General Networking/Lan/Wan/router

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QUESTION: I have had this wired router for several yrs. D-Link--lately we have had to shut down and restart just to get back on line. ? is do they go bad over time and if so what is a super easy router to set up, I had one hell of a time setting this one up a few yrs. back 3 days before I lucked into it-- I need one for dummies also can you use a wireless router as wired? I am really a moron when it comes to computering. Thanks for any help

ANSWER: Hi Bill,

Yes, this stuff does eventually go bad.  Usually electronics will die pretty quickly - like in a month or less, or last for YEARS.  At least that's been my experience.

The new one's are even easier to setup than ever.  They really are designed to be about as "plug and play" as possible.

Personally, I am not a big fan of D-Link.  I gave them a chance a few years back, wasn't happy and won't give them a 2nd chance.

For a new one, you should definitely get one that is "n capable" (supports b/g/n).  802.11 N is the newest standard.  Think of it as FAST, really fast, compared to what has come before.  But this doesn't mean all that much more money.  Perhaps another $5 or so.  So, you would be nuts not to spend it.

I prefer buying this stuff from either amazon.com or newegg.com.  Here are a lot of choices:

http://www.newegg.com/Wireless-Routers/SubCategory/ID-145?cm%5Fsp=Networking281%

Brands that you should consider - in my opinion - are TP-LINK, NETGEAR, LINKSYS, ASUS.  I happen to own an Asus but that doesn't mean that I recommend it over the others.  At the time I got it, it was a good deal at like $35 so I got it.  Today I might get something else.

I'd try and pick one that is b/g/n and no more than $50.  Heck, TP-Link has 2 models for under $25.  EDImax has a lot of good reviews and maybe they are good.  I just don't know them.

I hope this helps!  Have a great holiday!

J.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Great info thanks alot---also can I use a wireless router as wired? It seems almost everything is wireless now and I have everything set up as wired.

Answer
Hi Bill,

Oh sure.  MOST of the wireless routers have a certain number of WIRED ports in the back.  Usually 4.  You'll see in the description something like

Ports: 1 x 10/100M WAN; 4 x 10/100M LAN

   OR

Ports: 1 x 10/100/1000M WAN; 4 x 10/100/1000M LAN

In my opinion, it's better to get one that has 10/100/1000 instead of only 10/100.  1000 is Gigabit so it's much quicker for anything that you do on the LAN.  Though it's unlikely that a small little router will actually support full gigabit speeds, it'll still support something much better than a mere 100 Mb.   So why try and save a buck or two and get old technology?

If you need more than 4 LAN ports (I am guessing this is the case), then just get an inexpensive Gigabit UN-managed switch.  No big deal - and connect that to one of the LAN ports on the wireless router.  And connect ALL your wired devices to the switch, instead of the router.  This way, the ONLY traffic that the router sees is stuff to/from the Internet and it doesn't see any of your LAN traffic between your PCs.

Oh ... and some of these wireless routers also support network print services.  And that CAN be really cool and useful - WHEN IT ACTUALLY WORKS.  I have had them when they work just GREAT.  And I've had these when they work for some PCs and not others.  And I've had them when they just don't frick'n work at all for some reason.  When that happens I don't get upset - it is what it is sometimes.  I usually spend the extra $5 to get a model that has one, so that if it DOES work, that I can print across the network from any PC.  Very cool.  When they work correctly  :-)

Happy Christmas!

J.  

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Jeff K

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Specialist in leveraging technology toward fulfilling a customer's business objectives: enhancing revenues and giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Networks: architecture, design, monitoring and trouble-shooting
Technologies: Bandwidth Management (QoS), WAN Optimization, Application Performance Management (APM), User Experience Management

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Over 20 years in computers and networking. Strong, broad-based expertise from years in Operations and Sales Engineering at major corporations and hardware vendors.

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B.A., various courses in computers and networking as well as many many years of OJT (on the job training) and real-world experience.

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