Inexpensive router to use as a wireless bridge?

#1 Posted by MB (11297 posts) -

I just moved and am slowly figuring out how I want all my electronics and computers set up. Looks like I will be mounting my old-ish 42" Sharp LCD on the wall in my extra bedroom with a fully articulating wall mount. It will have a tiny HDMI Roku on the back and possibly an Xbox 360 hooked up to it.

That being said, my internet gateway and computer are downstairs. This house is not pre-wired for anything and I really don't want to deal with running ethernet all the way upstairs, so I was considering setting up an inexpensive router upstairs as a wireless bridge. I used to use a Linksys WRT-54G for this purpose for years running Tomato firmware until it died, so at this point I'm not sure if there is an off the shelf product that will work for me, or if I'm better off just getting another old Linksys and putting Tomato or DD-WRT on it.

Any suggestions? It can be Wireless G and doesn't have to be top of the line or anything like that, as it will chiefly be used to supply internet to the TV's apps and soon an Xbox 360 for occasional gaming. Thanks everyone!

#2 Posted by SexyToad (2739 posts) -

I'm saying just get what worked for you before. The Linksy with Tomato firmware. The only thing else I heard of is by USB that goes to your computer, but since your computer is downstairs that wouldn't work.

#3 Posted by Butano (1681 posts) -

Linskys with Tomato should be fine and inexpensive.

Another alternative would be powerline adapters. They use your electrical outlets as ethernet cables and are usually much faster than wireless. They can be a bit pricey, admittedly, but the speeds are typically as good as wired ethernet and you don't have to worry about signal strength, and then you can just use a switch to plug all the devices in. Tested did a quick look of them a while back.

#4 Posted by TyCobb (1924 posts) -

I would try the electrical outlet adapters that Butano recommended or actually get a wireless repeater. I know you are asking for something inexpensive, but you never actually listed an amount so I don't know what your exact options are.

Currently I am using a Belkin wireless router downstairs and an Amped repeater upstairs. The Amped repeater works pretty good and allowed our Blu-Ray player to finally stream Netflix through wireless. It was about $70.

#5 Posted by kimbokasteniv (115 posts) -

Its hard for me to recommend anything but a WRT54GL with a custom firmware. I ran one as a bridge for an IP security camera for two years and never had to reset it (I reset it once or twice when changing settings, but never to fix a dropped connection).

I have used powerline adapters as well, and assuming your house is wired the way the adapter expects everything should be great... although the ones I had did get fairly hot, and also required occassional resetting after high traffic. But I'm sure some adapters are more reliable than others.

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