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What kind of wireless router is best for me?


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#1
joshuagor44

joshuagor44

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Hi Geeks! :)

Here's some info to help you help me:

I have a cable modem.
When I'm connected, it says my speed is 100Mbps.
My built-in wireless network card for my laptop is Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG.
I'll also need to use it for my Wii and DS which use 802.11b/g or something.
It should have ports for my desktops and 360 that use ethernet cables.
When I connect to my neighbour's g router the speed only says 54.0Mbps

I'd really appreciate it if you told me what to look out for or maybe point out a good one on www.futureshop.ca.

Thank you =D

Edited by joshuagor44, 31 March 2008 - 08:59 PM.

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#2
peterm

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Ok what do you want to do with it?
Do you have a USB printer?
The speed of 54.0Mbps is about the best you will get from a router.
I have an Extreme G which is rated as 108 but the ratings are ONLY under lab conditions.
The reason I ask about the printer is that with some routers you can plug in a usb printer then you do not need to have a computer on to print to it.
on your site they Have Linsky, Dlink and belkin all are good.
The new platform is 802.11n which is what you should look at as it will be backward compatible to 802.11b/b
Cheers
Peterm
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#3
joshuagor44

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I'm just going to use it to connect to the internet on my laptop, Wii, DS, 360 and other desktop computers (wired). I do have a USB printer, but I don't need that extra feature if it costs more money. Also I don't have anything that uses n so I don't mind settling for g which I'm sure will be around for a bit longer considering b is still about (g is more recent, right? :)).
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#4
peterm

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As I said any of the 3 listed are good - so go with your budget.
But remember the rule or what you pay for is what you get. I would look at something around $80.00 Starting price.
In my home and work I use Dlink.
You may want to wait a bit and see if some others reply to this thread.
Cheers
Peterm
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#5
joshuagor44

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Thanks for your help :)
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#6
joshuagor44

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Can I get a second opinion?
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#7
John Hook

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joshuagor44,

At the risk of getting a backlash of hateful posts from other technical contributers on this site (something I've quickly grown used to) - let me just say - from MY OWN personal experience - AVOID, at ALL COSTS, ANY products by D-Link!!! Yes - D-Link routers are inexpensive and have LOTS of user-friendly features - but based on MY OWN hands-on, personal experience with D-Link Products - the results HAVE NOT been so good.

D-Link routers tend to have thermal issues - i.e. they overheat, causing them to behave unpredictably. Also - D-Link's firmware upgrades tend to make their devices MORE unstable - which should be the OTHER WAY AROUND. After a 3-4 years of installing D-Link routers (wireless or otherwise) at my client sites - resulting in many sleepless nights unsucessfully attempting to access these devices remotely - I've STOPPED recommending ANYTHING branded D-Link!

I don't say this with any malice towards D-Link. Given the price and user-friendly-ness of the D-Link products I've worked with - I'd MUCH rather steer my clients towards D-Link. Unfortunately, it has been my experience, that the more rules, Port Forwarding and other configurations you put into D-Link routers, the MORE unstable they become. I've spent LOTS of time on D-Link's tech support site downloading and flashing firmware on their routers in hopes of better results. Unfortunately, these devices tend to be LESS STABLE with the newer versions of their firmware.

I'm sure there will be those who disagree with me out there - but I STAND by my advice based on 2-4 years of personal experience with D-Link products.

As far as consumer-grade routers/switches go - I would steer you toward LinkSys products instead. LinkSys is a consumer brand of Cisco - the leading MFG of broadband hardware. LinkSys products DO cost a bit more, but the reliability is worth the additional cost. NetGear and Belkin also make solid routers (wireless or otherwise). If you're in the consumer wire/wireless market - look at LinkSys, NetGear & Belkin BEFORE you consider D-Link products.

Hope this helps....

