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wireless router for media streaming

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by NorthboundOcclusive, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. NorthboundOcclusive

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    tl:dr, looking for recommendation on a wireless router to stream video (netflix)
    i suspect i'm looking for something in an 802.11n flavor, and would prefer keep the price under $100 if possible

    here's the sitch,
    housemate recently heard about Google's new chromecast unit, and wanted to find out about the feasibility of streaming video to her tv wirelessly (netflix specifically).
    i thought it was certainly possible, but what little i've heard so far about chromecast suggests that it wants a very strong, high bandwidth WiFi signal for best results, and the existing wireless router we have in place probably wouldn't be up to the task.

    our WLAN here is thus:
    Comcast xfinity cable @ ~16mbps into an aging Linksys WRT54G2.
    connected to the WRT54G2 is my win7 gaming pc (via Cat6 Ethernet, but also has a TP-LINK TL-WN350G b/g wireless PCI card installed as a just-in-case), and my two housemates' laptops (one's a lenovo B570 and should be able to handle wireless-N, the other a HP Compaq 6710b, neither of them do anything more strenuous than YouTube). also have an old dell inspiron 500m winXP laptop (802.11b only), but it's seldom used.
    there also looks to be between 4 and 8 other access points in the neighborhood, most of which look to be wireless-G, with maybe a pair of -Ns
    distance from the router's location to the tv i'd say isnt more than 75ft, probably closer to 50ft. signal strength on the router looks (to me) rather low, i assume the house walls are blocking most of it, but inSSIDer shows about -85dBm(-75 on a good day) on my tp-link antenna, or 2 bars to windows, and im right about 50ft down the hall.

    i've poked around in a couple other locations, including this forum and http://shield.nvidia.com/recommended-routers/ (not that i plan on getting a shield, but if it's good enough for shield, its good enough for netflix) and have had the ASUS RT-N66U come up, Newegg seems to think highly of the ASUS RT-N56U as well, which is much closer to my price range. (an openbox/refurbished N66U would also work, but i have zero experience with OB/refurb products and am slightly concerned about quality&missing parts)
    netgear's WNDR3700 also sounds like a good choice, but normally way outside of my price range (though as i type this, newegg has it on sale for $85, which i could afford)

    one last thing, for the computers here to take advantage of the wireless-N, i'd also need a collection of adapters for it right? (stupid question even as i ask it) otherwise the TV/chromecast would get -N and everyone else would be running at -G yeah?

    suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  2. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    If you don't need dual band the Amped Wireless R10000G can be had for like 80-100 easy off amazon.

    I got the R20000G (adds dual band and usb storage) and it's awesome for streaming, has hardcore coverage as well. I took a laptop down the road about 180 some feet and was able to stream 1080p videos without buffering! got 200 some with 720P (it's around 120 but some 3rd party sellers may have it for under 100)

    Review here that I did
     
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  3. alan New Member

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  4. Seany1212

    Seany1212

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    I'm going to start by saying don't rush out and buy anything just yet.

    Firstly what internet speeds are you running on in the first place? 802.11g has a maximum transfer of 54mbit/s, so unless you've got a 54mbit/s+ connection you're already wasting your money.

    This is what a lot of people seem to misunderstand, having a 600mbit/s theoretical transfer speed on 802.11n is all well and good but unless you're on an internet connection of 54mbit/s+ (here's to you google fiber customers :cry:) then it's pointless forking out for a N-rated router because then you're bottlenecked by your internet speed. You're only really going to utilize that speed transferring files between those that are on the local area network.

    I'd say get the chromecast first, it has G-rating supported and see how it performs, if it is that you have a good fiber connection with greater than 60mbit/s then go for it because you'll benefit overall anyway.

    And you will need to check that those laptops have built-in N-capable wifi cards (check manufacturers specs) otherwise you'll end up having to buying dongles for them unless you get the dual-band routers.
     
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  5. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    if you're streaming from online, your internet connection matters more than your wifi speeds.
     
  6. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    True but the WRT54G is such a old router it cannot handle most of the time multiple connections and all so will not handle improved security either even more so wireless..

    Depending on he has Netflix setup to ( bandwidth options ) and what he actually gets from comcast ( download \ upload is going be another factor. A Netflix connection can easy hit 15-33Mbs if the netflix connection is on the highest possible although it's not constant.

    All so even when you have the WRT54 overclocked it will not be as responsive as a new router.

    I own 4 different versions of the WRT54 and what ever firmware or overclocking you do it will not compete "COUGH" cannot compete with a decent new one even more so with multiple people streaming.

    However I am still tweaking mine and still get a disconnection 1 every 3-4 hours although that could be the unit or because of streaming 5Ghz, as i said i am still testing and don't have much faith in the cheap SONY streaming payer.
     
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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  8. Jetster

    Jetster

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    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
  9. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Hey asrock.. how's the rta15 with streaming for yah so far??
     
  10. NorthboundOcclusive

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    thanks for all the replies

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    just got a refurb'd asus usb-n13 adapter for not entirely un-related reasons. so N compatibility *shouldnt* be an issue, if/when the current router gets replaced.

    didnt actually know that you could overclock them, but im also not surprised. this one though, is not overclocked.


    possibly/probably un-related, but just gonna toss it out there anyway. the wrt54g2's lately (past month or so) developed an issue where web pages wont load, 404s and the like. (using google's open DNS hasnt made a difference in that dept), seems to be primarly HTTP affected, though it has occasionally caused connection issues while gaming, or with irc. it's gotten to the point where im doing a soft reboot of the router on a nearly daily basis, which clears up the issue for a while. had one guy though maybe it was overheating (tho the cable modem box is warmer than the router), another who works as a server admin suggested checking the tcp sockets setting (which apparently isnt actually an option with the wrt54g2).
    i do run utorrent to seed game clients (totally legit & above the board there) and could see that as possibly somehow flooding the router's connection buffer or somesuch.
    the router is being run as an open access point, no wep/wpa2 for some odd reason (not sure why really), but i havent seen anything in the logs to suggest there's been someone outside connecting to it (which only means that i havent seen anything in the logs), but i am gonna slap a WPA2 password on it, juuust in case.

    all in all, im currently eyeing the asus RT-N56U (newegg's also currently got other asus routers on sale for similarly cheap prices too, if i wanted an N65U or AC66R model)
     
  11. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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  12. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    So so, besides not being able to over 700Mb\s though wired which i think is low and the fact that of connected people and there usage is really limited is annoying. Like come on only tells you about packets.

    And what amped had to say about it
    Keep getting a disconnection every 3-4 hours watching some thing although it may be the device that's streaming which i plan to test either tomorrow or Thursday.

    Other wise it's been great and yes it runs really cool lol.


    Could be heat i have mine with heatsinks too lol. Thing about that router as well it don't cope very well with with encryption as i found it disconnects more.
     
  13. remixedcat

    remixedcat

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    Is the streaming device in 5Ghz or 2.4 Ghz mode?

    I am having more buffering (certain channels do this like hulu and funimation channel) on the Roku 3 in 2.4Ghz mode but it's more to do with there being 6-9 detectable APs from the floor that my living room is and on the wifi secret screen on the Roku 3 there's more glitches per second on 2.4 then there is on 5Ghz mode. So it's always best to have streaming devices on 5Ghz mode.

    I think you also mentioned you live in an apartment complex and have your transmit power turned down a bit... turn it up and make sure you have it on a channel others don't use... which is tough in an apartment complex.

    If the connection is unstable still, you may want to put 2.4Ghz into 20Mhz mode instead of 40 for a while juuuuust to try.
     

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