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Old 06-24-2013, 08:05 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 3,790,708 times
Reputation: 6149

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I'm actually quite a computer techie, having built my own machines, set them up in all manners myself, I've even fooled around with Visual Basic & SQL statements, yet I'm finding myself totally flustered by the simplest of tasks--configuring a Wi-Fi router. Specifically, I'm just trying to get the computers that are plugged into them to be properly detected by the router so that they can go online. I'm not even at the point of getting the Wi-Fi models to lock-on, just the wired ones to get online at all. The router comes up, but then after having it "detect" and such, it won't work.

There aren't any ISP-specific settings that I need to do, a past model I was using, all I had to do with it was just plug it in & was up and running, I didn't even have to install software from the CD etc, I just had it "auto detect" and "apply" or whatever and that was it. The other couple of models I've tried since then--it's like pulling teeth.

I've tried a couple of different routers that I have laying around, and have repeatedly gone through the motions--unplug everything, shut down PC, wait 5 minutes, plug in modem, wait 2 minutes, plug in router, wait a couple of minutes, turn on the computer, and run through the wizard etc. No matter, it will NOT get online at all whatsoever no matter what way I configure it and no matter how many times I go through the unplug-shut down-re-plug cycle. No matter, it REFUSES to do ANYTHING, and I know it's the router because I gave up and just plugged the computer into the modem directly. I just can't understand why it's so complicated for something so simple.

Also, the reason why I'm in this position to start with--another router (a WRT54G, the blue one with the 2 large antennas), which was working fine in those respects, had the annoying habit of periodically having to be reset for Wi-Fi to work. It would behave this way about twice a week--you'll be doing something on Wi-Fi and it will not show up (you then hit "settings" on the Android tablet or whatever & you'll see it's trying and failing) and it only is remedied by unplugging it for a bit and plugging it back in. While that's way less irritating than what I'm dealing with now, I'm tired of having to do that, you have to do it like 2 times a week & I don't want to have to. Once it's set-up, I want it to continue to work for ALL TIME and NEVER have to be unplugged, EVER, I don't care if it's 5 years from now. I want STABILITY.

And why are the other routers so darn difficult to configure?

What gives?

Lastly, is there any model or brand etc that has a reputation of being fuss-free and stable & reliable, because I'm going to be getting another one--don't bother asking me what the ones are I have now, because I don't have them anymore--they're on the floor, in splinters, both of them (I only paid $1 for them anyway at a garage sale).

LRH

Last edited by shyguylh; 06-24-2013 at 08:15 AM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:54 AM
 
Location: Not.here
2,828 posts, read 3,460,489 times
Reputation: 2347
My experience goes like this. Bought a refurbished, wireless Linksys E900 router on eBay about a year ago (under $20). The setup using the wizard was simple (it was just like on this youtube vid) and took just minutes. I have two desktops that are direct connected to it in first two ports. I turn on wireless (wi-fi) for the iPad and for the cell phones.

I've only had to restart the router and cable modem a couple of times when there has been a power glitch or some some other unknown problem, but I can count those times in one hand. Been very happy with it so far.


How to Install Your Linksys Wireless Router - How to setup a linksys wireless router - YouTube
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Oak Ridge, NC
5,562 posts, read 3,839,691 times
Reputation: 3565
If you don't have the mega fast internet speeds, like Google Fiber or something like that, you'd probably be just fine getting a Linksys WRT54G wireless router. These suckers last a long time, come pretty much configured, have the encryption already enabled. I think this router would give you what you're looking for and you'd probably be able to use it for several more years. You can even find these on eBay dirt cheap, loaded with DD-WRT on them.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,935 posts, read 51,612,953 times
Reputation: 27956
"don't bother asking me what the ones are I have now, because I don't have them anymore--they're on the floor, in splinters, both of them (I only paid $1 for them anyway at a garage sale)."

Hmmmmm, I think I may have discovered your problem....
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:56 AM
 
Location: HoCo, MD
3,932 posts, read 7,591,599 times
Reputation: 4165
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrytxeast View Post
I'm actually quite a computer techie, having built my own machines, set them up in all manners myself, I've even fooled around with Visual Basic & SQL statements, yet I'm finding myself totally flustered by the simplest of tasks--configuring a Wi-Fi router. Specifically, I'm just trying to get the computers that are plugged into them to be properly detected by the router so that they can go online. I'm not even at the point of getting the Wi-Fi models to lock-on, just the wired ones to get online at all. The router comes up, but then after having it "detect" and such, it won't work.

There aren't any ISP-specific settings that I need to do, a past model I was using, all I had to do with it was just plug it in & was up and running, I didn't even have to install software from the CD etc, I just had it "auto detect" and "apply" or whatever and that was it. The other couple of models I've tried since then--it's like pulling teeth.

I've tried a couple of different routers that I have laying around, and have repeatedly gone through the motions--unplug everything, shut down PC, wait 5 minutes, plug in modem, wait 2 minutes, plug in router, wait a couple of minutes, turn on the computer, and run through the wizard etc. No matter, it will NOT get online at all whatsoever no matter what way I configure it and no matter how many times I go through the unplug-shut down-re-plug cycle. No matter, it REFUSES to do ANYTHING, and I know it's the router because I gave up and just plugged the computer into the modem directly. I just can't understand why it's so complicated for something so simple.

