Which wireless router?

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Tom Owad's picture
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Which wireless router?

My D-Link router is on its way out, after only about two years. The D-Link replaced the Linksys, which lasted about three. I'm seeking advice on what to get now. In the under $30 range, I see D-Link, NetGear, and Motorola (all 802.11g). Anybody have particularly good or bad experiences to share?

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I have a Linksys WRT-54G, and

I have a Linksys WRT-54G, and absolutely love it. Not only is the standard firmware good, but there are also independent firmware releases out there that offer more/better features (Linksys firmware is covered under the GPL, and Linksys offers the source code for download). I bought the Linksys to replace a D-Link, which I hated.

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I have a really cheap Network Everywhere router.

Warning: This post contains one attempt at humour. The attempt at humour can be found in the first paragraph immediately following this warning. You will know that I have made an attempt at humour if my message is prefaced with a warning. The actual attempt at humour will be followed with the wink symbol. End of warning.

I have a really cheap Network Everywhere router that I bought for less than $20 Canadian (About three dollars U.S. Wink ) and I've had absolutely no problems with it.

I've done some research on this particular router, and have read that people have had problems when attempting to update the firmware in it. Apparently the firmware updates convert your functional router to a paperweight.

Anyway, I've had no problems with mine, and it's been running nonstop for the last eleven months. It's a Network Everywhere router, model NWR04B.

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Wait...

dang, a few weeks ago, you could have nabbed a new 802.11g router for $3.

I've been emailing friends without wireless for the last month or so... as while watching this dealnews rss feed for cheap deals on Seagates, I can't help but notice the trend in wireless getting really cheap. I know $30 doesn't seem like much for this technology... but you can do a lot better for 802.11g... or upgrade for a little more for a D-Link DWL-926 Xtreme G 108Mbps Kit for $37, and yeah, that includes shipping... yowzers

[edit]
oops, that deal expired... anyway, my suggestion is wait and watch that feed for a great deal...

doug-doug the mighty's picture
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AirPort

I have an AirPort Extreme, which supports g and b. the only trouble I ever have had is that my cordless phone operates in the same 900Mhz range that Apple told me my base station does, short of that, it was a good purchase.

You may find a godd deal on one on eBay.

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need AppleTalk?

I recently replaced my old failed SpeedStream wifi/router with a found-by-the-side-of-the-road Linksys "b" jobbie, which worked great except it doesn't pass AppleTalk over wifi. Hmmph, no wireless printing to my LW Pro 630 from TiBook or iBook! I did a little googlin' and found the Asante "FriendlyNET FR1104-G Wireless Router" does AT, so that's what I got. I think it might be discontinued, I got mine NIB on eBay for $20.

Whatever you choose, if you have any legacy LaserWriters or other limited-to-AT devices, ensure you factor that into your purchase.

dan k

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Re: AirPort

doug-doug the mighty wrote:
...the only trouble I ever have had is that my cordless phone operates in the same 900Mhz range that Apple told me my base station does, short of that, it was a good purchase...

That's not right. AirPort is standard 802.11b/g, which uses the 2.4GHz range. 900MHz cordless phones shouldn't affect wireless signal at all (but 2.4GHz phones will -- which is why I bought 5.8GHz phones!).

Oh, and at least on newer Linksys routers (like the WRT54G) they'll pass AppleTalk over WiFi...I have an HP JetDirect connected to my laser printer, and can print wirelessly via AppleTalk from my PowerBook.

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Hmmm

I thought it was off a bit. I remebered that they were on the same range. I checked my phone and it is indeed 2.4GHz. I mistated the range. Thank you.

Point being, I get good use out of my AirPort and keep the phone away from the base station. I like the AirPort as it is easy to setup and use and works well out of the box with the native Apple stuff. I am biased in my opinion as it is the only wireless stuff I have ever used and I am using WEP with my configuration. Most folks I now using wireless use NetGear, but also are purely PC based.

