Which Wireless Router for the home?

brothertruffle880
brothertruffle880 used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi:
I need to purchase a new firewall/hub/router.  I had a linksys BEFSX41 which died after 6 years of service.  
I need both wired and wireless capability.
Can someone provide me with recommendations.  
I think I'd like to stick with LINKSYS unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
Also, links describing the different wireless standards would be helpful.
Comment
Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®
Commented:
Hi,

I've used Linksys WRT54G2 v1 and its working fine until now, almost a year already using DD-WRT firmware. This is the reason why I chose this router. You can use both wire and wireless connection.
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/US/en/products/WRT54G2

You can also check on this one, WRT160NL. Its supported by DD-WRT.
http://www.linksysbycisco.com/AE/en/products/WRT160NL?lid=LearnMore

The good thing is that it is supported by DD-WRT. With DD-WRT, you can have additional features not found on the Linksys original firmware.
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/What_is_DD-WRT%3F

The WRVS4400N wireless router is the closest in specs to the BEFSR series of wired routers. That's sold under the Cisco Small Business group now, even though they still said Linksys on their tops the last time I saw a new one.

The 4400N and 4410N are not supported by DD-WRT (anyway, applying 3rd party firmware technically voids the warranty, though if you're able to revert to the stock firmware before returning it, I'm not certain they could tell it had ever been done).

http://www.google.com/products/catalog?hl=en&safe=off&rlz=1G1GGLQ_ENUS271&num=50&newwindow=1&q=WRVS4400N&oq=&um=1&ie=UTF-8&cid=412841952975453347&oi=product_catalog_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBsQ8wIwAg#ps-sellers

Shows them at about $210.

If you decide to go with Cisco instead, one of their 800 series Integrated Services Routers would probably be a good fit.
http://www.cisco.com/cisco/web/solutions/small_business/products/routers_switches/800_series_isr/index.html

For wireless standards, start here - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11
11a is 5GHz, and has many (at least a dozen) non-overlapping channels
11b is getting to be dated (some would say obsolete, but they're likely to be around for a long time yet).
11g is on the same (2.4GHz) band as 11b which offers only 3 non-overlapping channels.
11n can operate in 2.4GHz and/or 5GHz, though manufacturers like Intel, Cisco and Apple do not support wide channels in the 2.4GHz band to reduce interference to legacy products, so the highest speeds for 11n are generally obtained in the 5GHz band.

Author

Commented:
powereds:
What is the difference between the WRT 160NL and the WRT160N?
Success in ‘20 With a Profitable Pricing Strategy

Do you wonder if your IT business is truly profitable or if you should raise your prices? Learn how to calculate your overhead burden using our free interactive tool and use it to determine the right price for your IT services. Start calculating Now!

Author

Commented:
powereds:
I don't see the 160NL on the list of supported hardware.  I only see the 160N.
Are you sure the NL is supported ( by dd-wrt)

Commented:
Hi,

If Im not mistaken, I stumbled upon a website that it stands for Linux, its firmware is linux based.
If you're determined to use DD-WRT, I suggest the Linksys WRTSL54GS - they go for $50-$75 used/refurbished, typically.
The 11n support is not quite premium quality yet in DD-WRT.  Especially dual-band (which the WRT160N/WRT160NL are NOT, by the way... they're 2.4GHz only, just like the WRTSL54GS). I think DD-WRT will have 3G PPP via the USB port working for a backup WAN on the WRTSL54GS before 11n is giving full speeds on either band.

But if you decide to get the WRT160N anyway, ensure it's a version 3, as that one has twice as much RAM as the v2 and v1. It still has only half as much NVRAM as the WRTSL54GS, but Eko is actively working on it still... there is a build just for it in the subversion 13575 directory at ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/V24-K26/svn13575/

Do NOT load those NEWD-2 files on a WRTSL54GS... it can use the 'big' (nee Mega) builds (e.g. ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/V24_TNG/svn13577/dd-wrt.v24-13577_NEWD_big.bin), though, after initial flash with a mini build (e.g. ftp://ftp.dd-wrt.com/others/eko/V24_TNG/svn13577/dd-wrt.v24-13577_NEWD_mini_usb.bin).

In fact, reading the entire 'peacock' thread first - http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=51486 - is highly recommended before flashing any device with DD-WRT.

Amazon has the WRT160NL, by the way - it has external antennae; the WRT160N does not have external antennae, and it appears Linksys never made a version 2 or later of that model.
Check it out - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0028N6VLE

WRT160N - http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000Z3U1P6

Here's the support page for each
WRT160NL - http://linksysbycisco.com/US/en/support/WRT160NL/download
WRT160N - http://linksysbycisco.com/US/en/support/WRT160N/download
WRTSL54GS - http://linksysbycisco.com/US/en/support/WRTSL54GS/download
can I propose not linksys router ?
i had some routers (linksys, asus, dlink) - now i have netgear wnr3500l and i'm very happy about this router.
why this one? gigabit switch (and gigabit wan port also), wifi N, build in usb port.
it's running dd-wrt (currently mega version) -  it's very stable
over cable i have almost 100MB/s (not Mb) speed.
wifi - it depends but normally im getting 9 - 10 MB/s

Author

Commented:
EXTREMELY helpful suggestions.  Thanks!

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial