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Which Router?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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July 19, 2005 5:32:09 AM

My mom just got an Apple Powerbook G4 (Not my first or second choice, but hey, you have to admit they look cool) and it has an Airport Extreme wireless card built in. It is regular G from what I can tell. I don't want to get the airport extreme router, because 1.It is extremely expensive for a plain old G router (So it has airtunes, oh well, soon everyone else will come out with something similar for cheaper) and 2. being apple it will be more of a pain to setup with my PCs, and future PC laptop. Basically, I want the router, under $200, that gives me the best range and speed. I also may want to game wirelessly and through the wired connection on my main pc, so speed and range with future, better than airport computers (I'm hoping to get a laptop as soon as possible). What router would be best? I have looked at the DLink 108Mbps gaming router, the Linksys with SRX, etc, but I just don't know enough (yet) to tell what works, what doesn't work, and what is just printed on the package to make you buy the product.

Thanks,
Nathan

More about : router

July 19, 2005 6:11:57 AM

The latest and the gratest, get a Belkin N thing, ya'l be happy.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
July 19, 2005 6:29:06 AM

I didn't think N was out yet? Also, I have heard that Belkin Wireless gear is a little sketchy, is this true?
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July 19, 2005 12:37:31 PM

Belkin is alright.. middle of the road. I stick with Linksys myself though. Good quality product, excellent website, and easy to use.
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 2:03:19 PM

Im with linksys too. Cisco if you want a little mroe robustness buit its more expansive. In my experience D-lInk is great.

Oh and its PRE-n stuff. The ratification of the spec should be done by december. Then we can have draft - n stuff that should be identical to the final stuff. Until then I would go with MIMO since you dont know which technologie will end up being mainstream!

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
July 19, 2005 3:09:58 PM

Will the mimo extend the range of the Airport that is currently in the computer?
July 19, 2005 3:12:50 PM

MIMO is the Pre-N gear. I've seen some good reviews of the Pre-N belkin device which is interesting because your right, Belkin has a bad reputation generally. It's likely that once the .11n is finalized, which won't be in december by the way, it will be an easy firmware upgrade to update the things changed from the implementation on the Pre-N gear.

Yes, a MIMO AP should increase the range of non MIMO client devices, however the complete benefit of MIMO would only be seen with a comparable client device.
July 19, 2005 3:37:37 PM

So the mimo would be better than getting a cheaper G or super G router and range extender? I was thinking that the mimo would be best. Which mimo ones are best? THe Linksys looks good, it was liked by both Toms Hardware and PCMag. What other brands are worth looking at. I have heard that the Netgear Rangemax gives better than regular but still not great performance compared to the Linksys. Is this true too?

Thanks,
Nathan
Anonymous
July 19, 2005 5:22:55 PM

<A HREF="http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1837673,00.asp" target="_new">802.11n Draft by november</A>

Yah made mistake its not the ratification but the draft porposal that should be done by november...
As for ratification its indeed december...Just 2006 :redface:

As for the range its been answered..

Asus P4P800DX, P4C 2.6ghz@3.25ghz, 2X512 OCZ PC4000 3-4-4-8, MSI 6800Ultra stock, 2X30gig Raid0
July 19, 2005 5:46:32 PM

Both are guesses. Mine is neither will happen this year. That's just based on experience. It'd be nice but no, I made no mistake because it's all conjecture.
July 19, 2005 10:22:58 PM

Linksys is junk when I need "best range and speed", complete junk. My el cheapo Actiontec modem/router/wireless box gives me better/farther connection than a stand alone WRT54GS, to have it working "atleast" like Actiontec I have to get a ~$50 additional antennas and hack it with the firmware that boosts power (which shortens its life). Out of the box much cheaper DLink 624G was a much better "best range and speed" router, but it is dropping connection more often than Lynksys when Lynksys is working ok.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
July 20, 2005 3:32:58 AM

So basically I'm stuck with different opinions from different people lol. I think I will just look at the PCMag and Tom's reviews and decide for myself, although, when they are not compared against each other it is hard to tell. An excellent may be given to one product that isn't as good as another because it isn't in the same category. Help!
July 20, 2005 11:23:02 AM

And that is a wise decision. See them head to head. Even that isn't completely accurate. Good and bad radios within a single shipment as well as just general minor differences within the same brand and line but seeing a performance matrix with the major players is a good start. Anecdotal evidence like blah's is exactly that. You'll get as many or more people telling you the complete opposite of what he said. Linksys is in more home LAN's than any other for a reason but you still get a dud now and again.
July 20, 2005 4:09:32 PM

Yeah. I have noticed that there were more Linksys products in the editors choice on the PCWorld Mag website, but I will look at the ratings, and most of the reviews have range statistics. Could someone tell me, what are the Super G and A/G modems claiming 108Mbps? Are those using channel bonding?
July 20, 2005 4:50:47 PM

New wireless tech. Kwebb seems to be the master of wireless on answering this stuff.

