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Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Teal'c, Jan 8, 2006.
If you were buying a wireless router which model would you buy?
I use D-Link, best for the money....IMO.....get them at www.newegg.com
Thanks, but whats the difference between their models? D-Link has MIMO ... what is that? Linksys has wireless G with Speedbooster ... what is that? What's the difference between 802.11b, 802.11a and 802.11g routers?
MIMO is multiple in, multiple out. Basically transmitting and recieving on multiple channels at once. Makes for a faster connection (theoretically) but also makes the whole system more prone to interference, especially in an area with a lot of 2.4GHz RF running around. Most makers these days have a MIMO setup, normally labelled as 108 MBps gear.
Not entirely sure what Linksys' SpeedBooster is. Their MIMO package is called SRX. SpeedBooster seems to be some sort of optimization scheme that puts more useful data in the stream, with less wireless overhead (encryption, error checcking..?). WHether or not this is actually a good thing...
A, B and G are different standards.
A is a 5GHz radio set. It was 54 MBps while the 2.4GHz B was only 11MBps. A can be a good choice in crowded RF environments, because it doesn't interfere with, nor is it degraded by the extremely popular 2.4GHz band. A hardware is more expensive, however, and it has reduced range in pretty much all conditions.
B was originally a low cost option for A. More than fast enough for most broadband internet connections, it pretty much sucked for network file sharing. B is mostly dead now.
G is a follow on the B standard. It has (more or less) the same speed as A, in the frequency band of B. G has pretty well eliminated the B standard. Most G hardware will interface with B and vice-versa, but some newer G parts don't play nice with B, and others can be made to be incompatible with B through software.
I used to be a big fan of Linksys stuff. I'm using a WRT54G right now. But I started to notice a QC falloff the last few years. I'm hoping their purchase by Cisco will fix a lot of that. Their new metal cased desktop switches seem to be pretty nice.
I've dabbled with a few D-Link gizmos, and read many reviews on them. I'm thinking they don't have any better QC than Linksys. Same for Netgear's newer plastic cased stuff. The popularity of networking among the great unwashed has seriously cut into the quality in the industry. Most people just don't want to pay $250 for a small router. Sooo.... enter the $70 wireless router...
Basically, let price be your guide. I have a preference for Linksys over D-Link, but it's just my opinion. Linksys' configuration tool is MILES better than D-Link's though. Buy cheap, and don't be surprised when it has issues, or go for big $$ which doesn't really work any better or faster than the cheap stuff, when the cheap stuff is working like it's supposed to.
802.11N and WiMax are just around the corner (and have been for at least 18 months, who knows when they'll actually be useful) and offer increased range as well as higher speed. A few companies have "pre-N" gear out there, which has some of the charachteristics of the N standard, but the odds of it actually working with "real" N stuff when it does it are pretty slim.
The LinkSys WRT54GS can be picked up for a song and is a decent WAP. Its firmware is Leenuks-based and there a several 3rd-party updates that turn it into an excellent WAP.
All brands take either A, B, G, or pre-N routers and add a 'booster' feature that is optional to use. If you use belkin cards an belkin routers, for instance, you can use their (incompatible with other devices) 'booster' technology.
Pay those features no mind, not worth the bother. Just get a reputable (d-link, linksys, netgear, 3-com, cisco, nortel) router in either G or pre-N configuration.
Pay more attention to what non-WEP encryption you'll use.
WRT54G...all day every day, no doubt about it. Can get if for $50 at Wal-Mart.
I agree with the WRT54G recommendation, but read here first if you do plan to take advantage of the fact that the firmware is based on Linux.
If you do want to take advantage of it, I'd highly recommend:
That's build 23, which is the latest and works well with v4 of the WRT54G.
Thanks for the info ...