Networking & Wireless forum


Router: Looking for a SOHO / high-ish-end consumer router

by VerumSeeker / May 19, 2011 3:06 AM PDT

Am looking for a new router. Currently have an ancient Linksys BEFSR41, but my space is getting used more as a SOHO and less as a home-only. Most of my house is wired but there are a few rooms that require wireless so I'd like to go ahead and upgrade to a wireless even though the wireless capability will be rarely used (I suppose guests might be the primary users of the wireless functionality).

- Would like to get the current standard (802.11n) and WPA2.
- Would like at least one 10/100/1000 WAN port (I know that the 1000 on the WAN side is wasted at this point, but do not want to buy another router next year if something suddenly changes on the WAN side) and at least four (4) 10/100/1000 LAN ports (although eight (8) ports would be better).
- Needs to work with an Arris TM601A cable modem and with a Netgear GS108 Gigabit Switch supporting three laptops running Windows XP and Windows 7 as well as four desktops running Windows XP (running mostly 11g cards at this point--upgrading soon).
- Am also planning to add a media server (primarily for videos) in the coming months and want the router to support DLNA. Would like the router to have at least one USB port and support NTFS drives.
- And would like dual-band with good range/speed (but does not have to reach the very last millimeter at the very fastest speed that the standard supports--I do not need bleeding edge--just want something that is good-plus with no drops).
- Don't care how it looks as it will be out of sight in the basement.
- May eventually want support for printer, but that is optional and may not be truly needed.
- Would also like to get something that will accomodate the 3rd party firmware (DD-WRT) that seems to be popular (am not 100% sure on this one, but it seems pervasive in comments from experts).
- Would like to stay under $150, but if that is impossible, feel free to tell me.

Am a tiny bit concerned about buying a Cisco product given recent announcements about their supoport for consumer products, but if this concern is unwarranted, feel free to tell me.

Am not 100% sure what else to look for? I am not a professinal Network Admionistrator, but am also not a computer novice. In summary, NOT looking for the absolute latest-and-greatest-cost-is-no-factor-state-of-the-art unit, but rather one that near the top of the heap and has good-plus stats and a strong track record of stable performance.

Would appreciate your advice and pointers to exhaustive and authoritiative comparative reviews.

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All Answers

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About DD-WRT.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2011 3:50 AM PDT

The moment I hit that in your specs I began to wonder if you realized how expensive support can be for such.

However, picking a middle of the road netgear seems to work all too well for me. Why would I change a working router such as your BEFSR41?

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Router: Looking for a SOHO / high-ish-end consumer router
by VerumSeeker / May 19, 2011 7:42 AM PDT
In reply to: About DD-WRT.

One reason for a new router is I want to add Wireless which my ancient router does not provide. Would also like support for media server that I will be bringing on line soon.
I am not 100% sure I understand how DD-WRT support is expensive? This is an open-source firmware, right? Can you help me understand better?

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I'm sure it's very easy to understand the support of that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2011 7:54 AM PDT

The software is free, the support is not. Well you can try forums and such but as I read your post you may not be ready to wait days for a free reply. And DD-WRT and all its tweaks, settings and fixing something takes you way past the tier 1 and 2 support lines. Unless you are your own support, figure more bucks.

Let me share I upgraded just last year to some Netgear wnr3500 and it runs 24x7 without a hitch.

Then again I installed Netgear's latest firmware and use the settings noted in this forum.

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