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I say Tomato, you say DD-WRT

So, after being a bit frustrated at stability, and seemingly non-functioning Quality of Service (QoS) control with DD-WRT, I switched to Tomato. Specifically, the SpeedMod build by Rodney Chua (a Malaysian hacker) with some updates and improvements over the current Tomato build. Improvements include back-patched code from Linux 2.4.21 into the 2.4.20 of the Tomato firmware.

This is all running on my Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, which has a built-in amplifier and decent amount of RAM. Anyway, I had been running DD-WRT for well over a year with no serious issues. However, the router did have a tendency to hang about once a month. In addition, I never was sure if the QoS worked well. (DD-WRT and Tomato are open source firmware which runs on a popular wifi router chipset, first widely used in a Linksys WRT model wifi router. The firmware uses a Linux kernel, and makes a cheap home router into a serious bit of networking gear. See the Wikipedia entry.)

So, a month ago, I switched our apartment from Comcast to RCN. It was a no-brainer: faster net service (10 Mbps instead of 6 Mbps), no Torrent munging (I always saw my Torrents die), plus better cable TV service (HD, DVR, HBO), all at a lower price. Since then, I’ve been very satisfied with RCN. My Torrents do not die with odd errors, I don’t experience frequent outages of connectivity, and I get to record Dr. Who.

Anyway, doing a bit of Googling about QoS led me to a bunch of blog and forum posts where people said they liked Tomato better. As of yesterday, I’m running Tomato. So far, so good. I like the lightweight UI for configuration. I like the detailed QoS settings. And I love the bandwidth usage data.

Tomato Bandwidth Graph

Oh, and I’ve now had this blog for about 5 years.

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