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  • Best Wireless?

    hey guys, quick ? before I go to an all-tech site on this one.

    Question is, what is the best N router to use behind my FiOS router? I am currently using the classic WRT-54GS, but I would like to get better streaming through my home network (and possibly gigabit LAN from the server/main machine in the office).

    A wireless router would be the first question. Second would be a Wireless PCI card for the HTPC, nodes for any other access point, or any other suggestions you guys might have.


    As a side question, does anyone know a good automatic switch for VGA input? Composite input? I have so many things that I would like to hook up, but my older stereo only has so many available ports in/out that I can't hook everything I want up to it....

    TIA!

  • #2
    I'm still rockin' this one I got about 3 years ago:

    D-Link DIR-655 802.11b/g/n Xtreme N Gigabit Wireless Broadband Router up to 300Mbps/ USB port x1/ Intelligent QoS

    It is about $71 this weekend on the Egg.
    When you girls are done kissing, I've got some asskicking for you!

    Comment


    • #3
      Go 5ghz wireless.
      Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
      Originally posted by Ranshackle
      I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Bald_Yew View Post
        I'm still rockin' this one I got about 3 years ago:

        D-Link DIR-655 802.11b/g/n Xtreme N Gigabit Wireless Broadband Router up to 300Mbps/ USB port x1/ Intelligent QoS

        It is about $71 this weekend on the Egg.
        I bought this for my friend. Paid $120 at the time and its been stellar. No issues and he has complete access in and around his house with is newly renovated and well insulated for noise, etc.
        Wales, where the men are men and the sheep are nervous.
        Incoming fire has right of way

        Comment


        • #5
          Correction: Go 5GHz with 802.11n support - up to 300mbit speeds with 802.11n and using 5GHz = less interference than the 2.4GHz band, which is almost entirely saturated at this point.

          If you can find something that does simulataneous dual-band (2.4 and 5.0GHz at the same time), buy buy buy. It will be current for the next ~5 years, rather than the current WAPs on market which will be unusable in a couple of years.

          I just bought a Cisco (Linksys) E2000 refurb for $30 shipped. I thought it was bricked out of the box, but was wrong, patience pays off with regard to setup - I loaded DD-WRT and it's running like a champ with an ass-ton of features.

          My E2000 offers either 5.0GHz or 2.4GHz (switchable) and since most 2+ year old cards won't support 5.0GHz (note: almost all reasonable newer cards support both). So I left my old Linksys WRT350N upstairs to do 2.4 for my wife's POS Mac and random visitors, then installed the E2000 for me and mine

          Note that I upgraded my internal wifi card in my Dell Latitude D620 to a Intel 5300n wifi link card - easy upgrade, card cost $25 on eBay and requires no surgery to install. Most laptops *are* easily upgradeable if less than 6 years old, you just need to know if your laptop uses a half-height or full-height card.
          Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
          Originally posted by Ranshackle
          I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

          Comment


          • #6
            Additional notes:

            I went 5.0GHz because our baby monitor was 2.4GHz and my wife and I would cause the baby monitor to clip and vice versa.

            Also - Remember when speeds were limited to 54mbit on 802.11g? A lot of advances have been made to increase that. Like, I think it was MIMO technology that let you double-up the connection speeds and get 108mbit on a single antenna.

            Pretty sure 802.11n adds the ability to use multiple antennae to add speed. What I've noticed is with 802.11n capable routers, if they have 1 antenna on the unit, the speeds are limited to 100mbit, if 2 antennae the top speeds are around 200mbit, if three antennae that's 270mbit-300mbit. I noticed the same with my draft-n-based card - it has three places for antenna connections; If I'm standing on top of my router with 2 antenna wires attached to the card up I get about 170mbit connection speed; with all 3 antenna wires attached, I get around 250mbit. Sitting downstairs right now with all three wires attached, I'm getting around 200mbit connection.

            My E2000 also has gigabit LAN, so I don't have an instant bottleneck at the LAN. What's the point of having possible wifi speeds of up to 300mbit if you can only push data onto/off of your wired network at 100mbit? That's stupid. If a WAP only has 100mbit ethernet, this means you can only talk to wired devices on your network at 100mbit, even if you have a 300mbit wifi connection to the router; that's great .... if everything on your network is wireless.
            Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
            Originally posted by Ranshackle
            I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks guys.

