Good wireless router?

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KB
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Sat Jun 16, 2007 11:51 pm Post

Hi,

Okay, readying to move house later this week, and now it turns out that British Telecom - who have provided me with broadband access for the past five years - are going t be complete arses and charge me a fortune just to let me continue using my current broadband service at my new place. Whereas Virgin media will provide me with both broadband and cable TV for only a tiny bit more than I am currently paying monthly with no extortionate set up fee.

However, I am currently using a wireless router provided by BT (the BT Home Hub), which will not work with another ISP (it is hardwired to BT). But Virgin don't provide a router, wireless or otherwise, so I am now in the position of needing to find a decent wireless router - available in the UK now - very quickly.

My immediate choice was the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station, of course, but having read some reviews - including one at MacUser UK - it seems that this only works if you have a separate ADSL modem (in the UK at least) - which, frankly, is pretty bloody crap. If that is the case, it is no use to me.

So, in short (after the long), does anybody have any suggestions for a good, inexpensive wireless router that I can plug straight into my ADSL port thingy and have it working with my MBPro Airport card off the bat?

I need to order this ASAP...

Many thanks!
Keith

Ne
NeilCross
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:15 am Post

I use a NETGEAR modem/router. Inexpensive, not lovely-looking but not ugly either - and very reliable.

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KB
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:24 am Post

Thanks Neil - which model? I just need something cheap and reliable, with an ethernet port for my better half's iBook (given that the Airport card I just installed in it doesn't seem to work yet) and for my Xbox 360 (geek that I am).

I'm looking at Dabs and Savastore right now...

Best,
Keith

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AmberV
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:39 am Post

Aye, those Apple ones are simply routers, not gateways, I think. They have no modem circuitry. I don't have much experience with ADSL modems. Cable is pretty much fastest and cheapest over here. However, I have had good experiences with LinkSys. They are blue, black, and ugly--and a little more expensive than Belkin, but the wireless antennas carry a good signal through walls, and the firmware has a lot of features and good security. Perhaps a touch on the intermediate/advanced user end of things though. No wizards to guide you through set-up.

Oops: I realised I linked to the wrong one before. Link fixed.
Last edited by AmberV on Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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xiamenese
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:40 am Post

KB wrote:Thanks Neil - which model? I just need something cheap and reliable, with an ethernet port for my better half's iBook (given that the Airport card I just installed in it doesn't seem to work yet) and for my Xbox 360 (geek that I am).

I'm looking at Dabs and Savastore right now...

Best,
Keith

Keith, I don't know what part of London you are in, but I have always found Computer Warehouse -- out on the A4 -- very helpful, and Gordon Harwood up in Derby (I think!) too. You could try picking their brains ...

As far as I know, all routers except the Apple ones have ethernet ports, many of them have 4 or more, 'cos you need to do the set-up through an ethernet connection; it can't be done wirelessly.

I recently bought myself one of those Apple ones that you can connect to your stereo and your printer too (Airtunes?) ... I thought it would be great to remove another two sets of cables from my desk, and allow me to work and print from the sofa if I want. Works fine with the stereo and the printer, but although it finds the modem OK, it won't actually talk to the internet through the modem and I haven't had time to work out why. But then I am in China and the ADSL modem is one given away by China Telecom!

I am thinking I might reprogram it to be a link in the existing wireless network and have the printer and stereo running through it, but not handling the internet connection. Bloody expensive way of removing two cables from my desk :evil:

Mark

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Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:09 am Post


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Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:27 am Post

I've used LinkSys for most part until recently when I acquired an Apple AirPort Extreme. I am not going back to LinkSys as the new Extreme is worth every penny. We have a mixed environment of Mac and PC in our residence and both work well with the Extreme; setup is breeze for both platforms too. With the Extreme you are also getting network area storage, and printing capabilities that are exceedingly convenient and useful.

Purchase a separate modem. Why? Because ADSL modems are solely controlled by your IP provider (unless you hack them, which is inadvisable), and as their firmware becomes dated it is better to purchase a newer modem to meet newer and better standards.

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Juddbert
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:11 am Post

Keith
If decent performance and solid reliability are your priorities, then I’d have to recommend NetGear. I’ve been using a DG834G ADSL Firewall Router for a couple of years now, with no issues whatsoever. They’ve improved the effective range on subsequent models, but I’ve found no need to upgrade as coverage in my home is complete. It also has Ethernet capability, so my Konica Minolta printer now serves as a wireless network printer for my wife and I, wherever we happen to be working. Very simple to set up too - qualify that; simple with the Macs. I had a few problems with the Sony, but they were Windows, not router related.
If and when I need to upgrade or renew, NetGear will be my first choice.

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Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:25 am Post

I agree with Juddbert, Keith. I switched from dial-up to broadband earlier this year, and from PC to Mac. In spite of having little technical know-how, I ordered a Netgear router from Virgin (I have their broadband + phone package) and set up a wireless network with PC and Mac in a couple of hours. (I always read the manual, so the rest of you would be quicker.)

The Netgear router cost £40 (nearer £60 from another website) from Virgin and arrived in 2-3 days. I also found their customer services very helpful. I've had no problems at all, and can use either PC or Mac anywhere in the flat.

I wouldn't mind some advice on how to run my Brother HL-20 mono laser printer wirelessly. At the moment I plug it into the USB port of Mac or PC, which seems a bit of a cop-out.

Good luck with the router, Keith, and with the house-move.
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:44 am Post

Another vote for Netgear.

Ours is three or four years old, operates 24/7 and transceives successfully through several Victorian walls, including a formerly external one.

I've also had some experience of LinkSys, and in my experience they're a reliable brand too.

H

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Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:52 pm Post

My clients use Airport (various models), Linksys, and Netgear for the most part, and all will do the job. I have a preference for the Netgear, but I can't say it's due to some functional advantage it has over the others. I have Linksys at home. All will do the trick, and all of them will perform poorly if improperly setup. :)
Keith Kastorff

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KB
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Sun Jun 17, 2007 1:57 pm Post

Thanks all. Given the positive feedback about NetGear, I think I'm going to order the NetGear from Amazon as linked by Neil (thanks Neil!).

Thanks again!
Keith

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antony
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Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:55 pm Post

That's exactly the model I use, and was going to recommend. I've used Netgear routers, both wired and wireless, for 5+ years and have never had a problem. Superb kit.
Antony Johnston
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