Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Router question for mainly wired lan

05 Aug 2013   #1
lucasbuck

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 
Router question for mainly wired lan

I need to get a wireless router, although the wireless is just mainly for a couple tablets. Everything else is wired throughout the house. I was looking at a couple different ones: the ASUS RT-AC66U gigabyte router (for $190) and Mediabridge Wireless N 300Mbps ($50)

My question is, since I'm not network savy, is the price and speed difference just for wireless things? If I'm transferring or streaming from one machine to another that are wired, will there be any difference? Sorry if that's a dumb question, but I didn't want to spend the extra money if I didn't have to.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
05 Aug 2013   #2
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Uhm, don't take it as an offense, but I think "Mediabridge" isn't a brand, but a kind of device.
Media bridges turn wireless connections into Ethernet again for devices that have ethernet ports but not wifi capabilities. They aren't a router, more like an access point working in reverse.
Can you link to the Mediabridge device you are trying to buy?

As for the "ASUS RT-AC66U gigabyte router" it's a fine product, but depending on your actual needs you can shave up to 120$ from it by taking a less-high-end device. For example you can still live fine with a non-dual-band router.

Quote:
If I'm transferring or streaming from one machine to another that are wired, will there be any difference?
Depends from the transfer speed the network interfaces on the PCs and the router are rated for. Can you provide specs about the network cards on your PCs? This tutorial contains a tool that can help you finding out this detail easily.

The PC in your specs has an integrated 10/100/1000 network chipset, or Gigabit network (looked up the motherboard's specifications), so the max speed of stuff moving to/from it is around 125 MB/s. In general, I would look for a router that has plenty of Gigabit ports too.

But if the other devices aren't rated for Gigabit data transfers the actual transfer speeds are lower as the superior network interfaces adapt to lower speeds for the sake of communicating to such devices. They are likely 100 Mbit/s (unless it's truly prehistoric stuff), so the actual transfer speed to/from such devices is ten times lower, 12.5 MB/s.

Wireless is another beast alltogether, as it has a fixed amount of bandwith per standard g/n/ac, and all devices connected to the same router share the same bandwith pool.
Without even thinking, bulk of tablets can go up to the b/g/n standard, so that's where I would orient you in your wireless requirements as a general advice. It has speeds from 130 (realistic optimistic speed) to 300 (theoretical max) Mb/s depending on router and device power, and distance from router (usually stated on the box of the device, like with that Mediabridge).
Again, this speed is shared by all wireless devices. So if you have Tablet A gobbling up 50 Mb/s for some HD movie in streaming, Tablet B won't get a lot more than 100 MB/s of transfer speed.
This is assuming the stuff is transferred from a PC in your network, if it's from the net, then it's probably irrelevant as I never saw a true 100 MB/s broadband contract. Most I've seen claim 10 Mbit of max speed that would translate to 1.25 MB/s of actual transfer speed. So yeah, that's the main bottleneck.

Admittedly, saturating wireless bandwith is an issue when you have 4-5 devices and there is one user streaming HD from a PC while another is playing a game on the internet and another user is doing whatever else locally that needs bandwith (remote-desktop connection to a PC in your network?), so that the max speed for each drops below the 100 MB/s.

Dual band is the ability to operate in a less-crowded frequency, as not a lot of devices/routers do operate in the newer band. More info here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #3
lucasbuck

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the detail reply! And no offense at all, I wasn't clear. It's a Medialink router, MADE by a company called Mediabridge here. I currently have the 150 mbps version and it doesn't work well in my home, I'm not sure if it's the wall thickness, the fact that it's an internal antenna or what but there's dead spots in my house where my wireless tester shows my neighbors wifi is stronger than mine (in my own house!)

All the machines in the house are gigabit. I do stream to an xbox for an HTPC extender, and the xbox is only 100, so that's a chokepoint. But sometimes I get to moving large files around from one machine to another and my wife and I do a lot of lan gaming. I already have a gigabit switch to connect things.

For my use, do you think a gigabit router is overkill? For the wireless I doubt if we would be streaming video to them and never at the same time. It's mainly for basic web browsing and gaming. The main thing I'm worried about the wireless is range. We have a deck out back and as soon as you step out the door it dies. So I'd really like to find one with good range. Like I mentioned, I think the internal antenna might be the issue.

Open to any suggestions on what might fit my needs and thanks for taking the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 Aug 2013   #4
linnemeyerhere

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64
 
 

I would get a Belkin or Linksys and call it a day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #5
lucasbuck

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the reply, but I'm still not really sure if I should get a gigabit one or not. I'm also wanting to see if anyone has any suggestions on models with good range.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2013   #6
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Quote:
I currently have the 150 mbps version and it doesn't work well in my home, I'm not sure if it's the wall thickness, the fact that it's an internal antenna or what but there's dead spots in my house where my wireless tester shows my neighbors wifi is stronger than mine (in my own house!)
Did you try changing channel? There are around 14 channels, and if you switch to a less-crowded one you will get much better reception (if you were using a crowded channel before, anyway). This article will guide you to find the best channel, then you need to go in the router settings and change wireless channel. This is the product page with the user guide in case you need it.

