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MissSherlock

join:2009-05-17
Ontario

What type of router to purchase?

Hi Folks,

Any recommendations as to what type of router to purchase would be very helpful.

I have been looking at the Asus RT-N16 but will it be sufficient for a high-storey condo.

Thanks



Mike2009

join:2009-01-13
Ottawa, ON
kudos:3

Asus RT-N56U.



Dones

join:2008-02-14
Toronto, ON

That router reminds me of this.




Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

Need more information. What will you be using it for? Do all your devices support 5GHz? Only some of them? What's your budget?

For the most flexibility, I'd recommend a gigabit dual-simultaneous-band router. That means the wired ethernet part is gigabit, and the router itself can do both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz at the same time. This last bit is important; the router will effectively run two wireless networks at the same time, one on each frequency. This means your older and newer devices can both work at the same time at the best possible speed.

2.4 GHz is what is supported by older devices, but it's a much smaller chunk of spectrum (only three non-overlapping channels, 1/6/11), so it's very very crowded. Even when not crowded, it's often slower if you have to run it in backwards compatible mode for old wireless-G devices.

5GHz is a much much bigger chunk of spectrum, so it's much less crowded. It doesn't penetrate walls as well, but the difference in crowding in a highrise far outweighs that disadvantage. It's also faster because you can dedicate it to wireless-N with no backwards compatibility.

Such routers are not all that expensive in this day and age. The TP-Link TL-WDR3600 starts at about $63. It's not the fastest router on the block, but it hits the basic checkboxes. The RT-N56U that Mike2009 recommended is also a good option, it goes for about $110. Spec-wise, it's similar to the TL-WDR3600, but it's a better known brand.

If you want to splurge a bit more, the next leg up would probably be the 450 Mbps devices (the two above were 300 Mbps). Real-world speeds are far lower than the theoretical, so it actually can make a big difference. The next leg up also tends to have three antennas (for MIMO, which helps rebuild bounced signals).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



habskilla

join:2005-09-19
Moncton, NB
reply to Mike2009

said by Mike2009:

Asus RT-N56U.

+1
Using the RT-56U as the main router to handle all internet (80/30 Mbs) and IPTV traffic.

There are a total of 11 connected devices including a Slingbox uploading at a constant 8 Mbs and torrent seeding a minimum of 15 objects.

Each month the router handles 1.5+ TB of internet traffic and TBs of TV traffic.

Not a hiccup.
--
»speedtest.net/result/2032867059.png

MissSherlock

join:2009-05-17
Ontario
reply to Guspaz


Hi All,

Many thanks for the recommendations.

Guspaz my new computer specs:

Asus CM-6870-CA-3AA - Windows 7 64-bit
Processor Type Intel Core i7-3770
Processor Speed 3.4 GHz
Processor Cores 4 with RAM 16 GB
Hard Drive Capacity 2 TB
Hard Drive Speed (Revolutions Per Minute) 7200 RPM
Optical Drive 12 x Blu-Ray Combo
Graphics Card nVidia GT630 - Graphics Video Memory 2 GB
Display Monitor - Asus VE248Q
Audio Sound Card ALC892 - Audio Output High Definition Audio
Ethernet Port 10/100/1000
Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Power Supply 300 W
Two external 2.0 USB drives.

Using Teksavvy Thomson 475/476 Modem - only one ethernet port on the back. Teksavvy 28 package.

Usage: Provide wireless signal for Apple TV Box in LRm. Air Parrot to extend desktop computer to TV (about a year old - Sony Bravia EX-620).

Too far to use an HDMI cable.

With thanks,



silvercat

join:2007-11-07
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

hi MissSherlock:

Of course i'd recommend the Asus RT-N66U, but that comes at a cost. Other lower priced 5 GHz capable routers may also perform very well, but i only have experience with the RT-N66U.

I've also had an RT-N16. Problem with the RT-N16, is that it only has a 2.4 GHz radio. This can be an issue if a lot of your neighbours' routers also run on 2.4 GHz, and you're trying to stream a high definition video. I suppose it also depends on distance (from router to the wireless device). My brother had an RT-N16. He lives in a densely packed neighbourhood (not a condo), however there were issues streaming high definition video from the 2nd floor to the basement. So i had him switch to an RT-N66U, and 1080p video streaming works very well now (also full speed on speedtests).

Streaming video (through Air Parrot) from your desktop computer to your Apple TV might work okay (again it depends on distance, and how much interference is occuring from neighbours' 2.4 GHz signals). If your Apple TV has a good 5 GHz radio, and you're transmitting high bitrate 1080p streams to it, then a dual band router (with a 5 GHz radio) would help make the video stream stable (no hiccups). The suggested RT-N56U is a very good router (it's around $100 i believe, or like Guspaz said, $110), and it may perform an admirable job for you. What i do know is that the RT-N66U has excellent range, but the cost is at least $50 higher. If the RT-N66U is out of your price range, i wouldn't have a problem recommending the RT-N56U.

