the itjerk

my adventures with technology

Tag Archives: router

the joy of a very good wireless router


Wifi in the home has been wanting for some time now, so I went to my local Microcenter and purchased an Orbi System from Netgear. It was model RBK20W and was a whopping $173.99. So what is it? Orbi is a “Whole Home Mesh WiFi System” – fancy term for a router and a wall plug Satellite. It’s good for 3500 sq feet, which is enough to cover the three floors in my house. I did a perfunctory review-check and CNET rated it highly. FWIW…

What sold me on it was this: the two pieces of hardware actually “sync” to form one unified network throughout my home. That’s great news, because those wifi-extenders I was using didn’t really work that well. In certain rooms, we would need to toggle our wifi to get it working, and the issues I have had with the Google Home/Nest Minis may also be related.

Anyway, setup was a breeze because the Orbi has browser-based configuration, a big plus over using an app, and another selling point. After a quick firmware update, I setup my WAN, LAN, DNS servers and SSIDs for both wifi and Guest-wifi. I did need to go into my U-verse modem and mark the new router for DMZ services. One niggle, I had to buy a switch because the router has only one (1) ethernet port.

All seems pretty good, I did check “beam forming” to boost quality, and did move the satellite’s placement. The web interface does have a very graphic display detailing Attached Devices to the router, including which access point it’s connected to. It also allows device annotation and is great for seeing exactly what’s connected in my home. Happy wifi days ahead? We can hope!

One the web:
Orbi Wifi System (RBK20W)


the joy of a good wireless router, redux

Internet connectivity was going in/out today, so guess what. That the joy of a good wireless router was short-lived. November, December, January, February, March, April, May… what’s that 6 months? Oh well, bought the same router for $12.99, uploaded my saved settings, flashed the firmware and let’s hope that Trendnet won’t fail me in another six months!?

Update: Well, it was AT&T, probably messin with my DSL – the dreaded “Subscribers in the Chicago area may be experiencing…

I did pickup that range extender, $24 Trendnet Extender N300. WPS setup did not work, probably because I was three floors away from each push, but an ethernet cable and laptop did and I quickly had it running. It doesn’t survive (at least for me) a power off, so kids stay away. Now I’ve got great coverage all throughout my house. Highly recommended.


the joy of a good wireless router

New router time here at the itjerk homestead. Year by year, I’ve got more gear that needs a wireless connection, and with the big remodel of the man cave, the TV and Chromecast are two big additions: multimedia streaming. Truth be told the old wireless router wasn’t showing enough bars, and I suffered dead spots in various spots in the house.

Off to Microcenter and $20 later I came home with the Trendnet N300. Two antennae, 300mps rating, and a fresh power 5V supply, I’m in wireless heaven. It supports Dyndns, something I actually use, and was simple to setup, once I figured out my AT&T PPPOE password. Added a few DHCP fixies, and viola, more bars and less drop outs.

Note I didn’t spring for a dual or AC band router because I don’t have any wireless adapters that utilize the 5Ghz frequency. That saved me some money too!

On the web:
Trendnet TEW-731BR

wireless router

Can you believe it? The old wireless router went bad. Couldn't stream FLAC files to my Squeezebox, and even some MP3/OGG files would drop out. Off to the newly remodeled Microcenter and found this one: Trendnet 432BRP. Yes, it's only offers "g", but I only have "g" wireless devices. Total price $21.97 priced matched with NewEgg PLUS a $20 rebate – that about makes it free! It features with an Energy Star wall wart and supports all the things I needed from a router. I did have to update the firmware on the router right away, which fixed a problem with date/years.

A couple of notes about setting a wireless router. First, use channels 1, 6, or 11, and test the strength on each. Channels do overlap, and this can be especially problematic if like me, you live in a high-density area. I must have about 25 ssids I can identify from my living room! Second, use WPA security, please. People will find and use your bandwidth. Finally, be sure to change the default password for your router, otherwise, it can be hacked quite easily.

And yes, my Squeezebox is streaming happily once again!