So while working on a project for work I needed to test cheap and easy access of a machine and like all things IT related, nothing ever goes smoothly (especially when you have VirginMedia SuperHub3 in the mix).
I was thinking I could install the VPN service as part of server 2012, use a dynamic DNS client, enable port forwarding on the superhub and be done with it all. Not so, after failing at every turn I narrowed down the issue to it being the ports I wanted open and passed not actually doing as I had set on the superhub. I googled this only to find this has been an annoying problem for many and the resounding advice was to turn the superhub3 into modem mode and get a router that actually does what you ask of it.
One problem solved but another one in its place, which router?
I did my usual search, function, stats and price comparison and had quite a mix of brands and prices.I also wanted to take the opportunity is possible to throw in an OpenVPN service too which is a feature becoming more popular. Dynamic DNS service would be one less thing to install on the remote machine and gigabit ethernet was a must.
I saw the Edimax RG21S on ebuyer and almost dismissed it as it would appear not to have a VPN service but I did check with their site as part of going down the rabbits’ hole while researching, it has it! Page 51 of the manual covers it and also the product page on their website too. So the price of £64.98 at ebuyer.com seemed very good value with all the functions I needed and in a strange way it has the added feature of fast wifi (useful for the home should this bit of kit be repurposed:) Max speed up to 800Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1733Mbps (5GHz) with 802.11ac Wi-Fi )
just to recap the feature taken from their website…
- AC2600 High-Speed Concurrent Dual-Band: Max speed up to 800Mbps (2.4GHz) and 1733Mbps (5GHz) with 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard and backwards compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n standards
- Multi-Device (MU-MIMO): Efficient MU-MIMO (Multiple User – Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology serves multiple devices simultaneously
- Smart Roaming: Always-connected Wi-Fi using an add-on Edimax Gemini RE11 extender for seamless, fast roaming Wi-Fi
- Multiple SSIDs: Supports up to 10 SSIDs (2.4GHz x 5 & 5GHz x 5) and provides security to protect confidential or critical network resources (Access point mode only)
- Guest Network: Provides secure, private connectivity while isolating guests from your primary network
- Smart iQ Setup: Quick, smart and automatic web-based installation using a smartphone, tablet or computer with no CD required
- Beamforming Technology: Improved Wi-Fi performance with better range, reliability and coverage thanks to targeted, directional signals
- IPv6 Supported: Ready for the next Internet Protocol version set for global adoption, with more available IP addresses, easy management and stronger security for better network usability and user experiences
- 2 Modes in 1: Functions as either a Wi-Fi router or access point
- VPN Server: Built-in Virtual Private Network (VPN) support for easy VPN access on all your devices
The $64,000 question is, did it make life easier in the low-cost remote access project, YES!!!! it works very well for the purpose of having a few users (tested with 2 people on at the same time) remoting on to a machine. It was very simple to configure as the Edimax RG21S AC2600 MU-MIMO has a simple web interface, there is enough support for the pdf manual to overcome most problems. dynamic DNS (DDNS) worked without an issue (has three options, http://www.dhs.org, https://dyn.com and https://www.zoneedit.com/) I settled on http://www.dhs.org/ as it was a $5 donation whereas the other two were $40 a year!! 🙂 I would have like to see something like tplinkdns service but it might be changed at a later firmware (currently 0.0.13). In terms of speeds via wifi, I tested using a laptop and an iPhone x and both feel more responsive going through this router, there are well documented intermittent issue with lag on the superhub3. Some might say this is to be expected as its AC2600 but then again, all that glitters isn’t gold, BUT its safe to say it is an improvement and one that I will try and test out if I get some more time. one other option i would like to see if DD-WRT or Open-wrt support, it would just allow little more tweaking but its not the end of the world, just the end of this project 😀
Would I recommend this router? YES especially at this price. To help support techun.limited you can pick it up at Amazon to for a little more HERE 🙂