VoIP
VoIP

Could the best VoIP router run Tomato?

VoIP tech suggesting router.Updated 11/24/2018 Most SOHO (small office home office) routers in use today are relatively robust wifi routers that are handling numerous devices with ever increasing demands. An open source firmware such as Tomato or DD-WRT will greatly expand some router's capabilities and performance and offer tools to diagnose traffic to better prioritize different types of applications.  When VoIP is added to the network what happens is typically one or two large downloads or cloud storage uploads initiated by a user will take over the available bandwidth and everyone else suffers, which causes the quality of voice to deteriorate significantly.  However, there are some routers, which happen to run Linux as a core operating system that can use Tomato, a free firmware (software) which will make a $200.00 to $400.00 good router into a professional router that would easily cost more than $1500.00.  Some of the recently offered wifi routers have much higher computing power, more RAM and better hardware than models made just a few years ago.  And prices have dropped on several outstanding models. In all, a great choice a SOHO can make would be to get a router and flash it with Tomato, as it's open source and free to download.  Or you can get routers preloaded with the latest version of Tomato at very reasonable prices.

Tomato routers have lots of distinct advantages, one of which they come with great QoS  capabilities, for the ability to prioritize VoIP (voice) or troubleshoot sporadic issues, which will make for better quality calls.  Additionally, Tomato firmware has features that only come with more expensive routers, many of which will make your small business better.  Tomato firmware has the most effective and configurable QOS (Quality of Service) of any small business router available and has a web faced interface that can be readily understood by most users.  It also has settings which can boost the wireless signal, making connectivity better, ways to limit access by date and times, and graphical statistical information about bandwidth use and QoS settings.

Features of a Tomato router including QoS for VoIP.

Netgear Nighthawk R700 Router.                  

Netgear Nighthawk R700 Router.Small businesses and home businesses can benefit from a low cost router loaded with Tomato firmware.  The feature set included with Tomato software is robust and easy to configure and comes with lots of graphs and charts so you can see what might be using up most of your bandwidth.  The QoS (Quality of Service) settings are better than many routers that would cost $800.00 or $10000.00, but you can get a Netgear Nighthawk R7000 router for well less than $200.00, making these some of the best low cost routers around for small business VoIP installations.  Listed below are some Linux Tomato Router Firmwareof the advantages of Tomato Firmware:

  1. Stable and robust.
  2. QoS (Quality of Service) settings that will manage your bandwidth for better VoIP quality calls.
  3. Ability to increase your wireless output signal.
  4. Bandwidth consumption charts and graphs.
  5. Limit access times, configure by date and times.
  6. QoS charts showing classifications and application types.
Tomato router can be great for VoIP installations.

Using a Tomato router will give you the ability to make your VoIP calls maintain a better quality when network conditions are less than ideal.  Users tend to experience choppy voice, or bad quality calls when congestion occurs on the local network.  With Tomato the voice traffic can be configured to have a higher priority over the other data and to move through the network without delays.  This results in better quality conversations and also allows the SIP signaling to travel unhindered back to the VoIP provider, bypassing congestion.  Typically, Internet service providers today have plans with larger bandwidth for lower costs than even two years ago and many people who are considering VoIP believe that is all that is needed.  Having a large stable bandwidth pipe will certainly help prevent ongoing quality issues, but with todays applications like video streaming, online music feeds, etc. often a small business network will experience conditions that can affect the flow of voice traffic which will lower quality, including actually breaking up voice.  Tomato can sort all the traffic out and make each call keep its quality regardless of local network congestion, something typically only a $600.00 or more router would be able to do.

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Good quality VoIP requires a good router.

Installing small business correctly should start with a decent good router.  Planning ahead  will help for stable and successful voice quality.  Choosing the right router is as important as any other aspect of the installation, including the hosted business VoIP provider, which IP phones, and the rest of the network infrastructure in your office.  We recommend routers that accept flash installation of  Linux based firmware's Tomato or DD-WRT.  Not all routers accept these powerful upgrades, so make sure you choose a router that can accept either Tomato or DD-WRT before you purchase one.

Tomato vs. DD-WRT

Tomato-

  • Excellent Open VPN Setup
  • Easy Setup and Configuration
  • Excellent QoS Features (Intuitive setup)
  • Real-time Bandwidth and Connection Monitoring with Excellent Tool Set
  • Can Make Configuration Changes without Needing to Reboot
  • Unfortunately, Tomato supports relatively few devices.

DD-WRT-

  • Compatible with VPN Service Providers
  • Open VPN Server Creation
  • Excellent Blocking Features
  • Wake on LAN
  • QoS Features
  • Very Robust
  • Can be flashed on more routers

The Best Router for 2018?

Linksys WRT AC3200 Open Source Dual-Band Gigabit Smart Wireless Router with MU-MIMO, Tri-Stream 160

  • Tri-Stream 160 technology doubles bandwidth and the fastest dual-band of any router*
  • MU-MIMO technology provides blazing-fast Wi-Fi speeds to multiple devices all at the same time, same speed
  • Open-source ready with OpenWrt and DD-WRT for complete flexibility and customization
  • 256MB Flash and 512MB of RAM

Best Router for VoIP installations- Tomato and DD-WRT.

Tomato is recognized as perhaps the best for it's ease of use, installation and Quality of Service configurations, however supports only a limited number of routers.  DD-WRT, although not as easy to navigate, offers a very robust firmware with many extra features and supports many more routers.  Both will make for good quality VoIP installations. 

Tomato, recommended for bandwidth monitoring use, offers real time, 24 hour, daily, weekly, and monthly bandwidth monitoring. DD-WRT only offers real-time bandwidth monitoring. Hence, if you have multiple devices on your network, which most users do, bandwidth monitoring allows you to see which devices are chocking your speeds.

DD-WRT & Tomato Firmware

Both are open source and both are excellent choices to run on your router.  Stable, robust and loads of features, it puts you in control.