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Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

churtonst31
Grafter
Posts: 100
Registered: 30-08-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I've only ever bought one router before. It was a Solwise SAR 703, about 5 years ago... and it has done me proud until now.

But now I crave extra functionality and better integration of my wireless network. I currently have three separate boxes doing modem, switch, wireless functionality and I'd quite like to combine them.

I'm loathe to go Netgear, Belkin or Linksys... since they all have a reputation as being "disposable" devices, to a greater or lesser degree.

I'm tempted by a Draytek box. They're a bit pricier.

Does anyone have any wisdom that they would like to share with me? Would be much appreciated!

Thanks!

Simon
39 REPLIES
N/A

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

Netgear are reasonable products for the money. Linksys is Cisco's (IIRC) consumer arm and so are also good value for the money.

3com are another good manufacturer, Draytech are good as well.


I'm more than happy with my DG834 - it does everything I need for now but I will probably change up to a Draytech at some point for the QoS functionality.
Laser
Grafter
Posts: 206
Registered: 23-09-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I've got a Netgear DG834GT (108Mbps). It has been working fine for me since the day I got it. However, I only use it on the 54Mb wireless setting to be compatible with another device on my network. A number of people on Netgear's forums have issues with the 108Mb wireless speeds. Nobody seems to have proplems with the wired connections. They occasionally, but not very often, release firmware upgrades.

So, unless you really want those higher speeds, Netgear are ok for the price point.

Many people speak highly of the Belkin and Draytek routers, but I get the impression some of the cheaper models don't offer much beyond basic functionality. ie: If you're going to buy one, be prepared to spend some money.

A friend has a Linksys router and has many troubles with its firewall.

ADSL Guide review hardware occasionally, well worth a look. Then search around technical forums for the make/model you think may serve your needs for potentially negative reviews.


Maybe some of that waffle is helpful. :roll:
passer
Grafter
Posts: 381
Registered: 06-04-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I have experience of Belkin and Linksys routers, but have been extremely happy with my Netgear. Touching wood, It's never given me a day's trouble as a piece of functional hardware,easily managed. The firmware upgrades are simple to get and apply, and I only recall one dodgy firmware release, which was swiftly remedied.
I have an ethernet cable to a second desktop, and a wireless link to a third desktop and also an occasional laptop, all of which happily co-exist. The fact that it's so widely used is also a good indicator of its reliability, as well as its reasonable price. (Jeez, I'm sounding like a sales rep!)
MarkC
Grafter
Posts: 26
Registered: 05-04-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

Draytek are good - a bit pricier but v solid.

Up to 24 MBit if you get the latest ones.
Good firewall / port opening / port forwarding / remote management with ip checking.

VLan for partitioning bandwidth.

VPN server and lan to lan ( have used with sonicwall as a client).

Wireless if you want.

Plug em in and forget they're there.

Mark
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 598
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

Don't buy Netgear if you interested in looking at BBC multicast. Support for multicast is rumoured to be coming - but so is Christmas and I'm not taking bets on which comes first.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
kjaerligkatt
Grafter
Posts: 411
Registered: 02-09-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

For reliability and specification I find Draytek hard to beat. I began with a 2600 four years ago (which I donated to my parents, and is still going strong), switched to a 2600plus G last year and will get a 2800VG this month for WiFI Gplus, VoIP and IGMP.

The price is high for a consumer ADSL router, and the documentation has been limted in the past (2800 series looks better), but you end up with a product which is more business class than consumer, without going to a Cisco Wink

Neil
churtonst31
Grafter
Posts: 100
Registered: 30-08-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

This is all really interesting. I'm tempted to pay the extra £50 to go with Draytek - although I'm impressed by the positive feedback for Netgear.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,111
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I have experience of Belkin and Linksys modem/router/WAP-combination devices, and out of 10 I'd give the Belkin 6/7, and the Linksys about 4.

