Refurbished Comp USA Router FTW!

Flyn

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Amy and I are on a business/vacation trip to Chicago and are staying at her parents' house since they are currently living at their house in Montana. They have DSL wired to only one computer. With a couple laptops, we needed to add a router to their set up so we wouldn't go crazy swapping wires or using their 5 y.o. Dell.

We drove to Comp USA in Orland and I asked one of the guys to show me their cheapest router. They have a new one for $29 or the one I bought, a Netgear refurbished router for $19.

This router was simple to hook up and, other than having to find the manuals online and not coming with an installation CD, you cannot tell it from new. No issues at all with the router. I'm using it now while typing this. I was almost crying at the DSL speed on their computer. On my laptop, although it's still slow, it's at least tolerable. Cheapo refurb. router FTW! If you need a throw away router for a trip or just don't want to spend regular router prices, the refurbished one is working well for us. We'll leave it here when we leave in case we come back, other relatives visit or her parents decide to open the vault and get a modern computer.
 

Dasfinc

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#1 issue with refurb products from Tiger direct/comp USA is the 30-90 day warranty.

From my experience (mind you, I have a LOT of networking and IS experience), Routers like to crap out frequently, especially cheap ones. Any router under $50 lasting over a year is luck to me. For someone who is not an experienced user, I always recommend buying the very best you can afford to avoid issues down the road. ISP's LOVE to blame 3rd party hardware for internet/connectivity issues.

I've lost my brand loyalties over the years (used to be hard-core Linksys/Cisco only), but have had great luck with Netgear and Belkin so long as it's the higher end stuff (I have a $110 Belkin Dual-Band N with a USB file server built into it that I have nothing but good things to say about, and 3 years ago I wouldn't touch anything belkin with a 30 foot pole (about the max of their wireless range at the time).
 
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Flyn

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I was impressed with the ease of installation. The router asked if I wanted to use its Wizard and then walked me through the entire install and security process. I have spent a lot more time figuring out install issues with more expensive routers. I did make sure to download all the install pages from the website so I'd have them handy when I started the install and had no web access except my Droid. Looked back at them on my laptop a couple times during the process but found they weren't really necessary.

As I mentioned, this is a throw away router that I'm happy to get a couple weeks from. If it lasts Amy's parents a year or longer, I'm way ahead of the game. It's doing everything my much more expensive home router does for a lot less money.
 

Dasfinc

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I was impressed with the ease of installation. The router asked if I wanted to use its Wizard and then walked me through the entire install and security process. I have spent a lot more time figuring out install issues with more expensive routers. I did make sure to download all the install pages from the website so I'd have them handy when I started the install and had no web access except my Droid. Looked back at them on my laptop a couple times during the process but found they weren't really necessary.

As I mentioned, this is a throw away router that I'm happy to get a couple weeks from. If it lasts Amy's parents a year or longer, I'm way ahead of the game. It's doing everything my much more expensive home router does for a lot less money.
Netgear and Belkin routers have gotten much more user friendly IMO in the past few years, but I've seen the 'refurbish' process first hand, and it's a bit of a joke honestly...

keep in mind, refurbished routers are basically routers that were dead, and then repaired with components from other dead routers, OR they are routers that were returned for whatever reason as defective, then tested good and re-sold as refurbs. That's why I'm leery of them.

I've always had my cheap routers last 5+ years...not Linksys either
I've rarely seen sub $50 belkins/netgears/2Wires last reliably for more than a year. I know you are a Tech head like me, chances are you keep your firmware updated, and it's in a good, open area etc.
 
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Flyn

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That's another point that impressed me with this router. It told me there was a firmware update available and installed it with no drama.

With products like routers, I assume a lot of returns are because of user error.

As you say, when it is hardware, it's replaced with other potentially dead hardware. When I first plugged this router in, I got no lights and was thinking it was a dead refurb but I discovered the outlet was dead. Tried another outlet and BAM, there it went.
 

radioguy6

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theres nothing wrong with refurbs, espcially home grade equipment. I figure alot of the refurbs probably worked 100% from the start, just returned by incompetent users. I personally stay away from home grade crap anyway.
 
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So, Amy's mom continued her "in your face" style of family relations and told me to take the router with me because "she doesn't want it". I told her I'd disconnect it and pack it up so she could have it in case someone with a laptop visits or she gets a computer manufactured after 2000. She said she had no room to store it in her 2 person occupied house. Then, today, we open up a card from her and see a $50 check. For what? Because I gave Amy's dad some stuff and she doesn't want to feel indebted. Gotta love mothers in law.

I told Amy not to cash it because that will really annoy her mom.
 

Mike K

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So, Amy's mom continued her "in your face" style of family relations and told me to take the router with me because "she doesn't want it". I told her I'd disconnect it and pack it up so she could have it in case someone with a laptop visits or she gets a computer manufactured after 2000. She said she had no room to store it in her 2 person occupied house. Then, today, we open up a card from her and see a $50 check. For what? Because I gave Amy's dad some stuff and she doesn't want to feel indebted. Gotta love mothers in law.

I told Amy not to cash it because that will really annoy her mom.
I don't know if I could tolerate passive aggressive bullshit like that. The only thing my mother in law is guilty of is loving me too much.
 
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Flyn

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You're lucky in the MIL department. I will, however, take Amy over any other woman I ever met so I have that going for me. Plus, now I have two routers.
 

Freebeer187

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Ahem, what about a cheapo router and installing custom firmware? I have a Linksys e1000 (bout at TD for $20) running DD-WRT. The stock fw sucked terrible. With ddwrt, i get the same internet speeds as i do wired (4.45 megabytes a second). Stock firmware i was only at about 2.6MB a second. I actually was able to lower the clocks on the router to make it faster and more reliable at the same time. The spedburst option is what made the wiress scream. Oh and my E3000 is brodcasting at 40mhz constantly with g/n mixed (stock fw doesnt do this because it can mess up your neighbors wifi).
 

Freebeer187

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Oh the E1000 is a bridge meaning i use it to gain network access to computers via the ethernet port. The router connects to my main router which posseses the internet access.
 

Freebeer187

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You have to install custom firmware. Hard? The hardest thing is finding a good tutorial that spoon feeds (for lack of better term) the info to install the custom firmware. Once the custom firmware is installed, then you have to find the optimal settings. If you do not know what you are doing, you can very easily brick your router. There are so many settings that they can easily look like Greek. Its up to you if you want to try to install the firmware.
 

Mr_Roboto

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I used to run Cisco for my front end into the house, only catch was keeping a set of them online was noisy and expensive. Worked fairly well after I got a 3600 series instead of my 2500 series. I miss some of the features of em day to day, but a Netgear like you're mentioning has worked well for me overall.
 
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Flyn

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You have to install custom firmware. Hard? The hardest thing is finding a good tutorial that spoon feeds (for lack of better term) the info to install the custom firmware. Once the custom firmware is installed, then you have to find the optimal settings. If you do not know what you are doing, you can very easily brick your router. There are so many settings that they can easily look like Greek. Its up to you if you want to try to install the firmware.
Thanks. Probably better than 50/50 I can do it. When I get bored, I'll try it with the spare router. Any links you recommend? Otherwise, I'll google it.
 

Freebeer187

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I recommend typing in the model and version (linksys uses versions for sure) and DD-WRT. The rest is up to you, but if you PM me with a model and version I may be able to assist.
 

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