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Wireless Router Recommendations...

ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
Hey all,

Gave a search and could not find a dedicated thread.

I think I need a new router for my home network. I find my current setup pretty unreliable. I stream all of my media to my PS3 and the signal is lost nearly daily. While this is not the only problem, it is the biggest.

Right now I am using a D-Link DIR-615. While I do not want to pay a fortune, let's say the my budget is not a real issue as I just want the best unit for reliability and range. I am about to setup a new media center in my basement and currently my router is on my top floor. Will this be a problem regardless?

What say the experts here?

This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
ShadowBlade on

Posts

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Would you believe that, until I finally upgraded my ISP, I was using the exact same model of wireless router as you?

    I'll recommend what I used to replace it: the Linksys E1000 Wireless-N Router. It's relatively cheap, fairly easy to set up (unless you run into weird obstacles like I did), and can send a wireless signal through an apartment wall or two with not too bad loss (my PS3 can get 10 megabits/s from a connection tops out at 28 or so--and that thing has a pretty lousy wireless receiver--and it's sitting 30 to 40 feet away in a different room).

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I'll second the linksys recommendation, generally when I have a choice I go with linksys/cisco every time, usually very reliable for your signal, but also very easy to navigate for configuration changes such as port forwarding and the like

    TheKoolEagle on
    uNMAGLm.png Mon-Fri 8:30 PM CST - 11:30 PM CST
  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Man, I got an E1000 and it sucks ass. Maybe it's cause the router is on the other side of the house and up a floor, but it keeps dropping my signal and it wouldn't stream fast enough to watch a video uninterrupted.

    I had a WRT54G2 that worked pretty well for a couple of weeks, streaming Netflix in HD across the house, until I think I finally overloaded it. I was pushing too much data through it, eventually the wireless signal started to stutter to the point where there were ten-twenty minute periods where it wouldn't even connect. I think now that it's not working more often than it is.

    I'm still trying to find a good solution, but it just seems so hard to find a good router that's not going to drop the signal or die suddenly.

    Oh yeah, and I had a Netgear N-600, but it also constantly dropped the signal and I had to return it.

    freakish light on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Man, I got an E1000 and it sucks ass. Maybe it's cause the router is on the other side of the house and up a floor, but it keeps dropping my signal and it wouldn't stream fast enough to watch a video uninterrupted.

    Ya think?

    Unless the walls of your home are made of paper, and you're getting around 40 mb/s download from your ISP, I think you're going to encounter a lot of stuttering unless you move your router down a floor, at the least.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I have a DLink DGL-4500, and while it's pricey as hell, and you're paying a little bit for the "XTREME SUPER AWESOME GAMER" branding, it's a rock fucking solid router. It has a great QoS implementation, an easy to use but feature rich management interface, and the thing just flat works. We stream high amounts of data across both the wired and wireless interfaces in our house, and this thing just does the job.

    We do Netflix to both the XBox 360 and my wife's laptop wirelessly, plus gaming on the 360, plus my PC is plugged in to the router directly and does gaming, Netflix, etc.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Oh, I meant down a floor. My room is on the second floor, the router is on the first.

    My bad.

    ed: DAMN that is pricey. I guess I could save up for it, maybe. I think I do need a good expensive router that's designed for heavy use, and those don't generally come cheap.

    freakish light on
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Hmmm... A top ten list I found said the same thing so I gave it a shot. No luck. The streaming became choppy during every attempt to view a show. This was never a serious problem with the drink but it was consistent with the linksys. So I took it back and got the 3000 model at nearly 3 times the price. I figured, "Go big, or go home", at this point. This was even more trouble for me. The streams were still choppy, the net became intermittent every few hours and it decided that my wife's iPod was not allowed to send or receive emails.

