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Club1820
2009-03-27, 23:01
Looking for some input from everyone/anyone. My Linksys Router (WRK54G V1.0 Single External Antenna) that I have had for a good 5 years is on its last leg. Periodically my internet connection suddenly fails. I get it back by disconnecting the router and reconnecting it. As soon as it starts up again, internet back up.

So I figure I'm in the market for a new one. Other than this recent issue, have not had any other problems with this particular router. So would be happy to stay with Linksys, but willing to listen to other recommendations.

Couple of questions though:

* Is Wireless-N better than G? Faster, more reliable? Worth the extra cost?

* My old router had one external antenna. Now it seems most have internal antennas and also have 2 instead of 1. Are there any Cons to having the antennas internal vs external? Does having 2 antennas improve reception?

My setup is as follows:

Router at back end of house (Staying put, "can't" move)
Boom (wireless) in the middle of the house
SB3 (wireless) at the other end, front of the house.

Have not had any real reception issues with the Boom or SB3. Have been having issues lately with a recently purchased Controller. But that's another thread for another day.

So, like I said, happy with the OLD Linksys model's reception/broadcast, but need to replace it soon.

So please let me hear you on some wireless router recommendations.

Thanks for everyone's input!

Mnyb
2009-03-27, 23:53
The linksys WRT54GL (observe the L )with Tomato or DD-WRT firmware, not linksys own fw. this is cheap and has 2 external antennas.

I use one of these with 1 SB3 1 SBR and one Controller .

Maybe this recommendation is getting old ? for *the* router to have in a Squeeze situation, it will still work very well in a G network.

I have not shopped for N router yet, I will also be interested in what others recommend. There is said to be some advantages with N routers ? Even with only G equipment.
Maybe I'll eventually need one when my neighbors is escalating the "wifi war"

Nonreality
2009-03-28, 01:29
I have the Netgear wnr854t N router. I've been using lately with just G type wireless but it's been a perfect router for me for over a year now. I've had no problems with it what so ever since I had it. It's fast and my SB3 has never had a problem with it and not a single dropout or stutter. It was about 120 when I bought it but I think you can get it for about 70-80 US now. I went with it and was running a laptop with a N card but just using the g type now. After I went to it I saw improvements with all my G type stuff so it seems to be a good all around performer. I figured having the N type would be good for future devices also.

aubuti
2009-03-28, 05:43
The linksys WRT54GL (observe the L )with Tomato or DD-WRT firmware, not linksys own fw. this is cheap and has 2 external antennas.

Maybe this recommendation is getting old ? for *the* router to have in a Squeeze situation, it will still work very well in a G network.
+1
I've been very happy with the WRT54GL and Tomato firmware. I was also happy with the stock firmware, but the 3rd party firmware (Tomato or dd-wrt) opens up several new features.

epoch1970
2009-03-28, 08:09
I think the WRT54G is getting old indeed. Plus finding the right reference is tricky.
I suppose the new generation is here : http://www.netgear.com/Products/RoutersandGateways/WirelessGRouters/WGR614L.aspx

Looks like this will run Tomato and so forth.
Have *not* tested it.

jsprag
2009-03-28, 09:37
The linksys WRT54GL (observe the L )with Tomato or DD-WRT firmware, not linksys own fw. this is cheap and has 2 external antennas

This is what I've been using and recommending for years. If you're content with G then the WRT54GL is tough to beat.

Club1820
2009-03-28, 20:09
Thanks for the recommendations!

I took a quick look at the WRT54G. It does indeed look like an older Linksys model similar to mine, except with 2 ext. antennas. Will keep this on my short list.

So are there no real advantages/disadvantages to external vs internal antennas?

Also, did not realize you could swap out the mfg. firmware for a third party fw. Tomato & dd-wrt I assume I can google and dl?

By using either of these fw, it improves on the stock fw?

Before reading your responses, I was actually considering the updated version of the WRK54G, the WRT54G2. It has 2 internal antennas and can be had for $46.95 (free shipping) on Amazon. Seems to have good reviews. Any comments on this one?

