Limiting Daily Bandwidth on a Home Network with Gargoyle

[Please note: this is quite old. Gargoyle is still awesome, but we use it in a different way now. The router I recommend hasn’t been made in years and not the best choice now. If you only need a single LAN port (which is mostly likely the case) and don’t need to cover a large area, the good folks at Gargoyle sell a router which, hopefully, earns them a little cash to support their work.]

After a few years of dealing with continual problems with bandwidth limits on our satellite internet network, it was imperative to find a way to institute daily bandwidth limits. When we don’t do that, guests who stay at our vacation rental at the beginning of the month can use up all the bandwidth so that there’s none left for guests at the end of the month, which makes for unhappy people. Gargoyle firmware, which can be installed on any OpenWRT-compatible router was, in the end, an easy solution. I settled on the Netgear WNDR3800
for reasons I’ll explain in a bit.

The Problem

We started offering internet to guests at our vacation rental in 2010. The problem is that we are on a satellite internet system which limits monthly usage. Our old provider,Wildblue, only gave us 7GB. We switched to a new provider, Hughesnet, who gives us 10GB of anytime bytes and 10GB of “bonus” bytes for use between 2am and 8am. Hughesnet also gives you a 500MB token every month you stay within your limit and you can bank those tokens indefinitely. To anyone in the city this is laughable, but this is the highest-level service plan we can get in our area, and yet our total monthly bandwidth allowance is about what most people get for their average daily allotment (by comparison most DSL providers allow 250GB/month in their Fair Access Policy).

To put this in perspective, a single 150-minute Netflix movie in HD is going to suck up about 4500MB (4.5GB of data). A single hour of Netflix’s highest definition video is 7GB! Thus, a single movie is basically half of the month’s total for us. Over the years, this has created a lot of challenges to offering internet to guests and it’s gotten much worse with the advent of iPads.

Some of the things we’ve seen:

  • The heavy user problem. Guests who use the entire month’s worth of data in two days, leaving nothing for future guests. We have had to pay up to $75 to “get out of jail” after one guest who said he absolutely needed internet “just for email” burned through the entire 7GB in a couple of days. It turned out he was doing tons of video transfer.
  • The iPad/iPhone problem. A guest on the network who used almost the equivalent of a day’s allotment in 80 minutes of reading email with his iPad. That made no sense because email is very low bandwidth. It so happened, because I was helping him connect, I could see what was happening in real time. The second he connected to the network, his iPad started using 8MB/s and he wasn’t even doing anything. We didn’t figure it out at first, because I don’t have an iPad, but Theresa guessed that he had a lot of apps running. If you don’t actively shut down an app on an iPad it continues to run in the background. Sure enough, when he checked, he had 25 apps running: Facebook, email, Words with Friends, and a bunch of others. Almost all of these apps were querying the internet constantly, with the net effect that while he burned 2-3MB readin his email, his iPad burned another 280MB in the background just updating those apps. It gets even worse if someone has been traveling and hasn’t connected the table in a long time: in that case the tablet is also going to download all the app updates. They don’t do this over a 3G or 4G data connection, because they are trying to conserve bandwidth. Then they connect to our network and have a week’s worth of updates.
  • The lack of technology knowledge problem. We had one guest who wanted to check email. Theresa was explaining that if they downloaded video, they would run out of bandwidth. She said “Oh, we won’t do anything like that. The girls might just want to watch a couple of Netflix movies.” Ouch! That would use all the bandwidth for the month.
  • The lawbreaker problem. Not related to bandwidth, but we have also received letters from HBO lawyers on three occasions threatening legal action because guests on our network were engaged in illegal file sharing of HBO copyrighted materials.

These problems are bad enough that I know of two rentals in the neighborhood who this year quit offering guest access. So the solution I’ve been seeking for years has been something that would let me divide up the monthly bandwidth into daily segments so that guests from the beginning of the month can’t ruin it for guests at the end of the month. I’ve pored over spec sheets for routers for years, and have never found one that lets you do that.

Enter Gargoyle

After a lot of research, it turns out that if you get a router that allows you to upgrade the firmware, you can gain a lot of control. Broadly speaking, there were two options. First, there are many services that let you set up a wireless hotspot, like at your local cafe or airport. This is way more complexity than I wanted and many of these solutions quickly become quite expensive. Second, there is Gargoyle, a free, open-source firmware based on OpenWrt that lets you do exactly what I want. Any router that will run OpenWrt should let you run Gargoyle. As it turns out, none of my three routers (home network, rental network, and an old router that I’ve got kicking around) are built to allow you to upgrade the firmware.

