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Entry Level 802.11g Wireless Cable/DSL Routers & DD-WRT (Late 2008).

The Routers mentioned in this page are complying with the 802.11b/g standard.

There are on the market much more expensive devices that comply with a New temporary standard (known as Draft-N Wireless Routers).  My suggestion is to stay away from these expensive devices until there is an agreement over the 802.11n Standard (expect it some time late in 2009).

See why here, http://www.ezlan.net/faq,html#MIMO

As I see the Entry Level Wireless Routers Market there are two alternatives.

1. If you need a simple Wireless Router that works OK for regular use and short to medium distance (same room or small home/apartment).  Buy the most inexpensive Router that you can find from a countable Brand name (there are rebate deals on decent Router that bring the price down to $20, search for them when you are ready to buy).

Example (Nov. 2008): TRENDnet TEW-432BRP (search for best prices via Live Search, or Google).

2. If you need Extra Features and flexible configuration of Wireless Networks look for a Router that is compatible with the free 3rd party firmware DD-WRT.

As an Example, you can buy a Linksys WRT54GL (it is important to get the GL not other WRT54G).

See here, Linksys54GL

Alternatively, Asus Currently (late 2008) sells an inexpensive model that can be flashed with 3rd party firmware as well.

See here, ASUS WL-520gU

If you need stronger Wireless the Asus is a better choice over the Linksys.

Disclaimer, I have no connection with any Brand that manufactures Network Devices, or with any of the vendors that are mentioned on this page.
My comments are based as a reference to hardware that I buy with my own money.

If you need special Wireless setting and you are Not familiar with Wireless Modes read this,  http://www.ezlan.net/Wireless_Modes.html

3rd party Firmware (DD-WRT)

DD-WRT is a free firmware that can be installed and replace some specific Wireless Routers stock firmware (firmware is like the Operating System of the Router).

Firmware like the DD-WRT is Not faster, or necessarily better than the original firmware, it main goal is to supports additional functions that are not supported by the stock firmware.

Here is the list of supported devices.  DD-WRT List

To see the list of supported features log to the main page and click on About DD-WR),

 DD-WRT Main Page

The list of features includes all the features of DD-WRT.
Many of these Features are provided by the original firmware too, others expand the original firmware (like a bigger number of port opening/forwarding), and some do not exist in the original firmware.

In order to be thorough you must compare this list with the data sheet that you have or intent to buy.

Some of the popular new features.

* Client Mode (supports multiple connected clients)
* Dynamic DNS (DynDNS, easyDNS, FreeDNS, No-IP, TZO, ZoneEdit, custom, and others)
* OpenVPN Client & Server (only in -vpn build of the firmware)
* PPTP VPN Server & Client
* QoS Bandwidth Management
* Samba FS Automount
* Show Status of Wireless Clients and WDS with System Uptime/Processor Utilization
* Site Survey
* SSH server & client (dropbear)
* Startup, Firewall, and Shutdown scripts (startup script)
* Transmit Power Adjustment (0-251mW, default is 28mW, 100mW is safe)
* WPA over WDS

Instructions for Qos, http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Quality_of_Service

Instructions for Bridging (Client Mode) - http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge

Instructions for WDS (repeater) - http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/WDS_Linked_router_network

Do not Rush to Flash. First make sure that the Router works as is with its original firmware.

When you are ready to Upgrade, make sure that you read every thing concerning your model on the DD-WRT site, and know what to do in case of trouble.

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