Get an SMC Wireless-N router for $19.99 shipped

That's after the $197 mail-in rebate. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Nope, it's just a new 802.11n router for 20 bucks out the door.

Here's your chance to score a Wireless-N router for just 20 bucks out the door.
Here's your chance to score a Wireless-N router for just 20 bucks out the door. Buy.com

Before I get to today's deal, two quick housekeeping items.

First, subscribers to the Cheapskate newsletter are often frustrated because the deals are sold out or expired by the time they receive the e-mail (which tends to go out several hours after I've posted). I apologize for the hassle, but it's just the nature of my particular beast. Your best bet is to visit the Cheapskate page directly between 10 a.m. and noon ET; that's usually when I post the daily deal.

Second, I get scads of e-mail from our friends to the north, who want to know if the daily deals are available in Canada. Answer: it varies from vendor to vendor and deal to deal. Unfortunately, in many cases the offers are good only for U.S. customers. I wish I could change that, or at least mention whether each deal is "Canada-compatible," but I'm afraid neither is possible.

OK, back to business. Routers aren't exactly sexy, but they're necessary for home and office networks. And if you're still plugging along with 802.11g gear, it's high time you upgraded.

Buy.com has the SMC Barricade SMCWBR14S-N4 Wireless-N Router for $19.99 shipped. It's new, not refurbished, and completely rebate-less.

The Barricade is pretty basic router, offering 802.11n Wi-Fi, a four-port switch (i.e., four ports for plugging in wired gear like, say, an Xbox 360), and support for WPA and WPA2 wireless encryption.

In other words, it's fine and dandy for home use. CNET hasn't reviewed it, but the baker's dozen user reviews at Amazon average out to four stars. (That's pretty telling: most routers get trashed by users, I'm guessing because of setup difficulties.)

Anyway, this isn't the first $20 Wireless-N router I've seen, but it's still a very solid deal for anyone looking to upgrade a pokey and/or low-range Wi-Fi network.

Bonus deal: NYN Electronics has the refurbished Insignia NS-NAV101 4.3-inch GPS for $34.99 shipped. It's a fairly no-frills navigator, and it was a few bucks less a couple months ago, but still a pretty killer deal on a GPS with a roomy screen.

 

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