As for the Netgear wnr854t, I also took a quick look on Amazon. Unfortunately it has overwhelming bad reviews. Not just an avg rating, but 2 on a scale of 5. I've learned my lesson the hard way in the past when I've ignored bad reviews and then it turns out I get the same problems others had stated. So I think I may pass on this one. But thanks for the input Nonreality!!! Much appreciated.

I guess I should have given some info on my system. Running Windows Vista on Desktop & Windows XP on laptop. All wireless devices are G so I am content with a G only router.

If any others can chime in, I would appreciate it. I think whichever choice I make, I will make it by tomorrow so that it can ship on Monday.

Thanks again!

aubuti
2009-03-28, 20:18
I took a quick look at the WRT54G. It does indeed look like an older Linksys model similar to mine, except with 2 ext. antennas. Will keep this on my short list.

So are there no real advantages/disadvantages to external vs internal antennas?

Also, did not realize you could swap out the mfg. firmware for a third party fw. Tomato & dd-wrt I assume I can google and dl?

By using either of these fw, it improves on the stock fw?
As Mnyb said, note that the WRT54GL is the model that supports 3rd party firmware. The current WRT54G models do not.

Do some googling and you'll find plenty of info on Tomato and dd-wrt. But even with the stock firmware the WRT54GL is a very good router. I don't know if any of the newer Linksys models support 3rd party firmware, or for that matter, how good they are.

pfarrell
2009-03-28, 20:28
Club1820 wrote:
> I took a quick look at the WRT54G. It does indeed look like an older
> Linksys model similar to mine, except with 2 ext. antennas. Will keep
> this on my short list.

You left off the final ELL. Its WRT54GL. The final ELL is important.


> Also, did not realize you could swap out the mfg. firmware for a third
> party fw. Tomato & dd-wrt I assume I can google and dl?

Yes, the instructions on either site are clear.


> By using either of these fw, it improves on the stock fw?

Yes

> version of the WRK54G, the WRT54G2. It has 2 internal antennas and can
> be had for $46.95 (free shipping) on Amazon. Seems to have good
> reviews. Any comments on this one?

Get the one we keep talking about, the Its WRT54GL
its about $10 more expensive than the non-ELL version

The final ELL is important.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

pfarrell
2009-03-28, 20:32
This one
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000BTL0OA

"Linksys-Cisco WRT54GL Wireless-G Broadband Router (Compatible with Linux)"

The Amazon title is incorrect, all of the WRT54G models are "compatible"
with Linux, the key to the GL model (see the ell) is that it runs Linux
and its firmware can be altered.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Mnyb
2009-03-28, 21:48
http://www.polarcloud.com/tomato/

One of the more fascinating features of tomato is WOL over internet, but not in the usual way.

You log in to your routers admin page via https from the *outside* and from a menu you can issue wake on lan to local devices.

I use this to wake my server when I'm traveling to do remote streaming to my hotel room. I then have the admin page for the server port forwarded so i can turn it off when I'm done

QoS is also a useful feature (when i figure out hove to use that)

Nonreality
2009-03-28, 22:22
Thanks for the recommendations!


As for the Netgear wnr854t, I also took a quick look on Amazon. Unfortunately it has overwhelming bad reviews. Not just an avg rating, but 2 on a scale of 5. I've learned my lesson the hard way in the past when I've ignored bad reviews and then it turns out I get the same problems others had stated. So I think I may pass on this one. But thanks for the input Nonreality!!! Much appreciated.





Thanks again!

Wow I see what you mean. Maybe I got a good one. At least everyone seemed to like it before theirs died. :)

p-cubed
2009-03-28, 23:22
The DIR-625 Rev C has been the most robust and stable wireless router I have used. Great connection to the Duet Controller anywhere in the house, even 2 floors up. Never requires rebooting.

I didn't have much luck with the WRT54GL: started dropping wireless connections after just 6 months. The Tomato firmware didn't remedy. Died completely within 8 months.

