What's a good Wireless Router?

Posted by: Kaki's Sister

What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 08:35 AM

I need some advise. I'm looking to buy a wireless router to use with my internet modem. I've seen Netgear and Belkin products but don't understand the differences with "speed" or how much speed is good for data transfer.
My internet service is with ATT. I will have my old XP computer(wired), and an IMac(wireless) connected to the router.
Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 11:33 AM

Any router that supports the 802.11n protocol (which is basically all of them these days) will get the job done. The connection speed you actually obtain depends on both the router and the device you connect with. Older devices that use the 802.11g standard will only connect at ~54Mbps. When both devices support the N band protocol, you can achieve up to ~300Mbps (although, a more typical speed is about half that).

Stick with a name brand like Cisco (which includes Linksys) or Belkin, and you'll be fine.

Edit -

Here's a Wiki article that documents the 802.11 protocol -

IEEE 802.11
Posted by: lanlynk

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 03:40 PM

EDIT: I made a total hash of this post, so major editing now. I had to look at my router again because I had it wrong in my original post.
~~

I have a dual band concurrent router that I've ran for several years and works great. It offers 2 speeds: 2.4Ghz frequency and 5.0. The 5.0Ghz band is suppose to be the better of the two, but it is much less stable than the 2.4Ghz. It drops connections and its range is less than the other. The overall connection strength is poor, too.

It this typical? Should I look for a new router? Even though the 5.0 band is fairly useless, the 2.4 band works great.

Here's the one I have:
TrendNet Dual Band n Router
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 04:53 PM

Originally Posted By: lanlynk
It this typical? Should I look for a new router? Even though the 5.0 band is fairly useless, the 2.4 band works great.



That's pretty much been my experience with dual band routers as well. The only use I ever found for the 5 GHz band was video streaming. Other than that, I had no use for it.
Posted by: lanlynk

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 05:24 PM

Thanks, InlandAZ. I guess I won't worry about a new router for now. Good to know that this isn't just my experience with dual band though.

Other thoughts:
My cordless phones run on 5.6 frequency. Could that be contributing to the poor connection with the 5 band? Then again, I live outside the city, and there are not many WiFi networks around me, so not a lot of competition for bands or channels here. lol

That's interesting about the streaming being better on the 5 frequency. Are you talking about streaming things like Netflix? I have a Roku box set up with my TV, but it's also connected to the 2.4 band. Do you think it would be worth trying to connect it to the 5 band instead?
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 05:56 PM

I always suspected my 5GHz phones were doing the same, nearly all of my drops occurred after answering the phone smile

I'm using a Roku as well these days, and the Plex Media Server does a great job. My model only supports the 2.4GHz band.

The only advantage of using a 5GHz channel is that the router's 2.4GHz connections don't share the same band, so no slow downs occur. Newer models, those that support QOS, don't seem to be affected by streaming.
Posted by: lanlynk

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/15/13 06:30 PM

Originally Posted By: InlandAZ
I'm using a Roku as well these days, and the Plex Media Server does a great job.

The only advantage of using a 5GHz channel is that the router's 2.4GHz connections don't share the same band, so no slow downs occur. Newer models, those that support QOS, don't seem to be affected by streaming.


RE: Plex Media Server--I'll check that out.

I looked at my router settings, and QoS is set disabled. My other choices are Priority Queue or Bandwidth Allocation (which refers to IP ranges, I think). I could try the Priority Queue setting instead of switching the Roku to the 5Ghz frequency. ??

Here's what my router says about QOS:
"Quality of Service (QoS) refers to the capability of a network to provide better service to selected network traffic. The primary goal of QoS is to provide priority including dedicated bandwidth, controlled jitter and latency (required by some real-time and interactive traffic), and improved loss characteristics. Also important is making sure that providing priority for one or more flows does not make other flows fail."

That sounds good, but I never paid attention to QoS when I set the router up. I have NAT and UPnP enabled, and I did some Port Mapping for my network server. Except to make sure I'd enabled specific ports needed for most internet uses, that's about all the advanced settings I touched.
Posted by: Kaki's Sister

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/16/13 05:13 AM

Thanks for your response InlandAZ. We picked up a Belkin AC750(DB) wireless router yesterday. Did not open it yet. Our modem is the same one we've had since 2003! Should we replace that as well and will that increase speed?
Posted by: Geo

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/16/13 07:43 AM

You should upgrade to the new Docsis-3 modem standard. Even if the Docsis-3 standard hasn't reached your neighborhood yet,it will.When it does you will be forced to upgrade.
Example:( http://www.walmart.com/ip/20742485?wmlsp...pla&veh=sem )
Comcast:( http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/internet/docsis3/ )
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/16/13 10:14 AM

Does your ISP provide the modem? Most do and will allow you to upgrade if you ask them. Sometimes when they upgrade the modem, they will provide a wireless one.
Posted by: InlandAZ

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/16/13 12:24 PM

Originally Posted By: Geo
You should upgrade to the new Docsis-3 modem standard. Even if the Docsis-3 standard hasn't reached your neighborhood yet,it will.When it does you will be forced to upgrade.


WiFi speed is still limited to ~300Mbps, and all devices must support the 802.11n in order to get there.

Originally Posted By: Kaki's Sister
Thanks for your response InlandAZ. We picked up a Belkin AC750(DB) wireless router yesterday. Did not open it yet. Our modem is the same one we've had since 2003! Should we replace that as well and will that increase speed?


Yep, that will do just fine - don't forget to enable WPA security and set up a password for the router.
Posted by: lanlynk

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/17/13 02:05 AM

Have fun with your new router, Gerry. wave

Docsis-3 standard? Man, every day I come across terms I've never heard before. I can't keep up with it all! crazy

(Of course, my part of the world can sometimes be a little behind the times.)

I tried to read a little about QoS settings today. I guess QoS doesn't help that much unless your router is advanced enough to really make use of it, or there's enough network traffic to warrant trying to direct it. I think I'll leave well enough alone right now! And I'm going to pretend I didn't read anything about Docsis-3. lol
Posted by: Kaki's Sister

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/17/13 04:49 AM

Draclvr my ISP (AT&T) provided us with the modem back in 2003 so it's pretty old. Should I get a new modem before I connect to the Belken AC750 that we just purchased?
Posted by: Draclvr

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/17/13 09:37 AM

Why don't you ask ATT if they will upgrade your modem?
Posted by: Kaki's Sister

Re: What's a good Wireless Router? - 06/18/13 04:11 AM

Yesterday with the help of AT&T Tech Support we got the new router and wireless net setup. My old PC is wired to the internet and working fine. Our new IMac is wirelessly connected and waiting to be "played" with.
Hubby and are are both new to Apple so it will be a challenge for me to figure out how to do the basics. Thanks for your help InlandAZ, Geo, lanlynk, and Draclvr. wave