Whats the best router on the market?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sk1985, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. sk1985 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #1
    I just recently bought an airport extreme today and I'm really disappointed by it's lack of features and okay WIFI range. I'm also pretty disappointed that the Extreme lacks airtunes (It's kind of ridicules that the express model has this feature and not it's more expensive counterpart). I basically assumed that since the express has airtunes that the extreme would also...Too bad I didn't read the box :( .

    I'm mostly looking for a high end router (thats Mac compatible). I really want something with really good range and security features..

    Basically I want something thats has really good WIFI range, a high level of security (WPA2, Mac Filtering, Firewall, ect...), and I'd like it to have a multitude of ethernet ports. I'd also like it to be 54 MPS compatible (801.11g).

    FYI, I'm not a fan of link sys products (they've crapped out on me too many times) and I'd like to hear people's' perspectives on other quality products.
     
  2. York-Diuck macrumors member

    York-Diuck

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Location:
    toronto
    #2
    Well, I have a d-link dl-624 and for the most part it does the job. I have had it for almost a year now and the range in my house seems perfect. I have 3 floors with the router on the bottom floor and I get great reception right up to the top floor and even my outdoor deck. It has four ethernet ports at the back just in case you have computers that dont have wireless cards in some of your computers. It claims to to go to 108mbps (I typically get using wireless on my laptop, on a website 150-300kbps download using adsl).
    I dont know what else to say, it has all the security features that the other routers have with in my opinion good wireless reception. For me it has been excellent and yet to have any real problems.
    If you want more specs on it go to the d-link website. I paid $90 Cnd for it, well worth it in my opinion. My ex has the dl-524 (router step down) and it is noticibly slower.

    hope this helps.
     
  3. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #3
    Ask four people what is the best router and you will get four different answers. Just like cars, there are fans and detractors of each.

    Funny you don't like Linksys as they are usually the brand mentioned as one of the best. D-Link is the one brand that I have not had good luck with at all. Bought a few and had to return them all.

    I have personally used the Netgear WGR614 for about 2 years and have had no problems with it at all. One was fried by a power surge, but that can't be blamed on the router. They run about $30 on sale.

    If you want something with a bit more range, try the WPN824. You will not get all the benefits of the Pre-N technology, but it does offer better coverage than a standard 802.11G router. They can be had for about $100 on sale.

    I have also set up several Belkin networks with the F5D7230-4 and it works well. It runs about $40 regular price.

    All these routers are 802.11G and have a 4 port switch built-in. They all work with Macs and PCs, but I don't think you can use their setup wizards on the CDs they come with. I have never bothered with them so I can't say for sure.
     
  4. iamhammill macrumors 6502

    iamhammill

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2006
    Location:
    York, PA
    #4
    I use a Belkin at my Dad's house, and a Linsys at my Mom's. Not much difference between the two. The linksys is much easier as far as port controlling and such, but in terms of range both are about the same.


    I'm not sure the model, but they are both 54 mbps routers. I actually have an extra Belkin that i'm trying to get rid of if you were interested in trying them out.

    But yeah overall, I can't really notice a difference.
     
  5. kbonnel macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    Location:
    In a nice place..
    #5
    As mentioned by emaja, many people will give you many different answers, so I will give you mine :)

    If you want a complete access router, one which will let you do everything, then you need to either A) get a router that you can load a Linux firmware on it (like one of the old WRT54G's and put DD-WRT or Sveasoft on it), or B) build a small computer an throw linux/bsd on it. The above 2 options of course will take more time to configure/setup to your liking, with the DD-WRT/Sveasoft/OpenWRT option being easier and still giving you full control if you want it.

    If WIFI is you main issue, it might be a good idea to get a separate AP and stick it were you are having limited WIFI access, and use your current router.

    Kimo
     
  6. ckeck macrumors 6502a

    ckeck

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    I have had a lot of experience with routers and have used many brands (D-Link, Netgear, Linksys, etc...)

    The best router on the market in my opinion at the moment is the D-Link DGL-4300. It is a little more pricy then some other routers, but the security and PERFORMANCE is amazing! And I have not had a single problem. I have gotten several of my friends to switch to this router as well and they all love it.
     
