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AHHHHH Routers!

donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
Well my dad has consulted me about getting a new router, and to be honest, I don't know much about it. Its also kind of annoying to dig through, considering that routers never have normal names. So Im left with making a list of model numbers.

Instead of doing that, I come to you PA... Humble and eager to listen!

So here is the requirements.
I have been doing some research on a new router and the more I look the more I am confused. Wonder if you could do some research to in to a new router.

What I would like the router to do:

Provide fast N performance (my laptop has an N capable wireless adapter - looking for 300Mbps)
good G performance
Gives great range so the entire house has fairly good connections (like our bed room and Matt's room)

What would be nice:

USB connection for a disk drive. Now some routers require a powered external drive and some can provide the power the external drive via the USB. Prefer the ones that provides the power but if the price and other features are great then I would take one that requires external power for the drives.

Lower Price. The priciest one I have seen is the Cisco/Linksys E4300 at $179.99. I don't REALLY want to go this high but will if it fits the bill.


Other thoughts, if we can get a great router for a lot cheaper price then maybe the USB would not be worth it and since we would need to get a larger external drive anyhow we may be able to find a lower priced one that does the NAS connection directly from the drive enclosure.

So there you go, any personal experience with a router like this? Thank you.

donhonk on

Posts

  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'd suggest the E1000 (good software, reliable, very good price), but while the N performance is good, it's not quite up to 300Mbps, I'm fairly certain. It goes through two walls pretty well in my experience, but it doesn't have a USB connection.

    You could probably get something with the sort of umph you want for much more money-wise.

    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.
  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, I'll take a look at their higher end version of that router. I've seen good reviews for that series. Duly noted! Thank you for the suggestion.

    donhonk on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited February 2011
    Stay away from the E1000. Linksys this generation is having overheating problems, largely due to the casing design.

    I'd suggest the WNDR3400 from Netgear. Simultaneous, dual-band N router, with 300 mbps limit on each frequency. Range is freakishly good. Has pretty much everything you want. The only thing I'm not sure of is if it will provide power via the USB port or not. And you can find it for around $80 at most places.

    Or you could go up to the WNDR3700 for $130, but as far as I can tell, the only thing it offers over the 3400 is gigabit ethernet ports.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hmm here are some other choices:

    Linksys E3000: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124388
    Linksys E2100L: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124387
    Netgear WNR 3500L: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122334

    All have N and a USB port for a media drive.

    EDIT: Ooh yeah, the WNDR3400 is nice. I don't see why power over the USB port is a necessity - if you have a big media drive you will probably have to plug it in regardless.

    tsmvengy on
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  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah the USB power thing isnt really needed, that WNDR3400 looks reallllly good. I think that might be the one. Thanks for the input. :D

    donhonk on
  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    If you do any video streaming or file transfers from one PC to another the gigabit lan in the 3700 is worth the upgrade.

    Dark Shroud on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I have the WNDR3700, and it's a pretty great router. As mentioned, the only difference between the two is GigE ethernet ports.

    Dehumanized on
  • maximumzeromaximumzero I...wait, what? New Orleans, LARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Apple's Airport Extreme is a great choice outside of it not fitting your price point.

    maximumzero on
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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The Airport Extreme had issues with rebooting that took 8 months for Apple to finally fix with a firmware update. The 3400 & 3700 are solid routers with a good feature set at a cheaper price. My only concern about the Netgear routers is that they don't support IPv6 without dealing with DD-wrt and some serious patching.

    Dark Shroud on
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist The Skies of HiigaraRegistered User regular
    edited March 2011
    So I'm going to be getting Comcast (grr) as my internet when I move into a new apartment, and I don't want to rent my modem/router. Our area doesn't support DOCSIS 3 yet, but I want to be future-proofed.

    I'm looking at this model:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825122014

    Will this work for me? Any thoughts? I know it is a combined unit, but it seems to offer everything I want, and according to wikipedia (hah) they should be backwards compatible.

    I'm also wondering if this is a little expensive... but Comcast rents modems for $10 a month, so.

    Athenor on
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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yes it's backwards compatible and has all the features you'll want. If you're going to be with Comcast for 18 months or more that is perfect with all the future proofing you'll need. That wasn't out yet when I bought my DOCSIS 3.0 modem and I now regret it.

    Dark Shroud on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited March 2011
    If you already have a router, just buy this one:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825122009&cm_re=motorola_docsis_3.0-_-25-122-009-_-Product

    That's what I bought, and I can confirm it works fine with Comcast.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you already have a router, just buy this one:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16825122009&cm_re=motorola_docsis_3.0-_-25-122-009-_-Product

    That's what I bought, and I can confirm it works fine with Comcast.

    That really depends on the router compared to the SURFboard DOCSIS 3.0 Gateway.

    That Gateway is better than the routers that most people have for several reasons:
    • IPv6 support - according to Motorola's site.
    • Gigabit WLAN & LAN
    • Built in Firewall
    • DHCP
    • Wireless N

    I bought just the DOCSIS 3 modem like yourself and my old router quickly became the week point in my network. On top of that part of my home network is running in 10/100 because my Gigabit switch isn't big enough for everything I have. And believe me I do make use of the speeds streaming/downloading HD video files with my PS3.

