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Recommend a router

Grafter
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Recommend a router

I've decided to get a new router, in a bid to sort out some intermittent connectivity problems. I currently have a Belkin wireless G router which is a few years old now. I would like something with a bit more signal strength, as I use a computer in the loft while the router is down on the ground floor. I've read some reviews of Belkin's N routers on Amazon, but they have been quite critical.
I was wondering if there is any consensus on what the best wireless N adsl modem router is to get these days?
thanks
Mark
13 REPLIES 13
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Recommend a router

I and others here use a Bipac 7800N successfully.

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Registered: ‎11-01-2008

Re: Recommend a router

If you're going to have mixed B/G/N devices on your network remember it will drop to the lowest speed connceted.
Which if you want N throughput all the time you might be looking at a dual 2.4 / 5GHz box
PS I have a BiPac 7800N too. It's great.
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Grafter
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Recommend a router

thanks for the suggestions, although that one looks a little more high end than I probably need. I might look at a couple of BiPac's cheaper models. Most if not all of my devices will be connecting at G. My main concern is that I get good signal strength up in the loft.
Mark
Grafter
Posts: 284
Registered: ‎22-11-2007

Re: Recommend a router

I like the Draytek models, they seem a bit expensive at first but they are very good, I particularly like the twin VoIP ports and the way a Draytek can create not just join a VPN.  This allows you to create private networks between you and others across the web, it is ideal if you work from home.
The latest models also have a USB port which can be used with a Mobile Broadband provider, this allows you to share your Mobile broadband wirelessly or to use it as a backup if your main DSL line goes down.  The only downside of current models is that they only have one Gigabit port rather than four (the rest are 100mb).
Signal strength is pretty good but you always need to Google the exact model.
Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎27-09-2007

Re: Recommend a router

Quote from: Strat
I and others here use a Bipac 7800N successfully.

I was looking to replace my Zoom X6. This Bipac looks like it'll cope with being hammered.
One question for you Bipac 7800N users if you please - How often does yours crash requiring rebooting or power cycling?
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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Recommend a router

I haven't had crashes on either my home one or the one at work. They just ...work Smiley

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Grafter
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎27-09-2007

Re: Recommend a router

Thank you for the vote of confidence Strat.
I'll be biteing the bullet and ordering one tomorrow to replace this flakey Zoom X6 (it was all they had in the shop at the time and the salesman raved about it).
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Re: Recommend a router

As you've found out salespersons aren't the most reliable sources of recommendations. Smiley

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Grafter
Posts: 284
Registered: ‎22-11-2007

Re: Recommend a router

Quote from: dratdestroyer
Quote from: Strat
I and others here use a Bipac 7800N successfully.

I was looking to replace my Zoom X6. This Bipac looks like it'll cope with being hammered.
One question for you Bipac 7800N users if you please - How often does yours crash requiring rebooting or power cycling?

We have used a dozen Drayteks for our home workers, they have never crashed.  We have a dozen VPN's connecting them all as well as our internal phone system connected through these routers so we would get to know about it if there were problems.  For some users the ISP kept dropping the line so we used the Draytek feature to ping to keep it alive, also for some ISP's it is occasionally advisable to reboot because of issues at the ISP but we leave that to users to decide.
In my experience Zoom are a cheap naff brand and I can't say I know Bipac, it is certainly not one of the majors.  If all you want is a connection then fine but if you want your router to be able to do professional stuff it is sometimes worth paying a bit more.  For example most routers can join a VPN but few can create them or manage multiple VPN's, the same goes for the USB port if you get one, the Draytek's can be used to share a printer or to share a mobile connection.  Right now mobile internet is slow and expensive but that may change down the road.
You really need to think about your needs, some routers are brilliant as being a Storage Router, they have peer to peer clients and Itunes built in and can use any USB storage (disk or ram key) to store stuff.  So they sit there running scheduled downloads and allow you to copy them to a memory stick later.  Others are just very simple to use and ideal for novice users.
You need to read reviews from the computing press and major review sites, consider the dates because bugs are often fixed in firmware releases, here are a few
2006 - http://reviews.cnet.com/4321-13936_7-6615808.html
Mar 2010 http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/wifi-routers/356017/belkin-double-n
Apr 2010 http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/wifi-routers/356095/buffalo-wzr-hp-g300nh
Feb 2010 http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/wifi-routers/355780/draytek-vigor-2110n
The Belkin in the PCPro report is fast, has some issues and is expensive
The Buffalo in the PcPro report is an ideal all rounder and cheap at £47
The Draytek is still their A-List recommendation if you don't mind spending £97
The Buffalo is only single band but it is fast as the review says you can couple it with a Draytek Vigor 120 Ethernet Modem and still get change from £100.  I like this kind of strategy because it allows you to upgrade the wireless when the technology changes.  Also you can use a 120 for load balancing http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/vigor120.html
BTW I don't work for Draytek, just been happy with their products, not sure I would use them if it were my own money unless I needed a particular feature. 
I make wide use of the VoIP for both work and family abroad, I know I could get these from Plusnet but I like to keep things seperate as I get better service and a better product offering.