MrSinatra
2009-03-28, 23:29
i despise linksys.

my D-Link DIR-655 has been a champ, and got excellent reviews at tomshardware.com

Mnyb
2009-03-29, 00:03
The DIR-625 Rev C has been the most robust and stable wireless router I have used. Great connection to the Duet Controller anywhere in the house, even 2 floors up. Never requires rebooting.

I didn't have much luck with the WRT54GL: started dropping wireless connections after just 6 months. The Tomato firmware didn't remedy. Died completely within 8 months.

Well see mine is 12 months now :) the hardware quality on any consumer computer stuff ? who knows I think a large portion of any consumer pc hardware is duds, I buy a new one when that day arrives (it is cheap ) . A word of caution the third party fw makes it easy to crank up the radio signal default is 41mW I use 84mW now but it is possible to use 200mW that could actually lead to stronger signal but more noise ? and actually toast the radio chip in the long run.
I used 200mW for a long time before I read somewhere that more than 100mW is risky for WRT54GL hardware.

maybe one should fork up the cash for a pro router/access point next time and be done with it.
When you are at a hotel or office ,they manage to flood a whole floor with wifi quite easily.

Club1820
2009-03-29, 08:37
Once again, thanks for all of the replies. Looks like the WRT54GL is the consensus by most of the replies. Especially from some of the "regular" posters on the forum. Having had a Linksys model for 5 years and no problems + great reception, I'm inclined to stay with Linksys. Just hope I don't have to call their CS overseas! Horrible.

I was hoping to get one of their (linksys) newer "nicer" looking routers but I will go with the recommendations on this thread. :)

I am going to order tonight. I am still willing to listen to other recommendations until then.

If I end up with the WRT54GL, then I will try it with the stock FW. If broadcast/reception is bad - then I will go ahead and load Tomato. You can go back to stock FW, right? By hitting reset on router? Or do I have to back it up before switching to Tomato?

OK, thanks again to everyone!

maggior
2009-03-29, 09:55
Yes, you can go back to stock FW if you decide that the special FW (Tomato or DD-WRT) doesn't work out. I have a WRT-54GS, which is quite similar to the WRT-54L.

The stock FW worked OK for me. The compelling reason for me to move to DD-WRT is that is supports the feature of static DHCP. This means that I can have my network PCs and equipment configured for DHCP and assign the specific IP address in the router. I made this move since the Duet does not support static IP for the controller. It also just makes managing the network much easier.

My router is in the basement of a 2 story house. I get great reception throughout the entire house with the power tweaked to 70mw and new higher gain antennas purchased at Radio Shack for ~$8. That made a huge difference. For this reason, using a router with built in antennas isn't really an option for me since I don't want to get involved in having multiple APs throughout the house.

Good luck with the WRT54-GL.

Mnyb
2009-03-29, 10:10
Yes, you can go back to stock FW if you decide that the special FW (Tomato or DD-WRT) doesn't work out. I have a WRT-54GS, which is quite similar to the WRT-54L.

The stock FW worked OK for me. The compelling reason for me to move to DD-WRT is that is supports the feature of static DHCP. This means that I can have my network PCs and equipment configured for DHCP and assign the specific IP address in the router. I made this move since the Duet does not support static IP for the controller. It also just makes managing the network much easier.

My router is in the basement of a 2 story house. I get great reception throughout the entire house with the power tweaked to 70mw and new higher gain antennas purchased at Radio Shack for ~$8. That made a huge difference. For this reason, using a router with built in antennas isn't really an option for me since I don't want to get involved in having multiple APs throughout the house.

Good luck with the WRT54-GL.

I have static IP in my controller ? always had, but i think it is impossible to set up with an DHCP present, you been given the option to use static if no DCHP could be found during setup on the other hand setting up the SBR part of the duet in such circumstances.. i used net-udap in the end

Club1820
2009-03-29, 10:34
I get great reception throughout the entire house with the power tweaked to 70mw and new higher gain antennas purchased at Radio Shack for ~$8.

