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  1. #1
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Hi all,

    So I'm sure you'll remember this from a couple of years back:
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/telecom...ymodem-project
    http://pressf1.pcworld.co.nz/showthread.php?134210

    Like the NBR article mentions:
    He noted one Geekzone wishlist feature - rack mounting - ran counter to the desire of most Telecom customers for a small, discreet modem that can be easily hidden away.
    Still, while acknowledging many were not practical for middle New Zealand households, he liked a lot of the Geekzone ideas, and rated the the project a success.
    Well, I don't. I think it was a huge abysmal failure that never amounted to anything at all. I'd like to say: I told you so, to Mauricio.

    Anyway, a combinatino of time, professional growth, technology and more, has allowed me to do just this, and I'm already part-way through it. So, I want to know:
    What do you think an "average Joe Bloggs" would want to see in a router?
    I'm talking let's design something for the 95% here, rather than Geekzone designing for the "5%".

    This is going to be cut down, simple. I'm going to carry on with my original mock-up images ( http://imgur.com/a/pSvJb ) which shows some basic stats right away without logging in.
    - I'm going to only show basic WiFi settings, so you can set the SSID, Key and if you're going to use WPA or WPA2.
    - I'm going to hide most LAN settings and more
    - I'm going to provide an "overview" page that will show how much data is going in and out each "port" at any given time (So you can see WiFi has 55mbps transmitted over it at the time you loaded up the page)
    - I'm designing it with Cellphone / Tablet for administration first and foremost

    I'm after some more ideas, what are some of the basic things that would be helpful?
    What would you think would be helpful? What would your grandparents find useful?

    Another thing I'm contemplating is writing a basic "App" for Android / iOS that you can use that'll help you get on to the routers UI.

    So yeah whilst I'm not going to "throw the kitchen sink" at this project, I'd love some ideas from members here on things that would make their life easier, especially given a number of you regularly do remote tech support for family / friends.

    Cheers


    Chill.
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

    Before you ask a question here, or before you get upset by a response, see here:
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  2. #2
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    In fact, here's another plot twist:
    What are some things you _don't_ want to see?

    For example, I don't think a router needs to be showing things like:
    - Custom / static routes
    - UPnP Settings
    - DNS Proxy settings
    - Subnet Mask settings (Really, how many people set theirs to anything aside from 255.255.255.0?)

    What else?
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

    Before you ask a question here, or before you get upset by a response, see here:
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  3. #3
    Soaring like an Eagle gary67's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Set time limits for any device easily.

    Easy setup of static ips

  4. #4
    Can't re Member
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Is it all possible to have a significant LED that is labelled "Hey man, I've lost connection to the ISP", rather than trying to remember which light is which and what cadence etc. Then in the perfect world it goes into automatic attempts to reconnect and stabilise.
    Oh and also on the occasions that my connection goes haywire and I manually restart my TP Link modem it is never fixed until I do a soft boot and it's then ok. Crazy and it doesn't bother me too much but not what I would expect for a new one.
    Then maybe moving to the 5% (?) but ability to report on devices that have connected recently.
    Just ideas

  5. #5
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Quote Originally Posted by gary67 View Post
    Set time limits for any device easily.
    Easy setup of static ips
    Hmm OK so:
    - Time limits (As in, you're only allowed internet between 3PM and 9PM)
    - Bandwidth limits (Daily / weekly / monthly)
    - Device naming / IP Address assigning

    I really like that last one, yes I think that's a fantastic idea!
    That's gotta be one of the most bloody annoying things, never knowing what device is what.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ofthesea View Post
    Is it all possible to have a significant LED that is labelled "Hey man, I've lost connection to the ISP", rather than trying to remember which light is which and what cadence etc. Then in the perfect world it goes into automatic attempts to reconnect and stabilise.
    Oh and also on the occasions that my connection goes haywire and I manually restart my TP Link modem it is never fixed until I do a soft boot and it's then ok. Crazy and it doesn't bother me too much but not what I would expect for a new one.
    Then maybe moving to the 5% (?) but ability to report on devices that have connected recently.
    Just ideas
    OK excellent, I like these:
    - Online status (At this stage I'm only going to be focusing on UFB, or on routers for in combination with the likes of a DrayTek DV130)
    Thinking more about this, I think a big tick box to say "Yes, you're online" or "No, you're not" sorta thing...

    - Recently connected devices, I think this could also be useful, perhaps to see how long something has been online.
    I'm thinking like a status / overview page, and this could tie in quite well with having the ability to name devices. It'd show the devices name, such as "Bobs iPhone", how long it's been connected for, perhaps it's WiFi signal strength, and maybe even the IP address.

    Yes, I think those are all fantastic ideas! Keep 'em coming!
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

    Before you ask a question here, or before you get upset by a response, see here:
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  6. #6
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilling_Silence View Post
    What do you think an "average Joe Bloggs" would want to see in a router?
    Simplicity.
    Reliabilty.

    A simple basic interface, really simple - showing the username/password bit, wifi password, connection (or not) info and that's pretty much it.
    In plain english.

    Obviously there should be a more detailed section, but Basic/Advanced perhaps and the basic really is.
    Helped heaps of people set up over the phone and they all find it confusing and too complicated.
    Even just finding the right section.
    wipe your paws.

