What's the best non-Apple router that works with the Airport card?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by dferigmu, Oct 3, 2004.

  1. dferigmu macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Ok, this is my situation: We have, or will soon have 2 PCs and 1 Mac that I need to hook-up to a wireless network where all 3 computers can be online at the same time.

    My question is, what company makes the best wireless routers that will work with the Airport Extreme card? I am soon ordering a new iMac and I figured having an Airport card installed is a lot easier than having an external reciever.

    I have recently heard that Belkin and Linksys are the best and that Netgear and D-Link arn't that good. Is that true? And is there a difference in speed between a USB adapter and a PCI card to recieve the wireless signal?
  2. jtgotsjets macrumors 6502


    May 20, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    This question is going to get you 7 different answers from 6 different people.
    Basically, the best thing you can do is go to a place with a liberal return policy, buy the cheapest router you can find, and if it doesn't work, return it.
  3. FelixDerKater macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2002
    Everyone has a different preference in this. Most people I know would say to go with Linksys or D-Link.

    I say spend the extra money and get an AirPort Express.
  4. hcuar macrumors 65816


    Jul 23, 2004
  5. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    First pick is Apple because they're just so awesome :D

    After that, get D-Link or Linksys, stay away from Netgear and Belkin... I've had some problems with those.
  6. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2003
    i've had minimal problems with my netgear. just needing a reset sometimes but it seems this problem has ever left me. so it seems with this one router (wgt624 v2) they have fixed the problems.

    but i would definitely get a pci card as opposed to some external unit. more external corded stuff kinda ruins part of the greatness of wireless.

    and these suggestions that people are giving is just based on which company has better stuff cause they will all work with your airport card.
  7. Espnetboy3 macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2003
    i was gonna post a very similar question , i have a g4 , mom just got a ibook and brother has a pc , she has airport instaled we are networked thru a netgear router but want to go wireless so she can online anywhere in the house, the base station is expensive can u just buy the new airtunes thing that plugs in the wall and use that or do u need the base station to go with that , also will a d-link or linksys work wit the ibook ?
  8. earthtoandy macrumors 6502

    Jan 18, 2003
    yes to all questions.

    airport express is a full wireless router. 10 people can be connected at once. its a nice option. d-link and linksys will work as well
  9. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Any 802.11b/g router will work. Some have specific tools and better support for Macs, but most of them are just plug and play. And easily configurable from any web-browser. PCI cards will be faster than USB and a lot more reliable. I have had issues with external devices like that in Windows. Just buy one from someplace like CompUSA or BestBuy. Sometimes they come in kits, or have rebates. Get a router and a 802.11g PCI card, use the AirPort Extreme and PCI carded PC wirelessly and the other PC connected directly to the router. They usually have 4 ethernet out ports to connect to a PC like a regular router.

    Don't let the salesman tell you it won't work. Especially if you specifically see an OS X symbol on it. It will work fine.
  10. pianojoe macrumors 6502


    Jul 5, 2001
    N 49.50121 E008.54558

    I have a belkin router/switch that is connected to the DSL modem, and to my "old faithful" airport extreme base station (3 stories below, in the basement) via Ethernet. So, the whole house is 802.11geed.

    The Belkin is an awesome piece of hardware. When the AEBS acted as main router I had to restart it once a day. The Belkin runs so smoothly I forget it's even there.
  11. crackrock macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2004
    Cracktown, USA
    Get a Linksys WRT54G. It's a linux box that has a 200mhz processor, which means that you can install custom firmware which can increase the power way beyond the legal limit (the FCC puts a cap on the amount of power these can put out). I have one and with custom firmware and everything turned up I get 5 bars up to 50 feet away. Through walls and everything I can get access in 3 stories, any room - no problem. The longest distance it can reach is around 200 feet if you put it by a window and use it outside.

    Best of all, it's CHEAP, around $40 on Ebay and about $50-$60 in stores.
  12. nels0360 macrumors member

    Jun 16, 2004
    If I were you, I would get the Linksys WRT54G. Works great and they have great firmware.
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    Another WRT54G user here :D I'm going to try out some of that custom firmware, maybe I can get the port forwarding to work like on my brother's wired Linksys.
    I usually hear "Linksys sucks, get Netgear" or "Get a Linksys" so take that as you will...
  14. Espnetboy3 macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2003
    the new airplus dlink looks nice and got a good review on macaddict
  15. dtp macrumors newbie

    Apr 19, 2004
    Cambridge, UK
    We've never had a problem with our Belkin at home, but my boyfriend's Netgear is constantly on the blink. My Airport Extreme works perfectly, too. Obviously, different people have had different experiences - go with whatever you feel the best price/reliability ratio to be.
  16. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    im partial to linksys and their web based utility
  17. superfunkomatic macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2003
    calgary, ab canada
    i've had success with a linksys WRT54G.
    easy to set up and configure on the mac and pc, lots of features and security that's easy to configure - the web based utility is a lot more intuitive and more feature rich than the d-link, which i've also configured for clients. it has good range and signal strength.
    works like a charm with b/g wireless systems.
  18. williamsonrg macrumors 6502

    Sep 8, 2004
    Denver, CO
    For what it's worth, I have also had good success with the Linksys WRT54G
  19. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    Heh. The first reply to this thread is right - ask a bunch of people and get a bunch of different answers.