Finding a Router

Most of your cheap consumer routers will upgrade their own firmware, but you can’t put OpenWrt on them. OpenWrt is actually a full Linux distribution designed to run routers. So you need a router that is, in short, a fairly capable computer in its own right. This crosses the vast majority of routers off the list, but there remain a huge number of routers that can run OpenWrt, ranging from major enterprise-level systems costing hundreds, even thousands, of dollars, to ones that are barely more expensive than that cheapo router you would buy at Best Buy. Gargoyle’s list of supported routers is disappointingly small, but if you go to the downloads section, you’ll find that there are hundreds of “image” files. These are files that are built for a specific router and can be flashed straight onto your router.

That said, finding the one for your router can be tough. The download lists are based on “architecture” meaning the chipset your router uses. So first you have to figure out whether you have an Atheros AR71xx, Broadcom, Atheros 231X/5312, or Alix/X86 chipset in your router. Then you have to figure out which version of the chipset, then you can try to find your router on the list of routers. You of course already have all that information at hand, right?

If you’re going to use an existing router, I’ll just say that you’ll have to do some research. I was buying a new router. I ended up with the Netgear WNDR3800 and I’m really happy with it. I’ve recommended it to two other friends with a total of five vacation rentals and they’ve all gotten one. We have two up and running and I just got the third one delivered yesterday and I’ll set that up today or tomorrow.

I started looking for a router with a few criteria in mind

  • Reasonably modern. Many of the officially supported routers are old and missing many features we now expect from routers. The Netgear WNDR3800 is very modern. It’s an N600 (300Mbps on both channels) and has everything else I would want. very nice.
  • Pre-built image available. I don’t want to build from source or any of that. There was an image for the WNDR3800. More importantly, the predecessor, the WNDR3700 uses two different chipsets, only one of which is supported by Gargoyle, whereas the WNDR3800 comes in only one version and it is supported out of the box.
  • Good reviews online. The first router we had for our rental basically wouldn’t let anyone connect. It was a constant hassle trying to get people online. So I didn’t want problems like that. Honestly, the WNDR3800 didn’t have the greatest reviews. Looking at router reviews, though, very few of them are well-informed and often give 1-star for fairly spurious reasons. So the reviews weren’t great, but many of the complaints were not well-grounded and in any case, the other routers that were compatible with Gargoyle had either similar reviews or wildly higher price tags.
  • Unbrickable. It is possible of you screw up the firmware update that you can “brick” your router, meaning place it in a completely unrecoverable state such that it won’t boot up enough to even restore the factory firmware. Throw it out and buy a new router. Some routers have a reset button. If you totally screw it up, hit the reset button and you’re back to factory defaults. The WNDR3800 has this all-important feature for the neophyte network tech. In the end, I never had to do a reset on it, but I felt reassured just know that I could. I did, while messing around with all this, mess up one of my other routers and had to do the factory reset… so it does happen!
  • Reasonable price. Routers that run Gargoyle are often $250 to $500. I’m sure they’re worth it. The Netgear WNDR3800 lists at $250, but wasavailable for $60 as a refurbished item on Amazon. I have no idea how long that link will be valid, but hopefully it will take you to some Amazon page with a decent deal on the WNDR3800. If not, try this link for a new WNDR3800 and look at the purchasing options and see if you can get a decent price.

Installing the Firmware

First I had to find the right download package. The WNDR3800 is based on an Atheros AR71xx chipset, versino 1.6.1. When I put that into the download finder tool, I was able to find the gargoyle_1.6.1-ar71xx-generic-wndr3800-squashfs-factory.img image file. Download that.

Once you’ve dowloaded it, disconnect entirely from the internet and connect to your router directly with a cable. Point your browser to on most routers. On the Netgear router, it’s going to want to run you through a setup wizard. You need to get out of that and say you want to do a manual setup. Then go to the Advanced settings and find the Firmware Upgrade item. Click that and when it asks you, say you have a file (rather than updating over the web), point the router to the file you just downloaded, and hit return. It will take about 2-5 minutes and you’ll pop up with the Gargoyle welcome screen.

You’ll have to log in. This threw me… what do I log in with? I decided to try “admin,” then “adminstrator,” then “password.” Bingo! The default password is password. As soon as you enter that, you’ll be prompted to set a real password.

Once you set the real password, you’re up and running. From there it’s super simple.

The Connection tab lets you set up all the normal stuff – your SSID, security type, Wifi password and so on.

