Need a Router Recommendation

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by paulbasel, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. paulbasel

    paulbasel Occasional Visitor

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    I have a 2 story home (ground floor + 2 more floors) with my office on the top floor. I have never been able to obtain a good signal on the ground floor (solid Swiss house). Tried a repeater, little improvement. Tried Powerline wireless adaptors, not any change. The following is what I have worked out and it is functioning well.

    A friend loaned me his new Netgear R6300 ac router. I disconnected my old Linksys WRT54G and connected the Netgear to my modem. I plugged my main Powerline adaptor into the Netgear R6300. On the ground floor I converted the old Linksys router into an access point and plugged it into the secondary Powerline adaptor.

    It functions well and I get a great wireless signal on my laptop (wireless N) and the Internet is fast. I can access my desktop on the network in the top floor open files with little or no latency. My Nexus 7 and Samsung Galaxy S (wifi only) are showing a much better signal but only about 35% that of the laptop. My wife's iPad 2 gets a signal about 50% of the laptop.

    Now the question for all of you. I must return the Netgear to my friend. I have no intention of buying one of the new AC routers but need to buy a router to replace the loaner. I have read the Sticky on mixing N and legacy clients and understand that performance will be reduced if they are transmitting at the same time. There is one point on which I am a bit confused however.

    In the article linked to the sticky it states the following: " . . . . make sure the draft 11n router is using the 11g friendly 20 MHz bandwidth mode". Why should I buy an N router if it should be set back to the 11g 20 MHz bandwidth mode? Wouldn't I be better off just buying another G router?

    So, I need a few recommendations:

    1. Should I buy a G rather than a N router?
    2. If there is a legitimate reason for buying a N router, should it the main router or the access point?
    3. If I should buy the N router which ones have dual radios. The article also stated the following: " ... If N clients are associated with one radio and legacy clients are associated to the other radio, you won't see reduced performance."

    Paul
     
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  3. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    an 11n router can give faster speeds in 20MHz mode IF the client device(s) support the same options in 11n as the router, and IF the signal strength is quite high, etc.

    Generally, I think 11n for high speed is not a key factor- since WiFi is normally used with handheld devices (wireless means mobility) and handhelds don't need a lot of speed.

    WiFi at 50Mbps and up means you are trying to do cat5 wire speeds on WiFi for some demanding immobile device. Not a good idea. Even MoCA and Homeplug are better alternatives for reliable speeds for immobile devices.
     
  4. remixedcat

    remixedcat Senior Member

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    You get better battery life on 802.11n wireless then on 802.11g wireless
     
  5. paulbasel

    paulbasel Occasional Visitor

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    Thanks for the reply and info. One final question. I will be frequently using a new Win7 Asus laptop with an 11n card on the ground floor so I will need faster speeds.

    Assume for the sake of argument that the signal strength is quite high and the 11n devices are compatible, which router do I use for the access point, the 11n or 11g? It seems logical to me to use the 11n as the access point, but the article I quoted said to use the 11n router but to set it to 11g. That confuses me.

    Paul
     
  6. stevech

    stevech Part of the Furniture

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    if laptop is very close, maybe no walls in the path... then 11n in the laptop and a decent $75 or so WiFi router, marketed as 11n 300mbps, would be a good choice. I'll stop short of a recommendation (see reviews on this forum/main page). I would personally advise against D-Link and most Netgear. Personal opinion due to a too-high percentage of badly designed products over the years. Yes, some are good, but on average... but too, if you buy from a decent retailer (that leaves out Best Buy), you can return and buy some other brand.

    But if the laptop is just doing internet activities, maybe streaming netflix, 11g with a good signal is fine.

    Mixing 11n and 11g is only an issue if you have user devices using both standards concurrently mean at any fraction of a second - such that both 11n/11g are competing for air time at the same instant, and this recurs very often in any second or two. Such as two devices, 11g and 11n streaming video beyond 1-2Mbps that netflix type streaming needs.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  7. paulbasel

    paulbasel Occasional Visitor

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    stevech, many thanks for the info and advice. I will buy an 11n router and use it first as my main router connected to the modem and use the old Linksys 11g as the access point on the ground floor. I'll check the speed and then if everything is satisfactory I'll keep that configuration. I can always reverse the two routers and test the speed again after configuring them properly.

    Paul
     

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