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Home Wireless router

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Maelstrom, Dec 19, 2010.

  1. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom MiniCapitalist

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    Oct 1, 2000
    Not a super techie guy.

    I'm looking to have wireless access to a tv and computer on the main level, and computer, tv and xbox on the downstairs, where the router would be.

    I need suggestions for a wireless device to accomplish this. Some people say get the dual band, some say the 2.4gig is fine.

    Used to stream movies, play games online without lag etc.

    Nothing over $200 would be preferred, but I could go more if it is worth it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Indiana
    Over 200!.. Holy smokes.

    I have this one, quite happy with it...

    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3905740&CatId=373

    Router is in an upstairs bedroom w/ the Cable Modem... Wireless devices are frequently used on the main floor and in the basement w/o issue. I don't have any TV's going to mine.

    I would think most home routers will do what you want. The main thing is, that you know how to properly secure your network, once you get the router setup. Really though, all the "main" manufacturers, make a pretty good router (Linksys, Netgear, Belkin, D-Link)

    IGF
     

  3. red devil

    red devil Ambassador 01

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    Americas
    I also second the vote on Netgear. I use a different model, the WNR3500L which has a some more processing power and adds 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports. I opted for this model as I wanted a fast network to support video / audio streaming from my PC to our PlayStation3. The price difference isn't that much.. this is less expensive by a few dollars than the Netgear WNDR3300 that IndyGunFreak mentioned. Either way you can't go wrong.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833122334
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  4. AAshooter

    AAshooter

    1,753
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    Nov 1, 2000
    Kalifornia
    I use this product: http://www.metageek.net/products/inssider

    To look at the wireless access points around. Great for setup. Generally I find the 5 GHz frequencies unused where the 2.4 GHz bands can be pretty crowded.
     
  5. mixflip

    mixflip

    6,825
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    Mar 4, 2009
    I just bought a basic Linksys/Cisco home router from Sams club a few weeks ago for only $39 so my wife can use our laptop in the living room. It has been running perfectly so far. $39 aint bad for what it lets you do.
     
  6. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom MiniCapitalist

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    So now I am unsure if I hook it up to my cable modem ord if it takes the place of it entirely
     
  7. mixflip

    mixflip

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    You need a regular modem. You plug the router into the house modem then your main desktop becomes the base so to speak while all the others run wirelessly off the router. So the connection goes from the wall, to your modem, then to your router, then to your desktop.

    My router is sitting on top of my desktop computer.
     
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  8. Fanner50

    Fanner50 NRA Endowment

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    Sep 3, 2001
    Florida
    Get the Apple Airport Extreme. It's about $180.00 give or take and it's worth every penny you'll spend on it. You can get them cheaper, but the Apple works every time, all the time. We love ours.
     


  9. A computer only has to be plugged into the wireless router for initial setup. Once the router is set up it can be placed anywhere in the house with no computer attached to it. The router settings can then be accessed by any computer using the ip address and passwords.
     
  10. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Yup... I almost always manage/monitor my router from my laptop, unless I happen to be at my PC.

    This is well explained in the documentation of most routers. I'm assuming you have a normal cable modem, and not some combination modem/router (some of those can be a pain running through a router)

    IGF
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  11. Maelstrom

    Maelstrom MiniCapitalist

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    I think I got how to hook it up now. Would the apple one work with my computer? I have a pc. Or doesn't that matter anymore?
     
  12. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    It would probably work... I've never set one up though
     

  13. Yes the Apple one will work just fine with any PC - I just set up a couple at a clients' a short while ago. I can't recall if it came with software for the PC or not, but the needed software is certainly available from Apple's website.

    I'm hard on Apple, but their Airport Extreme is a nice product. The other one I'd recommend is the Netgear WNDR3700, or any Linksys/Cisco router.

    If your budget is up to $200, you can definitely get a great product that will last you a while. I would certainly go with a dual-band Wireless N since you want to stream media & play games.

    What you get when you pay around $150 for a good router (like the ones I've listed above) is not only a better product, but lots of configuration options which you may need for your games & stuff.

    Hope that helps, take care.
     
  14. Also note that you may have to call your cable company to give them the new router's MAC address, or otherwise play with a few settings. Basically, you should take the ethernet cable from your cable modem, plug it into the Internet/WAN port on the router and you should then be able to get online.

    If not, you need to call your cable company to play with the MAC address - they will try to BS you that "they don't support third party hardware" but the reality is everyone has wireless these days and they know exactly what you need to do to get it working. It's very simple.
     
  15. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Never had to do that... I've set up quite a few routers.

    Usually, just do what you said, then reset the IP on Windows, so that its calling for an IP from the router, then log into the router and configure it.

    The service provider shouldn't have to get involved.
     

  16. I've also set up a few in my day, and some providers (Surewest used to, Comcast does not, Wave does) keep track of the MAC address(es) on your account.
     
  17. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    ATT and Time Warner don't either...

    I'll take your word for it.. I've just never heard of having to call a provider over a Mac address on a router.
     

  18. Yep, I distinctly remember going through that process with Surewest and recently had to do it with Wave.
     
  19. MtBaldy

    MtBaldy Obie Wan, RIP

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    I just recently bought a Netgear WGR614 for $35.00 and it's a pretty nice router.

    If you opt for an 802.11N router make sure your other components have N WiFi adapters. Unless they're pretty new they may not.

    Also consider 802.11G supports up to 54 mbs. Chances are that's already much faster than your Internet connection. You may not need to pay extra for an 802.11N router.

    I wouldn't buy anything Apple just on principle. Their computers are overpriced for what you get and I would assume their routers are too. By the way, most routers use the TCP/IP protocols and those are not machine specific so the Apple products will work fine on a PC.

    Odds are very good all you will have to do is plug the ethernet cable from the cable modem into the router and then plug an ethernet cable from a computer into a LAN port on the router to configure it. Most routers will come with an Install disk but you shouldn't need it. Open a browser window and type 192.168.1.1 or maybe 192.168.1.10 to open the router's configuration utility. The password should be in the manual but will probably be "admin" or "password".

    Once the router is set up you should not need anything except the cable modem physically hooked up to it.

    Do implement all the security your router supports. There are a number of steps you can take to secure your network but the main one is WPA2-AES encryption.

    You can get a strong, nearly uncrackable, password from www.grc.com.

    Other steps you can, and I think should, take include:

    Changing the SSID to something personal and disable broadcasting of the SSID.

    MAC address filtering unless you want to have frequent guest computers on it.

    Of course you should change the setup utility's password just about the first time you use it.


    Use something like InSSIDer 2.0 to find an unused channel. I use it every day at least once to check for new wifi aps near me.

    A little paranoid maybe but I also use a little utility called Netscan to give me all the IP addresses on my network a couple of times a day. If someone has managed to get through my WPA2-AES encryption I want to know it.

    Channels 1,6,11 are the only 2.4 Ghz ones that don't overlap so one of them is your best choice.