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Router Recommendation


awraynor
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Didn't see a networking category so I posted it here, sorry.

 

So Charter was finally able to install my cable internet today after suffering with BellSouth DSL for 2 years.

I am running WHS 2011 on a home LAN with a Media Center setup in the living room. Both switches are D-Link

gigabit, but I want to replace a Linksys Wireless G router, 10/100 running DD-WRT.

 

The only equipment going wireless is an iPad and an older Dell Laptop with wireless G. I assume I would

benefit by upgrading the router to gigabit speeds? As you can see my wireless needs are minimal.

Any benefit to adding an N adapter to the Dell with going N on the router? I don't want it to reduce

any throughput on the network by keeping it G if that is an issue?

 

I don't currently access the WHS from outside the network, but if the router made the process easier

that would be a plus.

 

Thanks for any recommendations and I am not brand loyal.

Edited by awraynor
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WRT54GL with the Tomato firmware loaded is without a doubt the best wireless router I have ever used. Period.

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802.11n is definitely faster, but the speed will only benefit you if one of the following is true:

  1. you transfer files between the wireless devices themselves or other computers on your LAN;
  2. your internet connection is faster than about 20 - 25 Mbit.

#1 is kinda obvious. If you want to move files, or stream video from a wireless device like your ipad or laptop to somewhere else on your LAN, like an HTPC, then N speeds will help.

#2 is not quite as obvious. Even though Wireless G is called 54 Mbit, actual throughput will only be around half of that, even in pretty ideal circumstances; overhead eats up the rest.. If you have a really fast internet connection then Wireless G could actually impair your internet experience on those wireless devices.

 

The other way Wireless N can help is with wireless coverage; N has better reach than wireless A, B, or G. Oh, and it's also more secure because of the way MIMO works.

 

 

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WRT54GL with the Tomato firmware loaded is without a doubt the best wireless router I have ever used. Period.

I'm a big fan of Tomato, on the WRT54GL or the Buffalo WBR series. Unfortunately, the author has not kept it up for use on N routers. I'm not blaming him in any way. I'm sure he has many other things to do and he did provide a great product completely free for a long time. No doubt it took an enormous amount of his time.

 

That said, Wireless N is the present, and near-term future. I believe there are versions of DD-WRT that will work on some N routers, so that is an option awraynor could explore.

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99% of my network needs are wired so wireless speed is not an issue. Having said that, the ability to boost the wireless signal significantly using Tomato is nice.

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Myself and my parents both have WRT54GL routers running Tomato and we couldn't be happier. I though about upgrading my router to get gigabit Ethernet and wireless N. Then I realized none of our 3 computers or 2 iphones have N cards in them. Personally I'd just stick with the router you have. We have a 20down/3up cable modem connection and our current router has no problems delivery that speed to our laptops.

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I was mostly concerned about the wired side. The switch at my server and the one at my HTPC are both gigabit. I didn't know

if the 10/100 router would slow them down at all? My cable is 12 up and 1 down so wireless is fine and I get all the range I

need as the laptop usually is no more than 20 feet from the communications closet.

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Connect your wired router to one of the switch ports on the router and make sure all connections are thru the switch and not the router. You local wired LAN will have gig speeds.

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I was mostly concerned about the wired side. The switch at my server and the one at my HTPC are both gigabit. I didn't know

if the 10/100 router would slow them down at all? My cable is 12 up and 1 down so wireless is fine and I get all the range I

need as the laptop usually is no more than 20 feet from the communications closet.

As long as the server & htpc are directly connected via gigabit switch(es) they you should get full speed. I would test using some large files, to see what the max throughput is.

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@jmwills. Is the sentence phrased correctly, if so I think I know what you mean, but it isn't perfectly clear.

Thanks for the clarification.

 

Connect your wired router to one of the switch ports on the router and make sure all connections are thru the switch and not the router. You local wired LAN will have gig speeds.

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