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Replacing Dead DGL-4300 / Good G APs?

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KarylFStein

New Around Here
My (up until now) trusty D-Link DGL-4300 is dead. I pulled the D-Link WBR-2310 I had upstairs configured just as an AP and it's doing the router + wireless duties now. However, it keeps needing rebooting about once a week plus my wireless coverage upstairs is real spotty now. So, I'm looking to replace my setup.

(Setup note: all network feeds go into the basement, I have Ethernet in some places on the ground floor and upstairs--and plenty in the basement--but not in all rooms. My main switch is a Netgear GS716T so I can trunk dual Ethernet connections to the main server and "hub" traffic for debugging. No PoE, but there's power outlets where I'd put the APs.)

I'm looking at the Netgear FVS336G as the router because I recently retired the server that ran (the no longer available) SSL-Explorer. (I've looked at Adito / OpenVPN ALS, but it doesn't seem ready for prime time plus I've retired my last Linux server :( and don't want to put any more duties on the Windows server if I can help it.)

Anyway, the FVS336G looks good and solid, which is what I need since I telecommute and having to reboot the router in the middle of a presentation is not good--which is the reason for the upgrade. I also like the fact that if I ever upgrade to N, (no plans for that, but I guess it'll have to happen someday preferably after "draft" status), I wouldn't need to replace the router.

So, I'm looking for a few inexpensive but *solid* and *good-performing AES* APs that I can put on each story. From what I've read, I don't want a WDS because 1) it cuts the available bandwidth and 2) it doesn't do WPA2. I don't care about roaming as the wireless clients pretty much stay in the same place. I don't care about N--most of my clients do support Turbo-G, though.

Unfortunately, it seems like the Turbo-G APs are harder to find and more expensive than their N counterparts these days. Any suggestions on a Turbo-G AP (or router that can act as an AP) that will be solid, is inexpensive, is fast, and handles WPA2? I prefer it new, but eBay is an option too...
 
By "Turbo-G", you mean Atheros Super-G (108 Mbps)?

Yes, 11g gear will be getting even scarcer once the Wi-Fi Alliance reveals their program to certify Draft 11n single-stream products this fall.

I don't have any specific recommendations. But you could search Wireless routers for "108" to get candidates. Your WBR-2310 might work just fine when coverted to an AP and just covering one floor...
 
450 Mpbs Wireless N

On the other end of the spectrum, have you heard any news lately on the 450 Mbps wireless N routers? I remember some mention of Q3 back when all the chipsets were being announced, but I haven't seen anything in a while.

(I too have a DGL-4300 that I've been stalling on replacing.)
 
I have heard no updates. I suspect manufacturers may wait until the Wi-Fi Alliance announces a certification program for them, sometime this fall. The current certification test process doesn't handle three-stream products.

Remember that to get any benefit from three-stream routers, you need three-stream clients. The Intel Wi-Fi Link 5300 will do three streams. But you'll need a notebook that has three antennas vs. the two that most have.
 
From what I've read, I don't want a WDS because 1) it cuts the available bandwidth and 2) it doesn't do WPA2.

Routers that support DD WRT firmware can do WDS with WPA2 protection, but yes, regular stock routers that support WDS only support WEP encryption. For WPA2 WDS, all routers must use DD WRT.

As far as store bought repeaters or DD WRT repeater mode (different than WDS), bandwidth is also cut in half at each repeated node - it is not exclusive to WDS networks.


I would not worry too much about multiple stream compatible routers as clients also need to support this feature, or afterburner, to benefit.

If you like the gamerlounge router series (your DGL-4300), specifically the QoS engine, consider the Dlink 625/628. It uses the same Ubicom CPU as in the 11g gamerlounge routers and provides the same automatic QoS as your previous router. It is a good performing 11g and 11n router for its price ($60-$70).

Failing that, a series of DD WRT routers. Asus WL-520gu is on sale for $35 after MIR and performs really well and supports DD WRT and Tomato firmware. Use tomato firmware as a gateway with granular QoS - tomato also supports WDS but really only in WPA1 mode. Flashing the WL 520GU is not as easy as the WRT54GL, but has great performance - 16-18Mbps actual throughput at 20 feet through a wall with 45-50 SNR.
 

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