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Windows 7: Replacement for Old Linksys wrt54g

17 May 2018   #1

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1
Replacement for Old Linksys wrt54g

It's time to upgrade from my old Linksys wrt54g. My cable company upgraded my internet service to 100Mbps but I don't get any faster downloads than around 55-59 Mbps. Before calling them I researched the specs on the 54g and the only spec sheet I found says its max throughput is 54 Mbps.

I don't know anything about routers and networking, so if there's something simple like an updated version, I'd probably be OK with that but your recommendations will, of course, trump my laziness, LOL.

I run cables to the router, meaning I have no wireless devices. I can't foretell the future, so I guess wireless would be important (who knows? maybe one day I'll get a laptop or the like...). I do have a desktop in a shed, maybe one day I'd like to run updates on that but I have no idea on how to get it to talk wirelessly. (It hasn't been updated in years as I just play music and record old VHS home movies on it.)

All three of my desktops run Win 7 64; one Home and two Pro versions.

If possible, I'd love to unplug the old one, plug in the new one, and poof, everything is working.

The only thing I know is the first thing to do is change the password; I image the manual will tell how as I have no idea.

I would like to turn off the WiFi until needed. I assume the manual will show how...?

Oh, and my cable company is now offering gigabyte speeds, which I couldn't afford but it would be nice if the router supported it.

Ideas, suggestions, recommendations?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2018   #2
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Many people will recommend you get an AC capable router, but I don't think you need it. I replaced my faithful WRT54GL router that ran for some 8 years straight that was flashed with the third-party firmware DD-WRT to an Asus N66U. I bought it on eBay used flashed with the third-party firmware Asus Merlin. Unfortunately, this firmware has stopped making updates for this router just like last month. There is a fork of this firmware you can install to keep it updated, but I don't want to mess with it.

What I would do is find a good Asus router on eBay that is flashed with Asus Merlin or DD-WRT. Reason why you should have third-party firmware is because I can't tell you how many times I've see people's infected router's try to hack my website's. The hacker has effectively turned their router into a zombie to do bad things without a trace. And people wonder why they have slow Internet speed. So moral of the story: keep your router firmware updated or use third-party firmware which greatly mitigates a hacker's attempt at a breach.

This might be worth a look. ASUS RT-AC3200 2600 Mbps 4-Port Gigabit Wireless AC Router with merlin firmware 886227780914 | eBay

If you do a lot of streaming you'll want a router with a fast CPU.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2018   #3

Windows 7/8.1/10 multiboot

I replaced their WRT54G's for a couple customers last year in similar circumstances--their ISPs upgraded them from ~35Mbps to 100Mbps--and I can confirm that the WRT54G is a roadblock. By plugging a tower computer directly into the modem (bypassing the WRT54G) we got the full 100Mbps speed, but through the WRT54G we were only getting about 1/4 to 1/3 of that.

The 54 Mbps spec refers to the wifi speed, but through the ethernet ports the WRT54G was supposedly capable of 100Mbps. Yet that wasn't proving to be the case in these situations, where ethernet connections weren't getting anywhere near that. The WRT54G is more than a decade old, and in both cases replacing it with a more modern AC-class router unleashed the ISP's full 100Mbps potential.

As F22 Simpilot mentions, you may not need AC-class--especially if you plan to disable the wifi (AC is a wifi spec). But given how long you made that WRT54G last, I think at least a little future-proofing couldn't hurt. Who knows ... sometime in the next decade you might want to connect a smartphone to your wifi to save on data charges.

There are many suitable replacements ... I might suggest something like the Asus RT-AC66U. It's not the latest model, but is under $100, is wall-mountable (I mounted one vertically, out of the way, on the computer desk's back panel), and it's understated style doesn't make you look like some Transformers nerd who's never had a girlfriend. (Have you seen the styling on some of those new routers??!!)

Most modern routers aren't straight plug-and-play for security reasons, so a bit of minor setup is usually required. Typically, they may walk you through a setup routine to force you to change the password and set wifi encryption. (But yes, you can disable the wifi if you wish, as well.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 May 2018   #4

win 8 32 bit

You don't say what sort of connection you have we need to know that to recommend a router as connections can be coax or other. It's worth getting an AC router it's no dearer and you may want to use a phone with it
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2018   #5

Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate - x64.

@TDKMate -

The router that you have is a great one, but now it's time to obtain a decent router with Wireless-AC.
Shop Linksys and Netgear. The price difference for AC is very small now.

You don't need something complex, but you might need the support of these companies for setup.

Keep in mind that your computer(s) must be Wireless-AC capable.
Your internet speed should be a minimum of 100Mbps to barely appreciate it, 200 Mbps is even better!

The router will be backward compatible to work with any Wireless-N devices, so no worries there.

If you are connecting with a Ethernet cable, does your computer have a 100 Mbps Ethernet port or greater?
Otherwise, it would be a waste, IMO, since you will top out at the maximum speed of the port.

You see, several factors go into the mix.

Hope this helps! :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 May 2018   #6

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1

Lots of good stuff above; thanks folks! And it shows Iíve got a lot to learn. F22 Simpilot, Iíll check out that link. Iíve heard good things about Asus routers, but they have a Ďgazillioní modelsÖ Iíve heard good and bad about firmware hacks. Kind of scary for my level of experience. Iíll have to think about it.

Itís good you confirmed my router model is road block; thanks for the reassurance dg1261, and another vote for an Asus router. I gave the manual for the one you mention a very brief look. I can tell Iíll have to read a manual twice, LOL.

Samurai, Iím hooked up by the cable companyís coax to their modem, and a Cat 5(e?) connected to the router. From there all my computers are hardwired into the router. Itís been so long I donít remember if it was Cat 5 or 5e that I ran to the different rooms.

Yes, Earthnet, lots in the mix to think about for sure. Going AC sounds like a good idea to future proof the system. I have no idea of the ratings for the built-in ports in the computers. Being mechanical, I built this system about 2 1/2 years ago with a Skylake i7 6700K and a MSI Z170A GAMING M7 motherboard. No, Iím not a Ďgamer,í but the motherboard did have the ports I wanted (SATA and USB). My BetterHalfís computer is a Dell I bought, oh, 5-6 years ago; it was cheaper than building one and it suits her needs just fine. The one thatís not hooked up currently is also 5-6 years old.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2018   #7

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

I have a Netgear N300 router. I am very satisfied with it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2018   #8

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1

Thanks for the suggestion, mrjimphelps. I'll take a look a it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 May 2018   #9

Win 7 Pro 64 SP1

Hi All. How fast are modern routers in WiFi speeds?

I'm trying to 'fix' a relative's laptop (I'm not a guru on that, either) and I've done all I can do so far (with help in another thread). It's a least ten years old and hasn't been updated in years. So I'm thinking of hooking it up to the internet and running all Windows Updates and see if that helps. Beside being an old and slow unit, I'm fighting a svchost problem with 88-98% CPU usage. So I'm figuring at least a whole day or more to run updates, and I figure instead of running another cable, I'd try out WiFi for the first time (with my new router I haven't bought yet, LOL).

So would that be a good idea? Or should I just run a cable to it...?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 May 2018   #10
F22 Simpilot

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TDKMate View Post
Hi All. How fast are modern routers in WiFi speeds?

Depends on what protocol you're using. 802.11 G wil hit a theoretical limit of 54 MbPS. N can go higher and so can AC.

Your SVCHOST issue more than likely won't get resolved with an update. I don't even use updates and don't have that issue. I know that issue was notorious in XP though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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