Go combo router or AP?

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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May 31, 2005
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I currently have 3 computers connected (wired) to a LinkSys BEFSR41. My husband will be getting a laptop soon, so we'll need wireless connectivity for that. It was recommended to me that the simplest (and ease of setup is important to me) way of getting that connectivity would be to buy an Access Point, as I just need to plug it into the one open port and he would be connected. A second option would be to ditch the current router and just get a combo router where my current wired computers would just plug into it, just as it does currently with the Linksys, and the laptop would, of course, have connectivity, as well.

Question is...is one option better than the other? I do need this to be simple (which is why I like the AP option), and I was told the AP has a better antenna, so the laptop would have a better range.

My current router is a few years old, though....would a new router have better security features? Appreciate some guidance....Peggy
 
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Every wireless router has wired ports on it, so the term "combo router" doesn't really exist.

I think in many cases access points cost just as much, if not more than a decent wireless router such as the Linksys WRT54GL. Other examples elude me at the moment, but stay away from the Netgear 614/624 series, they left a bad taste in my mouth.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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May 31, 2005
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I guess I was just using the term "combo router" as separating it in my mind from the wired/AP option. I should have just said wireless router. Just learning that wireless routers HAVE wired ports on them was actually news to me.

While, pricewise, getting an AP as opposed to a wireless router is fairly comparable, is there truth that an AP has a better antenna, thereby allowing better range? Just trying to figure what is the better option for me to do if price is not in the equation.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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She's intending to refer to a wireless router...versus adding an access point to her current wired router.

The befsr41 is an old generation router....far eclipsed by todays current generation routers in performance and features. Suggestion is to replace current router with a wireless router. The Linksys wrt300n units are doing well.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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YeOlde, yeah, that's exactly what was giving me second thoughts about going with an AP...the fact that my current router is old generation. I was looking for an easy way to do this since I know so little about networking and was hesitant to set up a new router. But perhaps I shouldn't think so short term (which is what going with AP would probably be). The only other plus would be that antenna, though, if it allows my husband to connect to the internet when he's upstairs and the router is downstairs. If newer generation routers help *that*, perhaps I should go that route.

Was looking at the D-Link DIR-655 extreme N (based on PC Mag's good review). Can a novice set this sort of thing up?
 

YeOldeStonecat

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Was looking at the D-Link DIR-655 extreme N (based on PC Mag's good review). Can a novice set this sort of thing up?

All the home grade routers are designed for the average home user to setup. ;)

Just a matter of knowing what your setup is for your ISP.
 

YeOldeStonecat

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But some are better than others. ;)

I know some are better than others....but the setup is the same principle....
Log into web admin at 192.168.x.1, configure WAN interface to PPPoE (enter user/pass), or obtain auto (for most bridged DSL and cable)..and that's 99% of the setups..regardless of brand.
 
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I suggest just getting a new Wireless router, since, as others have stated, your current router is quite old. The newer routers have better performance, and the wireless on them is pretty good these days. Plus since the prices for APs and Wifi routers are generally close, you will benefit more from a Wifi router in my opinion. I also find APs have slightly better signal strength, but a lot of wireless routers allow you to upgrade the antennas, so if you find it not to getting as good of a signal as you want, you can just easily upgrade to a more powerful antenna.
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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Guys, after wavering on this for two weeks, I think the consensus is that it makes way more sense to go with a wireless router. I just placed an order for the D-Link 655 Xtreme N Gigabit router (for what it's worth, the laptop will have a draft-N adapter).

But now that I just ordered it, I gotta ask a dumb question...I just realized that the specs for the D-Link say: "The DIR-655 also includes a 4-port 10/100/1000 Gigabit switch that connects Gigabit wired devices for enjoying lag-free network gaming and faster file transfers." Is "gigabit" just another word for ethernet or do I need a special type of ethernet adapter? Two of my computers are fairly new and am sure will be fine. But I have one piece o' crap work computer that is a million years old. Will there be any problem connecting my POC to this router?
 
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"Gigabit" is the term used for 1000 Megabit transfer speeds. They're the same connector physically as any other LAN cable. :)
 

Pegi

Limp Gawd
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May 31, 2005
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RoBo, you said just the words a girl wants to hear: It will be fine.

I will name my first child after you....RoBo has a nice ring to it!
 
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