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best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 02:01 PM   #1
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best wireless router?

As I am writing this - I will probably have to reset my wireless router a few times! I also work from home and I am ready to throw it out the window! but I live in a one story so it will likely survive.

Anyhoo - it's a Linksys wrt54 gs - from the old generation and apparently there are newer "N" generation routers that have improved on their clunky predicessors? and from what i have found it is either loved or hated - i am in the latter camp.

I don't need a ton of range - my house is not that big about 1700 square feet and I use the laptop primarily in two rooms - I just want one that won't drop me every 5 minutes!!!

I tried doing some research but it seems there is not yet consensus on which one is the best or they get too techy for me to sort out...

i heard the netgear routers are good but have poor service and then the d-link ones are also recommended but not universally...then there are other ones that are not as widely available or known...

Any suggestions here?

I will pay for quality!!!
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 02:37 PM   #2
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Re: best wireless router?

Sorry, I do not have any good advice. Just wanted to say that we have the Linksys model WRT54G and we get dropped all the time also. It is very frustrating and I am in that latter camp with you.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 04:20 PM   #3
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Re: best wireless router?

I've got Netgear WTG 624 - only had a couple of drop issues, think it was power outage related. I've had it for 2+years - works great.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 04:23 PM   #4
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Re: best wireless router?

I had issues with the (at the time) new G routers. We had two ancient Linksys B routers, which worked perfectly. We bought the G to expand a little bit. Never was able to make the new internal wireless network cards communicate with the G-router. Turned the G-router into a wire-based router, and kept the old B-routers for wireless connections (using the old B Linksys wireless USB adapters).

Sorry, can't offer more advice...other than to say I'm apparently in the "hate it" camp.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 04:35 PM   #5
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Re: best wireless router?

Have a Linksys wireless g 2.4 ghz. I have no idea what that means, except for the wireless part. We have two laptops and I sit on the front porch or in the back yard and have good signal. Wife is usually in the other side of the house with hers and no problems. When the kids come in with their laptops I give them the secret launch codes and they have no problems. So, mine ain't broke and we are happy ,
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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Re: best wireless router?

What changed? Did you just move into this place? Build a new wall? Change your access point? Is this an old router but new equipment to you? Did you get a new cordless phone? If so, does the cordless phone and router share the same frequency? Please fill us in on the details...
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 05:10 PM   #7
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Re: best wireless router?

i don't think anything changed - it was never that great since we got it - about a year and half ago - it seems to just be getting worse.

i just uploaded updated firmware - but not seeing much improvement...

i do have a cordless in the same room - but can't move it because it is connected to the fax...

i have just heard some of the new ones may be better then my lemon...
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 05:15 PM   #8
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Re: best wireless router?

The apparent degradation is caused by something. I would say to hunt and peck for the source of the problem if routers weren't so gosh darned cheap these days. You could pay maybe 40 - 50 bucks for a Netgear router (not a bad piece of equipment BTW) and throw it on your network. If you still have the same issue, then you'll need to look elsewhere on your system to find the root cause.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 05:33 PM   #9
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Re: best wireless router?

I have a Belkin that works well now. Initially though I had serious drop problems. This was due to a driver issue from Dell or Microsoft (I don't recall now).

I would make sure you have the latest software from your computer_brand, microsoft and Linksys.
Did you checked the signal strength for your device?
You can also try another RF channel on the Linksys setup. The first channel might be used by others around and be cluttered. Also the middle channel (7?) has a chance to be better.

Hope this helps...
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 06:14 PM   #10
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Re: best wireless router?

bright eyed, assuming you're on channel 6 now, try channels 1 or 11. More and more wireless routers are showing up every day and most people just stay on 6.

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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:12 PM   #11
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Re: best wireless router?

I bought a dell laptop a month ago and just over the weekend I had a window pop up that said a wireless connection was available. So I clicked on it and sure enough I'm online. Shows it is connected via Netgear. Not sure if it is from some router in the neighborhood or from the local community college (about 500-700 yards from here), but it works great. Is it illegal for me to use this connection? First laptop I have ever owned so not sure what you can or can't do.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:14 PM   #12
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Re: best wireless router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DOG52
Is it illegal for me to use this connection? First laptop I have ever owned so not sure what you can or can't do.
Only if your very considerate but blissfully ignorant neighbor can figure out who's been downloading all that stuff over their IP address... how close do you live to bright eyed?
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:24 PM   #13
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Re: best wireless router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Only if your very considerate but blissfully ignorant neighbor can figure out who's been downloading all that stuff over their IP address... how close do you live to bright eyed?
I have no idea who I am connected to.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 07:29 PM   #14
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Re: best wireless router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
Only if your very considerate but blissfully ignorant neighbor can figure out who's been downloading all that stuff over their IP address... how close do you live to bright eyed?
I'm so glad my wireless network is locked down. Nothing is more irritating than neighbors ciphening my expensive bandwidth...
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 09:58 PM   #15
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Re: best wireless router?

IMO, if you have a desktop (or a laptop that you don't move around), just run a wired connection. Less that can go wrong. I am using a Buffalo brand wireless router, but don't recommend them, because their tech support has hold times in excess of one hour. It was cheap enough that I consider it a "throwaway" piece of hardware, though. It does a decent job and has done so for a couple of years.

I've also had good luck with Netgear and Linksys models. Have you upgraded the firmware to the latest version?
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-20-2007, 10:10 PM   #16
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Re: best wireless router?

I've used a Belkin Wireless G Plus MIMO for about 7 months and thus far it is bullet proof. Went with this one based on a strong recommendation from the Walt Mossberg column.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-21-2007, 12:24 AM   #17
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Re: best wireless router?

WiFi routers are really commodity items today. The FCC has regulated the wireless portion of the units so they all have pretty much the same range, bandwidth, bit rate, etc. The chips that comprise the electronics are manufactured like jelly beans by multiple sources. The biggest difference between units is likely to be ruggedness and reliability. Even that discriminator is disappearing. You can always get a lemon, but barring that one unit will probably play about the same as the next.
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-21-2007, 01:55 AM   #18
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Re: best wireless router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bright eyed
i don't think anything changed - it was never that great since we got it - about a year and half ago - it seems to just be getting worse.

i just uploaded updated firmware - but not seeing much improvement...

i do have a cordless in the same room - but can't move it because it is connected to the fax...

i have just heard some of the new ones may be better then my lemon...
Two suggestions for you:
1): try the previously mentioned ideas of different channels, moving the router away from the phone, or adding one of the external antennas that give better range.
2): only having it for a year and a half, in my experience with Linksys, they have a 3 year warrenty that although they claim they will replace with the same version, actually has come with the latest boxed version - same model, no charge other then shipping the old one to them and parcel post is good enough for a broken router. It does take calling their customer service to get a ticket number, and then talking to their tech service while they try walking you through several things - if you sound like you are familiar with the common items (power cycle, change channels, move away from phones, check for latest software firmware version, et.al.) and you keep insisting that it is an intermittent problem that you have had for awhile (several months), they will finally issue you an RMA, ask you to ship your old unit back, and as mentioned will return a unit to you. They are pretty quick once they receive the old unit as well, took them about a week before I received the replacement unit.
Replacement units have worked flawlessly ( I have several units, so I have done this more then once).
Good Luck
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-21-2007, 08:48 AM   #19
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Re: best wireless router?

Make sure you update the network drivers on your laptops wireless adapter...some centrino chip set drivers have some flaky stuff in the earlier updates that cause disconnects.

Is the disconnect on the wireless end (between the router and pc) or is it between the router and your ISP?

I've been using routers from Trendnet lately. Nice range on them. Heres one for ten bucks.

If you go a little further up the food chain (I have the tew-611brp) you get quality of service (QOS) and a hardware speedengine chip that prioritizes your traffic so that voice-over-IP, video and other similar services get priority over things like file transfers and updates.

Hate their client cards. Lousy driver support. But great range on the routers and no problems so far.

D-Link is evil. Netgear is ok. belkin is ok. Linksys is good.

Heres another deal

[Moderator edit: shorter links!]
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Re: best wireless router?
Old 02-21-2007, 11:38 AM   #20
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Re: best wireless router?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Make sure you update the network drivers on your laptops wireless adapter...some centrino chip set drivers have some flaky stuff in the earlier updates that cause disconnects.
Yeah, that's my experience. Disconnects are almost always a client-side issue rather than the router. And Intel drivers have been some of the worst.
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