  7. #7
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    What pctek said. In fact the general public average user type doesn't want to fiddle with the router settings at all, ever. Something that for almost all users can be unboxed, plugged in, and forgotten about. That's the holy grail of consumer appliances. When it does become necessary to configure things you want all the common simple settings laid out as simply as possible, and if there was an explanation available of what the setting was for even better.

    For the more technically minded the advanced features still need to be available, but generally those people can figure it out and don't need so much help.
    For me personally I've often considered a dual device setup with gargoyle on one of them but could never be bothered setting it up (or spending the money) and opted instead for an all in one device that just does the job and is close to my Ideal, forget the model it's a TP-Link VDSL modem/router with dual band Wi-Fi and 3 Aerials.

    Something on the hardware side, almost every router I've owned ran hot and didn't tolerate being placed somewhere warm or where direct sunlight might hit it. Many people won't figure out why a modem failed, just decide it's rubbish and try a different one. So based on that I think routers need better cooling and a note to avoid direct sunlight on them.

    Summary;
    Simple to set up and use (Just works)
    Reliable
    If it has Wi-Fi speed and performance matter
    Advanced features available for those who need them, not seen by those who don't
    Cooling?
    Ryzen 2700X, 16Gb DDR4RAM, 512GB M.2 NVME SSD, MSI GTX1070

  8. #8
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    Simplicity.
    Reliabilty.
    Exactly! I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    A simple basic interface, really simple - showing the username/password bit, wifi password, connection (or not) info and that's pretty much it.
    In plain english.

    Obviously there should be a more detailed section, but Basic/Advanced perhaps and the basic really is.
    Helped heaps of people set up over the phone and they all find it confusing and too complicated.
    Even just finding the right section.
    Yeah I feel your pain, which is kinda what prompted me to further investigate this again recently...

    I like the idea of having a Basic / Advanced, but even the Advanced can probably be kept to a minimum.

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    What pctek said. In fact the general public average user type doesn't want to fiddle with the router settings at all, ever. Something that for almost all users can be unboxed, plugged in, and forgotten about. That's the holy grail of consumer appliances. When it does become necessary to configure things you want all the common simple settings laid out as simply as possible, and if there was an explanation available of what the setting was for even better.
    Yeah OK thats some good advice, so out-of-the-box works with WiFi on...

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    For the more technically minded the advanced features still need to be available, but generally those people can figure it out and don't need so much help.
    For me personally I've often considered a dual device setup with gargoyle on one of them but could never be bothered setting it up (or spending the money) and opted instead for an all in one device that just does the job and is close to my Ideal, forget the model it's a TP-Link VDSL modem/router with dual band Wi-Fi and 3 Aerials.
    I have the TD-W9980 TP-Link behind me, looked at putting OpenWRT on it but apparently you have to flash it by pulling it apart and using the serial console :-/

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    Something on the hardware side, almost every router I've owned ran hot and didn't tolerate being placed somewhere warm or where direct sunlight might hit it. Many people won't figure out why a modem failed, just decide it's rubbish and try a different one. So based on that I think routers need better cooling and a note to avoid direct sunlight on them.
    Yeah for sure. The TL-WR1043ND I've been using as "test" hardware so far isn't too bad in that respect. Will be looking at other hardware too...

    Quote Originally Posted by dugimodo View Post
    Summary;
    Simple to set up and use (Just works)
    Reliable
    If it has Wi-Fi speed and performance matter
    Advanced features available for those who need them, not seen by those who don't
    Cooling?
    Right, so the WiFi speed / performance is very much going to be a combination of the hardware and the firmware. It's some food for thought.
    It sounds like a few "advanced" features will be needed, kept separate from the basics... But what sort of "Advanced" stuff are we talking about? What do you reckon would fall under that category?

    I'll grab some screenshots of what I've got so far and post them shortly...
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

    Before you ask a question here, or before you get upset by a response, see here:
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  9. #9
    Where is Metla these days Chilling_Silence's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    So we start with the home page:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Router Overview:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think even having DNS there is possibly too much. Eventually I think a few extra things like "You have X devices connected" which could then further drill down to show you who's connected via WiFi / cable etc could be cool
    What other stuff would be handy in there?
    The "Network throughput" page is still a work-in-progress. It does what it says but it's ugly and convoluted.

    Internet Access page:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think having the "hints" in the background may be a little too much? Thoughts?

    WiFi Settings:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Behind it, it asks for your WiFi "password" as well, but that screenshot didn't get uploaded coz PF1 limits you to 5 attachments per-thread?

    LAN Settings (Under Advanced):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm _contemplating_ allowing DNS to be specified in there too, but not sure.

    Thinking I could also put in the ability under "Advanced" to label each device. All devices will get the same IP via DHCP each time, so that's not a problem, but to actually *label* them I think could be helpful in combination with some other basic functionality, traffic prioritization etc

    Anyways I'm hoping that giving you a bit of a glimpse of what I've got going already (It's all working and functional) that you might be able to provide me with even more, specific feedback

    Thanks again thus far all, you've been great!
    I mostly do Bitcoin & DigiByte things these days, feel free to say hi on Twitter: https://twitter.com/dgb_chilling

    Before you ask a question here, or before you get upset by a response, see here:
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-...ons.html#intro

  10. #10
    Unknown Device wratterus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help me: What do you want in a router? 2 1/2yrs later I'm finally doing it!

    Awesome!!!
    Microsoft: "You've got questions. We've got dancing paperclips."

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