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Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

tumnus
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 19-08-2007

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

I'm not having much luck with wireless ADSL routers of late so I am looking for recommendations for a cheap (<£70). yet more importantly reliable router.

I started off with the 3Com OfficeConnect Wireless ADSL Router, but it cannot sync reliably to Tiscalli's LLU service as you cannot force the modulation it uses to G.dmt and I think it is using ADLS2+ which causes all sorts of stability problems (this also happened with the next router until I forced that to G.dmt). It also doesn't automatically serve an IP address via DHCP to my Nintendo DS and every 20 seconds or so there is a 1 second pause on the wireless connection (annoying in games).

I now have the Linksys WAG354G and while it syncs very reliably, all these LLU PPP disconnections have been playing havoc with it and as well as having to reboot the thing to get the connection working again, the Window's PCs require the wireless connection to be 'repaired'. I am also not at all impressed with the logs (doesn't even tell you when/if the PPP or ADSL connection went down, which is useless for diagnosing other connection issues), the browser based admin interface is poor especially when it comes to resetting and disconnecting and the QoS feature is a bit pants too.

My parents also have a D-Link wireless ADSL router and my Nintendo DS couldn't see that at all and even the laptop's wireless connections kept dropping, so was not impressed by that.

The features I would like are:
- Stable: Connection should always remain available if it is working at PlusNet/Tiscalli's side and come back automatically after any downtime. A Router should not have to be rebooted several times a day!
- 802.11b/g (again, stable)
- Support UPnP
- Support a mix of fixed IP addresses and dynamic DHCP allocated addresses for the connected PCs
- Be able to forward an external port to an internal PC on a different port
- Have easy to use QoS features. My wife hates it when a bittorrent session on my PC floods our connection while she is getting her YouTube fix on her laptop.

Not too bothered about:
- Long wireless range. The WAG354G doesn't have an antenna and I still get good reception throughout the house
- WPA, as I have to use WEP for the Nintendo DS

I have been looking at the ZyXEL P660HW-T1 which is very cheap, but I don't know what the QoS is like or whether you can force G.dmt modulation.
7 REPLIES
Craigiusmaximus
Grafter
Posts: 212
Registered: 30-07-2007

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

There are many to choose from but i know a popular choice is the Netgear DG834GT
N/A

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

befor eyou run off and get yet another router check on Google for the routers you have got the Linksys WAG354G has loads of hidden webpages like ADSLCStatus.htm Summary.asp and many other routers have simliar or have fixes as Linksys is run on linux you can rewrite the code. Its like the Origo routers there is tons of stuff out there for it.
tumnus
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 19-08-2007

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

Thanks for the replies.

I know about the hidden pages on the Linksys, but they don't show much more information. During all the recent LLU PPP problems the status pages would state the internet connection was fine, yet the internet LED on the unit was not lit and the connection simply wasn't working. To get the connection working again it had to be rebooted. Disconnecting the connection via the web interface and reconnecting never did anything.

I've seen the community based firmware for the Linksys modems, but with the 354 being relatively new no one has tested it with this firmware yet. It would be nice to have something that just works and doesn't require constant attention.

I've had a look at the user guides for the ZyXEL and Netgear and they seem to be very similar, but neither one seems to allow the DSL modulation to be set to G.dmt. I'm fairly certain that was causing problems with the 3Com. Due to some severe stability problems in the evening I am on a profile with a 15db target noise margin and Interleaving (Can hold a 4.5mb connection all day, but the noise margin drops by 12db in the evening, maybe due to nearby power lines). When the Linksys modulation was set to Auto it used ADSL2+ and would take several minutes to connect and when it did it connected using Fast Path half the time, if not more, which is really unstable on my line. The same happened with the 3Com modem, but it doesn't even display which modulation it is using and is also ADSL2+ capable. Of course the Linksys could still be losing sync all the time, but since the logging is next to useless on it and there have been all these other LLU problems recently, it is hard to tell what is at fault and I am still waiting for my l8nc test to be approved.
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

I know that the Draytek series of routers can set the modulation to GDMT and would be able to dish out a customisable number of DHCP IP addresses to attached equipment.

Downside is, they're unlikely to be priced under £70 for a new one - 2700g around £99, 2800g around £130-ish. You might get an older model for less on e-bay or other auction sites.
N/A

Set Modulation Mode for Zyxel Router

Yes, you can force the modulation mode on a Zyxel 660hw-61, here is how:

Telnet into your zyxel router, then choose menu 24, then 8.
You'll see a "ras>" command prompt. Type in the following: wan adsl opencmd gdmt

Job done!
tumnus
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 19-08-2007

Re: Set Modulation Mode for Zyxel Router

Quote
Yes, you can force the modulation mode on a Zyxel 660hw-61, here is how:

Thanks. I think I'll give it a try then
tumnus
Grafter
Posts: 104
Registered: 19-08-2007

Recommendations for a cheap, reliable Wireless ADSL router

I got the ZyXEL P660HW-T1 and so far I am very impressed. The ADSL sync stability is amazing. It is connected at a higher sync than either of my modems before and the only time it has lost sync was during the big thunderstorm that went right over us tonight. Even then and with all the LLU PPP disconnects too, I haven't had to reboot it once and it has always come back online itself with an uptime of 94 hours so far. I also haven't had to change the modulation to G.Dmt. It is currently using ADSL2 modulation according to the status page but I'm not bothered with it being so stable

The wireless range is fine in my house as I get full 54Mb/s everywhere and has been completely stable so far. It also has some nice touches like redirecting to a page informing you of connection problems when PPP has disconnected, etc. and not having to reboot every time you change a simple setting.

I have just two complaints really, the first is that my Nintendo DS will not connect to it with WEP turned on. I am currently talking to ZyXEL CS about this but if nothing can be done I guess I could get a simple but known DS compatible WAP, unless I can find a way of turning the Linksys WAG354G into just a WAP. The second is that the port forwarding can't map to different external/internal ports and you have to punch a hole through the firewall separately, but the configuration is only needed once and I only wanted this feature to connect to SSH on a non-standard port on my Linux box so I made SSHD listen to the port I want instead.