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WiFi for an apartment

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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August 11, 2013 11:09:21 AM

Good day!
Could you please suggest a WiFi router.

Currently, I'm considering TP-LINK N600 TL-WDR3600 and ASUS N300 RT-N16.

My requirements are simple. Need to cover a 3 room apartment with WiFi for:
- laptops (max=2) - HD movies, browsing, no games, (optional) VPN access;
- phones (max=3)
- printer (USB 2.0)
- (optional) HDTV - there're many streams from neighbours, so I'll probably just setup wired gigabit network to HDTV.

Internet speed (Down., Up.) <= 35Mbps/3Mbps

There are many posts regarding the mentioned routers, but they all vary from "buy it, it's the best" to "don't waste your money on this".

Thank you,

Alex

More about : wifi apartment

August 11, 2013 12:22:41 PM

Quote:
the asus dark knight router. perhaps the best router said by pros. it has n or n+ which means it has good area coverage. this is a perfect option for ur needs


Doesn't the "n or n+" only determine the speed of the data rate, and not the area coverage?
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Also, I've done a few measurements and the apartment's area is 1200 sq.ft with only one concrete wall separating only one room. The rest of walls are drywall based.

Any opinions on TP-LINK N600 TL-WDR3600 and ASUS N300 RT-N16?
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August 11, 2013 6:20:12 PM

You speed is dependent on both the router and the nic cards you have in the devices. If your nic cards do not support the feature it is kinda a waste of money on to buy them on the router. One of the clearer examples is buying dual band routers when you do not have any nic cards that can run in the 5g band. It get more complex when you start considering mixing nic cards that run say 802.11g or 802.11b with 802.11n especially if you want to use the wideband or mimo features. Still unless you plan to stream from one device to another withing the house you will be limited by your internet so the speed of the wireless will likely be faster than the internet.

Coverage is not related to if it is N or G or whatever. The transmission power of the radio is government limited no matter the protocol you run over it. So you are likely to get similar coverage. What this means is if it works it will likely run faster with say 802.11n than 802.11g but it does not mean if you do not get a usable signal with one protocol it will give you a better one using the other. The only difference in coverage you will find is 2.4g has more coverage because it penetrates the walls better than 5g. BUT this also means you get less interference from neighbors on 5g. So even though a 5g signal may be weaker in some cases it may work better because you have less interference.

Be very careful to read the specs on the routers they like to lie or intentionally confuse. They many times quote rates that combine the rates at 2.4g and 5g. Although the router can talk to 2 different machines one on 2.4g and one on 5g there are no pc nic cards that can operate simultaneously on 2.4 and 5 so you cannot from a single machine obtain the advertised rates.
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August 12, 2013 5:37:52 AM

bill001g said:
You speed is dependent on both the router and the nic cards you have in the devices. If your nic cards do not support the feature it is kinda a waste of money on to buy them on the router. One of the clearer examples is buying dual band routers when you do not have any nic cards that can run in the 5g band. It get more complex when you start considering mixing nic cards that run say 802.11g or 802.11b with 802.11n especially if you want to use the wideband or mimo features. Still unless you plan to stream from one device to another withing the house you will be limited by your internet so the speed of the wireless will likely be faster than the internet.

Coverage is not related to if it is N or G or whatever. The transmission power of the radio is government limited no matter the protocol you run over it. So you are likely to get similar coverage. What this means is if it works it will likely run faster with say 802.11n than 802.11g but it does not mean if you do not get a usable signal with one protocol it will give you a better one using the other. The only difference in coverage you will find is 2.4g has more coverage because it penetrates the walls better than 5g. BUT this also means you get less interference from neighbors on 5g. So even though a 5g signal may be weaker in some cases it may work better because you have less interference.

Be very careful to read the specs on the routers they like to lie or intentionally confuse. They many times quote rates that combine the rates at 2.4g and 5g. Although the router can talk to 2 different machines one on 2.4g and one on 5g there are no pc nic cards that can operate simultaneously on 2.4 and 5 so you cannot from a single machine obtain the advertised rates.


Thank you, good info. All my NICs are "n"-compatible and I can see 5GHz signals on my laptop using inSSIDer.

Which WiFi router you are using?
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August 12, 2013 8:06:00 AM

I don't actually USE wireless because I can directly cable everything. I have a couple of routers but like the n66u mostly because it has high speed processor and lots of memory. I run dd-wrt on it. Many people say it has good wireless coverage and I know I can detect it outside even with the antenna removed. I mostly use it as a ssl-vpn device and a toy to play with. My actual routers are commercial cisco routers.
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August 12, 2013 8:50:50 AM

bill001g said:
I don't actually USE wireless because I can directly cable everything. I have a couple of routers but like the n66u mostly because it has high speed processor and lots of memory. I run dd-wrt on it. Many people say it has good wireless coverage and I know I can detect it outside even with the antenna removed. I mostly use it as a ssl-vpn device and a toy to play with. My actual routers are commercial cisco routers.


Correct me if I'm wrong, but Asus n66u seems an overkill in my case, since I need to cover no more than 1200 sq.ft. With n66u I'll be introducing more interference to me neighbours, than having a useful outcome for my purposes.

What is your opinion on either TP-LINK N600 TL-WDR3600 and ASUS N300 RT-N16?
TP-LINK accepts OpenWRT and ASUS is DDT-WRT compatible. My only concern are that some people are having issues with ASUS N300 after 1 year, and the price of TP-LINK N600 makes it look suspicions.

Thank you,

Alex
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August 12, 2013 10:59:56 AM

I did not say you should buy the n66u i just have it because you can load bigger dd-wrt images on it. The N66u does not transmit farther than any other router...now you can put illegal antenna on it and make it go farther.

I suspect they will both work about the same. I have not looked those 2 routers up but if you go to the FCC site where the put the legal output measurements you will find almost all routers have exactly the same output graphs. Many times they use exactly the same chips. There really are only 2 or 3 wireless chipset makers just like you pretty much only find Intel and Amd for pc cpu.

It is almost impossible to tell a good router from a bad one. Most routers get good and bad recommendation because people houses vary so much. I would suspect there is very little difference between those 2 routers.
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