Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wireless Routers

Recall that when I got my Xbox 360, I decided I needed a way to hook it up to the internet. My solution was wireless internet, which required getting a wireless router, of course. And that brings us to the classic question of price v. quality as it applies to wireless routers. You can get a wireless router for $30, or you can spend well over $100 on one. How much should one pay for one of these things?

Admittedly...I should have done a little more research first. I figured cheap - but not too cheap - was good enough for my purposes. (I don't have a high-end internet connection - 1.5 Mbps - so there's no need for me to get a wireless router that can support anything faster than that.)

My first attempt was a Belkin Basic N150 Wireless Router. Look at all of those awesome customer reviews! Needless to say, I did not read the customer reviews before purchasing. I also did not find a Consumer Reports article on wireless routers. Yes, I kind of rushed into this. I was in a hurry.

The Belkin router worked fine for a while, but the connection was very inconsistent, sometimes just didn't work at all, and the route went "bat s*** crazy" (as they say) when I tried logging into the EPA intranet in order to work from home. In short, it's a piece of crap wireless router. I don't think all Belkin products are rubbish based on this one experience, but the low end ones most assuredly are.

Okay, so, lesson learned. Wireless routers are among the items where it is NOT okay to go cheap. This is probably true about technology in general. We're not talking about corn flakes here; we're talking about some pretty advanced stuff. Better get the good stuff. And in the case of wireless routers, that meant upgrading to a Linksys router, with which I have had no problems whatsoever to date. Sometimes, you just have to pay up.


Nick said...

Thats good to know. A while back I was going to upgrade our router, but I couldn't decide what to get even after reading a bazillion reviews/ratings.

Laura said...

I've had my Linksys wireless router since the summer of 2004 and I've never had one problem with it! *Knock on Wood* Hopefully you'll have the same experience!

Tabby said...

Netgear is awesome... just in case your Linksys doesn't pan out.