Suggestions for a cheap and good router ?

Discussion in 'hardware' started by Fly, Jul 12, 2009.

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  1. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    If I cannot solve my current router problem I'll probably have to buy a new one.

    A combination of router plus adapter, preferably a USB adapter.

    For wireless connections.

    The local Sitecom routers with USB adapters are at about 70 euros or higher.

    Any recommendations for a good router, good inbound protection, easy to set up, no vulnerabilities, and most importantly: not more expensive than necessary.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    What about Belkin o_O
    Quite easy to set it up and not so expensive.

    I've got a D-Link 655, but that's a bit more expensive. ;)
     
  3. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Thank you, I'll look into it.

    Do you know how strong the wireless signal is ? There are many wireless network where I live, so that is definitely an issue.
     
  4. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    You're welcome Fly. ;)
    The signal depends on many factors. First the router you'll be using. You can find a Belkin N-router for about 75 euro.
    Next the walls it has to go through and further more the interference you may have from different routers/networks, devices. :doubt:
    You could change the channel inside the configuration to obtain the best possible connection. :)

    I don't experience problems at present, but that's because there aren't that many routers here.

    Hope you'll find the one which works for you. :D
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    DIR-655N is my favorite router to date. I have now installed a half dozen, and they have great range and like all Dlink routers, firmware is chock full of settings. Should satisfy all but the most demanding in terms of capabilities.

    Linksys, from years of use, tends to just work. Thier firmware is more sparse than others most times, but they have always been dependable for me.

    I have had issues with a few of the other brands like Belkin and Buffalo, a few others I forget the names of. Find a model you like the price of, get the manual and see if the firmware has the options you need/want. Many times I go more for what the firmware options are rather than price or popularity.

    Sul.
     
  6. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    Indeed, quite satisfied with my router. :)
    You could always look for DIR-635 which is a fine router too.
    That's one which never worked for me or others from my family. I guess it doesn't like working for us. :D
    Never had that problem with USR, Belkin, SMC or NetGear.

    USR on the other hand worked fine on XP, but never worked on my Vista.
    Strange, since their support told me it's not related to the OS. o_O
     
  7. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Let's make sure we are not confusing the situation here. Routers don't have these problems because routers are NOT wireless devices. A router has 2 and only 2 connections and both are wired. And all the router does is connect two networks.

    The confusion comes from these network device makers combining devices in one chassis, often on the same circuit board. They do this to save money - one chassis, one circuit board, one power supply.

    Most routers include a 4-port Ethernet switch in the same case. But even in the same case, the router and the switch are separate devices.

    Some network devices also include a wireless access point (WAP) to connect wireless devices to your network. This is a 3rd discrete device, within one case. These have been INCORRECTLY labeled (most likely by marketing types, not network engineers) "wireless routers". It is router, with built-in wireless access.

    There are now 4-in-1 devices that include in one case 4 discrete network devices - (1) router, (2) switch, (3) WAP, and (4) modem.

    And finally, you have products like the D-Link DI-824UUP, a 5-in-1 device with includes the above 4, plus a print server.

    These are all separate devices, even if in the same case.

    So my point is, it is not the router's performance that is at issue in crowded areas, but the WAP - which may, or may not be a separate piece of equipment.

    I personally like and use Linksys but have had good success with Belkin, NetGear, and D-Link.
     
  8. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    You're right. :oops:
    Typical, I'm used to using wireless routers, so I didn't think of it.

    However you still can connect directly to this sort of router and further more you also get wireless access. :cool:

    Don't like to use switches. Always a router, that's better. :)
     
  9. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's becoming its common use - but it is still incorrect. It is like many people call the computer, that is the case and everything in it, their "CPU" - and when dealing with technical issues, it is always better to use the proper terms - always a challenge to the layperson whose thingamajiggy is making noises.

    To my point,
    As I indicated above, the router has two connections only. One to the Internet gateway device, the other to your network. If your "router" has 4 Ethernet ports on the back, then you have a router, WITH a 4-port Ethernet "switch" included in the same box, and sitting (electrically) between you and the router! Physically together, but separate network devices performing totally separate functions. You are still using a switch.
     
  10. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    Unless I'm misunderstanding, but my wireless router which has an SPI firewall and including several other configurations options, is not a switch. It also has 4 Ethernet ports and USB.
    While I'm on Telenet, they too advertise wireless network although they always give you a wireless switch. No firewall included there. This way you're still connected directly to the internet. :doubt:
    Also they don't support routers, whether wireless or not.

    I always thought a switch was a pass through, so maybe I'm not following it exactly what you explained. o_O
     
  11. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    That's right, and that's what I said.

    No it doesn't. INCLUDED in the same box is an Ethernet switch and you see the switch's 4 Ethernet ports. The connection between the router and the switch is done on the other side of the switch (electrically), but internal to the box. But, just like integrated sound or graphics on on your motherboard they are totally separate devices when it comes to data flow in any given network.

    Remember, all a router does is connect (or keep separate, actually) two networks. You can have a network without a router.

    It is a pass through, so is a hub. They allow multiple connections through the same port on some "up-channel" device, in this case, the router.
     
  12. Eldar

    Eldar Registered Member

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    Good to know I understood it correctly. :)
    I see 4 LAN ports and one WAN port + USB. Oh boy, hardware just isn't really my thing. :D
    Thanks for clarifying. :D
    I'll remember, although I just connect it and set it up.
    Until now I've hadn't problems configuring it manually. Don't like the setup CD.
    Indeed, I think I'll need to study a bit more on that technical stuff.
    Thanks again. ;)
     
  13. Bill_Bright

    Bill_Bright Registered Member

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    Well, get started. I've been supporting IT for 35+ years and the mountain of new stuff to learn just keeps getting taller. ;)
     
  14. Follower

    Follower Guest

    Hi,

    This may be off topic, but is there anywhere I can find out the rank of the market share for router companies?
    I heard that D-Link possesses 30%? :doubt:

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I thank you for all your suggestions.