I'm also assuming your desktop computer will connect directly to the wireless router through ethernet cable.


MissSherlock

join:2009-05-17
Ontario

Hi silvercat,

Yes, I saw the Asus RT-N66U while looking at the RT-N16 and RT-N56U. It is very impressive!

I'll check out both the RT-N56U and the new RT-N66U.

Many thanks again for all your help,



Teddy Boom
k kudos Received
Premium
join:2007-01-29
Toronto, ON
kudos:20

The real deciding factor about dual band is what kind of place you live in. Old construction apartment buildings or student ghetto housing imply huge amounts of interference on the 2.4GHz band. New construction highrise or not so dense residential neighbourhood and good 2.4GHz is probably all you need.

At 28mbit/s, you really don't need all that power of those Asus routers. At the same time, it will last years and there isn't a lot of reason to shave pennies.
--
electronicsguru.ca



elitefx

join:2011-02-14
London, ON
kudos:2
reply to MissSherlock

said by MissSherlock:

Guspaz my new computer specs:

Asus CM-6870-CA-3AA - Windows 7 64-bit
Processor Type Intel Core i7-3770
Processor Speed 3.4 GHz
Processor Cores 4 with RAM 16 GB
Hard Drive Capacity 2 TB
Hard Drive Speed (Revolutions Per Minute) 7200 RPM
Optical Drive 12 x Blu-Ray Combo
Graphics Card nVidia GT630 - Graphics Video Memory 2 GB
Display Monitor - Asus VE248Q
Audio Sound Card ALC892 - Audio Output High Definition Audio
Ethernet Port 10/100/1000
Integrated WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Power Supply 300 W
Two external 2.0 USB drives.

I'd be far more worried about that miniscule 300 watt power supply you're running alongside a GT630 2GB GPU. Brownouts are a very bad thing and brutal on your hardware that depends on an ample clean power source. Save up your $$$ and get yourself a name brand 650 watt/50 amp minimum PSU. Your system will thank you for it. Worry about the router later.......


TypeS

join:2012-12-17
London, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable

The 300W power supply is just fine, the GT630 is second from the bottom, its a very low power card and probably does minimally better than on-die graphics solutions from Intel & AMD. People really have no idea how power efficient computers are now, you can run any system of Intel's most power hungry cpu and most of the top tier graphics cards with just a 500-550W power supply. Output has nothing to do with how it will handle brownouts. For the most parts, OEMs chose from pretty well built PSUs from Liteon for pre-built machines.

Missherlock, I would recommend either the Linksys EA4500 or ASUS RT-N66u, either or will future proof you for a good number of years. And are in the top 5 performers for 802.11n routers.


MissSherlock

join:2009-05-17
Ontario

Good Morning Teddy, elitefx, and TypeS,

I'm in a block of several condos with good distance between us. We're about 16 storeys with 20 units a floor. Many use Rogers wireless in the building. I'm in the youngest building of all. It's about 7 years old.

The RT-N16 is an older router and therefore the newer version of RT-N66U would be money well spent for the future. It offers, as many of you have mentioned, dual-band.

I was a bit concerned about 300W of power considering the extras on my new computer.

Fortunately, I don't play any video games on my computer which would no doubt use lots of CPUs. However, I'd like to be able to stream stuff sitting on my computer to my TV.

The HDMI cable didn't work because there are too many corners to the LRm. Straight run is about 16 feet but I'd be tripping on the cable.

Thanks bunches,



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

16 feet? That's positively short for HDMI, I've got a 40-foot cable in my apartment, and there are solutions that will get you up into the hundreds of feet if you're using extenders over ethernet cabling.

You seem to have a pretty short run, so you can just run an HDMI and ethernet cable that distance. If the HDMI cable is too thick to go around corners easier, there are two affordable options. RedMere cables are much thinner than normal cables, but they cost more, or there's the option to use an HDMI-to-ethernet extender; monoprice has the cheaper ones for $18, and you would then use three cat6 cables (two for ethernet, one for AppleTV), and they have a much smaller bend radius than HDMI would.

