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Cheap ADSL Holds Up 802.11n Router Design 268

sholto writes "Ever wondered why you can't find the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage? Australian ISPs used to give away modem routers to consumers with expensive ADSL plans, but competition has forced them to drop the plans' prices so low they can't subsidize the boxes any more. D-Link Australia says R&D into N routers is now becalmed in a Catch-22."
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Cheap ADSL Holds Up 802.11n Router Design

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  • by ( 463190 ) * on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:11AM (#32662018) Homepage
    The perfect 802.11n router for me is the one that just acts as a reliable AP and doesn't overheat, crash, drop connections, or have special compatibility problems. How about making it WORK before you add more "value"?

    DDWRT helps but the hardware on the market is just garbage. And it's NOT because it's made of commodity components, but because it's poorly engineered. Best example of this is the horrific power/thermal management on newer Linksys products. Ethernet _switch_ traffic alone is enough to make the whole system overheat and crash no matter what firmware you're running. A competent engineer could have made it work right for the same BOM. I used to make wireless devices and our biggest category of support problems was crappy wireless routers either spontaneously rebooting, or needing to be rebooted. I just can't believe we are still at the same state of reliability as the 802.11b days - actually it seems worse now.

    PS I don't mean to pick on Linksys, it's just that they're the ones I'm most familiar with. Overall the fails seemed to be in proportion to market share although every one had its particular problems.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Agreed. I don't care in the slightest about any advanced features. What I want in a router.

      * 802.11n (duh).
      * 5+ Gigabit ports
      * ADSL2+ Modem
      * Reliable NAT, including basic UPnP port mapping
      * Software that isn't entirely shit (I'm looking at YOU d-link).

      I'm happy to pay $300+ for a reliable router, but it's damned hard to find one even at that price range. D-Links products are notoriously bad. The web interface for the last one I used would only work in IE6. (And specifically only IE6).

      • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:33AM (#32662100)
        Why in the world would you want an ADSL2+ modem (or any modem or media adapter other than ethernet or USB) built in to your router?

        That's rather like wanting a boat trailer built in to your automobile. They work just fine as separate components, thank you, and putting them together will not foster competition or improve performance.
        • by SlightOverdose ( 689181 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:38AM (#32662128)

          Because I currently have three boxes sitting in the corner of my living room taking up space, causing a cable mess, wasting electricity, and just generally being annoying.

          Putting them all in the one device makes perfect sense for me, when they are all essentially components of the same system.

          That's like saying "Why would I want an email client, twitter client, ipod, *and* telephone in the same device"

          • Yea, sure, so when one component fails, you're stuck without ANY connectivity of any sort while you wait for the replacement for the entire kit.

            Or you could get REALLY short cables, stack the units properly for airflow, and if something fails, you're less likely to have to wait upon a service technician to deliver something to you, as you can likely run to a store and pick up the replacement within hours instead of days.

            Plus, blinking lights, man! Blinking lights!

            • Or you could get REALLY short cables, stack the units properly for airflow,

              *Looks at current router and DSL modem*

              Yeah, that would require them to also stop with the 'art deco' designs.

              Or for me to at least get some sort of shelf/rack system.

              Of course, in my new house design I actually have a comm closet - wouldn't necessarily put the wireless router in there, but I sure as heck would put the cable/DSL modem in there and use an ethernet run to any wireless routers. Hmmm... at that point might as well use POE and those thin wireless APs. But that's a commercial solution and a LO

              • Of course, in my new house design I actually have a comm closet - wouldn't necessarily put the wireless router in there, but I sure as heck would put the cable/DSL modem in there and use an ethernet run to any wireless routers. Hmmm... at that point might as well use POE and those thin wireless APs. But that's a commercial solution and a LOT more expensive than a consumer integrated unit.

                You can roll your own PoE, just run half-duplex connections to your kit (1/2 and 3/6 pairs, IIRC) and use the other wires in the bundle to carry power. Don't make the mistake of trying to run AC power down the line, most anything like that which runs on AC will also run on DC, although it usually only works with one tip polarity because such small crap devices often have half-wave rectifiers. A couple jacks and wall plates will cost you $10 at the home despot. Do yourself a favor and get odd-colored jacks to denote half duplex. If you just install some other kind of power jack in the wall (buy jacks and plugs at radio shack) for the power to come out of, you can't even harm a device by plugging it in.

