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Choosing between 2 Linksys routers

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by tseverson, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. tseverson

    tseverson Cool Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    My first ever DirecTV install occurred last Wednesday. I ordered the HR-34 and 2 h25 receivers. The only problem involved connecting the HR-34 to my wireless network and the installer left without getting the HR-34 connected.

    The problem appears to be my “older” wireless G router that did not have a WPS button on it for connecting to the HR-34. I decided to upgrade to a wireless N router to get faster throughput and better features such dual band and WPS capability.

    I have a call scheduled for Monday, September 24 from a DirecTV tech to assist in connecting my HR-34 to my wireless network so I have to get a new router before Monday noon.

    I am considering the Linksys E4200 ($100 on Amazon) or the newer Linksys EA4500 ($148.27 on Amazon or about $99 “refurbished” from the Cisco store if purchased today). Both are dual band but the E4200 is slower and from what I read it seems I don’t have the ability to dedicated video streaming to the 5 GHz band. I have read first users of the EA4500 were forced (without their knowledge or permission) to use the new Cisco Cloud Connect feature but Cisco has now removed that requirement.

    I talked to a DirecTV tech over the telephone and he only stated DirecTV works well with Linksys routers.

    I wonder if a Cisco refurbished EA4500 router is just as good as a new one.

    Any comments and suggestions are appreciated.

  2. funnyfarm299

    funnyfarm299 AllStar

    Mar 3, 2012
    I'm an IT student, a home automation tech, and a D* retailer. We used to use linksys gear. DON'T USE IT. You have to manually restore the old firmware to the E4500, which is more trouble than it's worth. Netgear is better, and it's what my boss uses now, but personally I prefer Asus running DD-WRT.
  3. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
  4. litex2x

    litex2x Legend

    Sep 8, 2012
    You don't need to use WPS to establish a connection to your network wirelessly. Just go through the network setup on one of your receivers and do it manually. If you want a new router anyway, I have never had a problem with any of my Linksys routers but I've only ever had a WRT54G and a BEFSR41.
  5. CopyCat

    CopyCat Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    South Carolina
    If you buy the Linksys E4200 make sure it is ver 2, not ver 1 which had overheating problems.
  6. BAHitman

    BAHitman Godfather

    Oct 23, 2007
    Austin Texas
    I don't think you need a new router... unless yours is not working...

    Manually configure your DVR to connect to the wifi and be done with it...
  7. macfan601

    macfan601 New Member

    May 3, 2012
    +1 on Netgear.
  8. tseverson

    tseverson Cool Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    Thanks for all of your input.

    My current wireless G router is a Buffalo (it works fine right now) and it must have been pulled off my desk at home and hit the floor because the external antenna is broken at the base. I tried to simply screw the antenna back on the body of the router but it did not work so I just taped the antenna to the router and everything works just like it always has (I have no idea when the antenna broke and never noticed it until a couple of weeks ago).

    I am thinking about streaming movies on my HD TV and it seems I should move up to a wireless N router. I have a blu-ray player and I really don’t use it for anything right now. I am also thinking of trying Netflix. I visited a friend who did have Netflix and watched a couple of movies by accessing Netflix on his HD TV (it was easy to do). I think a wireless N router is better for these tasks then a wireless G router. I also hope the internal antennas in the newer routers are better than the external antenna I have right now.

    I keep learning good and interesting things on the forum. Thank you.
  9. bobnielsen

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    My E4200 ver 1 (refurb direct from Cisco) runs slightly warm, not a problem. I have a couple of recent Netgear routers which work as well as the E4200.
  10. Brandon Wedgeworth

    Brandon Wedgeworth Administrator Staff Member Administrator DBSTalk Gold Club

    Jan 6, 2007
    Alabaster, AL
    I had a Buffalo WHR-HP-54G running Tomato firmware for many, many years until earlier this year. I replaced it with a Netgear WNDR3700v3 Dual Band. That was a mistake. The signal strength from the Netgear was lousy on the 2.4 Ghz band (unexpected) and about the same on the 5 Ghz band (expected). For my house, the 5 Ghz band just isn't worth it. Just doesn't have the penetrating ability to go where I need it. I was hoping the 2.4 Ghz band would be ok, but it wasn't. For reference, the old Buffalo blanketed the house just fine. I only replaced it to move to a N router and get Gigabit wired ports.

    I finally gave up in the last couple days and went with an Asus RT-n16 that I knew could be flashed with TomatoUSB. It's not dual band, but as long as the range on its 2.4 Ghz band was good, I no longer cared. It easily flashed to Tomato and has great range. So far, I've been very pleased. It's pretty cheap on Amazon (comparatively) and has a $10 mail in rebate (yeah I hate them too) right now. You don't want to use the stock firmware though. Read the reviews if you consider it. You'll definitely want to go with TomatoUSB or DD-WRT. I've been a fan of Tomato for years.

    Just my 2 cents...
  11. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    There are already resolutions in your other thread. I'm not sure why you started a new one. If you want to go wireless your G rated speed will be fine. The only reason to go to N is because you will have many things going on wirelessly at a time.

    If you want a new router there are great options on there but it's not needed to get your system working properly, you just need to change how your system is currently setup.

    Ignore what others say about customer firmware. If you ever get to a point where you can't do something with a router or you really get into networking then look into it. Most companies have very smart engineers that setup their software to their hardware well.
  12. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    All I can say is I have an e4200 and it works just fine for me.
  13. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

    Oct 24, 2010
    Are you really in a situation where you need a wireless connection? There are a lot of posts in this and another forum of problems with the wireless CCK and HR34s. For some reason, the preferred connection seems to be a direct wire connection to the back of the HR34. (Your HR34 will then act as a CCK all by itself and will share the internet connection with your other DVR.)

