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Wireless Router B, G, N, AC?


Ham Radio
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Hey Everyone!

I have tried searching for the answer and this seemed like the best place to ask it. Hope I'm doing it right :)

I am looking into buying a new router so I had a couple questions.

1. Which router do you guys think is the best for under $60?

2. I have multiple devices but only one supports 802.11b while all my other devices support 802.11n. So should I buy a wireless card for that device so it will register 802.11n, or just get a router that will broadcast 802.11b/g/n? Does broadcasting b/g/n degrade the signal if I just broadcasted n?

Thanks!

Elijah,

aka Ham Radio

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If all your devices can do N, and on the 5Ghz frequency, switch to it, and leave b/g behind. If you go mixed mode and have a b nic on with a g nic, the g side will drop from 54 to 11mbits, while the N will still serve N speeds, but only on 2.4, which gets smashed by most neighboring wifi and causes lots of interference. N, has faster speeds, better spectrum handling and less interference when using 5Ghz band, not to mention, some tools, don't see it ;)

As for AC, my router does AC, but the nics I bought, apparently won't load the drivers in win7. Not sure why, but last time I buy netgear anything for networking. I might try some other AC Nics later on, but it might just be that the router is so new and AC not completely supported everywhere yet, the drivers I'm using that came with the disk, might need updates before Win7 works with it at all. They were said to be completely compatible with Win8 though, go figure...

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I would recommend the Asus Dark Knight, but it would be a little too much for you $60 dollars budget.

If you can, stay away from the B/G standards and use N standard instead. It offers better speed and coverage, plux using a mix of different standards will degrade your wireless performance too.

So Ideally, you want to have every device operating on the same standard. Also when looking for a new router, buy one that supports dual bands 2.4ghz/5ghz. The 2.4Ghz band is heavily crowded and usually suffers from a lot of interference. The 5ghz band is less crowded and offer better stability and reliability.

Edited by Infiltrator
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Just a heads up by the way, AC is new, I haven't seen an AC router for under $100 worth the buy. Mine cost me almost $170. If you want b/g/n, you can probably find plenty in the 50-100 range though.

If you can, stay away from the B/G standards and use N standard instead. It offers better speed and coverage, plux using a mix of different standards will degrade your wireless performance too.

Yeah, I think I mentioned that already. Key is to get a router with more than one radio that can do both N and the others at same time, just usually never throw a B device in the mix, or G will drop from 54, to 11mb due to its max rate, G devices will limit their speeds when a B device is on unless you have 3 antennas like the newer routers, but are also more expensive.

This is the one I have: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833320091 but is expensive for your $60 budget requirements. Its a bit of a pain to setup, but once done, and configured, you can disable the WPS on it, and set it to toggle the radios, so wifi can be turned on and off at will too, which is nice when you don't want people trying to attack it 24/7. Lots of modded firmwares already available for it to, for putting OpenVPN conf files on them and so forth, but AC isn't widely used yet, and its more future proof than anything.

Nice thing about this router, I have everything in the house on N, with two different SSID's, one for 2.4 only devices using N and one for 5ghz only devices, both using N, and they can both run at the same time with no issues. It also has two USB ports, for adding HDD's over the network for storage and streaming to other devices, but I'm keeping them off of there by chance someone manages to get access to the router, I don't want files accessed by anyone, but its a nice feature for people who stream from their PC to the TV over wifi and want a simple storage solution for files over the network with a USB HDD.

Edited by digip
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Thanks for the help guys! Now I know why my wifi is so slow! I have one old IBM thinkpad that only uses B so it will probably be worth getting a N wireless card for it.

All my other devices can use N it's just that my router only supports b/g.

I don't care about the frequency since I don't have a microwave, wireless phones, or anything that will cause interference. My closest neighbor is about 300 yards away so they aren't a concern either.

That Asus router looks really good! I sure wish I could get it. For now, I went ahead and got this one.

http://www.amazon.com/Medialink-Wireless-Broadband-802-11n-Internal/dp/B00A3YN0Z0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365549435&sr=8-1&keywords=medialink+300

It should be here today so I will tell you guys how it works out. I wonder if I can put DD-WRT or openWRT on it?

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