    So... Did I do something wrong here? I do not have an unusual setup. 2 laptops, 2 iPod touch 2Gs, a wii and a PS3. We have an average house with 2 floors and a basement. The dlink is on the top floor. The PS3 is on the main floor. The biggest issue, really, is that is just randomly prevents the PS3 from seeing the media server. If I reboot the router, all is good again, but this happens daily most of the time. Some times we get good long runs where it is not an issue, but that is pretty rare.

    I have tried to solve that specific problem, but my google-Fu has failed me horribly. I cannot seem to find any answers so I thought I would try a new router... I guess there are 3 questions here now.

    1) Does anyone know why the router drops the media server? The Internet, PS store etc all seem to work.
    2) Why did the cysco routers fail me so?
    3) Lastly, and other router recommendations?

    Thanks for the responses so far guys!

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • GnomeTankGnomeTank Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    That's the thing, routers are very much a "get what you pay for" sort of thing. Whether you go DLink, Cisco/Linksys, Netgear...whatever, the pricier models tend to be pricier for a reason, and it's not just profit. They tend to have better internals, better heat dissipation, more features, etc.

    GnomeTank on
    Sagroth wrote: »
    Oh c'mon FyreWulff, no one's gonna pay to visit Uranus.
    Steam: Brainling, XBL / PSN: GnomeTank, NintendoID: Brainling, FF14: Zillius Rosh SFV: Brainling
  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Is the router on the top of the house instead of the bottom? Try switching that around.

    freakish light on
  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    The E1000 is definitely an economy model. And it's priced accordingly. It's a good economy model, in that it's easy to set up, can go through a wall well (many cannot, actually).

    Expecting it to magically go through to the opposite side of your house, on a different floor, is basically like the router expecting you to be able to see through three walls and a floor.

    If that's the distance you're dealing with, you will be paying a lot more (probably 3 or 4 times that) to try and overcome it.

    EDIT: Honestly, the if an E1000 can't handle the distance, your old DIR-615 almost definitely could not. The optimal range on that thing is not very far.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Oh, more replies... Will have to look up that dlink.

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    Go big or go home:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124388

    Dual band is where it's at. I've seen this router on sale for around $100.

    tsmvengy on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Go big or go home:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124388

    Dual band is where it's at. I've seen this router on sale for around $100.

    o_O

    It's an E3000, and sure enough, it's 3 times what I paid for my E1000.

    It better fucking perform 3 times as well, or have 3 times the range, or something.

    Synthesis on
    Orca wrote: »
    Synthesis wrote:
    Isn't "Your sarcasm makes me wet," the highest compliment an Abh can pay a human?

    Only if said Abh is a member of the nobility.
  • TincheTinche No dog food for Victor tonight. Registered User regular
    edited December 2010
    I got a WRT54GL for my folks' apartment, with a special version of Tomato on it (with OpenVPN). I don't know about signal quality, I went with it for other reasons (QoS, VPN server, reliable Dyndns service; features, basically). It's been absolutely rock solid for the past... 9 months I think? I was expecting having to fiddle with it from time to time, but it just keeps on trucking.

    It was cheap and very easy to flash. It doesn't do N though, and the Ethernet ports are 100 Mbits.

    Tinche on
    We're marooned on a small island, in an endless sea,
    Confined to a tiny spit of sand, unable to escape,
    But tonight, it's heavy stuff.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited December 2010
    I'd stay away from Linksys this generation. That form factor is having a tendency to overheat.

    For what you want to do, going from what sounds like your second floor to your basement, I wouldn't go any lower than the Netgear WNDR3400.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • freakish lightfreakish light Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I'd stay away from Linksys this generation. That form factor is having a tendency to overheat.

    For what you want to do, going from what sounds like your second floor to your basement, I wouldn't go any lower than the Netgear WNDR3400.

