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Suggestion for wireless router?

FantusFantus Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Games and Technology
I'm getting a new laptop that is N band capable. And my current wireless router only does a/b/g. So naturally, I want to upgrade to something that will take advantage of my new hotness.

However, my wife's laptop still is only g capable. We both have iPhones, and I have my Wii connected wirelessly. Which i'm 99.9% sure isn't N capable.

So my question is, what is the best wireless router for me to buy? I need something that will run N band. I would like something that does dual band (2.4ghz and 5ghz at the same time). I've read some reviews on the D-Link DLG-4500, DIR-855, and DIR-825. The 825 seems like the best bet as it does the same things as the 855, but is about $100 less.

I'm not a huge fan of linksys, but I know there are a lot of people that are. So i'm basically open to any wireless router brand, as long as it'll allow me to keep my wife's laptop connected, as well as our iPhones, and Wii.

Any suggestions? o_O

Fantus on

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    halkunhalkun Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Are you planning on going faster than 54Mps on your local area network? That's G's speed limit. Keep in mind that the speed you get from your ISP is only 1.5 to 7Mps . The speed bottleneck is most likely going to be with your ISP.

    How about going outside a range of about 80 feet?

    If the answer is "No" than don't worry about N, you are likely not going to see any advantage.

    halkun on
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    TethTeth __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    Just find a Linksys 802.11n that meets your needs (such as available wired ports, features like firewall and DMZ and filtering, etc). 802.11n added quite a few things to the 802.11 specification and all of the new routers that support it can achieve higher data rates at ranges further away from the nearest access point (in this case, your router) than a/b/g routers.

    Furthermore, Cisco purchased Linksys a while back which pretty much insures frequent quality firmware updates focused largely around a stable platform across all of their wireless products, with an impressive lifespan before they declare a product to be end-of-life (no longer supported) -- (and currently, this certainly wasn't the case when they first purchased Linksys, which is where some of the bad rep of that whole situation came from). They also seem to support more complicated and granular configurations depending upon your particular ISP (and in many cases, even tailored to your specific area). This is something that cheap and simple routers don't offer.

    For example, with my old $50 P.O.S. Dlink wi-fi router I could only pull about 5 Mbps downstream from my ISP, and never got anywhere near the Mbps throttle/quota of 10 Mbps. I bought a Linksys a few months ago (I forget the model) and was able to tailor config about 30 different settings related to my WAN connection. I now routinely pull 7.5 Mbps. Still not saturating the pipe, probably due to the old ass infrastructure where I live, but that extra $25-35 is well worth another 2.5 Mbps when I'm gaming or working from home.

    Teth on
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    FantusFantus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    halkun wrote: »
    Are you planning on going faster than 54Mps on your local area network? That's G's speed limit. Keep in mind that the speed you get from your ISP is only 1.5 to 7Mps . The speed bottleneck is most likely going to be with your ISP.

    How about going outside a range of about 80 feet?

    If the answer is "No" than don't worry about N, you are likely not going to see any advantage.
    I'd like to go as fast as possible on my local network. G is what we rock now. But I want to be able to get as much out of my N as possible while still using G for the older laptop and iPhones. (Unless they use B, but I should be able to keep it mixed still right?)

    We will be about 10 - 15 feet from the router. And won't the 5ghz frequency band help increase speeds as there is little to no interference on that frequency?

    Fantus on
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    FantusFantus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Teth wrote: »
    Just find a Linksys 802.11n that meets your needs (such as available wired ports, features like firewall and DMZ and filtering, etc). 802.11n added quite a few things to the 802.11 specification and all of the new routers that support it can achieve higher data rates at ranges further away from the nearest access point (in this case, your router) than a/b/g routers.

    Furthermore, Cisco purchased Linksys a while back which pretty much insures frequent quality firmware updates focused largely around a stable platform across all of their wireless products, with an impressive lifespan before they declare a product to be end-of-life (no longer supported) -- (and currently, this certainly wasn't the case when they first purchased Linksys, which is where some of the bad rep of that whole situation came from). They also seem to support more complicated and granular configurations depending upon your particular ISP (and in many cases, even tailored to your specific area). This is something that cheap and simple routers don't offer.

