If you’re shopping for a “Dual Band Wireless Router”, I hope my review will help you. I decided that it was time for our family to break down and finally get a Wireless N router for the same of speed, but I had some questions to research first. Before putting out the bucks – I really wanted to make sure we got not only the most reliable product, but the fastest router we could find (our house is stacked from floor to rafters with wireless gadgets, lol!).
Can you get Dual Band Wireless N, both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz at the same time from one router? Is a dual band router twice as fast? Let’s find out!
Just about everyone who has multiple computers in their home have a wireless router. Most of those people bought theirs on a recommendation from [insert big box store here]. For most people these routers do their job and don’t give there “operator” any problems until it clunks out and you buy a new one. Well why not get educated on the new guy in the router game, IEEE 802.11n-2009, also known by its common name, “Wireless N”. The best way to take advantage of this technology are dual band routers as two is always better than one, right?
First off, if you go by CNET reviews (and I always do), no dual band wireless N router currently has above a 3 out of 5 rating, which if you’re not familiar with their system is only ‘good’. Okay, now that is out of the way, I rarely go with new technology or recommend it to others until it is completely fool-proof. I think that it just may be getting there now. Here are my recommendations of the best Dual-Band Wireless N routers.
Airport Extreme Review
Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station 802.11n ($175, although you could get it cheaper) – Don’t call me crazy until you have read all the features this little Apple that could offers. It has all the features of comparable features of routers of this type, but offer the ease that apple offers with all their products. If you run a mixed mac and pc network this router is perfect, if you however run all windows machines then you can find something a little cheaper with all the same features (it just may not be as fast). Believe it or not, you can use this Apple product as a router – even if you have no Apple computers in your house (it works just fine with Windows). This is a “true dual band” wireless N router, meaning it won’t make you choose between 2.5 and 5 GHz – you can actually use both. It will support printers and network storage, but it’s pick about USB external hard drives. It only supports 50 clients, which is more than enough for most households, just be forewarned there is a limit. Bottom line, I think most Windows users (advanced ones) will want more features).
[EASYBAY]apple airport extreme router[/EASYBAY]
Linksys WRT400N Review
Linksys WRT400N ($120-149.99 just look around) – In our home we have almost exclusively used Linksys routers since we got our first high speed internet connection many years ago. They have always been easy to use and maintain and have that weird little purple-blue look to them. Well the WRT400N sports a new design but works as well as you would a expect a Linksys should. This router has true dual band support, but no Gigabit or USB support. The 5 GHz speed is a bit lacking.
[EASYBAY]linksys wrt400N router[/EASYBAY]
Linksys WRT610N Review
Linksys WRT610N ($160.99-199.99 again look around) – This one is the next model up from the previous Linksys. The routers only major complaint is that the warranty is too short. Sounds like a good problem to have, meaning at least the complaints were performance related. The router offers a single mode, mix mode and simultaneous mode for sending the signal out. It support both 2.5 GHz and 5.0 GHz at the same time. You can attach storage devices to it, and on this one the mixed-mode throughput could be better. Other than that, it may be the best of the bunch, especially if you have external storage you want to make wireless.
[EASYBAY]linksys wrt610N router[/EASYBAY]
I know most of these routers are more expensive than most routers you will find at Wal-Mart but as they say, you gotta pay for quality. One final note if your computer, laptop or wireless capable device is only wireless G compliant you have a few choices. First you could just stick with what you have as your new wireless N router does accept all incoming signals. Next you could buy wireless n adapters which are usb enabled, work as they should and are relatively expensive. The final choice is yours, the consumer.