Any reason to get AirPort Extreme Base Station instead of Linksys WRT54G?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by jsw, Aug 6, 2004.

  1. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #1
    Hi all. I am about to upgrade from 802.11b to 802.11g. I intend to buy the Linksys WRT54G 802.11g, which seems like a great deal. I've been very happy with Linksys products in the past. Is there any reason to spend more on AirPort Extreme Base Station? I can't find any reason, and I've looked through the threads.

    I have an iMac with an AirPort (not Extreme) card. I have a PC with a couple of choices in wireless cards. I do not have a printer that I need to connect, nor do I have a very large house which might need an additional antenna.

    My stereo is three feet from my G5. No need for AirPort Express.

    I am upgrading to 802.11g for security purposes.

    Given all of that, I can find no reason to go with the AirPort Base. Can someone offer one?
     
  2. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #2
    Ease of setup, plus airport is good looking and linksys is pug fugly.
     
  3. captain kirk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Simple Answer

    NO

    Unless you want a sexy looking wireless router than a pig ugly black box with big anteena
     
  4. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #4
    I have both the Airport Base Station (original) and the WRT54G. My base station wouldn't work with my VPN solution, so I pulled it.

    Also, the WRT54G allows me to segment my network so that I can separate my wireless traffic from my wired traffic (long story) - which I am not sure you can do with the AE.

    And yes, the AE is slick looking and the Linksys is corporate crap, but in my case, I never have to look at it unless there's a problem. Which there never is. Plus it comes with a handy 4-port wired router built-in.

    Oh, and I can administer it via a browser instead of the Admin utility, which may or may not be a big thing for you, but I like it. May be nice if you need to check on something in the settings from your PC.
     
  5. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #5
    Well, I'll accept butt-ugly if it saves me $140 (can get Linksys for $60 at Circuit City). The router's basically out of my vision anyway.

    My other concern is one of how to connect the non-Extreme iMac to 802.11g securely. Any suggestions?
     
  6. Mantat macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Montréal (Canada)
    #6
    Airport base station can be controled by a software on the mac in a much better and simpler way. Easier to set the security options you need.
    They use less electricity: can use the Ethernet cable for power so you can put them anywhere, less cable (after all, isnt it why you wanted wireless in the first case?).
    Now about linksys: they are crappy product in my experience. Maybe I was badlucky and got faulty products but it couldnt keep a connexion to my PB at a range of 3 feet, with no wall, for more than a few minutes. It was replaced by another linksys model that was incompatible with some application (ex: voice chat in MSN) and I lost several download because it hung up on me before the end of the transfert.

    I got rid of it and I am now back to calbe router. But if I had to buy a new one, I would get the ones from Apple because I have yet to hear people complain about them (except for price). They dont have the best range but its not a concern for most people and you can always add a AE.

    Finaly, if you dont want to invest in the Apple router, look at other brands like netGear. I have heard that they have good range and they surely look good. The only bad comment was about cryptic security setup.
     
  7. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #7
    Sorry to hear about your Linksys experience; that is one nice thing about Apple stuff - it generally just works consistently. I loved my Airport base station, but the VPN thing was a killer for me.

    My experience has been fantastic with the Linksys - I have both a wired and wireless router from them, get good reception on 3 different devices (PB, iMac, TiVo), and the setup is pretty simple yet flexible.

    I've run iChat sessions with other iChat users, AOL chats, MSN and Yahoo chats, VPN sessions, etc. through it with no issues. And if needed, I can configure through my PC.
     
  8. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2003
    #8
    Reason to get the linksys

    The only reason i see to get the linksys is if you want to hack it.

    The ScreenSavers did an article describing what you can do with linux in the linksys router. very handy if you have neighbors that don't mind letting you get into trouble.
     
  9. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #9
    If iMac is running Panther, then you should be able to use WPA encription with the non-Extreme card and the linksys router. I do exactly this with a titanium powerbook and WRT54G with no problems at all.
     
  10. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #10
    Thank you. I think that's what I'll do. I've been behind the curve with wireless security and intend to bridge that gap now.
     
  11. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    It's going to take a lot of electricity to make up for the US$140 price difference.... ;)

    And the router's going right next to a plug, so I think I can deal with the extra wire.

    Thanks for your input on Linksys - I've always had good luck with them, but clearly that's not universal. I'm buying at Circuit City, so any problems should be easily rectified with a return.
     
  12. zv470 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #12
    If you want to use WPA with your mac, you'll need to get an all Airport setup. WPA is implemented differently among different manufacturers so WPA from Linksys would be incompatible with Apple, or D-Link with Linksys or whatever. Correct me if I'm wrong =]
     
  13. dav macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    #13
    WRT45G works seamlessly with a new Powerbook and WPA encryption I believe.
     
  14. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #14
    First, the thing that's not intercompatible is WDS, not WPA. WPA works cross-platform.

    Second, have you considered the AirPort Express? It's tiny, awesome and cheaper than the Extreme. Plus you can take it anywhere, use it as a extender, use it as a bridge, not to mention AirTunes.
     
  15. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #15
    I'd like to get one, but it's still $129 vs $60. I don't need the stereo plug or the USB printer attachment. I'm a techophile and tend to buy anything cool... which is what has led me to the point, now, where I need to be a bit more rational about my purchases. The $60 Linksys gives me everything I need for $69 less.
     
  16. Juswitched macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #16
    WRT54G

    I just got a WRT54G and have it hooked up to my PC. It worked OK when it had the stock firmware. But when I hacked it it worked EXCEPTIONALLY WELL, I was getting 10 bars in areas that got 0 before. Get the WRT54G and install this firmware(the one I have, HyperWRT):

    http://www.hyperdrive.be/hyperwrt/
     
  17. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    Thanks for the link. I looked into it, but, for now, my power output is fine, so I'll remain "stock". Got the Linksys, BTW. Having difficulty with WPA, etc., but for now am just using the MAC restrictions. Same difference, as far as I'm concerned. If I get encryption to work, great. If not, this is still better than what I had!
     
  18. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    Wakayama, Japan
    #18
    I have a practically new Netgear G wireless router (WGR614) if you are interested.
     
  19. Nspace macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #19
    I got the WRT54G and it has been working great in the week or so I have been using it. It was recommended to me on the forums here and I am glad I went with it as well.

    For the most part the signal is strong, except we have an addition to our house, so the router has to go thru a thick wall which used to be an outer wall and it really reducces my signal to harly annything, and usisng it on my back patio is not happening like I wanted it to.

    I tried both the Hypermart and the Sveasoft, tried increasing the signal strength but it seems to do hardly anything. Maybe I am doing something wrong?
     
  20. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #20
    Is the router location pretty much fixed, or could you move it either higher up or closer to the addition wall? Also, of course, you could get a repeater, like the AirPort Express - but that's another $130. There are cheaper options than that, of course.
    If there's a lot of steel in that wall (i suppose it's possible...), it's likely that you're going to have to move the router to a location that the signal bypasses the wall as opposed to going through it - or get a repeater to do that for you.
     
  21. SolidGun macrumors 6502

    SolidGun

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2004
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #21
    If you want to save more money on the router, I recommend Netgear WGT624. It is only $45 (around) in the end after mail in rebate online and if you read reviews for wireless routers, that is the best reviewed one by customers overall. There is 614 but....for 5 more bucks you have the 108Mbs possibility (which is really crap, but who knows what improvements will happen).
    Only reason for the Linksys router is to use its Linux environment advantage for hacking....but that is getting limited by the firmware releases from Linksys.
    Cheapest price I could find for WGT624 included $25 rebate, NOT $20 rebate.
     

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