    I feel that Gateway is worth the extra $50 over the standard modem just for the conviences and less boxes.

    Dark Shroud on
  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Hmm here are some other choices:

    Linksys E3000: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124388
    Linksys E2100L: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833124387
    Netgear WNR 3500L: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122334

    All have N and a USB port for a media drive.

    EDIT: Ooh yeah, the WNDR3400 is nice. I don't see why power over the USB port is a necessity - if you have a big media drive you will probably have to plug it in regardless.
    I just picked up the WNR3500L to replace my (possibly dieing) Linksys WRT54G. Suffered a bit of frustration trying to change the firmware to Tomato but it's now up and running. Still need to test further by hammering it with some wireless streaming. Based on the OP's requirements I'm assuming you'd want to look into the dual-band options.

    EvilMonkey on
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  • donhonkdonhonk Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Havent bought any router yet, but thank you all for the help. Will probably get the WNDR3700.

    Feel free to use this thread to discuss routers further! <3

    donhonk on
  • NeylaNeyla Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Yay for a router thread. I feel like a completely lost in this department!

    I am thinking of switching up my home network. Currently (i think, at work) I am using a D-link like this one. It does "ok", but I been not too thrilled with it's wireless connection. So i been browsing around and came across these 2 types:

    Cisco Valet
    Linksys *well not so much now after the over heating comment*

    The thing that really perked my interest with both Cisco systems is that you can use a wireless USB adaptor. I have a non-wireless PC upstairs I would love to easily give a connection to without installing a new network card. The pc is old, and belongs to my 2 young boys. They been begging me for the internets for ages.

    Here is what I currently use my network for and some issues I get (my house of Nerd) :
    -1 Wii (watch Netflix here, but constantly get disconnected mid movies Grrr)
    -2 Xbox 360s (I dont use Xbox Live)
    -1 Laptop (wireless, it can be slow but it is also a ~4yr old laptop)
    -2 currently wired PC's (would like to add my kids PC, bringing that to 3)
    -1 HTC smartphone
    -2 DSi's

    So, I guess my question is would it be a worth while to upgrade my current router? Could it also fix my Netflix issues and general "slowage" wireless issues? I'm soooo out of the loop here. So please forgive me!

    Neyla on
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  • EvilMonkeyEvilMonkey Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    How far away is your Wii (assuming wireless connection) and Laptop from the router?

    With Netflix, have you always seen disconnects or did it use to work? If this is a new problem you could check for new sources of interference (see the other recent router related thread)

    What pushed me into upgrading was that I started getting unrecoverable timeout errors while streaming from my NAS while before I would get 1 or 2 recoverable "stutters" per movie. The new router so far has been void of the unrecoverable errors but suffers the same old stutter. Really not sure if the new hardware fixed the problem or the upgrade/configuration of the firmware. Might have been a waste but at least I got a gigabit ethernet connection out of it.

    EvilMonkey on
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  • NeylaNeyla Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    I don't have a very big house (about 800sq for the mainfloor). My router is situated in the "centre" of the mainfloor. The Wii is about 12 to 14ft away, and the laptop travels around the mainfloor. It's never more then ~18ft away from the router. I don't think there is really anything in my house to cause interference. We don't own a cordless phone, and we have one seldomly used microwave. Netflix has been an off and on problem. Sometimes it streams fine, other times I have to reset the router. Nothing changed around my house that I could figure out when the issues araise.

    I read your link, and I'll be honest I feel a touched overwhelmed. I'll have to play around with settings when I get home. Check what signal the Wii uses, what my router is set at, etc. I know my laptop will be crumby due to it's age.

    Was hopeful with a new router, everything would speed up a touch so I can consider a total wireless house. I want to be free of network cables, and watch my Netflix in peace!

    Neyla on
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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    The Airport Extreme had issues with rebooting that took 8 months for Apple to finally fix with a firmware update. The 3400 & 3700 are solid routers with a good feature set at a cheaper price. My only concern about the Netgear routers is that they don't support IPv6 without dealing with DD-wrt and some serious patching.

    Confirmin' 'dis.

    We have a bunch of Airport's around my house (due to my brothers) and they have been nothing but a hassle. For no reason they will all decide to stop working at once, and only reset if unplugged/plugged in.

    They have no web interface and have to be configured with the Airport software, which is itself a pain to deal with. They're overpriced junk IMO.

    electricitylikesme on
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    Neyla wrote: »
    Was hopeful with a new router, everything would speed up a touch so I can consider a total wireless house. I want to be free of network cables, and watch my Netflix in peace!

    This is a pretty counter-productive goal.

    Your wireless bandwidth is shared with everything using it, and is interfered with by a bunch of consumer devices and lost to spectrum crowding from people in your area using it.

    If you want reliable, hassle-free netstreaming then you really should go to the trouble of running concealed Cat 6 ethernet cables.

    electricitylikesme on
  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited March 2011
    If you want to watch streaming video in peace you're going to need wired. I watch Netflix on my PS3 with an all Cat6 wired network into a Gigabit switch. I don't have problems with streaming services and or sending HD video files from my server to my PS3.