    I didn't like that one. I got it from Best Buy and had to return it. My wireless receivers are all G and it would randomly switch me to the 5gHz band, the N-only one, making my internet unusable. And after I went into settings and disabled it, it still dropped the signal randomly. It worked well when it worked, and fast, but it was way too unreliable for me to justify having paid $80 for.

    freakish light on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited January 2011
    I don't know what to tell you then. I have the router one step up from that, which is essentially the exact same router, but with gigabit ports, and the thing is rock solid, and never drops my connections.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • LaPuzzaLaPuzza Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Wow, glad someone started this thread so I didn't have to. Looking to go N so I can stream from my network drive to my xbox 360 without converting to new file formats.

    If I go dual band, based on what I'm reading here, I can continue to use g products (360, netbook, etc) and N products without having to do anything fancy; is that right?

    LaPuzza on
    If I didn't know LaPuzza wasn't a spambot I would think that was a spambot post.
  • BastableBastable Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    LaPuzza wrote: »
    Wow, glad someone started this thread so I didn't have to. Looking to go N so I can stream from my network drive to my xbox 360 without converting to new file formats.

    If I go dual band, based on what I'm reading here, I can continue to use g products (360, netbook, etc) and N products without having to do anything fancy; is that right?
    Yes nothing really different, you're just pretty much buying two transmitter/receivers: 2.4 which you would already have and can do b g n channels and the 5khz one which will do N and A. the N under 5ghz will be faster but the range will be less.

    Bastable on
    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

  • davethebarbdavethebarb Registered User
    edited January 2011
    Whilst I no longer use it after getting a WRT54GL, I would really recommend the Netgear WNR2000. It was stable as a rock, only restarted once or so over a period of almost a year, and even then it was only because of my ISP having a few problems. It's not that high up the product line, but it was hugely reliable and consistent when streaming media over it too.

    davethebarb on
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Glad this is getting replies. It certainly seems to be very subjective. Ho exactly does one "recommend" the routers that failed me so terribly? Obviously they worked for you, so what went wrong here? Is there a resource I could use to sort these kinds of questions out?

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • BastableBastable Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Glad this is getting replies. It certainly seems to be very subjective. Ho exactly does one "recommend" the routers that failed me so terribly? Obviously they worked for you, so what went wrong here? Is there a resource I could use to sort these kinds of questions out?
    These guys are all about the networking. They also have a collection of links for router/modem reviews.

    http://www.firewallguide.com/wireless.htm

    Bastable on
    Philippe about the tactical deployment of german Kradschützen during the battle of Kursk:
    "I think I can comment on this because I used to live above the Baby Doll Lounge, a topless bar that was once frequented by bikers in lower Manhattan."

  • TheKoolEagleTheKoolEagle Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    routers are like harddrives. Everyone has a specific brand they say is awesome but the others are godawful. The truth of the matter is there is a high failure rate for all routers/harddrives to put a bad taste in your mouth, really you could just pick a router randomly and probably be happy with it

    TheKoolEagle on
    uNMAGLm.png Mon-Fri 8:30 PM CST - 11:30 PM CST
  • OverOver ...laser cats? Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    If you want a good resource, check out http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless

    You can get the pros/cons of pretty much any available router, along with prices. I'd also check out the http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-basics section to troubleshoot your current router.

    As an aside, you may want to check out third-party firmware like DD-WRT. It will work on your current router and will give you a lot more bang for your buck. It's also handy to keep in mind that using dd-wrt (or another 3rd party firmware if you prefer) will allow you to use added features like QoS that may not come with a router's default firmware. So if you're trying to decide between a higher end model with more features or a cheaper one with similar speed but less features, as long as the cheaper one can run dd-wrt, you don't need to worry about the features.

    Over on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Over wrote: »
    If you want a good resource, check out http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless
    I'll second this. I bought a Netgear WNDR-3700 based on his review, and it's been solid. I get great reception pretty much everywhere in my house, though to be fair it's a pretty small house.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • ueanuean Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    I came home from out of country (away for two years) and started hooking up my computer, only to discover that I was using a Wireless B PCI card and router. Woops. So I upgraded, but I'm not happy. I bought a TrendNet TWE651 router for $25. N150 spanning total distance of 10 feet through one wall, and while the connection is good and speed is ok for what I need, it has started, after one week, turding out on me. I'll check the network and discover no wireless signal being broadcast, so power cycle the turd and it fires back up. I'm about ready to return it but of course, receipts and boxes got tossed out with the Christmas cleaning.

