Experience with Routers?
Cool new look - next thing you know, Mark will be upgrading to XP. :wink:
I'm doing some revamping of my home set-up, and need to set up a router for my 3 systems and cable modem (started to do this a while back, then some things intruded on my time.) I was originally going to go with a wireless all-in-one router/access point, but decided to go with a separate router for now and add a wireless access point later.
Criterial for the router: fast, trouble free, friendly to on-line gaming, and I'd like good firewall capabilities. I'd appreciate anyone's experiences, good and bad, and recommendations. Like anything, people seem widely divided on various manufacturers and specific units ("Linksys rocks! Linksys sux!" etc.)
I use the Linksys BEFSR41 4-port Router/Switch. I have 3 computers hooked up to it and it's great. We play internet games through it, no problems.
They also have a BEFSR41W which is "Wireless Ready". Which is to say you plug a wireless net card into it and it can communicate with a wireless switch.
I've got a Netgear RT314, which is a reasonbly cheap solution, and I really like it...It seems to do its job very well.
It was a little bit more of a hassle to set up than I understand some of the other brands are, though. Took me about forty-five minutes or so. But after that, it's worked like a dream.
I have the SMC Barricade and am really happy with it. I have 6 computers running through it and no problems. You may have to read the .pdf manual on the CD to get it working with cable but it is still a 5-10 minute setup.
"Cool new look - next thing you know, Mark will be upgrading to XP. "
That's crazy talk!
We're still working on modifying the boards a bit. We'd like to get the giant eyeball up and of course it would be nice if it said something besides "yourdomain.com" at the top.
I've got a Linksys BEFSR41 at home, and have used the SMC Barricade (and its various clones) and the Netgear RT314 (which has been phased out in favor of newer models).
Depending on what you need to do, you can pretty much go with any of these routers (and there are almost always great deals on them via www.techbargains.com). As long as you don't have a whole lot of special services you want to run (servers, IM clients doing funky stuff, etc) they'll all meet your needs.
My only complaint with the BEFSR41 is that I *still* can't get the damn thing to allow me to receive attachments through MSN instant messenger). Other than that, my little Linky's been wonderful for going on 3 years now.
The Netgear allows you to do more with things like IM attachments, but is a little more complicated to set up and the RT314 shows up when you do port scans (I don't know if the new platinum series Netgears have this problem as well... They're supposed to have enhanced security, but...) My brother swears by his RT314 (as opposed to swearing at his old router...)
The Barricades used to be the cheapest of the lot, and were pretty good (there were literally a dozen clones). I haven't used the new Barricades, but they're supposed to be pretty good, too.
On the security front, all of these routers do a decent job. You should check the reviews (from the sites below) to see how they respond to port scans and go from there. You also should make sure that the router supports any funkiness that you need on your connection (such as PPPoE on a Verizon DSL connection).
The key to all of these routers is keeping your firmware up to date and getting it configured. They all use web interfaces now, and they're all pretty easy if you understand even the basics of networking. Tim Higgins has some great guides (he used to be the brain behind www.practicallynetworked.com and is now running his own site www.timhiggins.com). There's lots of great information on at least one of the sites about virtually every model of router that's come out in the last few years, as well as wireless networking, phoneline networking, powerline networking, etc.
Re: Router Experiences
Are you using it in DHCP mode, or are you manually assigning it ip addresses?
Originally Posted by asjunk
Linky and MSN
I've tried both -- generally I'm using my Linky w/ static IPs for my main gaming machine (which is where I usually use MSN Msgr) and fileserver box and DHCP for the laptops, my girlfriend's PC, and other miscellaneous boxes. I've forwarded all the appropriate ports to the individual machine, and it still never works. I've talked to a lot of other Linky users via msg boards and usenet, and the problem seems fairly universal. Then again, I stopped trying after the 1.35 firmware, so it might be solved now *if* you want to forward the ports.
Have you had better luck? A quick google this afternoon didn't reveal any solutions...
Incidentally, it works wonderfully with Netgear and SMC routers, just not with ol' Linky.
Forgive my ignorance, but which (if any) of these routers works if your cable company doesn't assign fixed addresses?