                I get internet access from a local WISP. They installed a bridge/AP in a metal box on the antenna mast. The PoE injector is in my living room closet along with my primary AP/router. (WRT54G with DD-WRT.) Then I have a cable run to the entertainment system hooked up to another AP, as well as to the Xbox (about to be removed as it has died), Xbox 360, Wii, and a PC. This is the AP that I hammer when I want to transfer files, so that my lady can still get access. I don't know if it's a problem with 802.11G or a problem with DD-WRT but if I have a file transfer going I get dropouts, and my two APs are on different channels with no others visible in the area since I live in the boonies.

          • by bami ( 1376931 )

            Only 3 boxes?

            I have:
            Cable modem, router, another switch since we have >4 devices with ethernet sockets, cable->telefone/data splitter, digital television reciever and analog television amplifier because the incoming signal is crap.

            I've measured about 80-90 watts of usage when everything is on standby, let alone being on and active! Also, at night the whole room (it's in the living room behind a TV) is lit up like a christmas tree, since every device got a minimum of 3 leds.

        • by Chuck Chunder ( 21021 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:49AM (#32662174) Homepage Journal

          Why in the world would you want an ADSL2+ modem (or any modem or media adapter other than ethernet or USB) built in to your router?

          Because it's a home, not a datacenter.

          • But it's not likely to happen. There are still too many methods of connecting to the internet (too many broadband even) to justify the cost of building in to a separate device.
            • by ashridah ( 72567 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:00AM (#32662226)

              Not in Australia there isn't. There's ADSL, and there's only one single ADSL standard (well, two if you consider ADSL/ADSL2+). and there's Cable. (and dialup modems/satellite if you want to be picky, and lets face it, who doesn't!). No one's really investing in cable anymore, since the infrastructure for ADSL already exists, and just requires exchange upgrades and back-haul upgrades, instead of in-street wiring of cable and back-haul upgrades.

              That's several million homes in Australia who all get an adsl modem from their ISP, and if the isp recommends a wireless router/adsl modem, then they're pushing a path that allows them to invest in R&D on newer features. They all still offer the simple ADSL modem, but there's plenty of room for people with multiple computers (something a large fraction if not the majority of australian households now have) to warrant the availability and simplicity of a modem/router pre-configured by the ISP to just work when you plug it in.

              • Pardon me, I genuinely forgot that the context was Australia. What you say does make sense.
                • True, but the Australian market, in the scheme of things, is limited compared to the world market. If the whole world was going to it then we wouldn't have this problem(I'm have DSL).

                  I don't know how global the 'ADSL' standard Australia is using is, but I do know they tend to have to pay a pretty premium and have limited selection for things like DVRs because of their unique TV system.

                  Another limiting factor is that 'G' is still 'good enough' for most people - and my phone company is giving 4 port + wirele

            • But it's not likely to happen.

              Reality strongly disagrees.

          • "Because it's a home, not a datacenter."

            That deficiency can be remedied. ;)

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Why would you want 3+ devices to have one ADSL bridge, one router, one switch, and one WAP (and a firewall, and a print server, and a NAS) when you could get all that in one single device?

          It's like getting an SUV with a sunroof and a trailer hitch. Sure, the sports car, the convertible, the minivan, and the truck all exceed the SUV in some manner, but who cares? A single integrated device is much easier to manage, keep in the garage, and when you are in a place where you will be having an ADSL2+ modem no
          • If the single device turns out to be bad at one of its functions it could be an expensive piece of junk. Separate WAPs are good for upgrading to from G to N for example. It's also good to have your modem down low near the phone line and the AP up high for good reception. An all-in-one item is good for less technical people, but if you're making demands on your network like any respectable Slashdotter, you want more control. And more devices are more fun :-)
      • Try TP-Link, their stuff works very well for me.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

        I understand that putting the modem into the router saves space, but it creates headaches. I'd rather own my own router, and have the telco only own a trivially-swapped modem. I don't like it when I have to operate hardware in my house that I'm not permitted to tamper with and keeping the modem separate minimizes this.

    • I hear you.

      Overheating is my biggest problem (D-Link in the roof-space).

