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Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

baopu
I Plan to Stick Around

I just ordered my first laptop. Currently I don't have Wifi in my apartment. The laptop has a "802.11N single band half mini card" in it. I see so many routers for sale ranging from $30 to several hundreds. Seeing that the laptop only can use 2.4 GHZ, I assume that a "fancy" router is not necessary. What should I buy? What should I consider?

 

TIA

Scott

 

 

***edited labels***

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

The 60/10 is in reference to the SPEED.

That you are getting 60g usage.. and that you are on a D2 modem... means you should be on the OLD D2 EXPRESS plan.

 

That package, maxes out at.. 18mbps down.. and only .5mb up, if my memory serves me correct. (may be even less on the up)

You are likely paying..  around $56.50 + $4 modem rental - $60.50ish?


Under the NEW plan, you would likely want to move over to the HYBRID 30/5

 

It would give you 30mbps down, and 5 up. (so almost double the download speed, and 10x the upload speed)

Also would up your usage to 70g

 

It sits at $61.99, INCLUDING the modem rental.   So it would cost you $1.50 more a month.

BUT.. the thats a fair bit of difference for $1.50 🙂

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21 REPLIES 21

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Ok, I hate to say this, but the first thing I would do is cancel the order.  Why?  Due to the single band wifi card.  I wouldn't buy anything that didn't have dual band capability, and beyond that I would consider 802.11ac capability as well.  You indicated that you're in an apartment, probably with several 2.4 Ghz routers nearby, so, anyone operating within that band is competing with everyone else for the 3 non-interfering channels that are available, which are channels 1, 6 and 11.  There are other channels in between but they overlap with 1, 6, and 11.  I suspect that the end result will be poor performance for anyone operating a 2.4 Ghz network where you live.  If you know anyone in the building running a 2.4 Ghz wifi network, ask him or her for an opinion on it's performance.  I live in the suburbs, and within RF sight are at least 35 to 40 wifi routers.  The number seems to grow every week.  So, everyone is competing with each other for RF space and dealing with interference issues.  Most of the devices in my home use a 5 Ghz network to get out of the traffic jam.  Within RF sight are two, maybe three routers, including ours.  So, that can make a huge difference in the performance that you see, running in clean RF space with an added ability to use 40 Mhz wide channels, which gives you a higher data rate.  5 Ghz networks do have a slightly shorter range, but in an apartment I doubt that would be an issue.  If you know of anyone that has a dual band laptop that can do a quick site survey for you, invite the laptop for a visit.  Load inSSIDer on it, which is a wifi monitoring application and have a look at the network display.  If you click on my name, and go to the linked page, you can see a couple of images from inSSIDer.  That shows the 2.4 Ghz wifi routers that are in operation around our home. If you run that application on a laptop, you want to pay attention to the power levels that you see.  You would need to see nothing higher than -35 to -40 db.  If there are several that are running, that will result in poor wifi performance for your laptop.  By higher, I mean between -35 dB and 0.  So, thats my plug for buying a slightly more capable laptop.

 

For routers, what are you running now for a modem?  The combo modem / routers do not have steller wifi performance, but, running the CGN3 I've found the 5 Ghz performance to be acceptable.  If I was going to recommend any router, it would probably be an Asus RT-AC68U.  I don' t own this, yet, but am strongly considering it.  There are several people here who do own one of these and they are very satisfied with its performance.  The next couple of models down are the RT-AC66U and the RT-N66U.  Personally I would only consider an AC version which is an 802.11ac device, on the thoughts that I usually keep using devices such as this for a while, so there is an element of future proofing here as well.  There are more expensive routers out there but the reviews haven't been great.  Give them more time to iron the bugs out and they will probably be ok, and that includes Asus routers as well.  What ever you do decide to buy, look for gigabit WAN and LAN ports and external antenna.  I'm sure that others will chime in with router recommendations as well. Here's a link to the simulated interface for the RT-AC68U:

 

http://event.asus.com/2012/nw/dummy_ui/en/index.html

 

Here's the link for inSSIDer, which is the last freebie version of this program. It displays both 2.4 and 5 Ghz networks.

 

http://www.techspot.com/downloads/5936-inssider.html

 

 



Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

VivienM
I'm an Advisor

@baopu wrote:

I just ordered my first laptop. Currently I don't have Wifi in my apartment. The laptop has a "802.11N single band half mini card" in it. I see so many routers for sale ranging from $30 to several hundreds. Seeing that the laptop only can use 2.4 GHZ, I assume that a "fancy" router is not necessary. What should I buy? What should I consider?


Before you cancel the order, how technical of a person are you? If the laptop is not HP/Lenovo, then with some surgery (if you're comfortable with that), it may be possible to upgrade it to 802.11ac.

