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Expensive routers worth it?

Last response: in Networking
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July 19, 2010 2:07:06 AM

Hi, my budget is $100-$250. I'm looking for a new router, or a new modem.

Right now I have a 6mb regular DSL line from AT&T and thats the highest they offer in my area. I am into MMO gaming, and my system is fairly high ended.. Everything is great except my internet connection.

Now the router (a cheap beklin) is starting to break down. It's 2 years old, and it's hooked up to a cheap motorola modem that was supplied by AT&T. They also can provide a wireless modem for $100 dollars if I call them.

I see these expensive routers on newegg, some labeled as "gamer modems" and stuff. Some cost $100, some cost $150, and I don't know the difference between one apple and the next on modems and routers. Can anyone explain what the difference is between a gaming modem and a regular modem, and if possible, please link me to the best solution possible for my DSL line?
If I have to pay $200 dollars for 5% more stability and/or speed, I will. It's serious business, and the only other option I have is moving to another town, or getting a REALLY expensive business line.

Thanks in advance
July 19, 2010 3:59:26 AM

also, I will be using a cable for the computer and the PS3. The only thing wireless is the printer and the iphone
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July 19, 2010 4:30:42 AM

The issue here is probilbly your internet connection, not your router..

The wiring for your DSL may be old or it may not be split correctly, a lot of times you need to make sure that you have filters plugged into your phone lines in the rest of the house.

http://www.cablemaster.com/emerchant/images/DSL-FIL-LAF...

However, DSL also suffers from a few other issues, read the following page and it gives some good information that might help you out.

http://www.dslreports.com/speed

As far as what router to buy? Gaming routers are a crock, they are the same router with a new case or label they work the same as any other router. You might have features for firewall stuff, but nothing worth the money.

I would suggest a Linksys WRT54GL, make sure you have the latest firmware on the router and if you want to play around with more settings, you can always download a 3rd party firmware that will give you a lot more features.

Router here --> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Cool firmware options --> http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54G/GL/...


Also, a HUGE mistake people make all the time is that if you only have a 6Mbps connection TO the internet, getting a "faster" router is going to do jack crap unless you pay your ISP more $$$ to get a faster speed. (Generally speaking, because yes, you can do some stuff with packets and what not to get things to work "better" but you are not going to get any faster than your slowest link.)
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July 19, 2010 4:35:59 AM

Thanks
Yes it is definantly the router going out. I have to restart the router itself every few hours now. The speed just gets slower and slower until its ar a bare minimum. I tested it without and with the router plugged in. As soon as I reboot it, everything is back to normal until a few more hours... I never have to touch the modem (except when i was testing it previously)

This was my main question... I know that getting faster speeds can only be obtained from the ISP, but like you said about making things work "better", do more expensive modems do that? To keep things work "better" as in more stability, and slightly better communication that would make my results just a little better?

Thanks for your detailed reply
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July 19, 2010 4:44:17 AM

Not for what you do, at work we do a lot with getting types of traffic to work "Better" and I really just put that in there because there is always that one guy who surfes fourms to point out that someone is not 100% correct.. :S

anyway, if your router is having issues doing that it very well might be bad, some times the capacitors on the router (they store power for the router to use so that parts of the router always have electricity when needed, just in case you did not know) could have broken. I had a switcha few years ago do this and the speeds were just horried, popped off the thing because I smelt a bit of burning, and sure enough, the capacitors where bulging on the top.

Unless you are hosting services for people, doing some vpns, using voip or some other types of internet traffic, a "gaming router" is not going to do anything better for you. (Even though if you were, a gaming router would STILL not do anything better)

I would just research what games you play, call their support or go to their website and figure out which ports on the firewall need to be open to play the game. Make sure those ports are open on your windows based firewall and on your router/firewall device.

Also, I have also had issues with bad modems, but if it works with JUST the modem plugged in you should be fine...
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July 19, 2010 4:47:15 AM

Thanks man, you probably just saved me $100 dollars! Been eyeing those "gaming modems" for over a year
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July 19, 2010 4:47:24 AM

Best answer selected by blckhaze.
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July 19, 2010 4:51:35 AM

Good luck, and if you are going to be on starcraft 2 at all, .. you are going down!! :p 
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