The Firewall tab is where the magic happens. There, under Quotas, you can set the daily quotas. You can set a quota that resets hourly, daily, weekly or monthly. You can set different quotas for upload or download or just the total. You can change when it resets. In my case I don’t want a guest to watch YouTube all morning and then check out, leaving no bandwidth for the guest who checks in that afternoon. So I have the bandwidth reset at noon. You can also choose whether or not to cut off access entirely when the quota is reached, or simply throttle down to a really low level.

Your settings page will look roughly like this (click to view full size).

  • Applies to is the set of IPs that it applies to. The easy thing is to plug in a second router with a static IP, like and force your people who are under a quota to login via that router.
  • Max Total makes sense if you upload and download both count against you. But if you have different limits, you can create separate rules for each.
  • Quota Is Active — note that I have one rule at the bottom under Active Quotas that is already saved and covers 8am to 2am and one that I’m in the process of saving that covers the “Bonus Bytes” period.

I am no longer on HughesNet as of October 2016, but this system was rock solid for three years. I deployed this for four friends and the only complaints I’ve had were because I messed up the times (had two quotas for the Bonus Bytes period and none for the main period, which obviously doesn’t work). These settings are persistent, so despite the numerous power outages and all the reboots a HughesNet system needs to stay running, once these were set, I could forget.

30 Responses to “Limiting Daily Bandwidth on a Home Network with Gargoyle”

  1. Mary Beth

    Very informative—I can’t wait to give it a try on our home network.
    We also have Hughesnet, but the Basic plan doesn’t go very far in a household of four adults (Mom, Dad, College Student Son, E-business owner Daughter). I’ve recently discovered that using Facebook’s mobile version and the “basic html” version of Google Mail cuts down on some of the automatic background updating on our desktops to a point where we at least don’t use up all our daily allowance (we’re still on the old Hughes satellite system and don’t want to upgrade to the G4 anytime soon), but we still have to steer clear of YouTube or other hefty apps & downloads during the day or risk getting FAP-ped in the evenings whenever hubby needs to be online.

    Thanks for sharing. If it all works out well for us perhaps I can quit my job as the Status Meter Percentage Police & resume my normal life.

  2. Mary Beth,
    With a bit of tweaking on my recipe above, you can create a quota for every device except one or two. So you can reserve a bit of bandwidth for mom and dad to take care of bills and business and not have to fight with the kids about Facebook. They just use it until it runs out, then they’re done. It’s up to them to manage it.

  3. Thanks Tom! Very helpful. I’m also trying to limit bandwidth per day for a rental property.

  4. Hi!
    Thanks for the post. I just got Gargoyle on a router. We have the 10GB satellite limit (rural CA) and I set up a guest network on it because we have people who housesit for us and can run up the use. I can’t find a way to limit the bandwith/use by network. It only seems like by IP. Am I missing something? What, then, would even be the point of a guest network? Do I need to limit all users, then make exceptions for all of our devices (laptops, “I” devices, wireless printer, etc.) I am not even sure if wireless printers have an IP. This is all kind of foreign to me. Any thoughts would be great. I’ve tried multiple threads in forums but not found the answer. My guest IPs are not know in advance.
    Thanks. Blessings.

  5. So… this is a bit hard. I’ve done it successfully for our house where we have a really similar situation. Here’s the thing: you can only filter by IP, so the trick is to get all your “guests” onto a single IP. The way you do this is with a second router. Basically, what you do is you take your Gargoyle router and you plug Router2 into one of the LAN ports and you assign it a fixed IP. So if your modem is and your Gargoyle router is, you would assign the new router to a static IP in the DHCP settings on your Gargoyle. I used

    Then you need to set up the new router to be on a different subnet, so in my case the router address of the second router is

    Now once you can connect to the internet this way (cross your fingers – I have utterly failed with some combos of routers), you can now assign a quota to All your guests log in via that router and they are capped to a total bandwidth.

    Then you probably want to hide your Gargoyle router’s SSID and change the password.

  6. Hi,

    Thanks for all the set up info. I am an absolute novice and I managed to get this to work, eventually. I’m really pleased you recommended a router with a reset button. I didn’t brick it following your instructions. My problem was setting up the subnet, . I found this really great link which sorted me out and may help others who don’t know a DHCP from a teacup.

    Thanks again.

  7. Thanks Dave – I always wonder whether posting obscure things like that are worth it, but notes like yours encourage me to take the time!

