Wireless Networking - My Faith Hath Been Restored

I was at the end of my tether with wireless. I've been rebooting my router pretty much hourly for the last week or so. Not too big a deal - I don't live in a big house - but annoying all the same. What stopped me replacing the router was a belief that pretty much all wireless routers are flawed. My sisters and I bought our Mum a new laptop & wireless router for Christmas - she was all wired up with broadband and ready to go. Imagine her disappointment (and my hours of frustration) when the router would only sustain a connection for a limited period of time. Every time she wants to use the laptop -> router reboot time.

There does seem to be a relationship between the reliability of the router and the security scheme. Being a fan of WPA2, I expect the router to deliver. So even if it works on WEP or worse, Open, that doesn't really help. I want reliable WPA2 for all the devices on my network.

Well, I seem to have found an answer. For the grand sum of £34, and based on the great reviews it got on their site, I purchased a Zoom X6 from Ebuyer. (A word of warning on Ebuyer reviews BTW, they sometimes switch out products but retain the "old" reviews - especially for their own brand range - that's how I ended up with a pile of junk instead of a decent router for my Mum. When you dig deep you find out all the 5 start ratings are for a different router than the one they're currently shipping...)

The difference? I haven't had to reboot the Zoom router since it turned up 3 days ago. It's bliss. Every time I want to connect, it connects. Doesn't sound like too much to ask for? It's something the SMC Barricade I had couldn't do (and it wasn't the only SMC Barricade I had that couldn't do it either!)

It did take me a while to setup the Zoom as the MAC filtering works the opposite way to the SMC so I had blacklisted my own MAC address. A valuable lesson in doing things one step at a time (especially with wireless networking) rather than taking an "all at once" approach. Had I got it working in Open mode, then secured with WPA2 then added MAC address filtering it would have been pretty obvious why things stopped working. As it was I fumbled around for an embarrassingly long time before I figured it out.

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