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  • Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

    I've been using a Linksys WRT54GL with Tomato 1.xx firmware for the past 2.5/3 years. With the addition of the HTPC all the way in the front of the living room and our extensive wireless systems already, I'm worried about range, bandwidth, and the future.

    So here's my setup:

    The router: Linksys WRT54GL with Tomato 1.28 FW
    All the wireless PCs have G cards.
    The 4 PCs in the router's bedroom is a half-and-half mix of wired and wireless desktops. (Mines is PC #3.) There's also two wireless printers housed in this room, both of which are within 3 feet of the router. Two 2.4 GHz wireless mice also in the same room, both pointed away from the router at PC #2 and PC #3 locations.



    All the measurements are approximations and judged by eye (and some imagination). The floor/ceiling actually is comprised of a floor (2nd floor's) and a drywall+plaster ceiling (1st floor's) AND a 2 foot high space between the two (it's not a crawl since no one can fit in there and survive). All the PCs/Laptops on the 2nd floor are wireless.

    The following are known deadspots/low-signal spots around the house:

    - front end of 1st floor is a low-signal area
    - front end of 2nd floor is a deadspot
    - back end of the 2nd floor (including "Netbook" bedroom) is a intermittent weak-signal area (will go from 70% signal strength down to 15% at random intervals)
    - back room of the 1st floor is roughly a 60% signal strength area but will drop to 10% on a few occasions

    I think I got everything of importance down. It's one big messy setup.

    With that said, I've been off-and-on looking at wireless N routers (good ones), but so far I still only have the D-Link DIR-655 on my list. I like the range coupled with their Xtreme N products as well as the advanced features of the firmware (has basically everything Tomato has and then some).

    Anyone know of a better router than the DIR-655?
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

  • #2
    Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

    Just Learning about this stuff in school, but came across this if you throw a wireless card in there you might have a better one thank you could buy. as for the link i think that is the one where they build the wireless one, but they also have a vid of a non-wireless one as well.






    "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

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    • #3
      Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

      I've been happy with my Linksys E2000.

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      • #4
        Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

        Originally posted by Jack Bauer View Post
        Just Learning about this stuff in school, but came across this if you throw a wireless card in there you might have a better one thank you could buy. as for the link i think that is the one where they build the wireless one, but they also have a vid of a non-wireless one as well.
        I don't want to build my own. I want one in a package with support and reviews.

        Originally posted by Flarfignuggen
        I've been happy with my Linksys E2000.
        How strong is the signal with your furthest away PC/laptop?
        |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
        TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
        Former 9th & 13th

        Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
        Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





        SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

        TG Primer and Rules

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        • #5
          Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

          Originally posted by Acreo Aeneas View Post
          How strong is the signal with your furthest away PC/laptop?
          This computer is upstairs, about...30-40 feet or so away from the router. However, if you were to draw a straight line, from the router to my wireless adapter (no card--I'm using a Linksys AE1000 N usb 3.0 adapter), it has to travel through two walls, a ceiling/floor, and a brick-and-mortar chimney, or in other words, a whole lot of crap is in the way.

          When set to 5 ghz: 2-3 bars according to Windows 7, otherwise denoted as "fair" or "good". However, when it gets humid (>80%, which in Minnesota comes about every 8 minutes--though this summer has been unusually dry and cool), the signal drops to 1 bar and can actually drop intermittently. That's to be expected though, 5 ghz isn't really ideal for having that much stuff in the way.
          When set to 2.4 ghz: 4-5 bars according to Windows. High humidity can make it drop to 2-3 bars but the signal stays solid.

          Based on your description of the arrangement, I'd advocate going for a dual band router (E3000 has dual band--I would have gone for it but it was $180 versus $120 and I was already shelling out another $60 for my PC's new N adapter at the time--don't really need the dual band or other options), regardless of the specific brand you opt for. Devices closer to the router will be able to use the 5 ghz and offload some of the strain/overall interference levels the 2.4 ghz band is feeling. If I could predict it (grain of salt, here), your HTPC should be good for using the 5 ghz band. PC#5 will have to use the 2.4 ghz band. I honestly don't know how well a 5 ghz band will penetrate your drop ceiling though. It may do just fine in the room immediately above it, it might not. The Netbook and Gryphon will still be on 2.4 ghz, for sure, though.

