Best possible WIFI router for a large house?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by EarthNeutron, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    EarthNeutron

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    #1
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A406 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Hey there, so basically I live in a large 2 floored house and I need a powerfull wireless router that can provide wifi overage all over the house and even the garden if possible. Will the airport express do the job? Or will I need an airport extreme? How about other good routers?

    My house size is about 1700 square feet.
     
  2. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #2
    Two Airport Extreme. One bridged to create a large unified network.
     
  3. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #3
    Spending $360 on two AEBs is ... well, wasteful. Two Netgear N300s ($50/each), one hard-wired to the first in bridge mode at the other end or second floor of the house, will be just as effective. One router will not cover the entire house. It also depends on the house's construction; certain materials attenuate signal better than others. You might need more access points.
     
  4. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #4
    Bought a Netgear N300 and it promptly died in 4 months and the performance sucked. Got a Time Capsule and the performance of the whole house improved.

    The definitive review of the updated Airport Extreme

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4577/



    Note...if anyone suggest that you get a $50 router for your larger home they absolutely know nothing about networking and you can feel free to ignore anything else they have to say about the subject.
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #5
    I just want to point out that no matter which router you end up buying, only buy one at first. Try placing it in different places in the house to see how the reception is, that way you'll get a good idea of how many, if any, more you actually need to get. Because I mean, it's not really worth getting an extra router if the only thing it'll do is provide wireless coverage in an area of the house you're never using wifi in.

    On top of that, my dad lives in a three story house coming in at over 2 600 square feet. He has a Time Capsule on the centre floor and it covers the entire house plus a large part of the garden. Myself, I live in an about 1 000 square meters apartment, and I can't use the wifi (Airport Extreme) in the entire kitchen or on the balcony... So I mean, "size isn't everything" :)
     
  6. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
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    #6
    Great point hafr. The range of the new AEX is much improved. I too think it's best to start out one and see where in the home the dead spots are and then address it from there.

    Plus it's easy to roam around the home and test configuration (channels etc) from an iPhone/iPad running Airport Utility

    Here's a great tutorial on Youtube by the inimitable Glenn Fleishman

    http://youtu.be/8gKG0oa8Cp0
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    1000 sq meters is greater than 10,000 sq ft. That is one huge apartment!!!

    BTW, as a datapoint, my two story house is over 3000 sq ft and a single Airport Extreme covers the entire house and also outside in the yard.

    /Jim
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #8
    I have the router that came with my Verizon FiOS install and it covers my entire house (~2000 sq. ft.).

    Why do I feel that everyone here always wants to recommend the most expensive way to go about solving a problem? :confused:
     
  9. macrumors demi-god

    ChristianJapan

    Joined:
    May 10, 2010
    Location:
    日本
    #9
    Depend highly on how the building is build: concrete, wood, steel ...
    Starting with one Extreme and be ready to buy a second one.
    I use one Extreme to serve two floors; I think wood.

    And you will enjoy the remote control capabilities with the apps ; it shows you the topology and a need for firmware upgrade is shown with a little number badge and done with one click: Apple-style. Even more if you use some Express with speaker attached.

    Netgear or buffalo can't beat that. I still have those but they are not used anymore.
     
  10. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #10
    Because we like stuff that works better than the average junk companies flog. But I digress much of what people think is expensive isn't for instance.

    Netgear N750 is $139. if their cheap routers were so good..why would they sell more expensive models?

    Ditto for Linksys




    Cheap **** is cheap ****. There's always product with better construction, parts and design and those cost more.
     
  11. macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #11
    I have the FiOS router and I make sure to turn it's wifi OFF. I use an Airport Extreme and the only thing the FiOS router is used for is to do the IP addresses.

    The Actiontec router I got is 11g and 100BaseT ethernet. My Airport does 11n and GigE.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #12
    Thanks for this link - helped to answer my question about time capsules and wifi range from a different thread.
     
  13. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #13
    Heh, oops :) It's 95 m^2, 1 000 ft^2 ;)
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    Portland, OR
    #14
    Awwww... too bad. A 10,000 sq ft apartment would have been nice. ;)

    /Jim
     
  15. macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #15
    Congratulations. Your Time Capsule is probably going to die too. Anecdotally, I've had multiple AEBSs die on me as well. Fortunately I'm intelligent enough to realize that the failures of a few do not mean that the product line as a whole is bad.

    Recommending that someone spend $360 on Apple products when $100 on "other" brands will do the exact same thing is comical at best, idiotic at worst. Two N300s will do the exact same thing as two AEBs for less than 1/3rd the price.
     
  16. ea9
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2011
    #16
    You're going to need.... 1 million airport express' :D

    Seriously though... 1 should be plenty 1700 isn't that big. AEBS hands down my favorite router after going through the most expensive cisco and dlink routers :)
     
  17. arjen92, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

    macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
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    Below sea level
    #17
    You should get one TP-Link TL-WA801ND.

    It's nice and cheap. In the country where I live it has the second highest score, and is the most popular router.

