View Full Version : Access Point Recommendations?

2007-08-06, 15:33
Ok, so I just ordered the Squeezebox. My next purchase needs to be be a wireless access point. I'm thinking about Linksys WAP 200, but this seems to be a new device and I have not been able find any reveiws on it.

My biggest concern with my new setup is distance. Does anyone have a Access Point recommendation, based on experience that i can draw upon?

Thanks in advance!

Mark Lanctot
2007-08-07, 06:43
Why an access point? The reason I ask is that you'll find very little experience with WAPs here, most people use a wireless router (which are now cheaper than WAPs).

You'll find as many recommendations as users here. There aren't that many incompatibility problems any more. My Linksys WRT54G running DD-WRT has been rock-solid, but my tests indicate it's not that great at long distances, so I'm not sure what I can recommend.

2007-08-07, 09:49
I use a wireless access point, since I have a good firewall at the edge of the network doing NAT. The WAP is a D-Link DWL-2100AP.

You can, however, configure most wireless routers as non-routing access points. The web interfaces are sometimes awkward for accomplishing this, but doable.

2007-08-07, 10:25
I'd use the DD-WRT hardware compatibility page as your shopping list. For example, most Buffalo routers are fine hardware-wise but suffer from flaky firmware. Replace the firmware with DD-WRT and voila, you've got yourself a very nice router for pretty darn cheap. My $50 router has been working continuously without incident for a year or so now. Recommended!

2007-08-07, 10:44
I use a Linksys WRT-54GS router with stock firmware. Strictly for SB use, the WRT-54G model would work (no speedbooster - which only works when communicating with a PC or laptop that has a Linksys speedbooster capable wireless card installed).

I haven't had any problems and I'm pushing some good distances. My router is in the middle room on the top floor of a 2 story house. My server is in the basement toward the middle of the house and uses a wireless network card (too difficult for me to run CAT-5 cable down there). One squeezebox is on the first floor at the end of the house. The second squeezebox is on the 3rd floor in a room next to the one with the router. The antennas on the router are pointed downward on angles spreading outward.

I can also use my squeezebox out on my deck! For this to work well, I need to reorient my router so the antennas point toward the back of the house, but this isn't a bid deal.

I've found that as long as you have a 50% signal (which can be determined by accessing settings/information/player/signal strength), the SB will play flawlessly.

My library is made up of mp3's encoded at 192VBR. On occasion I have played FLAC as well with no problems.

2007-08-07, 22:41
Thanks everyone. This was very helpful information! How could I go wrong with the Linksys WRT54G? The access point will be in a large room down a 70' hallway from where the SB will be at. I can't image not getting a stong single in this situation.

2007-08-08, 04:02
Mark and Jim are correct in their respective assertions that most people use routers instead of access points as well as most routers can be used like an access point.

In my setup at home I use an access point. I already had an 8 port switch and have a dsl router. I felt an additional router would be redundant. I have a Linksys WAP54G and it works great.

For my parents, I picked up a WRT54G. They didn't have an ethernet switch, so this killed two birds with one stone. To avoid the router functionality (they have the same dsl setup as me) all I did was plug their computer and dsl router into the switch ports and leave the WAN port open. Easy as pie and works great.

At the time I bought my parents their router it was 28USD cheaper than the access point, and Sprawl Mart had the router in stock. If I had to do it again I would've bought the router. Why not get the extra switch ports and have the option of the DD-WRT firmware?

Mark Lanctot
2007-08-08, 06:58
How could I go wrong with the Linksys WRT54G?

Make sure to get the "WRT54GL". It might be $5-$10 more but it has twice the resources.

Background: the reason the WRT54G became so popular is that some hackers discovered it was running Linux, which might have been the reason why it was so stable. At one point in time, it was the most popular router. It went through hardware revisions until v5, when Linksys went to an embedded proprietary OS, VxWorks, and cut the ROM/RAM in half. Initial firmware for the v5 was virtually unusable. Things have improved since - they're now on v8 (?), but still, this is half the router it once was.

The WRT54GL is the Linux version, same as the v4. It has twice the resources of the current WRT54G for only a few dollars more. You have the option of installing third-party firmware like DD-WRT if you're adventurous, but even if you don't, you get a better router.