It's using super G to get that range, but even sustained it won't be that of a wired connection but it will cost you a lot more.

Hopefully you'll be blessed with Kwebb's wireles knowledge..

I'm still not a huge fan of wireless.. but I do know that if you're going wireless.. G is good.. super G is still pricely, and sometime later this year or early next year a new standard is coming about.
July 20, 2005 4:57:25 PM

The Linksys isn't super G from what I can tell, it performs very well even with non SRX pc cards.
July 20, 2005 5:00:57 PM

Linksys calls it SpeedBooster I believe. I think it's the same tech. though.

Linksys will be your best bet and is widely used.. if you want to be safe and have the biggest support base, go with Linksys. In my opinion, nothing really compares that I've used in ease of configuring and working with. I haven't had a chance to work with Buffalo equipment yet, but I hear that's good stuff too.
July 20, 2005 5:26:10 PM

Speedbooster isn't the one I'm looking at, it is the new MIMO one, the WRT54GX with SRX (Speed and Range eXpansion). Also, has anyone had any experience with the Netgear Pre-N WGM124? It has the same chipset, but in PCmag tests was only edged out by the linksys because at the time the firmware didn't have sophisticated parental controls like the linksys. They said it's range and speed were just as good or better, and it seems cheaper.
July 20, 2005 6:13:56 PM

I have looked at the two routers, and they were reviewed side by side by PCmag. The review stated that the only thing keeping the version they got from getting the same marks as the linksys was the parental controls and some features, and that it has been fixed with new firmware. Same chip, same features, a little bulkier, but according to PC mag it performed as well or better than the linksys. And at an average price between the online retailers (Less retailers have it, I wonder why?) of around 70-80 bucks, the Netgear Pre-N WGM124 true Mimo with the same chipset as the linksys is much cheaper. I think I have made my descision. Anyone want to save me from a mistake before I make the plunge?
July 20, 2005 6:49:21 PM

We, the forum dwelling beings of Toms Hardware, think that regardless of which router you pick, it will perform equally as well as the other would have. On top of that, between the two routers, you probably won't see a difference between using either of them or truly reach the potential of either router for more than a few seconds here or there.


Basically, either way they're perform the same. If you've spent this much time on it, you obivious want the netgear but want someone else to back you on it. A lot of us here prefer the Linksys because of it's excellent support and it's website. A lot of others losers prefer netgear (I'm joking about the losers part) and they're just as happy.

Either way, you're getting the same device for close to the same amount. I prefer Linksys's web interface to others.. but once I've configured a device, I don't need to go back into it.

Get the Netgear, test it out. If you happen to not be satisfied, go back and get the Linksys.. and if you're not happy, get the NetGear again because either way, you're not going to be satisfied. :) 
July 20, 2005 7:03:37 PM

"what are the Super G and A/G modems claiming 108Mbps? Are those using channel bonding"

Correct, using two channels to double the theoretical throughput. Some use a type of compression instead of channel bonding but the ones that aay 108 Mbps are typically going to be using bonding. Bonding or compression, neither delivers what they say they will.
July 20, 2005 7:59:08 PM

I like the linksys, but the netgear is half the cost. I'm not buying it because it is a netgear, or because it is a linksys. Thanks guys, between the two it all comes down to personal preference I guess, and the price difference is rather drastic. We'll talk and decide on one, and then buy it.
July 20, 2005 11:08:52 PM

I'm not a newbie any more! Yay!
July 21, 2005 1:59:14 PM

Sure you are.. you just have a different newbie title. :) 
July 22, 2005 9:10:08 AM

What is so anecdotal about my "evidence". My bro in law sets them up by handreeds in a month, I do once or twice, but it is not the point, as others have pointed out, it is widly used because of them going Open source and having lots of support by different groups, not because it is better, but because everybody else using it. I am sure if Netgear would go "public" they would have as much "support" as Linksys and would be "the best".

20 feet away yeah, it is the best (while we are at it I would ask what is "the best", for me it is connected or it is not), over that it is getting worst every foot and only spending more money (which defeats the meaning of "home" equipment) will help.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
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