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What should I look for when shopping for a router?

  1. Feb 18, 2006 #1
    I'm planning to move my computer into another room so that means I will need a router to have internet access. My dad's computer is in the same room with mine right now and we have a cable connecting are computers so I can get Internet. What should I look for when shopping for a router. I'm completely unfamilar with it. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2006 #2
    Wireless! Even for a desktop, running a cable through the walls or through the floor is a pain. And you will surely be moving your box once in a while so not having to take the location of your connection into account is pretty nice. The router will also have regular connectors so that one of the PCs can still be plugged in if it is next to the router. The other can use a wireless card, but they are not so expensive. Even if you want both computers to remain wired in, you should get a wireless router for the future, for your friend's notebook and what not.
  4. Feb 18, 2006 #3


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    Staff Emeritus

    How do you have it now? Is it like this?

    DSL or Cable modem -> Your Computer -> His Computer

    Your network should be something like this:

    DSL or Cable modem -> Router => Computers
  5. Feb 18, 2006 #4
    His computer is connected to the cable modem. My computer is connected to his via a CAT cable(I believe that is what it's called.)
  6. Feb 18, 2006 #5
    If my dad is connected to the cable modem, you should have the wireless router? Is there something else you would need as well? You mentioned a wireless card.
  7. Feb 18, 2006 #6


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    If you want a wireless network then you need to hook up the cable modem to the wireless router. Then in each computer you would need a wireless card.

    If you do a wired network you need to hook up the cable modem to a regular router. Then connect two ethernet cables to the router and have each cable going to a different computer's ethernet card.
  8. Feb 18, 2006 #7
    No, the router (wireless or not) will be connected directly to the cable modem, then each computer will link to the router.

    The link to each computer can use a wire so the network card plugs directly into it, or it can be wireless in which case each computer that uses this particular connection method needs a wireless network card. The network can have a mix of wired and wireless connections. Wireless routers are no longer much more expensive than the non-wireless types and they also have connectors for network cables. So unless you are very budget conscious I suggest getting a wireless even if you will still connect directly with a wire at first. Later (or now) you can also purchase a wireless network card for your PC. If you buy a new laptop then the wireless card will already be built in so you will appreciate the convenience. Same thing with that future wireless network printer next Christmas.

    Look for type G (or type B/G) in the wireless. At the low end of the price scale you may find B-only hardware that is rather outdated since it is slower.
  9. Feb 18, 2006 #8
    Thanks for clearing things up guys. I appreciate your help.
  10. Feb 18, 2006 #9


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    Staff Emeritus

    If you get wireless make sure to secure your network.

    Here is a picture so you can get a better idea of how the network is setup. The configuration on the right is wireless and the configuration on the left is wired. Lines with arrows mean there is a physical wire connecting two things.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 18, 2006
  11. Feb 18, 2006 #10


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    Gold Member

    Yah, I suggest if you get a wireless, to use WPA TKIP-Preshared keys, disable SSID broadcasts, and use mac filters as security precautions. My laptop is picking up one of my neighbors wireless routers that is unsecure.
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