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Router quandry

Discussion in 'Networks' started by DrBott, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. DrBott

    DrBott Bit Poster

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    The time has come for my seemingly annual change of router (long story, don't ask) and I'm in a little bit of a quandry for a number of reasons.

    I need a router without dsl modem (ie for cable broadband use) and I need wireless functionality. I am conscious of the fact that the new abode may present something of a challenge for a standard router/wireless access point.

    My decision is either:

    1/ Buy something at the cheaper end and a wireless repeater to help out with coverage if it's the problem I suspect it might be.

    2/ Buy a wired-only router and separate wireless access point

    3/ Go hell for leather and buy one of the newer draft-N spec models

    If Virgin ever makes it up to (and beyond) a 20mb connection, the throughput of WAN - LAN is of concern since I gather that numerous routers just don't have the horsepower to deal with the data transfer (irrespective of the fact the WAN port is 10/100).

    I have thought it would be good to go for something with gigabit ethernet ports although this seems to rule out all bar a very few models.

    I've read good reviews of the Netgear WNR854T which does include gigabit ports but I wonder how good standard 802.11g performance would be (have no draft-N cards nor am I looking to buy one just yet) and I also wonder whether these "Draft-N" spec will actually become full N spec when the standard is fully ratified.

    Considered opinions are more than welcome! :biggrin
     
  2. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Only one choice at the SOHO end as far as I'm concerned - Linksys WRT54G.

    This is due almost entirely to the ability to pay forty quid for a box you can them flash with alternate firmware and give the functionality to turn it into a router worth about £500.

    If the worst comes to the worst re: coverage you could always get another one and bridge it.
     
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  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    And if not the Linksys, go for the Netgear WGR614.
     
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  4. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Flashable?
     
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  5. DrBott

    DrBott Bit Poster

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  6. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Of course! 8)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  7. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Absolutely - they're talking about the crappier later versions. I'm talking about the 'real' WRT54G - the one that was released before they stripped the OS down to a VXWorks tiny footprint job. You can pick 'em up on FleaBay for forty quid - I bought three of them a couple of months back for various small network installs at residential premises, flashed them using OpenWRT and have them running fine. My own has been up for almost a year - last time I took it down was to upgrade the firmware to a newer version. I have had it for four years and it has never - I repeat NEVER punked out on me. Not once. Considering what i put it through I think that is an outstanding record.
     
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  8. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    Wicked - I didn't know that! I'll get one and have a potter with it. never really been a fan of NetGear tbh - the only thing of theirs I've used that I like is my venerable 10Mb hub that i use for sniffing - it's About eight years old now and still works fine n dandy :)
     
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  9. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Don't forget HomePlug if the construction of your house makes WiFi difficult!

    Harry.
     
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  10. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I agree with Zeb and BM both are good.

    I personally have the WRT54G and its flashed with the third party firmware and it has amazing features for something that you pay 50 bucks.
     
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  11. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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  12. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    You can buy mine if you want lol. I dont use it.:)
     
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  13. zebulebu

    zebulebu Terabyte Poster

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    DD-WRT is superb for the 'less advanced' advanced user :biggrin

    It provides all the functionality you could want but, for that little bit extra, use OpenWRT. It's based on an extensible kernel that you can add packages to as and when you need them and has that wee bit more than DD-WRT provides.

    Both of them will provide you with features you would only get on a 'real' router though, and, unlike SveaSoft are free, so either one will do you to start out with.

    The most widely available/publicised third-party firmware for the WRT54G is from SveaSoft - but due to the distributor's (ahem) 'unique' interpretation of the GNU framework he charges a maintenance/support fee for it - i won't go into the argument about whether or not that is right or wrong here - it's been done to death ad nauseum in other forums/communities/newsgroups. Suffice it to say that, not only are they free, DD-WRT and OpenWRT are better than the Sveasoft offering as well, so it's a no-brainer for me.
     
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  14. DrBott

    DrBott Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your pointers guys. I'll do some more reading around and make a decision soon.
     
  15. DrBott

    DrBott Bit Poster

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    Further to my last post I did some more reading around.

    It seems the highly thought of WRT54GL is in fact the same as the v4 54G raved about on here so I've ordered one of those. I have also been reading about putting the DD-WRT firmware on there so will more than likely do that.

    Would using this open-source non-Linksys firmware make adding a second (or indeed a range extender) problematic?

    Cheers for all the help thus far.
     

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