Broadband routers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Splendid, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    #1
    hey,

    can anyone recommend a good cheap ethernet router? Im going to be connecting 3/4 computers, Mac's, Pc's and possibly a ps2 or xbox (last two aren't so important) to a telewest broadband connection. It doesn't have to include a modem as i think i get one with the connection. Its for a student house so cheapness is important! Any advice about where to shop would be good too. Also, is it possible to alter the firewalls on routers...open certain ports etc?

    cheers
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    aethier

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    #2
    goto www.amazon.com,

    search for: Linksys BEFSR81 EtherFast Cable/DSL Router with 8-Port 10/100 Switch
    its is 70.00USD

    Aethier
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    amin

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2003
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #3
    Re: Broadband routers

    Any of them will let you do this. I'd just go for the cheapest Netgear or Linksys router. COMPUSA has specials practically every other week where one of them will be on sale.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2003
    Location:
    VA, USA
    #4
    You can get the four port Linksys Broadband router at CDW for <$56.

    It has a WAN port to connect to your broadband connection and then 4 10/100 Ethernet ports.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    mangoman

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Second Floor
    #5
    I have a Belkin. Can't recommend it. Their support staff act like c*cks on the phone, and the download support is less than stellar.

    Actually, I'm not even using the d*mn thing right now. They posted a software update, but it won't unpack with OSX. Gimme a freakin' break!

    Anyone else had a stink with Belkin?
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    mattmack

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #6
    Nope I went with a linksys and have had no problems
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Fender2112

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2002
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    #7
    I use a LinkSys at my office and a D-Link at home. The D-Link also has 802.11g built in. I got this in case I get a laptop in the near future. You should concider wireless if this is for students. The LinkSys setup page seems a bit more straight forward. But once they are set up you rarely have to change anything.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
  9. macrumors 6502a

    mattmack

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    San Francisco Area
    #9
    Do you want a wireless or wired solution?
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    #10
    Oops, spoke too soon. Although I personally hate D-Link's products, you may want to check out this router instead. Or just bookmark that page and check it every so often... routers appear on there pretty frequently.
     
  11. iPC
    macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #11
    www.newegg.com

    look under "Computer Hardware -> Network Switches"

    You can get a decent 8 port switch (10/100 per port) for very cheap. Starting around $24 including shipping.

    <edit>

    They also sell routers (some with VPN) if you intend to setup some decent firewall stuff.

    </edit>
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    #12
    I went with a Netgear router. Can't complain, works well in a 2 story house. Gets at least 60-70% signal in the upstairs office here when the router is in the basement.
     
  13. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #13
    dont worry about getting the router with the most ports. if you ever need more you can plug a hub into the router.

    iJon
     
  14. iPC
    macrumors 6502

    iPC

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    East Windsor, CT
    #14
    2 years ago when network hardware was pricey, yes. Now...

    Besides, a hub shares it bandwidth, whereas a router or switch does not.

    You can set up a very nice home network for very little money, even accounting for security (a must) and physical redundancy (if you wish).

    You get what you pay for with networks... remember that.
     
  15. macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #15
    well correct if im wrong, im gonna argue this for my own benefit, i took networking but the teacher was a joke and didnt teach anything. i thought pretty much the only difference between a router and hub is that a router will distrubte ip's you allow internet access and a hub doesnt. but if you plug a hub into a router it will distribute ip's through the hub. thats how my set up is. dsl modem --> airport extreme base station ---> hub plugged into wan port with 3 computer plugged into the hub.

    iJon
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 12, 2003
    #16
    Routers have a different job function from switches and hubs. As you said, routers perform functions like assigning IP addresses and sharing internet connections. Those jobs are seperate from the hardware that contains the actual ethernet ports and allows them to "talk" to the other ethernet ports. That is the job of a switch or hub.

    The difference between a switch and a hub is this: a hub broadcasts data transmissions to ALL the ports, while a switch does point-to-point connections. Picture four computers hooked up to a hub. Two of them start transferring a file between each other. Now, the other two computers do the same thing. The network will slow down because the first pair must transfer some data, then stop to allow the other pair to transfer data, and so on. Not so efficient. A switch will set up direct channels so that the transfers do not interfere with each other. That's the only functional difference between a switch and a hub. That's what he meant by hubs sharing bandwidth, while switches (and routers with switches onboard) do not.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #17
    You say you are on Telewest, so I am guessing you live in the north of the UK, if you do get your router from www.ebuyer.com since they are the cheapest I have found. I got a wifi/router for £100 a few years ago, but now they can be got for around £50.
     
  18. macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Re: Broadband routers

    I have set up quite a few networks now + have never had a problem with using either Linksys or Netgear. I would however, give the linksys the nod. Go to www.amazon.co.uk . Think you can get these 4 port routers for about £70-100.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    #19
    cheers everyone...
    seems like linksys is the way to go. Im prob gonna get wired as this is cheaper, but out of interest if i went for a wireless what do you need for each individual computer to recieve the signal and how much does it cost. Sorry, im a complete novice and a dope with networking ;)

    forgot to mention that im in the uk, but managed to find uk versions of the suggested shops/suppliers...so thanks anyway.

    one final thing, is it really that important to have a firewall. Im not using the osx one at the mo as i dont really understand the need for it.

    thanks again...i appreciate the help
     
  20. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
  21. macrumors 6502a

    mangoman

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2002
    Location:
    Second Floor
    #21
    My Belkin (or should I say Belchin?) has some kind of built-in firewall, FWIW.
     
  22. macrumors 68000

    Falleron

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    UK
    #22
  23. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    #23
    ok...i understand, thats just a hub

    hehe (sheepish)
     

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