A Wireless Router with Reach
eBent has been quieter than usual for the last few days because my router failed on Thursday. Jeanne had web sites to get up so I couldn't do much except plug her directly into the cable modem on Friday. Meanwhile I was doing a little homework on what to buy as a replacement.
I have used several generations of the Linksys 54G series and always felt Linksys was the leader in home office routers. A router in my house seems to last about 2 or 3 years. I am not sure why they fail that soon but possible some type of cross linking with the power line is bringing surges in.
However, I have never really happy with wireless LAN in my house because the range with my Averatec 3700 laptop was only about 30 feet (the Averatec is know to not have much range so I always partly blamed the Laptop) although speed on the latest version was much better than in the past. That limited range meant poor coverage in the bed rooms and no coverage on the deck or in my office. My lab, where I keep the meters I'm working on and work with beta software, the room above the room with the wireless router has always had marginal reception using a Mirosoft wireless PCI card.
So I wasn't very optimistic that things would get better with a new wireless router. But the PC Magazine Review of new Routers claimed that the Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router while a little pricey had better range and was better than the new Linksys at holding speed. I have to admit I've never though much of Belkin products so I was somewhat skeptical.
I was in no mind set to search out the best deal and order on the web so I just went down to Staples and both the Belkin Pre-N Router.
Installation was a snap even easier than my previous Linksys. But the good news was the range. My wireless range is at least 4 times greater than before. I now have good signal everywhere in the house and on the deck. I haven't tested where the limit is with my Averatec 3700 Laptop but it now works every place I would want to use it. Speed also seems much improved with the same laptop. Our TIVO, XBox 360 and Laptops had no problem logging on to the new router.
I like it so much I also bought the Belkin Wireless Pre-N card for the desktop computer in my office. Amazingly, signal strenght is good to very good in my office at the other end of the house (did I mention I have an old house with metal backed laths that are usualy pretty good at killing signals). Now I can get rid of the 6 year old Cat5 cable running along the outside of the house.