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Old Jan 11, 2013, 03:26 AM   #1
Tofray
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iMac Router vs. Netgear router

I'm going to be installing a 2011 27" iMac in my 2-story home. Currently, I use a Netgear WNDR3700 Dual Band Router for my home wifi (connected to PC) and it works very well, with coverage all over the house. Should I keep the current Netgear as my wifi router, and connect the iMac wirelessly to it? Or should I use the iMac's built-in airport for the home wifi, and just install a network adapter to my other PC?

The Netgear router & cable modem are located in my rec room (same floor, 25 feet away), and my iMac will be located inside my bedroom, but can install the modem there if the iMac's internal router is stronger than the Netgear.

Any advice?
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 03:38 AM   #2
elithrar
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Use the Netgear.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 03:40 AM   #3
iWaiting
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the iMac does not have a internal router just a airport card
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:00 AM   #4
Tofray
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Originally Posted by iWaiting View Post
the iMac does not have a internal router just a airport card
Wow, I guess you can tell that an imac noob. Thanks for the info, I guess my decision is easier now!

Just curious, would it be worthwhile to buy an airport extreme or just use the netgear router?
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:07 AM   #5
joe-h2o
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Originally Posted by Tofray View Post
Wow, I guess you can tell that an imac noob. Thanks for the info, I guess my decision is easier now!

Just curious, would it be worthwhile to buy an airport extreme or just use the netgear router?
If the netgear is already working well for you then there's no need to get an Airport Extreme unless you want some of the features that it offers.

Based on your setup, it's not necessary.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 10:30 AM   #6
Fishrrman
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I would try the existing router first. The Airport Extreme is indeed a handy piece of equipment (very easy to set up), but chances are what you have now will work as well.

However -- will the iMac be in close proximity to the router, or some distance away?

The reason for the question is that if the iMac is close (or "easily reachable" by ethernet cabling), you would be better off using ethernet for the connection, instead of wireless.

"Wired" is always better than wireless, UNLESS it -has to be- wireless...
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 11:13 AM   #7
Tofray
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
I would try the existing router first. The Airport Extreme is indeed a handy piece of equipment (very easy to set up), but chances are what you have now will work as well.

However -- will the iMac be in close proximity to the router, or some distance away?

The reason for the question is that if the iMac is close (or "easily reachable" by ethernet cabling), you would be better off using ethernet for the connection, instead of wireless.

"Wired" is always better than wireless, UNLESS it -has to be- wireless...
Well based on this revelation that it doesn't have a built-in router, I will be moving the modem & netgear router from my PC to the mac. I ordered a network adapter to install on my PC, so it has some wifi in the other room.

Thanks for all the advice, peeps...I will be sticking with the Netgear router, and see how the coverage goes. Hopefully it won't be any different than when it was installed in the PC.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 01:10 PM   #8
uptownnyc
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I've got the same Netgear router. It's been the best router I've owned. I'd stick with that.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 02:17 PM   #9
Tofray
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I've got the same Netgear router. It's been the best router I've owned. I'd stick with that.
That's great to hear...How do you use the 2.4/5 bands? The documentation makes it sound like its better to stream media over the 5/ghz band, but it seems to have less coverage/signal strength than the 2.4 band.
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Old Jan 11, 2013, 04:16 PM   #10
bflowers
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The others were not 100% accurate. You can create an ad-hoc network using the iMac and turn on Internet Sharing in the System Preferences. So, in a way, the iMac could be used as a router for the other computer if you really needed it to. However, the dedicated router would be better, and wired is always preferable when available. Good Luck.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 02:33 AM   #11
Tofray
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Originally Posted by Fishrrman View Post
"Wired" is always better than wireless, UNLESS it -has to be- wireless...
Soooo...I just setup my sweet new iMac, connecting it to WiFi using the wireless router that is attached to my PC in the other room (approx. 20-30 ft away). I'm getting almost the exact same Mbps down & upload speeds as the ethernet connected PC. Can that be right?? I've run the test 3 times on the iMac & PC, and averaging:
iMac - 24.8/Mbps Down & 3.35 Up
PC - 25.1/Mbps Down & 3.59 Up

With these kind of results, I'm going to just keep the iMac on wireless, unless someone can tell me if there's another reason to connect the router to the mac via ethernet??
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 08:11 AM   #12
joe-h2o
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Originally Posted by Tofray View Post
Soooo...I just setup my sweet new iMac, connecting it to WiFi using the wireless router that is attached to my PC in the other room (approx. 20-30 ft away). I'm getting almost the exact same Mbps down & upload speeds as the ethernet connected PC. Can that be right?? I've run the test 3 times on the iMac & PC, and averaging:
iMac - 24.8/Mbps Down & 3.35 Up
PC - 25.1/Mbps Down & 3.59 Up

With these kind of results, I'm going to just keep the iMac on wireless, unless someone can tell me if there's another reason to connect the router to the mac via ethernet??
Sounds to me like your wifi signal is good. If you're seeing the same speeds as a wired connection then your bottleneck is your internet connection, which is what you want.

Regarding the 2.4 vs 5 bands, the 5 GHz band *does* have a shorter range and is more easily blocked by walls etc (that's just physics - higher frequency RF is shorter range and more easily blocked), but the advantage of the band is that there are far fewer things to interfere with it, like microwave ovens, cordless phones, garage door openers, etc and pretty much anything else that operates in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum. 5 GHz is pretty sparse, so if you live in a densely populated area with multiple wifi points nearby, or strong sources of interference, 5 GHz will offer you a clearer signal.

Whatever set up you are using now seems to be working well - there's no inherent problem with 2.4 GHz 'n' connections if you have no interference. My own wireless network runs in that band and I get stable 60 Mb/s down and 3 Mb/s up even over wireless - which is the maximum speed of my ISP.
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Old Jan 12, 2013, 10:24 AM   #13
Tofray
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Originally Posted by joe-h2o View Post
I get stable 60 Mb/s down and 3 Mb/s up even over wireless - which is the maximum speed of my ISP.
All of a sudden my 25 Mb/s seems woefully inadequate...

Thank you very much for the explanation, Joe-h20, it makes more sense now. So if I'm getting the same speeds on the 5 Ghz band than I am with the wired ethernet connection, I wouldn't get any faster speeds from switching to the 2.4 band will I? I'm guessing that your wireless connection could never be faster than the wired connection?
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