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Is it time for a new router?

miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Is it time for a new router?

Hi all,
I'm using the Technicolor TG582n router on my ADSL connection (speed approx 7.5Mbps).  It works fine most of the time, but when my kids are around with their extra devices, the connection keeps dropping out - usually with a DNS error.  My 'diagnosis' is that with 8 or so devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) the router cannot cope, so a DNS request times out, hence the apparent DNS error.
So, I'm wondering if it's time to upgrade my router.  I did try a TP-Link W8960n router, but found the wifi speeds were lower than the TG582n (especially on my Samsung Galaxy S3 smartphone, which showed half the speed as on the 582n.  So I've returned that router.
My requirements would be just a fast, stable, reliable wifi connection that can handle potentially 10 devices or more.  I also need to be able to connect to work via a VPN.
Lots of people recommend the Billion 7800N, but it costs around £118, compared to £30 for the TP-Link router, and around £40 for the 582n.  Is there anything in the < £100 bracket that will do the job?
Thanks for any help.
Mike
13 REPLIES
GeordieMark
Grafter
Posts: 335
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎10-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Heard good things about http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/details/?categoryid=219&model=TD-W8970
Usually can't go wrong with TP-Link in general but a mate of mine has the above and he's not had a problem with it. Can get it for around £50 on Amazon too.
EDIT: Amazon link Smiley http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-TD-W8970-300Mbps-Wireless-connections/dp/B00ATB28RI
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: ‎27-10-2012

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Do you know if you are getting fibre anytime soon?
Asus routers are very good. They do a combined fibre/adsl router which will provide you with excellent wireless signal - http://www.asus.com/uk/Networking/DSLN66U/
This is my speed test just now (25m from my router with several padstone walls in the way):
Superuser
Superuser
Posts: 12,965
Thanks: 4,263
Fixes: 26
Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Quote from: miket
...the connection keeps dropping out - usually with a DNS error.  My 'diagnosis' is that with 8 or so devices (laptops, smartphones, tablets) the router cannot cope, so a DNS request times out, hence the apparent DNS error.

Mike,
The TG582n does have its foibles, but I regularly have a lot more than 8 devices connected without issue.  Therefore it is possible that the cause is something else which might not be fixed by a new router.  It would be helpful if you could provide a precise error message and the context.
If you are convinced that it is DNS timing out, when it happens, run a CMD prompt and type in 'nslookup' (without quotes).  This is a DNS diagnostic tool - type in a well known URL (www.google.co.uk) and see what results you get.  This will confirm a DNS issue if that is what you have.
Personally I'd want to be sure that I know what the problem is (and that new hardware is the appropriate solution) before spending my hard earned dosh on new tin.  Otherwise one runs the risk of still saving the same problem albeit with a lighter wallet!
Cheers,
Kevin
miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Thanks for your useful input.  Next time it happens I'll investigate further.  I agree I don't want to just throw money at the problem by buying an expensive router that does more than I need, though I've been told by at least one person that the lower end routers tend not to cope so well with more than 5 or 6 connected devices.  In fact I'd forgotten the wireless printer and the TV connected via a powerline adapter, so with 4 phones, 3 laptops, 1 desktop, 3 tablets and a kindle that comes to 14 devices....
This number of devices can't be that unusual in a family household, so I'd be interested to find out about other people's experiences.
Cheers,
Mike
dick:quote
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Quote from: miket
In fact I'd forgotten the wireless printer and the TV connected via a powerline adapter, so with 4 phones, 3 laptops, 1 desktop, 3 tablets and a kindle that comes to 14 devices....
This number of devices can't be that unusual in a family household, so I'd be interested to find other people's experiences.

Hi Mike,
I use the TG582n in my pub - for the business we have 2x laptops, 3x iPhone, 2x iPad, 1x WiFi printer and another WiFi AP - to say nothing of the large number of guest users.  Other than a particular problem with (I think) ARP on the router in respect of one of the laptops, I have seen no issues with DNS except when there have been DNS issues with PN's servers a few months back.
I suggest that you try the diagnostics before spending any money on a new router.
Cheers,
Kevin
miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

That's useful to know - thanks very much.
When you suggest "try the diagnostics", what do you mean, exactly?
Thanks for your help.
Cheers,
Mike
dick:quote
Dan_the_Van
Rising Star
Posts: 339
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Registered: ‎25-06-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Hi,
You can bypass using the router for DNS by adding the DNS host IP's to network properties for your device.
nslookup is the diagnostic tool.
Dan.
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Mike,
See reply 3 - use DNS diagnostic tool nslookup.
I suggest that you have a play with it to see how it should work.  Then when you encounter the problem which concerns you, you can poke the DNS server to confirm (or other wise) that the issue is DNS as you have postulated.  I also note that you have yet to capture the exact error message(s) when the problem happens.
Cheers,
Kevin
miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Re diagnostics - thanks, I see what you mean now, and will try it out next time I hit a problem.
Re capturing the error message - I will try to do so when the problem next occurs.
Re DNS server settings - I use OpenDNS for the parental controls, so prefer to have them on the router.
Finally, apols for 'full quoting' - I just clicked 'Quote' and didn't examine what it pulled out of the quoted post.
Cheers,
Mike
miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Hi all,
I've been encountering problems again in the last few days.
Typically I click on a link (using Chrome on Windows 7), and get a blank page saying "you are not connected to the internet", and if I reload the page it works after one or two attempts.  Last night it was doing this almost every time I clicked a link (on eBay), and at the weekend it seemed to be doing this every minute or so (and I've seen this behaviour on another laptop).  I tried nslookup as suggested, and when I entered 'www.google.co.uk', it reported a DNS timeout.  (The timeout setting is the default 2 secs.)  I'm using the OpenDNS servers.
Any ideas?
Back to my original question, any recommendations for a good solid fast wireless router / ADSL2+ modem under £100?
Thanks
Mike
Superuser
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Registered: ‎22-08-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Mike,
This is a useful diagnostic.  There is a long running thread on PN's DNS performance concerns.  If this s indeed the route of your problem, a new router is unlikely to deliver a fix.  You can verify that you are experiencing this issue by running a further diagnostic test next time it happens.
Again run nslookup as you did before.  After you get the time out, change the server to one of the google servers...
Server 8.8.8.8
Then do the lookup again.

I think from memory, the above is the correct command within nslookup - you can check this by tying a question mark.  My PC is broken at present, so I cannot verify this.
miket
Dabbler
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎05-11-2013

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Hi Townman,
Thanks for your suggestion.  However, I'm using the OpenDNS servers, rather than PlusNet's own servers (because of the parental controls that OpenDNS offers).  I'm assuming that there aren't any performance issues with the OpenDNS servers, but when I next try the diagnostics I'll try using the Google server as you suggest.
Mike
Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎11-08-2007

Re: Is it time for a new router?

Quote from: miket
I'm assuming that there aren't any performance issues with the OpenDNS servers

The OpenDNS servers are just about the fastest and most reliable DNS servers to use.
So no worries there !