    My parents picked up a DLink gigabit N300 router for $60 and can't stop raving about how good it is so I'll probably go get one.

    uean on
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  • Cryo84RCryo84R Registered User
    edited January 2011
    I would recommend the AirPort Extreme. Great speed and range. Not to mention it's easy on the eyes.

    Cryo84R on
    So, I see the caterpillar has emerged from his cocoon...as a shark...with a gun for a mouth.
  • Mai-KeroMai-Kero Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    The only Apple product I own is an Airport Extreme, and it was well worth the purchase. It's the only router I know of that does true simultaneous dual-band.

    Mai-Kero on
  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Cryo84R wrote: »
    I would recommend the AirPort Extreme. Great speed and range. Not to mention it's easy on the eyes.
    I'm glad it's working well for you, but I'd argue against OP buying one. Objective testing doesn't back up what you're saying about its range & wireless performance, it has a limited feature set compared to other devices in the same class, yet it costs ~$30 more.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Thanks again for all the links and insights guys. Sadly I guess no one else has experience my specific problem here? I still have to comb the provided links to see if anyone one else has mentioned routers dropping the mediaserver from their PS3s.

    This forum never disappoints!

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • ShensShens Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Hey all,

    Gave a search and could not find a dedicated thread.

    I think I need a new router for my home network. I find my current setup pretty unreliable. I stream all of my media to my PS3 and the signal is lost nearly daily. While this is not the only problem, it is the biggest.

    Right now I am using a D-Link DIR-615. While I do not want to pay a fortune, let's say the my budget is not a real issue as I just want the best unit for reliability and range. I am about to setup a new media center in my basement and currently my router is on my top floor. Will this be a problem regardless?

    What say the experts here?

    I had almost the exact same router as you. I had the exact same problems you are having with the PS3. I could connect to the media server initially, but if I watched something it would randomly drop out. Sometimes games would crash out of multiplayer, other times it was fine. Netflix generally always worked because they have excellent streaming software.

    I got fed up and finally tossed the D-Link.

    I picked up this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124190 (42x Winner for Wireless Routers Customer Choice Award)

    And installed this custom firmware: ftp://dd-wrt.com/others/eko/BrainSlayer-V24-preSP2/08-12-10-r14929/broadcom/

    I haven't had a single dropped connection on the PS3 since the switch. You may want to read up a bit more on DDWRT if you take this route though. I hear Tomato works well with this router as well.

    Additional Info: My router is upstairs. My PS3 is downstairs under all of my TV equipment. Signal strength is good.

    Shens on
  • BurnsBurns Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Regarding Airports, I'm actually running a dual-band Extreme, a single-band N Extreme, two Airport Expresses (single-band N), and an Express G. Granted, I only actually bought the dual-band extreme as I had inherited the rest from a neighbor's family who passed all his computer stuff to me after he passed, but the entire network has been running rock solid in my house as a mesh network. The expresses provide a port to the switch that my Slingbox and Xbox 360, as well as a printer service. The extremes have a flash drive and a hard drive (functioning as a guest dropbox and a backup server respectively). On the other hand, if I had to pay for all these toys I would have probably stayed with my cheaper setup.

    Previously I had a cheaper Netgear modem/wireless router and a WRT54GS running DD-WRT, but I had a lot of issues with the modem's DHCP server, DNS, or wireless crapping out using the Netgear alone. I disabled NAT on the Netgear and gave the Linksys the public IP, and let all DD-WRT do all the heavy lifting. Heat dissipation is a serious issue to consider as overheating will cause network failure (as experienced with the D-Link).

