5Ghz range is always going to suffer compared to 2.4GHz; that's the nature of the beast. But that RT-N16
you're looking at is just a 2.4GHz single band product. Which is fine, if that's all you need. But $80 (at NewEgg) seems kind of high for that.
I used to use LinkSys, before the Cisco purchase and for a couple of years afterwards, but they fell behind and after a bricked firmware update I soured on them. In some quarters there's the opinion that all consumer-grade networking products are junk, and there's some truth to that, but some brands seem to be junkier than others. Currently I tend to buy Netgear as the least junky option. Their hardware is generally well-rated (at places like SmallNetBuilder.com
) and they do release firmware updates; the UI is nothing special but it's functional. My current router is the WNDR3700v2
-- it has four wired GigE ports, simultaneous dual-band (meaning it has two radios so it can operate on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands simultaneously, either to handle n/a and b/g clients, or to combine them for more throughput for n), does IPv6 (not verified by me, as my ISP makes it a pain in the ass, but the option is in the UI), supports guest networks (on b/g and/or n) and you can load other firmware onto it (which I have not tried). It only has one USB port (the RT-N16 has two) and it had some trouble with that feature initially (for DLNA and sharing) but they eventually sorted that out with a firmware upgrade. It also was the first router I bought without detachable antennas, which I thought might be a problem (since I used to run a bit of cable to put the antennas in optimum positions) but that hasn't been a problem.
It debuted at $170 or so which was too rich for my blood but I grabbed it when it showed up just over $100 on a Black Friday sale in 2011. And now it has dropped to $89
at NewEgg. Of course it's no longer the flagship model, but you don't get those for under $100.