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Looking for a good wireless router

My desktop is down in the basement below where the internet cable comes out of the wall, and has been for a couple of years. For most of that time I was using a Linksys WRT54GL to get a wireless signal. It worked okay at first, but over time the signal was gradually deteriorating - I could run a speedtest each week and see a little less speed than before, and I'd get lengthy lag spikes. I tried a few different things, installing 3rd party firmware and messing with the channel, but it seemed to be a hardware issue, the signal was just bad and getting worse.

Not really thinking, I went to the store and bought what they had, which was a Belkin N600DB. Unfortunately, the signal on this one was even worse. It would give me constant disconnects and even browsing the web was slow. Any interference (such as turning on the microwave, or a nearby laptop) would also destroy the signal from either router. I'm guessing that the wireless signal on these $60 routers just isn't enough to reach through the floor into the basement, which just means I need something better.

At this point I just want to solve the problem, so I'm looking to spend as much as $150 on a router that will give me a solid signal. If I could get a great signal for less that would be nice, but I'll just take something I know will work at this point. So what are the good routers these days? I don't need anything too fancy, it just needs to send a strong consistent wireless signal and have basic ethernet ports so I can plug in my upstairs desktop without a lot of hassle.

Also, my desktop computer connects to the wireless through one of those USB sticks that serves as a wireless access point, it's made by Belkin but I don't remember the model number. Are those mostly all the same, or should I be looking to get a specific one? If I get a good router will I need to get a good usb connector, or is a strong signal from the router enough?

Thanks for any help! I am fairly computer savvy in general, but don't know the specifics of home networking too well.

Arch wrote: »
the lynch mob is a feature, not a bug in the democratic system

Posts

  • WiFiPunkWiFiPunk Registered User regular
    edited October 2013
    It's important to have both good routers and adapters/wireless cards.
    So really it could be your card or adapter that's the problem.

    Regardless, for good performance, at a distance, I recommend what I personally use when wireless.

    A NETGEAR N750
    and a 2000mW Alfa network adapter.

    Otherwise you could always wire some cat6 around your house,
    which would have significantly less latency.

    WiFiPunk on
    PAX East 2015 Status: Badge[X] Hotel[X] Car[X] Vacation[X]
  • RanyRany Registered User new member
    The ASUS RT-N66U is a good option for you on the budget

  • RanyRany Registered User new member
    If you can raise your budget, you can consider the ASUS ASUS RT-AC66U

  • dervondervon Registered User new member
    Do you use the 2.4 GHz network or the 5 GHz network when you connect to your dual-band router? The 5 GHz-band is far less susceptible to interference but is worse at penetrating solid objects. Unfortunately many wireless adapters don't support 5 GHz.

    Also I have experienced with my router that when one computer is very close to it and another quite far from it, the one far from it often loses connection when the first computer is using it at the same time. I have discovered only two ways to circumvent this problem: 1: Lower the wireless transmit power on the computer near the router or 2: Get a long Ethernet-cable and place the router somewhere so the distance to each computer is roughly the same.

  • urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    dervon wrote: »
    Do you use the 2.4 GHz network or the 5 GHz network when you connect to your dual-band router? The 5 GHz-band is far less susceptible to interference but is worse at penetrating solid objects. Unfortunately many wireless adapters don't support 5 GHz.

    Wow that makes a lot of sense. I have a dual band router and for some reason my 5GHz signal only makes it half of the apartment before it goes to 0 bars. Unfortunately the baby monitor we use is 2.4 GHz.

  • Squidget0Squidget0 Registered User regular
    Thanks guys. I have the 2000mW Alfa network adapter in the mail, and if that still doesn't work I'll invest in the RT-N66U or something similar.

    Here's hoping!

    Arch wrote: »
    the lynch mob is a feature, not a bug in the democratic system
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    I'm a bit late to the party, but I've tried out many wifi USB adapters and wifi PCI cards, and have had problems with all of them.

    The only wifi adapter that ever worked reliably for me was the Trendnet TEW-640MB. It connects to your computer through the ethernet port with a standard RJ45 cable. The reason it worked so well, compared to a USB adapter or PCI card was that it was always connected. That's the biggest source of failure for a desktop wifi user - every time you wake your desktop from sleep mode, or power cycle your computer, it has to reconnect to your wifi network. Sometimes this reconnection would fail, for unexplainable reasons and you'd have to wait for the USB/PCI to reset itself, which could take upwards of 15 minutes. But because the TEW-640MB was always on, it always kept a connection with my router, so my computer always had instant internet access upon waking up.

    Trendnet's latest version is the TEW-680MB.
    http://www.trendnet.com/products/proddetail.asp?prod=230-TEW-680MB&cat=13

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  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    So i figured i'd piggyback on this thread instead of starting a new one.

