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Standard User steamage
(newbie) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:21:39
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My First Router - how do I choose?


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I'm on the point of signing up for a Broadband service after years of dial-up, largely so that I can work from home. I'm probably going to go with PlusNet. To avoid getting into a 12-month contract, I have three router choices:
1) Buy their wireless router for £40 - since both my PCs are fixed location, and next to each other, wireless seems unnecessary.
2) Buy their single-port wired router for £20. Very cheap but is it good value?
3) Buy my own router - but which one?

I have two PCs, running XP SP3, in the same room. Both have Ethernet cards built in, though I've never used them. ATM, I use a dial-up connection from one. On the very rare occassions that I need to connect the second machine (used for video editing) to the internet, I use a Firewire cable and enable a Windows network connection between them, and share the dial-up connection. I disable this and unplug the Firewire as soon as I've finished. I could continue in this way with Plusnet's single-port router. Most of the time, I don't want the video machine connected to any networks.

So, should I get my own router, and if so, how should I choose one? What should I expect to pay? In browsing around ThinkBroadband, I've not yet found a "beginners' guide to chosing a router", but if such a page exists, just give me the link and I'll go straight there.

Thanks in advance.
Standard User steamage
(newbie) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:30:30
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
I forgot to say that, at the moment, my local exchange is ADSL Max only, and being a small village I guess that's like to be the case for a few years, at least. I can see the roof of the exchange from my bedroom window, it's only about 200 metres away!
Standard User steamage
(newbie) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:34:34
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
Just thought of something else. When I'm working from home, I'll be using my work's laptop (also XP SP3 atm) and a VPN connection to the company's network. Sounds like a single-port router may not be good enough.

Does one have to do something special when connecting or disconnecting a computer from a router, or is it enough just to shut the computer down first?


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Standard User steamage
(newbie) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:44:40
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
Found out a bit more about the PlusNet "wireless" router from their support pages. It's a Thomson 585v7 with 4 ethernet sockets as well as wireless. From their description of the set-up process, I think it works either as a wireless or as an ethernet router (not both at once). Any reason not to go with one of these?
Standard User camieabz
(legend) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:46:44
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
Regarding the "beginners' guide", there isn't one as far as I know, but one section of the site to peek into would be the DSL hardware discussion section.

http://forums.thinkbroadband.com/dslrouter.html

You don't want the single-port router if you plan to use two PCs, unless you have an ethernet hub to split the connection. Better to use a 2-port or 4-port router if possible. Even more so if they are likely to be used at the same time or transferring data from one to the other.

I can't advise for or against Plusnet's supplied routers, but like I say, pop into the DSL hardware section and browse a few posts. Soak up some info.

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Standard User MHC
(legend) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:50:04
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
Any of the major brands will be fine. Netgear, Linksys (Cisco), D-Link, Thomson, 2wire are one I would suggest looking at. If you have a little understanding of PCs, networking and connectivity then have a look on ebay for a 2wire 2700HGV - BT Business devices and can be picked up for £5 to £10 unused.

You need to ensure the one you select has a modem - they are normally called ADSL routers whereas some that are designed for cable do not have a modem. Choose a four port device and leave each PC connected permanently.

To disconnect just shut down the PC, leave the modem/router on permanently.

You say that you do not want wireless but the additional cost is small and the flexibility it offers can be very advantageous.





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Standard User MHC
(legend) Wed 19-Jan-11 17:53:10
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
No reason not to go for that - but buy it from a retailer for two reasons. Firstly it will be cheaper at around £30-32 and secondly it will not have PlusNet specific software.

It will work as both wired and wireless at the same time.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User Sandgrounder
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Jan-11 18:03:23
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by steamage:
Just thought of something else. When I'm working from home, I'll be using my work's laptop (also XP SP3 atm) and a VPN connection to the company's network.
You may think about talking to your work's IT department.

They might have some thoughts on which router.



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Standard User steamage
(newbie) Wed 19-Jan-11 18:15:34
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: Sandgrounder] [link to this post]
 
Thanks chaps. I'll talk to the network techies at work, and check out the local computer gear retailers.
Standard User XRaySpeX
(knowledge is power) Wed 19-Jan-11 18:18:14
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Re: My First Router - how do I choose?


[re: steamage] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by steamage:
I think it works either as a wireless or as an Ethernet router (not both at once).
No, all wireless routers work Ethernet simultaneously.

Your laptop should already have wireless built in. So you shouldn't need an Ethernet port for it.

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