Also, the reason why I'm in this position to start with--another router (a WRT54G, the blue one with the 2 large antennas), which was working fine in those respects, had the annoying habit of periodically having to be reset for Wi-Fi to work. It would behave this way about twice a week--you'll be doing something on Wi-Fi and it will not show up (you then hit "settings" on the Android tablet or whatever & you'll see it's trying and failing) and it only is remedied by unplugging it for a bit and plugging it back in. While that's way less irritating than what I'm dealing with now, I'm tired of having to do that, you have to do it like 2 times a week & I don't want to have to. Once it's set-up, I want it to continue to work for ALL TIME and NEVER have to be unplugged, EVER, I don't care if it's 5 years from now. I want STABILITY.

And why are the other routers so darn difficult to configure?

What gives?

Lastly, is there any model or brand etc that has a reputation of being fuss-free and stable & reliable, because I'm going to be getting another one--don't bother asking me what the ones are I have now, because I don't have them anymore--they're on the floor, in splinters, both of them (I only paid $1 for them anyway at a garage sale).

LRH
Great that you have good database/development skills... I can't even do shell scripts. That said, how's your TCPIP/network skills? Not saying you have to be a network engineer, but networking and development skills don't always overlap. Wizards only get you so far... if something isn't working, the easy button is useless from a troubleshooting standpoint. And more often than not, its just a simple fix (i.e. something not right on the host side).

As for stability, you're only going to get so much from a $50 consumer product. And realistically, even a six figure commercial product probably won't go five years without a reboot unless you don't do any type of patching/updates.

As for reliable products.... you have the software side and the hardware. Given these things are commoditized these days.. I don't think there's a lot of differences hardware wise (seriously, when was the last time you cared what brand of NIC card or switch you were using at home?). I have some B only APs that will still work, and I've had to toss others after two years. Software wise, I'm partial to DDWRT when it comes to home routers, so I'd look for something on their compatibility list. There are other firmware out there too (Tomato, openwrt etc...).
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:35 AM
 
3,279 posts, read 3,790,708 times
Reputation: 6149
Quote:
Originally Posted by skinsguy37 View Post
If you don't have the mega fast internet speeds, like Google Fiber or something like that, you'd probably be just fine getting a Linksys WRT54G wireless router. These suckers last a long time, come pretty much configured, have the encryption already enabled. I think this router would give you what you're looking for and you'd probably be able to use it for several more years. You can even find these on eBay dirt cheap, loaded with DD-WRT on them.
Do you mean the new ones like this?



Or the "classic" ones like this?



The latter one is the one I was using, which--yes--worked just fine VERY easy & without much hassle, other than about 2 times a week you had to unplug it for like 5 seconds for Wi-Fi devices to quit giving connection errors (which right now I'd take vs a router that won't do ANYTHING other than just show up as existing). It's "only" a G (vs N) but it was fine with me most-times. For only $1 at a garage sale, it was a no-brainer. (Insert joke about me here, ha ha.) It's worked for years but lately it's just gotten on my nerves with having to power-cycle it twice a week or so for Wi-Fi items to stop giving connection errors. I guess I'm picky.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,349 posts, read 16,618,165 times
Reputation: 19640
You know you can get brand new ones for less than $20, right? That way you don't have to worry whether the $1 garage sale specials are the reasons why you're having these setup problems in the first place.


Heck, here's an n-router for $10 after rebate: NETGEAR WPN824N-100NAS RangeMax N150 Wireless Router - Newegg.com

Apply code EMCXPVW89 for $10 off and then there's a NetGear $15 mail-in rebate.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:14 PM
 
3,279 posts, read 3,790,708 times
Reputation: 6149
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
You know you can get brand new ones for less than $20, right? That way you don't have to worry whether the $1 garage sale specials are the reasons why you're having these setup problems in the first place.


Heck, here's an n-router for $10 after rebate: NETGEAR WPN824N-100NAS RangeMax N150 Wireless Router - Newegg.com

Apply code EMCXPVW89 for $10 off and then there's a NetGear $15 mail-in rebate.
Heck, that's nice to know, thanks much. The only thing is I don't know if Newegg ships to PO Boxes (a pet peeve of mine, a LOT of places refuse to for whatever bizarre reason) but it's worth checking out to see. UPDATE: OF COURSE!! They don't ship to PO Boxes. Dang it, why do SO many companies do this? (Where I live, a "physical" mailbox is something almost no one has from what I've seen, and even UPS and FedEx have a devil of a time finding me. Have they never heard of GPS coordinates?)

Yes, I can be a notorious cheap-skate, ha ha. You can find killer bargains (I figure the $1 router getting me by for like the past 3 years, what more can you ask) but sometimes people are ridiculous: one guy on Craigslist is asking $70 for an older Virgin Mobile Android phone (as in 2.3 Gingerbread) which I can go in Wal Mart and buy brand-new for $40. Yes, I know, they always reply "I paid $120 for it just a year ago" (I remember owning that exact same phone about a year ago, that's what I paid for it at Best Buy) but hey, if I see it selling brand-new for $40 in a brick & mortar store, that's more compelling to me than someone's history lesson of prices.

LRH

Last edited by shyguylh; 06-24-2013 at 12:33 PM..
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:36 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,349 posts, read 16,618,165 times
Reputation: 19640
Have it shipped to your neighbor or friend or work.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Wandering.
3,447 posts, read 5,367,344 times
Reputation: 2447
It's not actually the companies that won't ship to a PO Box, it's UPS and FedEx (and I'm pretty sure it's actually the post office that blocks it).

Some of them will ship via USPS. Slow, no tracking, and unreliable as hell, but if it's all you got ...
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