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Wireless Router recommendation?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by ManW_TheUncool, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Not sure what's the best subforum for this on HTF, but probably can't go wrong here I guess...

    So what do y'all use for wireless router these days? I need to upgrade from the nearly-10-yo D-Link.

    Was looking at the Netgear R6200 and R6300 at first, but I probably don't need the AC capability for the forseeable future -- I have no plans to stream HD video at all though I might start streaming SD video for some TV shows perhaps off Amazon Prime.

    Currently, leaning toward the Linksys EA4500 based on cnet comparison reviews, but some reviewer on Amazon seems to think the competing Netgear WNDR4500 is much better.

    I don't really need print server capability, but would like the best NAS performance -- 2x USB would also be preferable, but not must-have.

    Also, I need range/coverage for 3 stories though I guess I could place the router in the middle floor and limit the bottom floor to the area just below where the router will be located -- currently, the old D-Link has trouble reaching more than ~30ft in the floor above (and keeping steady connection) probably due in part to the growing amount of interference (from neighboring WiFi, gadgets, etc) over the years and maybe the number of wireless devices in our own house.

    Anyone wanna weigh in on the current crop of options?

    There was also some recommendation to use an older router to handle the older pre-N protocols for non-N devices to help improve performance for the N network on the new router (and also improve overall coverage). I might try that.

    Thanks much...

    _Man_
     
  2. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Cisco sold off linksys to Belkin so keep that in mind, it's a brand in transition
     
  3. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ooooh, had no idea about that.

    Do you expect that to be bad news for firmware updates and support? I can imagine it could be bad news for using their Cloud-based firmware, especially since it's a relatively new thing (and it's more-or-less required unless you stick w/ old firmware).

    Hmmm...

    _Man_
     
  4. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I use the 4500. 5000Sf house and no coverage issues.
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Richard V likes this.
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    May not be necessary or useful. Non-budget routers have two or three radios and can simultaneously do n and g bands.
     
  7. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    The rec I saw from an Amazon reviewer said the N network will perform better if all 3x 2.4Ghz radios are dedicated to that instead of splitting duty to handle the older/lessor protocols simultaneously. Makes sense to me though I may or may not actually need that. Will have to see when I actually have things set up. The ASUS seems like another good option although cnet seems to like the Linksys a bit better, particularly for NAS performance. They didn't compare the Airport, and the only Apple device I have (that matters) is an iPad3, which shouldn't have any problems w/ any other router. So not sure I see the need to pay the premium for that...Thanks for the additional recs and info... _Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  8. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    The WNDR4500 sends out 2.4 and 5 simultaneously. The 2.4(anymore, used mostly by phones) has absolutely no bearing, at all, whatsoever, on the 5.
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Oh, you mean you have the Netgear, not Linksys, 4500?Anyway, N networks can operate on both 2.4 and 5Ghz, and sometimes, you'll need to fall to 2.4 for N, so the suggestion was to set up the one router to run N only, if you have a 2nd router to handle the few pre-N, legacy devices and want/need to max out the primary router's performance for N. Not everyone will need or notice the improvement -- probably depends a lot on your environment and particular needs. I don't know that I'll actually try that out (other than for verification, etc), but pretty much all our regular WiFi machines/devices are N-capable at this point, except for our old AIO fax/printer and my old laptop from work. The AIO could just be hooked up on hardline since I plan to place the new router next to it, and the old work laptop can be retired soon-ish, if not immediately -- it's tethered to the wall anyway since its battery is dead and not really worth replacing (for my uses anyhow). I might also just hardline that old laptop as well until it's retired.Then the only reason to keep a pre-N network available will be for visitors... _Man_Sent via HTF mobile app
     
  10. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Yeah, didn't realize the Linksys was 4500 also.Anyway, yeah, the Netgear. I also use a Cradlepoint cdr(ctr??)350 for my jet2.0 on TMobile.Our printer is a Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901(bought at the same time as the 4500). The printer is on the netgear and it sees everything. It doesn't print from the ipads, but it is an Apple "everybody else's printer" won't work issue.The Asus wasn't out yet when we picked up the Netgear. Have had no problems to report. Except it "becomes obvious" when you need to go into the interface to check for an update.
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Still debating (though leaning toward Linksys in part due to pricing and possibly best-in-class NAS performance) and will probably place the order in a week or so (after my new Dell PC arrives).

    We have an old Brother 7840W AIO that works ok in a pinch w/ their own software for printing from iOS and Android -- their software is quite limited in capability/flexibility and doesn't always find/recognize the printer. Never tried scanning to iOS/Android.

    _Man_
     
  12. Richard V

    Richard V Screenwriter

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    i second this. Best wireless router I've ever owned.
     
  13. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    The Apple Airport is quite good.
    Best router I've used as far as both performance and ease is the new Asus RT-AC66U.. The client is a breeze and the performance is INSANE. Inbuilt clients for Android and Apple, just absolutely fantastic.

    http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2207/
     
  14. Emanuel1

    Emanuel1 Agent

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    I will suggest you Linksys router its very popular brand,...
     
  15. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Thanks for all the suggestions. Looks like I'm holding off for now afterall. Verizon decided to send me a new DSL modem+router unit (to replace the ancient modem I'd been using), and it seems like the router section will likely do a fine enough job for my situation (at least for now). I did end up buying a 100ft-run cat5e ethernet cable for use w/ my HT to help ensure solid datarates for the modest amount of streaming we'll be doing. Otherwise, the combo of new VZ modem+router and new location seems like it should do well enough for our needs for the forseeable future... Thanks again. _Man_
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    DSL, /shiver. Not sure you will get most of the performance gains of these new wireless routers when upstream you are limited to DSL speeds.
     
  17. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Hehheh... Actually, surprisingly, I noticed cable modem service in NYC area can be pretty lame for upstream datarates. I noticed my in-law's business tenants were only getting ~350K upstream while getting well over 10M downstream. I've been getting ~720K upstream pretty consistently ever since I complained to VZ after initial upgrade to their 3M/768K service. Same thing for my mother. No, I'm definitely not expecting to do high quality HD streaming over their 3M service although it seems capable enough (most times when we're not doing anything else) for what Amazon and Aereo provides w/ their highest bitrate streaming running circa 2.5M or so. It's definitely enough for my mother although we may outgrow it at some point... _Man_
     
  18. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Oh, if it wasn't clear, part of the reason for an upgrade is needing something more robust for the WLAN. Not just a matter of straight internet performance as our number of devices and PC/laptops have suddenly multiplied like gangbusters. Yeah, for internet access (over 3M DSL) itself, any of the higher-end routers would be overkill although I do want some degree of future-proofing, which was why I decided to rule out the pricier AC models for the most part.What I did want is better NAS performance and robust WLAN across (at least parts of) 3 stories in our townhouse. But looks like none of these routers can deliver particularly good NAS performance, so maybe holding off is a good thing anyway.The VZ modem+router comes w/ a USB port for NAS use, but I won't expect much from it... _Man_
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I admire your patience Man, I'm getting ~60x the performance you(35/35 tier) are and would take more if it were as reasonably priced to do so as it is in Europe, South America and Japan.
     
  20. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    Don't know what I'd do with internet that fast...:rolleyes:I'm fast enough for 720p, and that is all that matters. Living rural has other advantages.
     

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