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Best Wireless Router

by tas81685 / February 28, 2009 4:45 AM PST

I am looking for the best wireless router I can find. I know that is a difficult statement but here is what I'm looking at. I live in an apartment (currently) with lots of networks (I have 2 already). I also have a lot of device that run on 2.4GHz (stereo, doors, etc). I do not need external drive features although it could be nice eventually. I want security and speed as well as coverage. I may buy a house soon and would like a good network there as well. I have been looking at the Belkin N+ ( and the Apple Extreme Base Station (

Any assistance with this question or any other routers the users feel are better please let me know. Thanks for your time.

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To answer your question
by armymil2003 / March 2, 2009 5:53 AM PST
In reply to: Best Wireless Router

I looked at both of your choices. A lot of people go crazy with the little antenna design or pretty wording. I can tell you that all you really need is just a basic router for what you are asking.

Some external drives allow ethernet. Happy
Might not need to find a USB enabled router because some printers allow ethernet connections.

If you really want a good network setup, it starts with the actual foundation of it. A router is just a router unless you know what you are doing with it, honestly. I can make a junky router very secure if you push the right buttons.

Just find a wireless N router. I like Netgear because I know where everything is located. You might like Belkin. Pick one and just work with it. Also invest in a UPS battery backup for your modem and router if you are hardcore. You can get one from Walmart for about $40 dollars. If you power goes out, and you have your computer to a battery back up, you can still surf the web. I have 4 of them, but some cost more. In my house. 1 for my tv system, 1 for my internet, 1 for my computer (never put one on a printer), and one on my alarm clock and battery charges. Yeah the last one was me going crazy but I wont be late to work. Silly

So my long answer is, most of them will work fine. Just work at getting them setup with MAC address filtering, and securing your router very well.

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We have a forum sticky with some advice.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2009 6:20 AM PST

But skipping forward a little.

-> Isn't MAC filtering long been ruled out as a security tool?

With tools like SMAC and other titles we NEVER SPEAK OF here, why not just stick to WPA or better and not bother with outdated items like MAC filters and hiding the SSID?

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by armymil2003 / March 2, 2009 7:30 AM PST

I use it for levels of security. I dont suggest only using mac filtering or hiding SSID but I wouldnt get rid of it either.

Using WPA mixed with mac filtering only increases your security. So although someone can find out your mac address, they still need your WPA code. If you hide your SSID, a normal person doesnt know to look for it. The main goal in mind is to hide from the normal people trying to goof off with your equipment. You become an open target if you leave yourself flashing for others to see. If they find your connection through some secret tools, and sniff out your mac address through sniffers, you are still left with WPA. And if someone is this determined to get your connection, you are probably screwed anyways.

For simplicity, using WPA is easiest. Just imagine trying to find the SSID name, figuring out the MAC address, and then figuring out the WPA code. Grin

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What we see...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2009 9:23 AM PST
In reply to: Perhaps...

"Using WPA mixed with mac filtering" has resulted in many routers performing sluggishly or "badly."

You could take the router makers to task over this but it is why our forum sticky is the way it is. Since there is little hope of the router makers getting their act together we stick with simpler security that works across all the routers we encounter.

Advising to mix WPA2 with hidden SSID, MAC filters and all the security bolts as tight as we can make them tends to expose what a poor job of software these makers ship out.

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by tas81685 / March 2, 2009 9:34 AM PST
In reply to: What we see...

First I am using one router with WEP only because it is for my Tivos. Secondly as I appreciate the feedback discussing how my security should be set up does not answer my original question in which is a better router. Or who has a good router in mind?

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Both are fine routers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 2, 2009 9:36 AM PST
In reply to: ROUTER

To declare a winner you would have to set them up, define a test to determine which is best.

You simply asked which is better without any criteria to measure against.

I give the Apple the edge in ease of setup.

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by armymil2003 / March 2, 2009 11:38 AM PST
In reply to: Both are fine routers.

"Advising to mix WPA2 with hidden SSID, MAC filters and all the security bolts as tight as we can make them tends to expose what a poor job of software these makers ship out."

Agreed! You would think after years of tinkering with them they would have made something better. You have been in the forum since 2003 so you know as well.

And to answer the question which is the best one, I answered it. I told you dont go for the hype and try to find a pretty one. As Bob said too, you didnt give us anything to go on. I assume if you need just security and ease of use, simply any router will do. If you want to have a server or network drives or networked printers and all the such, then you want a router that has the features built in (for ease of use - such as USB.) You said you might network some drives but wasnt sure. I said that some network drives will allow ethernet. I run 2 servers (one has 1 TB of storage for files) and the other runs a play web server - both of which run with ethernet. Out of the two devices you chose, they both look alright. Simply because they will both do the same thing - network computers and "route" the traffic.

There isnt much to routers if you are just networking a few computers.

Good luck!

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LinkSys WRT54G V8.0
by howard.latiolais / February 13, 2010 2:39 AM PST
In reply to: Haha

OK I have a LinkSys WRT54G V8.0 with the latest firmware, ver 8.00.7, from July of 2009. I set the WPA2 security with success, but when I try to set the Wireless MAC Filtering with Permit Only, I cannot connect to the router. And, yes, I have checked the MAC address about 10 times and it is correct. Does anyone know how to get this router to also add the wireless MAC filtering? Or, as an alternative, does anyone know of a brand and model of router that has both WPA2 (AES) and Wireless MAC Filtering working on it?

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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2010 3:15 AM PST
In reply to: LinkSys WRT54G V8.0

I only know such a setup is trouble and makes my IT friends lots of money as they go out and set it up per the Cnet Networking forum sticky.

If you DEMAND it works, then you have no less than 3 companies to get to work together. What can we say the chances are?

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Working WRT54G
by howard.latiolais / February 13, 2010 10:23 PM PST
In reply to: Sorry no.

Well this morning I figured out how to get the Wireless MAC Filtering to work properly. The instructions say to type in the MAC address manually in in the MAC Filter list. However, with the latest version 8.00.7 of firmware, there is a button on the MAC Filter List called Wireless MAC Client List. You need to click on this button. A new window will open up with a list of the wireless computers connected to the router. You must select the computers you want to allow and then click the Update Filter List button. Then click the Save Settings button in the MAC Address Filter List. Finally, select the Permit Only button within the Wireless / Wireless MAC Filter tab and it should work. If you type in the MAC address manually it does not work. Apparently there is some other information the software is verifying other that just the MAC address or typing it manually would work, such as the computer name and possibly other information, but this is hidden to the user and doesn't show up in the MAC Filter List.

Bottom line, the WRT54G does work correctly on this feature, just not as instructed by LinkSys. Also, their technical support wasn't any help at all. They just said that it sounded like I exhausted all the options and this feature doesn't work, and didn't even suggest what I described. So much for their technical support personnel. But this is par for the course. I only seem to have about 50/50 luck with getting good help from anyone's technical support. I will post this description on the LinkSys forum too, hopefully this procedure will be added to the technical support scripts or a FAQ so others won't have to go through what I did.

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Thanks for the note.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2010 11:28 PM PST
In reply to: Working WRT54G

Nice proof that documentation is sometimes best ignored.

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