Which Linksys N router?
January 26, 2012 4:37 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for the right router. Difficulty: two-story house, MacBook plus PC, with WP2 desired. Suggestions?

I am looking for the right router. I have a two-story house, Time-Warner cable for internet and generally am able to broadcast wireless through both living spaces, to a Dell Inspiron laptop and two iPhones and one MacBook Pro.

What I haven't been able to do with my current router (a Belkin G model) is get all the devices to stay connected once WPA2 is enabled. The MacBook is particularly a problem, and my research shows that the router may be the issue; a Linksys N has been recommended.

Beyond that, does anyone have more specific suggestions for which Linksys N level? I've looked at a few on the shelf but they packages weren't very helpful to weigh options.
posted by Riverine to Technology (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Get one that you're able to put DD-WRT or Tomato on, it's generally much more consistent and reliable than the stock firmware. I'm running DD-WRT on my Asus WL-520GU and it's solid as a rock with WPA2 and 3 PCs, Blu-ray player, and 2 wireless printers. I think it's been about 6 months since I last rebooted it, and it wasn't even its fault when I did.

Friends have come over with their Macbooks and we've had no issues.
posted by JauntyFedora at 4:58 PM on January 26, 2012

I would go for the E2500, mostly because it works on the 5Ghz band and can stay outside of the 2.4Ghz band which is also full of most other wireless networks, microwaves, cordless phones, etc. It also uses both bands simultaneously in case a piece of equipment can't see wireless N networks and the 5Ghz band.
posted by deezil at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2012

Apple Airport Extreme is the best wireless router you can buy in terms of being rock-solid and trouble free. 5GHz band does not penetrate walls and floors well or carry as far as 2.4 GHz band, but it's generally faster when you're close. Just turn both bands on and use what works best at each location. Sniff around with iStumbler or similar to find unoccupied bands.
posted by w0mbat at 12:16 AM on January 27, 2012

You want a router that can do simultaneous dual band (ie: 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz at the same time). If you're set on getting a Linksys, that means the E2500, E3200, or E4200. My recommendation, however, is the Apple Airport Extreme. They're really the only wireless routers, in my experience, that don't regularly lock up or act flaky; I can't remember the last time I had to power cycle my 4th generation Airport Extreme. The range is also quite good; my parents have a 5th gen in their basement that provides a strong signal to mobile phones and laptops on the second floor of their house. The Anandtech review of the unit sums it up (read the last two paragraphs).
posted by strangecargo at 12:18 AM on January 27, 2012

2nding the Airport Extreme router. I went through a few different Linksys and other brands before buying the Airport Extreme. I was always fiddling with the dumb things. Always needing to reboot them. I bought the Airport Extreme 2 years ago and haven't had to mess with it since. It's one of those things that "Just Works."
posted by 2oh1 at 2:25 PM on January 28, 2012

Response by poster: We ended up getting an Airport Extreme with is locked and working fine. Now I have not one but two Belkin routers and a wireless amplifier with nothing to do. Thanks, MeFites!
posted by Riverine at 5:01 PM on February 27, 2012

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