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Which Router Do I Need?


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#1 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 01:08 PM

I recently upgraded to a new computer but we still have a "G" router. While shopping for a new one I discovered that no retailers around here really know enough to explain which style is good for which customer so I thought maybe I'd ask here.
The computer is located near the cable modem so even though it's wireless we have it connected via cat5. Wireless devices include: work laptop, wife's netbook, 2 cell phones, printer, Touchpad (like an Ipad), and blu-ray player. We don't really do any movie steaming on any of the wireless computers other than the occasional youtube item. My wife does Netflix but so far only by dvd as I assumed our network was too slow to stream HD. I guess we'll probably eventually start streaming movies direct to the blu-ray??

So from what I've seen there seems to be 3 styles of routers: basic N, dual band N, and dual band w/gigabit. I have yet to find a sales person who can tell me what gigabit is so I'm asking now? What setup would best suit my needs?

Another related question. We're with Comcast and currently rent the cable modem. I've seen combo router / modems but all seem to have bad reviews. Anyone had good experiences with one? Any recommended brands? Or even recommended brands for just the cable modem itself if we don't want to keep paying the monthly fee?

Thanks in advance,
Jim

#2 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 01:45 PM

It has been my experience that when you combine two or more electronic items together they don't perform as well as the single item and if one goes down you have to replace both items instead of just the one. I can't comment on the cable modem since I don't have cable.

I'm not sure I can answer your question completely but network speed is measured in Megabit's per second, a gigabit is then next step up which is faster. Look at it this way as data moves along the network it moves in packets the more data each packet can hold the faster the transfer. Which one is best for you? That is difficult to say, I tell my clients. you need to look at what you can afford first off then look at the different routers in your budget, you have quite a few wireless devices so if you can afford the dual band or better then great. Once you have narrowed down the routers that meet your requirements read all the customer reviews this should bring the choice down to 2 or 3, in your case I would recommend a router with USB capabilities so you can connect your printer to it and share it through out your network. One other thing you may want to look at is the range of the router.

Hope this helps you some.
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#3 AverageJoe OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 06:49 PM

This article may offer some clarification, Jim.
http://arstechnica.c...l-cost-so-much/

I've got a Cisco N router, that works fine for the dozen and a half wireless devices in our house.

Edited by AverageJoe, September 18, 2012 - 06:51 PM.

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#4 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 06:50 PM

Jim,
This is the router that I have: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16833122326

I really like it and it has come down in price since i bought mine. I put DD-WRT firmware on mine which gives extra features you might not need. It is a little involved flashing new firmware so I won't get in to that.

We also have comcast for internet. Currently we have the triple play but we are going to be switching to just internet and getting rid of tv/cable all together. I have this cable modem: http://www.newegg.co...N82E16825120004 which I bought a while ago anticipating the change but just haven't got there yet. We are still currently using comcast's modem because of the phone line.

The router I linked to has a pretty decent signal range. I can pretty much get connected in any area of the house. It also does the dual band and supports 11a,b,g,n.
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#5 ducky ONLINE  

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Posted September 18, 2012 - 09:04 PM

All great advice. I think we also have to look at what bands your current hardware uses, i.e. a, b, g, and/or n. If you want to connect that equipment to your wireless network you will need a router that can talk to all the bands that your current equipment use.
N is the up and coming standard for speed and distance and it also incorporates MIMO which stands for Multiple Inputs and Multiple Outputs which is done only between N devices. It is basically 2 antennae where one is receiving and the other can send simultaneously increasing the transfer rate. When you ask about Gigabit it refers to the data transfer rate the device is capable of. That is only done hard wired at this time though Ethernet cabling as far as I know. Both devices need to support Gigabit transfer rate to attain that speed.
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#6 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted September 21, 2012 - 10:00 PM

Thanks everyone for chiming in.


This article may offer some clarification, Jim.
http://arstechnica.c...l-cost-so-much/


Excellent explanation of everything. :thumbs: Just what I was looking for.

I've now determined that I have several devices that can use the 5Ghz band so I'll probably go for the dual-band and my new computer does support Gigabit ports so that's also a no-brainer. I have a backup hard drive so I'm also looking for a router with a usb port.

Edited by Canawler, September 21, 2012 - 10:04 PM.


#7 Canawler OFFLINE  

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Posted September 21, 2012 - 10:03 PM

When you ask about Gigabit it refers to the data transfer rate the device is capable of. That is only done hard wired at this time though Ethernet cabling as far as I know.


Apparently the new wireless-AC standard achieves "Gigabit" speeds. AC routers are available but there doesn't appear to be any equipment using it yet.




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