It’s a common question that gets asked a lot, and I’m here to shed some light on what I have learned.
First of all a lot of ISP’s are incorporating wireless and a four port wired LAN into their modems. I know ATT does this with their U-Verse and Comcast does this with their newest modems. So if you have a wireless light on your modem you will not need to buy a separate wireless router, you already have wireless capability built in.
If you have an ATT Gateway (aka modem / wireless router) you can administer it by going to this address in a web browser. Here is the ATT page for more specific instructions.
If you have an Comcast Gateway (aka modem / wireless router) you can administer it by going to this address in a web browser. Here is the Comcast page for more specific instructions.
Should you not have wireless built in on your modem you will need a wireless router. So you are probably wondering who makes the best most affordable wireless router. I’ve tried a fair a number of different brands and recently stumbled onto what I think is the best one.
The TP-LINK TL-WR841N
I’ve been blown away by this $20 router and I think it is the best bang for your buck. Grab one on Amazon and forget the trip to Best Buy to buy a router. Unboxing the router you will notice it is well built with sturdy plastic and external antennas. When buying a router look for external antennas over internal antennas for best performance. Settting up the TL-WR841N is easy using the 192.168.0.1 address in a web browser.
I’ve used this router for about a month now and it is very stable and the wireless performance is excellant. I would recommend this router over a $50-$60 Linksys, Netgear, Belkin, and D-Link router any day.
Who is TP-LINK?
That’s a good question, so I set out to find out who they were. Wikipedia mentions that it is a Chinese company founded by two brothers in 1996. It also says that all of the manufacturing is done in house rather than farmed out to the lowest bidder. Another article I found was an interview with the vice-president of TP-Link and he mentions TP-Link has a less than 1% RMA rate on it’s products.
TP-LINK for the final quarter of 2013 shipped the most product of any networking manufacture in the world. The features of the TL-WR841N router and ease of use make it an incredible deal at $20 shipped. Just don’t tell TP-LINK that!