Thanks for the reply Maggior. Looked on RS Website but didnt see any Router Antennas listed. They probably just have them in-store. (?)

If and when you get a chance, would you happen to know the model #?

This is something I hadnt thought about - replacing the stock antennas. Had always wanted to do that with my current router but the antenna was fixed and not removable. So yes, i guess an ext. antenna router is best for this.

Thanks again!

Club1820
2009-03-29, 10:37
I have static IP in my controller ? always had, but i think it is impossible to set up with an DHCP present, you been given the option to use static if no DCHP could be found during setup on the other hand setting up the SBR part of the duet in such circumstances.. i used net-udap in the end

What is the advantage to using static IP for Controller? Does this improve on its "connect-ability"

Thanks.

Mnyb
2009-03-29, 11:07
What is the advantage to using static IP for Controller? Does this improve on its "connect-ability"

Thanks.

Yes I think so , the network becomes very stable if you have every part of the squeeze system on fixed IP, server squeezeboxes controller . I suppose it is still possible to use DCHP for other stuff you can use DCHP in a "range" outside where you have your fixed IP's, for guest with laptops etc

pfarrell
2009-03-29, 11:17
Mnyb wrote:
> Yes I think so , the network becomes very stable if you have every part
> of the squeeze system on fixed IP, server squeezeboxes controller . I
> suppose it is still possible to use DCHP for other stuff you can use
> DCHP in a "range" outside where you have your fixed IP's, for guest
> with laptops etc

I use a DHCP server to assign the same IP addresses by MAC.
Lets the device think its DHCP but the values are all the same.

Works great.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Club1820
2009-03-29, 13:35
I use a DHCP server to assign the same IP addresses by MAC.
Lets the device think its DHCP but the values are all the same.

Works great.

How do I figure out the MAC of the controller?

Club1820
2009-03-29, 13:38
BTW: I went ahead and ordered the WRT54GL from Amazon. Anticipated ship date, 4/3/09. Hopefully it will ship sooner! Will report back when I get it up and running.

Thanks again for all of the recommendations. As always, forum members always come through.

Club1820
2009-03-29, 13:52
How do I figure out the MAC of the controller?

Figured it out. See it through my Router WEB DHCP Active IP Table listing.

Thanks.

aubuti
2009-03-29, 14:01
Figured it out. See it through my Router WEB DHCP Active IP Table listing.
Good work. It's also printed on the label in the battery compartment, and shown under Home > Settings > Advanced > About.

Club1820
2009-03-29, 18:37
Good work. It's also printed on the label in the battery compartment, and shown under Home > Settings > Advanced > About.

Good to know.

Thanks.

maggior
2009-03-29, 19:52
I have static IP in my controller ? always had, but i think it is impossible to set up with an DHCP present, you been given the option to use static if no DCHP could be found during setup on the other hand setting up the SBR part of the duet in such circumstances.. i used net-udap in the end

Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but I thought the player (not the controller) was capable of a static IP, but it had to be configured without a DHCP server present.

By using static DHCP, it doesn't matter :-).

maggior
2009-03-29, 20:14
Thanks for the reply Maggior. Looked on RS Website but didnt see any Router Antennas listed. They probably just have them in-store. (?)

If and when you get a chance, would you happen to know the model #?

This is something I hadnt thought about - replacing the stock antennas. Had always wanted to do that with my current router but the antenna was fixed and not removable. So yes, i guess an ext. antenna router is best for this.

Thanks again!


I actually found the antennas on their web site. Hmmm...it seems they don't sell them any more...bummer. Since I got them so cheap, they must have been on closeout back in June/July.

From here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_WRT54G_series) it states that the router uses a "reverse polarity TNC connector" (RP-TNC). When looking at aftermarket antennas, make sure they have this type of connector. E-Bay probably has a good assortment. Amazon didn't turn anything up. It's strange that there aren't that many aftermarket antennas anymore.

