Recommend a wireless router for an access point

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by bking1000, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. bking1000, Sep 20, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #1
    I would like to upgrade my old Linsys G router. It's been a solid workhorse, but I'm thinking i'd like some more reach, and faster speed.

    I do not need the ability to hang printers or disks off it. It also sits in a cabinet, so it doesn't have to look great.

    I just want the basic features, coupled with reliability, ease of administration and keep the price down.

    Edit: Based on comments below, I've added what I am using it for:

    Wireless-only access point. I already have a wired network into a fast internet connection. This is strictly for when I'm unplugged, and for certain kinds of Apple media sharing. I wouldn't mind future-proofing with the fastest speed class available, but most of my equipment right now is no faster than n (I just got an iPhone 5S -- does that do better than n?)

    Connected to it would be (not all at the same time):
    • 4 Laptops -- general work. All have access to wired connections, but often are untethered, too.
    • 1 headless computer for a media station hooked up to the TV (not wired -- the computer relies on wireless). Streams video in the evenings.
    • 4 other iOS devices, one dedicated for streaming internet audio to a radio

    Moderate density suburbs, 2 story building. Would like to reach out into the yard about 50-75'. Security needs are not like if you were in a city, but I'd still like to lock it down.

    My main concerns are device quality, speed and signal quality, ease of administration, and cost. For my budget, I could afford the latest Airport extreme, but I have no reasons for all the other ports, etc. and it seems to me there are a lot of $50 wireless routers out there.


    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #2
    Have you considered an Airport Express. Relatively cheap, small and will do a pretty good job. You can also buy more than one to extend your range if you require. Refurbs are reasonably cheap at $75. Even new they are only $99. I use both the Airport Extreme and Airport Express in my home. They are several years old now and still work as good as when I bought them.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #3
    airport express sucks man.....

    go and buy the cheapest AC router you can find on amazon. If money isn't an issue then buy the airport extreme. I had an express and think it's over priced and only really worth it if you use it as a 2nd router to get air tunes with your stereo system.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    oldhifi

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    USA
    #4
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #5
    Thanks. I was fishing for some specific model recommendations, but if they're all the same, then I'll just get a $50 one from Amazon.
     
  6. macrumors demi-god

    glenthompson

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2011
    Location:
    Virginia
    #6
    Without knowing what is connected to it and what capabilities you need, it's hard to recommend specific models. Will you need 802.11ac in the near future? Any specific features like QOS or more advanced routing? How fast is your internet connection? What speed devices are you connecting to it via ethernet cables?

    I use hard wiring for printers and desktop computers since they don't move. My MBP is also hardwired since it only moves when I take it out of the house. For inter-computer transfers, I like having gigabit ethernet over wireless.
     
  7. macrumors demi-god

    firedept

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Location:
    Somewhere!
    #7
    Sorry to hear about your bad experience with Express. Guess I am fortunate to have it work so well.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #8
    is it your main router? defiantly a 2nd router with the extreme but by itself it's not that great. Had it for a while for airtunes with my stereo system but would cut out a lot and I have 50mbp/s internet.

    I don't know for the $100 bucks you'll spend you can get a AC router or a used last gen Airport extreme which would be much better options

    5th gen used 65 bucks !!
    http://www.amazon.com/AirPort-Extre...id=1379736867&sr=8-2&keywords=airport+extreme
     
  9. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #9
    It is tempting to offer up a solution or just say all routers are the same (which they are not)...but without more information, it is hard to discern an educated guess as to what might fit your immediate and long term needs.

    I strongly suggest you go to the smallnetbuilder site as they have excellent reviews of routers and cover tests for throughput via ethernet, various tests on wireless at the given ratings for N, G, AC etc.

    What is of particular interest is that the new Airport Extreme sits somewhere around the middle to low end on the higher end routers.

    If you want AC but have no AC built into your equipment, consider a nice bridged network (2 AC routers that talk to each other and your devices are connected via CAT 5e or 6 to either router. Let one be the master and handle DHCP, reserved DHCP, NAT etc.) The latter allows the routers to do all the heavy lifting and it can work remarkably well.

    In the past I have done some testing with both the previous generation Airport Extreme and the Airport Express. The Express NEVER did as well as the Extreme under various tests related to actual networking. A couple of real Mac fanboy friends of mine found the same thing out and skipped on the Express entirely in their "interesting" set ups.

    Again try SmallNetBuilder site. Good hunting and shopping.
     
  10. bking1000, Sep 21, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #10
    Thanks all. This is a wireless-only network. I already have a wired network router into a fast internet connection. This is strictly for when I'm unplugged, and for certain kinds of Apple media sharing. I wouldn't mind future-proofing with the fastest speed class available, but most of my equipment right now is no faster than n (I just got an iPhone 5S -- does that do better than n?)

    Connected to it would be (not all at the same time):
    • 4 Laptops -- general work. All have access to wired connections, but often are untethered, too.
    • 1 headless computer for a media station hooked up to the TV (not wired -- the computer relies on wireless). Streams video in the evenings.
    • 4 other iOS devices, one dedicated for streaming internet audio to a radio

    Moderate density suburbs, 2 story building. Would like to reach out into the yard about 50-75'. Security needs are not like if you were in a city, but I'd still like to lock it down.

    My main concerns are device quality, speed and signal quality, ease of administration, and cost. For my budget, I could afford the latest Airport extreme, but I have no reasons for all the other ports, etc. and it seems to me there are a lot of $50 wireless routers out there.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #11
    Express

    I had an Express. It kept dropping connections. I am not interested in trying one again.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #12
    There was a software update recently that fixed that
    It was dropping my connection on iphobe and ipad before that
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    Skip the one wireless router and go for either 2 in bridged mode or one master and then access points. There is no reason you should not be able to achieve your ideal of being anywhere in your home or perimeter and not get a decent signal. For media playback (TV and computer etc.) best to use a cable connection to one of the routers to ensure consistent throughput if you use files that are moderate to high bitrate. - DVD level movies do fine on wireless and higher quality can at times choke.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #14
    Thanks, but that didn't answer my question. I have been fine with my G, but I would just like more speed.

    No one seems to want to suggest certain names, so I'll look at the reviews on the small network site that was mentioned, and Amazon. I just thought someone could short circuit the research.
     
  15. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #15
    If you already have a wired network, then you obviously have a router. All you need is a wireless access point to attach to that network, unless you are setting up a separate network.
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    #16
    Does you cable company offer you a free router? Well not free but they are most likely charging you 7 bucks a month for a modem but you can get modem/router for the same 7 bucks. I have friends with 4 different companies and they all do the same thing.

    As for routers. Apples are expensive and you want at the extreme as the express sucks. You can get the previous version for $65 bucks on amazon used. Basically every router you buy right now be it a $20 buck one is going to be awesome compared to your wireless G one. I suggest buying the cheapest Linksys AC router you can get.

    $53
    http://www.amazon.com/D-Link-Smartb...UTF8&qid=1379816775&sr=8-3&keywords=ac+router
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #17
    If you go to smallnetbuilder, you will see their list of the top performers. I believe there is a netgear, asus and dlink listed. I still would suggest checking to see which one can be bridged or used as an access point in case you decide to really get the best of all worlds later with a 2nd wireless unit. If you go with older Airport Extremes, you can get a decent deal on two of them and run one downstairs and one upstairs in bridge mode. Just have the 2nd one in the best location to "talk" to the first router.

    As for cable provided routers etc. I would never use their wireless versions and consider just the modem only from them or buy your own (Motorola and Zyxel perhaps?). Use your own routers and get far better control over the entire network you create.
     
  18. macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2013
  19. macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #19

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