Router Recommendations

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by raott, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Aug 6, 2012 #1 of 28

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    I have an old Linksys WRT54G Version 8. Lately I've noticed a significant degradation in performance, ie high ping times (that fluctuate dramatically) and much slower speeds than I should be getting. I have 20 down service and am getting anywhere from 3-13.

    The issues are the same whether the computer is connected wirelessly or via ethernet. Going direct from computer via ethernet to the cable modem cures all issues (speeds go from the low described above to 20+), so seems like a definite router issue.

    We have a ton of devices connected. A PS3, desktop, printer and the DECA are all hardwired to the router. We also have a ton of wireless devices, (2 iPhones, 1 iPod, 2 iPads, 1 Wii, 1 Macbook Pro, 1 Windows laptop) among others.

    Does anyone disagree this is a router issue.

    Can anyone recommend a solid router that can handle that load that won't burst the budget. I thought about the Apple Time Capsule but they are extremely expensive and I already have an external drive I'm backing up the Macbook Pro to.

  2. Aug 6, 2012 #2 of 28

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Netgear with DD-WRT software on it. Fast, robust, and hasnt dropped once in over a year.
  3. Aug 6, 2012 #3 of 28

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Agreed. Stay far away from another Linksys. They have been the worst on the vulnerability that unfortunately affects all current routers by default. On other ones, you can disable the feature that's affected, that doesn't work on most Linksys units unless they have dd-wrt or a similar third party firmware.

    I'd look at the wndr4500.
  4. Aug 6, 2012 #4 of 28

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    This one looks like a winner. Going to pick one up tomorrow. Even works with Time Machine.
  5. Aug 7, 2012 #5 of 28

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    I'm not sure of the beef with Linksys. I'm very pleased with the dozen or so dual band units I have around family, friends and small business. The first thing I do is put dd-wrt on them.
  6. Aug 7, 2012 #6 of 28

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    I have a 3x3 Asus RTN16. love it.
  7. Aug 7, 2012 #7 of 28

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    I am happy with my E4200. I don't see the problem either. It's no big thing to install dd-wrt and I'm not sure I'd worry much about a home installation such as mine without it.
  8. Aug 7, 2012 #8 of 28

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Installing dd-wrt on them negates my issue with them. The problem with Linksys was that Wireless Protected Setup PIN mode is insecure. It may be an 8 digit pin, but in reality, it's a 4 digit number that is denied or confirmed, then a three digit number (the 8th will always be right). This is much easier to crack than one 8 digit number. The number also is generally static (many are on a sticker on the bottom). Now, almost all wireless routers current have this vulnerability (except Apple Airport, which uses a dynamic pin, some buffaloes etc.) The real problem is, turning off WPS on Linksys units didn't actually work. It stayed on, even though it said it was off in the GUI. Linksys has fixed this in some models, but not enough.
    Admittedly, the E4200 is one Linksys fixed, but how many people update their firmware?

    With DDWRT it's a moot point as that firmware doesn't do WPS, they don't have Wifi alliance certification. WPS must be usable and on by default to use the wifi logo on packaging.

    I also don't like that Cisco updated some models of routers without the user knowing it, moving them to their cloud interface. One thing I don't want is my router being accessible from the Internet, particularly without knowing about it, not to mention the fact that one day it couldn't be done, then the next day it could without my knowing about it.

    To be clear, the WPS issue is irregardless of the network security. It doesn't matter if its a randomly generated long WPA2 passcode.
  9. Aug 7, 2012 #9 of 28

    bobnielsen Éminence grise

    Jun 29, 2006
    I have a couple of recent Netgear routers--WNDR4000 and WNR3500L (sam knows version)--and neither will do port forwarding (I can set it up on the browser interface but it doesn't work). I put dd-wrt on the 4000 but that didn't help. Otherwise, both appear to be excellent routers but no port forwarding is a deal-breaker for me. I also tried a D-Link which won't port forward either.

    I'm still using my Linksys WRT160N, but I need to reboot it every few days because DHCP stops working. It seems that I have dumped a lot of bucks into useless hardware.
  10. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    Seems odd to me. I'd think port forwarding would be software, not part of the WNDR4000 hardware.
  11. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    Aug 16, 2006
    Seriously - I'd get the cheapest 802.11N router you can find. I really doubt you'd see much a difference between the base model and the fancy one.
  12. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    You can depending on the issues.

    The only real choice you need to make is do you want a dual channel or single channel. If you have G rated devices and N rated devices then segmenting it can cause you to gain significant perofmrance on your N devices as they will not be capped at G speeds.

    Price does not dictate good qualities in routers but generally speaking higher price routers do have better processors and memory which can translate to better performance.
  13. lugnutathome

    lugnutathome Hall Of Fame

    Apr 13, 2009
    Woodburn, OR

    One of my network admins swears this is the best and recently obtained one for himself. Not cheap but consider if you make a proper investment it is likely a technogly shift down the road will drive its replacement and not its failure.

    We all have our way we percieve things.

    Don"this would be my pick" Bolton
  14. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    I have 2 WRT160N routers with DD-WRT firmware on them and they work fine. You can usually find them refurbished on Amazon for about $30.

    - Merg
  15. swyman18

    swyman18 Legend

    Jan 12, 2009
    Another vote here for the Asus RT-N16.

    I love the old Linksys WRT54G's, but the newer versions can be problematic. If you want to play around with dd-wrt or tomato, you can still buy a WRT54GL brand new. They were built specifically as a "hobby" router with the Linux based firmware. But the hardware on those is getting rather outdated, especially for use with today's faster connections. I doubt the WAN port could handle throughput much higher than 20Mbps or so.
  16. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule!

    Mar 22, 2004
    I have a Netgear WNDR3700 router that I swear by. I'm sure there are later incantations of this router, but at the time I bought it, it was the most highly recommended dual band wireless-N router on the market. Certainly, the Asus router mentioned above and Buffalo routers also rate very highly. Cisco/Linksys routers don't come as highly recommended.
  17. mobandit

    mobandit Hall Of Fame

    Sep 4, 2007
    Linksys E4200 (with updated firmware) has been a great buy. I once swore off Linksys, but like their newest models.
  18. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

    Nov 23, 2005
    I went with the Netgear WNDR4500, probably overkill but it does have (with the latest firmware) Time Capsule compatibility, which was a plus. Plus, I'm considering moving to the 30Meg down tier from the 20 I am at now as we are doing alot more streaming lately from Vudu, Amazon, Netflix and D* VOD and wanted something pretty robust.

    Does anyone know whether it still holds true that if I put a "G" device and an "N" device (on the same 2.4ghz band), whether that particular router will slow down all devices to the "G" speed. I know that used to hold true but am not sure if it still does with some of the newer routers, and not that it makes much of a difference, more out of curiosity. Some of my devices are "N" but only operatee at 2.4 rather than 5 (ie my Roku 2 XD), so it will be sharing the 2.4 channel with my daughters Ipod Touch which is only a "G".
  19. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    I've never seen a consumer class router not do this. You would have to look at the specifications but the chances are very slim it won't. There are routers out there that will but they're not consumer, or even entry business, level that will do this because it's costly.
  20. brett_the_bomb

    brett_the_bomb Legend

    Oct 24, 2009
    Maybe this isn't a good idea, but buying a second router(cheaper one) to host your G devices. That way you get the N speeds out of your nicer router? Is there something im missing?

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