Looking for a wireless router

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SlasherDuff, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. SlasherDuff macrumors 6502a

    SlasherDuff

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
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    Gator Country
    #1
    Hello, I currently own a Linksys WRT160N wireless router. It has replaced an old Microsoft router that has work consistently for the last five years until recently. The Linksys router tends to drop connections at random, unlike the Microsoft one, and I would like to replace the Linksys router with one that doesn't drop wireless connections so much. We have a mixed network, with two WindowsXP machines, an iPod Touch, and a MacBook. The two Windows machines have Ethernet connections so they really have no problem with connecting with the router. The iPod Touch, and MacBook however loses the connection ten times within the hour. The router is located in a central location but the signal is so weak it doesn't seem to pass through walls as well. Outside browsing is out of the question. Is there a better router that has better range than the one that I have, and doesn't drop as much, if not at all? Thanks in advance
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #2
    Linksys has always been a winner for me. If you don't want an AEBS then I would recommend d-link next.
     
  3. parapup macrumors 65816

    parapup

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #3
    I have the WRT310N and had similar issues - I installed open source DD-WRT firmware on it and haven't looked back. Head over to DD-WRT website and see if it makes things better. The WRT series are really good routers and DD-WRT makes them even better (Mine is right now on its 53rd day of non stop run -no drops, top speeds, lots of activity - PS3, 3 laptops, one desktop, Cell phone and a big house gets good signal every where). Also - remember to keep the router in a well ventilated area - preferably mount it on a base bit above ground so it gets air from all sides - they do get hot and cause problems when they do.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #4
    I have two D-Link's DIR-635, got them for 50€ each. Never drops connection and has been reliable other ways as well. Can share up to 300Mbits per second
     
  5. SlasherDuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SlasherDuff

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    #5
    I don't know about adding more software to the computers, but the DLink and the AirPort base stations are so far looking better. Thank you for your suggestions.
    EDIT: Hellhammer, what is the SF of your home if I may ask? I have a 1700 SF home with the router connected the modem in a small room. So far we have tried moving the router in a more open space with it doing no good, other than stretching wires around the room, and having the router at risk of being tampered with by a two year old.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #6
    SF = square feet? We have ~220 square meters in four floors and and router is in 3rd floor (from up) and my iMac is in top floor. Full signal all the time and if the signal drops it because of internet provider, not router.
     
  7. Mugwumper macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Location:
    Palmdale, CA
    #7
    Do you *need* an N router?

    Dumb question: do you need an N router? Is there something you're doing
    that requires it? If not, then maybe you can try the Linksys WRT54 series?
    I've had one running non-stop (except for Comcast outages) for almost 4
    years.

    My home environment is similar in size and configuration to the OP's,
    and I used to have a lot of connection issues with my son's PC in an upstairs
    bedroom. The condo we live in has metal studs in the walls (a "feature" of
    living in an earthquake zone ;^) ) which creates problems. But the solution
    was pretty simple: I bought the longer antennas for this router, and have
    had no problems since.

    Also, parapup's suggestion is good, too - I've got one of the earlier firmware
    versions installed in my router, and no problems.

    I think you can still get these "older" WRT54Gs - ?? And they were about
    half the price of an N router.

    My $0.02, FWIW, YMMV, etc. . . . ;^)
     
  8. SlasherDuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SlasherDuff

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    #8
    I actually don't know what the difference is between an N router, a G router and an N+ router. I decided to just get an AEBS for my current setup and see how it works.

    Thank you for all of your help.
     
  9. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #9
    ?? The suggestion was replacing the Linksys firmware on the router with the DD-WRT firmware.
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #10
    You have to check the hardware revision of your router to know if you can actually install DD-WRT. The Linksys support page shows how to tell from the serial number.
     
  11. Hunts121 macrumors regular

    Hunts121

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    Mar 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #11
    Have had a linksys wrt-54g running for about 5 years with no issues whether I'm outside, upstairs, downstairs or in the basement. I highly recommend it. :)
     
  12. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #12
    The Linksys WRT54g's are great and there is a variety of alternate firmware for them. I really like the Tomato firmware.
     
  13. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
    802.11n is slow enough. Avoid those g routers.
     
  14. SlasherDuff thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SlasherDuff

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    #14
    I have decided to purchase the AirPort Extreme as of yesterday and so far I have not regretted my purchase. The wireless connection is much stronger, and it has noticably made the entire network much faster. I tested the wireless in all rooms consistantly for two hours and haven't dropped. I have yet to test siignal outside due to rain. I liked the fact that it was super easy to set up. So again I thank everyone for all of your help.
     
  15. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

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    Jul 5, 2008
    Location:
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #15
    I'd always had good luck with Linksys products and didn't want to pay the :apple: tax but I broke down and got the AEBS when it went on sale for $169 at the base PX... I also had about $60 on a gift card from a return and I'm glad I made that purchase.

    Its been great for the last ~3 months I've owned it!
     
  16. iMav macrumors 6502

    iMav

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    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Columbus, WI
    #16
    It all depends on usage. If communication between systems on the wireless LAN is minimal, all that is required is to exceed their Internet speed.
     
  17. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502

    5DollaFootlong

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #17
    i had the same problem. i owned linksys router for the past 3 years. at times it would drive me insane that i was forced to connect through ethernet to my macbook. it would always drop connections, and that particular model didn't have any installation dvds for mac :mad: anyway, a couple of months ago, the new airport extremes came out, and i decided to invest; yes the aebs is more expensive than other routers, but it allows you to make a guest network and runs on a 2.4 ghz AND 5ghz frequencies. don't forget that the apple care on your macs includes airport extreme. so when i put it in perspective, for $180, i got a rock solid sexy wireless n router that can make 2 networks. without a doubt, GET the AEBS.
     
  18. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #18
    If you just have N devices, you can put it in N-only mode.

    You can also adjust the multicast rate, and lower the power to a level that will always give you a green dot in coconutWiFi.

    All that in "Manual Setup".
     
  19. izibo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    #19
    I would second the suggestion for DD-WRT. There is no reason NOT to be running it on the router. More stable and much more powerful.
     
  20. BaronvdB macrumors 6502

    BaronvdB

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    #20
    Hey parapup,

    I bought the linksys WRT310N v1 yesterday. It worked for a day using the original linksys firmware and then I had problems with my macbook pro connecting to it so i did some research and found your suggestion for DD-WRT and it seems to working fine so far.

    I'm a newbie with DD-WRT but this is what i've done so far:

    1.
    I downloaded:dd-wrt.v24_mini_generic.bin and then uploaded it my router through the original linksys interface.

    2.
    I downloaded: dd-wrt.v24_std_generic.bin and uploaded it to the router through was is now the DD-WRT interface.

    TWO QUESTIONS:
    1. Do I need to download any other versions?
    2. Is there any was to get the Amber "Wi-Fi Protected Setup LED" to become functional again? It was Blue before I switched the firmware to DD-WRT and now it's always solid amber.

    Thanks!
     
  21. khirok macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    #21
    I ran a WRT54G with DD-WRT for years till the router hardware crapped out on me. I miss that router, but I upgraded to an Airport Base Station and haven't looked back. If you can get everything on the N bands and set it to 5Ghz and it will fly.

    This may require you to get some dual band USB wireless cards, but believe me it is worth it as there is no interference with almost top speeds all the time.
     

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