      Can anyone recommend a "thermally" reliable ADSL2+modem and/or Wireless N router (don't care if its one or two devices).
      Alternatively, anyone got any ideas (or even better, out of the box solutions/something I can buy) that will keep devices cool in my roof space (I've recently been thinking of putting a wine fridge up there and sticking my devices in it).

      • Well in the case of my 350n I cut an opening in the top of the case to reveal the (totally encapsulated in plastic) shield / heat sink. Then mounted an 80mm fan on a little bracket 2 cm away. That solved the problem. But mine was in a well ventilated room temperature space - in an attic you're probably going to have problems in the summer no matter what. Maybe put your whole installation (I'm assuming you have more equipment) in an enclosure and use a bathroom exhaust fan to push cooler outdoor air through
    • Oh hell yeah. I would mod you up, but for some reason the moderation system just doesn't seem to be working for me tonight - I have mod points, but I try to mod and nothing happens. (Let me add that "cheap" often is equivalent to "overheats, crashes, drops connections, slow, etc"

      Anyway, I agree entirely with what you are saying. The home router market is saturated and due for a buggy whip ugrade. I upgraded recently only because I wanted one that did network printer sharing, and it still d

    • by bersl2 ( 689221 )

      Personally, I blame the race to the bottom with RAM and flash, leading to the copious (mis)use of VxWorks. Especially when it comes to consumer routers, VxWorks doesn't.

    • by beelsebob ( 529313 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:26AM (#32662382)

      The odd thing is, I already have the router that both you, and the article describe...

      It has:
          Simultaneous dual band
          Ability to broadcast a guest network as well as my secured ones 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz ones
          Gigabit ethernet switch
          Range good enough to get from one corner of my house to the other far corner, and probably more.
          USB print server
        Ability to add storage
          Ability to act as a backup server
        Doesn't overhead
          Hasn't crashed since it started running several months ago
          Hasn't ever dropped a connection
          Hasn't ever had compatibility issues with random 3rd party hardware/software

      What is it? Oddly... it's an Airport Extreme []

      • I don't disagree with you. I have not yet tried the airport extreme, as I managed to resolve my major linksys problem by adding a fan. But I still have problems with Mac clients occasionally failing to reconnect when roaming and/or waking from sleep and I would hope that's not a problem if the APs are from the same vendor. Do you know if the guest mode would work in the case where another router (Cisco ASA) is doing NAT to the internet? It would be important that the guest network only be able to access pu
        • I have no idea if the guest network works if you have a second router, I would assume that it wouldn't - I think it's basically stopping clients connected to that network from getting onto *it's* local range, anything beyond it's WAN interface is fair game as far as I know.

  • Its the ISPs fault? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nukem996 ( 624036 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:17AM (#32662036)
    Is it really the ISPs fault? Most people I know bought there own router and connected it to the modem supplied by their ISP. I'm still on my old Linksys WRT54G with Tomato on it because its the best thing out there. I'd buy a new 802.11n router in a heart beat if it supported gigabit lan and wan, dual band, external antenna(s), OpenWRT support, and a USB port or two would be nice but not really needed. I really don't think its to much to ask but last I looked no company makes one.
    • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:49AM (#32662176)
      Except for OpenWRT, Apple Airport Extremes have been doing that successfully for years. I have one that is 3 or so years old and it works great. And though you won't get OpenWRT, you do get WDS support. And they are under $200.

      Five gigabyte ethernet ports, one USB2 for printing or network storage or both (you can connect a hub to it), dual band, WPA2, WDS, etc., etc.
      • Oops... and no external antenna. Forgot about that. But still, it is the highest or close to highest signal strength of any of the routers in my neighborhood (and yes, I mean even outside my home wandering around, I did a survey), and it is quite sensitive to incoming signals, too. All in all, I recommend it based on experience.
  • Wireless N router, or Wireless N modem? I hate those combo units.

    Right now I'm using a SpeedTouch 516 modem. It has one ethernet port. It works well with my ADSL, and I can stick wireless routers, gigabit switches, etc. behind it.; I'm tired of ISPs trying to pack everything into those all-in-one units, usually in a poor fashion that requires bi-weekly rebooting.

    P.S. Where did my AJAX comment box go? For some reason slashdot started loading new pages whenever I click on comments? Ugh...!

    • by 0123456 ( 636235 )

      "Where did my AJAX comment box go? For some reason slashdot started loading new pages whenever I click on comments? Ugh...!"

