[nSLUG] Wireless Router

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Fri Mar 12 16:29:11 AST 2010

On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 3:41 PM, Gerard MacNeil <aa030 at chebucto.ns.ca> wrote:
> I am in need of acquiring a Wireless Router for a small network. I want
> to be able to have both linux and winders laptops to be able to connect.
> Upstream is Aliant DSL.
> Anything I should look/look out for? Amy make/models I should prefer?
> Any idea where I should get such beasts and at what price? Anybody
> upgrading planning an upgrade soon? :)
> Thanks in advance
> Gerard

Wireless works easily for many, not at all for others, depending on the
number of other wireless devices within range, building construction, etc.
In my house from the top floor I can detect many wireless networks from
neighbors, and I assume many also use cordless phones.  I started with
a good 802.11b router back when the internet connection was dialup, but
from the basement where the cable modem sits it didn't have the signal
strength to provide a reliable connection on the 2nd floor, so I added a
Apple Airport Extreme.

The current standard is 802.11n, but many routers don't implement all the
advanced features (including 5GHz support, the ability to chain multiple
routers, and MIMO antenna technology).  For tricky environments the Apple
Airport Extreme performs well (earlier versions were recommended in the
Linux Sys. Admin Handlook by Nemeth et al), but needs Mac OS X or
Windows to run the configuration and management software.

For a while I was using a Lenovo Thinkpad that only had WIndows Vista
drivers for 802.11g, but with Ubuntu I could connect to 802.11n without
turning on the b+g compatibility, so it is not always true that Windows
gets the drivers first.

Now I use the 802.11n extension feature and a 2nd Airport Extreme for
connecting systems by ethernet -- very handing when setting up
a new machine or for systems that lack good drivers.

Many people have older wireless routers that didn't work in their
environment so if you have more time than money it is worth
trying a couple older models to see if any work for you.   Otherwise
look for a step up from the cheapest consumer models which should
get you 802.11n with MIMO.

George N. White III <aa056 at chebucto.ns.ca>
Head of St. Margarets Bay, Nova Scotia

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