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What is the best Wireless router for home use

Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by socceteer, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. Jun 2, 2005 #1 of 38
    socceteer

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    I have a few wireless problems where my reception degrades. I have installed a Linksys 802.11 G with speed booster router hoping to increase the speed and range. It does appear to be faster, but the range is the same. I read in some reports that the range should be slightly better than 802.11 a and b.

    So I decided to get a linksys range extender and I am not having much luck improving the range, and it does cause some computers to loose access to the router, so I have to dissable the line and enable again for that computer to work with the extender.

    Can some one recommend a better router that has good range.
     
  2. Jun 2, 2005 #2 of 38
    Bogy

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    Someone else may have a different answer, but what I understand is that the range is affected more by the attributes of a/b/g, and not by a particular brand. The chart will show you the pluses and minuses of the option. To extend range it does not look like 802.11a is going to do you any good.

    What I would do is use a Linksys WAP11 as a repeater.
    You can look at the description here


    [​IMG]
     
  3. Jun 2, 2005 #3 of 38
    MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    For the best range, get 802.11n equipment (routers and cards are best, just routers are still a help). It's called pre-n because the standard isn't finalized yet.
     
  4. Jun 2, 2005 #4 of 38
    Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Pre-N is supposed to be real nice. Only a couple companies make the equipment right now though. I have a Linksys WRT54G. I am not very happy. I Only use it now for my work laptop and visiting friends. Pn my primary workstations, I got cheesed and just ran cat5 to them. Constant dropouts from the router. I tried several things to correct. I bought the high gain antennas, really helped with range but not with the random dropouts. I dumped all the 2.4 GHz cordless phones in my house cause you would make a phone call and kill the network link. Like I said I ended up running hardline ethernets.

    On a second note we use the Cisco Aironets at the office. Wow those babies are great. I can even use my PC in the elevator....I know, don't ask. :D But I can probably imagine they are not very cheap.
     
  5. Jun 2, 2005 #5 of 38
    MarkA

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    No, the Cisco Aironet isn't cheap. Also, your office probably has lots of them buried in the ceiling running on power over ethernet, etc.

    And the Linksys stuff (and D-Link) isn't great in my book. I have a Motorola WR850G and I like it.
     
  6. Jun 2, 2005 #6 of 38
    Bogy

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    I just got the WRT54G and like it. I have a 2600 sq. ft. house, and it covers it just fine. When I get moved the church and parsonage will be right next door to each other. I'm wondering if I will be able to pick up my home network in my office. I might try using access points as repeaters myself.
     
  7. Jun 2, 2005 #7 of 38
    David_Levin

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    Jason mentioned his cordless phones causing droupouts. I think that's the key.

    You're range could be getting beat by interference. Cordless phones can suck bandwidth even if they are not being used (that's how they know when they are out of range).

    2.4 gig is very crowded. You could try unplugging your cordless phones.

    I have a USR 802.11g router.

    I was also having dropout problems.

    I changed the channel select from auto to manual, and worked my way through the channels till I found one that is tolerable. The signal strength still jumps around a lot, but no longer drops out.

    I can get from the office (2nd floor), to the basement ok.

    802.11a might actually be better because of the lack of interference. You could also try to grab the 900 Mhz phone from the closet and blow the dust off. I find mine works very well now that everyone has jumped to 2.4 and 5.8 gig.
     
  8. Jun 2, 2005 #8 of 38
    cdru

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    I use two WRT54GS routers utilizing WDS to join the upstairs and downstairs of my houses. After upgrading to Freeman firmware, haven't had any problems at all, and that is with using WPA-AES. The key was to find a free channel. The default channel, usually 6, was very crowed. When I hooked up my upstairs router, it could see no less then 6 other wireless networks at that same channel. I ended up switching over to channel 13 (but don't tell the FCC I'm using it ;) )
     
  9. Jun 3, 2005 #9 of 38
    ebaltz

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    802.11n isn't a standard yet and things could change, so either wait, or get 802.11g. Pre-N is not upgradeable to the new standard whenever it comes out, so don't be mislead. Big article about it today in the tech headlines. It's fine, just don't think it will be compliant with any eventual n standard.
     
  10. n8dagr8

    n8dagr8 Resident Rounder DBSTalk Gold Club

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    I hate my NetGear router. FYI!
     
