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Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 20-Dec-10 15:38:05
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Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


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I'm trying to do some forward planning, as my exchange is apparently being upgraded to FTTC and it looks like a connection to my house will be available within the next quarter or so. My computers at home may turn out by then to be a mix of desktop Windows machine and Apple MacBook.

Thus far, I've only ever used a wired router in my existing ADSL setup. For instance, I'm currently using a Netgear DG834v4. But with FTTC I'll need to get myself a new router, one that'll do PPPoE and with an Ethernet connection on its WAN side. And with a laptop also in mind now, eg. a MacBook, I'm obviously thinking in terms of a router that's wired/wireless than merely wired. In that regard, I've been taking a serious look at the Apple Airport Extreme base station. I think maybe I could use that to still connect my Windows machine in a wired fashion whilst, at the same time being able to use the MacBook with it wirelessly.

Unfortunately, I'm not that familiar with wireless routers and although I've mugged up on the Airport Extreme BS as much as possible, some questions still arise as to how exactly I could use the setup that I'm currently planning. So, I'm asking for assistance in that regard. The main queries I have are:

1) On the Airport Extreme BS, are the three Ethernet ports on its rear only for the local network, or can any computer plugged into one of those ports access the Internet also?

2) On the assumption that the answer to Qu1 is yes, can these wired ports be used at the same time as the wireless operation, to access the Internet?

3) When the Airport Extreme BS is enabled for wireless operation, does the carrier (2.4Ghz or 5GHz) radiate literally all the time (even at idle), or does the carrier of the Airport Extreme BS only spring into life when a computer with authorised access to the Airport Extreme network attempts to make an Internet connection? I'm just wondering if the radiated power from the BS can be switched off whenever the laptop (probably a MacBook, in this instance) is not in use, without having to pull its AC electricity plug.
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 26-Dec-10 11:29:52
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
I'll have a go....

1. The ethernet ports and the wireless are a LAN (local area network) and the traffic from that LAN is routed to the WAN (internet) if the address is not to be found on the LAN.

2. Wireless and wired will work at the same time and you can have multiple wired and wireless devices working together (though you may need a switch to extend the available wired ports if you wanted several).

3. I don't really do Apple so I don't know if it has a software or hardware switch to disable the wireless. Wireless access points at "idle" do radiate in order to advertise their presence to devices seeking to connect.

If you're familiar with Netgear their relevant product is http://www.broadbandbuyer.co.uk/Shop/ShopDetail.asp?...

not sure if it has a physical wireless switch on the side like the ADSL one does.

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Are your kids pirates ? Limewire, Bearshare, Kazaa, BitTorrent, eMule are all tools of the trade.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 26-Dec-10 13:03:47
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, Yarwell. Those replies are very useful.

I'll be looking for an N-type router and, unfortunately, the Netgear router to which you pointed me isn't an N type. It's also not a particularly fast router. I'll be wanting a router which will attach to a modem on an FTTC Internet connection. Under FTTC, the sorts of sync rates I've been led to expect on my line initially are around 30M bps. Thus, among other attributes, I'm looking for a router/WAP which can not only comfortably handle that but which will also have some degree of future-proofing. There are, as I suppose you know, a number of N-type routers around which allow for up to 300M bps or even 600M bps data rates. It's just that the Apple device seems to meet most of my requirements and has had some good reviews.

My existing Netgear ADSL1/2/2+ router (combined ADSL modem and router), which is wired only, doesn't sport an on/off power switch. Very few routers do, these days. The Apple AE doesn't have one, either. One other small criticism I have of the AE is that it has minimal panel-mounted status indicators - basically, just one, with different colours/blink states for different conditions.


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Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 26-Dec-10 17:00:23
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
Good point, 802.11g wouldn't do 30 Mbits/s, N will as 50M seems to be a real world capability. The 300M you read about isn't a data transfer rate.

The DG834v5 I have here has not only a power switch but a separate wireless switch.

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Are your kids pirates ? Limewire, Bearshare, Kazaa, BitTorrent, eMule are all tools of the trade.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 27-Dec-10 10:56:16
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
I presume that the DG834v5 is an ADSL modem-router and so therefore you tend to leave it on all the time?

Re the 300M bps, is that a sync rate, then?

Edited by meditator (Mon 27-Dec-10 11:01:41)

Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Mon 27-Dec-10 13:02:59
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
I leave most things on all the time, it was just an observation that it has a wireless switch as well as a power switch and yes it's ADSL.

The 300M is the "over the air gross bitrate" with lots of encoding, error correction and other overheads. It isn't the goodput or measurable application data transfer rate.

Even the 300M requires multiple paths and antennae, I could only get just over 50M of data throughput with a pair of 802.11n devices a foot apart whereas an ethernet cable did over 80M with the same methodology and endpoints.

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Are your kids pirates ? Limewire, Bearshare, Kazaa, BitTorrent, eMule are all tools of the trade.
Standard User meditator
(fountain of knowledge) Mon 27-Dec-10 17:16:20
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
With your last paragraph in mind, that's why I've been considering a setup with this new FTTC arrangement in which my desktop Windows machine would be connected to the new router in a wired mode, but the MacBook would be connected wirelessly. With the desktop machine, I'd then be more likely to get the sorts of speeds I've been predicted. Also, it'd be a more secure connection. But obviously if I also want to use a laptop (MacBook) around the house, then I have to have the MacBook connection wireless, and I'd prefer to turn the wireless function off whenever not using the MacBook.
Standard User laser
(newbie) Mon 27-Dec-10 18:28:35
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
Have a look at this router I have this 1 & find it very good 3 laptop on wireless 4 pc's wired.
RangeMax™ Dual Band Wireless-N Gigabit Router WNDR3700
Standard User jcym
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 31-Dec-10 00:58:06
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
Interesting, I have the WNDR3700 laser mentions in the post before this one, and connecting to a HP tablet TX 2050 and a Dell Studio 1558 (both with triple N antennas) I get at least 60 Mbps when transferring one or more shortish files (<1 MB) with a minimum of 100 Mbps when I transfer anything of a reasonable length (e.g. >2 MB) and a consistent +180 Mbps on biggish files, (e.g 175,. 350 and 700 MB video files). This holds anywhere in my flat and even the garden with the kitchen, i.e. two brick walls, between the garden and the router.

The greatest limit on my setup when using wireless, or even my GBit wired network for that matter, is the external drives connected via USB 2 that a lot of my video is stored on, which usually limits them to around a maximum of 128 Mbps (16 MBps). But when transferring biggish files to/from the couple of e-sata drives I have when connected to the Dell's e-sata port or when transferring anything on the SATA 2 drives on any of my laptops then I cinsistently get the wireless speeds quoted in the first paragraph.
Standard User krazykizza
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 31-Dec-10 02:03:22
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Re: Choice of router for FTTC: some basic questions


[re: meditator] [link to this post]
 
I hear the BiPAC 7800N from billion is pretty good.

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