Router for Internet-Only Network
I know a network is often used for streaming, automated backups, sharing files between computers, etc.
However, I have never used my network for any of those things; hell, I've barely used ethernet cables.
Here's my setup: modem for getting internet access from my ISP, router to enable wifi. That's literally quite it.
I hear about 802.11n 5Ghz, 3x3 MIMO, and various other features all of the time. From what I gather, all of that has to do with increasing network throughput for transferring files between computers (which I don't do).
With this in mind, what router and/or router features should I actually care about?
EDIT: I'm thinking the Amped R20000G would be a good choice for me, but I'm thinking the Amped R10000G would be an even better choice?
It depends on your Internet connection too though.
Sure, 54g is sufficient for regular web browsing, but once you throw in encryption and non-line-of-sight transmission, you surely are not getting 54Mbps. I would estimate around 10Mbps typically and then if you have a ton of devices using it at the same time, performance decreases further.
11n is typically rated at 300Mbps but most devices (especially phones/tablets) only link at 150Mbps (20MHz). To get 300Mbps, you need to have 40MHz support which recently is only supported under 5GHz and no longer suggested on 2.4GHz (though most routers still allow it).
That being said, you still want the "fastest" router you can afford. Especially if you're doing a large number of connections to the Internet as cheaper routers lack the routing performance required to get all those packets in and out of the network. It's less of a problem these days though than it used to be.
I would recommend the reviews here: Real Help For Your Small Network - SmallNetBuilder. If I recall, those Amped routers didn't get the best of reviews and really didn't offer any better signal compared to other routers that are not "amplified".
I'm not sure if you're overestimating my requirements or not.
Currently, I have my laptop, tablet, and cellphone connected to my router. My little brother has the same setup. I also have a wireless printer connected; although its a printer and its not even usually on. All this is over wifi and theres currently no ethernet cables being used
Between the both of us, the 'peak usage scenarios' are when:
-we're both gaming
-he's gaming, I'm watching 720p youtube videos, and I'm doing facebook/RSS on my tablet
-we're both browsing AND watching 720p/1080p videos.
no torrenting from any computers ever. I generally get 1.5MBs speeds and thats good enough for me (I don't download media; streaming youtube is pretty much the most intensive thing I do to my internet connection).
we're currently on an actiontec router (for telus optic) and we've never had any issues where I would have to tell him to use less bandwidth or vice versa. It's just that when I move to a new place and need to get a router, I'd like to know what to get beforehand.
What I'm saying is that all routers focus on network transfer rates and I REALLY don't want to be paying for something I won't be using. eg 5 GHz seems wasteful to me it sounds like it offers LESS range, but more throughput (remember, I don't care about throughput above what is needed to sustain 1.5MB/s); I can get away with paying less for a router that doesn't offer dual band/simulataneous dual band support.
Basically, I think I should be looking for a router that has long-range and stability (no powercycling needed). Are there any other key performance/reliability points I need to keep in mind?
Well I think that it all depends on the Speed of the ISP you will be using, and if I remember correctly 5 GHz is a frequency the is transmitted which like I mentioned I think would mean that there would be less of other things like cordless phones and the like to interfere with it which would mean a better wireless connection to the router. the best connection or course would be a direct connection which would most likely be faster speeds. personally the only reason I have a router at all is because of the wireless which I barely use but other people in the house hold are on laptops pretty much all day.
on 2.4 GHz, if I lose 50% of my bandwidth to interference, but my internet connection only uses 20% of the total bandwidth, then moving to 5GHz is completely useless for me. That's my logic based on my limited understanding of networking stuff; PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong.
transfer speeds above what is needed for my internet connection has ABSOLUTELY NO BENEFIT for me.
You still haven't said precisely what Internet service you have...
And 5GHz is likely useless unless all your devices support it (I'm guessing not). It also doesn't penetrate obstructions as well either.
I think something like the Cisco EA3500 or the older E4200 would be sufficient. If those are too much, maybe the EA2700 or E2500. I would also recommend the Netgear WNDR3700 (though it is a bit old now) however mine is still running great.
sorry, what do you mean about 'internet service'? I mentioned above that I'm using Telus Optic for TV and internet.
Yes, right, my phone doesn't support 5GHz, which is why it would be useless for me.
From my point of view, you don't need to care anything if you have no complaints with your current setups. I assume your current router has 802.11n (2.4GHz only) - 300Mbps. That's the only thing you need to care about the router. And you definitely need more than 1.5MB/s which is 12Mbps of the Internet connection speed. Otherwise, you will not get higher transfer rate even if you get a good wireless router.
And, please keep in mind, there is no "a router that has long-range and stability" for wireless LAN connection. JD has explained why. Simply put, the bandwidth for the wireless signal for you is not dedicated; interference from anywhere. But you can get a good hardware stability if you choose a reliable one.
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