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Registered: ‎14-04-2007

Re: Recommend a router

Quote from: Zap
I can't say I know Bipac, it is certainly not one of the majors.  

The BiPac 7800N is regarded as a more business oriented router http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/wireless-routers/278557/billion-bipac-7800n
Billion have been around a while http://www.billion.com/corporate.html
...and a PCPro review of their 7402.

PS I don't work for Billion Smiley

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Grafter
Posts: 525
Thanks: 2
Registered: ‎17-07-2008

Re: Recommend a router

Quote from: Zap
We have used a dozen Drayteks for our home workers, they have never crashed.  We have a dozen VPN's connecting them all as well as our internal phone system connected through these routers so we would get to know about it if there were problems.  For some users the ISP kept dropping the line so we used the Draytek feature to ping to keep it alive, also for some ISP's it is occasionally advisable to reboot because of issues at the ISP but we leave that to users to decide.

I'd have to say I wasn't that impressed with Drayteks. DSL and wireless performance and reliability was well below other mainstream brands and there were a few firmware bugs and peculiarities. The need to try out different firmwares to get the best performance from different line characteristics and things like the lack of WAN ports on 2800s made me question the justification for the premium pricing. Some nice functionality in the UI but if you don't need it then I'd recommend looking elsewhere. If I was looking at a Draytek I'd be looking at models with WAN ports so that a separate non-Draytek DSL modem could be used.
Quote
In my experience Zoom are a cheap naff brand and I can't say I know Bipac, it is certainly not one of the majors.

Agree about Zoom but Bipac are used widely outside the UK (see the Whirlpool forums) and, in their higher-end models, have equivalent or better functionality and performance than Draytek models. They've a very wide product range and I'll certainly be considering them next time I'm in the market.
Grafter
Posts: 1,300
Registered: ‎09-07-2007

Re: Recommend a router

I personally wouldnt use a Draytek, we use them at work for the systems which monitor the alarms etc...
All i can say is we get called out *alot* because theres 'no signal' - quick reboot of the box and all is well  Cry
Two years in a row someones had to go in on christmas day/Boxing Day because of a signal fault.
adiewoo convinced me to get a 7800N too... If i tinkered less it would be up much more Cheesy
Never had a crash - even with *many* concurrent connections (from single, or multiple machines)
@Mark, if your after signal strength, and router will do, then invest in some high gain aerials Smiley -- my AP is in the garage(only G rated), and i get full signal strength all around the house (my room is the opposite side of the house) Obviously if your getting a wifi N router, you'll want 3 of these - so probably not the cheapest option - but a way you'll definately get a good signal. One downside is that if you put one on thats *way* too big, you might find sitting within 1m of it, you get a fantastic signal - but really poor throughput  Cheesy
However, it could also be a very cheap way of getting some more out of that belkin your using. if it aint broke, dont fix it Tongue
Grafter
Posts: 121
Registered: ‎27-02-2009

Re: Recommend a router

I appreciate this thread is a couple of months old, but following the recommendations it is I purchased a Bipac 7800N a couple of weeks ago and can thoroughly recommend it. I previously used a TP-Link TD-W8960N which was basically a good router, but especially in the evenings when the SNR margin dropped dramatically the router wouldn't hold the signal and would re-sync. It also often re-synced overnight for no apparent reason. Also there was intermittent noise when the phone was in use, or the phone would crash the router. Having had a lot of work done on the BB connection I was pretty sure the problem was in the house.
I've had the Bipac running now for nearly 3 weeks and it has not re-synced once. I rebooted it myself 8 days ago and it has stayed connected ever since. It doesn't seem at all phased by SNR drops - last evening the SNR was 1.9 but still the BB throughput speed stayed the same. Also the noise problems and interference with the phone is gone. All I can say it the Bipac may cost a bit more than most routers, but well worth the extra.