Tag Archives: wireless-n

Top 3 Reasons For A Wireless Router Upgrade

 

Assuming that a wireless router is a set-it-and-forget-it device is an increasingly bigger security risk. If you are truly interested in the best performance and maximum privacy, vigilant monitoring of your home network is a must.

Older wireless routers are often the culprit when network security or WiFi performance problems arise due to unfixed manufacturer flaws or outdated hardware performance.

When issues are consistently occurring, a wireless router upgrade can be the cure!

The Importance of A Wireless Router

A wireless router is the centerpiece of any home network. Every device that uses a connection to the Internet takes advantage of the network created by the router to get online. For more information, FlashRouters has a comprehensive overview of what a routers actually does.

Single Router Setup

A powerful wireless router provides connected devices with the speed and performance to keep activities, like Netflix streaming and online gaming, working optimally.

The speed of a wireless connection is based on a variety of factors, starting with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) package. ISPs offer various subscription packages which are differentiated by bandwidth limitations. Economy subscription packages offer slower connectivity, as ISPs incentivize subscribers to purchase advanced plans for greater bandwidth.

The second factor affecting the speed of the wireless connection of devices is the distance from the router. Simply put, devices that are closer to the router will have a stronger connection to the router’s wireless network.

Furthermore, the make and model of the router affect how fast data is processed. The number and size of antennas, the speed of the internal processing unit (CPU), and the amount of flash memory embedded in the router all affect performance.

Still unconvinced? Here are the top reasons to upgrade:

More Devices Covered

According to research, the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things will jump from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030. Having the proper wireless network infrastructure to support more devices is critical.

Enter MU-MIMO. MU-MIMO technology (Multiple User Multiple Input Multiple Output) reduces competition between devices on the WiFi network. With a MU-MIMO router such as the Netgear R7800 DD-WRT or the Linksys WRT3200ACM, multiple devices communicate with the network at the same time.

Before the introduction of MU-MIMO, routers used SU-MIMO technology (Single User Multiple Input Multiple Output). Devices connecting to networks using SU-MIMO technology compete for connectivity, as the network processes requests on a first-come, first served basis (as shown above).

In other words, devices form a line, like people entering a theater through one door. No one can enter the theater before the previous person enters. Likewise, device requests are processed only once the router processes the preceding device’s request. Consequently, if a network has many bandwidth-hogging devices, congestion can occur. This can lead to slow speeds and subpar performance.

A router using MU-MIMO technology, meanwhile, fixes this problem by breaking up bandwidth into streams. The router processes individual streams simultaneously, allowing for more devices to connect concurrently, thereby decreasing congestion. It is as if the theater above opened two, three, or four doors, instead of one. That allows for greater speeds and better connections.

Upgraded WiFi Standards

A wireless router upgrade can help your network stay up to date with the latest wireless standards. Check out the chart below to see how some of the older wireless standards compare.

 Wireless-GWireless-NWireless-ACWireless-AD
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps7200 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz5/10/20 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)One 2.4 Ghz, Two 5 GHz Bands, & 60 GHz Bands (Quad-Stream)

As shown above, newer wireless standards allow for more device connections thanks to additional wireless bands. Wireless-AD expands on Wireless-AC by adding another wireless band. The new 60 GHz band allows for short range, powerful connections, reducing the load on other bands. Less load means that devices have a longer lifespan, saving you money.

Upgrading to a router with a newer wireless standard will extend wireless range considerably. Newer wireless routers come with more external antennas for better range and connectivity. Case in point, the Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT VPN FlashRouter. This customized Open Source router takes the top spot for range with eight external antennas, ensuring that any house can be covered by the network.

Better Security

Upgrading your wireless network also helps deal with the number one issue: security. Older routers are less likely to have updates and therefore have more vulnerabilities. Newer routers are more commonly updated and have better security protocols. However, even they are not free from trouble.

Recent router attacks like VPNFilter have shown that regular routers and stock router firmware are still full of security flaws and vulnerable to hacks. Plus, manufacturers are slow to respond to known flaws. So where does that leave you?

Luckily there is a open-source firmware solution like DD-WRT. It is constantly updated, ensuring that there are minimal issues and if issues do arise, they are resolved quickly. However, installing DD-WRT is difficult, time-consuming, and could leave your brand-new router nonfunctional. That’s where FlashRouters comes in! We’ll take the hassle out of upgrading your wireless network and let you enjoy your upgraded wireless network experience.