          You may consider using your current router, when you replace it with whatever you choose, as a bridge upstairs, maybe putting it in the same room as Gryphon or the Netbook--or split the difference and in that hallway outside the Netbook room between the two.

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          • #6
            Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

            Originally posted by Flarfignuggen View Post
            This computer is upstairs, about...30-40 feet or so away from the router. However, if you were to draw a straight line, from the router to my wireless adapter (no card--I'm using a Linksys AE1000 N usb 3.0 adapter), it has to travel through two walls, a ceiling/floor, and a brick-and-mortar chimney, or in other words, a whole lot of crap is in the way.

            When set to 5 ghz: 2-3 bars according to Windows 7, otherwise denoted as "fair" or "good". However, when it gets humid (>80%, which in Minnesota comes about every 8 minutes--though this summer has been unusually dry and cool), the signal drops to 1 bar and can actually drop intermittently. That's to be expected though, 5 ghz isn't really ideal for having that much stuff in the way.
            When set to 2.4 ghz: 4-5 bars according to Windows. High humidity can make it drop to 2-3 bars but the signal stays solid.

            Based on your description of the arrangement, I'd advocate going for a dual band router (E3000 has dual band--I would have gone for it but it was $180 versus $120 and I was already shelling out another $60 for my PC's new N adapter at the time--don't really need the dual band or other options), regardless of the specific brand you opt for. Devices closer to the router will be able to use the 5 ghz and offload some of the strain/overall interference levels the 2.4 ghz band is feeling. If I could predict it (grain of salt, here), your HTPC should be good for using the 5 ghz band. PC#5 will have to use the 2.4 ghz band. I honestly don't know how well a 5 ghz band will penetrate your drop ceiling though. It may do just fine in the room immediately above it, it might not. The Netbook and Gryphon will still be on 2.4 ghz, for sure, though.

            You may consider using your current router, when you replace it with whatever you choose, as a bridge upstairs, maybe putting it in the same room as Gryphon or the Netbook--or split the difference and in that hallway outside the Netbook room between the two.
            That's actually a great idea! Thanks! :D

            My initial plan was to go with a dual-band router, but they haven't gotten any cheaper since 2/3 years ago. I probably won't be upgrading this year, so it'll get pushed to a "maybe" for next. I'd had to save up quite a bit to splurge on one and upgrade some of the other WiFi NICs to N.

            What are the router options like on your E2000? Does it have advanced QoS rules? Filtering, bandwidth reports, signal strength readings, packet prioritization, etc like I would find on my WRT54GL with Tomato firmware?
            |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
            TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
            Former 9th & 13th

            Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
            Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





            SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

            TG Primer and Rules

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            • #7
              Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

              I use the standard Cisco firmware.

              That said, no, it doesn't have much in the way of bonus QoS settings, though it does have packet prioritization and filtering. There's not much in the way of valuable statistics (best you can really do is have it perform ping tests and traceroutes).

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              • #8
                Re: Looking to Upgrade My Router, Suggestions?

                Originally posted by Flarfignuggen View Post
                I use the standard Cisco firmware.

                That said, no, it doesn't have much in the way of bonus QoS settings, though it does have packet prioritization and filtering. There's not much in the way of valuable statistics (best you can really do is have it perform ping tests and traceroutes).
                Eh...that's so "meh". I was hoping for a "yes it does have xx and xx" since it is a premium router (well over $100). I'll add the E2000/3000 to the list, but gonna keep looking for some cheaper ones. Would be nice if they had some that were between $50 and $100, supported custom firmware, and supported the N standard (single or dual band).
                |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                Former 9th & 13th

                Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                TG Primer and Rules

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