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Should I upgrade or use something I already own?

Last response: in Networking
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September 10, 2011 2:35:28 PM

Hi all! I am having a hard time deciding what is the best route to take for my given situation. Let me explain a little bit. I am somewhat of a router hoarder it would seem since I currently have 4 just lying around. I currently own:

Linksys WRT54GL loaded with Tomato firmware
Dlink DGL-4300
Netgear WPN824
Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 also loaded with tomato firmware.

Currently using the Dlink DGL-4300 and connected to it are 4 desktops, 3 laptops, 2 printers, an iPhone and a Windows Phone 7.

4 desktops:

Desktop #1 - hooked up via ethernet cable directly into router
Desktop #2 - hooked up via ethernet cable directly into router
Desktop #3 - connected wirelessly via wireless usb adapter (N compatible)
Desktop #4 - connected wirelessly via wireless usb adapter (G compatible)

3 Laptops:

Laptop #1 - connected wirelessly via internal adapter (G compatible)
Laptop #2 - connected wirelessly via internal adapter (G compatible)
Laptop #3 - connected wirelessly via internal adapter (G compatible)

2 printers:

Printer #1 - hooked up via ethernet cable directly to router
Printer #2 - hooked up via ethernet cable directly to router

We have the Comcast performance internet package which is rated at 12mbps download and 2mbps upload, but we normally get a little more than that on average. Desktop #1 is used for mainly surfing the internet and playing games on Facebook. Desktop #2 is a server that sits quietly in the closet to house various files. Desktop #3 gets used the most and it is used heavily for streaming Youtube videos, music, and gaming. Desktop #4 is rarely used and will be disconnected in the near future. The laptops don't get too much use overall and are mainly used for surfing the web, checking email, watching some Youtube videos, etc. No gaming takes place on the laptops at all. I have been looking at the router charts and eyeing a couple of different models. The Dlink DGL-4300 router and is performing decently, but what I am curious about is given my situation if I was to upgrade to the Asus RT-N56U would I see any type of improvement in terms of speed? One other thing I should mention is that at the end of this month we plan on upgrading to the Comcast Blast! internet package which is rated at 20mbps download and 4mbps upload. Would it be worth the price to upgrade to a newer router or should I stick with one of the routers I currently own and if that is the case then which one out of the 4 I own is the best for my situation? I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thanks!

More about : upgrade

September 10, 2011 4:01:41 PM

the only change you should see between between the Dlink and the ASUS is better transfer speed between the laptops and the rest of the computers if the laptops have a N-wireless network card.

the ASUS has the more secure WPA2 wireless mode and a 300Mb wireless capability.

I doubt there will be any difference in Internet speed since the Dlink has a 10/100 WAN connection.
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September 10, 2011 4:04:17 PM

Yeah maybe I will just keep using a current router I own. I am not too keen with the Netgear so my choices would be between the Linksys, DLink, and the Buffalo. Out of the three which is the better router in your opinion?
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September 10, 2011 4:17:04 PM

for me it would be between the Dlink and the Linksys, I would stick with your Dlink since it has the 1000Mb LAN ports
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September 12, 2011 2:05:50 AM

Thanks for the reply! Coincidentally right after I got done reading your post I opened my laptop to look at something on it and the wifi wouldn't work. It wouldn't work on two laptops or the phones, but was working for two other wifi connected computers which is odd. I ended up hooking up the Linksys WRT54GL to give that a try for awhile. Okay I have a new dilemma that would appreciate some opinions on and the best route to take.

Desktop #3 is only using a N compatible USB wireless adapter because there aren't enough ports on the router to take advantage of directly wired ethernet. I am contemplating purchasing a switch and taking the N compatible adapter off the desktop and hooking the desktop directly into the switch. I am also contemplating leaving the N compatible adapter in the desktop and purchasing the Engenius esr9850 router at the end of the month when we switch to better internet. Which do you think the best option would be? Two of the desktops have NIC cards that are gigabit compatible while the server NIC is not, it is 10/100. I don't really transfer files back and forth too much, but I stream music and some videos off the server. Also pretty much all of the laptops are only G compatible. I guess my question is if I got the Engenius router, which is a N router, would I see any improvement really if I leave the one N adapter in the desktop while all other wireless computers are only G compatible or would I see degraded performance because most wireless devices are G and only one utilizes N so I would be using mixed mode? Also if I do decide to purchase a network switch I think it will be either 5 or 8 port so what brand of switch do you recommend? I'm open to any and all suggestions. Thanks.
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September 12, 2011 4:52:05 AM

Thanks again for the replies, I appreciate it! So as far as my situation is concerned should I stick with the G router I have, remove the N adapter from the desktop and hook the desktop directly to the switch or should I buy the Engenius esr9850 and keep the N adapter in the desktop and don't buy a switch?

Also a quick question about switches. Say I have 6 computers I want to hook up to a router. The router only has 4 ethernet jacks so I would need to buy a switch. So say I bought a switch. Could I hook up 3 desktops to the router, then have a cable from the LAN port on the router to a port on the switch and then hook up the remaining 3 desktops to the switch and have internet access on all 6 desktop computers? Sorry I'm a bit of a newbie when it comes to network switches as I have never had to use one until now. Thanks for all your help, I appreciate it so much!
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September 12, 2011 5:46:49 AM

I would stick with what you have and get a 5port or 8 port Giga switch.

Quote:
Say I have 6 computers I want to hook up to a router. The router only has 4 ethernet jacks so I would need to buy a switch. So say I bought a switch. Could I hook up 3 desktops to the router, then have a cable from the LAN port on the router to a port on the switch and then hook up the remaining 3 desktops to the switch and have internet access on all 6 desktop computers


yes
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