Advice on better modem/router configuration
At home, I currently have a dlink dir-655 connected to a motorola surfboard cable modem. Recently, I started getting some short-term internet connection problems, lasting maybe 2-3 minutes, maybe a couple of times a day. So I'm thinking it's time to improve my home network again. I suspect my problem with connectivity is with the router not the modem.
I'm thinking at the moment between the following options, listed in order of expected cost, and reverse order of preference.
1. Replace my router and cable modem with the Hitron CGNM-2250 which my cable provider will provide for a nominal monthly charge
2. Replace the dir-655 with something better, maybe the Asus RT-AC66U, and installing tomato (which I've used in the past on another router)
3. Replace the dir-655 with maybe a nice looking ubiquitu wifi and pair it with a pfsense box
I like the idea of tinkering. I don't believe I need many of the options that pfsense and it's plugins provide but who knows what's down the road. I live in an old 2-floor 2300 sqf house with about 15 devices that connect via wifi. Mostly general internet browsing, some netflix, some xbox, two laptops that connect weekdays to work via citrix, one wifi printer. My main requirements are stability, security, coverage and throughput, pretty much in that order. I am concerned about external probing but don't want to prevent the ability to access my home network from outside. I don't currently do this but have played with it in the past.
I have some home network knowledge, but not a lot, just what I've picked up over the years playing around at home and reading.
I appreciate any advice that can be given.