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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi AVS,


I'm looking to build a media server to feed an HTPC front end that I am in the process of building. I'm planning on building a server-and-router-in-one with an intel atom board and a wireless-N dongle, and was looking for some advice. Is it too much to ask to have a router and media server in the same box, so to speak? Any advice on components? I'm trying to keep the total cost around $150, not including shipping.


I know there are dedicated linux router distros out there, but I don't think that they will be media centric. Is there anything out there that might meet my needs?
 

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Ugh... I went that route back when Routers were $300+ pieces of hardware. I built a small windows box from a bunch of used parts to use as a Router, used Internet Connection Sharing to share the internet connection. Management was a pain; I don't know how it works now but back then to do any port forwarding (so games would work) required Registry Hacking. I do wonder if things have improved much since then; Windows still isn't intended to be used as a Router, but maybe some front ends have been developed for making management easier, I dunno.


Personally, I'd suggest you just drop the $50 and get yourself a nice dedicated router . If nothing else it'll save you a ton of aggravation to have a piece of hardware that just works when you plug it in.
 

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$150 total for everything?


Try some of the TRENDnet routers on New Egg or Amazon. Make sure you get a N dongle that supports 2 streams (300mbps) and don't invest in 3 stream routers yet, as proven by Small Net Builder, the extra cost isn't worth it yet, you can get the same speeds with 2 stream routers.


Buffalo Routers use DD-WRT but look on the Buffalo forums, people are having connection issues and speed issues, best thing to use with Buffalo Routers is the stock firmware.


One of the better DD-WRT/Tomato routers is the Netgear Rangemax 3500, which are going for $70 on New Egg with Gigabit LAN ports.


Not as fast as newer routers, but the open source firmware gives you some easy options like Client Bridge if you need to connect more than two devices up that don't have a WiFi option.


Everybody brings up stability or signal strength with wireless products.


Buffalo traditionally have had strong radios. The new E-series Linksys routers don't look too bad either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was looking to do this only to save on number of devices and space. I figure if I have a computer with only one job (serving up media), it could probably double dip as a router without too much issue. Apparently, this is not the case, thanks for the advice.
 
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