  8. WOW. I have exactly the same problem, and am amazed at how many people are baffled by a ‘data limit’. Actually our problem is worse because we SHARE the internet connection with our guests. So if they use up the data, we can barely get our email, much less do a google search. I have even considered getting a second satellite dish for the guests (my husband says I am crazy). I also would hate to pay Hughesnet more for their crappy service. I am going to try the second router option (we already have a second router for the other house), so I just need a ‘Gargoyle-able’ router that is hopefully compatible with my home router.

    (just one question — in your note above, you mention ‘the router address of the second router is’ — is it actually or is the subnet different from the static IP of the router?)

    Thank you so much for posting this for the unfortunate satellite internet users!

  9. Wait, I’m sorry. You were asking about the second router. No, that one is Your first router is going to have all addresses on the 192.168.1.* subnet and the second router, when viewed from that subnet, will be (or whatever static IP you give it on the 192.168.1.* subnet). But the router IP for the guest who is connecting will be

    So in other words, if you connect to the second router over WiFi, you would access the control panel for that one at

    People tell me that if you want even more security, you would actually have three routers in a Y and only the two routers would connect to the gateway router that connects them both to the modem, and then you would connect on router 2 and your guests on router 3.

  10. Hi, thanks for your post. I’m using Tenda D 151 router. but can’t find how DD WRT can be installed over it. Can you help.

  11. I can help a little bit. The key is you have to know what chipset that router is using. A bit of research tells me it is the Broadcom BCM6318. It turns out support for that was added to Open-WRT last year. See here: and here

    So at a minimum you do have the option of building Gargoyle from source:

    Unfortunately, it does not appear that there is a Gargoyle binary for the BCM63xx family yet:

    So it looks like it’s either compile from source or buy a different router.

  12. We have the same issue. We operate a small hotel and it seems that a fast internet connection is more important these days than even cable TV. Unfortunately, we are in area where the ISP can only offer residential internet plans so that means all of our 50-100 guests needed to share a measly 3 mbps tops. Crazy for sure!

    We’ve setup our routers to do the following:
    1) block streaming video sites such as youtube, netflix, and even top porn sites
    2) block microsoft, apple, and the android sites -> they are responsible for GB of automatic updates
    3) block antivirus update servers -> also same as #2
    4) block torrent sites -> may not really stop torrenting but at least the guest will have a hard time getting new torrent files
    5) replace the DNS to Norton Connect Safe Level B -> helps prevent access to malware ridden sites

    We often get compliments that our internet is the fastest compared to our competitors. Of course, there are guests who insist that it is their absolute right to watch youtube or porn just because we offer free WIFI for them.

    Just thought we’d share some ideas with you. And we will be looking into Gargoyle for sure! Thanks for this info!

  13. Thanks! You have me thinking about blocking MS, Apple and Android sites that do updates. All the cloud stuff too – Dropbox, iCloud and all that.

    Our problems are somewhat different in that your glass is big, but the straw is small. We have a small straw but a tiny glass. So it’s not so much a problem with YouTube, because people understand they can’t stream video and they don’t. But they do NOT understand that their devices are sucking up their entire quota in the background. So if we block cloud storage and updates, we would help them get more out of their daily quota.

  14. As a general comment, if data saving is important, as well as using “smart routers and software”, Why don’t you try using a different DNS server? Using (free, and fast) “OPENDNS”, ( the IP needs setting up in the router) it’s possible to let their security system block most of the “bad” sites, and just add the (relatively few) extra update and operating systems sites that updates and ‘push’ data comes from… then, it’s easy to look at the logs, and find if their are any sites overlooked, or, possibly sites being are being blocked un-necessarily…. I had locked people out of Gmail, and they were not happy… so it’s very easily remied in under 5 minutes…

    It’s quicker, and heaps easier than learning the huge amount of sites that suck data… my (VISITING) daughter’s apple laptop was using 1Gb a week (plus) phoning home, so I manually added the sites, and totally killed any access to Apple and Microsoft update servers, and using my router, only allowed access to security and anti-virus update sites during the 1am-7am off peak period we have…

    While I don’t operate a business, unthinking city visitors have been known to blow 1/2 a months satellite internet data, just by innocently leaving a device turned on overnite, – they weren’t even using it!!! …. so, I had to become the “data mafia” really quickly. I have found that speed limiting data so that it’s very slow, but ok for messaging apps, and email, but just won’t begin to load video, is a good strategy too…

    As a happy discovery, a well know brand name, made some good, (but sold as basic low end ) wireless wireless routers, that have almost all the Gargoyle features inbuilt, at a bargain basement price. There are many old stock, but brand new ones still available, and for satellite use, are a screaming bargain.

