I have an old Belkin (wired) router connected to my cable modem and the router then feeds my Vonage VOIP adapter and my AirPort Express.
My Mac and Windows computers and printer and stereo system are fed by my Airport Express, so the only real reason I kept the router in place is because my Vonage VOIP adapter is not wireless and requires an ethernet connection.
I think the old Belkin router is on its last legs as it has to be restarted at least once a week or more, so I am thinking of changing my setup, but am unsure as to what change to make.
1) An ideal solution would be to find a wireless VOIP adapter to tap into my Airport Express wirelessly, eliminating the need for an ethernet port, but they don't seem to make such things. (I have an investment in a number of good wireless phones which feed off the
phone base station which is plugged into the VOIP adapter, so I don't want to replace my phones.) Then I could just pull the Belkin router out of the lineup.
2) Another solution would be to replace the router, but it seems so redundant now. If I didn't have VOIP, I wouldn't need an ethernet port and I assume I could just pull the Belkin out of the lineup and connect my existing Airport Express directly to the cable modem, since I understand that AE serves as a firewall just as the Belkin router does. But then I wouldn't have any way to connect my VOIP adapter since it requires a port.
3) Or would I be safe in just replacing the router with a (cheaper and smaller) ethernet switch between the cable modem and the Airport Express, since the latter also functions as a router anyway, but would that leave my VOIP adapter and phones open to security risks since they would be connected before the AE is reached?
Any suggestions or advice as to an economical solution would be appreciated. (At least for now, I am not interested in dumping Vonage because it gives me good service except for when the Belkin has to be restarted.)