Which Wireless Router Is Better?by Nilesh Gogineni
Which Router Is Better? (D-Link / Belkin / Hawking Technologies)
You know, when you have about 3 different routers, you get to know what is good and what's not, at least when it comes to routers. You also tend to learn a lot about how they work and what their settings are for and all that stuff. Frankly, I find it a big waste of brain space but then again, this review will not write itself.
The following routers will be looked at today:
D-Link 11mbps 802.11B
Belkin 54mbps 802.11G
Hawking Technologies 54mbps 802.11G
First and foremost, I want to say that given the right circumstances and/or equipment, any router can perform optimally unless you ran over it with your car.
However, most people don't always have the cash to purchase pricey equipment to make their wireless network better. Hopefully this will help...someone.
All the routers were placed in the same place.
Lets start of with the D-Link 11mbps 802.11B. The two antenna model seems to be discontinues so I had the one antenna model. When hooked up with the combination of a D-Link 11mbps 802.11B wireless card, I found a major drop in performance. I don't know what it is with D-Link cards but they don't seem to fare well with their own routers. I switched that out for a Belkin 54mbps 802.11G card and much to my surprise, there was a jump in performance. A very big jump. The router performed beautifully and never disconnected. This was at a range of about 25 feet with obstacles and such between the Belkin 802.11G wireless card and the D-Link 802.11B wireless router. Since almost all wireless routers and wireless cards are backward compatible from G to B standards, there were no issues with the Belkin card and the D-Link router.
Next we move on to the Belkin 54mbps 802.11G Wireless Router. I especially like the design where the front is kind of pointy. This gives it a very sleek look and the two antennas are a double bonus. I don't know how or why but having two antennas instead of one seems to improve link quality and speed. Could it be that the router is sending the same signal twice? maybe, but then again, I don't know how the whole two antennas work. Although we can take into consideration that it was Belkin which came out with the first and only Pre-N router that is supposed to be super fast and super long range and super everything. I have yet to try it out.
With the Belkin 54mbps wireless card hooked up in my PC, I found that it is very fast and also holds the connection....a little less than the D-Link in terms of keeping the connection but still up there. It is best to position the antenna with the Belkin Wireless Configuration utility open, under the Link Status tab so that you can see the link quality as you change the position of the antenna. At the range of about 25 feet (with obstacles in between) I have to applaud the team at Belkin who came up with a very good and easy to use router.
Onto the Hawking Technologies 54mbps 802.11G Wireless Router, which, in my book, I would rather stick to the D-Link. The design is small and compact and one would think that with a name like hawking Technologies, this router should be at least somewhat better than it's competitors. I mean, look at its name! Anyway, after hooking up this router and setting up my wireless home network with a Belkin PCI Card, I was quite disappointed. At approximately 25 feet with obstacles, the signal strength of the router was poor and even though the D-Link at the same range only operated at about 5.5mbps, it still worked, and I still had good internet access and downloading capability of about 50KB/s. That is pretty good considering the obstacles (3 or 4 walls and numerous electronics to interfere with the signal). Now, although the hawking Technologies Router looked good, it was barely able to hold a signal. However, I must point out that the hawking Technologies had an easier Interface over the Belkin and D-Link. At normal distance, i.e. below 25 feet and less obstacles, then the Hawking technologies held the signal and provided fast internet. Of course, the D-Link and Belkin were also able to perform exceptional when at closer distances with the router.
I also want to point out that I had a lot of trouble configuring the Hawking technologies Router to allow one computer to see another computer on the network. The Belkin and D-Link had all my computers connected together and interacting with one another easily.
Currently I have the Belkin 54mbps 802.11G Wireless Card and Belkin 54mbps 802.11G Wireless PCI Card and they interact beautifully. This would be my recommendation if you have to choose.
Now, if you have a computer like mine that is fairly distant from the Wireless Router, then I would highly suggest you get a Directional or Omni-Directional Booster Antenna for your PCI Card or for your Wireless Router. I recently connected a 5 Decibel Omni-Directional antenna to my Belkin Wireless PCI Card and I am more than pleased in the overall performance of my network not to forget a bigger boost in internet speed, upload and download capability. The booster antenna is definitely worth a $20 investment.
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