I want a single Wi-Fi router on the ground floor of a house, broadcasting across the gap to the neighboring one-story house. We have some G devices and some N devices.
Setup 1: Linksys WRT54G with Tomato set to 75mW transmit power, RCA cable modem
This worked great! For years I was getting reliable download speeds of up to 17mbps. One day the router started failing to get an IP from the modem, and I think sometimes the Wi-Fi would fail, requiring a router reboot. I got the cable company to replace the modem. (Possibly of note: I got an iPhone around this time.)
Setup 2: Linksys WRT54G, Motorola SURFboard SB4200 cable modem
Wi-Fi regularly fails and the router requires a reboot. I figure, this router is dying, let’s replace it.
Setup 3: D-Link DIR-601, SURFboard
Nope, too weak.
Setup 4: D-Link DIR-655, SURFboard
Fairly good with our laptops, but a little slow. Unfortunately the iPhones have such a weak connection that requests would sometimes fail entirely. I tried G-only mode, didn’t help.
Setup 5: D-Link DIR-645, SURFboard
Reliable connection; reliably slow as molasses. This router appears to lie to Windows about what it’s doing: when Windows sees a 54mbps data link, the router claims to be in a 11mbps 802.11b data link… even if I switch the router to G-only mode! WTF, people.
Setup 6: Linksys WRT54GL with Tomato, SURFboard
The old ways are the best, right? Nice speed. Having read this guy
, who says he’s been running dozens of WRT54GLs at 150mW for years without a failure, I bumped the power up to 100mW. (I mention this in case you think it caused permanent damage, although based on what I’ve read, that seems unlikely.)
I notice that the Wi-Fi is failing with regularity, requiring a router reboot. This is painfully reminiscent of my original problem. I decreased the power to the default. Same problem. I restored the original Linksys firmware. Same problem. While the router is by a window, the failure happens equally at night, so I don’t think it’s getting baked by the sun. It also doesn’t appear to be dependent on other factors, like the iPhones leaving or entering range. (I assigned them static IPs just in case.)
So I would like either
1) Advice for getting my current setup working. (Any chance I need to replace the modem again?)
2) Recommendations for a router that will give me the speed, strength and reliability I seek, ideally under $200, ideally with Wireless-N (but I will happily forgo that for reliable Wireless-G).