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I am looking to buy a new router. The follow things are important

  • Speed of data transferring across the network
  • Dual Band? Is it possible to buy one which will transfer both N and G so older devices can connect? What should I look for to do so (what's it called)?
  • Are some routers capable of having a larger, better, range? What should I look for in that case?

Thanks! :)

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Questions on Super User are expected to generally relate to computer software or computer hardware in some way, within the scope defined in the faq. Questions about shopping recommendations are considered off topic on Super User. –  BloodPhilia Aug 29 '10 at 15:49
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closed as off topic by BloodPhilia, Bobby, MDMarra, random Aug 29 '10 at 23:20

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4 Answers

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Buying a router is like buying a PC, its all preference and choice. Most router however are compatible with multi-transfer protocols, meaning that a wireless N will mostly likely also be G and maybe even A. The range of the router can be a big thing, but the biggest thing with that is also where the router is placed. If a router with the furthest range capabilities is behind a metal/concrete wall, you'll get a bad connection. However a typical router placed in a well placed area, each device can be physically seen, then the connection will be better. With that said, buying a router that can change the antenna will help extend the range of the router. You can buy a bigger antenna. Here is a really good guide to extending the range of your router signal.

Personally I'm a fan of Linksys, but again it's all preference. This is actually the router that I have at home, flashed to DD-WRT. It does a wonderful job, and streaming HD content across the network works great, and I don't have very many issues with speed. Do stay away at ALL costs from netgear. I've had nothing but problems with them.

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While I've been a fan of the WRT54G series myself, isn't it starting to age? –  TheLQ Aug 29 '10 at 15:19
    
While it's getting outdated, it's very reliable, and works very fast for most uses. I don't feel that for the average user and even most "experienced" users will need the ultra-fast speeds of newer routers. Again though it's all left for preference and choice. –  KronoS Aug 29 '10 at 15:27
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I'm using a D-Link DIR-655, which supports both wireless N and G, includes a 4-port gigabit switch and has an excellent range, reaching anywhere in my house, including the back deck. It's reasonably priced and I've been very happy with it.

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If you are looking for a site which provides some "non-trivial" reviews of routers I would suggest SmallNetBuilder.

You might also find their How To Buy a Wireless Router: The Short Version article of some use. (If it's too simple minded for you, there is also a "longer" version. The link to it is included in the short article.)

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I think you can't go wrong with Linksys WRT54G. You can easily upgrade it with OpenWRT or DD-WRT firmware with great options, among them boost the signl strength and enhance security.

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