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Old Jan 8, 07, 12:20 pm   #1
 
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Replacing wireless router?

My home wireless router has finally bit the dust - well, actually I only need to reboot it 3-4 times a day so technically it is on life support.

This is a old NetGear somethingorother, but low end from BestBuy about 3 years ago, hooked into SBC DSL. Access is from several machines, but mostly from very new laptops - while I don't have the specs with me, you can assume they can handle high speed connections.

I want to replace the router with something that can take full advantage of the SBC DSL and laptop capabilities without paying for more power than I'll need.

I still have bad memories from the initial setup, including some disagreement over the setup instructions from the SBC modem and the NetGear router that took many phone calls and much finger pointing (each claimed it wasn't their problem) before I got it all working. I haven't touched the system since, other than to add new devices to the approved list. How much installation and configuration will I need to do to introduce a replacement router?
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Old Jan 8, 07, 12:31 pm   #2
 
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You shouldn't really need to do all that much configuration... pretty much any simple 802.11g router will do. Don't bother getting one of those draft-Ns; too many problems with those (with stories such as killing neighbor's wireless connections...yeesh).

Since you had a Netgear router, it probably wouldn't hurt to just get another Netgear router since you'll be more familiar with the interface and how to do stuff, since they haven't changed it all that much for these few years.

If all you want is basic wireless routing (no print serving, sharing a hard drive, hooking up a regular phone for VoIP, etc), then I suggest the WGR614, which is what I'm using right now. Haven't had any troubles with it.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 12:50 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig View Post
I still have bad memories from the initial setup, including some disagreement over the setup instructions from the SBC modem and the NetGear router that took many phone calls and much finger pointing (each claimed it wasn't their problem) before I got it all working. I haven't touched the system since, other than to add new devices to the approved list. How much installation and configuration will I need to do to introduce a replacement router?
I strongly recommend an Apple Airport Express modem:

www.apple.com/airportexpress/

Here's why:

1. Supports PCs and Macs, with EXTREMELY easy configuration.

2. Has all the features anyone should need for a home network (easy to configure, supports WEP and WPA, allows connecting a USB printer as a network printer, even allows iTunes to play to your stereo, if you want)

3. Very small - so when the Wireless 'N' standard is released and you care to (eventually) get a new, snazzy super-high speed router, you can use this one as a travel router (I use one in that manner now).
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Old Jan 8, 07, 12:55 pm   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig View Post

I still have bad memories from the initial setup, including some disagreement over the setup instructions from the SBC modem and the NetGear router that took many phone calls and much finger pointing (each claimed it wasn't their problem) before I got it all working. I haven't touched the system since, other than to add new devices to the approved list. How much installation and configuration will I need to do to introduce a replacement router?
The current generation of 802.11g devices are pretty much foolproof and work out of the box. You'll have to go into the setup if you want to change the channel or turn on encryption. Don't get a pre-N device, they have not gotten good reviews.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 1:04 pm   #5
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I've used many 802.11/a/b/g routers.. I'm happy with most 802.11b routers.

Some of the good ones I've tried are
Netgear and
Buffalo

Linksys is also okay.. but I've had good and bad experience with some
of them.

You should configure the new one and keep the encryption on.
But Its not so difficult.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 1:15 pm   #6
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I just replaced my old on-life-support router with a new Linksys one. $50 from Office Max.

Set up took all of 2 minutes and it has been rock solid for a week now.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 1:57 pm   #7
 
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The downside of the Airport Express is that they're freakin' expensive. Also, remember that milepig is looking for "something that can take full advantage of the SBC DSL and laptop capabilities without paying for more power than I'll need." Doesn't sound like someone who needs iTunes streaming to a stereo.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 2:04 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by bluemonq View Post
The downside of the Airport Express is that they're freakin' expensive. Also, remember that milepig is looking for "something that can take full advantage of the SBC DSL and laptop capabilities without paying for more power than I'll need." Doesn't sound like someone who needs iTunes streaming to a stereo.

