Router and switch upgrade advice

September 9, 2012 at 13:29:36
Specs: Windows 7, AMD 3000+, 2GB
I am currently using a linksys WRT 100 stock as my wireless router feeding an old Linksys BEFSR41 wired router as a switch. I also am using a WRT 54G with DD-WRT as a WAP/switch which is wired through the BEFSR41. I have many devices connected both wired and wirelessly (XBOX360, Wii, PS3, Roku XDS, multiple laptops and idevices). Streaming music and HD content is what I do mostly. I am thinking of upgrading gear to improve the throughput speed. I have roadrunner for Internet. I am looking for advice on what to get in terms of switches and router. I think I could replace the WAP with a switch if the new router could cover my entire house; the old one could not.
Any advice is appreciated.
Pat

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#1
September 10, 2012 at 06:28:26
I would recommend a dual band wireless router that is 802.11n and a switch with enough ports to suit your present needs and few extra's for future growth. Say a small unmanaged 8 or 16 port switch depending on the present number of wired connections you have.

Without knowing more about the size of your house I have no way to say if the wireless signal from a new router would cover all of it. I suspect since you say the old one can't, a new one won't either. You could easily reuse one of the wireless router's you already own as an access point to cover the areas where the one connected to the internet doesn't reach.

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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#2
September 10, 2012 at 07:28:18
Thanks very much for the reply Curt. I have the WRT100 on the 2nd floor in a northeast corner room where the cable modem is. We have a 2600 sq ft. house with a finished basement. I have the PS3 and an HTPC down there, the PC is wired and the PS3 is wireless. The wired WAP is on the 1st floor. I actually need more LAN ports that that can provide; TV, BluRay player, XBOX 360, Networked AV receiver) so I need to put a switch there anyway. My thought was to get a better router (don't N's have greater coverage than G's?) upstairs and then stop using the WAP and instead put an 8 port switch there instead. I am already using the wired router I mentioned earlier as a bridge. I will need to replace or continue to use that as well given I need more LAN ports upstairs near the router location.
So my thought is one new wireless N dual band router (as you suggested) and two unmanaged 8 port switches. The catch is if the wireless N router doesn't cover all the areas I need to. If not, I'll need to continue to use the WAP.
Does this all make sense? Any specific router you'd recommend?
Thanks again,
Pat

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#3
September 10, 2012 at 10:30:51
My thought was to get a better router (don't N's have greater coverage than G's?)

That is appearing to be a common misconception on the part of some people. The difference between a G and an N wireless device is the bandwidth available to users connected to it. G is rated for about 56 Mbps and N 100+ Mbps.

Signal strength is dependant on the hardware. If the antenna is powerful, it will have better range. If the anntenna is weak, less range. I recently helped out a guy on here who bought a new N router that had a less powerful antenna than his older G router and he expected it to be more so because it was N.

Does this all make sense? Any specific router you'd recommend?

It all makes sense to me :)

I would say you're not likely to find a single wireless device that will provide adequate coverage throughout your entire home unless that device is centrally located inside your house. Have you tried locating your one wireless router in the center of your house to see if it provides adequate coverage?

If you want wireless N at both points, you'd need two wireless N devices. If your present devices are both G and you use one of them then devices connecting to it would only get G bandwidth.

As for recommendations....I have had excellent experiences with Linksys devices (now owned by Cisco company). I have no particular recommendations though at this point in time as I'm using an older WRT54GL at home and I don't believe they make and sell that particular model anymore.

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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