  15. Ha! Yes, guests who are used to city internet are a problem no matter what. I’ve looked into OpenDNS, but I’ve never really gotten serious about it. I’ve always held off because of reports that you cannot use OpenDNS with Hughesnet as per this post on the OpenDNS site

    Are you on Hughesnet?

    Also, if I set up OpenDNS to block, for example, Dropbox, then I will no longer be able to access it myself. I think at that point I’m beck to the solution of using two access points – one for me, one for my guests – and blocking sites just on the guest router.

  16. steve norcal

    This is so far beyond my geek status. groan… I have hughesnet satellite internet. 50gb per month. BUT 2 teens, me and the wife and 3 little kids. Who used all the data? not me, not me not me… right now I have a guest network set up for the kids and I turn it on and off when there is enough data available. Kids begging me to turn it on. Oops, we left it on and someone used half our months bandwidth. We FAP-out every month. I wish hughes would offer a solution. I looked into gargoyle, seems pretty technical. I wish, I wish I wish… anybody find a better alternative to setting up dual routers and re-programming them?

  17. Steve, Gargoyle really is not that technical. First, you can simplify things by buying your router off their website with Gargoyle installed. Also, you wouldn’t necessarily need two routers. What you would do is assign a default quota. Each device gets X MB per month. Then you would take a couple of devices belonging to yourself and exempt them from the quota. It’s pretty easy. I’d be happy to try to walk you through it if you decide to go that route – just drop a comment or contact me through the contact form.

  18. Been using Gargoyle in Hotel downtown Ottawa for about 6 years. I I use TPLink routers as I find they work best and power is excellent. Check model # before you buy one, Gargoyle does not support certain models. Further, I find the Quota;s actually lock it up sometimes, then I have to reset the router to defaults…. kind of annoying. In reply to original article. Sounds like that iPad has Viruses. YES I get a LOT of Phones Android and Apple as well as tablets that are browser hijacked and full of Viruses. If you have Android you can get AVG Free from the Playstore. If you have Apple, well you are used to paying every time you want to do something anyway, so buy Kaspersky (none free for Apple as far as I know). Apple all about $$$. Only way someone should use that much bandwidth is if they are using Video or uploading crazy sized Pictures. ALSO DISABLE THAT REAKIN DROPBOX most evil thing on the planet. Not sure why ANYONE would use that. Way better options than that Spyware. Hotel I manage has 6 floors and most people have no idea they are uploading/ downloading. BTW here is a great video article for ANYONE who uses a phone or tablet.

  19. Hello, I just ordered the Gargoyle Pocket Router v3 and I’ve been searching the forums to find an easy way to install but haven’t really found it.

    I’m not a huge tech guy so when I start reading about static IP, subnet, DHCP, etc. my eyes go glossy. Wondering if someone can give me a step by step to do what I want it to do? I’d really appreciate it!

    I have a vacation rental property with Exede satellite internet. Limit is 150 gb per month. I would like to connect the new Pocket Router v3 to my Exede modem, and then connect the router to a multi port switch which distributes the signal throughout the house to various rooms through Cat 5 cables. I would like to set up data caps so when we have guests for 4 days, I can allot them 20gb of data for their stay and then it gets throttled down so they can still use it but not for streaming videos etc.

    I also have some devices in the house that need internet like my home alarm, solar power monitoring, and pool/spa control so I don’t want to stop the internet from working altogether if a guest exceeds the data cap.

    Guests also have access to our smart TVs with Netflix, etc. and our DirecTv which allows on-demand TV programs that use internet data, so if they use these devices to go over their allotment I’d like these devices to also count towards their total.

    In addition I have a few wireless access points that I’ve connected with Cat 5 cables around the property so we get better coverage.

    Is it possible to put this new pocket router in a locked closet with the satellite modem, and then turn off the satellite modem’s WiFi so all data is restricted and monitored after the pocket router?

    Can anyone provide me step by step instructions on how to do this, including setting up the pocket router and access points to have the same SSID and passwords so internet can be used throughout the property without having to log in to different SSID’s. It would be great if as a guest walks from one area to another it would just connect to the strongest signal without having to re-log on.

    Thanks in advance for any help! Rick

  20. Wow Rick! You do not make life easy on yourself do you?

    I think the way you’re looking at this is making it way too complicated. So the first thing to do is to simplify the problem as much as possible.

