router advice - one that works

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by brettsinger, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. brettsinger macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
    I have a Linksys WRT54G. Periodically the wireless signal drops out; sometimes it comes back on its own, sometimes it requires a hard reboot. It's annoying and I want to replace it. I know about the firmware fix but that may not be an option for various reasons (other people rely on this connection and if I brick the router that's a bad thing.) Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has some advice on a wireless router that's reliable, especially in terms of the signal staying on. I used a Linksys wrt54gx2 "with srx200" at someone else's house and it worked well, but I can't find it for sale anywhere.
  2. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    May 20, 2004
    There are a lot of people out there who swear by Linksys but I tried to save a few dollars and bought a Linksys over an Airport Extreme and the Linksys drove me insane with dropouts and the need for hard reboot.

    I ended up selling the Linksys and buying an Airport and have not had a bit of trouble since.
  3. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    I don't think there's a single wireless router in the consumer category that's perfectly reliable. That being said, I've had little or no issue with the Airport Extreme, and in point of fact it has been the most trouble-free of all the wireless routers I've suffered with. Certainly more robust and better range than any of the Linksys or Netgears I've owned.
  4. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    My old job consisted of setting up 3-5 wirless routers a day. Some people had trouble, some didnt. The most reliable were Linksys and D-Link. Netgear was pretty good but was sometimes spotty. Anything that comes with verizon dsl setups are horrible (actiontec gateways). Belkin is on my ****list too. They are 100% terrible. I don't care what review someone reads they're trash.

    Ooo sounds like I got some long held in anger out :p
    That being said I have a friend with an airport and he loves it. I have a wrt54g myself and have no problems. I never set up an airport that I can remember so I cannot give you an in-depth analysis.
  5. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    I think the AEBS is is the best that I have used. I really like the setup interface and the ability to have USB HD's hooked up. I am currently using the Time Capsule, but have used the AEBS.

    On the linksys issues, make sure your firmware is up to date as my sister had this issue and we just updated the firmware and it fixed everything.
  6. cosmokanga2 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2008
    Canada, where we live in igloos.
    I've owned two D-Links and had great signals all the time. My first router a D-Link 624 I think occasionally dropped or needed a reboot; once every 4-5 months. Are new D-Link D-Link 655 though has been solid. Little pricy if you don't need N wireless, but very easy to configure and setup.
  7. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    My WRT54G router done the same thing, and the older it got the worse it got. I bought a AEBS in March and have had zero problems from it thus far. On occasion I will have to unplug and plug it back in, but that's usually just because my modem will stop working so I hard boot both of them. I have my HP printer connected to it and I can print wirelessly from anywhere in the house, although it doesn't support my scanner. My sister has some sort of D-Link router from Best Buy that as far as I know isn't giving her any problems, and my MacBook works well with it.
  8. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Why the filter didn't catch that, I don't know, but FYI, words generally accepted as profanity are verboten on MR. :)
  9. KingYaba macrumors 68040


    Aug 7, 2005
    Up the irons
    Linksys routers are utter ****. Seek out Buffalo routers.
  10. willyq711 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2008
    I've had a linksys for some time at two of my offices (wireless), and may have a time here and then where it just stops internet communications with the netopia DSL modem/router. I've experimented with the Airport Extreme at home where I have an elaborate network set up using MAC OSX, Windows XP and Linux, as well as A NAS system and ethernet printers. It's worked out great, and I strongly suggest the simplicity, yet power, of the Airport Extreme. The only issue I seem to be having right now (and have yet to figure out) is accessing my FTP NAS Server on the private network side, as I can authenticate, but then my browser (on the public side) goes into an infinite loading screen. It works just fine within the Private net, but just can't figure out why the Airport won't allow proper communication?? Anyhow, that's another thread, another issue, and something you don't really need to worry about.

    Go for an Airport, try it out, upgrade the firmware on the Linksys while your Airport is live (and on Wireless N :) then maybe hook up the linksys again with the upgraded firmware if you don't like the Airport (and return it of course...).
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas

    I have use the Airport Extreme, don't have any complaints. Had a Belkin before that, signal wasn't great, but I didn't resent it like above. It seems there is quality and some luck involved.
  12. MattZani macrumors 68030


    Apr 20, 2008
    Go for an Apple, or failing that, Netgear.

    Only two brands i trust.
  13. AboveTheChaos macrumors regular

    Jun 11, 2008
    I have the same Linksys one you have and I used to have problems with it as well. Most of the time I had to reboot it. I tried several different brands (D-Link, Netgear, some no-name) and all had issues. I finally got Timecapsule and have had ZERO problems with it. I kept the Linksys and hooked it up to the TC to act as a b/g router and it hasn't needed a reboot since, but I think that's because it's hard wired to the TC. I have to say the TC was easy to set up and it's been great.
  14. TitusCooker macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2008
    Wifi router

    I've had several brands. Linksys seem designed to fail every 1.5-2.5 years. First thing that happens is wireless degrades to being very slow (verified using several bandwidth testing websites). However, the ethernet cable gets a better connection, up to and including the speed which I'm paying for. So I know it's in the wireless section. Sometimes a firmware update fixes the problem. But what is really more often the problem is wifi overlap.

