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Natalie
Router me some ideas please!

I have a PC at home that I just got high-speed Internet for (TOH videos, here I come!), but I also have a laptop. Instead of continually playing with the cables and being confined to one room, I'd like to set up a wireless router. I know there are some limitations to this kind of network, so does anyone have any recommendations for brands or specific products that you've had good experiences with? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! :)

Labraham
Router

It all depends on speed and how much you want to spend. If speed is not an issue then your average router will do fine which has G channel and has speeds up to 54Mbps. If you want something faster, then you can get something with N channel and has speeds up to about 1 Gig. The Wireless G routers go anywhere from about 40-90 dollars while the Wireless N channels go anywhere from 90 and up. Some brands that you want to check are Belkin, Linksys, Netgear, and D-Link. Hope that this information was useful.

skeetermagnet

I'll second Labrahams recommendations. I used a Netgear for several years. It died suddenly, but Netgear replaced it for free. Good warranty. Also, don't forget to secure your network. There will be documentation that comes with it on how to do this. This will prevent a lot of problems, including the neighbors 'sharing' your internet connection.

For the most part, they are a breeze to set up. Good luck!:)

gscraig

I agree with skeetermagnet. If you do not secure that wireless router, anyone could park in front of your house and use your signal. Bad enough that they are on your network, but if they do anything "bad" the authorities will come looking for YOU!

Re: Router me some ideas please!

I have been using D-Link for years and have had no problem with it. We use it from floor to floor in our house and the signal is fine. I have not ever had a problem in using it for the last five years so I have never dealt with having to replace anything; therefore, I can't tell you how the company works with replacement warranty.

Boris
Re: Router me some ideas please!

As long as you are not streaming video then go for the "G" versions. The "N" version is still not a set standard (will be sometime later next year) so if you buy now, it might not be compatible later.
In any case I would recommend that you purchase all of your networking equipment from a single manufacturer. That way they should work very well together and if you need support you have only on place to call. They can't blame the other manufacturer for any problems either.

I have several D-Link routers with wireless. They have worked just great for several years. I also have an external antenae for better reception ($15-$25).

When you receive your equipment, change all of the passwords and immediately turn the encryption on.

Have fun and enjoy.

tommichaels
Re: Router me some ideas please!

Natalie,

Aside from all the great ideas that have already been posted, don't be afraid to ask for a little assistance in installing your wireless device. Depending on your expertise in dealing with computer related issues it shouldn't be difficult (famous last words!). However, nothing is flawless.

Also consider if your laptop already wireless ready or will you need to purchase a compatible card to use wireless access. Again, purchase just one brand to ensure compatability. As previously recommended, enable security like triple-DES so you keep control of users you want to access your network and your sensitive information. Don't think it doesn't happen. I have mistakenly logged into other's wireless connections. Make sure you keep your security detail with your important papers. If your laptop were to go "belly-up" you want to be able to enable your new machine to access the network.

Happy computing....

Re: Router me some ideas please!

Along with all the above good info, I'd recommend that once you decide on a brand you are going to buy, before buying it, check the manufacturer's website to see if they have a Users Forum area - if they don't, see if there is an unofficial Forum somewhere on the web. If you need support, Forums are often the quickest way to get help, and if a manufacturer doesn't have a Forum section, and there isn't an unofficial one somewhere, consider investigating other brands (however, there are Forums for just about anything out there now, so you should be able to find a Forum for anything you can buy today).

Forums are also a good way to check to see if there are any major problems with the pieces you are thinking of buying, and if those problems have easy or difficult solutions.

dphess
Re: Router me some ideas please!

Another thought, if you have cordless phones in your house, there can be interference. I remember when I bought my latest phone, the salesperson advised me against certain frequencies as they could interfere with my wireless network. For what it's worth, I ended up with a phone on a frequency of 5.8 GHz frequency, and I have no problems.

Re: Router me some ideas please!

Stay away from WEP encryption and use WPA. WEP can be cracked in less than a minute.

Bob H
Re: Router me some ideas please!

Since you are going to use a laptop, most already have built-in wireless capabilities -- so double check what it is capable before you go and purchase something that is more then your PC can support. If it doesn't have the option built-in, then you are free to choose what the protocol you want -- but that will mean you have to be careful about the interface card / USB connector that you use -- if you are not real PC savy -- take you laptop to a PC store -- and ask for a recommendation.

Good luck -- BTW -- I am using built-in wireless adapters and a Linksys wireless router. If you have a printer -- check to see if the router accepts a printer port -- or if your printer supports wireless -- just more to get to work together. Most wireless routers will support most lesser speed protocols -- but again, don't buy more then your faster interface.

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