It's just me! How much throughput do I need? N, 2.4 5ghz?

I simply want to get rid of some wires, so I am going to get a wireless router. I have one desktop computer with 2.4 and 5ghz wireless card. I use it a lot to stream to my 1080p TV via HDMI cable. Another computer is N, 2.4 and 5ghz, but it sits in a corner and I use it for file storage and backup - very little traffic.

I do have a cellphone, which has wi-fi although I've never hooked it up and I have a Samsung Blu-Ray player with an Internet connection I've never hooked up - but it would be wired with an ethernet cable if I did hook it up. I'm thinking about getting a wi-fi Roku box or similar to stream netflix, etc.

The area where this will be used consists of two rooms totaling about 600 sq. ft. I have a gigabit switch which I can retire or use for the wired connections.

I looked at a D-Link Dir-615 300mbps router, which seems adequate, but...

A 54mbps router would probably work about as well as any for my use (after all, my Internet connection is 10mbps and that's most of the traffic), but it seems kind of silly to go with a g when my devices have N capabilities.

Given that it's just me so there's very little traffic, even though there are a few devices and may soon be one or two more:

Do QOS and the various "media" router featurs really do anything on a low traffic wireless network? In other words, does the traffic management, etc. they provide do anything when there's not much traffic to manage? (If they really do provide support for devices I'm likely to add, maybe that's a reason to get a "media" router.)

When I look at the networks in my neighborhood, I see 15 2.4Ghz networks and 1 very weak 5Ghz network - which it occurs to me might be a good reason to go with the 5Ghz -- Simply to eliminate the spurious packets flying around on 2.4GHz.

I'm inclined to get a basic dual band router so I can use 5ghz because there's no congestion on that bandwidth in my neighborhood. It seems like a 450 mbps router would be throwing my money away, a 300mbps router would still be overkill, but might be worth the money compared to a 150mbps router. Here's a possible 2.4ghz - 5ghz dual band router that's pretty economical: D-Link 815

I did find a dual-band router that was cheap because you have to switch it between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz - but that sounds just plain dumb!

I'm interested in your comments - especially whether going to 5ghz to reduce wireless congestion in my neighborhood makes sense.

Also, what about a dual band 150mbps vs. a 2.4Ghz 300mbps??

Recommendations on specific routers that would suit my needs and any deals to be had on them would be greatly appreciated. I have no problem with refurb or open box to get a deal.

Note: I'm not partial to D-Link - they just happened to be reasonably priced alternatives I found googling.
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  1. I'm using the D-Link DIR-825 which is dual band capable, Wireless N ( 300 Mbps Capable ), Share port and is also equipped with 5 gigabit ports ( 4 network and 1 WAN port ). But if your shopping around and your like me... Make sure you get yourself Rev. B which is DD-WRT compatible and which is a lot more stable than the factory software. Mine hasn't been touched or re-booted since i set it up in Nov '10 ! No Lock ups or freeze ups even under heavy loads... And i run everything gigabit on it with a PS3 Streaming NetFlix, 2 Laptops, 2 iTouch's and dual wired gigabit connections to my server that streams media to the iTouch' or the PS3 while serving and downloading on bittorrent !!

    WAN - Gigabit connection to DOCSIS 3 Cable modem with 250MBit Service
    Server - 2 x Gigabit
    PS3 - 1 x Gigabit
    Laptop 1 - 5Ghz Band
    Laptop 2 - 5Ghz Band
    iTouch 1 - 2.4 Ghz Band
    iTouch 2 - 2.4 Ghz Band

    Its fairly expensive router but it performs very good right out of the box, but once flashed over to DD-WRT it becomes a phenomenal Router

    And that's my 2 cents :pt1cable:
  2. In doing some further research, it appears that using 5ghz is a good congestion buster. Here are the routers that get mentioned repeatedly as top performers:

    Asus RT-N56U, Linksys E4200, Netgear n750 WNDR4000, and Netgear WNDR3700

    Again, I'm interested in other suggestions.

    Actually, the D-Link 825 has come down in price, but it came out in 2009, which is a long time ago for technology changing as fast as wireless routers.
  3. All the latest bells and whistles don't matter if you are rebooting your router twice a day. Get a DD-WRT compatible router.

    David Dean
  4. Well, after looking at this for a few days, I bought a refurbished Linksys E3200 from the Cisco website. It was $79.00 with no tax and free shipping.

    I installed it on Saturday and it has been running ever since with no problem.

    I decided on this router based on price, features, and reviews.

    In my area there are a huge number of 2.4ghz networks - My control panel now sees about 30 of them, but there's only one 5ghz network. My primary computer, my TV, and DVD player all work on 5ghz, so I only have my cell phone and a data-storage computer that are on 2.4ghz.

    I'm getting consistently 100% signal strength on the 5ghz band. The 2.4ghz band seems to bounce around between 85% and 100% - even though the pc using 2.4 it is no further from the router than the 5ghz stuff.

    When my cellphone is on Wi-Fi, I can use it to make calls outside - about 50 feet from the router before the signal drops down to 2 bars.

    Everything I'm doing is very close range - no more than about 20 feet, so I cannot speak to the overall range of the 5ghz network, but it is 100% reliable so far and it has been running for 5 days without having to be rebooted or with any connectivity or speed problems of any kind.

    I can stream HD from my TV as well as from my Blu-Ray player perfectly. In fact, my subjective opinion is that it is actually streaming better than when I was streaming from my PC hard-wired to my old router.

    Between the streaming capabilities of my PC connected to the TV, the TV streaming capabilities, and the Blu-ray streaming capabilities, I've decided to drop the idea of buying a dedicated streaming box since I don't think I'd gain anything from it.

    I'll make a further comment after a month or so and I have more track record as to reliability, router reboots, etc.

    One comment about the E3200 software: It is very easy to setup, but if you know what you're doing, all of the hand-holding is a bit irritating and I had a problem getting directly into the router. Before the router was setup, when I tried to access it by the ip-address and login, I was redirected to the Windows setup software. I still haven't figured out how to log directly into the router to do a manual setup without being forced into the Windows setup utility. Once the router is setup, you can get into the router with a browser and change anything you want, but that's not quite the same as pushing the factory reset button and then manually setting everything up the way you want it.
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