Questions about Airport

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by GreatUsername, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. GreatUsername, Jun 11, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013

    macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2013
    #1
    I have a feeling this thread will get lost in the post WWDC hype...

    Anyway, I'm getting a new internet connection from Comcast to bring my 2mb/s speed to 50mb/s. I was wondering what the best router and modem hook up would be best for my new service. There'll be two PCs, one mac, two iPhones, an Android, and an Xbox connected to the internet at one time.

    I like the look of the Airports since they're easy to use and Apple but I don't see a need for the new Airport Extreme since they do 1.3gb/s, way faster than what my internet will be in the first place. Plus, the Extremes have a really far range with great connection but that's not really necessary since all the walls in my house are just drywall.

    The Airport Express seems like it'll be able to handle everything I need. It does 450mb/s which is still faster than my service in the first place but whatever. It only has one Ethernet out but that's okay because the only device that needs to be wired that way is my Xbox.

    I'm completely lost when it comes to things like networking so please correct me if I was wrong about anything I just said.

    So I guess what I'm asking is, how is the Airport Express for gaming? Will I be able to get my full 50mb/s I'm paying for with it? What would be the best modem to go with it for my Comcast service?

    I'm also looking at the Mororola Surfboard. It seems like a great alternative and it'll probably be cheaper since I don't have to buy a modem. Will be eagerly awaiting your advice.

    Thanks!
     
  2. thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
    I knew it!
     
  3. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #3
    Fear not my friend!! :D

    I recently went through the cable modem search and ended up with the Motorola SB6141. Has full DOCSIS 3 eight channel support to future proof you if you want higher speeds later.

    Edit: Sorry... do you mean the Surfborad modem/router combo? I'm not a fan of those too much. They don't seem to be as configurable as stand alone routers.

    The Express would work fine for your purposes. You can always and a cheap switch if you need more wired connections. The only downside the the Express if the wired port is on 100Mbps as opposed to the fat 1Gbps connection on the Extreme. As you said, this won't matter for your Internet connection, but is you use the wired connection for moving large files from machine to machine within your home network, this would be a limiting factor. If this is not an issue for you (it does not sound like it will be), then go with the Express.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Thanks. And yes, I meant the Surfboard as in the all in one router/modem. I think I'll go with that since it's cheaper and can do everything I need. It's supposed to be easier to set up than most routers and modems but still nowhere near as Apple. The reviews seem to be 50/50 between "works perfectly" and "doesn't work at all." There must be a bad batch of these things out. If I happen to get one of the bad ones, I think I'll go with Airport. I still haven't really decided on a modem for it yet. I'm liking the looks of the SB6121 but you suggested the SB6141. What's the difference besides price? Also, you mentioned a switch to add more LAN ports? Does that work like how extension cords can add more sockets to electric wall outlets? And wouldn't that just divide the max mbps per LAN port by two?
     
  5. macrumors 6502

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    Sep 20, 2008
    #5
    Express would be a great choice. You can always upgrade later :D Also not a fan of modem/router combos.
     
  6. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    Jan 23, 2005
    #6
    The 6121 only supports four QAM channels at once, where the 6141 supports eight, so the 6141 would hypothetically have more stable speeds.

    Yes, adding a switch is much like an ext. cord with multiple outlets. Here is one from Netgear for example. Just running the switch does not cut speeds at all. You only have speed drop if data is being used on multiple ports at the same time, just like you would have now if two of your wireless devices are downloading something at the same time.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks for the info weaselboy. I have an SB6121 now but may be upgrading to DOCSYS soon.
     
  8. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #8
    If you already have the 6121 and it is working okay for you, there is nothing that revolutionary about the 6141 that would make me replace a working 6121. Just my opinion. :)
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2013
    #9
    Well, someone else in my house just picked up a SB6121 modem and a NetGear R6300 router. Though, he only sent me a grainy picture via text. It looks like a SB6121 but it's white. Is it still the same thing?
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I figured the 8 channels would benefit the higher bandwidth more?

    ----------

    Never seen a white model before?
     
  11. thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2013
    #11
    Well, I don't know if it's just a different color or if it's a completely different model.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

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    #12
    It might be the SB6141. Looks like they do make a white model.
     
  13. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

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    #13
    It would, but if I had a working 6121, I don't know that it would be worth it to toss it for a 6141. I guess it would depend on what speed tier you were on.

    I have found a lot of good advice on this in the Broadband Reports forums. Look in the forum for your provider and folks there can tell you what is working well for them.

    ----------

    I agree. The black versions were never really meant for retail. Then when the cable cos. started charging for modems Motorola released the white version for retail sale. I have seen the 6141 white for sale on Amazon, but I have not seen a white 6121 anywhere. That said, they are the same except color.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    London, UK
    #14
    Be aware, the "fast" bit of 802.11ac is aimed at users LOCAL (LAN, local area network) network in their house, not for the INTERNET (WAN, wide area network) connection.
    i.e. you can, in theory, move files around your home network faster on 'ac' rather than on an 'n' network.

    BUT your computer hardware needs to also be ac (like the new MBAir's) to take advantage of this, of course. And given ac's newness, I doubt most/any of your current equipment has it on natively – although you can buy 802.11ac adaptors for external connection to your computing equipment, perhaps, if you want to add that.

    If you want future-proofing, then going for the ac-type of router may be a good thing, if not then just stick with something cheaper that does latest good quality n-type.
     
  15. thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 4, 2013
    #15
    Thank you for this explanation. Someone in my house just picked up an ac Netgear router plus I will be getting the new MBA. Though, moving files within a network would only be useful for a Time Capsule and I don't have a need or the money for one of those. The only file movement going on within my home network would be from my computer to a flash drive :p
     
  16. macrumors 6502

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    #16
    Not necessarily, firstly you can plug any external HDD into the back of any AirPort device (called AirDisk function) and remotely access it (either LAN, or if set-up, WAN too). You can also pass files between devices on your LAN quicker too.

    Also, I should add in case you didn't know, that in the next 6-9 months, there is likely to be the release of the 802.11ad standard of products. This should be A LOT faster than both n-speed & ac-speed. While advertised at up to 7 Gbps, user's are more likely achieve 2-4 Gbps, and it's only aimed at short-to-medium distance (eg. same room, perhaps next room) to the router. Better than nothing, but you'll be able to fall-back to ac &/or n for when further than ad will reach.

    Worth holding off buying an expensive new main Mac & router for, for me. :)
     

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