I need a router that is top of the line, easy to use, and basically plug and play. Any suggestions?
*** Update ***
I really need to be more specific. This is not for my apple. This is for home usage. Here is the situation. I have a desktop computer which is increasingly unstable, and being replaced (I get the BSOD at least 4-5 times a day, it is several years old and slow, etc.). I want to be able to hook up my new computer using a cable, hook up the old computer for occassions when I still need it (software I have purchased but do not intend to reinstall, for times when I am doing maintenance on the new computer, etc.). I would like to also have wireless available for when my friends come over.
I need something that can do all that, plus has easy to configure security so I am not supplying wireless so every jackass in a quarter mile radius can download pr0n.
I’m a luddite, and Linksys routers have worked out fine for me.
Be careful, they’re expensive. According to RedState, they’re like $30K and take like 14 computer engineering PhD students to plug in.
Apple Extreme N Basestation
You’re ALREADY on a Mac. Get a Time Capsule from Apple. Router, wireless base station and FLAWLESS BACKUP SYSTEM, all in one box. It ain’t cheap, but it’s a premium product worth far more. It’s also by far the easiest to configure.
If you’re looking for a wireless router (but it also has some ethernet connections), I like the Apple Airport Extreme. Piece of cake to configure/install and I connect both Windows and Mac computers/printers.
The Other Steve
I generally like my Linksys WRT54G wireless router. I’ve had it for like 6 years now or so.
D-Link is also generally pretty good. I’ve had mixed success with netgear.
Oh, and wireless print server, too… No software to load – plug in the USB printer and GO!
Linksys, Netgear or D-Link, all fine, but take time and set up some non-default things.
1) Turn off the ability to manage the router from the internet.
2) Change the admin password, username too if it allows.
3) Make sure the wireless uses WPA2-PSK with AES encryption. You don’t even need to know what that means, the menus in the config pages should make the option plain.
I also disable broadcasting my SSID but if you do #3 it won’t matter that much.
–David the CISSP (www.isc2.org)
For home use, I assume? A Linksys WRT54G router should do the job. My only complaint about it is that the web interface for administration is dog-slow.
Red State got a new router? They are still on teh Internets? You wouldn’t know it based on how many comments their front page stories get.
I’ll bet you that the commenter base here at Balloon Juice is now bigger than at Red State.
Of course, there are probably more bannees floating around teh googlenets than active commenters there now, thanks to Eric, Moe and Horsecock over there….
I don’t think you need a router that’s “top of the line”: those run in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and can be as big as a fridge. For home, I’ve been happy with my Netgear.
The Other Steve
Don’t setup security! If I’m over at your neighbors house, I might want to use the internets.
Just last night I was connected to the Pucklick wireless internets! :-) Tried Airwolf, but wasn’t enough signal strength.
The Other Steve
Wait, I didn’t see that. What exactly do you need this for?
Linksys has worked very well for me & my company.
One suggestion for durability: If indeed you plan on heavy use, buy the model which has more ports than you are likely to use. If you need 4 ports, get the 8 port version. (Or so this was recommended to me by a Linksys tech and by a network specialist tired of replacing dead routers.)
If it’s for your Mac, skip the Linksys. Get a Belkin. I have one, and it’s great. Totally plug and play. I have this one—$50 at Best Buy. There are others (newer?) that are $120 or so…
I had a Linksys wired router for years that was fine, but ended up returning the wireless one when I upgraded after getting a laptop and exchanging it for the Belkin.
What do you mean by “Top of the line?”
Head over to Lifehackers.com and read their article on the DD-WRT router software
You can take any shitty old router and pop in a new firmware easily through some steps and end up with a $400 router for $40
I did it to my Buffalo (favorite brand) router and it’s amazing.
Here you go: http://lifehacker.com/software/router/hack-attack-turn-your-60-router-into-a-600-router-178132.php
Definitely go with Linksys. They’re made by Cisco.
Definitely do NOT go with Netgear. At least in my opinion, they suck.
I’d go with a Ryobi or Dewalt. Make sure you keep the bits sharp, too.