You may not need them unless you have reception issues.

MrSinatra
2009-03-29, 21:07
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/linksys-wrt54g-v5-really-is-a-lousy-router,review-731.html

Club1820
2009-03-29, 22:50
http://www.tomsguide.com/us/linksys-wrt54g-v5-really-is-a-lousy-router,review-731.html

Hmmmmmmmmm

pfarrell
2009-03-29, 22:57
Club1820 wrote:
> MrSinatra;411233 Wrote:
>> http://www.tomsguide.com/us/linksys-wrt54g-v5-really-is-a-lousy-router,review-731.html
>
> Hmmmmmmmmm

Again, read the model numbers carefully. They are talking about the
non-L version. With stock firmware.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

MrSinatra
2009-03-29, 23:12
Pat,

did u read the article? it talks about both, and the L version isn't looked upon much more glowingly.

in my limited exp, linksys isn't very good. my dlink is a champ however. but this stuff is overall pretty cheap... mistakes aren't big deals really.

pfarrell
2009-03-29, 23:21
MrSinatra wrote:
> did u read the article? it talks about both, and the L version isn't
> looked upon much more glowingly.

Yes, and I think you misread it. Its also an old article.

The L version, with stock firmware, passes more tests.
The jest of the article is that the firmware in the non-L version is
terribly buggy.

There is a chance that more recent firmware is better. But if you plan
to use DD-WRT or Tomato or other open source firmware, the stock stuff
makes zero difference.

No one has said that the WRT54GL is a perfect, high performance router,
its just cheap and flexible. And with alternative firmware, lots of
folks swear by it.

The WRT54GL is not the solution if you are driving the network hard, but
very few homes do that. Most homes in the US have broadband connections
that can't load a network hard. I have a fast, and expensive cable modem
connection, and it does only 15mbs on a good day. That's hardly a load.

If you are doing mission critical stuff that drives the network to its
knees, get a real router. For the rest of us, its fine. IMHO

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Club1820
2009-03-29, 23:24
Pat,

did u read the article? it talks about both, and the L version isn't looked upon much more glowingly.

in my limited exp, linksys isn't very good. my dlink is a champ however. but this stuff is overall pretty cheap... mistakes aren't big deals really.

Yep, I read the article and it does talk about both. Although it gives a little bit better review of the "L" version than the Non-"L" version.

After reading this - I began to feel a little bit of buyer remorse. But what the heck, like you said - its cheap.

Went back to Amazon to look a little bit deeper at all the reviews. Its rated 4.5 out of 5 and there we're glowing comments on this router. Several mentioned using Tomato or other 3rd party firmware. One glowing review about a month ago was from a Squeezebox owner!

So, I guess I will wait till I receive the router and hook it up. Hopefully It will prove Tom "whatshisname" wrong! :)

Club1820
2009-03-29, 23:43
MrSinatra wrote:[color=blue]

The WRT54GL is not the solution if you are driving the network hard, but
very few homes do that. Most homes in the US have broadband connections
that can't load a network hard. I have a fast, and expensive cable modem
connection, and it does only 15mbs on a good day. That's hardly a load.

If you are doing mission critical stuff that drives the network to its
knees, get a real router. For the rest of us, its fine. IMHO


Pat, we both must have been typing at the same time.

My old router on Amazon got a dismall 2 stars, if that! I was quite surprised. As I stated before, it has worked well for me in my setup. I can only assume the "L" router will do the same, if not better. (?)

I also have a cable modem connection and it does do better (capable) than 15mbs everyday. But I don't really drive it. Just my simple Squeezebox setup and the "occasional" use of P2P.

MrSinatra
2009-03-29, 23:46
MrSinatra wrote:
> did u read the article? it talks about both, and the L version isn't
> looked upon much more glowingly.

Yes, and I think you misread it. Its also an old article.

you think i "misread it"? now THATS funny, considering you said it wasn't even talked about in the article!

and its "old?" i think the more important question is, is it accurate?

as someone who does a bit of P2P i would say its accurate, even today.



