Best wireless router for G3 iMac 10.4 - NOT Airport!

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by radlord, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. radlord macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #1
    I've got a G3 500 iMac Grahite here, and I'm looking to get a wireless network set up, mainly so I can play my Nintendo DS online, but also so I can set up a network with my chipped xbox and flatmates Windows PC.

    The thing is, I've looked into prices of the original Airport cards that my iMac has to take, and they are stupid for what tyou are getting. So I will just wire my iMac to the router with an ethernet cable.

    This means I can't buy an Airport, much as I'd like to, because they only have one ethernet port which I would need for my cable modem...

    SO, basically, can anyone help me out as to what router to buy? It has to:

    a) be both wireless AND have wired ports too. Like the BT Voyager 2100 for example. Just to point out however that my parents have this router, and the wireless function stopped working after upgrade to OS 10.4. The mac support from BT is terrible. So, clearly the router would have to...

    b) support mac OS X 10.4

    c) support the Nintendo DS. Apparentlu most wireless routers support it, but there is a compatability list on nintendowifi.com and some are much better than others...

    d) support the original Airport card, should I ever manage to find one reasonably priced. I would imagine most would suport it though.


    I can't thank ytou guy enough, if you can answer me this. I need to get a wireless/wired router soon, as my parents are looking for something to buy me for my birthday/graduation! Any help would be fantastic, I'm pretty much lost as to the choice...
     
  2. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #2
    First, you can use an old airport + a cable modem + you imac, you just need a hub or switch. And if you really want wireless on your imac you can always get a cheap usb wifi dongle thats G
    A) What you are basically looking for is a Wireless Router, they include a router (shares your internet connection), wireless access point, and a switch all in one.
    B) Any wireless router or access point will support OS 10.4 as long as its running by the wifi standards.
    C) Check nuntendos website for compatible routers.
    D) The original airport cards are 102.11b and the airport extreme cards are 802.11g. AFAIK all 802.11g routers support 802.11b. 802.11g can run on 802.11b networks aswell.

    And as a side note DO NOT get a linksys WRT54G, just bought one and they SUCK. The WRT54GS is good though.
     
  3. radlord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #3
    so could I use an Airport Express base station with my imac if I connected it to a switch? Would that work? I really like the look of this Airtunes malarkey, see and I'd like to be able to use it if possible... I would basically connect everything up to the switch then?

    Or would it all work better if I just bought a 3rd party wireless router?
     
  4. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #4
    You don't need a switch if you get an Airport Extreme Base Station. It has a WAN port for a local connection. However, it only has 1. I have a WRT54G from Linksys (my second, after the first got semi-fried), it has 4 WAN ports, and the firmware is released under the GPL, so there are several versions of it (I'm using one that lets me change the power of the antennae, up to 250-ish mW). If you want to make the XBox wireless, skip the Linksys adapter, it's a pain to set up, and the Microsoft one is easier.



    Yes, I really did just say that.
     
  5. radlord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #5
    fantastic stuff guys, I also see this linksys WRT54G is 'recommended' for the DS. Why did you find it sucked though Laser?

    Also, Counterfit, could I therefore plug an Airport Extreme into a switch and everything would work?

    Would this be the equivilant of the Airport having more than 1 ethernet port? As I said before I'm going to need at least 2, one for the cable modem and one for the mac...
     
  6. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    I've been using a Belkin 54G wireless Router/Switch for a few months now, hooked up to my DSL Modem/Router and it works flawlessly. I've got it in switch mode, so I maintain a seamless network with all of the IP addresses given out by my DSL Modem. It's a basic wireless router, with two antennas and 4 ethernet ports on the back for expandability. It's also quite a bit less expensive than most of the other Linksys and NetGear varieties I looked into before getting it.
     
  7. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #7
    The linksys WRT54G WAS a good router but their latest revision v.5 is completely buggy. They switched this router from running linux to vxworks. When I installed my router my internet connection dropped from an average of 5megs to 200k and 5k up! If you look on google many other people are having the exact same problems with this router. Its funny though, my dlink 514 b router is faster than the linksys.
    Ive emailed linksys and im waiting for a response (emailed them earlier today).
    Also i listen to itunes radio stations but now its not possible because i get the "Network Stalled" message every 30 seconds.
     
  8. Laser47 macrumors 6502a

    Laser47

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Maryland
    #8
    If you want an airport express just buy a 802.11g usb adapter for you imac. Then just plug you internet connection into the express.
    It smart not to go through the route of getting an old airport card. A usb dongle will work fine and its not like it gets in the way like it would if you had a notebook.

    Also if youre wondering you dont need a airport card to use an airport
     
  9. iBS23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #9
    Actually, if you're only plugging in the iMac, then you won't even need the switch to make it work. The airport extreme has two ports, one for connecting into a local network. Thus, your modem goes in one and goes out the other. If you're looking to hook up other computers, then yes, a switch would be the way to go.

    My current setup has the DSL modem going into the airport extreme. I also have a Samsung ML-2010 plugged into the USB printer port on the airport extreme. The internet connection and the printer are available via WI-FI to all of the laptops in my house (two normally more when guests stay over). I have the other port connected to a switch which has two desktops connected to it. These desktops also have internet and printing access. I have also plugged in one desktop directly to this port (eliminating the switch) and that also worked fine.

    Either way, if your internet connection isn't easily accessible to the iMac, I would second the suggestion to use a USB plug for WI-FI access. On the other hand, if the connection is where the iMac is anyway, save the $$$ and just plug it into the router.
     
  10. iBS23 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #10
    One more thing . . .

    I really like my Airport Extreme for the ease of use with Macs. However, getting it to work with a Windows computer via WI-FI if you have encryption and the SSID turned off is a real pain!!!!!

    Also, there are many complaints about the range you get with the extreme i that it isn't as good as non-apple products. I don't find it to be a problem (~1900 sq. ft. house), but I throw it out for your information.

    To be honest, if you're loooking to network both macs and pcs, I'd probably save the $$$$ and pick up a non-party solution such as those suggested here. My family has had terrible luck with Linksys products, but YMMV.
     
  11. radlord thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2005
    #11
    thanks guys, this has been fantastic help - I had no idea the Extreme had 2 ethernet ports. The guy in my local mac shop told me it only had one!

    Probably gonna get an Extreme, just for the future-proofing aspect. Will look into what other kinds are available on the high street though.

    I was originally looking to find an old Airport card as my previous experience with USB modems has been dreadfull. Bugged to hell, and crashes the Mac all the time. But I'll look into getting a dongle (gotta love that word) if you guys don't think they are to bad. Anything has to be better than paying £100 for out-of-date technology...

    Thanks again, I'll be back if I need anymore help :)
     

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