I run the Linksys WRT54G for my open network and the D-Link DGL-4300 for my protected network. Both are easy to use, but the DGL-4300 has more features, like packet shaping. Great for torrenting, umm, Linux distros, while you are pwning n00bs in WoW.
Define “top of the line”. As others have noted, the top is, well, really up there. On the other hand, I don’t imagine you need virtual subnets, sophisticated NATing, or all of that other corporate crap. Both Linksys and D-link offer a line of routers targeted at the “SOHO” (Small Office, Home Office) market. These seem like a better bet than just grabbing one from the bin at Office Depot, and they still come in under $150. The exact model you get depends on the features (VPN, wireless, etc, etc) you need. I’ve used both brands, and I’ve had somewhat better luck with the D-links.
I’m sorry, as an engineer, I must pick some nits with your request.
First, I am going to assume that you mean a “top of the line” home router. Because just a top of the line router can cost you more than house (or two houses these days).
Secondly, let go of the “plug-n-play” idea right now. You can find routers that have more simple setup than others, but you are going to have to do some fiddling when you take it out of the box. What you want is a “set it and forget it” router that you setup one time and then don’t have to touch it again (unless you want to add some functionality).
Bearing in mind those two caveats, I always say for people that aren’t really into a lot of tinkering and/or don’t care “how it works”…you can’t go wrong with the industry leader for a particular product.
In this case, that would be Linksys. The quick start quides will have you up and running…well, quickly. When you have questions, there is no shortage or information on the internets because so many people have them, there is going to be someone somewhere that has been there, done that, and documented how to do it.
Apple Airport Extreme has been good to me.
Not plug and play but top of the line.
Well, Ripley beat me to it, but I’m such a Luddite that my first thought was “Cole’s into woodworking? Excellent!”
Linksys. I recently had to do reconfigure some settings with my Linksys router, and tech support (in the Philippines) was amazing.
Apple Airport Extreme or Airport Express are very easy to use and configure.
The Other Steve
I am a big fan of Makita and Dewalt. I bought a Dewalt cordless drill, and it’s the best tool I ever purchased.
I too have a Linksys WRT54G.
The only issue I have is about once a month I have to power cycle it (pull the power plug out and put back in). I’m not convinced the problem is not my ISP (Roadrunner).
Ditto on the apple products like the Extreme basestation. The setup software that comes with linksys/netgear/et al. is clunky at best and infuriating at worst. The Airport utility that comes with Mac OS, on the other hand, is easy breezy.
And of course the Extreme lets you share a printer and disk, should you want to do so.
I believe that the Extreme is also the only product currently supporting 802.11n. So if “supports the state of the art in wireless infrastructure and encryption” is what you mean by top of the line, then the Extreme is your only option.
No Definitely go with Netgear and leave Linksys alone… very alone. Netgear is by far the absolute best hands down in every category, and If you do have a problem their tech is extremely nice, and actually solve your problems instead of telling you to restart the damned thing. Like you haven’t already tried that a dozen times.
Secondly, Ive only had success with them. My netgear is about 7-8 years old and would have had two years cont uptime if I didn’t need to move it about two months ago to a different outlet.
I use Mapquest as my router. Tells me the best routes every time.
Also do what David said also, makes things much safer.
I’ll second the D-Link DGL-4300. We’ve had three WoW computers going at once with no problem (Mac and 2 PCs).
I’m weak, I LOL’ed.
Lee, I’ve noticed that with my WRT54G, if the cable modem burps then the router needs to be reset. It doesn’t happen often, but a reset fixes the problem when Comcast decides to play slap and tickle with my connection. The DLink deals with those sort of drops just fine.
Prior to the WRT54G I was using a Netgear RT314 for a few years. One day it decided to McCain itself and it took me a few hours to track down the problem. Now it’s a brick.
There’s a fine review of routers in Fine Homebuilding January 2002. I’ve been very happy with my 3 HP Hitachi.
We need more details. Do you have a lot of BT traffic or anything else that requires a large internal address list? I bought a Linksys router for use at home. Anytime I put a heavy load through it, the damn thing would crash. had to restart it every 15 minutes. Linksys tech support was useless and the linksys message boards will filled with people complaining about it.