    For example, with my old $50 P.O.S. Dlink wi-fi router I could only pull about 5 Mbps downstream from my ISP, and never got anywhere near the Mbps throttle/quota of 10 Mbps. I bought a Linksys a few months ago (I forget the model) and was able to tailor config about 30 different settings related to my WAN connection. I now routinely pull 7.5 Mbps. Still not saturating the pipe, probably due to the old ass infrastructure where I live, but that extra $25-35 is well worth another 2.5 Mbps when I'm gaming or working from home.
    Is there a good linksys router that supports dual band? As I want to be able to use the N band, but still rock G for my other laptops, game systems, etc.

    And won't running on the 5ghz frequency reduce interference and therefor potentally increase signal strength/speed?

    Fantus on
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    NailbunnyPDNailbunnyPD Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    If what you have now is working fine, then I wouldn't bother upgrading yet.

    That said, I set up an 825 for someone. They had repeated issues with their Linksys WRT54G router, or rather, its weak signal across their large home. I always suspected interference on the 2.4GHz signal (microwave and wirless phone base next to router!), so I chose the 825 for the dual-band feature. Not only did the weak signal issues go away, but they get better range covering most of their home.

    (edit) Dual band is not what you think it is. Most, if not all, Wireless-N routers are going to support B and G devices. Dual band just operates at two frequencies, 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

    I think the Linksys devices have dual band at WRT400N and up.

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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Fantus wrote: »
    I'd like to go as fast as possible on my local network. G is what we rock now. But I want to be able to get as much out of my N as possible while still using G for the older laptop and iPhones. (Unless they use B, but I should be able to keep it mixed still right?)

    I don't think you understand how this whole networking thing works. You say 'as fast as possible' as if you have a clue what you are talking about, when you don't. You'd like to go as fast as possible to where? You aren't driving a car, you are transferring data between two points, and you are limited by the slowest link in the chain. Transferring between your new laptop and the router, who the fuck cares, because you are still limited by how fast the router can get data from its source. Which if it is any other device in your network, its gonna be slower than the N spec, thus being at N speeds for your laptop means fuckall.

    Suggestion: educate yourself on how networks, bandwidth, and data transfers work before throwing money away at a problem that doesn't exist.

    travathian on
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    FantusFantus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    travathian wrote: »
    Fantus wrote: »
    I'd like to go as fast as possible on my local network. G is what we rock now. But I want to be able to get as much out of my N as possible while still using G for the older laptop and iPhones. (Unless they use B, but I should be able to keep it mixed still right?)

    I don't think you understand how this whole networking thing works. You say 'as fast as possible' as if you have a clue what you are talking about, when you don't. You'd like to go as fast as possible to where? You aren't driving a car, you are transferring data between two points, and you are limited by the slowest link in the chain. Transferring between your new laptop and the router, who the fuck cares, because you are still limited by how fast the router can get data from its source. Which if it is any other device in your network, its gonna be slower than the N spec, thus being at N speeds for your laptop means fuckall.

    Suggestion: educate yourself on how networks, bandwidth, and data transfers work before throwing money away at a problem that doesn't exist.

    What I mean by "As fast as possible" is the highest mbps as possible. I get 54 now running G, but when I have a weak signal (for whatever reason) it will drop below that. So natrually, I want a router that will have the strongest signal, at the fastest band possible. As far as I understand it, that is N. And also, running on the 5ghz frequency is going to have less interference than the 2.4ghz frequency. Which means a stronger signal, which means I will be going "as fast as possible".

    Does that make sense?

    I understand that my bottleneck will be my ISP. I won't go fast than that, and that's not what i'm asking. I just want to have the fastest possible connection on my network, which includes the connection to my ISP. Why should I want to only match the speed my ISP gives? What if I want to transfer something over my network to the other laptop, or a networked storage device. I would sure like to do that faster than the same speed I get from the ISP.

    Maybe i'm wrong in all of this. But I think you are just a dick that didn't need to reply to this thread.

    Maybe say something constructive, or just STFU.

