I had problems with my D-Link router recently (DIR-655) and got tired of it so I'm looking for a new one.
In terms of performance, stability is my number one priority. Wifi is of course important, but I don't know if I could get a wired only router and pluging another device to share internet with tablets and iPods in the house (is this possible?). I have a NAS, my main computer, some old laptop I plan to use as a web server, my Raspberry Pi for streaming and my Xbox (even tough I don't play it very often these days) so that's five ports but in the coming years I plan to get a SteamBox, some other NASes and maybe a computer or two (would a switch be a better choice for expandability? while still retaining performance?).
I heard of pfSense and ddwrt. Can it be a good options for me? Also, what are the goods brands for router. What to look for and are they catches?
Just research a good DD-WRT compatible router and you should be fine. My router is an older Linksys WRT54GS2 with DD-WRT. Any of the Linksys WRT54xxx series routers are great, and I'm pretty sure they are all DD-WRT compatible.
It sounds like you have a good grasp on computers and building them so id suggest giving PFsense a try. I have the same DIR-655 and have never had a problem. It does run hot tho so i took the top off and ts been fine.
I may be mistaken here,but the pricier routers usually include some enterprise grade firmware features.That's why they're pricy.But if you flash DDWRT on it,you'd essentially be paying for features that you'd be wiping out. I'm not entirely sure of the hardware side of things(antenna signal strength and the like) of pricier routers.
Side note,DDWRT is great. I'm using an old WRTG54 like decryptzor.The stock router frequently dropped connections after a two years of usage.Got annoyed and decided to flash DDWRT over it. Best decision i made. 2nd year running DDWRT with nary a problem on the same router.