Although, now that you mention it..... it never hurts to plan ahead.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 3:29 pm   #9
 
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I would stick with netgear, I really like their address reservation system, basically a static / dynamic ip configuration that is very easy to impliment.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 4:00 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milepig View Post
Although, now that you mention it..... it never hurts to plan ahead.
I stand corrected...although, honestly, there are better ways to stream music to a sound system. For instance, picking up a really cheap PC (~$100 should do it), drop all your music on there and hide it away (for that low a price it probably won't look so great in your living room), and get something like a wireless Roku Soundbridge to hook up to your stereo. That way, you have a centralized music system, and can actually control it from the couch (with a remote no less) instead of runnning back to the computer or fiddling with your laptop when guests are over. Sometimes convergence isn't all it's hyped to be. But this is way off-topic
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Old Jan 8, 07, 4:20 pm   #11
 
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I agee that any of today's 802.11g routers will do fine. Unless you need specific network features (such as static DHCP or WDS), you will probably be satisfied with the cheapest no-name 802.11g router advertised in this week's Sunday paper.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 6:08 pm   #12
 
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short reply here...

1) apple airport expresses - great features, good build and functional quality...but limited range (by comparison) and they require software to set up, vs a web interface (I have 7 in my house acting as music zones and some as APs too..so I do love them, but I know their limitations).

2) Netgear - the last one I bought looked like it had a removable antenna...but it wasnt...now its broken...I thought the software sucked and was limited

3) linksys- was my 'darling' in this field but the quality has gone down hill a tad...still I buy them over anything else in the same price range...they have reduced the memory and as a result if you have more than 3 or 4 clients the 'state table' fills up too quickly and you have to reboot them (IE like once a month)...they have removable antennae, can be re-flashed with tons of open source firmwares....very flexible

4) d-link...I cannot belive how much these suck. Totally subjective, yes...worst on the market, yes! Some of them will still not let you (easily if at all) forward ports above 1024...meaning you can kiss VoIP goodbye!

5) buffalo...only used one, good quality, good reviews, good performance...dont know much else

6)Cisco - yeah I'm tossing it in there. You can get an Aironet off ebay for a small fortune but they are the red carpet of APs....if money is not an object, look for one!

7) Wait until tomorrow...likely apple will announce a new 802.11N product...seriously, wait one day

Finally...its a moot point if you don't enable strong WPA (or WPA2) security with a very long, very random password...period.
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Old Jan 8, 07, 10:18 pm   #13
 
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I've had very bad experiences with low end routers, particularly Netgear which I would never buy again. Cheap? Yes. But they are not worth the cost you pay in difficult setup, ongoing headaches and problems. I never had a Netgear that could run for more than two days before it dropped out and I had to reboot/reset etc. And the "Support" was useless.

I got a Draytek 2100VG recently and couldn@t be happier now. The thing was up and running in literally a couple of minutes and works like a charm. It is built properly too and well ventilated, unlike the Netgears which overheat chronically. Draytek is well worth the money.

http://www.draytek.us/
www.draytek.com

In the USA, I think DSL Warehouse is their cheapest retailer.

Last edited by osamede; Jan 8, 07 at 10:29 pm..
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Old Jan 9, 07, 5:42 am   #14
 
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You have seen lots of replies above--here's my 2 cents:

I don't recommend the apple airport express if you are a PC user because you need to install special software to configure it. I always found the software to be slightly flaky and had to fight it to find the airport express. I also hate having to install software on my computer for a special purpose like this.

Most brands of routers have a built in web server interface to configure--way better.

I have been having good luck with my d-link, but I think any 802.11 g router is fine.

I figure on switching to N when it goes mainstream in order to make my laptop backup faster.
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Old Jan 9, 07, 7:00 am   #15
 
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If you do get one of them fancy router/modem combos, make certain that your cable company supports it.
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