      I was wondering whether it was just me having that problem, but I guess it's not :).

    • I've had shitty combo units but I'e also had shitty dedicated units too. I think that it's an issue of quality and being prepared to pay a bit of a price.

      For me a combo unit gives you less points of failure, takes up less space and is easier to administer.

      At the moment I have one of these [] and have been very happy with it.
      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Less points of failure, *but*

        Greater chance of the device failing relative to a simpler device...
        More damage as a result of the failure...

        Not to mention less flexibility, less choice, more difficult path for upgrades etc.

  • Time Capsule (Score:3, Informative)

    by Tom ( 822 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:26AM (#32662064) Homepage Journal

    the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage?

    It's called the Time Capsule. I own one, and it offers all that. What, exactly, was the question?

    (oh yeah, maybe you don't like Apple for whatever reason. That's not the point. The point is that such a device does indeed exist, contrary to the claims of the author that it doesn't.)

    • Re:Time Capsule (Score:4, Informative)

      by prefect42 ( 141309 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:58AM (#32662218)

      If only it had built in ADSL it'd be the real deal. But as it is, I'm back up to having two boxes. I'm not saying that's a total deal breaker, but it certainly means it's not perfect. Belkin do models that cover all of this assuming you don't mind external USB storage. Also, Time Capsule 2Tb is £388.00 from the UK Apple store. Oucheroo. You'd be under £250 if you bought the top Belkin model and a 2Tb USB disk.

      • Well then Fritz!Box 7390: [] It has 802.11n (2.4 GHz or 5 GHz), two USB 2.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet, VDSL and ADSL, print and media server, internal storage - also acts as a DECT base for cordless phones.
        • Quite expensive, but very nice looking, thanks for the link. The USB support also sounds excellent with support for any device via a remote USB driver (which I assume is windows only).

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by arikol ( 728226 )

            I have an Airport Extreme (time capsule without the disk) and must say that I'm pleased. I shopped around for this feature set and could only easily find a Belkin unit with the same features, but that was more expensive than the Apple unit.

            Setup is a no brainer, and it works as advertised. Only one USB port, though, which means that I have a USB hub to connect two external drives and one printer. Annoying, but not a deal breaker for me.
            I also have fiber right to my home so I don't need no steenkin' ADSL fun

          • I haven't tried that, but apparently it is possible to use the print server under linux, e.g: []
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      It's called the Time Capsule. I own one, and it offers all that. What, exactly, was the question?

      Before telling us which device may or may not have the features required it may be a good idea to know what the question is.

      No I'm not going to say RTFA, heck I'm not going to even say RTFS, I will say Read The Fucking Title though! We are talking ADSL modem routers. Unless you magical capsule has an internal ADSL2+ modem it frankly is off topic, just like the 10s of other devices with similar golden functionality from other manufacturers (to appease the Apple haters) which are just as good yet equally

  • What a load of (Score:3, Insightful)

    by enoz ( 1181117 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:28AM (#32662084)

    I can't believe I wasted my time reading that dribble from D-Link.

    In short, you can't buy the magical 802.11n router “because the market is not asking for it”.

    • by jrumney ( 197329 )

      In short, you can't buy the magical 802.11n router "because the market is not asking for it".

      The Australian market, no less. As if the factory in China gives a toss what the state of the Australian ISP market is like when they decide what products they are going to clone next week.

      • The market for DSL modems in Australia isn't really different than the market for DSL modems in the US though. Hell, in most cases, both countries use the same models with just a different power plug (due to different voltage and plug shape).

        There's a couple of firmware/configuration differences (e.g. WiFi channels 12 and 13 are usable in Australia, but not in the US due to FCC regulations).

        As others have said though, there are good products out there ... but not the cheap ones that ISPs are likely to recom

    • by Barny ( 103770 )

      Bull shit, Dlinks market is not asking for it sure, because everyone has been bitten by their shoddy power adapters and tight wad customer support and brought a Billion router.

      Ahem, ADSL1/2/2+, gig-e 4 port switch, WAN port for future (read fibre or cable) modem use, wireless N, voip, firmware that doesn't crash daily, power adapter worth a damn, real phone support... and thats still just a consumer modem (7404VNPX). They (billion) are bringing out newer models with more bells and whistles, as well as their

      • by Barny ( 103770 )

        Woops, sorry parent, didn't meant to sound like I was annoyed at you, I meant to quote the cheesy line from Dlink about what the market wants :)

        Mainly, the market just wants a router/modem that works, a feature set Dlink seem not to put much stock into lately...

