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Parsa
Nov 6, 2003, 01:00 PM
I do know that I want a wireless router for my PowerBook. I have a cable modem, another (older) Mac, and my wife's PC laptop she uses when telecommuting.

I have noticed that where the routers fail is not so much in performance, but in documentation, ease of set-up, and support.

All the recent tests for example show that the U.S. Robotics USR8054 wireless "g" router is by far the fastest (as well as having a lot of advanced features). However, its documentation and support suck. That's why it lost top honors on two reviews I read.

My questions are:
Which routers work well with Macs and are easy to set up (other than the Airport Base Station)?
Which, if any, have documentation for Macs?
If I buy one of the routers with no Mac support, are they fairly simple to set up on Macs?

I know that some things that are excruciatingly hard on PC's can be a piece of cake on the Mac. That was true for my cable modem... I just plugged it in basically.


For your information, here are the results of the CNET and PC World reviews

Speed: in Mbps (CNET/PC WORLD)
1. US Robotics USR8054 (28.6/27.2)
2. Dell True Mobile 2300g (23.5/-na-)
3. Netgear WGR614 (22.2/22.3)
4. Buffalo AirStation (19.6/13.9)
5. Belkin 54G (19.1/14.2)
6. Airport Extreme (18.4/-na-)
7. Linksys WRT55AG (dual a and g) (17.9/15.5)
8. Linksys WRT54G (15.6/14.1)
9. D-Link AirPlus Xtreme G Dl-624 (-na-/14.8)

Range was roughly in this order for the best:
1. US Robotics USR8054
2. Netgear WGR614
3. Linksys WRT55AG
4. Dell 2300g

Airport was basically in last place for range.

CNET Reviews (http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-3244_7-1016567.html?tag=prmo1)

PC World Reviews (http://www.pcworld.com/reviews/article/0,aid,112467,pg,1,00.asp)


Steve

ftaok
Nov 6, 2003, 01:12 PM
I can't vouch for the other routers, but I went with the netgear WGR614. I have no complaints.

Yes, the documentation sucks, but it's pretty easy to set-up. Just plug the modem into the router and you're ready to rock. The set up is done through any browers. Just type 192.168.0.1 and the password screen will come up. Use the default info from the documentation and you're ready to go.

Works well with my iBook and my wife's Dell.

Santiago
Nov 6, 2003, 01:30 PM
Stay away from D-Link. I've had experience with both their routers and their bridges, and they're utter crap. (There's a reason they're so cheap.) With our current router, we had to revert to an older firmware version for over a year because recent versions had a bug that kept dropping the connection when used with Lucent Orinoco cards--aka Airport. Now, that's been fixed, but it decides to periodically try setting up a DHCP server on the WAN side, taking out the entire home network.

jamesatzones
Nov 6, 2003, 01:33 PM
Going with the Airport does have advantages, even if it may be slower. I have several wireless routers (the vendors love to give them to me) and over all my favorite is the Airport. The software is easy to use, it is Apple, and it looks good in the locations I have it. My opinion, my setup, your preferences maybe different.

Parsa
Nov 6, 2003, 02:03 PM
But does the Airport station have a switch to plug in several computers and have them all using the internet like the other routers?

Lanbrown
Nov 6, 2003, 02:41 PM
No, but you can but a standalone switch. You could even buy a gigabit switch if you wanted to.

Parsa
Nov 6, 2003, 03:21 PM
TigerDirect has the Netgear for US$69.99 after a rebate right now.

Steve