Originally Posted by kurtdh
I have a D-Link DIR-655, firmware version 1.34NA, which according to the D-Link website, is the latest firmware.
I'm not really having a problem with my router, but my pal keeps telling me to drop my router and I'll have a faster/smoother connection to WoW. I told him I didn't think it really made a difference, and the hardware firewall seemed to make sense to me.
He directly connects without a router, and seems to swear by it.
You know that the Blizzard servers are probably ALL behind "routers". And Firewall devices. And there's a bunch of ISP routers between your home (and your friend's home) and the WoW servers. It's not like getting rid of the router is going to magically connect the computer to the Blizzard game servers (or any other server for that matter).
Finally, the connection from your computer to the router is probably one of the faster, most stable connections - it's a LAN (assuming you're not on WLAN). And the connection out from the router to the ISP - well, that's the part that's guaranteed in the ISP-contract-fine-print, so it's not necessarily a shoddy connection; unless you're paying for a shoddy connection.
As has already been stated, most routers use hardware that's at the same level. Just that every so often a consumer might get a lemon that's slipped past quality control or what not.
Also, with regards to your friend swearing by a direct-connected computer. Well, he's probably going to be running SOME sort of software firewall, like I mentioned. Or he could be running a wide-open computer on the internet; though if he did, I'd be questioning his intelligence and sanity. Anyways, if he is running a software firewall, this puts load on his computer, and the software is inherently less-efficient than a hardware solution. Having a router offloads this particular security and port-forwarding process to a dedicated hardware
device. As a result, the gaming system isn't processing additional network functions at the same time you're gaming.
Granted that current-gen systems probably have more than enough power to spare, but having that extra piece of software running, the software firewall, that's another variable in the mix. Generally always better to offload to a hardware solution.