    While the OP doesn't appear to need the ethernet port for bridging (as the PS3 has wireless built in), I can attest I've never had the networking functionality crash on any of the Apple hardware, but I will admit that I saw a marked decrease in range since none of the equipment had external antennas. Having a couple of AP's spread out repeating alleviates range issues, but there's a little overhead for each AP I suppose. Echoing another comment earlier in the thread, something dual mode would be something that you're not going to regret.

    Burns on
    I only posted here for the blue dot.
  • CoolTrainerCoolTrainer Registered User regular
    edited January 2011
    Over wrote: »
    If you want a good resource, check out http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless
    I'll second this. I bought a Netgear WNDR-3700 based on his review, and it's been solid. I get great reception pretty much everywhere in my house, though to be fair it's a pretty small house.

    I'm going to throw another vote in for this router. It's a bit pricey, but it's proven to be a great router and I'm very happy with its range, dependability, and speed.

    Many would argue that you could get by perfectly fine with something cheaper, and they would probably be right, but I finally just decided I was tired of going through cheaper routers trying to find one that worked.

    CoolTrainer on
    League of Legends ID: Cloogr

    3DS / Pokemon XY: 0774-5590-9276
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    UPDATE:

    Just bought the WNDR-37AV based on the recs here. Holy crap was it GLORIOUS! Best router to ever send 1s and 0s to my machines... for 1 hour. Thing fried after running for one hour. No fooling... I am replacing it and trying again, but I am seriously not exaggerating, I did not know my connections could work THAT well, but I also did not know a router could fail THAT fast.

    If the next one work as well for a longer run, I will give more kudos.

    Again thinks for the help folks!

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, that's odd. I have the 37AV, and it's been running solid for 8 months.

    Bionic Monkey on
    sig_megas_armed.jpg
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Every now and then you get a bum device. Just part of the manufacturing process.

    Seems the OP is already set, but I thought I'd throw my hat in anyway. I've tried a half dozen routers since, but so far nothing has made me as happy as the good ol' WRT54GL (well, my first one was just a G). Got a distance/range problem? Buy two. We were having problems getting video to stream reliably to the media center, so I replaced the wireless card with a second WRT54GL, set up as a client (so it basically acts as a virtual ethernet cord to the main router, and splits one wireless connection between all the wired devices hooked to it).

    Never had problems after that.

    And I'm punching through a ton of shit. My theory is that it's largely a matter of having two good antennas, versus the one mediocre antenna most wireless receivers use. Routers are usually just set up to have longer range and better signal than clients, so using a router as a client is just win-win. And if this doesn't work? You can buy better antennas. They don't even cost that much.

    Considering a decent wireless card will run you $20 or more, just spending $50 on a router (as long as you have space on your desk/entertainment center) isn't that big a leap.

    Plus, one of these can run your TV, Xbox, PS3, Computer....up to five wired devices without adding any more hardware (in Tomato, the custom firmware I use, you can configure the WAN port as a LAN port if you're not using it).

    mcdermott on
  • ShadowBladeShadowBlade Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Round 2 arrived today and has been running now for about 5 hours. Hey That's a record for this device for me. :-P

    Still a glorious machine. Thanks again folks!

    ShadowBlade on
    This world needs a new philosophy. No more, "Could be worse..." I say SHOULD BE BETTER!
  • lowlylowlycooklowlylowlycook Registered User regular
    edited June 2011
    I think I might need a couple routers.

    1st one, I'd like a wireless router that will hang a USB hard drive off it and have that drive shared over the network.

    2nd one, I'd like a router with the best possible range without spending too much, i.e. keeping it under $200.

    I don't really need the best possible speed so I'm thinking that I won't need a dual band router in either case. Otherwise, more reliable is better as is cheaper.

    For the first I'm thinking that this asus might fit.

    Any advice?

    lowlylowlycook on
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