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The Best Wireless & Wired Router For Home Or Small Office Use
7/19/2007 (Source: EFX internet)

We are often asked which router to buy for home or small-office use and there is an answer.

After a number of years using different manufacturers equipment, having wireless routers fail, replacing them and upgrading there's one unit that stands above the rest in performance, flexibility, and value.

The Linksys WRT54GL router.

Now this isn't the ubiquitous 54G blue box from Linksys that can be bought everywhere - but the twin super-duper L or Linux operating system version.  A few bucks more than the G version buys you unparalleled stability and the option to use 3rd-party-firmware to enhance performance for your particular application.  This includes boosting antenna power and more granular control of the router.

We're not going to go into any more of the details about 3rd-party-firmware, but suffice it to say that this router is solid, reliable and should run trouble-free for years.  We haven't even turned ours off in months and it works like a champ!  We recommend newegg.com where the price on the WRT54GL is usually around $50 - $63.  Don't forget the L at the end!

With the money you'll save invest in a good surge-suppressor or even a small APC UPS battery backup unit to power your cable company or phone company provided internet gear and your Linksys router.

In an office environment, invest in a gigabit Ethernet switch that would interconnect all your office computers and computers at fast 1GHz speed and connect your Linksys router to that.  The Linksys runs at 100MHz - plenty fast for internet activity but it will bog down quickly when adding more workstations or servers.  A gigabit switch will allow your workstations and servers to communicate without bottlenecks while your router handles internet traffic only.

Now remember, we're talking small home or office environments of 5 to maybe 10 users.  If you have more workstations or a more demanding network infrastructure definitely explore more pro-grade routing gear.  Cisco and SonicWALL are two manufacturers you should look at.  For 10-25 users the SonicWALL TZ 180w TotalSecure 10 or 25 user models would be the ticket.

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