Buying a new wireless router - advice please

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Missjenna, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Missjenna macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #1
    So I think my current wireless router is starting to give up the ghost, so I plan on buying a new one.

    We have two laptops, a desktop, my iPhone and my boyfriend's ps3 running on the network. We live in a rural area, so the fastest speed my ISP offers is the 1.5 mbps.

    I was curious if it was worth it to buy a wireless n or wireless n plus router? Would it really make a difference for the ps3? My boyfriend complains about COD being super laggy. I understand that Internet speed has a lot to do with the lag, but even it the new router makes it a little better, I'd be happy.

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  2. 42streetsdown macrumors 6502a

    42streetsdown

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Gallifrey, 5124
    #2
    having faster wifi speeds may help with, but it may not. the main reason for fast routing speeds is for fast computer to computer networking.
    is the ps3 connected through wifi though? it's not the best idea to game over wifi. http://xkcd.com/654/
     
  3. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    Ah, I see. It is connected to wifi because the modem & router are in the living room (only room with a telephone jack) and his ps3 is in our bedroom. He can't put th ps3 in the living room because our room mate watches tv out there most of the time.
     
  4. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #4
    The only thing that may reduce lag some would be to run an Ethernet cable from the router to the PS3. He could just try out for an hour or two with the PS3 connected in the living room while the roommate is out of the house. It would be best to try at a time of day when internet and gaming traffic is light. Possibly a couple of attempts so you don't get caught by heavy traffic and think wired is no good. Be sure to disable the wireless connection on the PS3 so it is not connecting that way during the test.

    I've found that there always seems to be significant lag on a wireless connection. Both for file transfers between computers on a network or browsing the internet. This is the case even with 802.11n at close range vs 100mb Ethernet. Though a good wireless router like the Airport Extreme can help some.

    So far on customer networks the Airport Extreme has been the fastest and most reliable router I have set up. Excepting of course enterprise class routers but that is a whole other ballpark.
     
  5. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Believe me, The airport extreme would be my first choice, but I just don't have the money right now.

    Would a router with a larger range help at all? We don't get full wifi signal in our bedroom because of where or router is.
     
  6. wordoflife, Jun 16, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #6
    First of all, I personally wouldn't spend $170 on an Airport. That's just me. I'd rather take an extra 15 minutes setting it up and save $100+, but again, that's just me. My $40 Netgear router from almost 4 years ago only took half an hour to set up and it's still kicking. I get 25Mb/s downloads all the way across the house. I have 3 desktops and 1 printer wired up to it. And wirelessly, I have an iPhone, an iPod Touch, 4 laptops, 2 printers and a Wii hooked up to it. Obviously they aren't all eating bandwidth at the same time, but just to give you an idea. I just wish I could transfer files faster between computers wirelessly, but Its not that big of a deal (i have wireless G). I know that's beside the point, but that's just my take on it. So don't worry, you're not missing out by not getting the Airport Extreme.

    This is what I would do. First of all, where is the PS3 located and what kinda signal does it normally get?
    1) I would plug the PS3 to the router and see if it helps relieve lag. If it doesn't, likely it's just your internet and it won't get any better with an advanced router. If it does fix the lag, then you need a router that A) has faster speeds than what you currently might have and/or B) get a router with better coverage ... if needed (that is why I asked the question above).

    From there, you can decide what you should be looking at (a little more expensive router, possibly wireless N with greater coverage -OR- a basic, everyday router like the one I have myself).
     
  7. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    Thanks for the input!

    The PS3 is located in our bedroom and the router is in the living room. My guess is that they are roughly 50 feet from each other, maybe a little more. Our bedroom is at one end of the house and the router is in the middle. Just by looking at my iphone's wifi signal, we get 2 bars (out of 3) in the bedroom.

    He did have it plugged into the router a while back, and I think it was a little better, I can't remember.

    I'm sure most of the issue is just our ISP. Like I said, We live in a rural area, so our only option is CenturyLink and the fastest speed we can get is 1.5 mbps. They suck, but it's our only option.
     
  8. jacksonkeller macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    #8
    You might try the Cisco refurb store. http://homestore.cisco.com/en-us/products/linksys-outlet-refurbished_stcVVcatId543906VVviewcat.htm My 50-something year old non-tech sister got an Iphone 4 for xmas and I wanted her to have wifi at home. She has some GOD awful HP touchscreen computer on Vista. So I bought her a Cisco valet plus off the refurb store for 50 bucks. It was supposed to be super easy to set up with the included thumb drive, it wasn't. But to be fair it came with an 800 number and they walked me through the setup in about 15 min. The signal strength is very good in a 40 foot circle around it, good for 40 to 60 feet and have not tried beyond that radius. It has had no problems after the initial set up at all. It retails on the web site for$110, which is way too high for this device, but for $50, not a bad choice. If I remember right it comes with 2 years of support, that was really helpful. Good luck.
     
  9. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #9
    I would double check so you know what kind of router you should be looking at. If plugging in the PS3 doesn't fix the issues, then I wouldn't worry about buying something mid or high end.
     
  10. durruti macrumors regular

    durruti

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2004
    Location:
    Jersey
    #10
    Tomato firmware

    Throughput may not be as important as how much or (in this case) how little latency there is.

    This may be attributed to Wifi vs. wired connection.

    Other times, this may be attributed to other technical minutiae...That can be summed up broadly with the term QOS (Quality of Service).

    If you want to save the green, I recommend buying a wireless router that will support Tomato firmware.

    There are the classics (oldies but goodies)...the Linksys WRT54GL as well as the Buffalo whr-hp-g54 (which I use). More recently supported routers use Tomato USB, a newer iteration of the Tomato firmware.

    If you do the research, put in the time and effort, and you will be rewarded.
     
  11. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #11
    I asked him earlier, and he said that it did help a little bit, but not much.

    I don't think i'm going to spend the extra money on something a bit better.

    Thanks for the help :)
     
  12. wickedpapercut macrumors member

    wickedpapercut

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
    #12
    I understand that the Airport Extreme is far more expensive than other routers but after living with a D-Link wireless router for several years and having spotty wifi I started to experiment. I bought and returned routers from two notable manufacturers after having disappointing results. Configuring them wasn't the problem, they just didn't perform very well. So I dropped the extra cash for the AE and it's been problem-free. Amazingly simple to set up and has delivered exceptional performance. It convinced me.

    No router is going to help if your ISP connection is slow but if connectivity is an issue, the AE has been worth every dollar to me.

    As others have said, if you're doing computer-to-computer networking within your house, then newer routers with higher wifi throughput could be helpful.

    Good luck.
     
  13. ratzzo macrumors 6502a

    ratzzo

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2011
    Location:
    Madrid
    #13
    If you want more signal, there's no need to replace the router (which you could, though). I would just buy an Access Point, which configured as "Repeater" it "repeats" the signal that it gets and extends it. Sorta like a bridge.
     
  14. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #14
    But I do need to replace the router, My current is starting to die ;)
     
  15. Psilocybin macrumors 6502a

    Psilocybin

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #15
    I'd go time capsule if those computers are macs


    Sent from my iPhone 4 using Tapatalk
     
  16. Missjenna thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Missjenna

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    My laptop is the only mac :)
     
  17. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2009
    #17
    In that case, I would spend no more than $50 on a router. I'm not sure where you want to buy it from, but be sure to look up the reviews for the router you are considering to buy since some routers play very nicely and some just have problems and need to be rebooted every day.

    I can vouch for this router. I haven't touched this in years and it still fine.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ..._re=netgear_wireless_g-_-33-122-016-_-Product
     

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