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  • WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

    Hi, quick question: I'm looking for a WiFi router for a SOHO environment, where computers will be positioned up to 20 meters from the WiFi router. All connections will be made within the walls of the building.

    What I'm looking for is a general recommendation for the WiFi type (B, G and so on), and if possible, a recommendation for a specific model or brand.

    PS: I'm located in Israel, so if any Israeli member is watching this thread I'd love to hear what they have to say about locally available models.
    Cheers,

    Daniel Petri
    Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
    MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

  • #2
    Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

    Certainly in the UK... I'd opt for 802.11G as a minimum, perhaps N although I'd probably wait for a while to allow the standard to mature.

    What sort of security are you going to want - WPA2 or 802.1X?

    Personally I like the Netgear ProSafe WAG302. it offers A and G standards, supports WPA2 and RADIUS, and has a maximum transmission speed of 108MBit. Also supports PoE if that floats your boat.

    The main problem with wireless devices is that different regions have different legislation regarding wireless communications - frequences, channels, power ratings etc.

    I also recommend separating out the router and AP - improve reliability and lets you get the best of both worlds.
    Last edited by gforceindustries; 20th November 2008, 11:03.
    Gareth Howells

    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

      Netgear dg834g, nice piece of kit, can be fitted with a high gain antenna that would give u greater coverage, does d and g.
      Please remember to award reputation points if you have received good advice.
      I do tend to think 'outside the box' so others may not always share the same views.

      MCITP -W7,
      MCSA+Messaging, CCENT, ICND2 slowly getting around to.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

        IMHO you would have to go 802.11G. We use Netgear here (mainly the DG834 that uk_network also uses), the only problem I've ever had was with a PSU going pop. I've also used D-Link in the past but I don't think they're as reliable as they once were.
        If the information you receive helps please let us know and leave reputation points where appropriate.

        The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do. - Ted Nelson

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        • #5
          Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

          The bad thing about Wireless is that it's functioning as a hub instead of switch.
          So the total maximum speed will be shared among all other clients.
          I don't know how many users you have but for maybe you also have to look at multiple AP to share the clients and give them a good (or excellent) connection.

          About the routers, Personally I would look at a Cisco device such as a 877w as the router. But their are many others which are fine either

          However depending on your budget you also might look at Draytek.
          At home I've a Draytek 2820n and I love it.
          I has support for 11b,g,n (Draft 2) and also has support for wpa(2) and 802.1x and it has dual wan interfaces. So either DSL over PSTN and/or an Ethernet device.
          Marcel
          Technical Consultant
          Netherlands
          http://www.phetios.com
          http://blog.nessus.nl

          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
          "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

          "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
          "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

            I helped set up a showroom warehouse that had wireless coverage, it was fitted with the netgear dg834 range and highgain antennas, all the laptops were pre configured with static ip addresses that wanted to connect. They were set out so that each router was either g or b mode, and the signal strength was always about 90%. Was a pretty cool set up.
            Please remember to award reputation points if you have received good advice.
            I do tend to think 'outside the box' so others may not always share the same views.

            MCITP -W7,
            MCSA+Messaging, CCENT, ICND2 slowly getting around to.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

              Thanks guys for the fast replies. Will these specified models have sufficient transmission range to cover that ~20 meter radius, inside the confines of a house (walls etc.)?

              Netgear DG834 with high gain antenna

              Netgear ProSafe WAG302

              Draytek 2820n

              Any other specific model (also looking for the Israeli point of view, I'm not sure I can find all the models you guys specified here in the country).
              Cheers,

              Daniel Petri
              Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
              MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                I have tried the various revisions of the 834G and found it to be one of the most unreliable pieces of tat I have ever used. In general, Netgear's consumer products don't seem to achieve the most basic standards.

                The WAG302 is only an access point - you would need to get your own router, but as I suggested in my first post I would always recommend separating out the router and AP. This way you can get the best of the AP world, and the best of the router world, without having to make a compromise.

                The WAG302 will easily provide coverage in the situation you have described without modification. One unit should be sufficient.
                Gareth Howells

                BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                  Ok, I see. Thanks.