  • AirPort Extreme (Score:3, Informative)

    by Denis Lemire ( 27713 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @02:35AM (#32662112) Homepage

    It's a little bit expensive at ~ $200, but you get what you pay for. It has great features for the price and is rock solid. Dual-band 802.11N, Gigabit Ethernet, IPv6, SNMP, bridging and routing modes, etc, etc. The only drawback is the proprietary GUI required to configure it (no web interface). This is a show stopper it if you do not have a Windows or OS X based computer at your disposal, but few people are in that situation.

    The only reason to pass it up is if you're one of those weirdoes that immediately write off anything with an Apple logo.

    Beyond a few rare anomalies, every other consumer router I've used in nearly a decade has been complete garbage, I'd sooner build a PC based Linux or BSD gateway over dealing with that nonsense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by oblivionboy ( 181090 )

      Sorry, but I just had to comment on this one. In a mixed OS office like the one I work in (ie: Mac and PC laptops across the board - 8 people), it can have problems. The first is it takes Windows machines forever log into it. And then after there are dropped connections, setting up printers can be a nighmare, and the Samba shares are hard to keep online. All these problems on the Windows side granted. We switched to a Linksys with Tomato and haven't had a problem since on either Mac or PC.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Denis Lemire ( 27713 )

        I've never had simular problems, what do you mean by "it takes Windows machines forever log into it" and "setting up printers can be a nighmare, and the Samba shares are hard to keep online," if I'm interpreting that correctly it sounds like you're actually using the disk and print sharing features of this router, or are you implying that Samba connections that just plain pass through it are giving you problems? If the latter, I've never seen such issues. If you're talking about the former, I don't actually

        • by rxmd ( 205533 )

          If you're talking about the former, I don't actually use the file and print sharing features on the Airport, it could be complete garbage for all I know.

          Then again, I'm the type that wants a router to "route" and a file server to share files. Any printer in 2010 that can't share itself over the network via a built in print server is also not worth my time.

          Well, seeing how your requirements and usage patterns are apparently completely different from those of the person you're replying to, and also from those of the story submitter who wanted "dual band, great range, USB print server and storage", it's not really a surprise that you don't experience the issues those persons are having with your hardware, is it?

          The other question is, if you are the type that rejects file sharing functionality in a router on principle, why spend the extra premium for this functi

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by batkiwi ( 137781 )

      No UPNP, not for me. Otherwise it is perfect.

      • ...but it does have NAT-PMP - [] an IETF standard that handles at least the NAT traversal features in a similar fashion. There's nothing else in UPNP that I care about. Although not everything supports NAT-PMP (PS3 for example, last I looked).

        Still would be nice to have the option for those that need it, I suppose, but the lack of it has never concerned me in the slightest.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The proprietary software to configure the AP is a pain, but it runs just fine with Wine on Ubuntu 10.04 (one caveat, it didn't show up on a network scan, I had to specify it's IP manually). I have mine in bridged mode off of a Cisco ASA5505 and it works much better than anything I've tried. I can certainly attest to its reliability. It's worth the extra cash to not have to reboot your AP every week (Like my WRT54G running Tomato).
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Denis Lemire ( 27713 )

        Nice to know that it works in WINE, nice option for people that are exclusively running Linux. I use Macs primarily for my desktop machines, so for me it has never been an issue.

        I have mine in bridge mode as well (behind a FreeBSD gateway) but I've set it up as a full out NAT router for many other people.

        Uptime is certainly great:

        lilpapa:~ denis$ snmpget -v 2c -c *REDACTED* airport DISMAN-EVENT-MIB::sysUpTimeInstance
        DISMAN-EVENT-MIB::sysUpTimeInstance = Timeticks: (709918432) 82 days, 3:59:44.32

        I'm sure if

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          I also have an airport extreme (older version which cant do 5ghz and 2.4 at the same time) which is very stable, tho i have snmp disabled on it so can't be sure exactly how long it's been online...