I would HIGHLY recommend you look into getting an Asus router (ASUS WL-500). You may have to order it over the internet but it’s a top of line model. Some of them come with internal storage (250 gig drive, etc) and they function as a usb print server.
Grumpy Code Monkey
We use a Linksys WRT54G to manage our home network — four WinXP boxes, a Vista laptop, a Mac mini, a Gentoo Linux box, and two printers (wife works from home) — and it works pretty well. Administration is fairly easy if you take some time and actually read the instructions.
Just turn wireless security up to 11 and make all the addresses static.
You didn’t tell us what you are trying to set up.
But if you want a bulletproof cable modem – wireless solution, I don’t think you can top the Motorola Surfboard SBG900. AFter years of fighting DLink and Linksys problems (modem and router) on my cable broadband hookup, I got the Motorola product at the recommendation of the cable guy, who told me that the trouble call ratio frequency with Linksys customers was about 20:1 compared to the Motorola product.
Since I set it up about 8 months ago, it has never been rebooted, I have had no service interruptions. The setup was the easiest I have ever encountered with such a product.
Heretofore, I never went 14 days without a dropped cable broadband connection. Simply did not happen. Rebooting the modem and router was a routine operation here.
You get one wired (ethernet) connection and a wireless hotspot and a cable modem in one compact box. Oh, and the wireless range is better than the Linksys, and wireless connections now happen much more quickly than they did before. Call me a satisfied customer. The Motorola isn’t cheap but AFAIC you get what you pay for.
Also, I bought and installed about half a dozen Linksys products and never had one in five years that worked as advertised out of the box without having to call their customer support. Without fail, their support folks, who are quite good, would tell me to ignore the instructions that came with the product and follow a different procedure instead.
For my money, I wouldn’t use a Linksys product if you gave it to me. I’d give it to somebody I didn’t like and get something else.
I am in with the Airport Extreme or Time Capsule. It is easy to set up, very fast, and if you have Leopard, you can back up your hard drive with Time Capsule. I have used Netgear, Linksys, and one other I cannot remember now. Time Capsule is better than all of them and simpler. Works with PCs.
Two items left out from above:
1) Get a “N” router (much better than “G”)
2) D-Links do not work well with MAC, so if your friends come over with apple lap tops, or you use your own, you wont want a D-Link.
I have Belkin N router that cost about $70. It works great with my MAC, PS3, WII and PC.
My D-Link has worked fine for 4 years, but I probably wouldn’t recommend it based on what I’ve heard from others. Netgear, Linksys, all the cheap crap is essentially the same.
Time Capsule. Plus you can get Plex, and stream movies over your network.
Netgear is your preferred brand, just IMHO based on years of experience. Do not go near LinkSys, if they are still available, I think they were bought out by Cisco and the brand is going under, last I read.
Be wary of the recommendations for the “N” class, unless you know how to do firmware upgrades on router and workstations unless you are prepared to do some tech stuff. The standards for the highspeed wireless are still emerging. I use the highspeed Netgear at home, but did have problems till I got the right firmware and software versions installed. But as a result, my laptop when used in the bedroom at the head of the stairs (wireless WAP is at head of stairs from the lower of the stories) gets 270 mps throughput, which is not to be sneezed at.
Well, Linksys has at least 20X the market as Moto does. Start around here for general reviews.
Motorola did my first three cable modems. They die every year. Like clockwork. Even Comcast got rid of them.
The new WRT has different (ugly) external packaging now, almost scared me off of buying it. Easier to configure than an older one I had (not Wifi), and haven’t had to touch it once in 4 months since setup.
Now, there’s a lot of fluff out there over Macs and various routers. I know Mac people who had problems with DLink and Belkin. You probably want to check one of those Apple forums and see what they gush about.
The Grand Panjandrum
I’ll 27th the Motorola. Been using the SBG940 for a couple of years and I am quite satisfied. Simple to set up security as recommended above AND I have only rebooted a couple of times. The reboots had to do with the local cable company problems and not the router and those have gone away now the the Cable company got its shit together.
