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Which router should I buy?


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#1 mujjuman

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 08:59

Hi everyone...
I need to buy a new router. I used to swear by my linksys (I have a WRT5G right now) after 2 of my netgear routers gave me problems.
Now, my WRT5G is having some minor problems and I believe it needs to be replaced. Plus, it's about 5 years old right now anyway haha.

I went to the store to buy a linksys router, but to my surprise, there were SO many selections and many different prices... I compared them all and I was shocked at the labeling: some of them can only support 2-3 devices or wifi, and others can do 5-6, and the premium one can do more.... my WRT was able to handle more without problem!

I have about 11 devices currently hooked up to my router wirelessly, and 1 wired connection and it's been running fine 99% of the time. I have 4 laptops, 4 iPhones, 1 iPad, 1 xbox360, and 1 desktop computer connected to my router in my house, and my guests can come and use my wifi with no problem.

So now my question is, can the cheaper linksys router really handle ONLY 2-3 devices??? If so, which router should I buy, linksys and non-linksys, without breaking my wallet? I need something with decent range also. I'm so disappointed at linksys because the router that seemed to fit my needs is like $150 or something at walmart. I paid $50 for my WRT.


#2 myxomatosis

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:07

Honestly, get a router that supports Tomato USB, you won’y regret it.

I got a WRT610N personally and I LOVE this router under Tomato USB.

Here’s a list of supported routers: http://tomatousb.org/doc:build-types

#3 Axel

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 09:14

...or DD-WRT. I can't speak for Tomato as I've never used it. I'm running a Linksys E4200 V1 but it might be hard to source one of those, I think it's mainly V2's hanging around now and the chipset doesn't support DD-WRT.

#4 sc302

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 13:20

I have a ea6500 that I am "testing" and so far it is pretty good provided you know your devices caveats. For some strange reason apple devices do not like tkip but like aes encryption. Fewer drop offs and what not. Range is improved normally with my old router I would get 0 to 40 percent and now I am getting 50 to 90 percent coverage. Need to do better tests but that is what I am seeing with the crappy wireless meters built into the devices.

Also out of the box not only can I prioritize applications but devices. I can tell it to allow my sons iPad priority because there is no Netflix application enabled (I can create one, but that isn't the point...the point is for users who don't know squat about anything tech).

There are a few other areas that I haven't touched yet but they have really simplified this device and really made it perform. It better for the price tag they are giving it. Need to do some torrent testing while streaming against prioritized devices. That will come when I have some more time to play.

#5 linsook

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 15:45

I have the e4200 v1 as well. I bought it cause it looked great and ddwrt or tomato could be used on it. Ive had it for about 8 mo ths now, still running on cisco firmware. Didnt see the need to use thrid party firmware. Works just fine for me. I was using the wrt54g on tomato before this.

#6 remixedcat

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 15:53

I have the Amped Wireless R10000 and it's really good. very nice coverage and stuff like guest networks, QoS. access control, pretty good firewall, etc... The R20000G (around 170 USD) is better though (dual band,usb sharing). I just got mine cuz it was cheap (100USD at microcenter) and I didn't need dual band or USB sharing. Very easy to setup as well. Huge upgrade from my Netgear WGR614.... Netgear is ok, but I'm seeing more reviews that are bad for thier newer stuff and that kinda irks me.... :(

now if you want something like enterprise grade stuff for a lower price then cisco enterprise get a pfsense box and for wireless just get an access point. that is something I wanna do eventually

#7 +BudMan

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:03

"some of them can only support 2-3 devices"

Where did they say this?? Lets think about who they are wording this for, and who they are trying to sell too and what they want to sell. They want to sell you the their top of the line model.

You could say any wireless device can only handle 1 wireless client if what you want is the FULL wireless bandwidth to that client. Wireless is shared. You have X amount of bandwidth, now depending on how many concurrent clients you have and how much bandwidth you want each client to be able to have -- do the math. If I want all of X to 1 client, then it can only support 1. If I am ok with X/10 then it can support 10 ;)

But I am curious to where your reading that sort of statement? I have never seen a router list a specific number of clients. Looking on the website of the different wireless routers and sure don't see any sort of statement about how many clients

http://homestore.cis...64VVviewcat.htm

Here is a compare page - where does it say this one is 2-3 and this one is 4-6?