    Fantus on
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    CJTheranCJTheran Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    @Fantus:

    If you have a 10 Mbps Internet connection, and use a 54 Mbps router, you get 10 Mbps.

    If you have a 10 Mbps Internet connection, and use a 300 Mbps router, you get 10 Mbps and are $40 bucks poorer.

    CJTheran on
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    devoirdevoir Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    And what if he wants to stream media from his laptop to a HD media player attached via ethernet?

    You guys are getting awfully caught up on the whole internet connection thing.

    devoir on
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Teth wrote: »
    Furthermore, Cisco purchased Linksys a while back which pretty much insures frequent quality firmware updates focused largely around a stable platform across all of their wireless products, with an impressive lifespan before they declare a product to be end-of-life (no longer supported) -- (and currently, this certainly wasn't the case when they first purchased Linksys, which is where some of the bad rep of that whole situation came from).
    Not true. There's a few reasons why Cisco doesn't sell (to my knowledge) Cisco branded routers, and the quality of their consumer-level products (as sold under the Linksys brand) is one of them. They also have incentives to limit the features of the Linksys routers so as to not be competitive with any of their lower end Cisco products.
    They also seem to support more complicated and granular configurations depending upon your particular ISP (and in many cases, even tailored to your specific area). This is something that cheap and simple routers don't offer.
    Most tech savvy consumers get more features from cheap routers (excluding the gimped Linksys routers, such as the current iterations of the WRT54G) by putting third party firmware on them. Odds are Tomato, DD-WRT, or some other firmware will be providing more features for those routers than the stock firmware and possibly make a noticeable improvement in their performance.

    The majority of consumer-level routers have mostly identical innards regardless of what brand they are.
    devoir wrote: »
    And what if he wants to stream media from his laptop to a HD media player attached via ethernet?

    Honestly? If you care about performance you should be using a wired connection anyway. Even 802.11n is half duplex and if you have multiple clients on the network doing bandwidth intensive activities it's entirely possible to bog things down, and if you live in an apartment or dorm there may be enough wireless networks in the vicinity to degrade performance regardless of what channel your router is using.

    Barrakketh on
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    devoirdevoir Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Yeah, and you're pretty much painting a worst case scenario. It's still a situation that gets a lot of play by people who don't want to plug in from either an aesthetics or convenience point of view. I have a WDTV Live and it's a really common setup discussed on the forums I visited when researching the product. A lot of people use a laptop as their primary computer nowadays, and aren't going to want to drag an additional cable out to their couch.

    devoir on
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    travathiantravathian Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Fantus wrote: »
    I understand that my bottleneck will be my ISP. I won't go fast than that, and that's not what i'm asking. I just want to have the fastest possible connection on my network, which includes the connection to my ISP.

    Fastest possible connection to what? What on your network is faster than your current router can handle? Answer: nothing. IE buying a faster router nets you NOTHING. This is what you aren't understanding. your laptop's speed to the router doesn't mean jack shit if the data stream from the router from other parts of your network are slower. Downloading something from the wife's laptop, it is the bottleneck, and thus it doesn't matter how fast your connection is.
    Maybe say something constructive, or just STFU.

    Maybe STFU and read my post before you keep yapping your pie hole.

    travathian on
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    devoirdevoir Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    travathian wrote: »
    Fantus wrote: »
    I understand that my bottleneck will be my ISP. I won't go fast than that, and that's not what i'm asking. I just want to have the fastest possible connection on my network, which includes the connection to my ISP.

    Fastest possible connection to what? What on your network is faster than your current router can handle? Answer: nothing. IE buying a faster router nets you NOTHING. This is what you aren't understanding. your laptop's speed to the router doesn't mean jack shit if the data stream from the router from other parts of your network are slower. Downloading something from the wife's laptop, it is the bottleneck, and thus it doesn't matter how fast your connection is.
    Maybe say something constructive, or just STFU.

    Maybe STFU and read my post before you keep yapping your pie hole.

    Mate, what are you talking about and what are you being such a jerk? G is 54mbps, non-duplex. If he upgrades to N that gives him more bandwidth, 108mbps off the top of my head?

