router advice?
Old 09-12-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
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Default router advice?

I need to get a new router. The one I'm using is 3+ years old, and it was a pretty cheap model to start with. Problem is, I have no idea what to look for. Router info seems to be hard to come by. Do I need dual band? What does N and G mean, and is it important to me? I might as well be looking at ancient Sanskrit, and I haven't located anything via Google that can make it understandable or relevant to me.

This is for business and home use. I need to hook up a minimum of three computers, a printer, an xBox, a Kindle and a few cell phones (not necessary, but handy). It's likely that I will be adding more stuff later. Reliability and security are important. Speed would be nice, but I don't need blinding speed, just the ability to handle the workload.

I don't want the cheapo model, but on the other hand, I don't need the really expensive one either.

Do any of you have any advice or can anyone give me a general idea of what sort of thing I should be looking for?
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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Don't even think about G. Go with N or N+. Think "G = slow as hell, N+ = fast". Dual band is only useful if you plan to use a lot of wireless devices, if you're going to be mostly linked to it with Ethernet cables then it's not really an issue.

You can get a pretty good router for under $100 these days. I have a D-Link DIR-825 and it's way more than I need. I got it mostly because it can handle a large amount of data at once so it's nice for when I'm online gaming and doing some other stuff on my laptop.
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Old 09-12-2012, 11:32 AM   #3
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Thanks, Red! That's exactly what I needed. Everything is wireless, except for one of the computers, and, frankly, it's a dinosaur and will be the first one to be replaced. I'll definitely go wireless when I do that. Any future expansion in the business will be wireless.

N or N+ and dual band sounds like the way to go. I really appreciate the help!
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Old 09-12-2012, 12:00 PM   #4
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Old 09-12-2012, 01:01 PM   #5
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If you're going to be using mostly wireless then where you place the router is very important. You want to make sure that all the areas that will see heavy use have a clear signal to/from the router.

I'm also told that if you are going to be transferring lots of data then a router with a larger memory buffer is better (mine has a gigabyte of on-board RAM).
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Old 09-12-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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Buying anything short of a Cisco product is a waste of cash. D-Link routers are notorious for buggy operating system firmware and Belkin routers are infamous for overheating and shutting down on the regular requiring a hard restart at least once a day after the first month or two of service.

You're best bet if you are interested in reliability and/or throughput is to get something more robust, if you're spending less than $100 on a router then you're short changing yourself on both security and reliability.

It's best to get a Wireless router with a radio that allows for swapping out when you wish to upgrade, for example using a Wrap systes or a Microtik system will allow you to upgrade the radio and system software to extend the useful life of your device.

Bottom line if you're picking it up off the retail shelf somewhere then you're pissing money into the wind.

FWIW
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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I'm looking to get a new router myself. Work from home and my job uses voip technology. My desktop is booted from a flash drive. Phone calls get choppy, even when absolutely no one else is using the internet (work says that's a no-no and if that is truly affecting my connection, I will have no choice but to get my own personal connection and connect directly to the modem). I already have a cisco router but it's one of the lower-end models. Does anyone have any suggestions regarding router model I should upgrade to?

Sorry to hijack your thread, Trout. I'm too lazy to start my own thread.





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Old 09-13-2012, 08:07 PM   #9
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Buying anything short of a Cisco product is a waste of cash. D-Link routers are notorious for buggy operating system firmware and Belkin routers are infamous for overheating and shutting down on the regular requiring a hard restart at least once a day after the first month or two of service.

You're best bet if you are interested in reliability and/or throughput is to get something more robust, if you're spending less than $100 on a router then you're short changing yourself on both security and reliability.

It's best to get a Wireless router with a radio that allows for swapping out when you wish to upgrade, for example using a Wrap systes or a Microtik system will allow you to upgrade the radio and system software to extend the useful life of your device.

Bottom line if you're picking it up off the retail shelf somewhere then you're pissing money into the wind.

FWIW
Well, I'm interested in reliability. If you mean what I think you mean by "throughput" then I don't think that's as crucial in terms of high speeds and volume.

I'm a one man (plus a part-time Oryx) law firm. My needs shouldn't really tax a decent router much at all. All I produce is text files, many of which are emailed or faxed out (or sent to the printer or whatever). I used to do a lot of gaming, but I'm so damn busy trying to make ends meet that I don't do that any more. Do I still need that high of a level of router? What should I expect to spend? Cost is really an issue - times are really tight.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #10
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If you're using the router for your Law Firm work, then I couldn't in good conscience recommend anything less than using a Microtik or something similar that allows for full security controls and handles traffic shaping properly.

When I use the term throughput I'm talking about actual real world data that's being pushed through your connection. It doesn't matter how fast the Wireless is moving if there's a massive amount of collisions occurring and/or malformed packet request handling being processed.

