what should i look for in a wireless router?

Jul 4, 2004
  1. what should i look for in a wireless router? i cant spend more then $100. are wired routers better?
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Have a browse around this website, they are the "bible" for anything to do with that stuff:

    Read up on their forums once you find a router you like, if anything is wrong with them, here is where you find it exposed.

    Look for the likes of Netgear, Linksys, D-Link or 3Com

    I use a router/firewall (BIPAC-640AE) from, which has some good press here, they are very popular in Australia, and dirt-cheap.

    Remember that the prices you will see are mostly in Australian Dollars (about 1 US$ = 1.4 Aus$)
  3. SOB

    SOB Banned Posts: 119


    in wireless B w@ usb adapter and easy
  4. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    Wired routers are (and may always be) more reliable than wireless.

    There's no possibility of drop outs, the speeds are better... etc.

    Wireless does have the adavntages of freedom and a very large number of possible clients.

    But most wireless routers also include wired ports.. So there's not much sense in getting a wired router anymore unless you don't want to pay the extra 15 bucks for wireless connectivity. :)

    From my experiences, different brands of routers will behave differently according to how your setup is. Some offer more range, some offer enhanced security and features while others may give more reliable performance or any of the above in combination.

    I have found that Linksys makes (in general) a poor wireless router for stability and range, but usually offers good features for the price.

    I have found that Dlink has been fairly consistent with a decent quality product. But the range on many of their products is lacking.

    I have found Netgear to be a mixed bag stuff. In general, good range, features but half of their wireless routers I've tried seem unreliable. The other half have worked great.

    Microsoft makes a decent home wireless router. The range seems average, the features are fairly good and I can't say I've experienced any problems with them.

    What I I don't have experience with is 3com or any other products not listed here.. Except Airlink, which is very cheap.

    I haven't had any reliability problems with Airlink equipment, but I've found their wireless routers to be lacking in range and features. Of course, Airlink products are generally very cheap. :)
  5. SOB

    SOB Banned Posts: 119


    i just like the fact of the usb adapter..........hawking makes a booster antenae as well
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    USB adapters are pretty cool. No muss and fuss. PCI or PC card is better in most respects (performance wise) though. So if you don't feel comfortable installing a wireless adapter and you are using Windows, then USB should make a fairly solid choice.

    SOB brought up a good point about the booster antennas as well. If you find that your access point doesn't have the output to reach across your house, Hawking, Buffalo and a few other companies I am familiar with make high-gain Wi-Fi antennas which can increase signaling performance and range.
  7. bakertime361

    bakertime361 TS Rookie Posts: 34

    Rick's right about Wired routers, and if possibly...go for that. If not, well its a pretty wide spectrum. I started with a Microsoft Wired Router, which was great, and my recent trasition to a Netgear 802.11g was a tad different. I know its a lack of experience that caused this, but the file sharing no longer worked, certain games could no longer creat games even with the specified ports open, and of course the slower speeds. Theres always the new 108 Mbps routers, but then again, the cost will kill you. Basically, stick to the big names and you'll be fine... and if at all possible, get a wired router.
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