Do one or more of the following traits describe your router?
1. It's old.
2. It supports only 802.11g or "draft-N" Wi-Fi.
3. It's not working as well as you think it should.
4. It died last night.
5. It doesn't support the cool DD-WRT firmware you've been itching to try.
If you answered yes to any of the above, today's your lucky day. For a limited time, and while supplies last, GearXS has the refurbished D-Link DIR-601 802.11n Wi-Fi router for $9.99, plus $4.99 for shipping. It sells elsewhere for around $25.
The DIR-601 is widely regarded as one of the better bargain routers -- simple, effective, and reliable. For proof, look no further than Newegg, where it earned a four-star rating from some 200 users.
One big plus for hacker types is that it supports the aforementioned DD-WRT, which adds lots of features typically found in much pricier routers. Update: According to some commenters, there's some concern that the DIR-601 is not DD-WRT-compatible. Anecdotal evidence I've found online suggests otherwise, but I can't say with 100 percent certainty that this particular version of the router will work with DD-WRT.
Update No. 2 (Oct. 4): I checked with GearXS and was told that the inventory consists of a mixture of A1 and B1 models -- the latter reportedly not compatible with DD-WRT. Unfortunately, there's no way to know which one you'll end up with.
The DIR-601's base specs include four 10/100 LAN ports, a 150Mbps data transfer rate, WPA2 security, and support for Wi-Fi Protected Setup (or WPS, which simplifies connecting various devices to your network). It has a single, external antenna.
GearXS doesn't list any warranty information, but based on what I've seen of other refurbished D-Link routers, this one most likely includes 90 days of coverage.
If you're still chugging along on an old, slow router, this should give your home network a nice boost -- and for less than $15 out the door.
Bonus deal: Big tablets tend to have big prices. While supplies last, ebestshop4u via eBay has the Kocaso SX9700 9.7-inch Android tablet for $169.95 shipped. Specs include 16GB of storage, a capacitive multitouch screen, dual cameras (albeit low-res ones), an HDMI ouput, and Android 4.0. It even supports 3G via an external module (though which one, I have no idea). I had the chance to test-drive one of these for a few weeks, and it's pretty nice -- especially at this price. But there were some app incompatibilities, and I didn't love the proprietary AC charger. Your mileage may vary.
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