If you have a Mac, Time Capsule is a bit of a no-brainer. 3 ethernet ports for the desktop, wireless, and automatic network backup for your Macs. Admin utilities for Windows are included. Dead simple to configure. Just turn on AES for security (clients need a password) and you should be fine. The backup takes an additional backup, IIRC.
500GB and 1TB versions plus it has a USB port for either a printer for print sharing or for additional HDs.
For non-Apple, Buffalo is pretty good. Never had much luck with Linksys or Netgear.
I have 2 macs, a windows pc, a linux pc, and the playstation all connected to a netgear, and it has performed flawlessly for over 2 years now. It is probably the only piece of computer equipment that I would say is more reliable than my iMac.
Routers on a mixed home network, Linksys. Not sure Apple routers do well with PC stuff.
But John, whatever you do, do not get a machine with Windows Vista on it. Because it is guaranteed you will pull your hair out trying to get the damned OS to see any router you might have. And every time you change something, Vista asks your permission, like Bills Gates is your damned mother or something.
But I’m over all that now.
I second/third/fourth the recommendation for the Airport Extreme or TimeCapsule. I have both and love them. If you want cheap and reliable go with the Linksys WRT54G.
They do fine. I have a moderately complex wired/wireless network with several macs and pcs, and the brains are all run by an airport extreme.
We just bought a refurb Dell for my Gamer Grrl wife. It’s a XPS 630i, which has gotten good press early and bad press lately (several promised fixes are late too the table). With an easy to find 15% coupon, we paid $869 for:
3.16mhz Duo E8500
4 gb 800mhz ram
160gb 10000 rpm HItachi
750 watt PS
2x Nvidia 8800 GT connected with SLI
Ageia PhysX physics accelerator
This thing stone rocks and I couldn’t have built it myself for that…
whatever you buy, don’t install the “manage your network” software they ship with the router unless you want yet another layer of crap between you and the things you want to do. just plug the thing in and find its web interface IP address.
I’m in IT, so my conception of ‘simple’ may be a little warped, but as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing on the market better than a Buffalo WHR-HP-G64 with Tomato loaded onto it.
Haven’t read it discussed yet, so…
…you really need to decide about the G or N standard. I don’t think you can buy B any longer. I dunno; haven’t shopped for router in a while (so why are you reading this post?).
I’m more than happy with my Linkys; I have heard, however, that even with standards, a Linksys Card for a portable is happier with a Linksys Router than some other brand. YMMV.
If helping the local p0rn addicts was your thing, I’d go for N for Naughty.
I have a Buffalo shitty router which I hated (bought for 40 bucks). After flashing it with DD-WRT, it now has features that only routers worth several hundred bucks have.
not 10 minutes ago i set up a new wireless router. netgear wgr614. $40.
it was pretty straightforward, which is good cause i have another wireless router i have to run off it for my VPN at work and if the whole thing gets cocked up i can’t work.
worked out great. pretty easy to set up the wireless security as well.
As another unabashed nerd, I suggest you ignore Teak111. Vista works much better than XP if you’ve got the hardware for it, especially after Service Pack 1. Most of the interface problems and window-ordering hell are fixed with Aero, it’s more compatible with old software than XP (really! It just doesn’t run VESA graphics modes), and it’s a bit faster overall. It’s not really worth upgrading from XP to Vista, but there’s no reason to ask for a new computer to have XP instead. Stay away from 64-bit unless you need it, though—most of the problems are from people who upgraded to 64-bit because they thought all it meant was “more RAM”—but 64-bit Vista is still lightyears ahead of the train wreck that was 64-bit XP.
For a router, I’ve got a Linksys WRT54GL (the open-firmware version) running Tomato software instead of the the Linksys default. The Linksys firmware isn’t bad, but the Tomato firmware has a couple more features (bandwidth monitoring, more wireless modes, better QoS) and is a bit more efficient overall. I had a Netgear RT314, but it died a slow, undignified death after a couple years.
Linksys is great with great tech support. They can walk you through anything. And there appears to be no limit on it.
Netgear is horrible with horrible tech support.
I’ve had very poor experiences with Netgear, and very good experiences with Linksys.
