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I need to install 2-3 wireless access points in a factory, up in the ceiling to cover the area for mobile barcode scanners.

I've read reviews, specs and tech sheets. What I keep seeing is that normal residential APs like LinkSys, DLink and Netgear aren't really up to the task because no matter how good they are, at some point they freeze up and you need to manually reset the device. I can't do that since nobody is going to want to get a ladder and reset the thing every month or so.

I don't care about PoE or 802.11n since this is just barcode data, mostly text data. I need routers which will be "commercial grade" super reliable.

I need reliability at any cost -- how do I tell which routers will have that?

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Are you in the market for super expensive devices? The consumer products seem to perform pretty well, but if you want super reliable you can get ones that cost thousands per unit. – tjameson Apr 4 '11 at 3:54
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I really like Linksys. I use the wrt54g-tm, and it works well. I haven't had much of a problem, especially after I installed DD-WRT on them (it's better and more reliable than the default firmware).

DD-WRT can give a lame $60 residential-grade router the features of a $600 router.

As for commercial products, Cisco (the same company as Linksys) makes higher-grade hardware and it really depends on your budget.

  • If you have power over ethernet, this looks good
  • If you have mixed wireless n and wireless g, this looks good
  • This one seems to have good reviews
  • Stick with Cisco. They are tried and true. This one comes recommended.

I would personally pick up a few of the WRT54G-TM (make sure it is TM, they're better), install DD-WRT on them and put them on different frequencies so they don't conflict. We have a couple at my work and haven't had any problems with them. It may seem weird, but these residential routers can actually perform better with DD-WRT than commercial grade ones. I always have problems connecting to the multi-million dollar network at my university, but I've never had problems with my customized WAPs.

You can turn off routing features and have a single DHCP router somewhere else so they all act as a bridge (easy for moving around).

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If you use DD-WRT, you can have them reboot every night on a schedule for maximum uptime. – tjameson Apr 4 '11 at 3:55
Thanks tj. I use the DD-WRT at home and every few months it still locks up on me. I agree it's magintudes better than the standard firmware. I'll look into the auto reset feature. Thanks! – Craig Apr 4 '11 at 16:06
Yeah, the reset feature is nice. It's nice to clear your RAM every so often, and weekly is about right for a router, but you could do daily if you like. I do weekly at work because nobody ever works on Sundays, but sometimes people work late other days. – tjameson Apr 4 '11 at 16:08
Could you vote me up if it helped? Thanks. – tjameson Apr 4 '11 at 16:09

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