- John Hook
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#8
peterm

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That is a fair comment.
It helps when we have someone who uses the products on a regular basis to give an informed opion.
What you have to think about joshuagor44 is at times user like myself may have products like Dlink and not really notice the downside as we normally can get ourselfs going again.
I think John made some valid points.
Cheers
Peterm
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#9
John Hook

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TO ALL HERE:

Again - PLEASE understand that I'm not trying to "TRASH" all D-Link products. For a few years - I was actively recommending D-Link products to my clients as I found them to be the most "user-friendly", cost-effective and feature-full of any other offerings on the market. The web-based configuration interface and all of the features on the D-Link products are FAR more user-friendly and "sexier" than those of comparable LinkSys products. It was only after I had implemented and had to SUPPORT these routers that I discovered how "flaky" and unreliable they can be. For a simple home network with only "factory" default settings, the D-Link wired and wireless routers are probably sufficient. But when you get into a situation where you're configuring these routers with 4+ port forwarding settings, remote Admin access and wireless security - that over time, they ultimately fail - forcing you to reset them frequently or factory RESET them in order to gain access to them. It was my hope that flashing these devices with the latest D-Link firmware might eliminate these stability issues. Unfortunately, the more recent FLASH upgrades only served to make them more unstable. For their price, functionality - they are NOT BAD so long as you're not asking too much of these routers. But in multi-PC environments where you've customized the configuration for port forwarding (NATs), Remote Admin Access, VPN connectivity, etc - they tend to get bogged down and ultimately crash frequently.

There are well documented posts all over the Internet about thermal (overheating) problems with D-Link routers. I guess if you're running a non-mission critical home network and are willing to re-start your D-Link router on a regular basis - then the D-Link might be appropriate. If you're looking for stability and reliability - I would look at the offerings of LinkSys, NetGear or Belkin.

- John Hook
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#10
joshuagor44

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Thanks for the advice, John :) Though, I'm using a wired D-Link router now with no problems :) But I'll take what you said into consideration. Is there any specific router on that site you can recommend?

And does anyone know if I need 54Mbps or 108 Mbps? Are all routers compatible with Vista? I found a wireless router laying around my house, but I think it's only for DSL, so I guess I should watch out that its a cable router, right?

Thanks everyone :)
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#11
John Hook

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joshuagor44,

What is the make/model of the router you found laying around? If it's DSL specific, then it likely has an imbedded DSL modem. The wireless speed issue depends on the wireless capabilities of the PC that you need to connect. Here a link with sub-links offering good explanations of the various WiFi technologies out there:

http://compnetworkin..._Technology.htm

Another site that will give you excellent support with anything/everything broadband is:

http://www.dslreports.com

This site has very detailed support forums for specific providers, types of broadband connections, hardware such as switches & routers, etc. It's basically like this site - but the focus is on broadband.

Hope this helps.

- John Hook
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#12
joshuagor44

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Siemens SpeedStream 6520 (Wireless ADSL Gateway)

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out.
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#13
John Hook

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joshuagor44

Your SpeedStream router won't help you with your cable Internet access - it's DSL specific. Most consumer routers will allow BOTH cable and DSL Internet connections as they support DHCP and/or PPPoE connections. Cable modems are almost ALWAYS DHCP - meaning you don't have to authenticate on your provider's network to get an IP address and Internet connection.

If your D-Link is working fine via wired, but causing problems via wireless connections - AND resetting the modem temporarily clears up the problem on your wireless connections - then I'd look at replacing your router with some other brand. The advice/opinions I gave you about D-Link routers were not simply based on my experience with a couple of defective D-Link routers, but rather, my OVERALL experience with a variety of D-Link models in various home / small office situations (both wired, wireless and a combination of BOTH).

"G" is the fastest WiFi standard and there is "G" with "SRX", which offers even faster speeds, although you need WiFi adapters which support SRX. WiFi is great for laptops and hand-held devices that support WiFi, but remember that "wired" connections are always preferrable over wireless where possible. Even with the best hardware and optimal environmental conditions (i.e. minimal interferance from other wireless devices), WiFi can only give you a fraction of the bandwidth you get with a wired connection.

Check out those sites and reply back here if you have more specific questions.

- John Hook
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