If you’ve been putting off upgrading your WiFi network from 802.11g (or a or b) to 802.11n, maybe now is the time. Amazon is offering four models of Buffalo Technology 802.11n WiFi routers for at least 50% off. And for the geeks out there, one of the appealing aspects of Buffalo’s routers is that they run DD-WRT out of the box. No need to flash them with after market firmware to get DD-WRT’s tweaks, it comes standard. And if you’re not a geek and you have no idea what DD-WRT is, don’t worry about it. It is a very popular and respected router software load, that’s all you need to know.
Starting at the high end of the four units on sale is the AirStation High Power N600 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router, model WZR-HP-AG300H. It is dual band (5GHz & 2.4GHz) 2×2 MIMO router with up to 300Mbps in each band, for 600Mbps throughput total. It supports 802.11a/b/g/n and has Gigabit Ethernet, and a two year warranty. Amazon is offering it for $89.99, 50% off the $179.99 MSRP.
Next is the AirStation High Power N450 Gigabit Wireless Router, model WZR-HP-G450H. This is a single-band (2.4GHz) 3×3 MIMO router with up to 450Mbps throughput. It supports 802.11b/g/n and has Gigabit Ethernet and a two year warranty. Amazon is offering it for $79.99, 56% off the $179.99 MSRP.
Third on the list is the AirStation High Power N300 Gigabit Wireless Router, model WZR-HP-G300NH. This is a single-band (2.4GHz) 2×2 MIMO router with up to 300Mbps throughput. It supports 802.11b/g/n and has Gigabit Ethernet and a two year warranty. Amazon is offering it for $64.99, 50% off the $129.99 MSRP.
These first three units also support attaching a USB drive to act as a central network storage server.
And finally we have the AirStation High Power N300 Wireless Router, model WHR-HP-G300N. This is a single-band (2.4GHz) 2×2 MIMO router with up to 300Mbps throughput. It supports 802.11b/g/n and has 100Mbps Fast Ethernet and a two year warranty. Amazon is offering it for $42.99, 52% off the $89.99 MSRP.
All four of these routers are solid products. Buffalo Technology has a comparison chart to break down the features and differences between the units. These four units are the four rightmost columns in the chart.
I’ve long been putting off upgrading my 802.11g network to 802.11n, so I just ordered myself two of the N600 dual-band units to replace my old Linksys WRT54GL, which is still running HyperWRT+Thibor from many years back. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, most of my gear is connected via wired Fast Ethernet, only a couple of laptops and Droids are using the WiFi. But I’m also changing the layout of my home it means moving the router to the opposite corner of the house, which will mean the existing (kludged) Cat5 run to the second floor will no longer be feasible. So I’m going to switch to using the second N600 as a bridge to feed the network up there. I went with the N600 since it is dual-band, my neighborhood is getting crowded with 2.4GHz networks, so being able to use the relatively vacant 5GHz range should ensure good performance.
Maybe I’ll give away my old router to a reader once I’ve upgraded.