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Would A New Router Give Me "Better" WiFi?


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#1 vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:20

Long story short.
I recently switched ISP's.
My new ISP included a free router when I switched over.
It is a Netgear N600 Model # WNDR3400.

At first it seemed like a pretty damn good router, but perhaps I was mistaken. It is hard to say.

Just lately, I seem to be having a lot of issues with the WiFi in my house. It seems to just drop out for no apparent reason.
I cannot help but feel it started happening when I got the WiiU, so perhaps it is all a result of that.

So really my question is simple. Is this a good enough router? Or can I get something better?
For example we use the Linksys E4200v2's at work for our own department WiFi Network, and the things are rock solid. Obviously they are pricey, but they handle about a 30 person department with ease.

So just wondering if picking up a new router would improve my home's WiFi Network a good enough amount to warrant purchasing one?
I am open to all brands. My main concerns are my consoles connect online with little to no issues, and I stream a lot of movies from my PC to my PS3.

I also just got my bonus from work, so this is kind of my treat to myself.

So any help and suggestions are incredibly helpful.

TIA,
DL


#2 Hum

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:25

Maybe the drop is from piggybacking neighbors.

Maybe there is a clash with your channel with other nearby routers.

#3 sagum

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:27

First thing you should be doing is checking if your router is on the same wifi channels of any close by routers. There is software for it that'll help find them. You want to ensure that your router doesn't overlap with their wifi. otherwise they'll fight and can cause drop outs. Other things such as cordless phones, microwave ovens and even starter motors in strip lights can block out wifi for a few seconds when used.

You should run the monitoring program, I'm sure someone will give you the name and/or download link. Monitor it to see if your router's wifi signal goes down, or your pcs, the internet or other wifi close by blip yours.

#4 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:31

Do you need USB storage or not? Also do you need dual band?

My Amped Wireless R20000G is awesome and has both and you can get it for 140.

handles tons of gaming sessions and server sessions very nicely(wired). I am running 2 remote Hyper-V desktops for others to access outside my network as well as a minecraft server with 5 players. (wireless) We got 2 xbox360s on xbox live playing various games all the time and I've also been downloading a lot of VMs and streaming youtube videos and my hubby uploads his game videos (wireless) and also downloads a lot of other stuff.

#5 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:33

I actually have a few apps that monitor the signal (I am on a Macbook Pro). One of them even suggests the best channel to use (that app is called WiFi Signal). Even when I use that channel, seems to be that there are still issues.

I also have two apps called WiFi Diagnostics, and WiFi Explorer.

If people can advise what type of reports to run, etc., I can do so and share.

So bottom line is my router should be fine right?

EDIT - Absolutely, Dual Band is nice.

Do not need USB storage, never really had the need, also have a NAS setup, but maybe I would use it if a router had it.

EDIT 2 - Give me about 10 minutes, and I will share the screens from the WiFi Explorer App I have. (Y)

#6 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:34

are you running in 40Mhz mode or 20Mhz mode?

#7 nekkidtruth

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:36

I LOVE my Netgear WNDR3400 but let's call a spade a spade. The thing is atrocious when it comes to wireless signals. I consistently have issues with it. The only reason I haven't replaced it yet is because I can't figure out which route I want to take (How I want to set things up). It's a fantastic little beast when wired, but wireless....yeah no.

#8 Yusuf M.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:50

are you running in 40Mhz mode or 20Mhz mode?

That's what I was going to bring up. If it's in 40 MHz mode and there are connection issues, then it's a good idea to switch to 20 MHz. You won't get the full 300 Mbps but it will get rid of interference. Instead, you'll get 150 Mbps but the good thing is you won't notice any slowdowns. I recently had to switch from 40 to 20 MHz because my neighbours bought routers at the same time and it caused my wireless connection to drop at random times.

If you're still having issues, then I strongly recommend the ASUS RT-N66U. It's fairly expensive but it's worth every penny.

EDIT: What we're talking about is the channel width. Your router should have 3 options: 20, 40, and 20/40 MHz.

#9 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 02:58

Okay, here are the screens from the WiFi monitoring app, and also from my router.

So a few things that pop out. Even though I have both channels enabled, I am connected to 2.4. Should I disable it? Wouldnt that cause potential issues with some components? Why is my Macbook Retina not connecting to the 5 Ghz channel?

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I was actually just eyeing that Asus router up on Amazon Anaron. (Y)
And instead of 20-40, my router has it listed as Up to 54, 145, or 300.
So yeah, right now I have it on 300, but I have played around with putting it to 150, as on 300 it definitely seems like it is a bit sketchy.

#10 Raze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:01

I agree with Anaron.

I recently replaced my Netgear WNR 3500 V1, which performed flawlessly for me, with an Asus RT-N66U. I flashed it with the Merlin firmware and since setting it up not one issue (yet). Merlin - http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80

#11 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:05

I agree with Anaron.

I recently replaced my Netgear WNR 3500 V1, which performed flawlessly for me, with an Asus RT-N66U. I flashed it with the Merlin firmware and since setting it up not one issue (yet). Merlin - http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80

I will purchase that tonight if the consensus is it would give me a more reliable, and hopefully better, WiFi experience. So if others want to chime in and say that is the good movie, I have it in my Amazon cart ready to go. :laugh:

How is port forwarding on it? I have all my consoles set up with static IP's, and know all the ports needed for all their services (PSN, Xbox Live, etc.), or is there an easier way to do it on this specific router?

#12 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:15

On my Amped R20000G I can have something called 'Static DHCP' where I can set the static IP of whatever device I want through the router and not have to mess with it on the device. I use that for both wired pcs as well as the xboxes (wireless)


Amped Wireless-3-LAN-2.PNG

BTW the power cycling isn't needed.

#13 Raze

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:19

I'm not using port forwarding, but at a glance it seems no more difficult than any other router.

Here's a screenshot -

Posted Image

#14 mduren2445

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:22

a radical idea before you rush out and buy a new router would be to reset it and see if that solves your problems. there should be a button on the back by the usb connection to do a factory reset. you got to remember isp's get these routers cheap and sometimes over time the router software gets corrupt and you need to reset it. is this does not resolve the issue save your money and make the isp replace it. good luck :cry:

#15 SadJoker

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:24

It's funny that you mention this specific problem. I'm in Westchester County, same ISP and same included router. Lately I've been noticing the exact same thing! We have about 5 devices on the wireless - 2 laptops, 2 smartphones, and a TV. Past few days I've been noticing a ton of dropped signals, major slowdowns, etc. I haven't tried it yet but I'm going to call Optimum pretending to be somewhat computer illiterate, complain, and see if they'll give me a better router. No idea if it will work but may be worth a shot before you buy a new one. ;) If that doesn't work, I'll likely be going the same route as you and picking up a new router.