    If he has a desktop on the network that he's streaming from (100mbps, full duplex), upgrading his router from G-capable to N-capable will mean that his laptop is able to receive data faster.

    devoir on
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    FantusFantus Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    devoir wrote: »
    travathian wrote: »
    Fantus wrote: »
    I understand that my bottleneck will be my ISP. I won't go fast than that, and that's not what i'm asking. I just want to have the fastest possible connection on my network, which includes the connection to my ISP.

    Fastest possible connection to what? What on your network is faster than your current router can handle? Answer: nothing. IE buying a faster router nets you NOTHING. This is what you aren't understanding. your laptop's speed to the router doesn't mean jack shit if the data stream from the router from other parts of your network are slower. Downloading something from the wife's laptop, it is the bottleneck, and thus it doesn't matter how fast your connection is.
    Maybe say something constructive, or just STFU.

    Maybe STFU and read my post before you keep yapping your pie hole.

    Mate, what are you talking about and what are you being such a jerk? G is 54mbps, non-duplex. If he upgrades to N that gives him more bandwidth, 108mbps off the top of my head?

    If he has a desktop on the network that he's streaming from (100mbps, full duplex), upgrading his router from G-capable to N-capable will mean that his laptop is able to receive data faster.

    I just wanted to say thank you Devoir. I do have a desktop I plan on having on my network. As well as a network storage drive that I could potentially send large files to/from.

    I sounds like going N band is going to be an improvement for me. Whether or not I fully utilize it now or not. And i'm guessing that going with the dual band will be a good choice, as the 5ghz band will have less interference from any neighbors using the more common 2.4ghz band.

    At any rate, it gives me a good excuse to go buy more stuff! lol

    Fantus on
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    TethTeth __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    Fantus wrote: »
    Teth wrote: »
    Just find a Linksys 802.11n that meets your needs (such as available wired ports, features like firewall and DMZ and filtering, etc). 802.11n added quite a few things to the 802.11 specification and all of the new routers that support it can achieve higher data rates at ranges further away from the nearest access point (in this case, your router) than a/b/g routers.

    Furthermore, Cisco purchased Linksys a while back which pretty much insures frequent quality firmware updates focused largely around a stable platform across all of their wireless products, with an impressive lifespan before they declare a product to be end-of-life (no longer supported) -- (and currently, this certainly wasn't the case when they first purchased Linksys, which is where some of the bad rep of that whole situation came from). They also seem to support more complicated and granular configurations depending upon your particular ISP (and in many cases, even tailored to your specific area). This is something that cheap and simple routers don't offer.

    For example, with my old $50 P.O.S. Dlink wi-fi router I could only pull about 5 Mbps downstream from my ISP, and never got anywhere near the Mbps throttle/quota of 10 Mbps. I bought a Linksys a few months ago (I forget the model) and was able to tailor config about 30 different settings related to my WAN connection. I now routinely pull 7.5 Mbps. Still not saturating the pipe, probably due to the old ass infrastructure where I live, but that extra $25-35 is well worth another 2.5 Mbps when I'm gaming or working from home.
    Is there a good linksys router that supports dual band? As I want to be able to use the N band, but still rock G for my other laptops, game systems, etc.

    And won't running on the 5ghz frequency reduce interference and therefor potentally increase signal strength/speed?

    I don't personally know of any that 802.11n router that only does n and not also a/b/g.

    Teth on
    #1
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    TethTeth __BANNED USERS regular
    edited December 2009
    travathian wrote: »
    Fantus wrote: »
    I'd like to go as fast as possible on my local network. G is what we rock now. But I want to be able to get as much out of my N as possible while still using G for the older laptop and iPhones. (Unless they use B, but I should be able to keep it mixed still right?)

    I don't think you understand how this whole networking thing works. You say 'as fast as possible' as if you have a clue what you are talking about, when you don't. You'd like to go as fast as possible to where? You aren't driving a car, you are transferring data between two points, and you are limited by the slowest link in the chain. Transferring between your new laptop and the router, who the fuck cares, because you are still limited by how fast the router can get data from its source. Which if it is any other device in your network, its gonna be slower than the N spec, thus being at N speeds for your laptop means fuckall.