                  Any other ideas?
                  Cheers,

                  Daniel Petri
                  Microsoft Most Valuable Professional - Active Directory Directory Services
                  MCSA/E, MCTS, MCITP, MCT

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                    What sort of router are you after? ADSL, cable?

                    My way of thinking would usually have me recommending buying an ethernet router and a separate ADSL modem... and that is how I do things when possible. But I feel that's a much lower priority than separating out the router and AP.
                    Gareth Howells

                    BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                    Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                    Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                    "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                    "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                      I have some doubts if a single router has enough range to cover 20 meters though I actually can test it outside of my house.
                      My house isn't simply big enough.
                      My house is 3 floors high. Even at the top floor (the attic) I still have a good signal.
                      But I've to admit, the concrete floors are pretty thick :P

                      But because I've some doubts about it, I still recommend multiple APs
                      Draytek also support Higher-Gain Aerials
                      Btw, I'm talking about http://www.draytek.co.uk/products/vigor2820.html
                      Marcel
                      Technical Consultant
                      Netherlands
                      http://www.phetios.com
                      http://blog.nessus.nl

                      MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                      "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                      "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                      "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                        I use a bottom of the range TP-Link Wireless Router and have walked 70 metres up the street and have still had Internet access on the laptop. I haven't used this model, http://www.tp-link.com/products/adsl.asp#wireless but most of them have the standard Netgear GUI so they are easy to use when configuring. Most of them also have a removable stick antenna so you can fit one that may be more suitable to your environment.

                        They are a cheap product but surprisingly good but I really consider them as a home use device despite some SOHOs using them. If used in conjunction with a RADIUS Server then they would be a safe business option. As Marcel says, the Cisco and Draytek are a more robust business device and have the reputation to go with them. (Victorian Education Department used Cisco 1200 series (AP only, no router) using WEP but screwed shut with RADUIS and Certificates. Bit of a pain to setup but extremely secure. No Cert, no entry)

                        Netgear in the wireless router range have a good device (DG834G) but again this is more a domestic device than one I would install in a serious business.

                        Some of the devices mentioned in this thread can have their Firmware flashed to increase the power output. Linksys for example (not mentioned here) ship with power settting locked at 30% of available output. I think the Cisco also is set to 30% in factory default condition but this can be increased with a command line.

                        Just make sure their coreless phones are not runnig on the 2.4GHz range, expecially Panasonic cordless devices.

                        Having a device that uses a POE injector means you can position the device anywhere without having to run a power cable for it. Can substantially reduce installation costs.

                        Apologies for the disjointed post but I just noticed a mention about the Netgear ProSafe WAG302 running at 108mbps. This is a proprietry algorithm so unless you have the matching Netgear Wireless NIC in your PC you will still only get 11g speeds. This also applies to the TP-Link gear that offer the higher speeds.

                        Many lpatops are now coming out with 11n NICs so it may be an option to look down that path. Range is something I haven't looked into yet but I would guess the 300mbps would drop off fairly quickly and 54mbps would give the longer range. Consider too devices that can be firmware flashed to upgrade to 11n once it is ratified. Of course if you only have 3 or 4 users on the AP then that botteneck is really not going to apply unless they are saving large graphic files.

                        [/end of prattle]
                        1 1 was a racehorse.
                        2 2 was 1 2.
                        1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                        2 2 1 1 2

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                          I think Daniel should provide more info and maybe start reading the forum rules

                          How many users should be connected at the time?
                          How are the security considerations?
                          What is the required speed for the users? (remember 802.11G is still 54 Mb but devided it by 10 users its only about 5Mb)
                          Marcel
                          Technical Consultant
                          Netherlands
                          http://www.phetios.com
                          http://blog.nessus.nl

                          MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                          "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                          "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                          "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                            Originally posted by Dumber View Post
                            I think Daniel should provide more info and maybe start reading the forum rules
                            Ohhh dumber, you're a brave man..................
                            If the information you receive helps please let us know and leave reputation points where appropriate.

                            The good news about computers is that they do what you tell them to do. The bad news is that they do what you tell them to do. - Ted Nelson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: WiFi router recommendations for SOHO

                              He'll be cleaning toilets by the end of the day
                              Gareth Howells

                              BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                              Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                              Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                              "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                              "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                              Comment

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