Choosing a router - 802.11n and gigabit ports

October 24, 2011 at 09:27:52
Specs: Windows 7, N/A
I'm looking at upgrading my router as I currently have the stock one provided by my ISP (Virgin Media) which is pretty useless.
I want one that supports dual band 802.11n and has gigabit ethernet ports. Range and QoS are a big priority, and a USB port to enable it to act as a print server or NAS would be great.
I've looked at the linksys e4200 which is great but is about double my budget. I've seen a few Netgears that fit the bill but the one I have now is by Netgear and I hate it so would prefer to avoid them.
I also saw the D-link DIR-825 which is at the top end of my budget, but reviews seem to suggest that its range and throughput are pretty poor. Buffalo's WZR-HP-G450H was slated as well and so I'm struggling to find something worth buying! I was hoping somebody could recommend a good stable router that gives good speeds and has good reliability for streaming video (to an xbox 360 slim) etc, ideally prioritising it on the 5GHz band.
My budget tops out at around £80, maybe a little more for something really good
Any suggestions are much appreciated!


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October 24, 2011 at 12:30:31
I think I might stretch to an Asus RT-N56U, it looks pretty good and has good reviews. Does anyone have one they can comment on?

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October 24, 2011 at 12:54:30
Unfortunately, you have named pretty much all the home router brands you can buy.

I've personally used D-Link and Linksys. I've had my share of problems with both but i liked the linksys better then the D-Link.

Everyone has different opinions. I don't know your budget, but considering the features you want, it will be on the expensive side no matter where you look.

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October 24, 2011 at 13:47:00
I just had a quick look at the computer store I do business with. That Linksys E4200 router sells for about $190.00 (CAD).

They also show a Linksys Wireless N dual band 10/100 router for $100.00

They have two gigabit switches for the following prices:
5 port = $31.00
8 port = $41.00

So here's what I'd do if it were me and I had a $190.00 budget. I'd buy the cheaper dual band N router and the 8 port switch. I'd plug all clients into the 8 port switch so they'd have a gigabit network (providing of course they all have gigabit network interfaces).

I'd plug the NAS into a computer and share it so everyone on the LAN could access it. I'd plug the printer(s) into the same computer and share them so everybody on the LAN could access them. If you're worried about overloading the one PC, plug the printer(s) into another one and make it your "print server".

Take yourself out for dinner with the rest of the cash.

Your router doesn't have to have gigabit LAN ports if you buy a gigabit switch and plug the clients into it. You're not going to have a 1000 Mbps internet connection so 100 Mbps LAN ports on the router will do just fine.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

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