I'm sure there have probably been like 4 million posts on this already, but I'm looking for a *high quality* recommendation for a home wireless router.
My only requirements are a built in hub & USB printer port. I'm working behind a 3Mbps Road Runner connection so speed isn't a big issue for me. I live in a 2600 Sqft home and my router is located in the office so signal strength is important. Basically, I'm looking for a router that "just works".
I currently have a dysfunctional Linksys supporting 1 Dell & 1 Mac laptop. Basically my laptop hangs at "acquiring IP address" which is corrected once I reboot the router. Of course it also drops the connection after some time for apparently no reason. Both laptops work fine on other networks so I'm fairly positive the router is at fault.
My definition of quality is defined by the construction of the circuit board and case. I suspect yours might be different.
Good, fast, cheap. Pick two.
They usually have a switch, not a hub. Since you apparently want an all in one box, with the kitchen sink, allow me to propose an alternative. Separate boxes (or component system as the hi-fi fanatics call it). See below.
Put enough mass between your access point and your unspecified client radios and your wireless speed will decrease until it becomes the limiting factor.
Assuming something like a single story rectangular floor layout, 2600 sqft is about 25ft x 100ft. At perhaps 15ft per room, that's 5 walls to go through from one end of the house to the other. Since we don't have the slightest clue as to where your office is located in the house, my guess(tm) is that it's at one end, and the users are at the other end. This will not work through 5 walls no matter what quality home wireless router you purchase. If your walls have aluminium backed foil, even one wall is a challenge.
Therefore, in lieu of you disclosing something about the house layout, I suggest you abandon your dreams of obtaining good signal strength with one radio and concentrate on figuring out what it will take to cover the entire house or the areas of interest. Layout and number of floors are important. Keep it down to going through one or two walls and you should have a strong signal. That may require more than one wireless access point.
Therefore, I suggest you separate the functions. The router section wants to live near where all the wires and cables come together. Usually, that's near the floor, under the desk, in the closet, or some inaccessible locations. Such locations are horrible for RF coverage. The radio wants to live up high, in the open, where the RF coverage is maximized. These are mutually exclusive in one box. The solution is to use separate boxes for the router and the wireless access point(s).
Incidentally, you can use a wireless router as an access point by simply ignoring the WAN port, changing the IP address to something in the same Class C IP block as the router, disabling DHCP, and connecting a cable between a LAN port on the router and a LAN port on the wireless router. You'll find that wireless routers are cheaper than wireless access points and have a 4 port switch that AP lack.
The USB printer should be a printer and not a multi-malfunction fax/scanner/printer contraption. Getting these to work correctly with a USB print server is often a challenge and is totally dependent upon the driver software installed on the PC. If it's just an ordinary printer, then any of the $30-$50 USB print servers will work. Just plug it into the LAN port of the router or (converted) access point.
OK, DHCP isn't quite working correctly. Download and install the DHCP client from the bottom of:
it craps out again, fire up the program and see if it returns anything interesting. The last person that absolutely insisted that his wireless router was failing to deliver IP's via DHCP and was trashed, magically discovered that the Linux box, that he didn't bother to mention, was also running a DHCP server on the same IP block. Turning the extra DHCP server off fixed his "broken" wireless router.
You can thank me by realizing how much easier it would have been to answer your questions if you would not have been so vague, left out make and model numbers, and supplied a better description of what you're working with. Next time you ask a question, read your posting and count how many numbers you have mentioned. If it's only one or two, you'll just get generalized and vague answers like this one.
Heres a few that support printers.. check comments for USB support. Check all in case I missed USB support. Cost are average. Brand P_Function Model Prt_Serv Comment Price D-Link AP, Router DI-824VUP y $150.00 D-Link AP, Router DI-714P+ y Up to 22mbs Dlink $85.00 Netgear AP, Router FWG114P y DB9 for modem etc, USB Prt. Svr. $160.00 Netgear AP, Router FM114P y $140.00 Belkin AP, Router F5D7231-4P y USB Print $125.00 SMC AP, Router SMC2804WBRP-G y USB Printer Port, Hacker Alert via Email, Prism Nitro Technology(ext.range,t-put) $80.00 SMC AP, Router SMC7004AWBR y DB-25 Printer Port, Dial-up Support - DB9 $125.00
I have just finished replacing 4 Linksys Wireless Access Points and Routers with Netgear WGR614 Wireless Routers. These units have been running great. Last week, you could have bought one at Compusa for $9.99 after rebates. This week, they are $29.99 after rebates at Best Buy.
This unit doesn't include a printer port, so I don't know if it will fill your needs or not.
Draytek Vigor 2600G (or 2600VG with two VoIP ports), has a USB printer port and all the facilities you may want, very reliable, this is an 'office class' product hence not cheap but still affordable for home use. Mine hasn't missed a bit in 22 months. Regards, Martin
Thanks for the info everyone. I ended up going with the Netgear WGR624 which works like a dream. The Mac and Dell laptops are sailing along at
54Mbps. I haven't had a dropped connection or had any hang-ups trying to acquire a network address.
I decided to just bite the bullet and learn how to network my printer through my PC with the rest of the network. I liked the idea of plug and play, but the lack of wireless was getting on my nerves.
I bought the router at Best Buy. For s&g I asked the sales rep what he recommended for a wireless router. He recommended my old Linksys wireless G router. I told him the router (with current firmware) wasn't working and that I had friends who had similar problems. He then mused "maybe mine doesn't have problems because I'm not running factory firmware". Is it just me or should he not be recommending a product he had to hack to get to work?
Of course, I could care less about all of this as my wireless network is functional and I can go on with my life. Thanks again for all the recommendations.
FYI about Netgear. If you call support, you usually get someone that doesn't speak English. As far as rebates, typically when I send in a rebate that says it is for up to X, I usually get X. Netgear is the first company that gave me less than that.
You're not seriously judging the qaulity of a product based on whether their outsource tech support are you? Because you've probably ruled out about 50% of them. Does this mean you don't buy Dell or HP either?
When I spoke to Ahmed in Bangalore his English was OK-ish, but all he had to help me was the very same poorly written installation guide I had in front of me ! As it happens the router was a dud and I was able to return it - having lost a week and lot of hair. Won't touch anything Netgear ever again. Regards, Martin