    I was out of patience and decided to acquire a (wireless) router plus USB adapter.

    I found one that seemed to meet my requirements in a local shop.

    Not expensive. 60 euros for both devices, brand Sitecom.
    I won't reveal which model I got :p .

    I considered other brands, but the price/performance ratio was unfavorable.
    I just need the basic stuff. Besides, I have some experience with Sitecom routers.

    I also considered a Linksys router, but are they all owned/co-branded with Cisco ? They were all rather expensive.

    It's a little disappointing though. The router itself (made in China) doesn't look as polished as it does on the the outside of the box. :thumbd: I guess there wasn't enough money for the Chinese/Sitecom, so they skimped on the materials.
    It has a somewhat ugly white color, cheap plastic casing. Very different from my previous router, which has a nice classic metallic/chrome/black color.
    But it doesn't look that bad if you look at it from a distance.

    I have configured it with a WPA2-PSK encryption. It seems to work well, except that everytime I turn on my computer I have to reenter the passphrase I chose. :blink: Any suggestions ? With my previous router I used WPA-PSK AES.

    There is also an option for WPS, and it's sort of marketed as a method for encryption. But I'm not sure what EXACTLY it does. Some sort of automatic wireless configuration, with ?? devices. I took a look at it, but I feel I can't be sure that it is 100 % safe. Good for people who know nothing about security I guess, but I want more control.

    Would anyone care to elaborate on WPS ? I found several results googling the subject, but it remains vague.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2009
  16. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    Hello again Fly

    See here

    ...then set your own SSID and WPA2... :doubt:

    If I recall from your dead router thread, you're using XP. Have you readied your machine by installing this update?

    Hope this helps

    philby
     
  17. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Actually, I read that Netgear thing. I'm just not quite sure what EXACTLY it does.

    How is that second link useful ?
    I'm using the firmware that came with my USB adapter.
     
  18. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Currently, I am trialling KIS 2010.

    When I tried to install the firmware for the USB adapter, I got one or several warnings.

    First time, I messed up.

    I decided to restore a recent KIS image and try again, first disconnecting my computer from the internet, then disabling KIS, when I was done I reenabled KIS.

    KIS detected Aegisinstall MFC Application, aegisinstaller.exe, perhaps more.
    According to KIS, it's 'riskware'. I'm not quite sure what to think of it. 'legal software that can be used by criminals in order to ...'
    I was warned that once I let it install (probably during my first attempt), that KIS could no longer control it if I installed it.

    Sitecom router, made in China. I seem to recall issues (holes, backdoors ?) with certain Chinese routers. Which made me wary.
    I couldn't find any references claiming it would be malware.
    Except Prevx. For as far as I am concerned, I'm a little wary about Prevx' gathering data from my computer, and besides, if I were to remove it I could no longer use the router !

    Any comments ?
     
  19. philby

    philby Registered Member

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    The WPA2/WPS IE Update modifies the following dialog boxes:

    When you are connected to a WPA2 capable wireless network, the type of network is displayed as WPA2 in the Choose A Wireless Network dialog box.

    On the Association tab for the properties of a wireless network, the Network Authentication list has the following additional options: WPA2 - for WPA2 Enterprise WPA2-PSK - for WPA2 Personal


    taken from here

    If the association is set up right, you shouldn't have to keep re-entering the WPA2 passphrase - one of the problems you mentioned...

    Also, make sure 'Connect automatically when this network is in range' and 'Connect even if the network is not broadcasting' are checked in 'Wireless Network Properties'.

    philby
     
  20. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    Okay, I have replaced my router plus USB adapter.

    It works.

    Network: modem, connected by wire to router, from router a wireless connection to the USB adaptor on my computer (using firmware), no other computers in the network.

    I've been thinking about bringing my old router back to life.

    FIRST OF ALL: I don't want to take any chances that the addition of my old router somehow messes up my new router/connection.
    It has five ports (WAN/LAN?).

    As mentioned before, when I tried to use my old router, 'the light were on', limited reponse (LAN side), I could ping a certain (IP) address, but I could not effectively access the router, wireless, or by wire.

    I'm not sure what caused the problem with my old router, possibly limited hardware failure, or more likely corruption of the (hardware) software in the router.

    Any suggestions to SAFELY gain access to my old router (to make it functional again), without causing problems with my new router/computer ?
    From what I read in the documentation in the manual of my old router, it required (not sure if/to what extent) a live internet connection, hence it was impossible (?) to access my router without an internet connection being present.

    I've described previously what happened if I were to connect my (old )router to the LAN side of my computer, possibly some in one of the 'privacy threads'.

    Any suggestions that won't mess up my current router ?

    Thanks.
     
  21. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    I don't know how old your non-working router is, but I put my old non-working router in a box and will dispose of it properly. :D

    In my case, the router was seven years old and served me well. Electronics are susceptible to heat, dust, and other gremlins.
     
  22. Fly

    Fly Registered Member

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    I think it's about 2.5 years old.
     
  23. veta

    veta Registered Member

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    anyone thinking of getting a new wireless router should check out the dd-wrt project. it is open source firmware for many brands out there. It is just unbelievable what you can do with it. t can take a so-so wireless router and turn it into a very capable piece of equipment.

    Just check the compatibility of the router you are thinking of getting with the project's website.
     
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