FlashRouters 2015 March Madness Router Tournament
…and the Tournament continues. Last week, we introduced you to our Top and Major Contenders, our Cinderellas, and our Long Shots. Speculations were made, and a deal was introduced. This week, things will be a little different. Some surprises, and a new coupon code to further the celebration of the FlashRouters 2015 March Madness.
To celebrate this new level of the tournament, take 10% off any firmware enhanced FlashRouters with the coupon code MAD10, has now been activated. Let’s get routing!
All routers offer advanced presintalled firmware, white-glove tech support and an open-source firmware warranty besides the plentiful benefits of getting an enhanced firmware router like VPN integration and full access controls for your network.
Sweet 16 Update
The Netgear R8000 X6 was projected to lead early on, and this week, the six-antennaed networking beast has certainly not disappointed, maintaining a powerhouse performance with its 1 GHz processor beautifully working alongside the router’s Tri-Band network.
Netgear’s AC1450 (pictured above) squeaked through by the skin of their teeth as the top choice of Economy AC Wireless-AC upgrades thanks to its secret weapons, the 800 MHz processor and competitive price point, creating a thrilling Cinderella narrative that is bringing this router, one that uses internal rather than external antennas, to the next rounds
The Asus Tomato RT-N66U’s approach of using classic Wireless-N and user-friendly TomatoUSB has given the device enough of a boost to rise to the top of the would-be Major Contenders, giving FlashRouters fans more proof that an easy-to-use firmware packed with a familiar old school approach will give a fantastic performance.
And as it seems to do every year, the Linksys E1200 is holding a firm spot, almost unbelievably so, especially considering the fact this router has the weakest processor of the bunch. But this is a fan-favorite, an economy line model that has blazed through the years with a small yet steady performance.
While you may be excitedly prepping your March Madness bracket, it’s important to remember that this time of year is not exclusively about a college basketball tournament. It’s about a router tournament as well. That’s right, March is the time of year where FlashRouters puts our devices to the test and sees which router truly is the Sitewide Champion.
Stay tuned for more specials throughout this three weekend March Madness Router Tournament. Here’s our recap of top contenders for our best routers of 2015 going into the tournament…
Top Contenders for Best Wireless Routers with DD-WRT Firmware
While Netgear remained top dog throughout the 2014 season with the Nighthawk FlashRouter Netgear Nighthawk R7000, this year it seems they will not disappoint, bringing forth the Netgear R8000 X6 to a legion of newly converted Netgear fans.
Keeping the Nighthawk’s 1 GHz processor but boosting the Wireless-AC to a Tri-Band six external antenna network, the R8000 is an early favorite for the Sitewide Champion.
Stiff competition is in store from Asus, whose RT-AC87U boasts a comparable 1 GHz processor with 4 external antennas at a price $30 below that of the R8000. Yes, both routers are VPN-compatible DD-WRT powerhouses but does an extra antenna and WiFi band from the R8000 put the performance of the RT-AC87U to shame? Only time will tell as the tournament continues.
Last year’s champion, the R7000, faces some stiff competition from the Top Seed routers, but still holds itself as a Major Contender to win the Championship. Yes, times have changed. The best of the best are rocking upwards of six external antennas and moving towards behemoth-like WiFi capabilities.
But this is a classic router that has performed brilliantly in past seasons, so to disregard this beast would simply be foolish. The R7000 is utilizing the same processor as its progeny, the R8000, as well as Asus’ RT-AC87U. The range is less, but the power is still the same.
Asus is also holding fort with another Major Contender, the Tomato Asus RT-N66U. Controversially using old-school Wireless-N against the future-proofing Wireless-AC of its competitors, the N66U proves that bigger is not always better with a stable performance, wide-range, and the fantastic user-friendly capabilities of TomatoUSB firmware.
Of course, every bracket needs a few Cinderellas. Netgear’s AC1450 was an early favorite for many with its 800 MHz processor and competitive $199.95 price point, but its internal antennas definitely put it below the odds stacked up a titan like the RT-AC87U.
Another potential upset this season from Netgear is the WNDR4000, a router that attracted much attention a few seasons ago, but lately has seemed to make the bench its home. Fans seem to forget the WNDR4000 was once seen the top of the line favorite and can still provide that same fantastic performance when flashed with DD-WRT firmware.
Perhaps the true Cinderella this season is the TP-Link WDR3600, which has been quietly picking up attention with an affordable $149.95 price tag that provides Dual Band wireless with 2 external antennas. The sole TP-Link FlashRouter, this router is a bit of a black sheep, but can certainly put forward the performance needed to push it to the next level.
Long Shots – E1200, E2500
The Linksys E1200 DD-WRT and E2500 Dual Band N600 TomatoUSB are certainly the Long Shots this season. Offering DD-WRT and Tomato firmware at an economy line price, these remain fan favorites throughout each season, despite maintaining a clear underdog status.
While there is little debate over whether or not these devices should belong in this category, the E1200 and E2500 use the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) Strategy to keep a grip on a solid fanbase each season.
And that’s just the beginning. There are a lot of heavy hitters this season, which will certainly make for an exciting March Madness Tournament here at FlashRouters. Stay tuned to see how the Tournament progresses, and what deals will pop up with each step.
For now, let’s keep the fever up with the coupon code MAD10 for 10% off any FlashRouter!
Unsure of what makes a FlashRouter so special? Watch this video and find out if your old router will find it’s way out the door during Spring Cleaning.