Upgrading To A FlashRouter For Maximum Performance

A wireless router upgrade is a great start, but upgrading to a FlashRouter is a more complete solution. A FlashRouter is a customized wireless router upgraded with highly customized open-source firmware. Upgrading to a FlashRouter provides added network stability and performance, increased range, and upgraded security.

Our router experts continually check routers for the newest builds, test them, and configure them onto your unique product. We then help you configure the router to ensure the optimal configuration for your environment. Check out some of our Wireless-AC FlashRouters below:

Linksys
Linksys WRT32X AC3200 Netgear R6400V2 AC1750 Asus RT-AC5300 AC5300
Wireless-AC3200 Mbps
1.8 GHz Marvell Processor
4 Ext Antennas
Top Gaming Router
Wireless-AC1750 Mbps
1 Ghz Broadcom Processor
3 Ext Antennas
Top Economy Router
Wireless-AC5300 Mbps
1.4 GHz Broadcom Processor
8 Ext Antennas
Great For Large Homes
$349.99$199.99$499.99

Interested in upgrading to the ultimate home networking centerpiece? Check out the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200. It boasts a powerful 1.7 GHz Quad Core Processor and 4 high powered external antennas will provide a powerful bedrock for any wireless network.

Best DD-WRT Wireless-AD Compatible Netgear Router - R9000 Nighthawk AD7200

Bonus: VPN Protection

Upgrading to a FlashRouter allows for additional capabilities and upgrades to an already powerful wireless router, such as making it compatible for a VPN.

Furthermore, each one of our DD-WRT FlashRouters comes with our free FlashRouters Privacy App. The FlashRouters Privacy App revolutionizes and simplifies using a DD-WRT router with a VPN. With the Privacy App, users can:

  • Switch between locations with the tap of a button (as seen below using IPVanish)
  • Manage which devices go through the VPN and which don’t
  • Change VPN Providers with a few clicks on the same device

Want better support for your entire network? The FlashRouters Privacy App is here to help.

Any questions or concerns? Feel free to send us a message!

Your Router Is Not Secure: How FlashRouters Can Help

Keep Your Network Safe From Hackers

Keep Your Network Safe From Hackers

If ever there was a time to impress upon you the urgency of making sure your router and home network are as secure as possible, it is now.

Independent Security Evaluators of Baltimore have released a report indicating that some of the most popular routers are shockingly hackable. If your network is based around off-the-shelf routers like the Linksys WRT310Nv2, Netgear WNDR4700, Belkin N300 and N900, TP-Link WR1043N, or Verizon Actiontec’s, among others, anyone with LAN or WLAN access and nefarious intent can easily make your life miserable.

According to an article recently published by CNET, router hacks are “a small but growing segment of computer security threats.” And while it may be statistically unlikely that you end up the victim of a router hack, the information contained in the average person’s wireless network (credit card numbers, personal documents, e-mails) is worth fiercely protecting.

How Do the Hackers Do It?

Keep Your Network Secure from Hackers

Keep Your Network Secure from Hackers

The ISE (and CNET) pointed to three different methods of hacker attack. They are:

Trivial attacks, the weakest of the three. These attacks are the least successful because they are launched with no credentials and no human interaction. Remote trivial attacks never work, but local trivia attacks (ones launched by someone connected to the network) work about 1/3 of the time.

Unauthenticated attacks, which are only slightly more successful than trivial attacks. They also work about 1/3 of the time during local attacks, but can occasionally work remotely. They’re based around human interaction, such as “following a malicious link or browsing to an unsafe page, but do not require an active session or access to credentials.”

Authenticated attacks, which are the most effective of all. In these cases, the attacker has access to the victim’s credentials, or the victim’s router has never been changed from it’s default credentials (some firmwares simply won’t allow the default usernames to be changed). Authenticated attacks almost always work.

The ISE tested these routers starting with an attack method called “cross-site request forgery”, which sends unauthorized commands from an otherwise trusted website. From there, as the ISE explained in an e-mail to CNET, things get a little more technical:

“After that, our standard attack was to reset the administrative password to a known value, or add a new administrator, and then enable remote management. Only when this was not possible (e.g., some routers require the old password as part of the request to change it) did we try other attacks. Those included: shell command injection, directory traversal to share the root of the filesystem over an Internet-accessible ftp server, exploiting a race condition to upload shell scripts over ftp and then have them execute, enabling additional vulnerable services, and some more.”