          That said, i also have a Fonera+ running OpenWRT which is stable...

          root@OpenWrt:~# uname -a ; uptime
          Linux OpenWrt #24 Tue Apr 6 14:59:59 CEST 2010 mips GNU/Linux
          22:00:20 up 33 days, 20:42, load average: 0.20, 0.05, 0.01

          33 days since i updated it to the current version (its on 10.03 now, was on 8.

    • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
      But it misses a deal-breaker. It isn't a DSL router. It's an Ethernet router. Roll all those features into a router that has the WAN port as ADSL2+, and it would be the answer to the question asked.
    • Re:AirPort Extreme (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:29AM (#32662668)
      You're the second to recommend an Apple product.

      You're the second to accuse anyone of not liking it to be an automatic Apple hater.

      You're the second to whom I will now reply Apple doesn't sell a product with a built in ADSL2 modem, which incidentally makes your lovely product recommendation completely off topic.

      I will completely agree with you on your last point though. I too for a while ran a Linux machine as a NAT gateway, router, firewall, file server, wireless router, etc, but over the years features have gotten too much for it. I long for the days of my ancient old Linksys ADSL modem router with builtin wireless, PSTN to VoIP bridge, and USB print server. Now I have 4 boxes doing that job.
      • Re:AirPort Extreme (Score:4, Informative)

        by zacronos ( 937891 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @10:04AM (#32664516)

        You're the second to whom I will now reply Apple doesn't sell a product with a built in ADSL2 modem, which incidentally makes your lovely product recommendation completely off topic.

        In all fairness, for those of us not familiar with the Aussie broadband market, there was virtually no way to know that only ADSL modem-routers are under discussion, at least from reading the summary. It asks:

        Ever wondered why you can't find the perfect 802.11n router?

        It then lists off a handful of features, conspicuously missing the "is also an ADSL modem" feature. My assumption based on the summary was that previously, knowing the Aussie ISP(s?) would subsidize large numbers of modem-routers provided a virtually guaranteed market, and so it was less risky for router manufacturers to invest in R&D for modem-routers (which would then allow them to cheaply cross over into the normal router market simply by removing the ADSL modem functionality). Nothing in the summary contradicts this; in fact, except for the parenthetical, it is a paraphrase of the 3rd sentence of the summary, the only one which mentions ADSL modem-routers.

        In short, these comments are not off-topic to the summary. The fact that they are presumably off-topic to the article is largely the fault of the summary, not the comment poster, unless you want to blame them for not RTFA (good luck with that, by the way!).

    • "The only drawback is the proprietary GUI required to configure it (no web interface). This is a show stopper it if you do not have a Windows or OS X based computer at your disposal, but few people are in that situation.

      The only reason to pass it up is if you're one of those weirdoes that immediately write off anything with an Apple logo."

      So what you're saying is that the kneejerkers were correct? I certainly wouldn't buy anything by Apple anymore without thorough research into what kind of proprietary problems I'd be causing myself. Maybe they're actually smarter by just avoiding the logo and not wasting their time.

      BTW, that article is a great example of why subsidized hardware is bad for consumers. You get what the advertising department feels it can advertise, and nothing more. If ISPs and wireless providers wanted to help ignorant consum

  • Disclaimer: I'm really not to trying to come off like an arrogant sounding Yank, I did live in Australia some time ago and believe the Aussies are spot on by saying they live in God's Country down under, not Seinfeld's "asshole of the planet" comment he made on his tour there....

    ...but HOW is the fact that Telstra/Optus/Whoever is giving away AYCE DSL the entire driving force behind the fact that not ONE of the consumer hardware manufacturers (D-Link, Linksys/Valet/WhateverCiscoIsCallingThemTomorrow, Netg

    • I think that the summary/article is just written for an Australian audience, that's all. I think it could equally be applied to the US or Europe or any other major market. Let's face it - the same modem/router brands as are common in AU are common in the US too. In many cases the exact same models.

      I think the point is "cheaply available DSL (all over the world) has led to stagnation in research into consumer-level DSL modem/routers". It doesn't even really matter if the ISP throws one in for free or not. Th

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      why are y'all hoarding the Four'N Twenty's, eh?

      Because they're shit.

      Try Balfours.

  • So we are supposed to believe that AUSTRALIA is the primary motivator for Internet technology innovation??

    19M Internet users in the whole country. That's about 2/3 of the Internet users in the state of California.

    And even disregarding the completely obvious question of numbers, Australian Internet service is famous for the slowest, most expensive broadband ISPs in the world.

