Help me buy a new Wireless Router

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Vengenceonu, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Ok I've had this wireless router since 2007-08 and i think it's time to get a new one. Lately (By lately I mean about a year now) it has been dropping connections and i have to plug it out to reset it about 10 times a day. Took me forever to realize it wasn't my modem that caused it. Only problem is I don't know where to start with router shopping. Here is the current router I have now.

    RangeMax Wireless router WPN824 v3
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    I want to purchase a Router that is affordable/Inexpensive but at the same time easy to understand, reliable and worth every dollar of its price. Usually 5+ things are connected to my router (not always at the same time) so i want it to be able to handle that. Most importantly i want it to have very good range so it can reach every corner of my house which this one barely does (cant even get a good connection on my ipod while taking a dump). Also suggest some Wireless extenders/repeaters if you feel i would need them.

    If you need me to explain anything else to better help you help me then ask away.
     
  2. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Have you ever considered Powerline Network? It uses your home powerline to substitute majority portion of wired connection.

    For router my recommendation goes to ASUS RT-N16 flashed with Tomato USB (Toastman) firmware. For longevity sake it is best to put a USB fan blowing air at router to cool it down. All router gets very hot over time. I'm on my second RT-16; first RT-N16 I owned overheated. I put copper heatsink over CPU and a USB fan over top cover blowing air to keep it cool.

    Inexpensive router usually has weak CPU, meaning they won't be able to handle lot of traffic volume.
     
  3. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Why did it overheat? Ive never had this router overheat (at least i dont think so) but i probably didnt notice it since i have no router knowledge. I literally just learned you can update its firmware 3 months ago. Also about the price, I'm really looking in the 100 or under area. Also, what are the pros and cons of Powerline network?
     
  4. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Because it uses cheap aluminum heatsink and no fan. Actually all routers are subjected to overheat; I have yet to see one that has a good cooling design. While the outer casing maybe warm for a router, a finger touch at the chip is very hot.

    Powerline Network has the advantage of being full duplex (send and receive packet at the same time) and low latency (low ping time). Speed is consistent, unlike Wireless. Performance wise it is between fully wired and wireless.
     
  5. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Ok after doing some browsing, is 300Mbps the standard nowadays? I think the one I have now is 100Mbps. What other features are "Must-have"?
     
  6. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    That's maximum speed that router supports when it comes to Wireless N. Keep in mind only LAN will make use of that much speed. Your Internet service provider won't provide anything close to that speed to begin with.

    As for must-have feature, the only feature that I can think of is router with the ability to measure Internet usage. Many Internet service providers now impose usage limit, where if you go over the limit you are either charged with extra fee or face service disconnection. For example my ATT DSL imposes 150 GB monthly limit in combined download and upload.

    I have used many routers, and besides the one that can be flashed with third-party firmware such as dd-wrt or TomatoUSB, Netgear seems to be the only one that has traffic meter on some of their routers with official firmware.
     
  7. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Desirable features are dual-band wifi (2.5ghz and 5Ghz), MIMO antenna (increases reliability for WiFi), and a USB port. Optional, but desirable.
     
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  8. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Cool, any recommendations for a router with some or all of those features?
     
  9. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Actually none of those features are worth getting IMO.

    Many electronic devices still don't support 5 GHz, and dual band router will likely set you past $100 mark. MIMO antenna doesn't do much to Wireless performance (I tested it myself).

    USB port is the least useful feature. USB performance is determined by router CPU speed and no router has CPU that can keep up with USB 2.0 or 3.0. The only usefulness of USB port is if you want shared printer (although these days printers have WiFi). Beyond that it is not useful at all.

    RT-N16 I recommended does use MIMO antenna and does have 2 x USB 2.0 ports. No 5 GHz band.
     
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  10. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    My photo printer doesn't have WiFi. Hence the mention. As for dual band, it's immensely useful in my house which is full of devices riding the 2.4-2.5Ghz line. And MIMO performance is still subjective, but considering only 3 of my devices can be used anywhere in the house whilst the others only work well upstairs, I can see the advantage.

    Now, not having them is not a deal breaker. It's useful but not necessary. And I personally am never going back to cheap routers considering how I bash them with my torrenting on multiple gaming-capable computers. LinkSys, Belkin and Netgear have all failed me in the past. Now I'm on a Billion router, which has fibre capabilities but lacks dual band. I've yet to find a router I can fully recommend. At least the Billion router has never disconnected or dropped connection in the last 2 years.
     
  11. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Ok i think im gonna buy the ASUS RT-N16 but i have a couple questions. Ive been reading reviews and people say the original firmware is shit. Does the Tomato USB greatly improve it? Also, how long did it take for your first router to overheat? I keep my router on 24/7 and only plug it out for like 10 seconds when it doesnt show a connection. How would i maintain it to have it as long as possible?
     
  12. trumpet-205

    trumpet-205 Embrace the darkness within

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    Yes Tomato USB greatly improves it. ASUS no longer updates firmware on RT-N16.

    It took about 2 years for my first router to overheat. On my second router I put copper heatsink on the CPU, memory, and bridge chips. I then put a USB fan on top of RT-N16 blowing air downward. I recommend you just put a fan and skip copper heatsink because that requires you to open up the router and void warranty in the process.
     
  13. Vengenceonu
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    Vengenceonu Revenge is beneath me but accidents do happen.

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    Can you take a picture of your set up? I wanna see how it looks with the fan on it. Also, did you buy a usb fan or make one?