Over the last couple of years I’ve been using an Asus WL-500W wireless router to provide wireless access to our network. As a real tweaker I ofcourse replaced the default firmware with DD-WRT firmware and set the transmit power to maximum. This worked perfectly.
Lately however, my parents were experiencing some issues with wireless access from their phones and tablet. So the first thing I tried was to check if there might have been wireless networks on the same channel that were interfering. I checked this on my Windows laptop using Wi-Fi inspector and on the android phones and tablet using Wifi analyzer. Even though the number of wireless networks in the neighbourhood have increased substantially, here were no real indicators for issues. I did try optimizing and changing to a different wireless channel, but this also did not solve the issue. I think the increased transmit power might have taken its toll over the years.
Since I’m up-to-date regarding ICT developments, I know there is a new wireless standard 802.11ac under development and that recently a number of routers have been released based on the draft of this new wireless standard. The added value of these routers is mainly speed, but they are also very costly AND they require the client devices to be 802.11ac compatible as well (which they are not).
Instead I bought the TP-Link TL-WR1043ND plus three 8dBi anttenas (TL-ANT2408CL) because:
- It is a good wireless router.
- It can run custom firmware.
- It is relatively cheap.
- It has gigabit ethernet ports.
- I do not need 5GHz (dual-band).
- With the three 8dBi replaceable antennas, the range and signal strength will be unmatched in this price range.
The total cost of the router, 3 antennas and shipping was 65 euros at https://www.redcoon.nl. The wireless reception is perfect now and I recommend these products to everyone. Keep in mind however that wireless performance is very dependent on your environment and surroundings, so results may vary.