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Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

dschiller
Aspirant

Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

My wireless internet connection is not very stable and sometimes kind of weak. We have more things connected than we used to, so I'm wondering if my Linksys Wireless-N router is not good enough. My cordless phones are connected to the router via OOMA, our home security system is monitored wirelessly with VOIP (and we get a call from the monitoring service every time our internet goes down...not good), we have DirecTV whole room wired into the router, and then we've got 3 computers and 2 DVD players all connected wirelessly.

I replaced my cable modem with a Motorola Surfboard 6120 and had a Cox tech come out who replaced some filters to improve the signal to the cable modem. This has improved the situation, but I still get occasional loss of signal and sometimes only a fair connection. On a good day, DSL Reports tells me my DL speed is around 15 Mbps and upload is around 3 Mbps. The cable modem and router are in a closet below my stairs...centrally located in the house but of course surrounded by walls. I can't change this.

Would you recommend that I replace my router and if so will a dual band router such as the WNDR4500 improve my stability and range? I thought that the 5 GHz range doesn't provide much range, but maybe I need that anyway to eliminate some interference from all these things that are connecting to the router.

Sorry for the long post. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.

David
Message 1 of 8
Rhyalus
Apprentice

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Well this router definitely has more range than other routers for 2.4 GHz. If you check the reviews on Newegg and Amazon, everyone says the same thing.

With all of these antennae and by looking at the size of this thing, it better put out a better signal!

Regarding 5 GHz, the signal range is MUCH shorter.

You may want to consider using repeaters or bridges. This can extend the range of your router if you need it. For example, I use a DAP-1522 from Dlink as a bridge down at the entertainment center. It connects to the 4500 via 5 GHz and then I have several items directly wired to it (min mac, XBOX, etc.).

However, if your signal is due to a high signal / noise ratio or a low db due to too many splits where the cable comes in, there is not much that will help you.

The 4500 is quite expensive, but the range is good.

R
Message 2 of 8
dschiller
Aspirant

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Thanks, Rhyalus. I use a wireless bridge for my security system alarm module (no other way to connect it) and also one for my receiver. Since the signal range for 5 GHz is so much shorter than 2.4 GHz, one hesitation I have is that I might not have anything connect to 5 GHz, so having a dual band router could be a waste. But if the range is better than my current router, than that might be reason enough to switch. Hmmm... What is the maximum distance a device should be from the router in order to connect via 5 GHz? 20 ft? 50 ft? 100 ft?
Message 3 of 8
Rhyalus
Apprentice

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Tough to answer... I did some research on the Internet (google 5ghz wireless range).

The speed starts to decrease as you move out of range - so at 30 ft you may be at 100% but you drop pretty fast by 75ft or more depending on the power of the router and the antennae system.

Can you find any routers or bridges with external antenna systems?

I will do some checking on my signal strength and speed around the house and get back to you. My bridge is nice and close, but at least one of my laptops can handle 5 GHz so I will see how the 4500 range works comparing 2.4 and 5.

R
Message 4 of 8
Rhyalus
Apprentice

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Quick update...

With my 13" Mac Book Pro, I am getting full signal throughout my home's main level - the router is in a 2nd floor office. I have not tested from the basement.

My other PC laptop does not have a 5 GHz radio in it so I cannot test with it.

So I have to give this router two thumbs up for range - though I am sure the MBP has good reception too. Sitting in my kitchen (middle of the home) I have as 217 MB/s connection according to the Apple network utility.

R
Message 5 of 8
Joe_
Apprentice

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Rhyalus wrote:
Sitting in my kitchen (middle of the home) I have as 217 MB/s connection according to the Apple network utility.

Good for you! But I'd tend to more agree with this...

Rhyalus wrote:
Tough to answer...

Remember this...
dschiller wrote:
The cable modem and router are in a closet below my stairs...centrally located in the house but of course surrounded by walls. I can't change this.

...is a condition stipulated by the OP. Whether this is for esthetics or other reasons, the wireless signal will be at a disadvantage to begin with.

So IMHO this question...
dschiller wrote:
What is the maximum distance a device should be from the router in order to connect via 5 GHz? 20 ft? 50 ft? 100 ft?

...will be difficult to answer since each environment, and the nature and actual material composition of obstructions, could be so much different.

I say this since some people have encountered problems with fireplaces, and yet another person recently discovered that they were living in a faraday cage.
Message 6 of 8
Rhyalus
Apprentice

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

Well quoted! 🙂

But the question is also how this router performs in terms of range. Without a special setup (external antennae, additional repeaters, etc.), the best solution is to find a router with a good range.

So far this is the best router I have owned as far as that is concerned. This is my first Netgear... I have had linksys, dlink and belkin.

My primary concern at this point is whether I can get this guest network working right, but that is another thread.

R
Message 7 of 8
jmizoguchi
Virtuoso

Re: Should I Replace Linksys WRT160Nv2 with Netgear WNDR4500 or Similar?

But the question is also how this router performs in terms of range. Without a special setup (external antennae, additional repeaters, etc.), the best solution is to find a router with a good range.


asking something that is hard to be answered. wireless signal is conditional base and you take 100 people, it will have different effect.

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June Mizoguchi-
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