To be honest, I'd personally normally run the AppleTV over wireless, but as soon as you're resorting to wireless to avoid running an HDMI cable, I think that's going to be a sub-optimal solution. It will cost more (for the wireless video equipment), it will provide additional complexity (compared to a permanent HDMI cable), and it will provide worse quality (AirPlay and similar systems don't do 1080p and use lossy compression with visible compression artifacts).
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


jobr

join:2004-10-21
Halifax, NS
reply to MissSherlock

I recently got a TP-Link TL-WDR4300 that I'm very happy with. Simultaneous 2.4 and 5 GHz, with 450 Mbps. It also has two USB ports and an unusually large amount of RAM (128 megs) so it's well-suited for installing custom firmware with additional services, if you're into that sort of thing. NCIX has it for $79.99 at the moment.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to MissSherlock

I have an RT-N16... Works very well; probably had it about 2 years now?

I flashed with Tomato, as the stock Asus firmware is notoriously buggy... I've got 7 or 8 wireless devices connected; and another 12 or so hardwired devices (I have a 24 port PoE 100M switch cascaded off the Asus...)



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

The RT-N16 is a 2.4GHz-only router, and it doesn't make any sense for people to buy it as a new router today, especially in a highrise where 2.4GHz will be swamped. An 802.11n router won't do that much better than 802.11g would in those circumstances.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



TypeS

join:2012-12-17
London, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to MissSherlock

said by MissSherlock:

Good Morning Teddy, elitefx, and TypeS,

I was a bit concerned about 300W of power considering the extras on my new computer.

Fortunately, I don't play any video games on my computer which would no doubt use lots of CPUs. However, I'd like to be able to stream stuff sitting on my computer to my TV.

If you plan on adding stuff to your computer but aren't a gamer,you wouldn't need a substantial upgrade on the power supply.

Something like this Corsair 430W from Canada Computers will do just fine for the life of your computer. You'd only need more if you plan on a mid range graphics card or higher.

If you line in an condo complex, I'd recommend a dual band router like the ASUS RT-N66u then, you'll get maximum 802.11n performance from that unit.


d4m1r

join:2011-08-25
reply to MissSherlock

DIR-655, Xtreme N gigabit router with great built in software, and under $100 now.

Thank me later


MissSherlock

join:2009-05-17
Ontario

1 edit
reply to Guspaz

Hi Guspaz, jobr, LazMan, TypeS, and d4m1r,

Many thanks chaps.

Guspaz, the 16 ft. is a straight run which I can't do without tripping on the cable. If using cable, I'll need go around several corners to reach the TV in the LRm. This will take about 27feet or a 30 foot cable.

The longer HDMI cable are pricey once your past 25 ft. If you have any suggestions as to who has this length at a good price, it would be most appreciated.

I figured the wireless router along with the Apple TV/AirParrot would be cheaper. Quality of a HD 1080p picture, I'm not too sure about!

Most definitely the ASUS RT-N66u as a router.

What's the firmware like on the RT-N66u? Do I need to use Tomato?

Thanks,

P.S. Cables on Sale has a Redmere 30 foot cable for $67.00 CDN plus shipping.

»www.cablesonsale.ca/index.php/mo···ogy.html



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

HDMI solutions (30+ feet), prices from Monoprice with shipping to Montreal (as in, I put it in my cart, tax is charged at the post office when you pick up):

Regular 30ft 24AWG HDMI cable (plain-vanilla HDMI cable):
$37.67 USD

Note: there used to be a 26AWG equalized option, seems to be gone now.

RedMere 30ft 28AWG HDMI cable (has special chip in it for thinner cable):
$55.84 USD

HDMI-over-ethernet extender with 2x30ft Cat6:
$39.11 USD

In fact at the same time you may want to throw in a third Cat6 cable ($47.36 USD total) for the AppleTV. The HDMI-over-ethernet extender uses two ethernet cables for the video.

Of the options, the RedMere cable is the simplest (single relatively thin HDMI cable), but the most expensive. The HDMI-over-ethernet extender option has the advantage of using pretty thin and flexible ethernet cables, so they bend well. The 24AWG cable is the cheapest, but it's a thick mother that doesn't bend well.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



silvercat

join:2007-11-07
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..

Also another option for HDMI cables is Meritline:
»www.meritline.com/hdmi-cables---c-7737.aspx

Ships from China, so takes three weeks (but a lot of items if not most ? are free shipping).



elitefx

join:2011-02-14
London, ON
kudos:2
reply to TypeS

said by TypeS:

The 300W power supply is just fine, the GT630 is second from the bottom, its a very low power card and probably does minimally better than on-die graphics solutions from Intel & AMD.

Maybe so but MINIMUM system power requirement 300 watts for the GT630. So with system overhead and a 150 watt buffer(safety) allowance you're looking at 550-650 watt PSU easily.

Running the minimum specs is just asking for trouble and eliminating any upgrade path. Pay me know or pay me big time later. You know how it works.

»www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop···ications


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

said by elitefx:

said by TypeS:

The 300W power supply is just fine, the GT630 is second from the bottom, its a very low power card and probably does minimally better than on-die graphics solutions from Intel & AMD.