              Here's the ting. I have a (Useless) Verizon router on the line right at the start to handle the initial in-house access point. I then wire it (100mbps) to the Linksys WRT. (I tried DD-WRT before, but I would have strange dropouts at regular intervals... i just gave up after a few hours of trying to get it to work...).

              That WRT is wired to the server and main/gaming machine.

              Around the house there are:
              1 Laptop. I will have to see what protocols it supports.
              2 "Slimline" music servers. I am 99% sure these are "g" only.
              3 1 HTPC - Shuttle. I just fit an EVGA 7950GT card in there, so I am guessing it can fit "full height"

              I think I would need to get a 2.4/5GHz simultaneous for this reason, otherwise I will have to junk those $250 music points.

              One other thing, separate (I will ask on another thread if this gets too convoluted).

              Netflix. Anyone have problems with tearing? I have looked all over and most say it is a problem with scaling and Silverlight software rendering. It gets really irritating watching something, looking at the CPU and BW stats and seeing <<50% usage but yet still getting tears and non-smooth panning and object motion.

              Any clues? (I tried XBMC, they just bump you into IE. I tried Chrome as well. Nothing. I do not have FF installed, and the regular media players do not seem to be set up for Netflix.....)


              Anyway, that is all!

              TIA!

              Comment


              • #8
                i've never seen an 'n' capable router that isn't 'g' capable also, so that shouldn't be a concern.

                i'm just convinced that you suck with custom anything. after your isolated bad experiences with Linux and DD-WRT ... i guess you're a vanilla-only guy, and custom isn't your forte
                Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                Originally posted by Ranshackle
                I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Don't n routers drop speed to the lowest rated speed on their wireless? I mean if you are going to keep a g device, won't the router slow to g? ...Or does this not happen with both radios on a dual band?
                  When you girls are done kissing, I've got some asskicking for you!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you're confused.

                    2.4GHz, 3.6GHz and 5.0GHz are simply the modulated frequency that communication is occuring. 802.11 is the standard (protocol?) used to communicate over those frequencies. Your post implies that maybe you think the frequency and the protocol are somehow tied together?

                    Just like a multilingual person, a router is capable of talking in multiple standards with multiple devices at the same time without forcing everyone to talk the same language/standard. If not, someone using 802.11b would be able to hop onto your network and destroy all clients using 802.11g or 802.11n.

                    ---


                    Also - Here are some examples of a respectable dual-band routers (outputting 2.4 and 5.0 simultaneously) - and mind you, I hate D-Link b/c their support and low-to-mid end products are shiet:

                    http://www.netgear.com/upload/flv/wndr3700landing.aspx
                    http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=681

                    I think I may have implied or stated something about the antennae above - the # of antennae on the card affect the throughput of the connection, not the number on the WAP. Although, for some strange reason, I've noticed that WAPs with only 1 antenna seem to have lower max speeds. Could be coincidence.

                    Does this help, baldy?
                    Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                    Originally posted by Ranshackle
                    I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by shifty View Post
                      i've never seen an 'n' capable router that isn't 'g' capable also, so that shouldn't be a concern.

                      i'm just convinced that you suck with custom anything. after your isolated bad experiences with Linux and DD-WRT ... i guess you're a vanilla-only guy, and custom isn't your forte

                      Possibly. But I break just about anything shift, including vanilla.

                      Programs crash on me all the time and not because I did something radically different, just enough different that had two things running at the same time that should not have been.

                      Linux was a problem because the media players sucked. None would que up a list (easily, w/o having to make a playlist), so watching 10 episodes of Bleach, on the HTPC, was a PITA if you kept having to open a new one up each time.

                      Then not being able to reformat the drive to get the half that was partitioned for Linux was fun too. I looked online, all I got was "that should not happen".

                      And the DD-WRT? The signal boost was great... but, like I said, something was not jiving and it would drop every 2 minutes or so. Then reconnect. This was not a common occurance, so there was no real info on it.


                      Instead of being vanilla, I think I should be called Beta. I know how to bring out the Beta in things even when they are Gold.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Second post:

                        Shift, I think the speed may have to do with the ability of the wire to physically transmit that data. It sounds weird, but they may be a bottleneck in their own EM response time and will not be able to receive too many different signals w/o interfering with them... I will have to look up a bit more on that though....