    I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to create multiple networks. So instead of trying to manage 25 devices via Gargoyle, you instead plug in two routers, one that will have quotas, and one that will not.

    It sounds like your modem has a built-in router with wifi access. So in this case, you would put everything that you do not want limited on the modem/router network. You can hide the SSID if you want, but in any case, guests do not get the password to get wifi via the modem/router. My modem does *not* have a built-in router. So in that case, connect your gargoyle router to the modem, and then connect a router to the gargoyle modem.

    The second router gets cabled into the gargolye router and assigned a static IP, and then you can set a quota for just that IP.

    Even easier, you connect all your “non-guest” devices to the modem directly via its wifi network, and you plug the gargoyle router into the modem, setting a static IP for the gargoyle router. Then you only let guests on the gargoyle router and you set a daily quota on the gargoyle network.

    Now, if you want the whole network to cover the whole property with the same SSID, then you have to go to plan B.

    1. Exempt some addresses from DHCP
    Go into Connection -> DHCP and set the “Start” range to 50 (so it would be like to would be available to DHCP)

    2. Force some devices to use static IPs
    Go into Connect -> DHCP and
    – check “Block MAC addresses assigned a static IP that connect from a different IP”
    – for each device that you want exempted from the quota, add that to the list Assigned Static IP addresses. If you’re lucky, you will be able to just select them from the dropdown

    3. Set a quota.
    Now you know two things:
    1. your “unlimited” devices have IP numbers that are below
    2. your guests, who will get assigned IP addresses of and above (because you’ve said DHCP can only those addresses and, without assigned IPs, they will have to connect via DHCP

    So knowing that, you can now go into Firewall -> Quotas and in the dropdown choose “Only the following host(s)” and say that the quota applies to hosts between and

    Set the quota to give them X GB per day. Unless you want to manage this for every guest, the “20gb for four days” will not work and it’s bad for the guests – the whole problem is they don’t know how to manage bandwidth and all the stupid crap they have syncing in the background will burn all their data in the first day. So just assign something like 150gb/month/30 days/month = 5gb/day, rounded down to 4gb so there’s some left for your devices and for when they get throttled.

    Then set it to throttle them to 56kb when they hit their limit.

  21. Tom – excellent article and Q&A too.

    I have remote self catering log cabin in Scotland UK and same issues and with no land based unlimited broadband.

    I am using a TP Link MR6400V2 3G/4G LTE router with SIM card. At present a 20GB month data limit. Current ISP gives no public IP address but I can use 3 Internet (past of Three over here) with APN of 3internet and it does assign a public IP and to try it I have been able to login from another PC – but public IP only as long as the router is on. If power cut or turned off then I think it’s assiging a new IP next time.

    I think I want to be able to login remotely and am thinking of getting a second router for Gargoyle to be able to set up daily quotas. I have 3/4 night and week bookings.

    Is it possible (do you know) to login to the Gargolye router through the SIM router to adjust any settings. Can’t see anything about this on their web site or is it only a case of setting it all up and only adjusting when next at the lodge?

    Thanks very much

  22. Hi Simon, you should be able to set up the Gargoyle to log in remotely, but I’m not sure how you would do it without a static IP. I’ve never tried. Sorry

  23. David Tam

    I’d just like to thank you for all this info. I don’t run a hotel, but I live with teenagers who are all on netflix and youtube and all sorts of other streaming stuff daily. I have ATT and their limit is 1000 GB a month until you go over. Then it’s an 50 GB block for $10. After finding out that we have exhausted 1000 GB just halfway into the month.. I googled and I found your helpful article. I also found a refurb of the WNDR3800 so that’s on order for about 50 bucks. It supports A, B, G, and N bands so that’s a perfect fit. I went onto the Gargoyle download tool site and saw that the version has been updated to 1.10. The only question I had was what the difference is between… gargoyle_1.10.0-ar71xx-generic-wndr3800ch-squashfs-factory.img and gargoyle_1.10.0-ar71xx-generic-wndr3800-squashfs-factory.img. Apparently there is also a china version which would be indicated by the full model number on the bottom of the router. Once again.. thank you for your post years ago.

  24. Hi David,
    My understanding is that the WNDR3800ch is a version that Netgear produced specifically for the ISP Charter communications and apparently you do need to use the right version. According to this post, it is a common refurb unit –

    So I don’t know for sure how to tell which one you have. One reason I like the WNDR3800 and recommended it, though, is that it has that handy button that you can push and have it reflash the unit with the factory firmware. So you *should* be able to back out of an install disaster.