What's the best WiFi-N router to get today?

Discussion in 'Internet & Networking' started by Adrian Wong, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I haven't migrated to UniFi yet but intend to, when I move to my house. However, I'm thinking of upgrading my WiFi router right now. Any suggestions for a good WiFi router?

    Is the Linksys WRT-600N or WRT-610N the best option? It has dual-radio, so it would offer the best throughput for -N devices.

    When I eventually move though, the four LAN ports would be insufficient. But all I have to do is add a switch, right?

    Ideas, opinions are most welcomed! Thanks!
  2. Lacus

    Lacus Newbie

    Bufallo WHR-HP-G300N seems to be a good choice too =)..Cheap and good. Using it for the past 6 months :).. DDWRT ready too.
  3. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Is it dual-band? How much did you pay for it? Did you flash to DD-WRT?

    I'm now considering the following :

    - Linksys E3000 (the WRT-610N has been discontinued)
    - NetGear WNDR3700
    - ASUS RT-N56U

    All three are dual-band WiFi-N routers. The first two are DD-WRT ready but the ASUS router is not. However, ASUS claims it can support up to 300,000 simultaneous connections out of the box.
  4. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    They are not only dual band, they are also dual radio, which is the most important for pure N speed on 5GHz. You will see 2 SSIDs point from 1 router.

    But you can always buy 2 dual band, single radio router, for a bit more money with 4 additional LAN ports, like WRT320N.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  5. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I haven't tested the 5GHz radio yet, but from my first impression, it is very sensitive to walls. My 2.4GHz radio remains at 90+%, but the 5GHz has dropped to 50% at the same spot.
  6. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    Unifi come with Dlink customized N router bo. Not sure if you must use their router because of their IPtv ..
  7. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Yup, but I have customised it to use the Dlink only for VLAN tagging which is required for IPTV. I've moved all the NAT routing, wireless N to my Linksys E3000. Dlink has some of the crappiest wireless reliability, especially with WPA2 while using VPN for my company.
  8. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Had a nice good chat with Chai about this. Looks like dual-radio routers aren't as great as they are made out to be.

    The 5 GHz range is much shorter than 2.4 GHz, and the throughput at 5 GHz drops very rapidly. Even right next to the router, Chai only managed to register a slight increase in bandwidth at 5 GHz, over 2.4 GHz.

    If that's the case, there's really no point pushing for 5 GHz. Even if there's a 10-20% boost in performance, it isn't cost-effective. Now, if the performance boost is 50% or more, then we are talking.

    So, I will probably follow his advice and get a single-radio N router. For starters, the Linksys WRT-310N or WRT-320N. Probably the WRT-320N because the new WRT-310N doesn't support DD-WRT just yet.

    But I will consider other single-radio WiFi-N routers, if you have any to recommend.
  9. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Unify it's a little complicated, can I use other routers to get the TV thingy? How do I know which router supports VLAN tagging (what is it anyway LOL)
  10. mikegas

    mikegas Newbie

    I don't know but my Dlink modem from unifi work just fine. I could get enough signal everywhere in my double story house. Can even stream wirelessly HD movies without a hiccup. Didnt look further for other router...
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I went ahead and bought the Linksys WRT-320N. Just set up it this afternoon and man, what a difference!

    Previously, my 3Com OfficeConnect 11g router would lock up, or just slow down to almost a standstill, whenever I have more than 5 torrents running, or too many people downloading files at the same time.

    Now, I just tried running 10 torrents - no problem! I'm going to stress it by loading more and more torrents until it quits. So far, it seems like this router is powerful enough that I won't need to upgrade it with DD-WRT.

    Its 3-antenna radio is also slightly more powerful than the 3Com OfficeConnect 11g. My brother-in-law's notebook still registers the same 3 bars but his iPhone no longer drops the signal at the farthest end of his room. Now, it registers at least 2 bars. I'd hoped for more, but hey, that's not too bad, considering the fact that there are at least 3 walls between the router and his computer! :D
  12. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

    I'm thinking of getting a wireless N router too. Though I am seriously considering getting a "gaming" router from D-Link.

    With 3 gaming PCs and now 4 gaming PS3s on the network, I think I really need a good one. Anybody tried D-Link routers?
  13. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    I never like DLink products.

    Adrian: Told you Linksys will most likely be much better than what ever you are using now, but you need to test it a bit longer. It may start the crash the router after sometime.
    1 person likes this.
  14. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Me on the contrary don't like Linksys, feels like they are a rip off Cisco device LOL.

    Especially when they started selling revised WRT54G with lesser RAM and ROM but same model
  15. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    I haven't tried the higher-end D-Link models, but their basic models are utter crap. I tried two so far - they both overheat pretty easily and would hang the minute you download more than 3-4 torrents. :nuts:

    I have to regularly run to the D-Link router or modem/router to reset it. :wall: :wall:

    Jason's currently using a D-Link router too. He stopped torrenting too because well, the D-Link router just cannot handle even light torrenting. :hand:
  16. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yeah, I heard that this model has a tendency to overheat. Plus, I'm running mine inside the TV cabinet - enclosed, with very little ventilation.

    Well, I'm going to stress test it and see if I need to "mod" it with better cooling, or DD-WRT.

    PS. Thanks for your suggestions and advice BTW! :thumb: +rep!
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Their products are certainly more expensive than comparable products, but they are also "moddable" using DD-WRT.

    I thought of trying an ASUS router but the one I was interested in was not moddable, and if it didn't turn out as well as I expected, there won't be any way forward.
  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    BTW, the Linksys WRT-320N can be modded to a Linksys E2000! But I don't see the point. Both are more or less the same thing, just with different names.
  19. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    Cisco bought Linksys has got really nothing to do with anything really. Linksys is still on its own. They are only using its name, which doesn't really concern me.

    True, WRT54G was 'downgraded', but there's always a replacement model, like WRT54GL. It is all about cost cutting.

    I have quite a lot of experience with different Linksys products, including WRT54GL, RV042, RVS4000, and now E3000. They are mostly reliable and stable.

    On the other hand, I have also had some Dlink products, which is completely opposite from the experience I had with Linksys. :haha:
  20. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

    I really like Linksys. I have a WRT54G v4 running DD-WRT. Their support has been top notch (had to RMA once).

    I'm just looking at what routers can handle the intensity of usage my house will put it through (5 PS3s, 2 Xbox 360s, 5 PCs, 5 laptops, and 4 PDAs that will be hooked on wifi). And don't even get me started when gaming time is on (we had 4 PS3s get on PSN for some racing last night). I previously had trouble having 2 PS3s get on PSN to play together (which I may have sorted out by a few tweaks on the router settings). We don't torrent or anything though (tin foil hat on).

Share This Page