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View Full Version : Time for upgrade, Laptop and router



Dave Lehnert
09-04-2014, 10:01 PM
Thinking of upgrading my laptop and wireless.

My wireless router is a 802.11 B/G was reading tonight that this is very slow and an upgrade will improve things?????
My question, Is it better to do a router upgrade first then get a new laptop or laptop then router upgrade. Does it matter? Just a little nervous changing my router. Never had to change one out before. What will I need to know before doing the changeover?

Laptop I think I know what I want. Looking for recommendations on brand and place to purchase from. (windows) Kinda like to buy local but on-line is not a problem if the deal is right.
Local is most all stores. Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Best Buy. HH Grieg, Wal- Mart, Target, Micro Center. Etc.............

Jerome Stanek
09-05-2014, 8:06 AM
If you are buying a windows 8.1 machine make sure you get more then 4 gigs of ram I have 2 the samelaptops 1 running windows 8.1 and the other I downgraded to windows 7. They both have 4 gigs of ram but the windows 8.1 only has 1,82 gig usable and the windows 7 has 3.89 usable. Most of my stuff comes from Micro Center

Jim Matthews
09-05-2014, 8:35 AM
We upgraded our router to the latest 802.11ac standard.

While that required an additional "dongle" to get remote devices compatible,
it was much cheaper than replacing the computers.

The router is the primary speed limiter.
Start with that, first.

And backup your data.
That, too.

Myk Rian
09-05-2014, 9:20 AM
Micro Center. Hands down.
What's nice about them is they have a support forum. Something the others have no idea what it is.
Great equipment and prices.
It's very possible they have a Win7 laptop with Win 8 DVD and license.
Get your router at the same time.

Chuck Wintle
09-05-2014, 9:28 AM
Thinking of upgrading my laptop and wireless.

My wireless router is a 802.11 B/G was reading tonight that this is very slow and an upgrade will improve things?????
My question, Is it better to do a router upgrade first then get a new laptop or laptop then router upgrade. Does it matter? Just a little nervous changing my router. Never had to change one out before. What will I need to know before doing the changeover?

Laptop I think I know what I want. Looking for recommendations on brand and place to purchase from. (windows) Kinda like to buy local but on-line is not a problem if the deal is right.
Local is most all stores. Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Best Buy. HH Grieg, Wal- Mart, Target, Micro Center. Etc.............

you probably would not go wrong with any from this list....
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2398080,00.asp

Brian Elfert
09-05-2014, 12:02 PM
I really like my Apple Airport Extreme router. Expensive, but it just works and never had a need to reboot it. The latest version has AC capability. It works just fine with non Apple devices. I didn't even have any Apple devices until last December.

Bill Huber
09-05-2014, 12:27 PM
I guess you are talking about new, I have made the decision to never buy a new laptop or desktop computer. I don't need tons of horse power to do the things I am doing now, SketchUp and Photoshop are my 2 biggest apps.

I have bought 2 laptops for myself and have help others, like 4 or 5 of them buy new computers and laptops. In fact this fall I had a friend that bought 3 laptops for his kids and the money he saved in refurbish unit over new was unreal.

This is where I get them and I have had NO problems with any of them that I or others have bought.
http://www.computerrefurb.com/windows-7/?sort=priceasc

Jerome Stanek
09-05-2014, 5:35 PM
I look at the clearance and open box stuff. My wife just got a open box Dell that was an I3 with 6 gigs ram lighted keyboard laptop for $147.00

Rick Gibson
09-05-2014, 7:46 PM
If you buy clearance or open box stuff make sure what is supposed to be inside is actually there before leaving the store. Before I retired one of the guys I worked with had a part time business buying the returned computers and other electronics from Cosco. He figures about 25% of the computers that were returned because they either didn't work or were not fast enough was because the purchaser opened it up and swapped all the guts from his old computer and then returned the new case and old guts for a refund.

I am assuming you are talking about the typical 4 port router that also connects to your phone line. To change this you will need the user ID and password provided to you by your service provider. Also for any wireless devices you will have to configure them with the new key # that is provided with the new router.
Also how are you connecting your laptop to the router. If a wireless connection is being used try connecting with a cable. You will likely get a significant speed increase without spending any money except for maybe a cable. Personally for home use I would not get a laptop, keyboard is to small for me, the screen is to small and they overheat to easily.

Jerome Stanek
09-06-2014, 8:13 AM
At Micro Center they list what parts are missing and have you a return policy. I had one item that wasn't working the keyboard did not work I called and they offered to take it back but it was a 2hour trip so I opened it up and the cable was unplugged. They called me back to see what I was going to do and told them about the cable the manager refunded me $30.00 for my trouble.

Myk Rian
09-06-2014, 3:35 PM
Jerome's example is precisely why I deal with M. C.

Curt Harms
09-07-2014, 10:15 AM
I think the answer is "it depends". If you just use wifi for surfing Sawmill Creek and similar, your internet connection is most likely your limiter. I sometimes hook up a Linksys WRT-54GL as a temporary wireless access point. It's limited to G speeds - 54 mb./sec. - and I think that for most users that's not limiting. If you're streaming HD video content from a media server and running torrent streams at the same time, 54 mb./sec ain't gonna cut it. The newer wifi standard are supposed to offer better range, I can't comment on that because I've not had a problem with signal strength that wasn't due to a crappy wifi adapter drivers.

Edit: Another consideration might be if your router is supported. In today's security environment it's nice if your network hardware doesn't have too many known unpatched flaws.

Jim Becker
09-08-2014, 12:01 PM
The pros to upgrading your access point/router go beyond just performance...quite often, older access points/routers are not able to support the highest levels of security. Since these devices are not expensive to replace, if your access point/router is more than 3-4 years old, I'd suggest you make the investment. What Curt says is absolutely true, however...the biggest performance bottleneck is going to be your ISP service.

As to the new computer, today's machines are more capable, faster, have better display quality and (assuming a portable) are generally lighter than those that are only a few years old. While I would never buy a "used" computer, I've purchased factory reconditioned a few times (quite often open box returns that never had any problems) which offer a better price with the full "new" warranty. Honestly, I haven't been inside of a "brick and mortar" computer store in many, many years...I buy direct from Apple and Dell or B&H Photo. ('just purchased a new Macbook Air for my daughter at the latter this weekend for less than an Apple reconditioned or new Apple with my corporate discount...it arrives tomorrow)

Greg Portland
09-08-2014, 5:28 PM
I'd recommend an Asus RT-AC68U if throughput and range of your router are a concern.