yes D-Link is the most general, Linksys is the strongest, NetGear is a design piece and glossy Belkin futuristic, but the proverb : “when in Rome, do as the Romans do”. and come the Millennium : the South Korean version includes a Conspiracy Theory (1997) .
in the most networked metropolis in the World, competition is fierce among Access Providers, that 30% off at the time of sign-up with 1~3 years contract has become the norm . and consider most households has more than one computer : won’t you want to charge for the other one too ? what if the house has 3 computers ??? sharing the one Internet line . which, is not so uncommon . when you sign up there is a clause forbidding this from the onset of networking in South Korea .
but the Korean people by nature would not accept this . not for consumer rights – which is, believe-it-or-not : yet to be settled into mainframe life in South Korea . rather the in-born culture of taking too rigid, calculating bits as too stingy a grand human can choose to go through . for example : you’ve noticed that TV commercials are packed between programs rather than in segments during the program . and not many tables in that restaurant you ate out tonight (aside from iTaewon) pays Dutch, nomatter the age .
the Korean Theory is two-fold : that the Access Provider constantly tunes signals to forbid Internet Sharing, while the other hints that they scramble Routers of foreign brand . but it is a known fact between casual computer users, which is now .. everyone : foreign makers simply don’t update the device to match constantly changing (wired AND wireless) network surroundings in South Korea .
ignore this and while Wired Router does a better job, but bring your WireLess Router from back home to South Korea and try it for a month . chances are it won’t connect from the start, or if it does the signals will randomly cut to such an ambiguous extent that it will drive you crazy, especially since the support center technician may not find fault in the few minutes he tests it on his stable surroundings .
above I’ve listed popular and reputed brands sold in the States, and for Japan you add Buffalo, but there are dozens of minor brands all with similar vain results . enter the two Korean brands that have figured things out and sells, selling, selling more than any other brand . AnyGate and IPTime . the former has been around selling USB memory and external HDD drive casing and have extended to media players and Navigation . the latter is a relative newcomer but staffed with technicians from conglomerates offering almost-monthly obsessive firmware updates .
the WireLess Router in South Korea is the hardware whose firmware is the most updated second only to (the now slowly becoming extinct) CDR/DVD writer or burners . while the latter has to constantly update to support compatibility with newer blank CDR/W and DVDR/W disks, the former improves connectability with complex systems mix-match arising from new model parts and manufacturers, especially in PC’s than a Mac.
add to this : IPTime has been building a track record of having a p-e-r-f-e-c-t product support . better than that of (astonishing) Cable-TV “Home Shopping” Channels . knowing that setting up a network surrounding, especially wireless at home, might be a complicated task for the general consumer : they have made it a point of NOT letting it go until they have solved it, mostly by talking to you on the phone until its done .
buy any of the two and your life in South Korea will be saved in the Internet nation . each offers several pricing layers . the giveaway is whether the machine has 1, 2 or 3 antennas . then some are geared more for wired sharing while others more for wireless, although both are possible in most models . normal household and business would suffice to buy a W30,000 one while the most expensive is around W80,000 for manic file-sharing, videos and gaming – it is only in 2008 that the most expensive of foreign models have brought down their price from a staggering W200,000 to half of that . here I will recommend 2 models from each company and discount price . I have foregone the most basic models for compatibility outlook with newer 802.11n on top of existing 802.11 a/b/g . all accepts 4 network cable slots for wired sharing .
ipTIME N3004 W85,000 b/g/n 4dBi antenna x3 Dec’08
ipTIME N104 W45,000 b/g/n 5dBi antenna Dec’08
AnyGate RG-5500A W85,000 b/g/n 2.5dBi antennas x3 MIMO June’08
wireless 300 Mbps
AnyGate RG-5100A W50,000 b/g/n MIMO May’08
– Korea Tech BLog, December 2008 –
[ January 2009 Update ]
OK, I’ve tried the 2 higher models for a month now and it seemed the tables are beginning to turn . that the leading IPTime with constant updates was sliding its edge to long-timer AnyGate which was cheaper at on-set . but the conclusion :
- in wired network both makers are the same but
- once wireless : AnyGate is 10%~20% faster (making you the WireLess Lord of the World now) but might not connect depending on computer/notebook system on each side – which might be solved thru firmware update on AnyGate or driver update on your computer’s network adapter (card), or even BIOS update on your computer . but IPTime is more stable with compatibility to many more system mixes .
[ January 2012 Update ]
some bloggers simply blog-on day after day on a new post but I like to update older posts so that we can verify where we are in the technological development or rather evolution in time //
AL Tech, manufacturer of AnyGate network routers in South Korea has split company with the other half almost going under – will update a separate post for the situation is complex ..
aside from this not much in technology has changed to enhance speed drastically since this initial post – perhaps the newer LAN cables coming into your office, home or apartment more effecting you internet connection speed AND stability drastically than buying a new wireless router .
ipTime which jump-started in 2001 during the dawn of wireless networks among the Korean Penninsula, when Chinese, American and Japanese routers have been notoriously unstable . thus most were wary of this new company but to the tune of the then-popular bug-killing company Cesco – applauded among on-Liners for its instant reply on their user forums – started phone support as well as next-day repair or exchange .. which was the sort-of golden support offered by conglomerates like SamSung and LG .
and well past a decade ipTime dominates the Korean wireless router market with its much-increased line-up with the most expensive N6004R (introduced July 2011 selling for W67,000 at larger discount outlets – double your normal device) but still with constant customer and product support .
the main difference between this and the best-selling ipTime N604A introduced May 2011 selling for half the price is a more compact size and two antennas instead of three thus a bit longer reach and more stable connection .
I did extensive speed tests when the first Egg was distributed but will refrain from going on pure numbers because so much variants are at play now more-so with mobile connection device and service .
the only noteable addition to ipTime as is with most router-manufacturers recently is the most compact model to come in terms with the recent smartphone boom allowing you to connect in hotel rooms with only LAN-cables and no wireless .
yes you will find all sorts of local and Chinese model luring with cute designs at your neighborhood computer store or all the American and Japanese brand names at larger electronic districts, but get an ipTime unless you have one brought over from home, in which case will test your patience tuning up to ride South Korea’s wonderous speed ~
a new company Digital Zone has come up with a line of Wevo’s last year testing the market but we should know better .