    Suggestion: educate yourself on how networks, bandwidth, and data transfers work before throwing money away at a problem that doesn't exist.

    Suggestion: tact

    Also, he mentioned using multiple devices and wanting to maintain an even performance level. 802.11n offers a max of 200 Mbps up and down while maintaining higher data rates at further distances, which would certainly help him if he has several computers, consoles, and mobile devices all taxing that old 54 Mbps router and its weak signal. And if he goes with a dual band as suggested, can even do a little segregation to further improve performance if needs be. This also sounds like he makes use of his LAN in general, and increasing the speed of that this side of the WAN connection will benefit him as well.

    Same concept as a LAN. NIC in the workstation (including the OS and efficiency of the computer in general) > access switches > core switches > filtering solution if applicable > router > WAN connection. Any and all can be a bottleneck, and removing the ability to saturate any of them or upgrading them with faster, better equipment is always a good thing and almost always improves performance. This scenario is much simpler.

    Besides, it's not like this is exceptionally sophisticated topics we're discussing, and he's not contemplating some kind of major investment, so why don't you ease up a bit chief? :)

    Teth on
    #1
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    BarrakkethBarrakketh Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Teth wrote: »
    Fantus wrote: »
    Teth wrote: »
    Just find a Linksys 802.11n that meets your needs (such as available wired ports, features like firewall and DMZ and filtering, etc). 802.11n added quite a few things to the 802.11 specification and all of the new routers that support it can achieve higher data rates at ranges further away from the nearest access point (in this case, your router) than a/b/g routers.

    Furthermore, Cisco purchased Linksys a while back which pretty much insures frequent quality firmware updates focused largely around a stable platform across all of their wireless products, with an impressive lifespan before they declare a product to be end-of-life (no longer supported) -- (and currently, this certainly wasn't the case when they first purchased Linksys, which is where some of the bad rep of that whole situation came from). They also seem to support more complicated and granular configurations depending upon your particular ISP (and in many cases, even tailored to your specific area). This is something that cheap and simple routers don't offer.

    For example, with my old $50 P.O.S. Dlink wi-fi router I could only pull about 5 Mbps downstream from my ISP, and never got anywhere near the Mbps throttle/quota of 10 Mbps. I bought a Linksys a few months ago (I forget the model) and was able to tailor config about 30 different settings related to my WAN connection. I now routinely pull 7.5 Mbps. Still not saturating the pipe, probably due to the old ass infrastructure where I live, but that extra $25-35 is well worth another 2.5 Mbps when I'm gaming or working from home.
    Is there a good linksys router that supports dual band? As I want to be able to use the N band, but still rock G for my other laptops, game systems, etc.

    And won't running on the 5ghz frequency reduce interference and therefor potentally increase signal strength/speed?

    I don't personally know of any that 802.11n router that only does n and not also a/b/g.

    Support is one thing, getting good performance is another. I can't speak for 802.11n, but the presence of an active device using 802.11b on a 802.11g network will kill the performance for everyone sharing that router. That's the main reason why you're almost always able to configure a router to be "G only".

    I've read that 802.11n is somewhat better about this, but there can be a big difference in performance between an N-only network and a mixed network.

    Barrakketh on
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    acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Institutionalized Safe in jail.Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I don't want to sound like I'm jumping in and picking sides, but doesn't the average 7200rpm consumer grade hard disk have an average read time of about 30mbps or less?

    Seeing how his wife's machine is a laptop, it has a high probability of being a 5400rpm hard disk.

    I think that might be what travathian was attempting to demonstrate.

    acidlacedpenguin on
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    TethTeth __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2010
    I don't want to sound like I'm jumping in and picking sides, but doesn't the average 7200rpm consumer grade hard disk have an average read time of about 30mbps or less?

    Seeing how his wife's machine is a laptop, it has a high probability of being a 5400rpm hard disk.

    I think that might be what travathian was attempting to demonstrate.

    Most off the shelf SATA drives have a bottleneck ranging wildly from 30 MBps to 300 MBps. Note the capital 'B', compared to Mbps. 30 MBps = 240 Mbps.

    Teth on
    #1
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