I need a router recommendation..

By Druegan ยท 6 replies
Sep 2, 2006
  1. Salutations all,

    As the "lead geek" in my house, it falls to me to figure out a solution to our router problem, and I thought I'd start off by asking around among this esteemed assembly for any recommendations.

    Here's the story.. We've got 9 people living in a big old house out in the country.. none of us related, all of us friends.. Most of us are fairly tech-heavy.. there's 5 computers currently running, and another few on the way.. I'm a *heavy* internet user.. P2P apps, file swarming, mass browser usage, chat programs, etc... A few others use fairly heavily, and the rest only occasionally, and we have VOIP service through Vonage.

    The problem is, we burn out routers. In the last year, we've gone through about 4 of them. One actually caught fire. Linksys, D-link, Netgear models, typical "electronics store" fare. The 6mb premium broadband service we get from RoadRunner is great when it works, and though we've been having some issues with it that we're trying to get resolved, it's been plenty adequate.. we've never come close to maxing out the bandwidth yet.

    The routers, however, are another story.. We're all using 100mbs Ethernet, and there winds up being all kinds of problems which seem to boil down to "router overload"... the things just seem to crash out. Have to power cycle em a few times a day to reset everything.

    Now, none of these routers we've picked up have been anything special, so I'm thinking what we really need is some higher quality hardware to handle the level of usage we put em though. I don't think the companies had our house in mind when they designed for "home networking."

    I'd *like* to get an 8 port router with a WAN ethernet port to plug the cable modem into, and I don't need any wireless support. What I *do* need is a heavy-duty router that can handle our usage without crapping out on us, and without requiring an advanced degree to set up.

    So... anybody out there have some product recommendations for me?

  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    Routers that set on fire and burn out.. in a few months.... WOW , are you sure the problem isnt an unbalanced electrical supply with occasional overvoltage.

    Speak to your provider about getting a clean supply fitted, and as for router recommendations, it depends on what you want to pay, I like Cisco equipment as it has a good warranty and support, wether the support covers fire and burn outs I dont know.

  3. Druegan

    Druegan TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well, the one that caught on fire was a case of bad ventilation and crud buildup, and with the usage, overheat... we've since remedied that with a box enclosure for the network bits and some case fans mounted into the side of it to keep airflow moving and protect the hardware from spillage/junk/dust/pets/etc. absolutely everything is surge suppressed as well.

    The main problem is the overload hiccups and needing to powercycle the router several times a day. Honestly, anymore, we're just using them beyond that a "home networking" router was really meant to handle, I think. Thus, looking for an 8 port router that can handle some heavy load. As for price....

    Well, I know a lot of the Cisco stuff can get pretty pricey.. but they make up to full cabinet sized rigs capable of handling hundreds of connections.. Pricewise, I guess I'm looking at the "Under $400 range", if possible, and lower would be appreciated.

  4. If you're leaving it on 24/7 then that may be why it's burning out. The transformer unit on domestic routers is not designed for continuous use, it's the same sort of device used to charge mobile phones, leave it connected continuously and it will eventually die. If the router itself is suffering ventilation problems then they're usually not too much trouble to open and clean if you're careful. Usualy a build up of dust in the ventilation holes is the cause of this problem.
  5. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    my linksys been on for 4 months the transformer sits on the UPS they both get hot works fine
    how dirty is the environ. major dirt can short out this stuff
    d-link and linksys I have used with very little down time

    you got something wrong in yer power supply at home
    check yer grounding thats the biggest problem cause nobody thinks to check it

    I am looking for a linksys modem as we type
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,177   +990

  7. YosefM

    YosefM TS Rookie Posts: 41

    I would suggest the D-Link Gamer Lounge (wired version) router & 2 or 3 gigabit 4-port switches (brand is pretty much irrelevant). Connect your voip adapter directly to the router. Balance your users on the switches according to the bandwidth they consume. Set the QoS (GamerFuel is what this router calls it) for voip highest, p2p lowest. Add a power filter for all your infrastructure equipment.

    This is the most budget suggestion I can make for your situation, as an 8-port router that supports actual working QoS would be in the USD 1200-4000 range.

    I'm recommending gigabit for the added headroom (this will end the collision problems), even though it all goes out through the one gateway. I'm suggesting switches instead of hubs for the same reason, and because an equivalent switch is pretty much the same price as a hub. Having all your users on the same p2p application would help, using a dedicated p2p server would help even more.

    Keep all this equipment away from the floor, especially if carpeted, allowing plenty of room around each device for cooling. Not a bad idea to put at least one standard room fan in your "wiring closet."

    Good luck with your position as House Infrastructure Manager :cool: Think of it as a resume builder:haha:

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