    AND - even disregarding BOTH of those points, I bought a router about 9 months with "dual band, great range, USB print server and stor

    • by zdzichu ( 100333 )

      You seem to forgot who developed big part of Wifi standards. It was CSIRO - Australian entity.

    • Slowest and most expensive in the world? That might be stretching it a bit. Sure it's more expensive than the US, but it's still a crapload cheaper than many other places (see: NZ and South Africa, just to name two to start with). Being 15,000 km from where the majority of content Australians want (English language stuff, i.e. US/UK) is hosted has its drawbacks.

      Also, we are specifically talking about DSL technology here. Australia has ADSL2+ available in most exchanges (that's up to 24 Mbps). In the US, mos

  • Fritz box 7270 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by cheeni ( 267248 ) []

    Best piece of electronics I've owned, bar none. Sip telephony, answering machine, nas, print server, fax, dsl modem, dect base station, wireless N 300 mbps with triple antennas, usb port for 3g modem fall back connectivity, vpn server, firewall, and I'm sure I'm forgetting some features here.

    Runs linux, and hacker community has extended firmware to run p2p daemon for example.

  • Why o why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scdeimos ( 632778 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @03:10AM (#32662282)

    Ever wondered why you can't find the perfect 802.11n router? You know, the one with dual band, great range, USB print server and storage?

    Because you've got myopia and you're only looking at the D-Link range? D-Link hardware's ok, as far as cheap goes, but their tech support is the pits.

  • The big problem with wireless N gear is is that the vast majority of people don't *need* wireless N. The ISPs know it, so why would they try to sell it if it's not going to turn them a profit? Wireless G is reasonably fast for most applications.

    Heck, I'm a fairly nerdy guy and *I* don't see why I need wireless N. None of my wireless gear supports it (PS3, Wii, iPod touch, cellphones, netbook... all b/g or bluetooth) and the only thing I'd care to have that kind of speed on (media storage) is handled by bori

    • by sqrt(2) ( 786011 )

      I need the extra range, and I when setting up my home network had to choose between running cables through the walls (hard), having ugly cables along the outside of the walls, or using wireless. We picked wireless, although several of the devices are stationary so I would like to get the same speed I would be getting if they were attached via cables. I also live on an acre of property so it's nice to have coverage a good area around the house in case I am outside with my iPhone or something. So the need doe

    • by Xenna ( 37238 )

      Come on, range is a problem in many houses, including mine. Just one concrete floor is enough to degrade the signal far enough to cause problems in some devices. And I am using N already.

  • I don't want a router. My linux box works quite well for that, thank you very much. However nobody sells a simultaneous dual-band, gigabit, 802.11n access point (at least not in an affordable, consumer-grade package). Instead I have to pay for crap that I don't want and that just makes things more complicated (I have to figure out how to turn stuff off, if it can even be turned off at all).

    Also, internal antennas suck, especially for 5GHz. If I put my router/ap in a central closet that I have wired for

  • For ADSL2+ (Annex M) I use the Linksys WAG-320N

    Before moving to this ISP/router I've always used a Cisco 877 at home, and I liked it because it let me learn a little about the cisco config. If I wanted Annex M functionality I'd have to rebuy the Cisco 877 M K9 for it to work :(

    The Linksys is a great little device, has a USB port for NAS. Responsive web GUI and it doesn't reboot itself each time a change is made to the config.

    I sync at 19Mb down and 2.1Mb up, which is very good for my distance from the excha

  • Everyone I knew back in Aus had their friendly neighbourhood geek (Or asked the IT guys at work) who would tell them who to sign up with and what plan to get. As part of this, they usually went out and bought a decent ADSL router instead of what came in the box. It was usually described as "What's in the box will get you going, but this is what you really want".

    Maybe I'm in the minority, but I didn't know anyone who used the modem that came in the box (Except one or two business customers who had to as the

    • Yeah I think you're mostly right. In my case, I would be 'the neighbourhood geek'. And I almost always recommend a router that's a step up on the default stuff ISPs try to sell you.

