We finally made the jump from Wireless G to Wireless N yesterday, and I’m glad we did.
My D-Link (DI-524) did it’s job for quite a few years, but it was time to get the “latest and the greatest” at home. The new laptop I got for work had Wireless N built in, so I used it as an excuse to get the new networking gear for home, to utilize it. That, and I broke the wireless adaptor on our media center Saturday night.
So, we trekked over to Best Buy, and picked up a Linksys WRT600N, (2) Linksys WRT600U, and a 1TB Western Digital MyBook external hard drive.
I remember when I set up the D-link. It was my first experience in setting up a wireless network, and I had to literally fight with My X-box 360, and Tivos (all three of them) to get them on the network. I feared that the Linksys would be the same thing.
Luckily, Linksys is friggen amazing, and was beyond easy to use.
I’ll admit, at first, it was annoying that the installer software for your PC that they give you, isn’t 64-bit compatable. That threw me for a loop, but I worked around it.
I had the router up (which looks awesomely like a robot, and Christine’s dubbed it the ‘command center’) and my PC connected to it, in about 10 minutes, including unpacking it.
Christine’s laptop, my laptop, and the media center were on the network about 20 minutes later. The three Tivos, PlayStation 3, Wii, and X-box 360 joined the network about 45 minutes later.
Not one device got the dreaded “can’t connect” error, which was super-awesome compared to my experience with the D-link router.
So the best part of Wireless N, specifically the WRT600N router? Two different bands. 2.4 Ghz, and 5.0 Ghz. So, any device using your network can be assigned to a different band, for “less interference”. I set all the PCs up using the 5.0 Ghz band, and the other electronics on the 2.4Ghz.
The wireless PCs in the house now get 270 mbps. On the old G router, 54 mbps was the cap. So, assuming that I can really get 270 mbps, that’s five times faster. And forget the wired connection through gigabit ports. I love it.
The other benefit of this new router, is that there’s a USB port right in the back, where my new terabyte external drive is connected. So any PC on the network can get to the files, and store/share from it. Amazing.
Linksys, also, has better communcation between different operating systems. With the D-link, my Vista machine couldn’t talk to any of the three XP machines we’ve got, and vise versa. They couldn’t share a printer either. Linksys doesn’t care. I can connect to any machine in the house now, as well as share the printer without having to do anything out of the ordinary. That alone was worth the price of the new router. It was such a pain to have to have Christine email me a file that she needed me to review, or a photo to resize, etc. Now she can just dump them to a shared drive, and I can grab it from there.
The wireless networking of the 1TB drive is also nice. Knowing that I can store all the digital photos I take with my new camera (Digital Rebel XTi, Canon rules) without worrying about running out of space, or bogging my PC down, is awesome. Burning photos to DVD is great, but keeping them readily accessible is priceless.