For example, since this might resonate with you, when I first started playing WoW, I got erratic system crashes. It turned out my Netgear ethernet card was not compatible, and Netgear tech was atrocious. I thought that was ridiculous.
OT: Robert Novak has a brain tumor.
If you can’t say anything nice etc.
If you’re on a mac and you need extra ethernet ports, get the Apple Airport Extreme Basestation. (If you don’t need ethernet ports for other stuff besides the DSL/cable modem, there’s the Airport Express. If you need automatic backups, get Apple’s Timecapsule, it’s basically the Basestation with a high-cap network drive built in.)
I use my Airport Exreme Basestation with a Macbook Pro, and with a Windows XP desktop box via ethernet cable, and occasionally with a Dell laptop (wirelessly). Works great with all of ’em.
The Basestation does draft-N, the latest and fastest. Plus the less speedier protocols. It has ports for cabled ethernet (which I use to get my non-wireless Windows box online — software is provided to let it talk to and even administer the Basestation.)
The Basestation has a USB port so you can print wirelessly from you Mac. Or use a USB disk as a shared network drive, although I haven’t used that feature yet — I don’t have a USB drive.
The things that make me really like the Basestation:
1) Apple laptop + Apple router = Best bet to maintain low blood pressure.
2) 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz frequencies. This was the clincher for going with the Basestation, that and #1. Everybody’s got 2.4 gigahertz wireless now. From my single-family home I can see 6 other wireless networks in range in the neighborhood. Can’t image the overlap in an apartment building. The more cluttered the frequency, the more collisions and the slower your speed. Having the option of switching to 5 GHz means you leave the jostling unwashed 2.4 GHz crowd behind.
3) Wireless printing. I had no idea this would become as big a deal, but now I’ve had a taste, I would demand this with any wireless router. I can sit my lazy butt on the sofa with my Mac and I can send stuff to the printer in the office. No special trips and plugging and unplugging a printer to print. It seems just as fast as when it was cabled. It doesn’t require a fancy printer either, just a USB one. Mine is an old HP deskjet.
4) Fast connect with a Mac. As soon as I power up my Macbook Pro, it’ll connect to the Basestation. I can launch my browser immediately. No dicking around to “find” the network and then more dicking around waiting to “connect”, like my experience with Windows on every wireless network I’ve used. This is another thing I had no idea would make a difference. I thought all machines dinked around for a minute or so to find the network and connect.
5) Easy to set up. Really easy. It should be the standard and every router maker who makes it harder than this should be waterboarded immediately and with extreme prejudice, as just payback for inflicting their own cruel and unusual punishment.
If you have a Mac, it’s worth the $180.
Oh, yeah, the Basestation looks pretty sleek too. Can be a plus for some.
I’ve had very good luck with everything Linksys, including my router. I do also have a Belkin hub that works fine, but, all in all, I think Linksys gives good value for the money. And their tech support is very good.
Um, no, we were talking 20x the problems with Linksys on a per-unit basis, not 20x total call volume. And Linksys does not make up the bulk of their base. The bulk of their base is Cox-supplied equipment, which is not Linksys.
srv, I have some unused Linksys gear sitting over here in the corner. Send me your address ….
Here you go:
LINKSYS WRT54GL 802.11b/g Wireless-G Broadband Router
I have a slightly older model than this one but it works great.
As to routers, I have 4 of them now…
One of the big 3+ HP Milwaukee’s, a shiny new Festool 1400 watt router, a Bosch combo kit router, and a bosch colt and I gave my brother an extra Dewalt plunge router I had.
Never can have too many routers!
I respect Novak. While he cannot write, he can mow people down in his car. He’s like a real-life Grand Theft Auto.
So can we call Kool-Aid a carcinogen now?
Since John has provided more details, here’s my setup:
WRT54G -> open wireless
DGL-4300 -> secure (WPA2) wireless
-> Linksys EG005W (1Gb switch)
-> 3Com 3300 (10/100Mb switch)
Off that I run:
Wii, XBox 360, Sirius Stiletto, Tivo HD, Tivo original, Mac Mini, 2 Powerbook laptops, 2 PC laptops, 2 workstations, networked printer.
