Wireless router questions

  Pineman100 16:35 23 Feb 2008

I have a couple of questions before I buy a wireless router for a friend (who's even less computer savvy than me!).

1. Is an 802.11g router automatically backward-compatible with an 802.11b wireless networking card?

2. Any thoughts on the best value-for-money, reliable adsl router (phone line, not cable), and the cheapest supplier?

Thanks for any advice.

  MAJ 16:52 23 Feb 2008

1. Usually, but a specific maker's card isn't always guaranteed to work with another maker's router, although 95% of the time they do.

2. I like Linksys or Netgear routers, although they aren't always the least expensive. As for suppliers........... don't go with Tiscali (if you're wise).

  Technotiger 16:55 23 Feb 2008

802.11g is the better option, faster and with a greater range, downside is slightly more expensive, but I don't think you should let that put you off.

  Migwell 23:30 23 Feb 2008

Go for Linksys as their help department is simply the best I have ever come across. They have helped me on several occasions, and I am very glad they were there.

I would say it is a no contest, Linksys over all the rest.

  woodchip 23:41 23 Feb 2008

I have a 3Com OfficeConnect and would not change it. As above try to keep hardware from same make
click here

click here

  woodchip 23:44 23 Feb 2008

Also check out these click here

  Pineman100 06:03 24 Feb 2008

...for some useful comments there.

I apologise that I didn't make question 1. above clearer. My friend already has a wireless enabled Dell laptop - it's a Dell Inspiron 1720 (bought last September), so we have no choice about the brand of wireless adaptor. Is there any way I can find out for sure whether a certain router will definitely be happy to work with his built-in adaptor? (I have no access to his computer at present - he's out of the country until April).

Thanks for the useful links, woodchip.

  woodchip 17:36 24 Feb 2008

My HP Laptop Wi-Fi Works OK with 3Com but it would only work with a Toshiba with Encryption Disabled

  Pineman100 18:45 24 Feb 2008

Do you think there's a brand of router that is likely to be the safest choice to work well with a Dell computer?

I suppose it's difficult to answer that without knowing what wireless card is fitted to the Dell.

Does anyone know what brand Dell uses, please?

  MAJ 18:51 24 Feb 2008

It wouldn't be too difficult to find out which cards Dell use, Pineman100, but I haven't had any problems connecting Dell laptops to any Linksys or Netgear routers yet, Toshiba laptops either. ;)

  Pineman100 19:27 24 Feb 2008

That's useful to know, Maj. Thanks very much. Would you regard those two brands of router as the most universally connectable? I know you commented favourably on their quality, above.

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