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I go through wireless routers

I go through wireless routers like most people change the oil in their car.

Apple:
Easy to set up, works pretty well. Usually a step behind on security and often gets real cranky with PC's. Everybody knows my feelings on the rev 1 airport extreme.

Linksys WRT-54G:
Cheap little box with open source firmware. This is a good thing because the built in firmware truly sucks. I thought it would be cool to upload new OS's to it and do all sorts of neato things. Turns out, you can't polish a turd.

AirLink+ G:
Worked really well until it broke (which was about 3 weeks). Seems a common theme with these.

DLink Gamer's Lounge:
My current router and a truly fantastic product. Not under $35 but it'll save you so many headaches, it's worth it. I bought it in June and I've had to reset it only twice. This product rivals small business routers for reliability but it's much easier to set up.

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The local PC mags here (.au)

The local PC mags here (.au) have been highly rating the Zyxel hardware, and I've heard tell that Belkin supports Appletalk on at least some of their gear.

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Re: I go through wireless routers

drbob wrote:

Apple:
Easy to set up, works pretty well. Usually a step behind on security and often gets real cranky with PC's. Everybody knows my feelings on the rev 1 airport extreme.

For those of you not familliar with Dr. Bob's opinion on the Rev 1: http://vader.inow.com/~drbob/temp/airport.mov

I'm a happy Airport Express user, but that's out of the requested price range, and I'm on an all Apple network.

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smc

u might consider a smc router. i have mine for 2/13 yrs now with now issues

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i bought a linksys wirless-B

i bought a linksys wirless-B broadband router model number BEFW11S4 v4
ive had it for about a year and never had any problems with it. i paid around $45 for it new. i would rather buy a linksys or name brand router. i wouldent waste my money on a cheap no name router wile you will pay a bit more for a name brand and get a good support and a good warenty

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I've never had a lick of trou

I've never had a lick of trouble with my AirPort Extreme base station. I use it for two iBooks (wirelessly and wired), 2 iMacs (wired), a PowerBook G3 Lombard and 5300ce (wired), a PowerMac 6500/275 (wired), and a Pentium 3 desktop (wired).

I've had only two issues with AirPort, neither being the fault of the base station:

1) My 2.4 GHz phones interfered with it -- specifically the AirPort created intolerable noise on the phone.

2) My next-door neighbors put in an ActionTek router (I think that's Japanese for ReallySucks) and of course it transmits on channel 11, the default channel for AirPort. I used the AirPort Admin Utility to change it to channel 4, and all has been quiet on the western front ever since (no problems).

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what about the range???

is there anyone out there to recommend a particular wireless router when the performance and range are essential? especially the range, because i'm searching for a router with maximum range inside buildings...

thanks in advance for any advice on that!

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I just bought the Netgear WGR

I just bought the Netgear WGR614 v6 and it's great.

Great Web-Interface and overall functionality.

Jon
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I bought a NetGear MR814v2 (8

I bought a NetGear MR814v2 (802.11b w/ 4 10/100 hub) a long time ago for cheap (at the time) and it's been pretty solid. I use both WiFi and wired often and I only had to reboot it to get it to talk to the DSL router, or way back when, whenit had to talk to the cable modem. Otherwise it only gets reboot ed when I have to unplug it to move it.

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Re: what about the range???

chris501 wrote:
is there anyone out there to recommend a particular wireless router when the performance and range are essential? especially the range, because i'm searching for a router with maximum range inside buildings

Since you didn't specify a price, this is easy. The Cisco Aeronet wireless base stations are hands down the best in range, performance, and compatibility.

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Re: what about the range???

Well, if I could spend more than 400 quids on a wireless router, then I could buy me a BMW as a second car too... but as I'm not that wealthy (I only drive an old Ford Mondeo and can't afford gasoline even for this car sometimes), you may suggest a cheaper router, I don't mind, really! Wink

So, let's get serious again:
My budget allows me to go up to 180 max... If there's something to recommend in that price class (maybe with double antennas, if it's worth), let me know!