Maybe you can parse that into understandable english; maybe not. Either way, the point is that these routers are not safe, and even if your router is not on the list of those tested by the ISE, it’s still worth taking all of the necessary precautions to keep your information and network secure.

How FlashRouters Can Help You

So your router is vulnerably; astoundingly so, even. What can you do?

According to CNET, there are basic steps that everyone should take – practice rudimentary, obvious caution when giving your information on the internet, make sure your router is properly set up – but that will only take you part of the way. Craig Heffner at Tactical Network Solutions offers this tip: “The best thing you can do is open a third-party firmware such as…Tomato.”

And wouldn’t you know it, FlashRouters just happens to offer routers flashed with Tomato firmware; the best available, in fact. Our routers come equipped with this high-quality firmware in order to ensure that A) you don’t end up bricking the router by going through the tricky process of trying to install this firmware and B) your router comes out the box ready to revolutionize your wireless network and stabilize your online security.

Some of our most popular Tomato routers include the Asus RT-AC3200 which is one of the fastest personal-class routers available, turned into a beast when upgraded with Tomato firmware. Then of course, there’s the Netgear R6400v2 DD-WRT FlashRouter, one whose speed, power, and reliability make it the world-class router to beat.

Want more security flaw information and privacy news? Follow us on Twitter (@flashrouters) or like us on Facebook.

 

 

The Difference Between Wireless-N, Wireless-AC and Wireless-AD

Difference Between Wireless G, N, AC

UPDATED 7/17/2018

People generally refer to all Wireless Internet as WiFi but, as with a lot of technical jargon, WiFi as a term is often misused. Are you one of those people constantly asking: Why is my Internet or my WiFi so slow?

Very often, it is not the Internet provider’s fault. Rather, it all comes down to the type of router you are using and the speed it offers.

Table Of Contents

What Are The Different Wireless Standards?

The wireless standard that we know today was created by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers or IEEE.

IEEE 802.11 is a wireless networking standard created to keep manufacturers wireless routers and wireless networking devices (PS4, Laptops, Tablets, SmartTVs,  XboxOne, iPhones, Roku) on the same page. These standards include IEEE 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n, 802.11ac, and 802.11ad. So what are these standards and what do they have to do with you?

What is Wireless-G & Wireless-N?

Wireless-G and Wireless-N are terms referring to 802.11g and 802.11n wireless networking standards set by the IEEE.

802.11g was a wireless standard is on its way out from modern usage. It offered speeds of up to 54 Mbps and was quickly adopted due to its upgrade in speed over 802.11b.

For example, most coffee shop hotspot routers run on Wireless-G (54 Mbps) or even Wireless-B (11 Mbps). They are constantly being shared by many people so it can be somewhat slow to connect and actually surf the web.

Wireless-N was created to improve network throughput (maximum speed and transmission capabilities) over the two prior standards—802.11b and 802.11g.

Wireless-N was a significant upgrade from Wireless-G for the following reasons:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rate from 54Mbps to up to 900Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities to 40 Mhz
  • Increased security and improvement of stability and range

While these features may have been an upgrade from Wireless-G, Wireless-N is now being phased out with a new successor. Luckily, new routers and wireless standards will still support Wireless-N and the older wireless standards.

Looking for a router that supports your Wireless-N devices? Check out our Netgear Nighthawk R7000 AC1900 DD-WRT FlashRouter!

What is Wireless-AC?

Wireless-AC is the next iteration of the IEEE’s wireless standards. The 802.11ac standard greatly improves nearly every aspect of Wireless-N.

Wireless-AC has increasingly become more formalized and is essentially the minimum for every wireless-capable device. Some improvements include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 5300 Mbps
  • Wider bandwidth capabilities of 80 Mhz as well as an optional 160 Mhz channel
  • Additional 5 GHz frequency band for faster speeds and less wireless clutter

For the best Wireless-AC speeds we recommend the Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT FlashRouter.

What is Wireless-AD?

Wireless-AD is among the newest wireless standards to hit the consumer market. As with any new wireless standard, nearly every aspect has been improved and upgraded. Some of these upgrades include:

  • Increased maximum data transmission rates of up to 7200 Mbps
  • Additional 60 GHz frequency band
  • High-quality 4K movie downloads in mere minutes

However, Wireless-AD is not backward compatible. Simply put, there are few very Wireless-AD compatible devices that support the new 60 GHz frequency band.

