Routers are similar to the heater in the basement of your house: essential, yet you almost forget it’s there…until it stops working.
Not long before Christmas I was having serious problems with my Linksys (WRT-54g) router: every time someone in my house wanted access to the internet, we would have to reset it. My home network has consistently high traffic, from online gaming to surfing the net to numerous mobile devices that all work off wi-fi. So I had to get a router that could handle a plethora of devices with heavy network traffic. After looking at many types of routers I decided to purchase a wireless-N dual band router since dual band frequencies allow for smooth HD video streaming, gaming, and quick downloads.
Having decided what type of router would work for my household, I began to research different types. Based on reviews that I read online, I was able to narrow my selection down to Linksys or D-Link brand. Because my last router was a Linksys and it had lasted 6-7 years before finally throwing in the towel, I decided to go with a Linksys again. If the new router lasts even close to as long as the previous one, it will be outdated and in need of an upgrade before it physically stops working.
Setup was easier than I had expected because all the wiring was already in place; all I had to do was swap out the old router and plug all my ethernet cables into the new one. The provided software will walk you through how to set up and configure your wireless router and even give you access to the advanced settings (if you so dare). I was able to set up and configure everything without using the software but now I enjoy being able to tweak the network settings and customize it to work best in my household.
Price: $129.99 from Best Buy
Ownership Length: 2-3 Months
Buy at Amazon.com (aff)
1) Speed: Very fast even with many devices connected
2) USB Port: Extra port to plug in accessories directly to router
3) Software: Not necessary for setup (if you know what you are doing) but it does make it quick and easy if you use it. It also allows you to change advanced settings
1) Cost – A little pricey
One of the best aspects of this router is that it doesn’t get slowed down when there are many devices connected to it. I have probably had about 15-20 active devices running simultaneously without a problem, whereas my previous router would have trouble with anything close to that. Most of the traffic is from gaming on both the Playstation 3 and multiple computers in addition to Netflix, which is almost always running somewhere in my house. Wanting to experiment with the USB port on the router, I attached a 1TB external Toshiba hard drive and loaded all my music onto it, basically creating a home media server that allows me to play all my music on any device connected to the network. Overall, I’m very satisfied with its performance and would recommend it to anyone looking for an in home router that can handle high traffic.