Thanks!

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I don't know what a "quid" is

I don't know what a "quid" is, but the SonicWall TZ170 is quite a bit cheaper and still very good.

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the holy magic and almighty quid

well, actually we refer to the holy magic and almighty quid as simply "money". in your case, dollars (i suspect), in my case euros or whatever fits my current mood... i can go with turkish lira too... or dubai dirhams???

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Senao

Senao have a range of 100mW and 200mW hardware - most of the others are around 30mW. It's sold under another brand name as well, sorry, can't remember what right now. That should help with range issues, that and having a good external antenna at both ends. They're a bit pricier than some, but certainly not Cisco prices.

Check my FAQ in the signature line below, as well as the Melbourne Wireless wiki and FAQ

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Current good deals
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netgear

what about this one:

Netgear WPN824

looks like a very good device. ordered it today, let's see what this thing can handle!

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SMC's are the way to go

I'd keep my eye on the big-box electronic retailers in your area for sales (especially now after American Thanksgiving) and see if you can't snag a deal.

I'm running 3xSMC and 1xD-Link. The D-Link needs to be reset on a daily basis. The SMC's have been up for 6 weeks and counting. Plus, the SMC's have more features.

I bought an SMC 802.11g router for $10, and I couldn't be happier with it. Plus, SMC kit all comes with a lifetime warranty. I think D-Link is only 1 year.

Cheers,

The Czar

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Re: netgear

chris501 wrote:
what about this one:

Netgear WPN824

got it. it came a few days after ordering it. i'm quite happy with it so far, it has got 7 internal antennas, the rangemax feature, is capable of 108Mbps transmissions and so on. it's quite a neat gadget.

i'm just having one problem with it: everytime i set up access control lists, i can't connect over the wireless interface some hours later. and yes, i'm sure i have no typos in the mac address! anyone got a clue on this?

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if anyone's still looking

Get the one for less than $4... or get 10 for less than $40.

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netgear wpn824

the last in a long line of way-to-expensive stuff to play around with...

actually, not the most expensive one. i spent about 85 euros for it. it has got 11, 54 and 108 mbit/s wlan access, 4 ethernet lan ports and one ethernet wan port. i'm quite satisfied with it, even if i had to send the first one back because i wasn't able to get any wlan connection at all. overall: medium quality, sleek design, good performance...

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Re: netgear wpn824

chris501 wrote:
the last in a long line of way-to-expensive stuff to play around with...

actually, not the most expensive one. i spent about 85 euros for it. it has got 11, 54 and 108 mbit/s wlan access, 4 ethernet lan ports and one ethernet wan port. i'm quite satisfied with it, even if i had to send the first one back because i wasn't able to get any wlan connection at all. overall: medium quality, sleek design, good performance...

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Re: Current good deals

I have this exact router, and have recomended it to a few of my friends & relatives. I have never had a problem with it, nor have any of my friends (or if they have, they arent telling me).

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nice.

Linksys WRT54GP2 802.11g Vonage Router for $3 profit after rebates

I don't see why they just don't give them away...

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I could use some help with setting up a network.

Does anyone here know of a good advice site for setting up mixed networks (i.e. wireless and wired)? I've Googled, with minimal achievement.

The current set-up is from the DSL modem to the iMac's ethernet port. I'm running the current OSX on an iMac800, and airport running G4 TiBook, Earthlink DSL, and have a Graphite Airport Base, and a US Robotics model#8003 router.

Last Friday, I was in the throws of accessing the built-in control feature on the US Robotics router (by entering it's default IP address in the address line of the web browser . . . successfully ), when my girlfriend informed me that we had to take an emergency road trip to visit her sick father for the weekend. I completely lost my place (in the Network Control Panel) and the setting that I had to access the router set-up. Any advice on getting back to that setting could help too.

Mutant_Pie

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