Devices don't need to know what channel the router is on. After it reboots they should connect again without fuss.

Quote:
All the machines in the house are gigabit. I do stream to an xbox for an HTPC extender, and the xbox is only 100, so that's a chokepoint. But sometimes I get to moving large files around from one machine to another and my wife and I do a lot of lan gaming. I already have a gigabit switch to connect things.
Ah ok. The switch changes things for the better then. If the gigabit switch connects all gigabit devices then, all such devices will talk to each other at gigabit speeds, while when talking to the non-gigabit devices (router and whatever connected through wifi or through the router's ethernet ports, and the Xbox or any device with only 100 ports anyway) they will talk at 100.
Given that I really doubt you will ever see more than 2-3 MB/s of raw Internet speed having that part of the network capped at 12.5 isn't a major issue. Although might bottleneck the tablets or other wireless devices.

It's best if you use Cat6 Ethernet cables. Crappy cheap cables can and do bottleneck performance as they allow more interference to get in and support lower transmission frequencies. But take this as general advice, if you are happy with your Ethernet speeds, then you are fine.

Anyway, back to the job at hand:
I would suggest to first try the suggestion above about changing channels, and if your range needs aren't satisfied by that, then you probably need a router with 300N in the name (300 Mbps). In case you were wondering, most 300 have an external antenna, some even more than one. The ones with external antennas are usually better, but the thing that matters most is the power they are putting in the transmissions and the 300N are putting enough power into it for the average 2-floor Italian household (brick walls and/or reinforced concrete). 150N are good in 1-floor apartments or flimsier wooden houses.
And Gigabit Ethernet ports for the sake of it. They don't add much to the price but will be handy for future wireless devices.

As for what router exactly... heh, it's a fast-changing market. As you see even other experts can give very general recommendations.
Still I can give some advice, but you will have to do some homework. Don't worry, the leg work is done by Google.

With most electronic stuff, there are reviewers testing and telling their view about all known devices, this is a review of your current router for example. Don't trust too much customer reviews in your favorite shopping site. They usually lack the technical expertise to give a worthwhile opinion, while professional reviewers usually know what they are talking about.

So you need to google a bit about a device with your requirements (say Gigabit, 300N, b/g/n), then choose one that looks cool and has a good price, google some reviews ("product name + review") and read them. If most say it's good and has the features you need, you can assume it's good and you can proceed to buy it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2013   #7
lucasbuck

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks again for all the help. I did my research and went with the Asus N66U. I really appreciate you taking the time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #8
bobafetthotmail

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

lol, that's the same product you started the thread with.

last word of advice. Disable WPS feature. It has a flaw that would allow someone to hack your wifi as explained here.
And of course use WPA2 or at worst WPA as encryption.

To clarify, it's not the specific router you are buying that is vulnerable, it's the WPS protocol that sucks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #9
lucasbuck

Windows 7 Professional 64bit
 
 

Thanks for the tip! BUT, I actually started out with the Asus AC66, I went with the N66U instead. The more I researched it seems the AC66 had more bugs needing to be worked out, and I don't think I'll ever need the AC66. Not that much bandwidth should be going over the wireless. I just wanted to make sure I was covered with a gigabit system on the wired lan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Since a few years I use a Netgear that paid $40 at BestBuy and never had any problems. $190 is definitely too much for a router. If you hardwire your PCs, the router works like a switch.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Router question for mainly wired lan




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
Fastest Wired Router
For a number of reasons I don't like wireless networks. So with three computers and a bunch of peripeherals, I've got lots of ethernet cable running everywhere. I am also certifiably insane. :geek: For that reason, I swapped our all my CAT 5 cable with CAT 6 and therefore have the...
Network & Sharing
Inexpensive Wired Router Recommendation?
My six-year old D-link router just died. I know next to nothing about these devices. I just need a basic wired router with one wan port and at least 3 of the other ports (lan ports?) to connect to computer, tivo, media player. I use a Time-Warner cable-modem, if that makes any difference. Thanks...
Hardware & Devices
Can I use a Wireless Router as a Wired router
I am having problems with my wireless adapter Cisco Router Linksys X2000, can I use it as a wired router into my network socket on the cpmputer please if so how do I achieve it Thanks
Network & Sharing
Wired router to Wireless Router???
Can I install just a simple router to share the internet connection then extend my network with my wireless router? I will place my existing wireless router in the center of the house this way only having to run one cable. Currently the wireless router it is on the FAR side of the house. I...
Hardware & Devices
Best wired router?
I've had Linksys routers (usually the befsr--) series, but, I've had my 3rd one die on me over the course of 7 years. I'd rather not get another Linksys, while I like the UI and they work good, I'm tired of them dying out on me. Is there another good wired router you recommend? Seems everyone...
Chillout Room
Best wireless router to replace my wired router
I'm currently connected to the internet via a Linksys router that is wired only.What i need to know is what is the best wireless router available at this time that i can get to replace my current wired router based on your own experiences with wireless.There are two computers and an xbox 360 on my...
Hardware & Devices


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 15:10.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App