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Is it possible that my new $150 router is worse than my 7-year old router?

#1SpringerPosted 12/2/2013 8:50:59 PM
I bought the Asus RT-N66W router. I am having issues with internet connectivity to my chromebook in my bedroom when I never experienced problems with my Linksys WRT54GS despite it being an antique.

My signal strength is currently 60%. My fiance is getting full bars on her computer and she says it must be my computer not the new router.

What gives?
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#2El_KazPosted 12/2/2013 8:58:49 PM
Hard to say with so little info.
You could start by installing inSSIDer to check if your neighbors' networks are on the same channel as yours causing interference, or if you have "shadows" of low connectivity in specific areas.
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Wait... what?
#3Springer(Topic Creator)Posted 12/3/2013 5:22:34 AM
I am currently less than 6 feet away from my new router with clear sight and am receiving 75% signal strength on the 5.0 channel and 84% on the 2.4 channel.

With my old router I am getting 71% signal strength. What has caused this sudden lack of connectivity?

What gives?
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#4_GRIM_FANDANGO_Posted 12/3/2013 6:01:33 AM
One thing to consider with that router is that 5Ghz will have a weaker range than 2.4Ghz. So unless you expect a lot of interference on 2.4Ghz, you might be better off just going with that.

My personal experience has been that while some expensive routers add valuable options (like dual band in the Asus RT-N66W) they do not always perform better when it comes to simply giving you a good stable and fast connection compared to similarly spec'd cheaper routers with less features.

For example my 300mbps router that is 45 euros outperforms the Linksys e4200 dual band 450 mbps router when it comes to range.
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#5The_Count_FooPosted 12/3/2013 6:48:13 AM
The wrt54g is a god amongst men. You have angered the god of routing and it is punishing you for trying to replace it.
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#6SampsonMPosted 12/3/2013 6:56:40 AM
My $200 Apple Airport is the best router I've ever had the pleasure of using.
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#7Springer(Topic Creator)Posted 12/3/2013 7:10:30 PM
I tested the signal 10 times directly in front of the router and 10 times in the bedroom. Here are the results:

Old router close
average signal 85.3%

Old router far 61.6%

New router 2.4 close
87.7%

New router far 64.9%

5 ghz channel on new router close was only 68.2%

The 5ghz channel far away is 56.2%


Why is my 5 ghz channel so bad?
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#8LordSeiferPosted 12/3/2013 7:20:42 PM(edited)
5ghz isnt very good at penetrating objects, ie walls.

the higher the frequency the worse it is at going through objects, but the more bandwidth it can pull if you have a clear line
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#9someflamablekidPosted 12/3/2013 8:01:12 PM
The_Count_Foo posted...
The wrt54g is a god amongst men. You have angered the god of routing and it is punishing you for trying to replace it.


I'm still rocking a similar model as well. While the speeds aren't the best I get signal a 10-15 feet outside my house. I'm afraid to get a new router because I know it will be a huge headache.
#10Treason686Posted 12/4/2013 11:11:53 AM
Springer posted...
I tested the signal 10 times directly in front of the router and 10 times in the bedroom. Here are the results:

Old router close
average signal 85.3%

Old router far 61.6%

New router 2.4 close
87.7%

New router far 64.9%

5 ghz channel on new router close was only 68.2%

The 5ghz channel far away is 56.2%


Why is my 5 ghz channel so bad?


Are you actually having connectivity issues, or are you judging everything from the percentage?

Range on routers, in my experience, is very similar today as it was when the WRT54G was around. The signal percentage, however, is irrelevant in this discussion. That router operates at up to 450 Mbps per band. Assuming your Chromebook is measuring the signal strength percentage by Mbps, a 50 percent signal on that router still gives you 225MBps of bandwidth. A WRT54G maxes at 54Mbps, so a half strength signal would only allow for 27 Mbps of bandwidth. So even if the range were identical, the ASUS is significantly faster.

In addition, there is more modern hardware in newer routers, such as CPUs. I've got a WRT54G that still kicks, but it crashes if I run a torrent, whereas the Linksys e3200 I have can handle torrents, playing games, streaming video... basically whatever I throw at it simultaneously.
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