Most residential grade routers are simply not equipped to handle the load put on them when many thousands of requests (if you think that sounds like alot I'm in Dragon now with two tabs open at 114 connections).

What you'll find with D-Link, Netgear and Belkin products is that they are excellent at burst response throughput but will maintain less reliable 'open pipes' wherein the system is maintaining several dozen duplex data pipelines over long periods as in the instance of massive data transfers, online gaming, sustained web server traffic and the like.

Your primary concern as a Law Firm is security. I'm sure you're aware of all the regulations controlling how companies record, maintain and secure their clients data. Since cost is an issue, which I totally understand, I would have to suggest going with a Linksys product, which is built on Cisco hardware. They have a fairly robust security control system and if you want to expand beyond their OOB ability you can always put OpenWRT or something on it to maximize it's functionality.

Cisco makes a few routers that are in the ~100 price range that you should consider. All of them are easy to use, I have installed several of the EA2700's and they get excellent range with awesome stability for an inexpensive router solution. It's got everything you need, but only 4 Ethernet ports so if you need more wire you'll have to piggyback a switch. I think there's a $10 break on them now making them $99.
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Old 09-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lain (is Bams) View Post
If you're using the router for your Law Firm work, then I couldn't in good conscience recommend anything less than using a Microtik or something similar that allows for full security controls and handles traffic shaping properly.

When I use the term throughput I'm talking about actual real world data that's being pushed through your connection. It doesn't matter how fast the Wireless is moving if there's a massive amount of collisions occurring and/or malformed packet request handling being processed.

Most residential grade routers are simply not equipped to handle the load put on them when many thousands of requests (if you think that sounds like alot I'm in Dragon now with two tabs open at 114 connections).

What you'll find with D-Link, Netgear and Belkin products is that they are excellent at burst response throughput but will maintain less reliable 'open pipes' wherein the system is maintaining several dozen duplex data pipelines over long periods as in the instance of massive data transfers, online gaming, sustained web server traffic and the like.

Your primary concern as a Law Firm is security. I'm sure you're aware of all the regulations controlling how companies record, maintain and secure their clients data. Since cost is an issue, which I totally understand, I would have to suggest going with a Linksys product, which is built on Cisco hardware. They have a fairly robust security control system and if you want to expand beyond their OOB ability you can always put OpenWRT or something on it to maximize it's functionality.

Cisco makes a few routers that are in the ~100 price range that you should consider. All of them are easy to use, I have installed several of the EA2700's and they get excellent range with awesome stability for an inexpensive router solution. It's got everything you need, but only 4 Ethernet ports so if you need more wire you'll have to piggyback a switch. I think there's a $10 break on them now making them $99.
Thank you! I think I've got all that. $100.00 is kind of what I was thinking, so I can do that, and security is a big issue. I don't think anyone would really care what's in my files, but if they got out because someone broke in to my network, I could be royally screwed.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:09 PM   #12
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I keep reading the title of this thread thinking Trout it looking for a new "rout" and I can't help but thinking, if you are afraid of the bridge, turn off your stereo!

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Old 09-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lain (is Bams) View Post
If you're using the router for your Law Firm work, then I couldn't in good conscience recommend anything less than using a Microtik or something similar that allows for full security controls and handles traffic shaping properly.

When I use the term throughput I'm talking about actual real world data that's being pushed through your connection. It doesn't matter how fast the Wireless is moving if there's a massive amount of collisions occurring and/or malformed packet request handling being processed.

Most residential grade routers are simply not equipped to handle the load put on them when many thousands of requests (if you think that sounds like alot I'm in Dragon now with two tabs open at 114 connections).

What you'll find with D-Link, Netgear and Belkin products is that they are excellent at burst response throughput but will maintain less reliable 'open pipes' wherein the system is maintaining several dozen duplex data pipelines over long periods as in the instance of massive data transfers, online gaming, sustained web server traffic and the like.

Your primary concern as a Law Firm is security. I'm sure you're aware of all the regulations controlling how companies record, maintain and secure their clients data. Since cost is an issue, which I totally understand, I would have to suggest going with a Linksys product, which is built on Cisco hardware. They have a fairly robust security control system and if you want to expand beyond their OOB ability you can always put OpenWRT or something on it to maximize it's functionality.

Cisco makes a few routers that are in the ~100 price range that you should consider. All of them are easy to use, I have installed several of the EA2700's and they get excellent range with awesome stability for an inexpensive router solution. It's got everything you need, but only 4 Ethernet ports so if you need more wire you'll have to piggyback a switch. I think there's a $10 break on them now making them $99.
Btw, thanks for this info Bams. I have a 12 year old 2Wire wifi router I've hated ever since I got it. I've saved this info and when I get it Denver it may be time to replace it
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