I have a stock standard ASUS RT-N16, a popular model around here from what I have seen of the posts, which means hopefully this will be easy!
My computer runs at an elevated CPU load when using uTorrent and the fan's constantly going off. It's not faulty, it just isn't really an ideal machine for 24/7 torrent downloading.
My primary router is an all-in-one modem/VOIP/router, a Netcomm NB9 WMAXXn.
I also have, currently not being used, the ASUS RT-N16 which I used to use as the WIFI connector when I only had a wireless router.
I would like to configure the system for torrent and other downloads (including Podcasts, if possible) to automatically save to an external hard drive.
I have browsed the tutorials, lurked for a while in the forum and done plenty of Googling but am left with a plethora of choices, old articles written a couple of years ago recommending software which has probably moved on since then, etc.
I have many questions:
Should I connect the ASUS to the Netcomm via ethernet cable, or wirelessly pick up the Netcomm's WIFI? It poses no particular problem to physically locate the ASUS next to the Netcomm, but if it doesn't matter I would slightly prefer it off in another room connecting wirelessly. That's a minor issue though and if it's faster to put them together with physical wires, I'll go for speed over other considerations.
Should I connect the ASUS to the Netcomm via ethernet cable and use the ASUS to broadcast WIFI to the rest of my network, disabling WIFI on the Netcomm, or should the ASUS have its WIFI disabled so the Netcomm can broadcast. (Currently the Netcomm is doing a fine job there and I get good signal in all parts of my house.)
What firmware version of TomatoUSB should I use? I've noticed many variations.
What's the best torrent software to use with the ASUS?
My existing network:
Two Windows 7 PCs, 1 iPad, 1 iPod Touch, 2 Android phones. Occasionally a couple of Windows XP machines will connect also.
Two VOIP phone lines which should not be unduly interrupted by other network traffic. (QoS options?)
My current usage:
VOIP, almost continuous torrent downloading plus other downloads, video (YouTube) and surfing. I play games online too but I shut down torrenting if I experience lag or other interruptions.
What I wish to do with the ASUS:
Set it up with an external hard drive to form a stand-alone torrent downloading device so I don't need to run my desktop PC 24/7. It should have the core features of a torrent client like uTorrent including the ability to easily pause downloads if they're bothering my YouTubing. Partly I just want to save electricity and I figure this little router will use less than my 6-core desktop, and I wasn't using the ASUS any more anyway and had heard about Tomato before…
Bonus: also to download Podcasts when they come out. My university publishes its lectures as podcasts, but this is not a core required feature, I can run those when I have to.
Bonus2: download directory or torrent client to be password protected so only I can see what's downloading/ed. ;)
My computing experience:
Power Windows user, some Linux experience from uni, some programming experience (VB), able to follow instructions and maintain firmware etc, bit of a gadget enthusiast and tinkerer, but otherwise not someone likely to want to reflash my router all the time to upgrade to the latest and greatest features. If torrenting "just works", I'll probably leave it alone. Therefore my preference would be for a stable build if it did what I wanted, I'd need a reasonably compelling reason to go with a beta or alpha if instability had any consequences beyond occasionally having to power cycle the ASUS.