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Router recommendations

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This isn't for me but rather for a friend who is looking to get a wireless router with better coverage.I read about the Linksys WRT320N with 4 1/2 stars that had a nice review. Then I went to newegg to read reviews of owners and it doesn't sound so rosy.So, anyone running a newer router? Can you tell me if it works well or drops the signal and slows down? Does it get hot?Also any information on specific models from any manufacturer to avoid?

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This isn't for me but rather for a friend who is looking to get a wireless router with better coverage.I read about the Linksys WRT320N with 4 1/2 stars that had a nice review. Then I went to newegg to read reviews of owners and it doesn't sound so rosy.So, anyone running a newer router? Can you tell me if it works well or drops the signal and slows down? Does it get hot?Also any information on specific models from any manufacturer to avoid?
hi liz, my only experience with wi-fi routers has been with the Linksys WRT54G series machines, specifically the WRT54GL version.This version uses a highly customizable firmware (aftermarket firmwares are available that add more functionality). The firmware on this router is based on an open source linux os hence the L in the model number. Actually versions 1 thru 4 and the L version are based on open source firmware. Versions 5 and 6 are to be avoided as they run proprietary firmware and are real dogs.This fine machine is still available.http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=...IwAw#ps-sellersA router is really nothing more than a specialized computer and the firmware is the operating system.Routers use a microprocessor just like a real grown up computer so they can get warm.Really not a problem unless you operate in a hot environment or block the cooling vents.I'm presently not using my WRT54GL because my ISP has provided me with a very capable ADSL modem/router combo that does both Wi-fi B and G and can connect up to 4 computers with ethernet cable just like the Linksys router.My WRT54GL is gathering dust but is there if I need it.WRT54GL is a great router.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series Edited by Frank Golden

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I have always had good results with Linksys routers in the past. I have yet to upgrade to an N router, and the Linksys reviews do scare me a bit though. My parents bought a D-Link wireless N router DIR-655 and have had no issues with it. I'm considering getting one of those when I get a new laptop. The gigabit hardwire ports are also a plus.

Edited by GolfProRM

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I failed to mention, she is currently using the WRT54G, at my recommendation. It is an old model, the same as I use and it does use linux because it is older (2004). Against my recommendation, she got Verizon dsl and a router (I don't remember the brand). She spent too much time on the phone with Verizon trying to troubleshoot her network. After a few days, she cancelled Verizon and went with Comcast. She asked what router I was using so she could buy the same model and I could set up her network. Piece of cake!She's buying two new win 7 computers, a notebook and a desktop and I suspect she wants something in the "n" range.Around here it is next to impossible to find any WRT54GL routers in the stores. Everything shown is the new, sleeker model sans external antenna. From what I hear, they also run hotter than the older models. I'm pretty sure she won't buy online. She wants to walk into a store and grab the model I've found to be good on range. I'll have a look and see if I can find any.I think that's why she has asked me again about what router to get. The problem is, I don't know much about what is being sold. I did tell her that I've heard D-Link is pretty good but I have zero experience.

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Unless she plans on streaming HD content, I see no reason to buy an N router. The router she has will work just fine with the new computer. Unless she has issues with being out of range of her current router, I wouldn't hassle with the expense.

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If she is presently using the WRT54G she doesn't need to change.Since she is on Comcast (cable) and absolutely need to spend money she can buy a Linksys cable modem that neatly stacks on top of or under her WRT54G. This will help neaten up her desktop.The model I use is the Linksys BEFCMU10 ver. 3, this device uses the same case as the WRT54G whice is designed for stackability.This model should still be available in the stores and is definitely available online.She would have to register the new modem with Comcast support, a rather painless process done over the phone.At any rate she should consider upgrading her WRT54G to the latest firmware available on the Linksys web site.The link below is for the WRT54G ver. 4 entering her own version number in the search box will provide her with the latest greatest firmware.http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/support/WRT54G/downloadInstructions are provided by the user guide PDF available on the above site.Appendix C is the page to use.Another option is to install Tomato an aftermarket firmware that provides much greater functionality (like the ability to change the transmit power etc.). See link below.http://www.polarcloud.com/tomatoThis site provides documentation.The below Wiki contains much info about using your router with Tomato.http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Tomato_FirmwareBTW, I don't use my cable modem because my ISP (frontiernet.net) is DSL.Besides Frontiernet won't allow me to use my own modem.Not really an issue (only costs me $4.00 a month rental) making maintenance their problem and the Siemens SE567 model they provided is quite capable. This is a combo unit (both DSL modem and 4 port router) that is Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 A-B-G capable.I don't use the Wi-Fi (I have it turned off in the Modem/Router) because my machine is right next to my modem/router on my desktop.Using ethernet for my networking is more secure anyway.If you friend doesn't need wi-fi turning it off in the router is easily accomplished and recomended.Besides the security angle turning off the transmitter should help reduce heat.If wi-fi is needed then WAP 2 encryption should be used.The older WEP can be broken in a matter of minutes by a determined and is not secure at all.WAP has recently been broken so is not to be considered as secure as WPA 2 which has so far remained unbreakable.

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FWIW: make sure she changes the default username and password for the router... Lists of these defaults are freely available on the internet.

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Our routers are v2 - there isn't much in firmware that is new. I updated mine once. I never did hers.Um, she didn't handle the network setup - I did. Yes, I changed the login BUT I gave her the info and she can't find it. I also set up security. (She can't find the info I gave her). I don't want to reset the router to default and start from square one again.I'm not going to be installing tomato. Then I have the added burden of going to her house and tweaking. I do this as non-paid tech support so I really don't want to bite off more than I'm willing to chew. She would never do any tweaking so it would be my headache.Thanks for the advice.

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Unless she plans on streaming HD content, I see no reason to buy an N router. The router she has will work just fine with the new computer. Unless she has issues with being out of range of her current router, I wouldn't hassle with the expense.
I agree completely. I have heard of some very lukewarm reviews of N-series routers in terms of bandwidth, and although it's been about a year ago, I still don't see any compelling reason to use N speed. You can still find plenty of g and g+ speed routers to choose from in retail stores.

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One word, eBay.You can find decent used WRT54G (any variety you want just be careful you know what your buying) from eBay. I've done it twice now. I use WRT54GS V 1.1 routers here. I have DD-WRT running on them. Works great. Many more features than you will ever need. As mentioned before you don't need "N" for most anything but heavy file sharing with a local file server. G and G+ speeds are just fine. I stream video from my main PC to my laptop on a G connection and rarely have problems. The stacking option mentioned above is great. I used that when I had Comcast HSI. I still have the cable modem if anyone is interested in it. Pretty neat looking installation with the stacking. Plus there is an air gap so nothing gets too warm. You might even be able to find already flashed WRT54G's running DD-WRT. If you need the "N" support I believe the WRT320N will run it as well. I'm going to be getting a couple more WRT54G's soon. I'm dieing to try out a couple options that you can do with 2 routers connecting together with wireless sharing the same internet connection and using 2 separate internet connections to connect 2 routers together on the same network. Sort of a range extender (I want to connect 2 buildings that are too far/difficult to wire together) and a way to connect 2 remote locations (my home and a family members home 3 miles away). I know it will do it but I need 2 more routers to try it with.

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