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Old 03-22-2013, 01:20 PM   #1
betula
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need new router


Hi,

My Thomspson B97299 router is on its last legs. I need a new one which will allow me to use a wired connection from it to my pc and also allow my wife to use her laptop wirelessly in another room at the same time.

I've been looking up specs on the Web and it looks like I need a dual band model model that supports a 5GHz signal and IPv6. These figures don't mean much to me so I'd like some advice, please.

All a new router would have to cope with is me watching a tennis match on YouTube and the wife emailing her friends. Light use, I think.

If anyone knows of a good model, easy to set up, I'd like to hear of it.
 
Old 03-22-2013, 04:11 PM   #2
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
I've been looking up specs on the Web and it looks like I need a dual band model model that supports a 5GHz signal and IPv6.
My choice for a router is a LinkSys WRT54GL. Note that you want the "GL" model. Not the "G" model, the "GS" model, or any other variation. The GL is based on Linux and has the original chipset and additional memory from back in the days before they cheapened things, took away features, made more profit, etc. After replacing the initial 54 router with cheapened models, there was such an outcry that they reintroduced it as the "GL" model.

You can flash this router with (free) 3rd party firmware to give it commercial business level features. I personally use "Tomato" firmware, but there are lots of goods ones available. "dd-wrt" is the one everybody is familiar with. Don't shut yourself out of the market for 3rd party firmware buy buying a cheapened model of router that won't support the various firmware choices out there. Even if you don't plan to flash your router with enhanced functionality firmware now, who knows what you might want to do in the future.

http://www.amazon.com/Cisco-Linksys-.../dp/B000BTL0OA
 
Old 03-22-2013, 09:21 PM   #3
frankbell
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I'm not familiar with the particular model that haertig named, but I have always had very good service from my Linksys routers for home use.

They've served me so well that, when I need a new one, I won't hesitate to get Linksys again.
 
Old 03-23-2013, 05:03 AM   #4
betula
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Thanks guys, that's the information I needed. Only one more thing - will I need a modem as well, or is that in my PC already?
 
Old 03-23-2013, 09:36 AM   #5
ozar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haertig View Post
My choice for a router is a LinkSys WRT54GL.
My choice as well. I liked mine so much that I bought several spares for when the time comes that they stop producing them.

@Betula

I use a separate external DSL modem in my own setup.

Last edited by ozar; 03-23-2013 at 09:41 AM.
 
Old 03-23-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by betula View Post
Only one more thing - will I need a modem as well, or is that in my PC already?
The internet connection coming into your house comes into the modem, then the modem hooks to your router, then your computers hook to the router (either hardwired or via WiFi). So yes, you will need a modem. But if you have internet currently, which I assume you do since you are posting here, you would already have this modem. So you will just unplug your existing modem from your existing computer, and then plug the existing modem into you new router instead.
 
Old 03-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #7
thorkelljarl
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Specs...

The Linksys WRT54GL is a very good router, but it is not dual-band. It is a 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g router with a maximum throughput of 54 Mbit/s. It does not have any USB connectivity.

54 Mbits/s is not fast enough to stream video reliably, but you can do about anything else you might expect with a simple router. The WRT54GL has good range and the 2.4 MHz band is better than 5 MHz at penetrating walls and whatever else is between the router and its target device. It has two detachable external antennas that can be switched for a pair with higher gain if needed.

This model Linksys is common enough that you might look for one used. They're robust enough that they don't really break or wear out unless someone has cooked the router in some way, and a used one might even be cheap.

I've installed a few for friends who want a router that they don't have to worry about, and the WRT54GL with DD-WRT or Tomato software fits the bill.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 03-27-2013 at 04:57 AM.
 
Old 03-23-2013, 05:47 PM   #8
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorkelljarl View Post
54 Mbits/s is not fast enough to stream video reliably...
???

With the typical internet connection speed (cable) being about 20 Mbits/s (at least in my parts), you are limited by the internet connection speed, not your router speed. You don't need more than a 54 Mbits/s router to stream material that is only coming in at 20 Mbits/s in the first place. I stream HD video to my 65 inch TV over a 20 Mbits/s internet connection, fed through a 54 Mbits/s router (which makes no difference since the internet speed is the gating factor), and it streams just fine.

Higher router speeds might be a bonus if you transfer huge files over your LAN inside your house from one local computer to another. Not many people need that, but some might. They would know it if they did require it, without having to ask here. Higher speed routers don't help a bit with internet connections though. Fiber may be an exception, at least in theory, however even though the bandwidth using fiber is much higher, the providers of the source material don't feed things at anywhere near that bandwidth potential.

We are talking about a $49 device here. Not a multi-thousand dollar apparatus that you will be keeping for the rest of your life and thus want to plan way far into the future for. If, ten years from now, we need more than what a 54 Mbits/s router can supply to do internet-based stuff, then just go buy a new router at that time. We will also have to buy new computers, new TVs, etc., to make use of the higher speeds at that time too. Our $49 will have been well-spent on the more modest router by then.

It's like putting tires heat rated and capable of handling sustained speeds of 400mph on your family car and somehow thinking that is better than tires rated at 120mph. Most people are rarely ever going to hit 80mph sustained speeds in the first place. A specialized speed racer on the Bonneville salt flats might need 400mph tires, but the average Joe certainly does not.
 
Old 03-24-2013, 05:49 AM   #9
thorkelljarl
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That's true but...

If your 802.11g router is the only one around, that is if you aren't sharing a router channel with several other strong signals in the neighboring apartments, you wont have any problem with getting all the throughput that 54 Mbits/s ideally provides.

Otherwise, throughput is higher and streaming less likely to be subject to latency, all other factors being equal, with a 802.11n router at 300Mbits/s. That is as I have experienced things while trying to stream TV from Danmarks Radio.

In real life there are so many things that affect the performance of a router that it can be impossible to offer guarantees. I was merely trying express that fact.

Just in case our OP is not aware of this as a good source of help and information;

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 03-24-2013 at 05:56 AM.
 
Old 03-24-2013, 12:18 PM   #10
haertig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thorkelljarl View Post
That's true but...

If your 802.11g router is the only one around, that is if you aren't sharing a router channel with several other strong signals in the neighboring apartments, you wont have any problem with getting all the throughput that 54 Mbits/s ideally provides.
That is a very good point to bring up. I am not in the "crowded airways" scenario, so I don't have issues like this. I occassionally do wireless site surveys to see who around me is on what channel, and adjust my router to an unused channel as necessary. "Wireless Site Survey" is a feature of my Tomato firmware, I assume this function is standard for other 3rd party firmwares too, and maybe even available on out-of-the-box standard routers. My son had problems playing online games and streaming videos at his apartment due to internet issues and I had him change the channel on his router. Like magic, everything started working perfectly for him.
 
Old 03-25-2013, 01:31 AM   #11
betula
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Right, I've got the idea now. Thanks very much for your inputs, they've been most helpful.

Best wishes
 
Old 03-26-2013, 10:54 AM   #12
TenTenths
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Check with your internet provider, they may be able to advise, or even provide you with a new router as an "upgrade".

Some companies will do this simply to keep you in-step with what their customer service agents are being taught to support.
 
  


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