The L version, with stock firmware, passes more tests.
The jest of the article is that the firmware in the non-L version is
terribly buggy.

they weren't impressed with the L version fw either, overall.



There is a chance that more recent firmware is better. But if you plan
to use DD-WRT or Tomato or other open source firmware, the stock stuff
makes zero difference.


of course, but there are also constraints of the actual hardware used. the fw can only go so far. don't get me wrong, if i had this router i'd go 3rd party fw for sure, i'd just be worried it still couldn't do P2P to the level i'd want it to, among other things.



No one has said that the WRT54GL is a perfect, high performance router,
its just cheap and flexible. And with alternative firmware, lots of
folks swear by it.

The WRT54GL is not the solution if you are driving the network hard, but
very few homes do that. Most homes in the US have broadband connections
that can't load a network hard. I have a fast, and expensive cable modem
connection, and it does only 15mbs on a good day. That's hardly a load.

If you are doing mission critical stuff that drives the network to its
knees, get a real router. For the rest of us, its fine. IMHO

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

i agree with most of that, but for gamers or P2P people the router can make a difference. there's also how much load you put on your internal network, (as opposed to your ISP), and i judge a router by how well it does that too, especially the wireless part since i use a lot of wireless devices.

i also haven't done a price comparison, so i don't know how much more, if anything, this router would be than what i consider to be a "good" router. that difference in cost, if any, should be figured into the decision.

chances are he will be happy with his purchase, esp if he uses tomato or something like that. but that doesn't mean the article is in any way, inaccurate or faulty or misleading. its just something to be aware of.

pfarrell
2009-03-29, 23:49
Club1820 wrote:
> I can only assume the "L" router will do the same, if not better. (?)

Well, the recommendation from me and others is to try it a while, and if
it is not perfect, use tomato or ddwrt or ...

> I also have a cable modem connection and it does do better (capable)
> than 15mbs everyday. But I don't really drive it. Just my simple
> Squeezebox setup and the "occasional" use of P2P.

My setup, exactly, and mine works wonderfully. Untouched for many months.

I'm seeding the Chaos Computer Club's 25c3 videos, just leave them up
all the time. They are a lot less popular than they were back in January.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Club1820
2009-03-29, 23:59
OK. So I wasnt as truthful as I could have been. I P2P a lot! Just today I dl all of 30rocks episodes from this season. 16 in all. Took all of about 30(?) mins or so. 16 eps. at 175mb each.

Just now did the CNET Test: 163200 Kbps - You

So, my current, very old, linksys router is doing the trick. I will cross my fingers. I guess now I will definitely have to report back upon receiving the new router. LOL.

MrSinatra
2009-03-30, 00:10
what test? the bandwidth test? 30min for 16 175meg files is impressive, or at least, somewhat better than avg i would say.

one P2P benchmark i look at tho, is how many simultaneous connections can the router handle?

anyway, it'll probably work for you, but i would def use tomshardware in the future to mine info, i don't know of any better hardware site on the net, and tech oriented people pretty much consider it the gold standard.

Club1820
2009-03-30, 07:26
what test? the bandwidth test? 30min for 16 175meg files is impressive, or at least, somewhat better than avg i would say.

yes, the cnet bandwith test. I realize that this is a pretty simple test and using P2P is a different story. But the test result alone I think indicates how good a connection I have. According to the site, 30,000 Kbps = T3 30mbs. My test result came back 163,200 Kbps / 30,000 = 5.44 x 30mbs = 163.2mbs. Give or take a few mbs depending on this test result, I think that is better than avg.


i would def use tomshardware in the future to mine info, i don't know of any better hardware site on the net, and tech oriented people pretty much consider it the gold standard.

Yes, had never come across that site. Have already bookmarked it for future reference. Thanks.

OK - enough of that. I will report back once I'm hooked up. Thanks MrSinatra, Pat, and everyone else for responding to my original question!