    Personally, I've had nothing but trouble with Linksys. I have a 802.11b (non-Extreme) Linksys access point / router / 4-port switch. After being on for several days the wireless access slows down considerably, often to the point that I'm getting under 10kB/s transfer speeds. The signal strength remains at the highest level, even though transfer speeds go to hell. :( I can't reset it, because then it usually doesn't come back up, leaving me faced with an hour of "pull the plug, put the plug back in, check wireless, no it's not working, pull the plug, put the plug back in ..." Not fun! :eek:

    We also had a couple of their usb adapters for the Windows machines. One of them always stopped working after a couple months with Win98 and required an OS reinstall (true, the blame lies at least as much in Win98, but everything else was working on that machine). Then it stopped working altogether and no amount of clean installs would make it work again. We moved the usb adapter to a WinXP machine and it worked fine... for about 6 months. Since then it refuses to join the network with WEP enabled, so we either had to disable encryption (bad!) or leave that machine off the network (pain in the butt).

    With the Win98 machine, what we did was get a D-Link access point and configured it to work as a wireless bridge to the rest of the network. The Win98's ethernet plugged into the D-Link (so it had no idea it was still 'wireless') and it just worked flawlessly. Never had another problem with that machine.

    We bought our first house recently and I said enough of this wireless crap! :p I've wired every room with multiple ethernet ports, so the only computer that still uses wireless is the iBook for roaming around the house. The above problems with the Linksys access point still apply. Since the D-Link is no longer in use, I'm thinking of swapping it out and using the Linksys only as a 100mbps switch.

    So far I've had lots of good luck with D-Link (also got a gigabit switch and a gigabit card for the FreeBSD machine, it and the Power Mac love their new speed :D) and very little with Linksys. But that's only one anecdote, and your experience may be totally different!
  20. Tesla10X macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2003

    I have used all of the following routers with success on MacOSX

    Original Airport Base Station (silver)
    Netgear 802.11b router
    Netgear 802.11G (108Mbps) router
    linksys routers (various)
    Siemens Speedstream 802.11b router
    Microsoft wireless g router
    dLink 108 Mbps router

    On all of these systems I have managed to set up 128 bit WEP encrypted connections (except the old Apple which only supports 40bit) and have used them with a variety of Apple Systems and PC systems.

    Of all the ones I have used, I like the dualg 108 netgear the best. It greatly increased the performance of my original Airport card in my Pismo laptop.
    Also it has been performing extremely reliably in conjuntion with a motorola cable modem. I got it used off of Amazon.com for $54.00

    I recently installed the dlink system with dlink cable modem and have been very disappointed. The perfomance in poor and often had to be reset in order to for the wireless to work.

    I was able to connect a PC to an the Basestation and even administer it through a Java airport utility. The original Airport began to get flakey after 2002 (3 years old) and finally got to the point where it would reset itself every 15 minutes before I stopped using it.

    With the latest firmware updates for the router, and the latest updates for the Airport software, I have not found a wifi router that I could not connect to and maintain a 128bit WEP or WPA connection to.

    In conclusion, I would personally recommend getting a Netgear or Linksys with the highest speed (dual 108) possible.
  21. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    I have a netgear and its fine so far but I'm kicking myself I didn't fork out for aiport base station so I could extend range with Airport express.Also theres no USB on netgear which is useful for printing.Some non apple routers e.g some Linksys(I think) will work with express,its nice to choose one with that capability if its the same price as one without.
  22. bobpensik macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2003
    Calgary, AB
    I have never had any problems with my Linksys Router!

    I have 2 PC's and my PB hooked up to it!
  23. Lancetx macrumors 68000


    Aug 11, 2003
    After having significant problems with an AE base station, I went the cheap route and picked up a D-Link DI-624. It's not without it's minor quirks (but then again, no wi-fi router is) but for the very low price it cost (only $50 after rebate), I can't complain.
  24. Joeytpg macrumors 6502


    Jul 1, 2004
    Vienna, Austria
    what kind of problems you had with the AE Base station??......isn't Airport Express and Extreme supposed to be great products with great reception?

    i just ordered an Airport Express from Amazon.com, i'm very excited! :D

    but what happened to you?

    Anyone mind sharing their Airport (Express, Extreme) experiences :D

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