When visitors come over, there’s no problem connecting to either network over wireless. The DGL-4300 was easy to set up (it has wizards in the web interface) and the QoS options make it nice if you really want manage download bandwidth versus gaming.
Contrast that with a friend’s AirPort setup where I have intermittent problems connecting with my Dell laptop.
Oh, I also have an Mvix MX760HD running over wireless (Linux kernel). Basically, any device I’ve thrown at my network works fine.
I was very, very happy with my N Belkin router at home for both PC and Mac use. To take advantage of the MIMO technology on the PC for faster, wider connections, you need to purchase the “booster” card – well worth it.
I recently made the switch over to Time Capsule for my Mac. Easy setup (you even have the option to connect it to existing routers). Great range and speed. Only drawback is that the fan runs high ALL the frickin’ time (but that is the price I am willing to pay to have automatic backups without the hassle of having to pull out cables every once in a while when I remember).
If you don’t have the new Mac OS and don’t plan to anytime soon, then something from Belkin or linksys will be much cheaper.
This thread is fascinating from a sociology perspective. We’ve got some folks actually trying to answer the question. However, their advice seems to cancel out (Netgear Sucks! Netgear is best!) Then there’s the folks who didn’t even bother reading the question or the follow-up. My favorite part is where John says “This isn’t for my Mac,” then people continue to talk about his Mac. Or maybe the best part is the folks just randomly talking about computer stuff, not even trying to answer the question. Throw is some goofy hardware (store) jokes and way OT stuff, and this thread is just about useless.
No wonder we can’t seem to elect a president in this country.
What kind of wood are you working with? Ash? Maple?
Here’s a followup on what you should do once you buy one:
7 Easy Steps to Secure Your Wireless Router
There’s plenty of articles that cover this in many variations. Do a search if you want more…
Yet another recommendation for the Linksys WRT-54GL here.
Also, the strength of your wireless security will depend upon the length of your passphrase.
Here’s an online WPA keygenerator that I used when setting up my network.
Just use the default ‘maximum security’ and you’re golden.
Yet another plug for the Linksys WRT54G… However, I’d actually strongly recommend you go with the WRT54GL instead. I’ve had both. The original 54G ran Linux and had some very nice specs and it has TONS of third-party firmware versions available should you ever want/need to upgrade the functionality.
Then, because it was so popular, Linksys decided to break it, and cut the RAM in half and switched the OS to something else (I could look it up but I don’t care). The new 54G was extremely flaky and it quickly went from the best rep to one of the worst. In response, Linksys brought back the “original” linux-based, plenty-of-RAM version back and called it the “GL” instead.
So… Even though it often runs $10-$20 more, I’d go with the “GL” version. It tends to be a bit more reliable (though they’ve fixed lots of the problems with the original G revision). More importantly, it is compatible with a wide range of third-party firmware versions which can provide a TON of extra features, should you ever need or want them.
About the only problem I’ve had with my vanilla 54G is occasionally when using Bittorrent files with LOTS of seeds. This is rare, but sometimes I do have to reboot that one. The 54GL has been rock-solid. There is a help document about this (with fixes) on the uTorrent web site, if you’re curious.
So much for Cuil challenging Google. Way to go, Drudge. You broke their damn website.
That was $33 million well spent.
All Mac, all the time in the Howell household, and we have a Netgear Rangemax WPN824. Working fine for us, both direct wired (phones & one computer) and wireless (all the other computers, three floors apart). But then again, I survived the SunRocket-to-Teleblend fiasco so maybe I’m willing to put up with more shit than most people.
Linksys WRT54G is the best if all you need to support is ab or G…different levels of wireless. Latest hot one is N…more power more range…but if your wireless devices don’t need or support N then don’t spend the bucks. Follow the security protocols and you will be fine. One last suggestion…since you use a UPS….battery backup…(right?)…then plug your broadband modem and wireless router into it so they stay fully protected from voltage spikes and drops…..
The Other Steve
I actually hit Cuil early this morning and looked up a couple of things. The results I got back were even worse than what google provides.
I even looked up a few things and got zero results.