What is Wireless-AD? The Netgear R9000 DD-WRT

Currently, that makes Wireless-AD a great future proofing feature on the routers that support it, such as the Netgear Nighthawk R9000 X10 AD7200 DD-WRT FlashRouter. When Wireless-AD becomes adopted as the standard, you will be ready.

Why Should You Upgrade To Wireless-AC?

Hanging onto an older Wireless-G or Wireless-N router means you are sacrificing overall speed and security while actually hindering the wireless capabilities for newer devices.

Using a Wireless-G or Wireless-N router with your iPad may feel like trying to catching a fish with a stick. It may eventually work, but it certainly not the most efficient way to get the job done. This is not an iPhone 6S to iPhone 7 type upgrade where you have a little bit sleeker device and a few new features to play with. When a wireless standard is jumped, you are talking MAJOR wireless connectivity improvements.

Want to see the differences between Wireless AC, Wireless-N, and Wireless-G? Well, here’s a quick breakdown for you.

 Wireless-GWireless-NWireless-ACWireless-AD
Max Throughput (Speeds):54 Mbps900 Mbps5300 Mbps7200 Mbps
Max Wireless Range (Radius):75 Ft200 Ft500 Ft500 Ft
Wireless Channel Widths:20 Mhz20/40 Mhz20/40/80/160 Mhz5/10/20 Mhz
Wireless Bands:One 2.4 Ghz (Single Band)One 2.4Ghz & One 5 Ghz (Dual Band)One 2.4 Ghz & Two 5 Ghz (Tri-Band)One 2.4 Ghz, Two 5 GHz Bands, & 60 GHz Bands (Quad-Stream)

Of course, these ranges are maximum distances in optimal conditions. Most of us don’t live in a world where there is no other wireless interference. Even if you don’t see any other wireless signals in your range, there is still a laundry list of devices that can cost you range, such as cordless phones, baby monitors and even microwaves.

While Wireless-AD is the latest iteration of the standard, getting a premium Wireless-AC router is the best way to ensure compatibility with the best performance.

Here is a handy list of some of our most popular Wireless-AC Routers and their manufacturer speed maximums:

Top FlashRouters By Maximum Speeds

Wireless-AC 1900 Mbps
Linksys WRT1900ACS/AC v2 DD-WRT Top Budget Wireless-AC Option
Netgear R7000 Nighthawk DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 2600 Mbps
Netgear R7800 X4S DD-WRT

Wireless-AC 3200 Mbps
Linksys WRT3200ACM DD-WRT – Best Recommended Wireless-AC Router

Wireless-AC 5300 Mbps
Asus RT-AC5300 DD-WRT – Best Range Router of 2018

Wireless-AD 7200 Mbps
Netgear R9000 DD-WRT – Most Powerful DD-WRT Router of 2018

If you are looking to get “faster wifi,” these are the devices you want to buy.

Upgrading these router’s firmware to the powerful DD-WRT firmware platform on all of these routers, as FlashRouters does, allows you more control over the signal while improving signal strength and stability. Many of these routers have excellent hardware but the manufacturer’s firmware actually hinders their abilities.

Buying one of these routers with a DD-WRT upgrade can make a world of difference in their overall performance and create a new bedrock for your networking gateway.

For more DD-WRT Router & VPN Service Provider info, product updates, and specials follow us on Twitter @flashrouters or like us on Facebook.

Fixes for Apple Wi-Fi Issues (iPhones, iPads, AppleTVs): Pt. I

Can the iPad Come Out and Play?

Apple users tend to be very attached to their iPads, AppleTVs, iPhones & Macbooks for an intuitive, consistent interface. However, their number one complaint is either flaky or absent Wi-Fi when using Apple networking products like the Apple Airport Extreme, Apple Time Capsule, or Airport Express in their network.

Apple devices are meant to work well in their own contained ecosystem but when they enter the real world, they don’t necessarily play well with others. And while you can control this pretty easily at home, it is unlikely that everywhere you go will be using Apple friendly hardware. Fortunately, there are several ways of checking if the issue is fixable. The first thing you should do is check for Wireless Channels & Wireless Signal Interference.

Wireless Signal Interference

You may not know it, but placing your router next to the wrong household appliance could be the cause of your connection problems. Apple lists a large array of possible root causes of signal loss & possible wireless hindrances for iPads, AppleTVs etc that operate on the same band as wireless routers (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz) including:

  • Microwave ovens (i.e. Using your microwave oven near your computer).
  • 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz cordless telephones, baby monitors, digital cameras or wireless speakers.
  • Direct Satellite Service (DSS): Coax cable and connectors used with certain types of satellite dishes may cause interference. Check cable damage and obtain newer cables if you suspect RF leakage.
  • External Computer Monitors & LCD displays: Certain displays may emit harmonic interference, especially in the 2.4GHz band between channels 11 and 14. This interference would probably be at its worst if you have a portable computer with the lid closed and an external monitor connected to it. Try changing your access point to use 5 GHz or a lower 2.4 GHz channel.