Here is specs on one - where does it say number of clients?
http://homestore.cis...6VVviewprod.htm

#8 Ambroos

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:04

I have a Cisco Linksys E4200 v1 on Toastman's Tomato and I love it. It's been running for over four months without interruption and the speeds I get are brilliant. Over 90Mbps on 2.4Ghz!

#9 hjf288

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:11

Posted Image

http://routerboard.c...2011UAS-2HnD-IN

Only 2.4GHz but VERY powerful in terms of features/configuration and output power (Upto 1 Watt output)

#10 linsook

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:13

I have a Cisco Linksys E4200 v1 on Toastman's Tomato and I love it. It's been running for over four months without interruption and the speeds I get are brilliant. Over 90Mbps on 2.4Ghz!


Any advantages over the stock firmware for normal use?

#11 Ambroos

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Posted 22 November 2012 - 16:31

Any advantages over the stock firmware for normal use?

It's much easier to configure and has a lot more features. Tomato-specific (I think) features I use: use WAN-port as LAN, use 5Ghz radio for 2.4Ghz (I have two completely independent 2.4Ghz networks), VPN host (so I can log in to my network remotely), ... I also have my WiFi on GreenField and some other things that basically only allow WiFi-N and optimize for it (by leaving out a lot of backwards compatibility - everything I use is N anyway).

I never really bothered with the standard firmware. It looked so much like my WRT54G stock firmware I wanted to get rid of it right away :D Tomato is mainly just much easier and more fun to configure.

#12 The King of GnG

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:37

Whatever you buy, DON'T buy Cisco routers....

http://tech.slashdot...heir-discretion

#13 sc302

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:57

My ea6500 has that crap but I don't need to sign in with any Cisco cloud account nor do I need to link it with any account. While I don't doubt that it sends my browsing history to Cisco, so does anything u connect to. Your Dns server you connect to knows your browsing history, your search provider knows the searches you perform and can cross reference against your ip, the sites you go to know where you have been based on the cookies you have and will send you personal adverts based on them. You are more monitored than you even know. You are free to be monitored on the Internet, like it or not.


Might of well said, don't use the Internet.

#14 OP mujjuman

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:12

Hi everyone, thank you soooo much for the suggestions, reviews, and warnings. I really appreciate it!!

"some of them can only support 2-3 devices" Where did they say this?? Lets think about who they are wording this for, and who they are trying to sell too and what they want to sell. They want to sell you the their top of the line model. You could say any wireless device can only handle 1 wireless client if what you want is the FULL wireless bandwidth to that client. Wireless is shared. You have X amount of bandwidth, now depending on how many concurrent clients you have and how much bandwidth you want each client to be able to have -- do the math. If I want all of X to 1 client, then it can only support 1. If I am ok with X/10 then it can support 10 ;) But I am curious to where your reading that sort of statement? I have never seen a router list a specific number of clients. Looking on the website of the different wireless routers and sure don't see any sort of statement about how many clients http://homestore.cis...64VVviewcat.htm Here is a compare page - where does it say this one is 2-3 and this one is 4-6? Here is specs on one - where does it say number of clients? http://homestore.cis...6VVviewprod.htm



That makes a lot of sense, thank you! I was skeptical too when I first saw it... I was thinking "Can this router really not handle more than 3 or 4 devices??" I tried to google some info while in the store but not only did I not find any info, but my aging iPhone 3GS was being too slow and laggy and so I stopped searching in frustration, haha. I believe I saw those numbers on the actual box that the router came in... I'll try to take a picture tomorrow when I go to the store and upload it on here.

#15 pes2013

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:47

Whatever you buy, DON'T buy Cisco routers....

http://tech.slashdot...heir-discretion

I don't believe you are a "news reporter" on Neowin and say this bull****.

1: You don't have to sign in on that crap
2: A 3rd party firmware (which everyone should run) removes this
3: From the backlash it got, Cisco released a new firmware with that future disabled/removed.

So please STFU.

Back on topic, first, the router has to run a 3rd party firmware (personally DD-WRT but Tomato is also great). Next, I recommend a mid-high end Cisco/Linksys. Their routers are still amazing (if you can spend that extra dollar)