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 Post subject: Time for a new router?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:17 pm 
8086
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I'm a net admin who works for a firm not using wireless networking at all, so I'm somewhat unfamilliar with wireless networking progress since 2009 or so. I'm trying to help a friend who complains that his Cisco/Linksys E1000 wireless router is "slow, unreliable, and low-range." My questions are as follows:

1. A lot of new routers are dual-band. Is 802.11a the only protocol using 5Ghz or does 802.11n use it as well? I'm having trouble figuring that out. If so, he doesn't need a dual-band as the only computer using the 'a' protocol will be physically connected via ethernet.

2. The user is quite fed up with the apparant unreliability. How can I be sure that the new router will work consistantly? (apparantly his current router and several old ones would lose connectivity every few days or so and require a power cycle).

3. His price range is around $150, but is willing to negotiate. I was considering the new Netgear WNDR4500 because of its amazing review, but the price is a bit high, and the user won't be doing any heavy useage such as streaming or backing up files over the network. Just basic internet access. The main concern is range. The router is at one end of the house where the cable modem is, and the user usually works at the other end.

I would greatly appreciate any help on this, as I lack much current knowledge in wireless routers. The bottom line is that he is looking for something that "just works."

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a new router?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:11 pm 
Million Club [PC]*
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Location: Motor City, folding for Mom
As always, wireless performance is in the eye of the beholder (and, depends heavily on the enviroment in which the router and clients live, as well as the installation itself.)

That said...

1. 5GHz applies to both 802.11a, and to 802.11n (dual-band.) N routers can be 2.4GHz, or 5.0/2.4GHz.
Going dual-band might not give your friend anything now; however, it would give him forward compatibility with, say, a newer laptop that he may buy in the future.

2. Reviews, and first-hand experiences.
All I can say is: research, research, research. And, ask people for their opinions.
FWIW: honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to reboot my DIR-655. And, I've had it for over a year.

3. For one, tell him that 'amazing throughput for backups and streaming' also (generally) equals 'amazing performance and reliability for normal use.' ;)

Quick question:
how long is the house? And, how many walls between the one end (where the equipment is) and the other (where he works?)
Any possibility of relocating the router to a more central location? That may help him out with throughput issues, what with removing some walls from the signal path.


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 Post subject: Re: Time for a new router?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:03 am 
Willamette
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As for the New Router I just replaced my dir-655 as for whatever unknown reason my new XPS 15 Laptop was getting terrable speeds with it. I even replaced the wireless card in the Laptop. However, when I changed to the netgear 3700 model I get kick-ass speeds and distance. Only complaint is the XPS takes 5 seconds longer to establish a connection than my older HP computer with a broadcom chipset. go figure.

Just note that the 5 GHz has a max distance of around 75 ft. but you do get true N speed


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