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Trying to pick between 2 wireless router models

By herrmannator ·
Trying to choose between 2 wireless routers:

1) Belkin "High Speed Mode Wireless G Router" "up to 35% faster than 802.11g"
http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=&Section_Id=201522&pcount=&Product_Id=179477

2) D-Link "D-Link Xtreme G DI-624 Wireless Router" "Up to 108 Mbps"
http://www.dlink.com/products/?sec=1&pid=6

I notice that the D-Link advertises itself as being 108 Mbps, where the Belkin claims "35% faster that standard wireless G". Is the D-Link significantly faster or are they pretty comparable?

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It doesn't matter, but choose LinkSys

by jdaughtry In reply to Trying to pick between 2 ...

Both of the devices you mention - and the Linksys too - depend on "proprietary" speed doubling technology that only works well with other devices using the same technology. The 802.11g standard is still 54 Mbps. I recommend LinkSys but I admit a bias toward Cisco-marketed products.

In the end, the advertised speed really doesn't matter, for two reasons:

1) No router ever reaches its theoretical max, except perhaps in some esoteric lab condition. In real life a G-band router at 10 feet may only get 25 Mbps throughput and it gets slower as you get farther away.

2) Most people using these devices are using them for web-surfing at home. Typical home connections are DSL or cable at 2 Mbps max. Why buy a "108 mbps" router for that?

Unless you are moving very large files between local computers, even a B-band router will do the job for you. Go for the best value, not the fastest advertised speed.

J

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Apartment Dwellers - Beware of Linksys....

by kattoon In reply to It doesn't matter, but ch ...

I purchased a Linksys router about 2 yrs ago - along with 2 Linksys wireless pcmcia cards for 2 laptops. It worked okay for about 2 wks, then I had nothing but problems. Consistant connection dropping about every 2 minutes or so. I upgraded the firmware, reset all settings, and tried every fix I could find. The fixes would help for a day or so, then I would be back to having problems again.

I purchased a DLink B/G wireless router to see if it was a problem with my set up or the router itself. I set up the DLink router with all of the same settings as the Linksys router. And it worked beautifully. And it has been working beautifully for about 1 yr now. It was the best $55 I ever spent. I can't believe I spent more on the Linksys router.

However....my situation may be different...I live in an apartment with people below and on both sides of me. The apartment buildings are also very close together. And, there are several other people with wireless routers in my building. So there is a lot of wireless interference.

I gave my brother my old Linksys b/g router to see if it would work for him (he lives in a house). And it works beautifully for him. He says he has to "reboot" the router about once a month or so, but he really doesn't have any issues.

So, I'm surmising that Linksys has problems with interferance of other wireless routers. (yes, I changed my channel several times). DLink doesn't seem to have a problem with interferance. (at least not in my situation)

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I have had great luck with NetGear

by jdclyde In reply to Trying to pick between 2 ...

http://www.cdw.com/shop/products/default.aspx?EDC=526004

I have been using this and have had no problems.

As for the "108 Mbps", that is only if you have that access point and the matching card. I had bought a D-link package like that a year ago and it never worked and the support for D-link is horible.

I wasn't too impressed with the outsourced support for the linksys either and it has issues with some ISP's.

They will all work fine and you probably wouldn't notice a difference, just pick one that is pretty or the one with the best price.

After all, unless someone can show that X brand out performs Y brand it is mostly opinion.

I just wasn't happy with the support for D-link or Linksys so that is how I ended up with the NetGear. Have had no problems with the netgear.

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by Choppit In reply to I have had great luck wit ...

I've bought Linksys and Belkin routers in the past, both personally and for my remote users. Unfortunately, something I've found to be quite common on SOHO routers is poorly tested firmware, probably caused by rushing the product to market. On all 3 Linksys models I've used (BEFW11S4, WRT54G and WAG54G) there's been problems with PPTP pass through functionality using the factory installed firmware. Usually, (but not always), these problems are fixed by updated firmware but quite commonly, the fixes are released in the US months ahead of the UK. My experiences of Belkin were very similar.

Depending on your needs, I'd recommend looking at some of the DSL/Cable forums just to see what issues other users are having. Try http://www.dslreports.com/

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Netgear

by jck In reply to I have had great luck wit ...

