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  1. #1
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    Need rec for a wireless router

    I'm not very knowledgeable about hardware especially routers etc.
    My daughter recently upgraded her internet service and now has a Frontier Netgear model 890- 755044-15 installed as her modem. What would be a good wireless router to recommend to her?

    Any help would be appreciated; it will make me look good in her eyes :>)

    Thank you,
    Dick
    Updated: will this work with the modem:
    RANGEMAX WIRELESS-N GIGABIT ROUTER

    WNR3500
    Last edited by Dick-Y; 2013-03-21 at 09:09. Reason: added results of my search - want to verify

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  3. #2
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    A couple of questions for you ....

    First, are you sure of that model number? Could it possibly be a "B" at the beginning of the model number rather than an "8"?

    Second, these days some modems are combined with a router into one box. Can you check if hers is a combined modem/router? If so, then you needn't shop for anything!

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  5. #3
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    starvinmarvin:
    Thank you for your helpful response. I will verify the model number with my daughter, and I'll also have her check the specs to see if the modem is combined with a router.

    In doing some searches on my own I'm starting to believe that the device she had installed is Frontier (her ISP) specific, because I couldn't find anything on the Netgear site under either serial number ( beginning with 8 or B).

    Best,
    Dick

  6. #4
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Dick,

    Some questions?
    1. Does she have a wireless printer?
    2. Does she have a wireless capable TV and/or DVD player that she may want to use Netflix on or stream content from her computer?
    3. How many wireless devices does she have, Computer, Laptop, Phone, Kindle, etc.
    4. Does she want network storage?

    Yeah it does get complicated to give good advice. Personally I've been very happy with my Linksys EA4500. Of course, this is a higher end router but I got it on sale for 125 or so. I've had a few Linksys routers {of course the consumer level devices/name are now owned by Belkin} over the years and never had a single complaint.
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    VBA Rules!

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    Resolved . . .
    Thank you Starvinmarvin and RG for your help. Turns out Starvin . . . turns out you were right on both counts.
    The serial number did start with a "B"; and, best of all, after I interacted with Frontier's online chat-help, I found out that my daughter's modem also supports wireless. So, I was able to talk her through enabling her wireless connection. She's thrilled, because she was about to spend over $100 for a wireless router. Thanks to you guys, she also thinks even more highly of her Dad.

    Best,
    Dick Y

  9. #6
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    That's excellent news, Dick Y.

    Now, you probably know this already but it bears repeating - Wireless Security! Your daughter's internet and even her own computer can be hacked and harm may follow if the wireless connection is not protected.

    Connect her computer to the router using a standard ethernet network cable. Follow the router's instructions for setting up Security. Usually, this means opening Internet Explorer (or any internet browser window) and, in the address bar, type the router's address (normally this is 192.168.1.1 but those last two digits may vary so check with the instructions or call the router's tech support). The router's setup screen will now appear.

    In the modem/router's setup screen you will find a section called Wireless. In the Wireless section look for Security. In Security, select WPA2-PSK which is the strongest protection. Don't forget the "2" after the "WPA". Type in a nice long password/passphrase with letters and numbers (and even special characters if the router allows them). Try something like your birthdate, your name, her name, her birthdate with no spaces, just one long string.

    Also, substitute some numbers in place of letters, such as 0 (zero) in place of O, 3 in place of E, 5 in place of S. Once the password is enabled she only has to type it again when adding a new computer to the home network. Write down the password, double-check it and put it away somewhere safe in case it's needed in future. Now, she can disconnect that ethernet network cable and use the internet wirelessly .... and more safely!

    If this is all too complicated then call whoever is supplying her internet service. They have a Tech Support phone number she can call and they should walk her through all of the steps for setting up wireless security.
    Last edited by starvinmarvin; 2013-03-22 at 10:24.

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  11. #7
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dick-Y View Post
    Thanks to you guys, she also thinks even more highly of her Dad.
    No problem. Invoice follows!
    BATcher

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  12. #8
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    Lightbulb

    Biggest problem I had with past routers was the throughput from the WAN port to the LAN. Oddly enough I had a super expensive Netgear router that was sold as a Gigabit router, yet the throughput from the WAN port to the LAN was limited to 25Mbps. It took me forever to figure out why my 200Mbps FTTH connection was so slow.

    The people at SmallNetBuilder do an awesome job reviewing the latest routers. They have several tables of data to choose from so that you can compare products depending on your needs. In my case WAN to LAN throughput was the most important issue, so I used this chart: WAN to LAN Throughput

    I went with the ASUS RT-N66U and have been very happy.

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    Red face

    I would just like to say and hope this helps I agree with bill I also went with this set up listed below and just turned off my wireless signal on the Motorola SBG6580. Whether hard wired or wireless I get speeds that are unreal but of course I have TWC 50Mbps down and 5Mbps up service I think it's called Extreme but would not have it any other way . Love It !

    Have signal strength all through the house that is beautiful and fast and strong and this old house is close to a hundred yrs. old and the modem and router is up on the third floor !

    http://www.motorola.com/us/consumers...,en_US,pd.html

    http://usa.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTAC66U/

    I would also like to mention not real cheap although coming down in prices .
    Last edited by dbailey18; 2013-03-28 at 08:57. Reason: Added more comments

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    Setup was a breeze also .

  17. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bill View Post
    Biggest problem I had with past routers was the throughput from the WAN port to the LAN. Oddly enough I had a super expensive Netgear router that was sold as a Gigabit router, yet the throughput from the WAN port to the LAN was limited to 25Mbps. It took me forever to figure out why my 200Mbps FTTH connection was so slow.

    The people at SmallNetBuilder do an awesome job reviewing the latest routers. They have several tables of data to choose from so that you can compare products depending on your needs. In my case WAN to LAN throughput was the most important issue, so I used this chart: WAN to LAN Throughput

    I went with the ASUS RT-N66U and have been very happy.
    What about file transfer/file copy speeds from one computer to another on a home network? I don't see any data for that in the charts at SmallNetBuilder; the charts are all about internet speeds and wireless transmission of internet. I'm more interested in how fast large files can be transferred from computer A to computer B through wired ethernet connections on the router. For example, our inexpensive wireless router gives us download speeds at least as fast as what we pay for (Comcast 25Mbps down./5Mbps up.). But, when we copy, say, a 2GB HD video file from one PC to another PC the transfer speed is between 5.5MB/sec. and 6.2MB/sec. The same happens with other groups of medium and smaller size files. The router claims to have Gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN. Both PCs have Gigabit LAN (one Marvell the other Intel), and the transferred files reside on Sandisk SSDs in both PCs. So, why is the file transfer speed so slow? If I multiply MBps by 8 to convert to Mbps the speed is still rather low when you consider that even a slow hard drive can read and write large files at better than 30MB/sec. Do any reasonably priced routers have significantly better file transfer/copy speeds?

  18. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
    What about file transfer/file copy speeds from one computer to another on a home network? I don't see any data for that in the charts at SmallNetBuilder; the charts are all about internet speeds and wireless transmission of internet. I'm more interested in how fast large files can be transferred from computer A to computer B through wired ethernet connections on the router. For example, our inexpensive wireless router gives us download speeds at least as fast as what we pay for (Comcast 25Mbps down./5Mbps up.). But, when we copy, say, a 2GB HD video file from one PC to another PC the transfer speed is between 5.5MB/sec. and 6.2MB/sec.
    I tested our new gigabit router recently and it transferred a large file at nearly 120 MB/sec (i.e., quite close to 1 gbit/sec) without benefit of SSDs on either end of the transfer.

    The same happens with other groups of medium and smaller size files.
    Even using SSDs there should be some degradation in speed transferring smaller files, but nothing like that much.

    even a slow hard drive can read and write large files at better than 30MB/sec
    In the absence of severe fragmentation I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any drive manufactured in the last decade that couldn't transfer large files at close to 50 MB/sec, even from its innermost tracks (though of course a USB 2.0 connection on either end would limit the performance to around 30 - 32 MB/sec). Current 7200 rpm hard drives can hit 100 - 200 MB/sec (on innermost and outermost tracks, respectively).

    Do any reasonably priced routers have significantly better file transfer/copy speeds?
    We paid $25 (after rebate) for the above router (a Netgear JNR3210) on sale at Newegg. They've recently had a gigabit router on sale for as little as $20 (again after rebate), but of course I don't know how well it performs. They fairly frequently have gigabit switches on sale for around that price as well - another option you might consider if you're only concerned with wired transfer speeds - but the best solution would be to find out what's slowing your current set-up down in case it can be fixed by tweaking.

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    bill, thanks for the information. Our router is a Gigabit model from Trendnet (TEW-639). There may be a setting or two I can play with to try and improve file transfers, such as Mixed b/g/n vs. n-only. Otherwise, I don't know how to troubleshoot the issue. I unplugged a pair of powerline adapters, but it didn't improve anything. Checked transfer speeds of wired vs. wireless and they're both limited to between 5.5 and 6.2MB/second. Any suggestions for tweaking or fixing he slow transfers? If one computer on the home network is limited to 10/100 on its wired connection would that slow down every other one even though they are 10/100/1000 capable?

  20. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
    There may be a setting or two I can play with to try and improve file transfers, such as Mixed b/g/n vs. n-only.
    Since your problem is specific to wired transfer rates I'm not sure how changing wireless settings would help, but then again who knows what strange interactions might take place within a router's firmware?

    Checked transfer speeds of wired vs. wireless and they're both limited to between 5.5 and 6.2MB/second.
    Those speeds are slow even for 100 Mbit (wired) Ethernet, though not too bad for 'g' (max 54 Mbit/sec IIRC) wireless connections. You might check to see whether the lights on your router indicate the speed it has negotiated for each wired connection to see whether they're recognized as gigabit (or log into the router to see if that information is included in its internal displays).

    Any suggestions for tweaking or fixing he slow transfers?
    I don't have any expertise in this area (my impression is that others here - e.g., Tinto Tech - may). Your router's internal log might provide some insight, and possibly even the Windows Event Viewer; beyond that, if I'd just start Googling around to see what others with a similar problem worked out.

    If one computer on the home network is limited to 10/100 on its wired connection would that slow down every other one even though they are 10/100/1000 capable?
    I don't think so, but it should be easy enough to disconnect any such nodes temporarily to check. With reference to your first point above, you might also temporarily disable the router's wireless capability, just in case (in the unlikely event that it helped solve the problem you would then have something specific to ask Trendnet how to fix).

    The one other (quite possibly useless) thought I had was that a handy little application called TCPOptimizer (http://www.speedguide.net/tcpoptimizer.php) might shed some light on what's going on, though problem diagnosis is not its primary purpose (there may of course be other applications out there specifically targeted at diagnosing such issues, but none jump to my aging mind at the moment).

    Good luck - this sounds like an eminently solvable problem if you can find the right information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by starvinmarvin View Post
    What about file transfer/file copy speeds from one computer to another on a home network? I don't see any data for that in the charts at SmallNetBuilder; the charts are all about internet speeds and wireless transmission of internet. I'm more interested in how fast large files can be transferred from computer A to computer B through wired ethernet connections on the router. For example, our inexpensive wireless router gives us download speeds at least as fast as what we pay for (Comcast 25Mbps down./5Mbps up.). But, when we copy, say, a 2GB HD video file from one PC to another PC the transfer speed is between 5.5MB/sec. and 6.2MB/sec. The same happens with other groups of medium and smaller size files. The router claims to have Gigabit 10/100/1000 LAN. Both PCs have Gigabit LAN (one Marvell the other Intel), and the transferred files reside on Sandisk SSDs in both PCs. So, why is the file transfer speed so slow? If I multiply MBps by 8 to convert to Mbps the speed is still rather low when you consider that even a slow hard drive can read and write large files at better than 30MB/sec. Do any reasonably priced routers have significantly better file transfer/copy speeds?
    Have you tried using some new patch cords? You could have a defective patch cord, with NEXT (Near-End Crosstalk) or some other problem. You might want to have a look at this FlukeNetworks video: "The Truths about Twisted Pair Patch Cables."

    Also, check for a Duplex Mismatch error.
    Tom Wickerath
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