View Full Version : Good Wireless Equipment?
04-11-2007, 11:26 AM
This is unrelated to my ongoing wireless woes.
Some friends of mine are moving to a condo and are looking to setup a wireless network. It's been ages since I built one of my own, way back like five years ago when I lived in an apartment. Back then I went with all linksys parts and it worked fine.
But that was five years ago. What are good wireless parts these days? They need a router/AP and some NICs.
Kevin J Baird
04-11-2007, 12:00 PM
It has been my experience that whatever you decide to go with, you should try and make sure everything is the same brand whenever possible. Mixing D-Link with Linksys or some other combination can often result in problems and take away from any benefits one product offering might give you.
I continue to use Linksys products. They work fine for what I need. I don't think there is a true 802.11n standard yet. And if you don't need anything that fast, you can get some good priced 802.11g routers and the like almost anywhere. Like a WRT54g Wireless Router can be had inexpensively.
I don't have any recommendations for a NIC, as I either use wired connections, built-in wireless or a single 802.11g USB device. It's handy, but they don't have the best reception.
i have no problems with a mixture of smc/linksys/dlink/trendnet.
i find they are all made equally cheaply in china, and despite some having toll-free numbers and tech-support email they are most incompetent. they all have very equal and high chance of being lemons as well, so 'brand' alone is worthless.
so i base my buying decision on: availability of drivers (osx, linux, xp, xp64, vista) and whether or not there are many users with the same model. as well, an active community forum and extensive documentation/application support is important. (ie. i googled for which router models people got working in order to separate the WEP/WPA networks etc.)
as shitty as some linksys products are, their linux-based models (the one that's crapping out on tom) seem to be widely supported with decent firmware.
linksysinfo.org also has what seems to be regular participation by a rep from the company.
surprisingly, the more easily supported network products are the ones from taiwanese companies with more generic drivers and less of the more all-in-1- boutique products. those...regardless if it's from asus or linksys tend to have their software/driver support die real fast.
don't let some fake proprietary 'speedboost' technology make you waste your money buying all one brand. dlink/netgear "108mbps" uses the same stuff from the atheros oem.
04-12-2007, 08:10 AM
Among the cheap-ish 802.11g equipment, I find the major brands equally good / bad. Among the more expensive gear, the D-Link DGL-4300 (http://reviews.cnet.com/D_Link_DGL_4300_wireless_router/4505-3319_7-31229856.html?tag=lst) is well-respected: its GameFuel tech actually works; that's what I have. Everyone seems to agree that no one's Draft-N tech is really up to snuff: the general consensus seems to be buy a good cheap 802.11g router now, then upgrade after 802.11n is ratified if you really want the bandwidth upgrade. 56Mbps is more than fast enough for broadband access; really the only appeal of faster wireless is for home media streaming.
04-12-2007, 08:54 AM
I second the DGL-4300. The wireless works well and has a pretty darn good range too.
04-12-2007, 10:42 AM
I'm happy with the Buffalo WHR G54S router I grabbed for $40 (newegg, I think). I installed DD-WRT for the added features. I like being able to boost the signal and manually change the frequency (iStumbler reports about a dozen wireless routers around me, d-link, netgear, linksys, etc, and most are sharing the same default frequency).
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