Growing home network, two floors, issues

Looking for some guidance from those who know far more than I on our growing home network. For the past months we've been experiencing network failures in the form of our router becoming nonresponsive. This is a relatively new development, but the occurrences have increased in frequency seemingly with the addition of more devices on the network. The scenario is noted below:

Upstairs office:
- Cable modem wired to Netgear WGR614 4-port wireless router.
- Network capable printer, home server, and one PC wired to router.
- Netgear powerline adapter #1 wired to 4th port on router

Downstairs media room:
- Powerline adapter #2 wired to Netgear five-port gigabit switch
- BD Player, Tivo, ps3, 360 wired to five-port switch

Wireless devices:
- 2 ipads, 2 phones, Laptop (not typically in concurrent use, but all have IP's reserved since they're live when in house)

What seems to be happening is that any moderate network traffic (ie: gaming or netflix coupled with internet browsing by another device) knocks the router offline. All devices no longer see the internet, either just hanging or eventually reporting the loss of net access. Physically resetting the router is the only solution, and this occurs up to four times daily.

First I'd like some thoughts on why this behavior might occur (if there are any). Second, I'm aware that we've likely outgrown the intended use profile of our router, but I'd like to know I'm not just recreating the issue by going to a newer router, etc.

Assuming an eventual growth to approx 15 devices in other rooms (via powerline or other), I'd be very appreciative of suggestions for solutions or an all-new application. Thanks to all!
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  1. Best answer
    Sounds like the router just can't cope... I've seen a lot of the older wireless G devices simply fail when too many devices are connected, or too much traffic is being sent through them. I'd suggest a newer wireless N router that can deal with more devices at once.

    Something like this D-Link DIR-655 or this D-Link DIR-825 should do the trick. Linksys branded hardware is another good option (I admit I am a big D-Link fan though).
  2. A little off topic but how do your powerline adapters work? Same speeds as wireless? Any packet loss? Thinking of getting these instead of an N router.
  3. The powerlines work fairly well. They're the HDX101's (a little dated) and are rated for 200mbs (fantasy). Our home is approx. ten years old, and the longest distance via the wiring is probably on the order of 50ft straight-line, so likely double that at least.

    The HDX software reports an average throughput of 60mbs. I don't do much streaming, but when the controlling router stays up the throughput has no negative impact on Netflix, gaming, or streaming our own hi-def video files (from HD cam) from the upstairs WHS.

    Prophecy- thanks for the tip, I suspected as much. Do you know of a way to determine how many simultaneous clients a router is designed to handle? I just don't know how to not replicate our problem with a replacement.
  4. WGR routers have issues, do a web search for that model. Mine started having random disconnection issues, first in wireless only, then I started have to reset the whole router daily. Many others have reported the same issues. Replace that thing. I like the Netgear RangeMax line, but many others are also good.
  5. Best answer selected by sddjd.
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