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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.

[b]So really my question is simple. Is this a good enough router? Or can I get something better?[/b]
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.

[b]So just wondering if picking up a new router would improve my home's WiFi Network a good enough amount to warrant purchasing one?[/b]
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

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Posted

Maybe the drop is from piggybacking neighbors.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

So bottom line is my router should be fine right?

[b]EDIT [/b]- 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.

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

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

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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.

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[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1360290853' post='595508940']
are you running in 40Mhz mode or 20Mhz mode?
[/quote]
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 [url="http://www.asus.com/Networking/RTN66U/"]ASUS RT-N66U[/url]. 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.
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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?

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36855/wifi_screens_netgear/WiFi01.jpg[/img]

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36855/wifi_screens_netgear/WiFi02.jpg[/img]

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36855/wifi_screens_netgear/WiFi03.jpg[/img]

[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36855/wifi_screens_netgear/WiFi04.jpg[/img]


[img]https://dl.dropbox.com/u/36855/wifi_screens_netgear/WiFi05.jpg[/img]

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.

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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 - [url="http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80"]http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80[/url]

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[quote name='Raze' timestamp='1360292482' post='595508992']
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 - [url="http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80"]http://www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/80[/url]
[/quote]
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?

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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)


[attachment=327136:Amped Wireless-3-LAN-2.PNG]

BTW the power cycling isn't needed.

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

Here's a screenshot -

[IMG]http://i.imgur.com/1QT5Epj.jpg[/IMG]

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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:[size=4] [/size]

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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.

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At minimum, get a dual-band router, then run what you can on the 5Ghz band. 2.4Ghz (which is the same as cordless phones, bluetooth, even microwaves and baby monitors) can only handle about 4 - 5 objects nearby on that band before breaking down. 5Ghz will hold over 20.

I have a Linksys WRN-610N that has worked flawlessly for almost 3 years. It's why you'll never hear me complain about PS3 downloads. I have that hooked up to a Linksys 5Ghz gaming adapter, and have another adapter for my desktop. I think having those at least on the 5Ghz band keeps the 2.4 clear for my other PS3 (used more for blu-ray), my 360S, and my laptop.

ymmv.

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[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1360293318' post='595509022']
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)


[attachment=327136:Amped Wireless-3-LAN-2.PNG]

BTW the power cycling isn't needed.
[/quote]
Since I already have all of the devices set up with a static IP, while a pretty cool feature, would not be utilized by me.
[quote name='Raze' timestamp='1360293578' post='595509034']
I'm not using port forwarding, but at a glance it seems no more difficult than any other router.

Here's a screenshot -
[/quote]
nice thanks, that is a nice looking UI as well. Not that that matters for a router at the end of the day, but it is nice. I am SUPER close to purchasing it, especially since I forgot, I have $30 credit right now at amazon, so brings the price down to $130.

[quote name='mduren2445' timestamp='1360293753' post='595509040']
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:
[/quote]
Have reset the router multiple times, but no doubt appreciate the reminder to try the most obvious thing first. (Y)
[quote name='SadJoker' timestamp='1360293875' post='595509052']
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.
[/quote]
Already tried. :laugh: This is the router they give out.
[quote name='soniqstylz' timestamp='1360293993' post='595509054']
At minimum, get a dual-band router, then run what you can on the 5Ghz band. 2.4Ghz (which is the same as cordless phones, bluetooth, even microwaves and baby monitors) can only handle about 4 - 5 objects nearby on that band before breaking down. 5Ghz will hold over 20.

I have a Linksys WRN-610N that has worked flawlessly for almost 3 years. It's why you'll never hear me complain about PS3 downloads. I have that hooked up to a Linksys 5Ghz gaming adapter, and have another adapter for my desktop. I think having those at least on the 5Ghz band keeps the 2.4 clear for my other PS3 (used more for blu-ray), my 360S, and my laptop.

ymmv.
[/quote]
It is a dual band router. I did ask above and no one answered, [b]should I disable 2.4 completely so it forces 5? But will that eliminate some devices on my network? And why does my Macbook not connect to the 5 Ghz channel? Is there something I need to do on it?[/b]
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[b]EDIT[/b] - Turns out enabling the Mode to be "Up To 300 Mbps" totally slows my WiFi to a crawl. It is INSANE how slow it becomes.

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[quote name='remixedcat' timestamp='1360290710' post='595508932']
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.
[/quote]

Dual-band simply makes way too much sense - especially since it costs little more than single-band.

Look at the price spread between the WNR3500L (Netgear's popular single-band N router that supports USB storage) compared to the next two dual-band routers also from Netgear - the WNDR3400 referenced by the OP and the WNDR3700v4 (I own this router - it replaced a WNR3500v1); the difference between the WNDR3400 and the others is that it has 100 mbps LAN/WAN ports - the other two are all-gigabit on all LAN/WAN ports, the WNDR3700 and WNR3500L both support USB for storage, and all three support IPv6 in their factory firmware. Believe it or not, the WNDR3700v4 is - at worst - $30USD more than the WNR3500L (same reseller - Amazon, which doesn't have the best price; surprisingly, Best Buy is $10 cheaper). The days of paying substantially more for either dual-band N or all-gigabit LAN/WAN ports are gone, gone, gone.

