I am being paralyzed by a case of "router block" and hoping some of you kind DC souls can help me out.
I'm WAY overdue for an upgrade to my wireless router. I know enough about this subject that I'm not going to just go down to Best Buy and pick between the 3 boxes they have on display. But I'm not enough into the "hack your router" space to make a clear, informed choice either.
My problem is, my main need for the router is the ability to set up sophisticated site filtering rules, based on MAC addresses, on a schedule.
The routers that seem to do this the best are the Netgear routers with Live Parental controls, which is actually integrated with OpenDNS.
All reports I've read say this is the most reliable way to set up site filtering on a schedule. (Although info about routers is plentiful online if you are interested in speed, throughput, etc. it's MUCH harder to find objective or even descriptive info about the less-techie features like parental controls / filtering.)
But the Amazon reviews of the mid-priced (~$100) Netgear routers I'm interested in are full of horror stories of devices that don't work terribly well, and that tend to fail on the day their 1-year warranty expires. Also Netgear appears to have an expensive, convoluted support process to get service on defective units, which seems to be based on a "soak the dummies" philosophy.
So all things being equal, I'd avoid Netgear, but they seem to be the ONLY ones with the kind of filtering controls I need. (Both powerful AND easy to use)
I've read that on routers that are running some form of Linux like OpenWRT, you can use Linux's IPTABLES to do sophisticated filtering. But I don't know Linux, and I don't want to have to climb over its substantial learning curve just to set up a new router and filter some websites.
Anyway, sorry for the long message, but I've been trying to get this decision made for weeks, and everything new I learn just makes the problem seem deeper.
Has anyone had an luck with setting up filtering on Netgear routers? If so, have you been running the router for more than a year? How is the reliability?
Alternately, are their other routers I should be looking at that implement this feature in a way that's both powerful and easy-to-use?