I recently got a Linksys WRT 3200 ACM
. It worked great with the factory firmware for a couple weeks, and then I put DD-WRT on it, and I've been living with it for another couple weeks after that. I'm happy so far. Installing DD-WRT was super painless for me on this router. I didn't have to go through any weird steps to get it working, I pretty much just needed to grab the firmware file and upload it.
I know that you said that you've had bad luck with DD-WRT, that's fair to say and I'm interested in hearing more about it. I haven't had any malfunctions which required the restart of the router, but I've only been using it for about 4 weeks total, only two of those with DD-WRT, so who knows how it'll go over time. Sometimes one gets oneself a router and it's fine for a while, and only starts to get weird later on. I've had that happen enough times in the past that I hesitate to give a full endorsement: Check back with me next year.
In the past, though, the routers which have been most reliable to me (regardless of who wrote the firmware) are the ones which have a built in feature to reboot themselves in the middle of the night. DD-WRT has that feature, so I enabled the reboot feature when I installed it, and the router reboots itself every night at my specified time (3:30 am in my case). So if the router is one of those that needs rebooting regularly, it's just happening anyway. Even though the router hadn't needed rebooting up to that point, I figure, I'll just put the timed reboot in there because I've had past experience that tells me that pretty much every router needs it eventually.
Some things that might be different between your situation and mine: We have a healthy mix of wired and wireless devices on our LAN, but most of the critical items (including file servers, game consoles and TV boxes) are wired. Our wireless items are four phones, a couple tablets, a couple laptops, a couple chromecasts, a printer, and a thermostat. Work stuff is done through wired devices about half the time, though we haven't had any problems with doing teleconferencing via Wifi either, at least, not any problems from our end. Sometimes Zoom's servers had problems for our college teacher's classes in the early days of the lockdown, but the problems cleared up in the few days before spring break.
Our pipe to Comcast is 200mbps downstream, but only 6mbps upstream, and we chew away 2.5mbps of that constantly with a live video stream of our bird feeder, so we're really only getting about 3.5mbps upstream available for teleconferencing. And yet it still works fine for all four work-at-home adults in our household. I think that our success is due to a few factors: We aren't usually doing teleconferences at the same time, about half of those teleconferences are on wired ethernet, our downstream pipe is big, and we don't have any kids so we're not Netflixing during the work day. Still, I would not expect Netflix to have a big impact on our work stuff since Netflix is all downstream, and would mostly be coming through the wired gig-ethernet switches.
In any case, with four work-at-home adults in the household, we haven't needed to enable the QoS features of DD-WRT to get good teleconferencing. So I don't know how well those QoS features work. But so far, the only problems we've had can all be traced to either the head-end servers (Zoom, etc) or Comcast being flaky. I also recently replaced the Comcast modem with a Netgear CM1150V
to see if it improves their flakiness, and so far, it seems to have reduced the number of Comcast blips too.
The main thing that DD-WRT is getting me, that I didn't get with any other non-DD-WRT router, is the extremely detailed control and configuration of the router. It has every feature I could have wanted and more. Sometimes too much more: some of the WiFi radio settings are dauntingly complex, but I've been poking at some forums and reading the advice there, so I think I've got it going pretty good now. The biggest problem I ran into was when I tried to enable the third radio on the router, which locked it up. Pressing the reset button got it functioning again, but it took me a while (and several of those restarts) to find out that the third radio is only used in special cases, and that I should never have enabled it anyway.
DD-WRT shows live bandwidth monitoring per-radio, and shows which devices are connected to which radios, though the reporting screens could be a bit better. I'm planning to improve the reporting by installing the YaMon
tool onto the router (something else that DD-WRT gets you is the ability to install stuff like that). That tool needs a USB stick in the router's USB port, for local storage of usage history files, but I hope to get a USB stick installed in there tomorrow and give that a shot.
If you want to just use the default firmware of the Linksys WRT 3200 ACM by itself, that was doing fine for me for a couple of weeks before I stuck DD-WRT onto it. It just didn't have the feature set that I wanted.
If you end up getting this particular router and you decide to try DD-WRT again, I've been maintaining a text file with all my configuration settings and links to the various instructions I've found on the web. Let me know.