      Personally I use a Billion 7404 VNPX []. Chose it mostly cause I wanted gigabit ports on the LAN side, VoIP support, and external antennae. Cost a lot more (like, 3x-4x as much) as what an ISP would recommend, but it's stable and hasn't crashed on me once (even after purposefully attempting to fill its NAT tables by P2Ping with thou

  • by Weedhopper ( 168515 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:14AM (#32662582)

    I've gone through so many bad experiences with D-Link equipment over the years that I will never buy any equipment from D-Link ever again. I will go out of my way to get people I know to replace these craptacular pieces of shit every chance I get.

    I've had D-Link PCMCIA cards, routers, modems, etc and every single one of them is an overheating piece of garbage. It's like no one in the company has ever heard of heat management.

    OTOH, I set up an Airport Extreme Base Station at my parents' house last year. It has all of the features Sholto says you can't find (Dual band-N, great range, USB print and storage, etc) and does it without needing to be reset every ten fucking days. Care to venture a guess the uptime this AEBS, D-Link? 16 MONTHS. I'm usually pleasantly surprised when D-Link crap can make it 16 days without needing a reset.

    I suppose I have to give the old Linksys WRT-54 units their props.

  • by dargaud ( 518470 ) <<ten.duagradg> <ta> <2todhsals>> on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:35AM (#32662700) Homepage
    My my recent move, I received a new ADSL router... which is configured entirely online. I don't by that on, but I need to log onto the provider's page, go to a configuration page (few options, but the important stuff is there), confirm, and manually reboot the modem for the settings to take hold. It works well so far but if I screw up something and lose my connection, how am I supposed to access the page to correct it ? Also it drives home the point that not only the modem doesn't belong to me, but neither does its configuration !

    I wonder how a standard router (commercial or OpenWRT) would work on their network.

  • by Deviant ( 1501 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @04:54AM (#32662774)

    I went through a steady stream of these - some with integrated DSL some without - Linksys, DLink, Netgear etc. They all had stability and speed issues or other niggly little things that required reboots and firmware updates. Finally I broke down and bought a Cisco 857W which is a real Cisco device running IOS including DSL, Wireless, Statefull Firewall and IPSEC VPN. I was studying for my CCNA so it was a good device to learn on and was how I justified the purchase to the Mrs.

    It might cost AU$450 and have a pretty masstive learning curve to configure it properly but man is it solid and a great performer. It has an uptime currently of over six months with only 2 DSL activations (ie it has only had to reconnect to my ISP once in six months) and I do quite a bit of bittorrenting via wireless with hundreds of connections and with the firewall on getting over 16MBit/sec out of my ADSL2+ link.

    There is a reason that you see them or their more expensive 877 cousins provided with the business links - because the telcos know they work and are stable as hell and will result in greater uptime and fewer support calls making the cost worth it.

    Cisco may be overpriced, especially with it only being 802.11g, but you also get what you pay for. I'll never go back to the SOHO kit for my home.

  • ADSL connections are not really fast enough to justify anything faster than 802.11g anyway... If your using an integrated router/ap then chances are that's the only thing your devices will ever be talking to anyway so 802.11n speeds would be wasted.

  • Do you want my old one? It did all of this.

    The new one is triple-band, has a samba/ftp/www/print server, 2 usb connectors, support for a UMTS usb stick as a alternative connection, a advanced high-quality firewall/ids, VPN support, voice-controlled installation, 3 analog lines and a ISDN bus over VoIP or ISDN routing, the ability to run a program on another system, that gets informed on when someone called, or when you did a call, who it was, etc.

    And they still were sorry that it isn’t quite as good

  • Shocking news! (Score:3, Informative)

    by RichiH ( 749257 ) on Wednesday June 23, 2010 @07:46AM (#32663376) Homepage

    Carriers are forced to lower margins, can't cross-finance as much.

    For everyone who can't calculate it themselves: It's pretty much always better for the customer to buy stuff and pay lower monthly fees instead of the other way round. Large one-time costs are better than medium long-term costs.

    That being said, just get a Fritz! Box 7390 and be done with it.

    2 * POTS
    1 * ISDN with optional pass-through to a proper telco appliance
    6 * DECT handsets
    2 * USB; the mass storage can be exposed via SMB & UPNP-AV/DLNA
    4 * Gigabit Ethernet
    802.11 bgn

    And a ton of other features. Plus, you can install freetz!, a free modifcation of the Linux that runs on the Fritz! boxes.

    PS: I am aware of how bank credits work, but I am talking utility costs, not buying a house, here.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker