Wireless Router Advice

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by PineyMountainRacing, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    I need a wireless router for my 1800 sq ft office, will be using Comcast's "economy" internet service, mainly doing emails and text stuff. I have a Linksys 300N "something or other" at home which seems to work OK, I have a lot of Internet outage at my home so who knows about the router.

    So what's the best bang for the buck? I've got an OfficeMax and a BestBuy a block away, but can order online too.

    The cheaper the better :D
    #1
  2. Andyinhilo

    Andyinhilo Long timer

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    For reliability, I would highly recommend an Apple Airport. I have had several cheaper routers that worked OK for a while, 6 months to a year, then would begin to lose connections etc. These were by Linksys, D-link and Belkin. When I replaced the Belkin with my Airport, that was 5 or 6 years ago, and I have not had a bit of trouble.

    I passed the Belkin to a buddy who lives in a cooler location, and it has worked OK for him. I live in Hilo, Hawaii, where temperatures get into the 80s year round, and I can't afford A/C, and I think that heat is a big factor.

    So if you don't want to spend the Apple $$, my next recommendation is the Belkin stuff. You may find it useful to get one with a USB port so you can connect a USB printer or hard drive to the network.
    #2
  3. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    My wireless router recently died, and I replaced it with a belkin N600 (which has the USB port to make my printer wireless).

    Set up was a bit of a pain, but other than that no real issues.

    Range is pretty good...I have it set up in the second floor, back bedroom (which doubles as my office), and it easily provides a strong signal to the garage which is at the other end of the house.
    #3
  4. SJSharkfan

    SJSharkfan Been here awhile

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    Just went through this with my home network. I'm not an IT pro but here is what I went with.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/NETGEAR...orts/1208844.p?id=1218234872989&skuId=1208844

    Good range, ratings and speed. If you stream hi def movies I would get a N-900 router. This one has worked well so far ( 1 week) and seems to handle all our needs, i.e. you tube,xbox and multiple users.

    If any one else has a better suggestion I can still return it!
    #4
  5. ~DC~

    ~DC~ An Internet Legend

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    I think most any of the name brands will be fairly equal, I've never been a big fan of Belkin products, but don't really have any first-hand experience with their stuff.

    I've personally used Linksys and DLink. The DLink I had was back when consumer WiFi was new to the market. That device was fine until I applied a firmware update that caused problems, it was never right again, even after installing the older firmware. I've got a Linksys router that I bought back in 2004-2005 timeframe that's still going strong, never have to touch it.
    #5
  6. MookieBlaylock

    MookieBlaylock Long timer

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    i have a dlink with the printer set up wirelessly and it works well. It made me sad though when i called for help and it was some far corner of the world and a bit worthless. They used to have really good support
    #6
  7. DUNDERHEAD

    DUNDERHEAD Been here awhile

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    Apple Airport. Just my 2 cents
    #7
  8. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Linksys E3000. Easy setup, and all that needs to be done on any PC to initially connect is to run one executable file, then hit connect to router and push the button on the router when it asks for the password.
    #8
  9. TheMuffinMan

    TheMuffinMan Forest Ranger Magnet

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    I like my Trendnet wireless router. I've had it for 4 years and works well; has lots of options for setup and configuration.


    I'd order from http://newegg.com.


    I'm a IT professional by trade.
    #9
  10. bwringer

    bwringer Gimpy, Yet Alacritous

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    The "modem" that Comcast provides may also be a wireless router. Or are you specifically getting a "single-function" device?

    Wait and see what you get.
    #10
  11. Clint Taurus

    Clint Taurus Been here awhile

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    I've had great luck with Linksys (a Cisco company). Security tip...you can use MAC address filtering to keep unwanted surfers from riding your bandwidth(unless they are sophisticated hackers).
    #11
  12. janeuner

    janeuner Get Some

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    I have a ~2000 sq ft house, and host the occasional LAN party. Here is my solution:

    Linksys E3000 --- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124419

    I own two. I put one at each end of the building, with ethernet cable running to each (switch ports only). Both have the same SSID and WPA2 passphrase, and they use non-overlapping frequency channels. Wireless devices float between the two depending upon the relative signal strength without any user interaction or service interruption.

    How do they work? I never think about them, and I always have strong wireless signal, even outside the house. I know of no other metric that matters.

    If I was too lazy to run the ethernet cable, one in the center of the house would probably be fine. I just like the redundancy.
    #12
  13. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    Surprised to see the E3000 come up considering its now outdated. I'm also using an E3000 running Tomato USB firmware and its great. For the $40 I paid for a refurb, I don't think it could be beat.

    If I wasn't so cheap, I'd probably have an Apple Airport.
    #13
  14. CodeMonkee

    CodeMonkee Geek Adventurer

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    Most name brand routers are fairly reliable, where you will see the differences in brands and models are speed (especially at the edge of the coverage) and especially range. If you have problems with coverage then you need to look at one of the tech sites and read their reviews.

    For example, the router that Frontier supplied me - a cheapo Netgear with no external antennas - is fine inside the house, but step two feet outside and there is no connection at all. My house is not that big. I need coverage not just out on the patio but on the deck and all the way to the shop (over 100 feet away). So I need to get another router that has enough power to extend that far (I have an old Linksys with external antennas I may connect on that side of the house, but it doesn't have a bridge mode).

    Also, a couple of notes:

    1) Ultimate speed isn't that important if your internet connection is low speed. I live out in the boonies and the fastest my connection can be is 1.5 mbps - period. I am at the far end of the DSL line and I am lucky to get DSL at all.

    So 55 mbps or 550 mbps from the router doesn't really matter to me unless I start having devices talk to one another on the network - which I may, then it will matter.

    2) Security is important. Most routers today come with firewalls built in, but check to make sure.
    #14
  15. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    CodeMonkee speaks the truth.

    One thing I might add is recommending a dual-band router (2.4GHz and 5GHz) since 802.11n (the current fastest wifi rate) can use 5GHz and there will be less interference at that frequency. If you're using a cordless phone or any other wireless devices in the 2.4GHz frequency range, your wireless performance may be affected. The cheaper routers are single band only.
    #15
  16. Going_Commando

    Going_Commando Been here awhile

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    Cisco/linksys is the best. For that size office get one with external antennas or at least a wifi extender if you dont want to do the 2 routers with same ssid route.
    #16
  17. PineyMountainRacing

    PineyMountainRacing Oops....

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    Thanks for the ideas, I'll check them out. I had a NetGear N600 Dual Channel that was given to me NIB. I tried to use it to replace my older Linksys at home, thinking it would be faster. But every time I try to hook it up it knocks my cable modem off line, or something like that. So I'm back to using the Linksys and I'll.just pick up one of these for the office.
    #17
  18. BerndM

    BerndM Shiftless One

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    Unless you absolutely NEED to use wireless because of physical constraints, you should go with CAT-5 net cable. Once installed you'll never need to think about it again. :evil
    #18
  19. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    Sent from your Rotary Phone using an etch-a-sketch on dialup?

    Seems like a cable takes the "mobile" out of "portable".

    Some things in my home are wired (blu ray disc player, desktop computer, etc). Some things aren't (laptop, smartphone, etc.)...
    #19
  20. ~DC~

    ~DC~ An Internet Legend

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    There are fewer security concerns with a wired network. OP may not have any reason to worry about it though.
    #20