Most cable companies seem to be using DHCP to assign addresses. Assuming this is the case (and it seems to be in most cases) then any of these routers would work fine.
Originally Posted by Enkidu
There are still some older cable installs where you need to run proprietary client software to make the connection to the cable modem. In those cases, you're pretty much out of luck and would need to run a PC into a router using router software (like microsoft's ICS or WinGate or something similar). However, these situations seem to be few and far between these days.
Re: Linky and MSN
Originally Posted by ASJunk
You don't happen to be using Windows XP, do you? It comes with a different version of Messenger than those of us with 2000 and the likes have. I assume it's the fact, but just in case it's not, I'll go ahead and give you what works for me:
I have none of the appropriate ports forwarded, so I assume it does not need it. However, this document might be of use to you: http://support.microsoft.com/default...;EN-US;q278887
Also, in the 'Filters' tab, you might try enabling the following:
None of those should have any effect on file transfer, but whatever, instant messenging protocols aren't known to be the smartest of thing. If this doesn't work, then I have no idea what the problem could be. Might just be a fluke, since I can't file-transfer with ICQ or AIM, but hey, good luck to you. :)
Also: It might be noted that the new firmware includes a number of fixes to be had. One good thing at Linksys is that they do at least try and keep up to date. Again, good luck.
My three cents
I, too, have the Linksys 4-port model. Plug and go. No hassles, no problems. [Cable modem, 3 PCs on LAN and one hacked Tivo. ] I guess that would be a "Linksys rocks!"
DLink 713-P wireless access point/router/gateway/firewall/printspooler here [DSL, 9 PCs on LAN, a laptop, and one freestanding MAME arcade machine] . Very happy with it.
My first emoticon! It's like smacking a bottle of champagne against the hull of the good ol' Qt3. :twisted:
I just got cable and put in a D-Link 614+ wireless; my machine is hooked in by cable and my wife's with a wireless adapter. Seems to work fine, though our machines are using creaky old ME.
Add me to the Linksys list. Has some nice and basic port forwarding options, and has a zone alarm plugin as well.
Like what was said before, make sure to update the firmware, but it was pretty much just a plug-in-and-go for my two XP machines.
Linksys is decent, but I've had a quirky problem
I'm currently using the Linksys BEFSR41 with a Xircom access point. I used the BEFW11S4 before that, but gave that to my grandfather.
I'm generally happy with the Linksys, but have had one odd problem with it... When my wife connects via wireless, at some point the Linksys loses its connection to the Internet. Sites stop responding, etc. I know it's not the Xircom because cycling power on the Linksys solves the problem. It's just an annoyance, but it's annoying enough that I may just end up finding another brand and selling this one.
If you ever use MSN Messenger for video conferencing, etc., be sure to get a model that supports uPnP. This is necessary for file transfers, voice, and video in Messenger. Most of the Linksys models have this.
DennyA, have you upgraded the firmware on the router? That could help.
Matthew, yep, running the latest firmware.
It's a weird interaction. It only seems to happen when my wife's laptop is connected via the AP. But I even switched wireless card brands on her notebook to see if that would help. I'd blame the AP, except that the PCs I have wired to the router also lose their Internet connectivity when it happens.
This looks to me like one of those problems not worth diagnosing. :) I think DLink supports uPnP, so I'll probably shift to that and eBay the Linky...
linky supports uPNP. At least the BEFSR41 does. Just update your firmware and install the uPNP drivers in XP (they are not installed by default).
uPNP basically lets software control the router to open ports and stuff you would traditionally do through the router admin interface only. So even more virulent viruses can be written! LET THERE BE REJOICING THROUGHOUT THE LANDS! YES!
Re: Linky and MSN
Originally Posted by Met_K
Thanks for the advice. I spent some time fiddling with it this weekend, but still couldn't get it to transfer files properly on either win2k (msn messenger) or winxp (windows messenger).
Are you using the uPNP options? I ask because I've looked around and that seems to work. However, I have no desire at all to implement uPNP with all the security holes that potentially opens up... Looking at the number of portscans I get every day anyway makes me reticent to potentially add to that headache.