Friday, August 21, 2009

Getting a new wireless router with ADSL+ modem

My Aztech ADSL modem appears to be nearing the end of its lifespan. Recently, it's been acting up and I had to power cycle it multiple times before it finally allows a proper connection through. Based on observed behaviour, I strongly suspect that there's at least 1 rot capacitor in there.

Seeing as how this is my only way into the Internet, I'll leave it alone for the time being so long as I can still connect to the digital stream. In the meantime, I've identified several options for replacement. Nowadays it's pretty hard (and pointless) to get a mere ADSL modem seeing how cheap they've gotten over the years. Of course, there's always those questionable brands out there but I'd not touch those with a 10-foot pole.

So that leaves me with the option of replacing both my ADSL modem and Linksys WRT54G router together. There's 3 options I've noted: Netgear DG834Gv5, Linksys WAG54G2, and the D-Link DSL-2640B. Strangely, the local shop I prefer lists the D-Link as a 2640T... so I'll knock that off my list on the grounds that I don't quite trust a misspelled/mislabelled product. It was also quite hard for me to find the official product page in the first place.

Whenever I plan to purchase electronic devices, I always prefer to check out the brand's support page. Nothing tells you more than a product support page. If it's hard to find, navigate and download manuals/firmware then that's probably a product that you should avoid. If the company can't organise/support their own products properly, then it's also likely that the product will give you serious problems once you have it in your hands.

Linksys, which normally gets my choice, got knocked off the list for this very reason. It's new website design was hard to navigate. I frequently get listings for routers that I don't want instead of the page that I'm really after. By contrast Netgear's site was simple to navigate and search. I found the model I wanted simply and easily the first time.

Hence, my current target for aquisition is the Netgear DG834Gv5 wireless router with built-in ADSL+ modem. It also happens to be the cheapest of the three based on the current price list, and looks pretty good too from the screeshots. The fact that it has a stand for setting up the router in vertical configuration to save space is a nice touch, too.

References:
DSL-2640B ADSL2/2+ Modem with Wireless Router
Wireless-G Router with Built-in DSL Modem DG834Gv5
Wireless-G ADSL2 Gateway