Thomas
N/A

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I would agree with kjaerligkatt, I am using the Draytek Vigor 2800g now, had a 2600g, which I donated to family member. The last look on the router stats showed up time of well over a thousand hours. I bought mine having noticed them in a couple of companies I had visited and on the recommendation of a friend in I.T.
Regards
Doug
channel
Grafter
Posts: 697
Registered: 03-09-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

For the purposes of balance I thought I should put a few bad words in for the Draytek... I bought a 2600We about 3.5 years ago. It still works fine as a router, but the wireless is (was) rubbish. Router firmware is generally very unfriendly and the router won't support BBC multicast, despite the standards being pretty much in place at the time the router was released.

I know the router is old, but I paid well over the odds for it (because of the Draytek premium price) and wouldn't have bothered if I had known I was going to encounter these disappointments.

I have two Linksys wireless access points which I am very happy with; I'd be minded to go with Linksys if I had to buy a new router tomorrow!

If you are considering a Draytek, do be sure to stop by their forums at Draytek.co.uk to check out current owners' comment!
chymorva
Grafter
Posts: 275
Registered: 29-08-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I have had my Edimax router for over a year now. It has worked perfectly for all that time (hope I haven't put the jinx on it now Wink )
I have a rock solid connection with very good stats. It also allows me to configure things as I require (DMZ for example). So I would wholeheartedly recommend it.
My previous routers were Zoom X4 and X5 both of which I had problems with, and were duly returned.
N/A

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I've had a 2600g since getting ADSL when I joined Plusnet (late2003). It was new then and early firmware was a bit flaky - had to flash it out of the box to get it basically stable. Several firmware iterations later and it is wonderfully stable - the wireless too as this was still wobbly until recently - would just stop after long periods of uptime necessitating a reboot. This may have also been sorted by the replacement from warranty - the router simply died one Sunday afternoon - PSU was dead and after trying another PSU (we're resellers) the router was dead too. All was fixed in 3 days flat inside their 3 year (unlike most others) warranty.

That's my home experience - I'm a consultant and we've sold up to 50 various models over the last year or so (I introduced my firm to them). Our colo windows webserver even has a 2900 in front of it. We have one company using 6 home worker VPN (1 at office, 4 home workers and 1 satelite office with 4 users) all with 2600 or 2800 routers and it works very well indeed. We arrived at this situation after finding one of the symantec gateway appliances arrived dead in the box that we'd specced. So, as it worked so well we returned the Syamntec's for an £800 refund putting a broad smile on the customer's face! Since then we have installed many more and the 2800's seem to be following experiences of the early 2600 - firmware a little rough around the edges but, all the manufacturers do this. The 2800g still currnetly needs special firmware (on special request from Draytek UK/SEG) to synch reliably - stops at handshake.

Basically the hardware is very good - last stop before Cisco, I would guess - with the whole package being solid after a couple firmware iterations. I'd wait for the next firmware release on the 2800g if you're in no rush - should be soon Otherwise you may need to flash it out of the box with the firmware I mentioned. For Joe Bloggs, Ma & Pa I've found the Netgear DG834 to be good - I like to esily tie down RDP 3389 to only my static IP for when I get those phone calls! Not so easy even on the Draytek!

Ooo we also had a 2800 DOA week before last - was turned round in 48hrs (their aim) - so if it goes bang you couldn't get better service.
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,341
Thanks: 598
Fixes: 8
Registered: 10-04-2007

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I'm wondering about a new router to replace my Netgear DG834 to provide three things:

  • Multicast
  • Either SNMP stats or viewable stats on the router of WAN traffic
  • The ability to use PlusTalk using a handset plugged in to the router

I have a separate WG602 so I don't need wireless.

Cost is an issue - suggestions please.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
Broadband: Andrews & Arnold Home::1 (FTTC 80/20)
Line rental: Pulse 8 Home Line Rental (£13/month)
Mobile: iD mobile (£4/month)
N/A

Router manufacturers - your opinion wanted!

I'd look at the Draytech routers as they give good management stats (via snmp) and look at getting a seperate box for VOIP.

If you look at www.sipura.com they do a fair range of adapators that you can plug a standard phone in to and use as a normal phone - choose the right voip provider and you don't even notice. (I'm using the SPA841 phone as our POTS phone was knackered anyway).