  11. Steve Mehs

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    I use the same one Mark has, the Moto WR850G. Between that and the Moto Wireless PCI card my total cost was under $100 at Walmart, later on I bought a Motorola Wireless Print Server from RatShack. My computers are only feet a part so I have no problem with speed or range, with my Pocket PC I can be pretty much anywhere on my property and get a signal. The PDA has integrated wireless B and internet surfing is pretty quick and so is file transfer. I can be outside and have the Pocket PC hooked up to my boombox, access my MP3 library that’s stored on my newer desktop. I copy about 125MB worth of MP3s on to an SD card over wireless B and it takes about 3 minutes.
     
  12. ebaltz

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    My Dlink router and dlink laptop card work perfectly and installed quickly and easily. Couldn't be more happy with them.
     
  13. BuckeyeChris

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    I did something similar to what cdru did. Like Jason said above, I was having lots of drop-outs with my Linksys WRT54G and interference from neighboring Access Points (APs) which I couldn't correct by switching channels.

    I purchased the Linksys WAP54G AP and configured its settings but using Linksys firmware to make it a Repeater. It repeats the WRT54G signal. Now, I have great coverage in my house and drop-outs are much more infrequent and only last a few seconds before auto-reconnect. Both of these APs use WEP security; there is a firmware upgrade from Linksys for the WAP54G that might allow me to use WPA, but I am too chicken to change my settings because everything is working sweet in this setup :grin: . For me, WEP encryption, plus MAC filtering, limiting DHCP users and changing my WEP key regularly is more than enough to protect my little network.

    One other thing, I saw a significant decrease in drop-outs and overall better signal stability after I upgraded to Windows SP2 last year. Also, I am letting the Linksys software manage my wireless connection, not Windows, go figure.

    You may also want to consider this new Linksys wireless router WRT54GX that uses something called MIMO technology (Multiple In, Multiple Out) to double its radio coverage. It's pretty funky looking, but it may be love at first sight for some users. :cuttle:
     

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  14. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Bogy, I added the high gain antennas. And my Router is in my basement. I can use my laptop at my neighbors house 2 houses down. So if you add the antennas and you have a decent access card, then I do not see this being a problem.
     
  15. DonLandis

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    Had lots of problems with an older technology Linksys. WAP=11, I believe it was. I added a WRT54G and the larger antennas. Mounted it high near the ceiling and all my devices work fine now. Only one problem: It tends to lock up needing a power cord reboot anytime I do a sustained upload longer than 11 minutes. This happens whether the connection is via wireless or whether it's hardwire. When I need to do those long uploads, I disconnect the router and attach a clean computer to the cable modem direct for that purpose.
    Besides that problem the WRT54G has solved all my connection issues I had with one laptop and my PDA. The coverage is throughout the house with no dead zones. I also have one 2.4Ghz phone but haven't had a problem.
     
  16. Laverne

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    I have the same Linksys WRT54G router you have all been talking about, but it's apparently "Version 2". We've never had a problem with it, and have used it with two different laptops that had built-in wireless modems. We can use it all the way to the back of the lot, upstairs, in the basement, and still no problems whatsoever. I guess this is an instance where my mileage has varied. :)

    I do have a 2.4 gHz cordless phone that clicks a lot, drives me insane! :flaiming (DH never seems to notice. :shrug: ) Could this have anything to do with my router? :confused:
     
  17. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    Don, have you tried flashing the router's firmware? Since I have had mine there has been like 2 updates.
     
  18. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    From my understanding there is a rev 2 and rev 4 of the WRT54G. I get this from the website when you choose which firmware to DL.

    Clicking, yes definately a possibility. Now take that phone and put it near the laptop and see if your connection severs. My Panasonic 2.4G phone and my Lucent had to go. My wife would walk by with the phone while talking to a friend and I would loose my net connection. I ended up going to Lucent 5.8G phones. No more issues in that respect.
     
  19. Laverne

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    Well, I guess, again my mileage has varied. How "near" the laptop would it have to be? :confused: There have been numerous times when I would be sitting with the phone between my shoulder and ear, laptop in my lap :sure: chatting with you guys, when I was completely disinterested in hearing what the person on the other end of the line was saying. :lol:
     
  20. Jason Nipp

    Jason Nipp Analog Geek in a Digital World Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Gold Club DBSTalk Club

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    That would have done it in my scenario.
     

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