    I've been considering getting a new router, and i've been looking closely at either the higher end netgear's or asus routers. I'm mostly looking for something that is a bit easier when it comes to dealing with some settings in it than my d-link. Currently one thing that annoys me is having to reboot my router after nearly every change i make, whether its port forwarding or reserving an IP address. Do routers still do this?

    I'll say after playing with the asus demo, i like the interface, and the options are very nice. I'm sure i would add either a printer or usb drive to it.

    What's the Netgear packages like? I'm also looking for something that's a bit more clear when forwarding ports. I think for my d-link there are various area's that deal with things like port forwarding, like some application rules page, an actual port forwarding page, and some other page which i dont recall off hand.

    So does anyone have any other recommendations or points of interests?

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || Switch: SW-5274-1897-8495 || 3DS FC: 2079-7419-8843
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    All routers do this because they essentially use a system-on-chip "OS". So to get the changes to stick, you need to reboot. With the Asus, you can - *generally* - do a bunch of changes and then reboot once to get them all to stick.

    I've had experience with Netgear, DLink, Linksys, and Asus over the years; and the Asus setup is the one I feel most comfortable with. Plus, Asus routers support DD-WRT/Tomato out of the box, if you choose to go that route.

    Buffalo brand routers were getting really solid reviews for a while as well, but they seem to have fallen off the radar. I'm not sure if this is because Asus became the FOTM or if Buffalo has fallen off. The nice thing about Buffalo, is their routers ship with DD-WRT already installed.

    I have never played with port forwarding, so I can't help you with that.

  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    Just to add my generic 2 cents, my favorite means of connecting desktops and other non-portables (like TVs and consoles) to a distant router is a powerline adapter.
    You plug one little box to an electric outlet, and to the router via Ethernet. Then you plug the other little box to an outlet near the device you need to get internet'd, and plug into it via ethernet.

    That gives you a solid, secure, fast, stable connection. Mine is 500Mbps, and I can stream and netflix in full HD without a single hitch. It's the most amazing, trouble-free thing ever.

    Steam: Stormwatcher | PSN: Stormwatcher33 | Switch: 5961-4777-3491
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  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    I didn't know asus routers supported custom firmware, that's good to know.

    Still can't really decide which I should go after. It's not a major concern, but one I'd like to be rid of by the end of the year. I've been reading up on asus and it seems support for it can be a bit hard to come by. And I'm somewhat concerned about the reports of it heating up pretty good.

    I've played with tomato on a linksys wrt54gl which I still have, and I like it a lot.

    I haven't done as much research on the netgear, but the only demo of the interface I've found seems like it's for an older model, unless they keeped the ui the same.

    I haven't heard of asus being in the router market for long, but do they release hardware revised products? If they're on some updated hardware for the n66u I might get it. Don't see much need for the AC version yet.

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || Switch: SW-5274-1897-8495 || 3DS FC: 2079-7419-8843
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    The AC version is the update. The N56U, N66U, and AC66U are all part of the same line. The 66U was the uptick from the 56U. From what I've read on the AC66U, the uptick was rolled into adding AC support.

  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    I think the AC version is still just using the latest draft. And with that no being final I doubt I'll care about the super extra speed when none of my devices support it.

    I will say I'm now considering the netgear nighthawk. It's a bit bleeding edge right now, but after reading about the asus stock firmware coming unusable on the device I'm a bit warry of it at this point.

    And so far I can find no complaints about the nighthawk overheating or getting seriously hot. I'll certainly keep my eyes open for more reviews though.

    I will say I'm tempted to get a netgear n750. You can find those for ~100$ atm

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || Switch: SW-5274-1897-8495 || 3DS FC: 2079-7419-8843
  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    So I'm currently between the ac66u and the ac68u. In one hand the 66 is a bit more mature, but I'm wondering if the newness of the 68 is going to be of any major deference. I'll probably buy one of them at the end of the week, so if anyone has some additional info it would be appreciated

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || Switch: SW-5274-1897-8495 || 3DS FC: 2079-7419-8843
  • MugsleyMugsley Registered User regular
    I'll have to do some research on the two. My gut feeling is that you're better off with the 66 at this point; mostly because you won't be taking advantage of 802.11ac yet anyway. And when you will be able to, the capability is there.

  • dav3ybdav3yb Registered User regular
    That's what I'm thinking as well. And I've been seeing reports of the usb3 not really doing well or causing other issues. And I'm never too thrilled with being in the bleeding edge of technology, you're basically a beta tester

    PSN: daveyb1337 || XBL: dav3yb360 || Steam: dav3yb || Switch: SW-5274-1897-8495 || 3DS FC: 2079-7419-8843
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