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This is going to sound like a terrible plug. I know it.

I’ve been having some issues with my D-Link DI-624 router. In particular, now that I’m using WPA, my Powerbook will suddenly lose connectivity even though the signal is full. It’s frustrating. Disconnecting and reconnecting restores connectivity for varying amounts of time.

I’ve always had good experiences with Linksys routers. However, because of that record, they tend to cost more than the competition. The WRT54G has been hovering steadily at $40, while the WRT54GS is sticking at $60. I was beginning to give the WRT54G some serious thought (particularly because of the ability to use alternative firmware). However, that ability has been lost in the latest revision of the product.

I looked at their MIMO offerings, but I can’t justify $132.99. That’s when I stumbled upon the WRT54GC compact wireless G router. I’ve read that it runs on Linux, making it theoretically hackable, but I can’t confirm and the source code hasn’t been released.

Perhaps the neatest thing about this router is its size. It barely has enough space on one of its edges for four LAN ethernet ports, a WAN port, and a plug for the power adapter. I finally bought it as an impulse buy because it dropped in price to $30. It’s a good thing networking equipment isn’t placed next to the candy at the checkout in grocery stores.

Update: Apparently Amazon has stopped offering the WRT54GC through their warehouse. You can still get it through their affiliates, but the price is now $55. Buy.com currently has it for $30 with a $10 Mail-in-Rebate. Best Buy has it for $30 after a $30 Main-in-Rebate and it comes with a $10 Gift Card (making the effective price $20). I personally don’t want to deal with rebates, so I avoided that offer.

Update 2: It’s back at Amazon again for $30 with no rebates.