I’m the proud owner of a highly configurable and capable Small Office/Home Office Router, namely the Mikrotik/RouterBoard RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN. But don’t let the “SOHO” description minimize it’s capability. Running a custum Linux “RouterOS”, it is professional and powerful. If Mikrotik sounds familiar, you may have previously come across their popular software “The Dude “.
Previously, I used a DD-WRT-flashed Cisco (Linksys) E1000.v2 but with only four 100Mbit LAN ports it lacked in speed, capability, and sometimes stability. I was mostly happy with this refurbished device at the cost of $20 from Big Lots. However, lately it had started flaking-out with DNS for unknown reasons. Furthermore, the wireless never reached to the opposite side of my home.
When I signed up for Internet with my ISP rates were touted as 30Mbps down and 3Mbps up. Since then, they’ve upgraded to 60Mbps down and 4Mbps up. With the Cisco and DD-WRT, my best rates were just under 18Mbps down and 1.6 Mbps up. I could never figure out what the problem was and always assumed I was being cheated by my ISP. In amazement, after configuring the Mikrotik, speed tests immediately reported 60+Mbps down and 4.4Mbps up.
The fun part of the Mikrotik is configuring it – I am a tech-geek after all. If you are not technically ready for such, you may want to just go to your local Walmart and get a basic home router because the RouterOS is not immediately user-intuitive if you are without some networking background. You can see a demo UI here, but don’t let it scare you – luckily the “Quick Set” menu-item will get the device up and running fully. All the other advanced options are just that, optional.
The one caveat is that it is shipped without full documentation. The only instruction given is a micro-printed three-page quick setup guide. It read that port 1 was set DHCP for WAN, the gateway address was 192.168.88.1, and The user/pass was defaulted to admin/[blank] – that was all i needed. It also referred to the documentation online at http://wiki.mikrotik.com/wiki/Category:Manual. This is where you get the detailed instruction – again a networking background helps. Mikrotik also has a community forum that will gladly assist with basic to advanced needs. Of course, I also found Youtube to be indispensable for some things like port-forwarding, VPN, and even port-knocking. I also chose to use an ACL list to only allow specific MAC addresses wireless access. Bittorrent was blocked by default, but a youtube video showed me exactly how to configure the firewall.
Most home routers have no more than four or five 100Mbps ports. The RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN has five Gigabit ports and five 100 Mbps ports. (Gigabit port #1 will be dedicated to WAN/Internet however.) It also has an SFP port for fiber-optics. Having Gigabit ports certainly helps with file-transfers to such things as NAS Backup devices such as my aging Synology 410j.
I even re-purposed my Cisco E1000 as a bridged-client so that i could finally get a decent signal to my smart TV for uninterrupted Youtube.
I would absolutely recommend this to any computer geek. You can view a HiDef unboxing here and another here. Note that these videos have the European plugs; whereas, the U.S. plug is proper as expected. Also, the connector is external as expected like the first video. I am unsure why the second video’s connector is internal, but i shared it because you can view the router’s LCD screen and internal hardware.
Please consider using my Amazon affiliate link for the RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN.
Thank you and good luck!