How to Test for Wireless Interference/Channels

One excellent habit to get into if you are having signal issues and live in a high-density area is to use the free tool inSSIDer.

inSSIDer is an intuitive program that allows you to scan and see where all those wireless signals on your Internet Connection options menu are coming from and if they are conflicting with yours. You can also see the strength of your own network in comparison to those around you.

Screenshot-of-the-free-Wi-Fi-Analyzing-Program-inSSIDer

As you can see, there are a lot of wireless signals around me. I live in a highly populated area (in lovely suburban New Jersey) inside a cluster of houses and across the street from a 5-floor apartment building. There are tons of wireless signals and SSIDs, and plenty of interference on all wireless channels. Oftentimes it is hard for me to even find an open channel, so if I am having signal issues, I just try switching them up

The wireless signal transmission options in the US for the 2.4 GHz standard wireless band are 1, 6, and 11. These signals vary from country to country. Wikipedia has a highly technical page that goes into an in-depth analysis of wireless signals.

Most routers have a wireless channel option of Auto. However, if you leave the router on for an extended period time without rebooting, it may not be constantly checking for the best channel, but rather only checking for the best channel at the time the router loads. This is one of the reasons why rebooting your router seems to magically fix many common issues.

Mobile Wi-FI Scanning Apps & Using Wireless-N Properly

If you want to scan wireless signals, wireless channels and interference on the go, we recommend the excellent and also free WiFi Analyzer app for Android, iPad or iPhone that you can see below.

wifianalyzer-24ghz-vs-5ghz

Sadly, my laptop does not have a 5 GHz WiFi signal but my new Samsung Galaxy III does and you can see the difference in signal clarity. I’m all alone up HERE!

OSGU3 is an ISP router that is in Mixed Wireless Mode to accommodate other WiFi users with older devices in my home that do not have Wireless-N capabilities. If all your devices are on Wireless-N and you do not have to capitulate to the slow Wireless-G speeds, changing your Wireless Network mode from Mixed to N-Only will likely give a signal boost.

Both of the signals on my Simultaneous Dual Band DD-WRT Netgear R7000 are optimized for AC-Only.

With my DD-WRT router, I can also view and tweak the options of each signal and have decided to capitalize on this 5 GHz opening by making this a Wireless-N only signal, thereby allowing it to transmit at its highest capacity.

DDWRT-5Ghz-Wireless-Status

The issue with 5 GHz is that its signal distance is not as great. 5 GHz is preferred for streaming unencumbered wireless video at closer distances. If you will be working in a good proximity to your router most of the time with an iPad or later version iPhone but can’t plug in, using a Dual Band router and tweaking its 5 GHz settings may solve the problem. If you are having a poor Netflix experience with you AppleTV or Roku, switching the signal to the 5 GHz band on a DD-WRT router could do the trick.

DD-WRT is a router based firmware upgrade that improves signal stability and performance. It also has many advanced features that don’t usually come with a router such as Repeater/Client Bridge modes, OpenVPN server/client options and a whole lot more. To learn more about upgraded options that come with the DD-WRT firmware upgrade, check out our Intro to DD-WRT.

For more wireless connection tips, check back next week where we will be discussing wireless encryption tips.  You can also follow us on Twitter@flashrouters or like us on Facebook.

Special Deals Section: The Newest Addition to FlashRouters.com

A Coin Dropping Shooting Into Piggy BankAt FlashRouters.com, we know everyone likes a deal. One of things we wanted to offer visitors to the site was a spot where they could find deals that we are offering on our routers so we created the Deals section tab to our new navigation.

From time to time, we run specials and discounts on our highly specialized line of DDWRT routers with unique VPN connection support. Whether it is passing some savings onto our customers or just the fleeing feeling of giving people a deal and making them happy, we strive to get everyone the safest, most secure, Internet browsing experience possible.

By exposing people to the superbness of the DD-WRT open source platform for unleashing the full power of routers, we believe you will begin to truly experience the Internet as it was meant to be. Check out our line of supercharged DDWRT routers and get ready to be amazed.