    There are only 3 frequencies that are used in wifi routers. They are in the 2.4GHz band. When you bring up a new router, it's often set to Channel 1, 6, or 11 by default. When they first started coming out, Linksys's were set to channel 1. Now they seem to be set at channel 6 because channel 1 is saturated. If you use a scanner on your PC or Mac in your area you can find many other wireless access points pushing out strong signals on the same channel (or frequency) as yours. In many cases, all of the channels are saturated (meaning that you see AP's with channel 1, 6, and 11 and all are fairly strong). The first rule of thumb is to move your AP to a channel that is unused. The reason why 1, 6 and 11 are important as those are distinct frequencies. Channel 4 overlaps the frequencies used by 1 and 6, so it's not a good choice. When you get frequency overlap from another person's AP, it looks just like you are describing, you are on, then get cut off for a while, then get back on, then get cut off.

    In multi unit dwellings, your computer may be physically closer to the neighbor's AP running on the same frequency. I get users (students) all the time that ask me why their roommates have no trouble but they keep getting cut off the apartment's wireless. After a scan, it's clear that on the other side of the wall to their room, someone's running wireless, too. It's a hard problem because it's invisible.

    Finally, I don't know if Macs have it, but because of the prevalence of this invisible problem, I've seen in PC's running Intel wifi cards that you can choose a preferred MAC address for a wireless access point. So, if you are running yours on channel 6, and so is the neighbor, and 1 and 11 are too strong around you so you can't switch, you use this 'preferred MAC address' feature on the client in order to tell the PC not to jump when there's a frequency overlap. So far, I have not been able to find anything similar on my Mac.

  15. macworkerbee macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2008
    I bought an AEBS about 9 months ago and have not had my signal drop out once. I have nothing but great things to say about this router.
  16. hazybluedot macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2008
    I know you mentioned you didn't want to do the firmware upgrade but let me just contribute my experience. I have the same router and up until a few months ago was having the same problem: wireless signal would drop out periodically and I'd have to reset the router. I was just about ready to shell out some money and buy a new router, something I was a little reluctant to do because I'd rather wait for the 802.11n spec to be ratified. A friend told me about the DD-WRT firmware. I was a little nervous about bricking the router but figured what the heck, worst case I just go out and buy a new one like I originally planned.

    There is a good set of instructions on the, I followed them and in no time at all I had the new firmware installed and the router back online. Since then I have had no problems with any aspect of it and haven't had to reset it a single time and that was at least 4 months ago.

    Anyway, that's my story, take it as you will :)
  17. brop52 macrumors 68000


    Feb 26, 2007
    The WRT54G is terrible. The WRT54GL is much better. However, you may be able to salvage the G if you change your firmware.

    Also make sure you install a widget that allows you to see the channels of other wireless networks around you and choose something on the other end of the spectrum or at least as far away as possible.
  18. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    I've found that it really depends on where you live. If you live in an apartment you will have interference problems no matter what kind of router you have. I had a ton of problems with losing my wireless signal and my AirTunes cutting out all the time. Moved into a house and have had zero problems sense. Even my wife's MB hasn't lost the signal (they're notorious for having airport problems) and AirTunes no longer cuts out.
  19. Goldenbear macrumors regular

    Jun 30, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Personally, I've had good luck with the ZyXEL P-330W. Been using two of them for over 2 years. Had some problems initially, but ever since a couple of firmware revisions ago, everything's been working great.

    A couple of my friends got them (for something like $10 after rebate) recently and haven't had any problems.

    If you don't need 802.11n, it's a great buy.
  20. weckart macrumors 601

    Nov 7, 2004
    So far I have had:

    a) an SMC G - never worked, sent it back.
    b) An ASUS WG500 - drops signal frequently. Unreliable
    c) Airport Express G. 100% reliable, no dropouts. Still have it.
    d) AEBS N Gigabit. Tricky to set up, less flexible than most. Cannot always get the configuration you need.

    My brother has had

    d) Netgear N. 2 of these both died. Both dropped signals. Difficult to reconnect to. On our blacklist.
    e) Belkin N. So far, so good. One or two dropped signals to date. Firmware update within config does not work, have to download from confusing website and manually flash.
  21. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    My Linksys router always cut out and I switched to the Apple Airport Extreme base station and all my troubles disappeared.
  22. brettsinger thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2006
    thanks for all the replies, I appreciate it.
    Turns out that once I flashed the firmware to dd-wrt, it seems to work much better. There are still drop outs here and there but not like before. So for now, this saves me from spending even more money and adding to the pile of hardware in my closet.
    Thanks again

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