 

What Rogers modem are you using? If you are still on DOCSIS 2 (Rogers does not offer straight modems for DOCSIS 3), then your first step should be upgrading to a DOCSIS 3 plan with a DOCSIS 3 gateway. Those DOCSIS 3 gateways are controversial, but you might as well try them first; if they aren't good enough for your needs, then put them in bridge mode and pick up another router.

 

With routers, it's like everything, you get what you pay for. But if you have a single-band lousy card in your client... then you have a problem. A high end router (e.g. Asus RT-AC68U) will get you better performance/range than a low end router... but... a lot of its capabilities will be wasted on a low-end single-band client.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

baopu
I Plan to Stick Around

Thanks Datalink and VivienM.
My current modem is a DPX2100. I'm a devoted desktop user but sometimes I'd like to be able to use a computer elsewhere, primarily out-of-home. The laptop is a basic Dell 15" Inspiron that was on sale for $230 this Black Friday. Funds are a little low right now, but at that price, I figured, even if it's WiFi isn't top-notch. There is no ethernet port, so WiFi is neccessary.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

VivienM
I'm an Advisor

@baopu wrote:

Thanks Datalink and VivienM.
My current modem is a DPX2100. I'm a devoted desktop user but sometimes I'd like to be able to use a computer elsewhere, primarily out-of-home. The laptop is a basic Dell 15" Inspiron that was on sale for $230 this Black Friday. Funds are a little low right now, but at that price, I figured, even if it's WiFi isn't top-notch. There is no ethernet port, so WiFi is neccessary.


Okay, that's a DOCSIS 2 modem. The reality is that if you upgrade to one of the Rogers DOCSIS 3 'gateways', you could get basic wifi/NAT/etc, plus double your speed and increase your monthly download cap for the same or less money per month...

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
As well, most likely remove any chance of congestion slow down from happening.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Datalink
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Food for thought.....If you wanted to connect the laptop to your router, you could use a USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.  This actually works very well. 

 

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=96&item_id=056527

 

 



Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase


@Datalink wrote:

Food for thought.....If you wanted to connect the laptop to your router, you could use a USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Adapter.  This actually works very well. 

 

http://www.canadacomputers.com/product_info.php?cPath=96&item_id=056527

 

 


But I don't think the OP has a router, just an old-school D2 straight modem plugged straight into a desktop box...

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Yeah, but they are wanting to ADD the wifi, if even basic.


All in all... i think the BEST bet at this point.. since they are on D2..

Would be to CHANGE to one of the newer plans.
They would then get the D3 gateway, which has basic wifi.   We all know its not great... but from the sounds of what they might be using it for (very basic)..it might just be enough.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

baopu
I Plan to Stick Around

Okay, so what is this D3? Is it one of these?

https://www.rogers.com/web/link/modems

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Those, there are other ones as well, depending on availability.

Your best case, would be to book an apointment.. its the cleanest way.. a tech will come out and switch the modem out for the new (which has built in wifi, etc.... we can help you set up the finer details for it after its in).
With the modem in place, the plan should switch over auto, as the person booking the apointment should have set it up for.
VS if you go and swap the modem yourself, you more have to get it in place, then call back, get the plan switched, etc..
Either will work.

Depending on which PLAN you are on now...
(if you let us know what your on, can let you know the equivelent one to get)

 

Would change what modem you need to get.


If you would be moving to the 60/10 or lower plans, you only need to get an 8 channel modem...
The CGN2 listed on the link there... or more preferibly if they are able to, the CISCO 3825.
If you are any higher of a plan.. you would need to get the CGN3 on that link.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Just a little INFODUMP to explain the D2 D3 thing.

Compare these modems like a ROAD.

D2 modems are a single channel.. so think of that like a single land road.

When not busy, you can go at top posted speed... but start adding local traffic, etc... it can slow down and your not able to reach the max posted speed.

 

Going to the D3 modems...you are getting into 4, 8, and even 24 channel modems with the CGN3.
This now changes that 1 lane road.. to a 4 or 8 or 24 lane road.
This lane is getting busy? It will move over to another lane.

Much less chance of getting slowdowns, based on the number of people at the time.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

baopu
I Plan to Stick Around

I'm not sure what my Plan is called, but there is a limit of 60 GB Monthly Usage. Is this your "60/10"? In the past 5 months, the most I've used up was 23 GB. But I would love more speed.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

The 60/10 is in reference to the SPEED.

That you are getting 60g usage.. and that you are on a D2 modem... means you should be on the OLD D2 EXPRESS plan.

 

That package, maxes out at.. 18mbps down.. and only .5mb up, if my memory serves me correct. (may be even less on the up)

You are likely paying..  around $56.50 + $4 modem rental - $60.50ish?


