The importance of a good router – Why your internet keeps failing

November 23, 2009 Chilling_Silence How-To's / Guides / Tech info

EDIT: Found this in September 2011 that agrees with pretty much all I write, from a major Australian ISP. Well worth the read:

“But I have a good router already! My ISP gave me it, it must be the best!”

Man if I had a couple of bucks every time I’ve heard that, I’d be so rich by now. Fact of the matter is, it’s unfortunately far from the truth, and many ISP-provided routers truly suck.

I work with VoIP, and running a Voice call over the internet may be easy with Skype, and you may be OK with choppy calls, but when you’re running an enterprise-grade telephony system, you don’t have the same tolerance for bad quality. Same for Home users, you should not have to put up with daily restarts! Same for bad speeds, bad / cheap routers usually give worse speeds than a decent router.

What does that have to do with you? Most probably everything! If you’re here it’s likely because you’re having issues with your internet, and either you think it’s related to your router, or I’ve referred you here from PressF1.

So let’s clear the air about a few routers:

D-Link DSL-320GThe D-Link DSL-302G is quite possibly the worst router of all time. They should be all be burned in one great big bonfire and D-Link publicly mocked for them. Throw the DSL-502T in there too, they’re nearly as bad.



Dynalink RTA1320Dynalink have their overheating RTA1320 that gets so hot the plastic melts and changes from light cream to a rusty looking orange or brown. It’s not the best choice in router. NetComm (Who now own Dynalink) have suggested it was just a small “batch” that they recalled which had overheating issues, and the firmware is semi-decent, however where possible I avoid them.


2Wire 2070 Telecom have been giving away a 2Wire 2070-series Router and Thomson TG585v7 modems. They’ve got some of the worst web interfaces I’ve ever used, but at least they’re semi-reliable. Again though, they must be cheap routers if they mass-produce them and Telecom gives them away. $199 value? Whatever! Nobody in their right mind would spend $199 on them!



Siemens SX-763Orcon with their HomeHub / BizHub router which is a Siemens SX-763. Best mentioned so far, but again far from the quality that a router should be. It’s locked-down so you can’t change the USB port or VoIP settings (Though performing a factory reset with the button on the underside fixed that for me), it doesn’t overheat, but for a “VoIP router” it doesn’t handle a VoIP server running behind it well at all. Mediocre, but better than the Telecom stuff I must say. Still, not good enough to be giving away though…


Belkin N1The Belkin N1 is overpriced and fails to deliver in so many ways. I’m not sure why, but around 60% of all the N1’s I’ve dealt with just seem to have packed up and died. Their ADSL performance / reliability was mediocre anyway. suffering from irregular reboots.




Netgear DG834GThe Netgear DG834G has firmware issues, wireless isn’t reliable, average broadband performance and reliability, but to be honest it’s probably the most reliable router I’m recommending people avoid. They’ve got some other open-source stuff that doesn’t have ADSL Support which is actually pretty decent. Still, even these drop their internet connection under load far too often.




Linksys WAG160NLinksys, yes I love Linksys stuff but man did they mess up badly with the WAG160N. That thing falls over almost as much as the Dynalinks. Sure, I’ve seen ADSL Sync speeds go up when compared with the likes of a Telecom Thomson TG585 by around 3m/bit, but that means nothing to me if it’s not going to function day in and day out reliably.



What’s the solution then? So many bad routers out there, most free, what can you do about it?

Well don’t take the free stuff that your ISP gives away. There’s a reason why it’s free, and that’s not because it’s a good, quality router!

Tell me what I SHOULD buy then? What are good routers?

If you’re a home user or small-business and want an all-in-one solution that “just works”:
NetComm NB6Plus4Wn

If you’re a geek or a business, or perhaps you want a little more control over your router, maybe you give your internet connection a hammering, or if you want QoS (Quality of Service) to prioritize VoIP / Gaming above other traffic, then you want:
A Linksys AM300 in Halfbridge to a Linksys WRT54GL running Tomato Firmware or Gargoyle Firmware

If you can’t get the Linksys AM300 then you can use the Draytek DV120 in PPPoA -> PPPoE Passthru mode instead. They sync a little slower but are generally just as good.

Please drop me a comment and say Hi, let me know if this has helped you or got you thinking in any way, or perhaps if you’ve got one of the routers then just say so. Always happy to hear from readers.



2Wire, ADSL, AM300, Belkin N1, Biz Hub,

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