    Of course LAN is blazing fast, but also wireless reception is good. We used to have some router from our provider and it would barely reach the third floor (concrete floors). With the TP-Link TL-WA801ND I've got perfect reception on my iPod touch all the way at the top of the house.

    And of course, you can buy two of these if reception still isn't good enough (although I can barely imagine that).

    My dad uses a Time Capsule for his work. It used to be in his basement. The iMacs are one floor (concrete) higher but reception was really bad. There is a lot of concrete in between the basement and where the iMacs are, but it shows that the Time Capsule (and if I'm not mistaken, they are comparable to the Airport Extreme's) doesn't have super coverage and works like any other (cheaper) router (like the TP-Link TL-WA801ND :D).

    Note... you can waist money on products, thinking that the more money you pay the better it is, or you can do what is rational.
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    Dweez

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2011
    Location:
    Down by the river
    #18
    I am currently using a Netgear WNDR4000 (my WNDR3400 recently died) and it covers both floors and the basement quite well. Router is in the basement, my daughters bedroom is on the 2nd floor on the opposite end of the house and she's got good signal.

    The WNDR3400 also had great coverage.
     
  19. macrumors 68000

    Outrigger

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2008
    #19
    if you really wanna talk about the best router, apple's router doesn't even make it on most charts. just because you have a love for apple gear does not make other companies' gear cheap and "****" as you call it. so to recommend spending $360 on just a 2 story house? yea, its pretty idiotic.
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    #20
    Consider a router that is dual band. Single band routers set themselves to the "oldest: technology logged on. For example if a 802.11b PC is logged on then everyone gets 802.11B. So Dual band is very nice. Also consider one that supports a "guest network" so you can have your private network and another for guests that bring their smart phones to your house.
     
  21. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

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    #21
    Wow Outrigger. You didn't even have the common courtesy to support your post with a relevant 3rd party link to explain how you came to the conclusion that Apple's router didn't make it on x chart.

    I supported my post with a link to a recent review about the AEXB that is in Apple stores TODAY. Not some anecdote from a cousin of a cousin who's granny has an old Time Capsule from 2008.

    The reasons for going for an AEXB are simple.

    1. Easy setup from a Mac or iOS device
    2. Simultaneous Dual Band operation with a guest network
    3. 3 Stream 450 Mbs performance for compatible clients
    4. USB ports for printer or hard drive sharing
    5. Excellent range with the new Broadcom chip
    6. Back to my Mac setup via Apple ID
    7. Easy bridge mode setup through Airport Utility


    Pffft N300. I'll send the OP my crappy one for the price of postage if he wants it.

    My Time Capsule has been in use for a household with over 6 computing devices. I have not had to reboot it once in 6 months.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2011
    #22
    If you think the LAN is blazing fast with 100 Mbps, I'm guessing you'd be blown away by the 1 Gbps LAN that you get with the AEBS/Time Capsule ;) That right there is enough for me never to consider the TP-Link TL-WA801ND...
     
  23. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    #23
    I have a 5000 sq foot home, main level, upper level, basement. The whole home was covered with a Time Capsule in the middle of the house on the main floor. Outside perimeter was also covered. Prior to this device I had repeaters etc. I only recently moved the time capsule to a vault and bridged to an airport extreme and coverage is still superior.

    I had a green eggs and ham experience with these products. Once I finally tried them I really love them. Back to my mac and remote maintenance is great also. Apple is a core designer in the wireless specifications for the industry. I highly recommend them, spend a little more now for quality you will not regret.
     
  24. macrumors 603

    nuckinfutz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2002
    Location:
    Middle Earth
    #24
    As an addendum I will say that it's mildly disconcerting that we are on the cusp of a major upgrade to a new flavor of Wifi which is great at the same time that it sucks.

    802.11ac is coming.

    In a nutshell 11ac is going to do this.

    1. Each radio stream is 433 Mbps (compared to 11n's 150 Mbps)
    2. It's only on the 5 Ghz frequency but is fully backwards compatible w/11n
    3. Beamforming will enhance the connections between devices.
    4. Up to 8 radios can in a Router! 8x433 Mbps = 3464Mbps speed

    http://5gwifi.org/faq.php

    So if you need a router now understand that the push for the new routers will be on late this year. Broadcom and Qualcomm/Atheros have announced their 11ac chips that will be showing up in mobile devices, laptops, desktops and routers this fall.
     
  25. Ccrew, Mar 2, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2012

    macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #25
    What he said.

    I trashed my Apple networking gear and went with a Cisco E4200v2 which ranks near the top of most of the shootouts. A single one put a pair of 5th Gen Airport Extremes to shame.

    And my house is almost twice the size of the OP's (3200sq ft vs op's 1700)

    Oh, and nuckinfutz it does everything you stated, and is configurable to the nth degree, unlike the Apple that has an interface that was made for a third grader. Good review of the 5th Gen : http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-reviews/31564-apple-airport-extreme-gen-5-reviewed

    Apple Cons • No web admin
    • Can't use 40 MHz mode in 2.4 GHz
    • 3 LAN ports
    • Limited routing features

    Same reviewer comparison of the Cisco:
    http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wire...inksys-e4200v2-dual-band-n900-router-reviewed
     

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