wireless routers

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Christian 1 year, 7 months ago.

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  • #3843

    DanaK
    Participant

    Looking to upgrade our wireless router. Currently have a Netgear 54Mbps router that is several years old, it has limited access for secure connections and has been dropping connection quite frequently. Looking to replace it with a new router with more secure connections and faster connection speeds.

    Any suggestions?

    #3855

    Christian
    Participant

    Not sure what you mean by “secure connections”. My old WG54RT eventually started freezing up unless it was rebooted every few hours. I think the hardware went bad. I replaced it with the cheapest router I could find at Best Buy. Unless you have specific requirements, I’d suggest the same. Most internet service providers give you a modem which also acts as a wireless router so you might want to see if yours does because you might find you already have one.

    #3856

    HotDawg
    Participant

    I’ve been using Netgear routers almost exclusively and until very recently have been very happy with their features and the support from Netgear. However, recently a month or so I updated the firmware in mine (at their suggestion). At that point I started having random (but often) freezeups where a power-down was the only solution.

    A note to Netgear simply asking if I could revert to the previous firmware without losing all my settings got me a reply that, since the router was out of warrantee (got it in Dec 2013) that I would have to join their NetGear service for an answer. A one incident answer to a question was going be about $50.

    Color me very unhappy with Netgear at this point. I had a TP-Link router (a Archer-C7) sitting here as a spare and put that in service.

    The Netgear router was a R6300, and did everything I wanted. The TP-Link one also is good. There are a few differences, but I guess I can live with those. Maybe now I will play with the R6300 and see if I can roll the firmware back, and/or try loading up some of the aftermarket firmware offerings that are available.

    I had also played with a Vizio awhile back — and while it seemed hardware wise capable, I found the user interface for configuration was not easy for me to work with.

    As far as secure connections on the WiFi, most are not providing WEP anymore. So, investigate that if you do need that for any connections.

    I don’t know how you pick one router over another. Even if you read the specs and all the reviews, until you sit down with one and see what it will do for you, you won’t know if it is the right one.

    #3857

    Christian
    Participant

    Ahh. You mean modern encryption standards. I wouldn’t worry about that. WPA2 has been the most up to date standard for a long time. They’ll all support it. The difference between the various models will be something else. If you need to support a mix of old and new wireless devices, you might want a dual-band router. Ordinarily, all devices connected to a single wireless router will be forced to run at the speed of the slowest device, but dual-band routers provide a slow channel for older devices and a fast channel for newer ones. You’ll need to consider how many wired devices need to attach to the router, and if you want the wired ports to be gigabit as opposed to the older 100Mbps ports. I’d assume most are gigabit now. I’m not sure.

    #3858

    HotDawg
    Participant

    I’ll echo to be sure to get a dual band router. The 5Gb band certainly should be used where you can. No interference from microwaves, portable telephones, baby-monitors, and a whole host of other things that have settled in the 2.4Gb band. And, probably more secure simply since not many people use it.

    And, I won’t go into the problems some of the newer Roku things can do to a WiFi link — but the ability to put it on whichever band you don’t use for much of anything else is a plus.

    #3887

    DanaK
    Participant

    Sorry, I am not up on the accurate terminology. What I mean by secure connection is: 1) Requires a valid password to connect & 2) requires myself to authorize devices to use the wifi network.

    Our current router does this, so that you cannot connect to our wifi even if you guess the password, unless your device has been authorized to do so (using the mac address).

    Currently can authorize about 20 devices.

    I like the Netgear that we have now except for its limitations and dropping out. So maybe I’ll look at a dual band from them

    Thank you both for your input and suggestions

    #3897

    Christian
    Participant

    1) Every router will have this feature. 2) Probably all routers offer a MAC address filter. However, the added security this provides is virtually nil. Anyone who’s already connected using the wifi password can see the MAC address of other devices on the network, and can change their own MAC address to match one of the authorized devices.

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