Maybe so but MINIMUM system power requirement 300 watts for the GT630. So with system overhead and a 150 watt buffer(safety) allowance you're looking at 550-650 watt PSU easily.

Running the minimum specs is just asking for trouble and eliminating any upgrade path. Pay me know or pay me big time later. You know how it works.

»www.geforce.com/hardware/desktop···ications

Yikes, talk about overkill. My system has an i7-3770K and a GTX 670 with only a 500W PSU (and is specifically certified to run both those parts or better at the same time), and you're saying she needs a 650w for a dinky little 630?

She's got a 95W processor and a 65W GPU; a 300W power supply is perfectly fine.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to silvercat

said by silvercat:

Also another option for HDMI cables is Meritline:
»www.meritline.com/hdmi-cables---c-7737.aspx

Ships from China, so takes three weeks (but a lot of items if not most ? are free shipping).

The first links on that page is a 25 foot 30 AWG cable, which is ludicrous. No surprise that the reviews for the item state it doesn't work at 1080p, only lower resolutions. The positive reviews seem to be for a completely different 6-foot cable...

The only 30 foot cable I see there is listed as 28AWG, which is also too thin without some form of active equalization like RedMere...

Suggestion based on what I'm seeing: avoid the cables meritline is selling. The 25-foot 26AWG one they have is probably OK, but it's not long enough if you're looking for 30 feet.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org


silvercat

join:2007-11-07
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to MissSherlock

hi MissSherlock:

The stock firmware on the RT-N66U should be good enough for you. There's also the "Merlin" firmware:
»www.lostrealm.ca/tower/node/79

Quoting from the "Merlin" website: "The primary goal of this custom firmware is to tweak, fix bugs, and enhance the original Asus firmware. It is NOT meant to become a feature-ladden alternative - for that look at existing solutions, such as Tomato or DD-WRT, both offering a wealth of additional features."

More discussion about the Asuswrt-Merlin firmware on the SmallNetBuilder forums:
»forums.smallnetbuilder.com/forum···php?f=42

And some of us prefer Tomato (i prefer the Toastman version). Might be more of a challenge to initially flash Tomato on the RT-N66U. You need to use the Asus Firmware Restoration Utility for that. I got stuck where i initially flashed to Tomato, but then i couldn't access the router's webpage configuration at all ! Researched and found out that i had to do a factory reset after the initial Tomato firmware flash. With the router powered off, press and hold the "reset" button (it's the button nearer to the power jack -- there's another button at the other end of the router (WPS ?) that you don't touch) for 30 seconds. While still having that button pressed down, power on the router (hit the power button) -- wait for another 30 seconds, then release that "reset" button. At least i think that's how it goes (from memory) for resetting the router to factory defaults. Someone correct me if i'm mistaken.

Nice thing about Tomato is that, it's "different", and you have a lot more "QOS" options.



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

Benchmarks seem to show that Tomato has a big negative effect on the throughput of some of these routers. This may be because some of the stock firmwares ship with some secret-sauce Broadcom kernel modules that Tomato doesn't, for example.

EDIT: Specifically, the RT-N66U sees a massive performance hit for wifi throughput with Tomato: »forums.smallnetbuilder.com/showt···p?t=7978
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org



silvercat

join:2007-11-07
reply to Guspaz

Good point.



silvercat

join:2007-11-07
Reviews:
·Start Communicat..
reply to Guspaz

said by Guspaz:

Benchmarks seem to show that Tomato has a big negative effect on the throughput of some of these routers. This may be because some of the stock firmwares ship with some secret-sauce Broadcom kernel modules that Tomato doesn't, for example.

Yes you're right. With the stock Asus firmware, if QOS is disabled, you get faster throughput over wireless (20 - 23 (?) MB/sec i believe ?) If QOS is enabled on the Asus router, wireless throughput shouldn't be any faster (i don't think) than the Tomato firmware.

vincom

join:2009-03-06
Bolton, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·TekSavvy Cable
reply to Guspaz

i also seen the rogers speed boost doesnt seem to work on tomato, wrt54gl-tm, speed test show my sustained speed but if i connect directly into rogers modem i see speed boost working

i dont have qos enabled and tried every conceivable tomato setting but still dont see any speed boost when testing from any speedtest websites

ya i know some are going to say speed boost is useless, but i just like to know why its not working on tomato/router



Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23
reply to MissSherlock

With a WRT54GL, most likely you're just maxing out how fast the thing can route data. My experience with MLPPP showed it's definitely not fast enough to route a 50 meg MLPPP bundle, for example. I think mine topped out somewhere around 30ish?
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org