Monday, April 30, 2012

Fun With Routers

I bought a router today. Or, more accurately, the boss bought me a router today. He said "buy whatever you need" and I set out to find one that didn't need to be rebooted every day, like my current router. The problem with routers is that consumer grade routers range in price from $19 to $199 and if you look at their spec sheets, most look like they have identical features. They also seem to get universally bad user ratings.

Because I am a nerd, I know more about nerdy things like routers than most non-nerdy people. I know how they are made, and how they work. But that didn't help me much. The feature sets are confusing. And they all seem to have at least one fatal flaw. This one disconnects the wireless. That one doesn't work with certain tablets. And so on. You have to dig deep into the reviews to get the real picture of how good the router is.

It was far more work than I wanted to spend buying something that cost only $99. In the end, I bought this one from NewEgg:

ASUS RT-N16 Wireless Router 802.11b/g/n up to 300Mbps DD-WRT Open Source support with USB Storage, Printer And Media Server

I looked at the less than stellar reviews and rather than pointing out a common flaw, most talked about the manual being hard to understand or the blinking lights being the wrong color. Oh, and this one also supports the open source DD-WRT and Tomato firmwares. You can turn this hundred dollar router into a high end business router with just a download. I'm not sure if I will use this feature, but I have in the past with good success. For now, I'll just be happy if a day goes by without someone asking me to reboot it.

It should be here on Thursday.