Under the NEW plan, you would likely want to move over to the HYBRID 30/5

 

It would give you 30mbps down, and 5 up. (so almost double the download speed, and 10x the upload speed)

Also would up your usage to 70g

 

It sits at $61.99, INCLUDING the modem rental.   So it would cost you $1.50 more a month.

BUT.. the thats a fair bit of difference for $1.50 🙂

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase


@Gdkitty wrote:

Your best case, would be to book an apointment.. its the cleanest way.. a tech will come out and switch the modem out for the new (which has built in wifi, etc.... we can help you set up the finer details for it after its in).
With the modem in place, the plan should switch over auto, as the person booking the apointment should have set it up for.
VS if you go and swap the modem yourself, you more have to get it in place, then call back, get the plan switched, etc..
Either will work.


That would work, if the person at Rogers who books the appointment puts the new plan on the work order. If he/she does, then when the technician closes the work order, the Rogers system will magically switch you to the new plan...

 

Otherwise, with a straight modem switch, in theory, the person in store should be able to switch you to a new plan, but they often don't...

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Antianti
I've Been Around

Rogers Internet - ISP mandated modem?

 

I'm curious, does Rogers have a select few modems that you can use, or can you use any modem that's compatible with the connection? My parents have a Hitron CGN3 but it doesn't have a good enough wireless coverage for their liking. Can I get rid of their current modem and get them a new modem or will they have to keep their current one on bridge mode if I were to get a seperate router?

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

 

Hello, @Antianti

 

Welcome to the Rogers Community Forums! Smiley Happy

 

Thank you for your post. From Ignite60 package onwards there are only 2 choices either CGN3 or CGN3ACSMR. So you may want to swap to CGN3ACSMR and see your parents like the WiFi performance on it. If not, you need to bridge it and use a stand alone router, hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

RogersMoin

 

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase


@Antianti wrote:

Rogers Internet - ISP mandated modem?

 

I'm curious, does Rogers have a select few modems that you can use, or can you use any modem that's compatible with the connection? My parents have a Hitron CGN3 but it doesn't have a good enough wireless coverage for their liking. Can I get rid of their current modem and get them a new modem or will they have to keep their current one on bridge mode if I were to get a seperate router?


Long answer:

1) The only modems allowed are the CGN3/CGN3ACSMR 

2) None of these modems have particularly good wifi functionality (though better than older gateways like the CGN2 or DPC3825)

3) Put the thing in bridge mode and get a top of the line router (we around here like the Asus RT-AC68U) with good wireless capabilities.

Think about it this way: a standalone modem (if one was offered by Rogers) would probably be about $100, while a CGN3/CGN3ACSMR was $150 when you could buy them... so that means that the networking (NAT + wireless) aspect in the CGN3 is about equivalent to a $50 router. A good high-end router is $200-230... and you get what you pay for.

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Yup, agree with VivienM.  Bridged modem and standalone router is the best route to go.  I run a CGN3ACSMR in bridge mode with an Asus RT-AC68U for a router.  Asus has replaced this with the RT-AC68P, which has a slightly faster processor and improved shielding around the USB ports.  Whatever you decide to buy, ensure that it has gigabit WAN and LAN ports and that it has external antenna for better wifi performance.  

 

A standalone router will give you better wifi performance and give you access to router and wifi controls that are not accessible in the modem's user interface.  Some of these, for example, the basic setting for wifi bandwidth control found on all modems and routers are accessible by tech support only in the case of the Hitron CGN3 modem.  Routers on the market now, depending on the model might, or will support implicit and explicit beamforming, essentially giving the router the ability to beamform, or, broadcast a concentrated signal towards the remote device.  This results in higher signal levels and signal to noise ratios at the remote device which in turn translates to higher data rates to that device.  The Hitron modems do not support beamforming.  So, for a number of reasons, a standalone router with a bridged modem is the path to take to obtain better router and wifi performance. 



Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Flameangel
I've Been Here Awhile

I have an unlimited bandwith coverage accunt right now with Rogers and I would like to know if my Motorola SB 6141 model Cable Modem will work with this service.I read according to a posting somewhere that Rogers provisioned this modem with a customer with this kind of modem in an unlimited bandwith account BUT they kind of gave him a hard time.Thank you for your anticipated response.

 

Edgardo

Re: Basic question about WiFi router/modem purchase

Hello @Flameangel. Welcome to the forum.

 

That's probably going to depend on what type of unlimited bandwidth package you have. If you have the Ignite 100u/250u, then I'm going to say most likely you can't use that modem. However if you have an older unlimited Hybrid Fibre/Express/Extreme/etc package, then MAYBE you can. One of the mods can verify this for you.

 

I would PM @CommunityHelps if you don't want to wait for an answer, or just wait for someone to reply here.

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