A couple of questions about router brands

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Fly, Jan 28, 2012.

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  1. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    After having done some research I could use some advice.

    I need something that broadcasts a fairly strong signal because of electromagnetic interference and at least one concrete wall.

    Also, simple software is preferred. Not too much stuff that I don't understand.

    My current Sitecom product is a '300N' product. I got it with a USB adapter for about 55 euros. Basically, I need a signal that is strong enough for 'multiple floors'.

    There are two brands that are 'supported' by my ISP.
    Sitecom and Netgear.

    I've been looking in some local shops. (Europe) It seems that the prices of Sitecom products have gone through the roof. They are not the best, so I shouldn't have to pay anything near 100 euros for a wireless router plus adapter.
    It seems they have stopped bundling their routers with a USB adapter, making things more expensive.

    Netgear ? A very long time ago I got one and it didn't work out.

    My ISP tends to have issues with Linksys routers. Also, I had a bad experience with one of those. Agressive EULA, possible data collection, forced upgrades, incomprehensible options etc.

    I don't need anything fancy, just a basic router that broadcasts a strong signal. The router plus adapter should cost 75 euros at most.
    I 'm used to installing a driver for the adapter and I'd prefer to keep it that simple rather than to configure the router through a setup from a CD-ROM, drilling through complicated menus.
    What's Netgear like these days ?

    There are some other options, such as TP-Link, D-Link, Zyxel, Belkin and Asus.

    Suggestions ?
     
  2. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  3. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Fly,

    I read your previous post also. There is a problem, you are thinking of buying a basic router but you want one with strong signal that can pass through multiple walls. These two things won't be present together. In order to get a router with good signal strength you need to buy a high end router from a particular company. I would recommend netgear or Linksys. I see Linksys will not work for you.

    What you need to look at is the number of TX/RX antennas in the router, their output power in watts, the processing power of the router cpu, RAM and flash rom to some extent and whether the router broadcasts in dual band or single band.

    I did similar research about six months ago and I settled on Linksys E3200. If you are concerned about spying from the company you can then install a custom firmware on your router. Most major brands are supported by open source community developed router firmwares.

    In short, if you need good performance from your router you have to get a high end model.
     
  4. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    imo the e series has some of the worst range i have seen recently..
     
  5. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    My E gives me pretty nice coverage when it's using N. I get a signal through 2/3 walls across my apartment.

    It was only 80 dollars and that was a while back. Runs DD-WRT.
     
  6. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Thanks for the comments.

    It's indeed a bit of an issue to have both a basic router without advanced functionality AND a strong signal.

    Yet, a couple of years ago I was able to buy a Sitecom router plus USB adapter for about 55 euros. Basic functionality, strong signal.

    I wonder if there is anything in between ? Somewhat basic functionality, reasonable signal strength ?

    Many of those adapters cost 30 euros or more.

    I think I should be able to get something for about 75 euros ?

    The Linksys router had a very advanced setup and functionality.
    How does Netgear compare to that ? Does it come with a EULA, 'anti-privacy' router software like the Linksys ? A local shop has one that is both affordable and supposedly it has a strong signal.

    These days most routers have internal antennas. Does it really work as well as the older models with internal antennas ?

    Suggestions about other brands ?
     
  7. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

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    Fractal design and the Koch curve, a line of infinite length, have done wonders for the antennae. A cell phone may have 10 devices to bring you all of the services you enjoy, each requiring its own antennae, and fit within such a small package.
     
  8. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I would recommend you future proof your purchase. A router bought today should be able to hold its own for 5 years at least; be able to handle multiple devices connected to it and downloading etc.

    Have a look at the comparison table for netgear here. I am not recommending this particular router just scroll down and see the comparison of various netgear routers.

    As far as EULA is concerned. I have owned a Linksys router since 2003 but I have never once read the EULA for it or for frankly any other devices I buy.

    And since you are too much concerned about privacy and spying, I will have to say if THEY really want to spy on you, they will not need to break into your router, they will just put a tap on your internet wire that routes data to you. In fact they can do so from inside the ISP. They can do that regardless of the brand of router you own.

    Some of your other questions...... The internal antennas are as good as the external ones. You have to look at their transmit/receive power, if you are trying to compare between models. For example, for linksys, the output power of the antennas almost doubles between the E2500 and E3200.

    Again, I would not recommend a budget router. It will cause you problems and headaches throughout its use. Spend a little money and get peace of mind.
     
  9. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    There are two types of the E series the older one. E1000, E2000, E3000 etc and the newer ones E1200, E1500, E2500, E3200, E4200. Is your complaint related to the older series or the newer series? I have observed excellent range from my E3200. In fact, the transfer speeds at its max ranges is better than some of the other routers I have tried.
     
  10. BrandiCandi

    BrandiCandi Guest

    My knee-jerk reaction to this thread is to get a repeater or two. Ronjor's link suggested that (in addition to some other good ideas). Are you opposed to repeaters?
     
  11. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    newer ones. i sell and own MANY of them. and the e series for sure in almost all cases does not have the range of many others. while in a closer situation the e series are GREAT for longer distances they cant touch the netgear or asus higher end ones. as a example in the furthest room in my house the e4200 has barely one bar and drops connection all the time. the same spot the netgear wndr4500 or wndr4000 has a FULL 5 bars and has a very steady connection rate, i own 4 e4200's and 3 wndr4500's and have tested them all in this situation. i also own the e3200 wndr3700 among many others.

    another example is i have a client who has a music studio (techmaster peb). he also went and bought a e3200 and could not even see the router from his studio from where his internet signal was. we switched him out to a wndr4000 and he has 3-4 bars with steady connections and transfers now.
     
  12. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    A good site is small net builder.

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-charts/view

    Allows you to filter by results of different locations (close, through wall, outdoor).

    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...-draft-80211n-router-roundup?showall=&start=6
     
  13. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i like snb for the reviews for basic info but i disagree a lot of times with the test results under REAL WORLD use. the numbers they give is in a test setup and not always will represent real world use where added walls and other 2.4 things are added into the mix etc as well as neighbor's routers and what channel they are running on etc etc..

    if you want a good cheap router the asus rt n13 is great or you can get the n16 and flash it with tomato which is really a great combo..
     
  14. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Well, I obviously do not have your extensive experience with all the various router brands. My opinion was based on my experience with E3200. It is currently being used in a largish house and it is doing an excellent job in providing coverage all over, basement, ground floor and top floor, the front drive way and the back yard and gives good speeds at its farthest reaches. So, if someone asks me for a good router I will gladly recommend E3200. As you pointed out, it might not be the best out there range wise, but then you only need your router to provide excellent coverage inside your own home, not your neighbor's home across the street.
     
  15. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    dont get me wrong e3200 is a great router and i didnt mean it to sound like it was not. just when anyone asks me about range i personally would never recc the e series. honestly there are cheaper options as i mentioned and most people dont need anything like the e3200 and e4200 etc lol.. but you would be amazed at how many buy the highest end routers for just every day home use.
     
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    I think the tests are accurate, but as you say things are different in the real-world, carefully positioning of your router, angle of the antenna can change signal quality significantly.

    I have a Netgear 3500L, which is essentially a n16 with half the ram (and half the price when I bought it last year) and run Tomato for years on my many routers, it works so damn well - currently running Toastmans mod !

    Cheers, Nick
     
  17. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I made my choice :thumb:
     
  18. Cloudcroft

    Cloudcroft Registered Member

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    Hey Fly, aren't you going to tell us what you got? And how do you like it so far?
     
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