Good wired router as gateway to VoIP and wireless router?
July 31, 2008 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Good wired router as gateway to VoIP and wireless router?

When I got Vonage several years ago, they provided a now-discontinued Netgear RP614 wired router to plug my cable into, and the router (which also has a built-in firewall that works well) then offers outlets for my Vonage box as well as my Apple Airport wireless router (which I use for my Mac and as part of a larger network with an Airport Express streaming music to my living room stereo).

Everything's worked fine until recently. Now the Netgear router gets confused and shuts down all through-traffic at least once a day. A manual reset (unplug, wait, plug back in) sets things right, but it seems the router is on its way out after 5 years of service.

Vonage no longer offers wired routers -- instead they offer a proprietary VoIP box that has its own little router built-in, but I don't want to go through the hassle of dealing with Vonage, and I'd rather just do something non-proprietary on my own.

Is Netgear still a good choice for wired routers? Anyone else I might want to look at (eg Belkin)? Also, is this setup too convoluted -- is there a way to improve it while simplifying -- or is this just par for the course if I want VoIP as wekk as wireless internet?
posted by skywhite to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
Oh yes, can we keep the price under $60? I know there are some heavy-duty multiport routers out there, but I really don't want to spend a lot if I don't have to....
posted by skywhite at 6:53 AM on July 31, 2008

I use a Linksys RT31P2 which they don't list on their site as a current product anymore. It's a vonage specific router as far as I know, but has a 4 port switch, WAN port, and 2 RJ11 phone ports. Works great and has been far more reliable than my netgears.

Quite a few netgears have the same issue you are seeing, when they just shut down through traffic once a day or so and need to be rebooted. Seems heat causes the Netgears to get worse. I migrated to Linksys years ago because they have a bigger shell and cool themselves easily because of it.

You might be able to find some RT's for a good deal on ebay.
Ebay: RT31P2
posted by mr.anthony337 at 7:52 AM on July 31, 2008

I use a Linksys WRT54g that I picked up very cheaply on eBay. Supports both wireless and wired connections, and you can install custom firmware (DD-WRT for example), giving you all sorts of extra options. Upgradeability depends on the hardware version though.

Netgear routers don't seem to have a great reputation these days, particularly in regard to firmware bugs, although the situation may have changed since I last researched buying a router.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:55 AM on July 31, 2008

Another note about the Linksys RT312P2, since it is a VoIP unit, and a switch/router combo, you can put it between your modem and the rest of your network, which is what I think you want to do, or you can just hang it off of your airport/switch you already have setup as another end device. I've set it up both ways at various times along side my WRT54G, and it's trucked along flawlessly in either setup. Beware some VoIP boxes that demand they are the directly connected to a cable/dsl modem as the next hop.
posted by mr.anthony337 at 8:02 AM on July 31, 2008

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