    Dark Shroud on
  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Could someone with the requisite experience talk me into/out of this router, given that A) it appears to do what I want (simultaneous dual-band 802.11N, gigabit wired not necessary), and B) the price is on the high end of what I feel like spending right now (I probably wouldn't be looking at a new one right now if that one hadn't shown up on Amazon at a $90 discount).

    The only thing I'm seeing that's throwing up obvious red flags is the fact that nobody seems to want to go on record with a published wireless data transfer rate for it.

    143999 on
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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I'm not a fan of the Linksys anymore but at that price its a good deal. Simultaneous Dual-Band just isn't a common feature yet so you're not going to do much better than that.

    Dark Shroud on
  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Should I worry about the lack of published transmission speeds or the whole N (draft) vs non-draft N thing, though? I'm concerned that maybe it's a model that was brought to market before N was finalized and that my mileage may wildly vary as a result.

    143999 on
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  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Try looking up the specs on their website. I'd be more concerned about the draft-N vs full N. I think that one is full N, but it's been awhile since I've looked up Linksys models so I'm note completely sure.

    EDIT Draft N 2.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/30775-the-one-to-beat-linksys-wrt400n-simultaneous-dual-band-wireless-n-router-reviewed

    Dark Shroud on
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2011
    I'd be more concerned that the form factor of this generation of Linksys routers have a tendency to overheat.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Are you talking about this this generation form factor or that this generation form factor? Or God forbid, both?

    143999 on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    I have a Linksys E1000, and while it's definitely an economy router, it's never had any heating trouble--then again, it is an economy router.

    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.
  • Bionic MonkeyBionic Monkey Registered User, ClubPA
    edited May 2011
    143999 wrote: »
    Are you talking about this this generation form factor or that this generation form factor? Or God forbid, both?

    The E1000, E2000 and E3000 form factors. When I was researching a new router, the E3000 apparently had fantastic performance, but overheated like a motherfucker.

    Bionic Monkey on
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  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    So what did you end up getting?

    And while I'm thinking about it, what the hell happened to Linksys (beyond the obvious "Cisco happened")? My WRT54G has performed like a champ for nearly a decade now. Its performance, and the fact that I've had bad experiences with other companies, is why I'd consider a Linksys upgrade in the first place, but all I seem to hear anymore is that new Linksys-branded products have taken a nosedive in quality compared to their older products.

    143999 on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    ...I actually like the Cisco Software. But that's mostly because it's a huge step up from the 4-5 year old software supplied by D-Link for its DRT routers.

    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.
  • RohanRohan Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    We're having problems whereby one machine on the network must be uploading something. At various points in the day, I could be playing a game and bam! Ping goes from something around 55 to 120. We've tried network monitors on all the machines running (and with both a router and a switch, there can be up to fourteen operating at the same time - seven desktops and seven laptops - though it's rare that they'll all be running), but have found nothing. We currently have a Netgear DG834G, with the V5.01.14 firmware. It's a great router, very reliable and fast, but I'm dumbfounded that it's monitoring capabilities are quite limited.

    We can see what machines are connected, for example (and nobody is connected who shouldn't be), but we can't see what each machine is doing - and, more importantly, just how much each machine is pulling down and sending up. Does any router provide this service? If there is, it must also provide a strong wireless N signal (we're all running on G atm, but that can change). As of right now, the signal is strong and reaches all ends of the apartment, but we're on a ground floor apartment and moving to a two-storey next month.

    Thanks for your suggestions, if anybody has any.

    Rohan on
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  • BlueSquaredBlueSquared Registered User
    edited May 2011
    Figured I'd ask here instead of making my own thread...

    Living in a split-level with 7 other guys (that I know) next year. Luckily, the cable modem is in my bedroom.

    Looking for recommendations on wireless routers. Not looking for anything too hardcore; I was taking a good look at the Netgear WNR 1000 or WNR 2000.

    The setup is this: Cable modem -> whatever router I choose, 1 line to the downstairs (4 people) to do whatever they want with. 3 other lines go to other bedrooms upstairs.

    I already have a trendnet 8-port gigabit switch to deal with a lot of our device needs, so looking for advice on a good router. Lots of PC gaming and ˆsomeˆ(wired) console gaming is going to be the main use. I'm not naive and going to say that torrents won't happen with 8 college-age dudes, but I will have the ability to throttle if it becomes an issue.

    BlueSquared on
  • 143999143999 Tellin' ya not askin' ya, not pleadin' with yaRegistered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Synthesis wrote: »
    ...I actually like the Cisco Software. But that's mostly because it's a huge step up from the 4-5 year old software supplied by D-Link for its DRT routers.

    I never actually heard much in the way of issues with the Cisco software, really. More hardware issues like the ones described by Monkey above.

    143999 on
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  • SynthesisSynthesis Honda Today! Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Well, no overheating problems with the E1000. The ones I've heard of word-of-mouth seem to be with the heavier models.

    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.
  • Dark ShroudDark Shroud Registered User regular
    edited May 2011
    Does anyone have any experience with the Linksys E4200?

    Dark Shroud on
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