pricing than home user. Given the lack of 10GbE WAN and the differences in CPU/RAM I’d personally still go DIY, but it’s another potential option.

        [Edit] Ah, it’s actually the Zyxel AX7501 that they supply - similar but has SFP+ rather than 2.5GbE WAN, which makes more sense but only seems to be available to ISPs. Did strike me as strange when I thought they were advertising 500Mbps more than the router could actually handle…

        1 vote
  3. teaearlgraycold
    Link
    Update: The best option seemed to be to get a gaming router with a 2.5 Gb/s port that I can hook into my 2.5 Gb/s switch. So I bought the ASUS AX5700 and a bunch of accompanying cat 6a cables.

    Update: The best option seemed to be to get a gaming router with a 2.5 Gb/s port that I can hook into my 2.5 Gb/s switch. So I bought the ASUS AX5700 and a bunch of accompanying cat 6a cables.

    1 vote