Reviews are new to us and we are working to create valuable content for our readers in this section of the site. Our first review is a work in progress and was driven by the need to provide our customers with the best wireless networking range available at a reasonable price.
Wireless Router Review
Wireless routers are used as a connection point for your laptop, desktop, or any other wireless device. This connection point allows multiple computers/devices to share a single broadband connection to the internet and/or connect to each other. Almost all wireless routers also provide up to four wired connections.
We have already compiled valuable empirical measurement data from specific sites around one Carefree residence and from that data, drawn our conclusion. However, the text and graphical presentation of data is still being compiled. But that's not keeping us from presenting our conclusion ... so read on.
In summary, we tested four wireless routers. The goal was to simply determine which of the four routers had the best range. We picked the routers based on other reviews we'd read on the internet and from routers that we'd had prior experience with. The four WiFi routers tested were:
D-Link DIR-635 RangeBooster N 650 Wireless Router (street price ~$125)
Buffalo WHR-HP-G54 Turbo G High Power Wireless Router (street price ~$60)
Linksys WRT54G Wirelss G Broadband Router (street price ~$55)
Essentially, the routers were tested out-of-the box. The only exception is that the latest firmware was downloaded from each vendor's customer support site and installed in the router. But we didn't change any of the configuration settings in the router, we tested them with their factory settings.
The only measurement points taken were those of signal strength (dB), windows file transfer speed (MBytes/s) and an internet upload/download speed test at each test point. We tested 20 points, 17 of which were outside the residence and 3 that were inside. The residence had external 8" block walls with frame/drywall/plaster interior walls. The router was located pretty close to the center of the residence. The exterior terrain was not flat, over the entire measurement grid there was a change in elevation of roughly 20 feet.
If you're the type of person that enjoys reading all the tedious details of a review, then click here for the full review. If you're one who just likes to see the conclusion of the review, here it is: without question, the router with the best range was the Netgear WPNT834 RangeMax 240. We were able to get decent signal, download a Windows file from a network drive, and connect to the internet with reasonable speed from all but one of the datapoints in the study. So if you're looking to work on that laptop from your car, the garage, or the neighbor's house, the Netgear is the router for you.