Also, newer hardware (smart TVs, newer portable devices - including notebooks/tablets/smartphones) is more likely - not less - to support 5 GHz N than was the case merely a year ago. (Mom's 40" smart TV in the master bedroom supports both bands of N - it's parked on the 5 GHz band by its lonesome.) Streaming is better on the 5 GHz N band than the 2.4 GHz N band due to far less crowding. If you want to stream to multiple devices, parking the targets all on the same band makes sense.

If there are lots of routers (especially G routers) near, moving to N (and to a different channel from the default) could reduce ACI (adjacent-channel interference) - I use non-default channels on both N bands due to the plethora of nearby wireless routers - both G and N.

I have my WNDR in (literally) the same place the old router was - and the range is better for 5 GHz N than 2.4 GHz N - there ARE times merely a frequency change can make a difference.

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I would force 5Ghz...but some WLAN chipsets say they have 5Ghz but it fails to connect. What WLAN chipset does the MBP use?

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[quote name='DirtyLarry' timestamp='1360294845' post='595509096']
[b]EDIT[/b] - Turns out enabling the Mode to be "Up To 300 Mbps" totally slows my WiFi to a crawl. It is INSANE how slow it becomes.
[/quote]
That's because the channel width has to be 40 MHz in order to reach 300 Mbps. Unfortunately, it can cause severe interference when other wireless routers are nearby (e.g. neighbours). When I got my ASUS router, I immediately set it to 40 MHz and noticed that my connection would randomly drop. I set it to 20/40 MHz rather than 20 MHz to let the router decide which channel width is best. That way, if for whatever reason my neighbours decide to throw away their routers it'll automatically go up to 40 MHz. Not all routers have this feature though so you might have to set it to 20 MHz.

As for the 5 GHz think, the adapter has to support that frequency. Just about every wireless adapter supports 2.4 GHz but not a lot support 5 GHz. I don't know which wireless adapter your Macbook uses but chances are it doesn't support 5 GHz.
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[quote name='Anaron' timestamp='1360291859' post='595508964']
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 [url="http://www.asus.com/Networking/RTN66U/"]ASUS RT-N66U[/url]. 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.
[/quote]

If he's using 40Mhz channel widths on 2.4Ghz most WiFi cards won't connect out of the box. Mainly because 2.4Ghz doesn't have decent separation between channels and 40Mhz width overlap too many channels to make sense in that type of setup. I'd hope his router didn't ship in that configuration either...

40Mhz widths really only make sense in a 5Ghz setup.

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[quote name='LogicalApex' timestamp='1360295627' post='595509148']
If he's using 40Mhz channel widths on 2.4Ghz most WiFi cards won't connect out of the box. Mainly because 2.4Ghz doesn't have decent separation between channels and 40Mhz width overlap too many channels to make sense in that type of setup. I'd hope his router didn't ship in that configuration either...

40Mhz widths really only make sense in a 5Ghz setup.
[/quote]
Ah, I didn't know about that. I had no issues connecting with just about every 2.4 GHz device in my house with a 40 MHz channel (ranging from smartphones to multiple laptops with different wireless adapters). You're right about it making sense on the 5 GHz band. I actually have my channel width set to 40 MHz on the 5 GHz band and 20/40 MHz on the 2.4 GHz band (the router chooses the best width based on the proximity of other wireless routers).

DirtyLarry, you should change the SSID of your 5 GHz network to differentiate it from the 2.4 GHz one. That way, you'll know which one is which when you want to connect on a specific band.

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My R20000G defaulted to 40Mhz and auto channel but I have mine set to ch9 and it's cloud 9 for me lol. It's funny the neighbors are all using ch3 and 6.... there's like 6 on ch 6 and 4 on ch 3 and mabye 1 or 2 on ch 11

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Okay interesting, I would think for sure a newer Macbook Pro Retina would have supported 5 GHz, but apparently not. Thanks for the explanation Anaron.

So anyone else recommending that Asus router? I got it down to $134 on Amazon thanks to my $30 credit, so I am ready to purchase it. Keep in mind, I just got my bonus from work, it was pretty good, so I am looking for a new toy, and the reason I thought a new router was the issues I am having. [b]If this new Asus router could perhaps alleviate those issues, I am all about it. [/b]If I may experience the same issues just because of all the interference around me, then I will probably pass.

EDIT - Anaron. What a incredibly good suggestion. Off to do that now. I actually did it awhile back, but for some reason switched it. I think I thought the device would automatically just auto connect to the best one.

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[quote name='DirtyLarry' timestamp='1360294343' post='595509072']
It is a dual band router. I did ask above and no one answered, [b]should I disable 2.4 completely so it forces 5? But will that eliminate some devices on my network? And why does my Macbook not connect to the 5 Ghz channel? Is there something I need to do on it?[/b]
[/quote]

No, I don't think you need to disable 2.4GHz completely. If you disable 2.4GHz, you would prevent devices that do not support 5GHz from connecting to the network. What you can do, however, is to change the SSID of the 5GHz network (under the wireless settings page in your earlier screenshot) to something different (e.g. DLDigital5), then you connect your Macbook to this SSID instead of DLDigital. This way you can force your Macbook to connect only to the 5GHz network.

I'm guessing your Macbook supports 5GHz, because your screenshots earlier in WiFi Explorer show it picking up a 5GHz network.

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