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Old 01-22-2006, 01:24 AM   #1
R00ts
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Need advice in choosing a router


I've been researching a wireless router to buy, but I'm having a rather difficult time finding one. Here is what is most important for me in choosing a router:

1. Cross-platform support
I run Linux on all of my machines, but I want it to support OS X and Windows as well, in case of future roommates. I also would like to know that it is compatible with a Nintendo DS, because I am strongly considering buying one.

2. Easy setup for Linux
I don't want to have to do something crazy like modifying the kernel source and building it from scratch just to get this thing to work. I want to plug it in and only have to perhaps install a few packages/kernel modules and modify configuration files.

3. Reliability
I have a great DSL connection that almost never drops out. I expect the same performance from my router.


Currently my desktop runs Debian sarge, my Dell Inspiron 9000 laptop is running the latest release of Ubuntu, and I've already gotten the Intel IPW2200 wireless card working on my campus network. I have done some initial research so I'll just post what I've found, and you can share your Linux experiences with these routers:


LINKSYS WRT54G IEEE 802.3, IEEE 802.11b/g Wireless-G Broadband Router
I've seen these everywhere. They seem popular and reliable, but are they cross-platform and not a big headache for Linux?


SMC Barricade SMCBR14UP 10/100Mbps Broadband Router with Parallel and USB Print Server
I read on a site that this router is supported under Windows, OS X, and Linux. But is it reliable? There aren't many reviews on this one at NewEgg...


BELKIN F5D7230-4 Wireless Cable/DSL Gateway Router
I also heard that this router has multi-platform support. One review says it doesn't work with the Nintendo DS though.


D-Link DI-524 Wireless Router
This router seems pretty popular on NewEgg, and it's cheap and compact as well. I read one review that said that this product worked across Windows/OS X/Linux, so I'm highly considering this one at this point. Should I go for it?




If you have any suggested routers for me, that would be great. And as well, if you have any routers that I should absolutely stay away from, please share that information so I don't end up making a mistake. I'm almost a total neophyte with wireless technology and have never set up my own home wireless network before, so I hope I make it through this okay.

Oh one more question. How would I get my desktop machines to pick up the wireless signal? I'd need some kind of receiver accessory wouldn't I? (Would it be USB or plug directly into my ethernet port?). What wireless receivers do you recommend as well? Thanks in advance.
 
Old 01-22-2006, 01:35 AM   #2
acid_kewpie
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1. it's a hardware router, this is irrelevant

2. it's a hardware router, this is irrelevant

3. I'd suggest a Linksys as it's just Cisco gear under the hood.

I've a belkin one which i used to use, and it's been a bit ropey, so i'd never buy another.
 
Old 01-22-2006, 03:57 AM   #3
beetle_boy66
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Belkin SD7230-4 4 Port Wireless-G Router

I have a Belkin FSD7230-4 4 Port Wireless-G Router I bought at WalMart for $40.00 and it was worked perfectly for me.

It is fast, and it was easy to set up both the MAC filtering and the Virtual Routers for my Linux based web server.

On a related note,

I prefer MAC filtering to WEP encryption, because I don't have to fool with setting up any stupid encryption keys on all my wireless devices. The only machines getting through are the ones with the MAC addresses I specify.
 
Old 01-22-2006, 05:20 AM   #4
acid_kewpie
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mac filtering is even more pointless than wep... mac spoofing is an arbitrary hoop to step through, and presents no security whatsoever. do it as well as wep if you want, but not instead of.
 
Old 01-22-2006, 11:13 AM   #5
beetle_boy66
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I suppose you are right.... Ultimately, BOTH methods are little more than temporary roadblocks.

Like the old adage says, locks only keep honest people honest.
 
Old 02-14-2006, 05:34 PM   #6
sundialsvcs
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All routers are "operating-system independent." They just take whatever traffic comes-in on any of their ports, and sends it where it needs to go.

It's nice to find a router that supports WEP and VPN (Virtual Private Networking). That last is true, industrial strength cryptography, although in that case you do have to do some operating-system configuration to talk to it.

WEP, or whatever its successor is these days, gets a lot of bad rap but I do find it useful... just because it makes your network slightly less than trivial to get into. And that, in many cases, is enough.
 
Old 04-21-2006, 05:36 AM   #7
mhoch3
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I recently bought a barricade router on the basis that the print server would be handy - hey it has both USB and parallel ports so it should have been pretty good.

However I haven't been able to get the print server working at all. (unhappiness!)(It should work with all postscript printers). The most basic way of using a networked printer is the method that I usually fall back on, as it's completely OS insdependent: It's to ftp into the printer and put the file onto the printer as postscript and presto it prints. The Barricade has an ftp daemon running, however the correct username and password aren't given in the manual and SMC's support is terrible. They have lots of people on phones who know nothing and they don't respond to e-mail.

Shame, because the hardware is great.

Has anyone hacked the firmware yet?

Regards, Max
 
Old 04-21-2006, 06:11 AM   #8
mhoch3
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I don't actually care about preventing people from using my wifi. It costs me nothing and providing my wireless visitors don't play bandwidth intensive computer games it's not going to affect my browsing.

So yeah, I'd like confidentiality and authentication for my own comms and I'd like my datagrams to be prioritised over theirs and, finally, to protect myself against people using the link for naughty purposes and landing the rap on me I'd like it to be logged but beyond that I don't care. Y'never know, people might actually use it!

Best Wishes, Max
 
Old 04-21-2006, 07:00 AM   #9
colonboy
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I have a Linksys WRT54G at home. I like it for its ability to do WPA encryption and that you can point it to a RADIUS server. I've had no problems with connection or speed.

Good Luck.
 
  


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