Choice of Cable Router


I am going to have two computers at home shortly, and since I have a cable modem (Roadrunner) for my internet access I thought it would be nice to share the access.

I've narrowed it down to two product choices. The 3COM 3C510 Home Ethernet Gateway, and the Linksys BEFSR41 EtherFast 4-Port Cable/DSL Router.

Both have similar features, a router and built in network switch with multiple ports (5 for the 3COM and 4 for the Linksys) allowing me to setup a home network as well as share the cable modem. More importantly both support MAC Cloning, since my ISP binds me to a specific MAC address. Both have built-in firewall protection as well.

I am leaning towards the 3COM, since it also has a built-in printer server and printer port, which the Linksys lacks. However this isn't a huge point, since I can share the printer on one of the PC's anyway. It would just be nice if I didn't have to startup both machines to be able print from one of them.

Has anyone used either of these products and have any recommendations?


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More about choice cable router
  1. I love my LInksys. i've used the 4 and 8 port versions. It's the easiest to setup and configure, imo. However I should warn you that Linksys DSL/Cable routers have been plagued with firmware issues. If you plan to run a game server then it is not the right router for you. For general use I would recommend it.

    -- If you recycled your computer, would you get enough money to buy a pizza? --
  2. I'm not sure if it would qualify as a game server, but I am planning to play 3D games over the internet such as Rogue Spear, Tribes2 and Neverwinter Nights. Would the Linksys be a bad choice for doing that sort of thing?

  3. It should be fine. It has terrible packet loss problems with Tribes 1, however Tribes 2 has addressed and corrected the issue. The latest firmware for the BEFSR41 seems to be pretty stable. The 81 model needs more work. I play a lot of online games through both my 41 and 81 models and other than the Tribes 1 issue I've had no problems. Good luck!

    -- If you recycled your computer, would you get enough money to buy a pizza? --
  4. Research the print server issue. Does it support two-way printer communication? Will your printer work with an external server like that? They don't always.....

    Sweating like a rancid chunk of pork
  5. Have the LinkSys Router/Switch 8 port - the BEFSR81..
    Lovit - No Problem - Easy Setup. Good Thruput!!!
    Got it about a month ago - so yes, it had the newest firmware. Make sure the box has the "Supports PPPoe" on it!
    Its smoooooth...

    One of the best options on it I like is the "Stay Connected" and "Max Idle time - 0 " options in the setup. Have had BellSouth DSL for about a year now and had been using RideWay Proxy Server as the sharing soultion. Worked well, but BellSouth would disconnect for 30 minutes of inactivity using their Ether300 connnection software! LinkSys sure fixed that!!! The Linksys has the PPPoe connect logic built right in... Have been connected for about two weeks now and its totally out of mind... NO Prob...

    As for 3COM anything - Not for me(from experience)
  6. Thanks, I settled on the Linksys, picked it up on sale the other day. It does have "Supports PPPoe" on the box.

    I'm still waiting on a couple components, but just so I know, how do I upgrade the firmware?

    On a more general note, is there any difference between firmware and a driver?

  7. Yes, there is a difference between firmware and drivers. Firmware is the programming inside your router (or any other piece of hardware) that tells it how to function. Drivers are what tell your computer how to interface with and operate that piece of hardware. To upgrade the firmware in your router (probably unnecessary since it's new), go to the linksys web site and follow their instructions exactly.

    -- *Ding Ding* Knowledge for the clueless!!! --
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