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I bought a new router

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:00 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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I bought a new router

Having a home LAN requires a router. I've never given them much thought, simply buying one with enough ports and checking user reviews to make sure people like it. My Linksys started misbehaving last year so I bought the current version of the same one. The net connection it provided was untrustworthy, and I had a terrible experience with their customer support ("have you tried restarting the router?"), so I returned it and bought a little D-Link that had excellent reviews. Rock solid connection, and I was happy.

But I'm getting close to being able to have 60MB broadband in my neighborhood, so I'm preparing for it. I bought the DOCSIS 3.0 modem, but read that very fast broadband can overwhelm cheap routers (mine was definitely cheap, $20 after rebate). I dug a little deeper with my research and found things I didn't know mattered about routers (RAM capacity, chip speed, etc.).

I finally located the ASUS RT-N16. Has the most RAM available on a home router (128MB), one of the fastest chips, and can run DD-WRT if I need it (that's a whole nuther subject).

So anyway, it arrives, I have it connected and running in less than 5 minutes, even with my many wireless toys. But the unexpected part, and the reason for this post, is I'm finding a 5-10X speed increase on downloads (and I haven't upgraded my broadband yet). Web pages are definitely coming up snappier, and even says I'm running consistently faster (although only 25%, much less than my apparent speed increase).

So, if you're using a router you might want to consider replacing it. Unless you've already been through what I just went though (I'll admit I'm pretty far behind the curve on this one).
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Old 01-26-2010, 07:13 PM
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skydog skydog is offline
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Re: I bought a new router

Thanks for the tip...I'm in the market for replacing my router as well...can't imagine 60mb broad band...i'm working with 5 and can upgrade to 10.
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Old 01-26-2010, 08:50 PM
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TommyO TommyO is offline
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Re: I bought a new router

Good to know. By the way, can you tell us what you did have, either in the Netgear or D-Link ? Otherwise, it's hard to say that the upgrade to the ASUS is a fair comparison to the other ones.... if they weren't 1GB capable for example. The other possibility is that you were suffering some interference from neighboring routers before; no longer a problem since upgrading to your N router. Those could come back later as the neighbors upgrade.

Also, having some strength in your Ethernet card in the PC is a good idea. You can have the best router, but without an equally compatible card, you'll still see a performance degradation. In your case, you may benefit from also buying a N series card that has similar features as your router, i.e. channel bonding.

Also, location of the router is very important. Two items to remember.
- one, throughput drops dramatically as your PC or laptop distance increases from the router.
- two, interference can be a problem if you locate the router too close to your cable modem. You won't see it unless you monitor the traffic, but packets can see significant losses or retries if they are within about 1-2 feet of each other. Simply too much RF interference for the design of these devices.

Thanks again and best of luck on the 60MB. Let us know more about that after you get it going.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:22 PM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: I bought a new router

I don't use the wireless part for my computer, just for the Xbox, etc. Neither of the old routers had any wireless capability at all, strictly cat5. My meager wireless needs were met by a separate box (the new router let me get rid of that as well, but I had no complaints about it).
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:59 AM
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CathyH CathyH is offline
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Re: I bought a new router

Thanks Doug, good timing, we are looking to replace one of our routers, soon. We got one that is not working all the time, kind of comes and goes.
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