N (Draft N) router suggestions


The Analog Kid
16 Mar 2002
Let me hear your suggestions. I'm in the market for an N router. I have a backup system that has to be wireless due to location. I'm also looking for gigabit ports for my two hardwired systems. My preferred vendor is Newegg. Also if you have a good suggestion for a PCI adapter solution, I'll listen to that too.

That being said, I've heard bad things about Netgear's and Linksys's current N routers. Right now I'm leaning towards Trendnet but I've had bad experiences with them in the past.
I wouldn't touch D-Link with an ?m barge pole. I've got one of the Netgear DG834N devices, I'm not sure if I'm actually running it at N though as only my Laptop is N capable, my flatmates laptop isn't. I did run it on N only for a while before when I had it hooked into another wireless g network and it was pretty stable. Its not got gigabit, but I've got a small Netgear 5 port gigabit switch which I use for for that and have a cable which links the gigabit network into the router for internet access.
wow.... someone seems rather biased against D-Link. All i've used is D-Link... i have the DIR-655.... and it has been rated as one of the best Draft-N routers available. Not to mention they have a firmware update in the works that will enable the USB port on the device to be used to connect an external hard drive. Oh.... and it also has Gigabit LAN ports...... so i'd say that's a plus over the Netgear.
Well I setup 8 wireless network internet sites for students while I was at uni, for the first couple we use D-Link as they were cheap. Had so many issues that the next couple sites we had we paid a bit more and got some NetGear hardware. Zero issues with the NetGear stuff so we swapped out the D-Link stuff for NetGear at the first sites and again no issues. So after that experience I shall never, ever, in a million reincarnations ever use D-Link wireless hardware again.

I've used some D-Link Ethernet cards which were alright, but then theres less to **** up with a 10/100 ethernet card.
To my knowledge, the Netgear pre-N stuff is prone to overheating and premature failure. That said, I have a 614 for my G network now and this is what I'm replacing as it's starting to die and is timing out every few hours.
Never had any overheating issues with any of the Netgears I've run. I can't say the same for the SpeedTouch my ISP sent me, that thing could overheat in an igloo. One day Thomson (SpeedTouch manufacturer) will learn and put ventilation holes on the top instead of just the bottom.

The D-Links we had never overheated fwiw, but they just kept dropping signal and locking up requiring a reboot.
Buy a router that supports OpenWRT/DD-WRT and you should be fine!

That being said, I have a Netgear switch that performs a heck of a lot better than a D-Link switch with gigabit traffic. All the D-Link crap that I have ever seen has screwed up in some way shape or form. My room mate has a D-Link gigabit switch and every so often it will stop forwarding packets randomly. As if it's arp table is non-existent, we have to hard reboot it to get it to reset back to a usable state, or ping flood the network from another switch (which will correctly forward the packets to the non-responsive switch), and after a while it seems to reboot itself apparently reaching some watchdog timeout condition (i'm guessing).

My room mate won't touch Netgear equipment with a 10 ft pole mainly because in the corporate network he maintains they refuse to correctly forward broadcast packets for DHCP, everything else seems to work just fine ...

I think it does not matter what manufacturer you go with, you will find someone that has had problems with any and all of them. If you want proper wireless gear, check out the stuff from Aruba Networks.


We used their stuff at Black Hat, absolutely fantastic gear.
Yeah I'm a Netgear aficionado myself. Gigabit switch I setup at a homeowners place and LAN traffic is great.
I have no specific experience with the DIR-655, but I am unlikely to gather any due to my past experience with the brand. It could of course be a brilliant device, so I'd warrant ED's experience with that device higher than my disdain over the brand, shop around though, and of course plug the usual "Device-Model review" string into Google to find other experiences with a specific device.
Looks like it might be the 655. I'm probably ordering this weekend if Newegg has a decent weekend price.
yeah... they just released an updated firmware today that allows the USB port on the back of the router to be used for hard drives, printers, Multi-Function printers, and other stuff like that. Sad thing is i don't think one can plug a USB hub into it and use multiple devices. Other sad thing is that only one computer can access it at a time. Kinda makes sense though, since it's basically seen as a remote USB port, and not a network drive. Going by the manual for the software needed in order to access said devices (which is also available on the same page where the firmware update is)... seems rather easy to manage. Kinda has it's own little menu similar to that of the "Safely Remove Hardware" system.... easily allowing you to access whatever is connected to it, and also stop your computer from accessing it when you're finished with it. Gonna try it out shortly.... attach a Western Digital 60GB Passport hard drive to it. I'll report back with my experiences. gonna test on both my desktop and laptop.

edit: just tried it out with the Passport. Works quite well i must say. Some may find it a bit tedious to have both the SharePort software, having to install it on every computer on the network if you want every computer to have the opportunity to access the attached device should the situation arise that another computer needs it, but i find it to be not that big of a nuisance since the software takes seconds to install. Only other downside is that if i understood correctly, if you're sharing a printer/multifunction, each computer that you want to be able to access it needs to have the printer drivers installed. Makes sense. I mean, there is printer sharing when you have a printer connected to a computer on the network, but that's because it can pass the print job through that computer. no way to store printer drivers and such on the router.

Copied CoreTemp from my desktop to the drive connected to the router. Installed the SharePort software on my laptop after booting it up, and realised that it's also a nice addition that they added a "Request to use" selection in the menu when right-clicking the device in the SharePort window, and it has a dialog box pop up on the computer currently using the device saying to disconnect the drive. Sadly doesn't do it automatically.... but i guess that could be a bad thing too if it did that.
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Only other downside is that if i understood correctly, if you're sharing a printer/multifunction, each computer that you want to be able to access it needs to have the printer drivers installed. Makes sense. I mean, there is printer sharing when you have a printer connected to a computer on the network, but that's because it can pass the print job through that computer. no way to store printer drivers and such on the router.

Thats pretty much true of any networked printer setup. If you share through Windows it'll usually allow you to add drivers for other versions of Windows that it will serve out. Mac comes with a fairly complete selection of printer drivers so usually works. I share a printer through Bonjour and my AirTunes unit and that works quite well, on both Win and Mac.
yeah.... but with an ACTUAL network printer, isn't it possible for multiple computers on the network to queue print jobs? With the USB port on the router, only one computer at a time can even access the printer that's hooked up to the router's USB port.
Believe even proper networked ones require you to have the right drivers installed. Usually these will be done as part of the network profile image on large networks though.
yeah... but i think multiple computers are able to access an actual network printer at the same time, spooling print jobs.

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