I am looking for suggestions about "wireless ADSL modem routers." I have read good reviews about Netgear DG834G and LinkSys WAG54G. Any experience using these with your ISP broadband ?
Also wondering if it would it be better/cheaper to go with two box solution (ADSL modem + wireless broadband router or ADSL modem router + wireless access point) instead of all-in-one modem/WLAN/router box ?
Multiple boxes are better than one, but not cheaper (unless you buy a used DSL modem). I usually recommend seperate boxes instead of conglomerated all-in-one boxes. Cut-n-pasted from one of my previous postings (and too lazy to edit).
Just to underscore the point, wireless access points want to live in open locations, as high as possible, so as to increase the coverage area. Ceilings and attics are good. So are high bookshelves. However, wired routers want to live where the wires are located, which is usually a basement, under a desk, near the floor, or other RF disgusting location. Unless you enjoy looking at multiple wires creeping up the wall, these requirements are mutually exclusive.
There are some other advantages to using access points instead of conglomerated wireless routers. However, I tend to buy wireless routers and use them as wireless access points. Reasons below.
- The access point can be powered off for additional security when not in use without affecting the wired router.
- A local bar (pub) tolerates wireless users during off peak hours, but unplugs the wireless at 6PM when the establishment gets crowded and table hogs are not appreciated.
- Wireless technology changes literally by the month. Last months acronyms get replaced by this months fashionable acronyms. By using seperate boxes, it is possible to upgrade the wireless part, without affecting the wired part.
- Wireless routers are cheaper than wireless access points because manufactories sell more wireless routers. This is despite the fact that wireless routers include a 4 port ethernet switch, while access points do not.
- Some wireless routers include WDS (wireless distribution service) which allows extending the network via wireless to both wired and wireless devices. Some wireless routers and access points also include a client mode, that allows building workgroups. Since I prefer to stock as few devices as possible, I tend to buy wireless routers with as many features as possible, and then use them as access points. This is normally not a consideration for home users.
As for the included DSL modem, if you ever move and have to switch to perhaps cable/satellite/wireless, the inability to connect to the ethernet router section will require replacing the entire box. It's also impossible to "sniff" the traffic at the router WAN input in a conglomerated DSL/router/wireless box. However, there is one benifit. A conglomerate DSL/router/wireless box does allow easy access to the DSL modem diagnostics and statistics, which shouldn't be necessary unless you have a truely flakey DSL ISP.