                        As for what Garm is saying.... The only problem I had was not the B/G, but the security protocol? I could not use... I forget what the best encryption was, because my WAP could only handle the older one. Although that is a concern, I am not going to limit my entire households wireless system because of one wireless access point. I can always buy another down the road.

                        Thanks for the links to the machines. I will have to take a look and see if I can set them up with the same channel/name/PW so I do not have to reset all the machines in the house......

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ninjahedge View Post
                          Shift, I think the speed may have to do with the ability of the wire to physically transmit that data. It sounds weird, but they may be a bottleneck in their own EM response time and will not be able to receive too many different signals w/o interfering with them... I will have to look up a bit more on that though....
                          Sounds like BS if you ask me. You have to understand that this type of thing wouldn't fly in the consumer realm, there is no way I could imagine it could exist.

                          Originally posted by Ninjahedge View Post
                          As for what Garm is saying.... The only problem I had was not the B/G, but the security protocol? I could not use... I forget what the best encryption was, because my WAP could only handle the older one.
                          Right now, we have WEP, WPA and WPA2 (personal or enterprise).

                          WEP is outdated and can be easily cracked, allowing anyone access to your network.
                          WPA is a little better, but not exactly bulletproof.
                          WPA2 is industry standard now and should be used, it's your best option security-wise.

                          XPSP3 and later support WPA2, and most wifi hardware (NICs, WAPs, etc.) supports at least WPA and most actually support WPA2 with a driver or firmware update, this has been true for several years.

                          Originally posted by Ninjahedge View Post
                          Thanks for the links to the machines. I will have to take a look and see if I can set them up with the same channel/name/PW so I do not have to reset all the machines in the house......
                          Big, stupid idea. If you're still using WEP as you suggest above, you should at least upgrade the encryption to WPA2-personal, which means you'll need to reconfigure your clients as such also.
                          Where's my redeemer? INCOMING! I'M HIT! I'MA COMIN' BACK!
                          Originally posted by Ranshackle
                          I like Hasselhoff's ass better.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by shifty View Post
                            I think you're confused.

                            2.4GHz, 3.6GHz and 5.0GHz are simply the modulated frequency that communication is occuring. 802.11 is the standard (protocol?) used to communicate over those frequencies. Your post implies that maybe you think the frequency and the protocol are somehow tied together?

                            Just like a multilingual person, a router is capable of talking in multiple standards with multiple devices at the same time without forcing everyone to talk the same language/standard. If not, someone using 802.11b would be able to hop onto your network and destroy all clients using 802.11g or 802.11n.

                            ---


                            Also - Here are some examples of a respectable dual-band routers (outputting 2.4 and 5.0 simultaneously) - and mind you, I hate D-Link b/c their support and low-to-mid end products are shiet:

                            http://www.netgear.com/upload/flv/wndr3700landing.aspx
                            http://www.dlink.com/products/?pid=681

                            I think I may have implied or stated something about the antennae above - the # of antennae on the card affect the throughput of the connection, not the number on the WAP. Although, for some strange reason, I've noticed that WAPs with only 1 antenna seem to have lower max speeds. Could be coincidence.

                            Does this help, baldy?

                            I got the Netgear wndr3700 and it works great. Granted I have a very small house.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ninjahedge View Post
                              Possibly. But I break just about anything shift, including vanilla.

                              Programs crash on me all the time and not because I did something radically different, just enough different that had two things running at the same time that should not have been.

                              Linux was a problem because the media players sucked. None would que up a list (easily, w/o having to make a playlist), so watching 10 episodes of Bleach, on the HTPC, was a PITA if you kept having to open a new one up each time.

                              Then not being able to reformat the drive to get the half that was partitioned for Linux was fun too. I looked online, all I got was "that should not happen".

                              And the DD-WRT? The signal boost was great... but, like I said, something was not jiving and it would drop every 2 minutes or so. Then reconnect. This was not a common occurance, so there was no real info on it.


                              Instead of being vanilla, I think I should be called Beta. I know how to bring out the Beta in things even when they are Gold.
                              My old router did the same thing, I noticed it was rebooting then wouldnt stop the rebooting cycle.

                              Comment

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