Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: The Dandelion City
$60 is probably the minimum you want to spend, and that's on sale. Markups on routers can be fairly high so you definitely want to shop around on the 'net. There are often good deals on recently discontinued models. Canada Computers' prices are reasonable but they can be beaten. I recently purchased a D-Link DIR-827 for it's price/performance ratio (before reading this thread.) I knew it's wireless performance is a bit weak but I don't plan on using it for wireless. It's wired to a Linksys e3000 that is set up as an access point in a better location. (That's two $100+ routers to get decent coverage.) In any case, I didn't pay that much and they do the job. (There are better routers out there but at $150-$250.) The DIR-827 is a PITA to configure and it's reliability doesn't seem as good as the e3000.
There are lot's of sources for router reviews. SmallNetBuilder is a good source of information and their reviews are above average. Newegg and Amazon have lots of end user reviews.
Things to consider are:
1. WAN throughput. Some routers perform better for high speed connections and heavy loads. (Multiple videos and downloads/uploads at the same time on a 10mbps+ internet service.)
2. Range. Some routers perform better at lower signal strengths.
3. Wireless throughput. Some routers perform better at any signal strength.
4. LAN throughput. These days it's better to get a unit with 1GB LAN ports.
5. Feature set. Many OEM firmwares are lacking in features. Make sure you get the ones you need. A router that is DD-WRT compatible opens up a new range of features but is only recommended to people who are comfortable with hacking their router firmware.
At 20 I had a good mind. At 40 I had money. At 60 I've lost my mind and my money. Oh, to be 20 again. --Scary