    If that is not an option for you, I doubt you would get any real benefit with a very sophisticated dual-band wireless router as it pertains to the D* wireless CCK. Nothing I have read suggests that it can take advantage of a dual-band router. And, judging from my download speeds, they throttle their servers to the point that a dual-band router would be a waste. My ISP and router are certainly not the choke point on my downloads.

    I am also confused as to why your installer could not get your setup to work with your existing router. The only dead on arrival setups I have read about involve the use of one of Comcast's newer routers that uses a "Class A" configuration versus the more common "Class C" configuration. That router is known to not work with the D* CCK and requires a pass-through setting from Comcast followed by a customer wireless router for the connection.

    And as others have stated you don't need a WPS connection to connect the wired CCK. Don't get caught up in that.

    As for the Linksys brand, I was one of the ranters on their site when my new EA3500 suddenly loaded new software on my router and directed me to the net to configure my router. I was right in the middle of my configuration setup and not excited about having to start everything all over. Obviously there is a serious potential security problem with this methodology, but the corresponding USB print driver was so easy to configure I look past that. And for home installations that might need customer support the idea is brilliant. I would not use this configuration in a corporate environment however. Which leads me to believe that this is why Linksys now lets you choose between the internet configuration model or the local model.

    Hope this helps clarify the issue.

    Let us know how this all works out for you,

    on edit: I wish I had read your other thread first. You had my answers on that thread. Now I am not sure what additional information you are looking for here. Please clarify.
  14. quizzer

    quizzer Icon

    Aug 29, 2006
  15. tseverson

    tseverson Cool Member

    Jul 19, 2010
    Thanks for your reply. I was not aware of the other posts discussing using a direct connection with an HR-34. This is my first time ever installing a satellite dish so my knowledge is very limited. It took me a while to figure out what CCK means. My focus was to get a dish connecting to satellites and then bring the connection from the street into my house and wire a working network for 3 TVs. I didn’t think at all about a wireless connection between the HR-34 and my router nor using my TV with the Internet.

    The last thing the installer tried was to connect the HR-34 to my wireless network and all he wanted was to find the “WPS button” on my router (which did not exist). When the button I pressed a few times did not work, he told me to fix my Internet and call DirecTV for an upgrade. My focus then changed to the router which resulted in a new thread.

    Today I purchased a 100 foot Cat 5e cable and used most of it to run between my HR-34 and my Buffalo router (I have not actually hooked the two together yet). I also moved my modem and router into the basement utility room so they are close to the RG-6 cable running from the dish into the utility room (they are also close to Comcast’s main line into my house for Internet use). I used about 75 feet and have 25 extra feet rolled up and hanging in the utility room (I don’t have any equipment to attach a connector to bare cable).

    On Monday a DirecTV tech specialist is calling me to help connect the HR-34 to the wireless network. The specialist sent me a CCK in the mail because the installer did not leave a CCK. With a direct wire connection I guess I won’t need the CCK I received in the mail.

    I expect a direct wire connection is more stable than a wireless connection and perhaps faster than a wireless connection. All the specs of the various router choices and what benefit they provide in my situation are a mystery to me. I thought moving to a dual band N router from a G router would provide several benefits to my wireless network but perhaps that isn’t true.

    After 4 days of viewing DirecTV, it seems I am getting a better picture than I did from Comcast. With Comcast I had a pixilation problem that appeared periodically and so far (only 4 days) no pixilation problem.

    Thanks for your help,

  16. BobStokesbary

    BobStokesbary Legend

    Oct 24, 2010
    I can appreciate your confusion. DirecTV's technology is confusing even the installers. You not only have to be a good satellite installer, but now you need to be a fairly competent network support person as well.

    If it were me, I would plug one end of the CAT-5 cable into your router, turn off the HR34 and then insert the other plug of the CAT-5 cable into the back of the DVR. Then I would turn the HR34 back on and let it reinitialize. This will not cause any problem with the receiver. But, what this does is cause the receiver to prod your router for an IP address which will in turn connect your HR34 to the internet for accessing DirecTV's on-demand contend. (You could also do a red-button reset which should do the same thing, but unplugging the receiver seems to be a more sure way of handling things.)

    When everything is back up you should have access to all your "on-demand" channels. You can find them by adding 1000 to your regular channel number. The USA channel, for example, is 242 on the satellite signal and 1242 for the on-demand channel.

    Of course you still have the option of waiting for your installer, but you really have all the equipment you need to test things out.

    And I do apologize for using buzzwords here. There are a lot of new customers who have no idea what a CCK is and I should have been more descriptive by referring to it at least once as a Cinema Connection Kit. My bad.

    And not to confuse things any more here, but you mention Comcast. If your PC uses a wireless connection and shows an IP address starting with 10.0.x.x the Comcast wireless router won't work with DirecTV's wireless CCK anyway. So, a wired connection would be your simplest connection in this case. OK. Again, I did not do all my homework here. The only router that Comcast provides that uses Class A connection is their XFINITY Wireless Router. You mentioned you had a Buffalo router so that would not be an issue for you.
  17. litex2x

    litex2x Legend

    Sep 8, 2012
    If the CCK is free I would take it anyway even if you weren't going to use it.

    CATCRAW Legend

    Mar 27, 2008
    After having nothing but issues with Netgear I switched to Linksys. I upgraded to the EA4500 a few months ago and love it. I was emailed the offer to upgrade firmware for the Cisco Cloud but decided not to do the upgrade. Streaming movies is much faster then with my older routers. The setup was easy and it works well with DTV...

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