OK... I recently got 8mbps cable connection, so I ran out and bought a Linksys WRT54G (without researching it too much) just to get my internet up and running. I also bought a Linksys Wireless NIC. Why did I do this? Because I figured Linksys would be good, since I went to Cisco Networking Academy and I am now a Cisco zealot.
After reading some THG router charts, I realized that the Linksys router I got was crap. I've noticed that when I'm refreshing my CSS server list, the refresh cruises along for a while, then just stops for a bit. Then cruises along for a while, then stops. My latency is great (10-30ms), but that one issue is driving me nuts, and it doesn't happen on bro's DSL connection (with crap ActionTec router). I've also noticed on some servers that my connection will lag up for like 2 seconds, then go back to my awesome latency.
So, I'm planning on buying at D-Link DGL-4300 Gaming Router (according to reviews it's awesome), but I want to make sure I get a good wireless card to go with it (not incredibly impressed w/ Linksys card I got). I don't care if it costs a lot of money, I just want to be able to buy it and not have to worry about it anymore. Any suggestions on something that would fit the bill?
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The DGL-4300's a stable and fast router and GbE switch, but I don't think the wireless part is anything special. If wireless is your main thing, then I'd suggest looking elsewhere -- maybe at MIMO or draft-n devices. If I recall correctly, there's another D-Link with a similar router engine, no gigabit, and better wireless. Wireless is not my thing, so I don't have much on that for you. You could be better off asking in one of the wireless forums.
N and MIMO will not be supported by the next revision of 802.11. I use that router you are upgrading to, and the wireless isnt anything special. The router actualy isnt all that special, except the GBE swtich (which is common now) and a game mode (DMZ... comming option).
Either way, no need to spend uber cash on a wireless card, you will never take full advantage of this router over wireless.
Match the NIC to the Router Vendor.
There is enuogh propretary stuff in all routers now that you want to match vendors so each performs to their max.
Generally you can't run in 108MBs mode with any card except for the one that matches the vendor.
I've never worked with DLINK, but both for Linksys and NetGear I get far better performance matching things up. Sure you can run in G mode w/o an issue but going to 108MBs mode really helps speed and stability.
One more thing, connect your system directly to your Cable Modem and operate like this for a brief time.
This will give you an idea of any performance issues that may exist due to your router or Wireless NIC. I did this because as a test to see if upgrading my 2+ year old wireless router would help game performance.
I was able to get a few ms more out of a direct connect and nothing significant. Since I knew adding any router will add some delay I decided to stick. Before this test I was gonna upgrade because I was sure a newer router would have given a bigger boost.
One reason I mention this is because the issue could very easily be your ISP or local cable segment. I recently lived in one place where my cable connection would go to pot every night during peak usage. I had never seen that with either cable or DSL at a couple other spots I lived.
Cool... I've had Linksys, D-Link and Netgear running at my home, and D-Link has always been OK for me.
Anyway, maybe I will just have to have an ugly cable running through my condo or something. I'll try plugging directly in to cable modem to see how speed is there (even though I don't really want to do that because of security issues). It certainly can't hurt to get rid of my WRT54G v6