Belkin N1 Vision. N wireless, easy to configure and guest access you can turn on for your visitors while keeping them off your private wireless network. It even has a display so you can SEE if your neighbors are on the guest wireless.
The Linksys WRT54G is nice, but I wouldn’t bother with the custom firmware unless you want to fiddle with it.
The Other Steve
The have implemented a midget porn filter.
/thank you. I’m here all week. Please tip your waitress!
(sorry that was just too much of a setup ;)
Actually, I did but I also read this part:
Now, since he has one Mac, a logical replacement would be a new Mac (wait until Sept if you are shopping for a new Mac. No, I cannot tell you why.) since it can also run Windows. In that situation, the advise we gave him that was Mac specific has a pretty good chance of being quite useful. And better that we give him that advise now than after he’s bought the router and realizes “Damn, that Time Capsule would be really fucking handy, but I just bought this Buffalo router” since he didn’t give us any insight into what he was looking to replace his PC with.
John H. Farr
Jesus, go with the APPLE GEAR! Get a Time Capsule, easy, easy, easy…
Novak’s been a power player for a long time. I wonder how many hours he had his brain socketed into something like this baby: .
Rats. My attempt to show an image failed. How do you do that?
Billy – one can use Apple routers for PCs or Macs. So I fail to follow your critique.
Forget Linksys, they suck.
I have a 2Wire 2701 HG-B. It is by far the best router I’ve ever had. Very easy to use and configure, it has WiFi, very reliable. I use Macs but I believe this thing would work fine for PCs as well.
What the ISPs don’t tell you:
You need to match your router’s bandwidth capacity to the service you are getting. I had been having problems with my routers and finally realized it was because Optimum’s recent download upgrade to 15Mbps is allowing port scanning traffic to exceed the bandwidth capacity of my router. I had a D-Link 624, then a WBR-2310 and finally a Netgear FVS318v3 which ALMOST approaches 15Mbps. I suspect too many residential users complain about their routers when in fact it is their service capacity.
Normally, a residential user would not get that much bandwidth flying into their homes. The problem is exacerbated when home users get a dynamic DNS name which is an attractor for the port scanners. Also, the bandwidth need not be exceeded for an extended length of time for the line to be overloaded, only for a period long enough for the router to throw-up.
Linksys rocks. I had the WRT54G. It worked great and never gave me any problems. One day, I must’ve messed something up on it coz I just couldn’t get it to work. I tried a new Netgear and it was slow as molasses. In frustration, I tried the WRT54G again and used it pain free for another several years.
When I got an Xbox 360, I got a used WRT55AG so I could have Wireless A & G.
You can probably get a used WRT54G from eBay for a decent price. Most of the newer features on current models are poor marketing crap. Speedboosters & such just spam the airwaves (they use multiple channels rather than just one). In reality, unless you want to transfer huge files between computers on the network, you won’t notice any difference with speed boosting ~ your connection is the slowest part of any network.
“every jackass within a quarter mile” Seems like you live in the wrong neighborhood. Of the eleven people who live within a quarter mile of me only one is a jackass and he doesn’t know there is an internets.
First off do as Glenn says and follow his link to Lifehacker. Second ignore the “BrandX Sucks.” Routers have gotten cheaper and quality is always a problem these days. I’ve had problems with all of them. That said, the lifehacker article talks about some open source firmware that can extend the routers capabilities and perhaps make up for some of its downfalls. If you buy a compatible router and later find the need for more, you can try one of the alternative firmwares.
Security wise you want a router with WPA2-PSK with AES encryption. Most routers these days fit that bill. Lots of the big guys will tell you not to bother turning off your SSID but ignore them and add that as a layer to your security plan. You can also usually limit access by MAC address and configure the router to disallow all activity after your bedtime. Each of these adds a layer that will require the potential hacker to do more homework. If your router doesn’t do those things, return it and try another. These are fairly easy settings to make and there is plenty of help out on the tubes.
Also ignore the Linksys is Cisco bit. Cisco may own Linksys but that is about where the comparison ends. There is a reason they don’t sell them as Cisco routers. Some of the older Linksys are better than the new, but depending on what flavor of 802.11 is connecting over wireless, you may want to stay with recent offerings.