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Would A New Router Give Me "Better" WiFi?


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#16 soniqstylz

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:26

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.


#17 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:32

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)




BTW the power cycling isn't needed.

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.

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

Here's a screenshot -

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.

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:

Have reset the router multiple times, but no doubt appreciate the reminder to try the most obvious thing first. (Y)

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.

Already tried. :laugh: This is the router they give out.

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.

It is a dual band router. I did ask above and no one answered, 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?

#18 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:40

EDIT - 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.

#19 PGHammer

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:40

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.


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.

#20 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:47

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

#21 Yusuf M.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:49

EDIT - 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.

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.

#22 +LogicalApex

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 03:53

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.


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.

#23 Yusuf M.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:01

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.

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.

#24 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:05

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

#25 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:06

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. If this new Asus router could perhaps alleviate those issues, I am all about it. 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.

#26 Kai Y

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:12

It is a dual band router. I did ask above and no one answered, 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?


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.

#27 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:16

Okay cool, thanks again all, I just renamed the 5Ghz channel to same name, just got real creative, and added +5 at the end of it. :laugh:

One last thing I think is worth mentioning. I forgot the main reason I really questioned if my router was the best it can be.

I am on Nvidia's mailing list, and they set up their website for Project SHEILD today.
I have already put the money aside from my bonus to purchase it. I am getting it 110% for the ability to stream games from my PC. So keep this in mind. I want the best wireless experience I can get so I know that Project SHIELD is running as good as it possibly can be. (Y)

#28 OP vetDirtyLarry

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:22

Just wanted to say thanks again. You guys are geniuses. (Y)

I renamed the 5Ghz as suggested, connected to it no issues on my Macbook Pro.
Also I can leave the Mode "Up to 300 Mbps," and speeds are exactly the same as when I put it to "Up to 145 Mbps"
So I think we may have a winner here. :punk:

This should mean my transfer rates on my network are much faster now, which would be SWEET. Have to do some experimenting tomorrow, I am off to bed now.

And if one or two people chime in in favor of the Asus, I will order it tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone. Much appreciated. I feel like I have gotten some positive changes tonight for sure. :yes:

#29 remixedcat

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:27

Glad to have helped :cat:

#30 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 08 February 2013 - 04:35

Just remember to reset it from time to time, maybe once every couple or 3 months, I like netgears even though I'm using an e4200 (it came at the right price, was going to get the wndr4500) :)