Yeah, I have Netgear's silver colored (they've now made it white) 54Mb/s wireless router and it works great. And, their tech support was pretty good as well.

However, watch out for the 108Mb/s speed on other routers, cause I heard sometimes that it causes hiccups with non-108Mb/s cards and is somewhat proprietary...so...beware.

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2 cents worth...

by NTSysop In reply to Trying to pick between 2 ...

The RDV (Readers Digest Version)

Of those two choices..buy the D-Link.

(Full version)

I have used D-link, Belkin, Net Gear, Linksys and others in the past. Not much difference, but of the choices, overall, I would choose either D-link or Linksys, mainly because of the firmeware upgrades both companies continue to offer. Personally, I am still using 802b for my own use. As other post have already stated, why have a 108 MB router when your Internet connection is restricted to (usually)2MB or less? Unless you are coping huge files from one PC to another on your inside network, it is a waste of money. Now on the other hand, if you are going to add Wireless Video or Multimedia centers later, then it will be worth it.

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For the money you are not limiting yourself

by jdclyde In reply to 2 cents worth...

It isn't that much of a price difference between B and G anymore.

Many people (myself included) do a lot of local work, logging into local servers, LAN gaming, what have you.

Also, the speed of the internet is increasing all the time.

Do you buy 10baseT or 10/100 ethernet?
Do you get a hub or switch?

There isn't the big price break to make it worth getting anything but a 10/100 swtich, and even looking at the gigabit.

Again, all depends on what you do to decide what you should get. Eliminate any bottle neck anywhere you can. We have an new wireless internet provider that has some people bursting up to 10MB connections to their homes. It isn't far off my friend. Cable modems standard are 3MB and you can get higher. Was just a few years ago when standard speed was 128kb.

Get the G.

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I recommend the Belkin

by kurt90 In reply to Trying to pick between 2 ...

I just purchased a Belkin model F5D7230-4 which not only is a great router, but they have rebates which means I came away with an adapter and router for $25. It's signal is strong, there is hardly any drop off in strength even on the second floor. It was ridiculously easy to configure, and more importantly easy to secure. My previous router was a linksys BEFW11S4, which needed firmware upgrades and was flawed; I ended up returning it. Linksys' support was terrible. The Belkin is inexpensive and it is doing everything I need it to do. 54 MB's is plenty, by the time you outgrow a 108 MB router, you would want to upgrade it for the changes in wireless specifications alone, which are changing constantly. Save your money. The only reason you *might* need more speed is if you plan on streaming a lot of media, it won't make your Internet connection faster.

http://catalog.belkin.com/IWCatProductPage.process?Merchant_Id=&Section_Id=201522&pcount=&Product_Id=136493

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Belkin vs Linksys

by Choppit In reply to I recommend the Belkin

I have to say that my only experience of Belkin tech support staff was very good. Responses were very quick but unfortunately they were unable to resolve what turned out to be a very common stability problem. Admittedly this was a couple of years ago, but I've never looked at Belkin kit since. Linksys on the other hand IMO have declining technical support but their products have always proven rock solid, even if not fully functional at time of release.

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by kurt90 In reply to Belkin vs Linksys

My experience has been the opposite. The Linksys (BEFW11S4) was rock solid until I tried to secure it, and later to add a Netgear card to the network. The router just refused to cooperate when it came to enabling encryption. Once enabled, Linksys' own wireless card was immediately unable to acquire the signal (it was configured correctly and I used a simple passphrase). Linksys notified me that I needed to upgrade the firmware, which I did but it didn't help. If encryption was off everything was solid, but once encrypted it would fail to connect. I was never able to run with encryption on.

Then I added a Netgear card to another computer and it started dropping the connection roughly every few days. Then, the only way to get it back up was to reset the router to the defaults. After about a month it died. Linksys tried to upsell me on a wireless-G replacement which I refused. I returned it to the retailer and took a credit. The upsell turned me off, as did the quality of the support and the product was simply not ready for market.

It seems that everyone has an opinion on the subject of wireless networking, often conflicting. So far the Belkin has been easier to configure and solid. I have had no problems so I couldn't tell you about their support.

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