  7. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #7
    I recommend the Netgear WPN824. I've got a mixed Mac/Windows network (completely wireless) and it runs great. I will say this though, you'll want to use the little light shield they include to put over the dome unless you want to put up with the constant bright blue lights on top. Although that's a small price to pay for great range, speed, and no external antennas.
     
  8. Bunsen Burner macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
  9. ethen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    #9
    I'm using LinkSys SRX400, upgraded from SRX200, i dont see much performance increase unless i'm outside the house
     
  10. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #10
    The Belkin Pre-N router is an exceptional machine. However to make use of the really high speed and long range you need to get a Belkin Pre-N PCMCIA card too. So that'll end up costing you quite some dough. Unless you're planning on doing a lot of file transferring on you network a 54mbps Wireless G router will suit you just fine.

    I have a Netgear WRG-614 which is excellent. Does everything you could possibly imagine and the range is just fine for me. Got it for $20 at Circuit City when I was in the States over x-mas.
     
  11. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    That's the whole point of Pre-N. Longer range and better speed over that range.
     
  12. properudeboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #12
    i use a linksys router at home and it is good because it is a simple set up and reliable

    personally i would go for it and also linksys is rated the best over all

    thanks
     
  13. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #13
    personally I'd just advise staying away from netgear, based on my experience...
     
  14. Saluki Alex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2006
    Location:
    Illinois
    #14
    I have never experienced any problems with Netgear, but I think it should be said that you might want to contact your ISP and ask them for a recommendation, some brands of routers work better with certain ISPs.

    Another note is that there are people with problems with all brands, be it Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, and so on. It's sad to say that with a lot of brands the quality is sometimes grab bag, you might end up getting a lemon from a great company (that includes Apple) just like you might end up getting a great product from a not so reputable company (insert most hated PC manufacturer here). And people who rail against certain brands the most are often times the ones that had the unfortunate experience of getting a lemon.

    If you're looking for product reviews, go to www.epinions.com, the people who post those reviews typically go into great detail. On the other hand, Circuit City and Amazon both censor the reviews on their sites.

    I'll also say this, with the Pre-N routers out there, unless you're using a matched wireless card, you won't experience the increase in speed, but it has been my experience that you will see some benefit in range, but everyones results will vary. But as with a lot of things, the whole Pre-N thing is by and large a marketing ploy (one I bought into though :D )
     
  15. sk1985 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #15
    Thanks guys I'll be returning the airport extreme tomorrow. I'll check out D-Links offerings. For some reason I've had too many problems with linksys products and my roommate has a Netgear router. Both act up far too often (both my old linksys and my roommates netgear stopped working and when his netgear was working it would often drop signal).
     
  16. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
  17. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #17
    Keep the AirPort Extreme and Get an Airport Express

    I really, really like my Extreme Base Station. I like the easy setup and configuration and features.

    Some questions for you:

    Have you updated the AirPort Base station firmware to 5.7?
    Have you checked to make sure that it is using the best channel?
    Have you checked to make sure that the transmission power is turned up all the way?
    Have you tried adjusting the position or direction of the base station?
    If you cannot adjust the base station, have you tried moving any device that might cause interference such as a cordless phone?

    I know this can be pricey, but here is an option, get an AirPort Express and setup your Extreme Base station and Express with WDS. Your Extreme base station will get the Internet from your ISP and then distribute the signal to the AirPort Express which can then rebroadcast it. This works very well. Your Mac will then connect to which ever base station has the strongest signal. With this solution you will add WiFi range to your house, added the AirTunes features you require and still have a great product.

    If it is reception or transmission issues that are causing you low signal quality, then getting another brand of base station may not help out at all. Also, most other brands do not offer anything like WDS. Since you have already made the investment in the Extreme I would recommend getting an Express and extending your network.

    Hope I have given you a few ideas.
     
  18. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #18
    Netgear support sucks. It is the biggest complaint I hear from my consulting clients. Most of them get so frustrated they call me. I never recommend Netgear, Apple or Linksys. Linksys products can be confusing to the first time buyer. Too many products and the web pages do not do a good job describing the differences between each product.

    With all of Nortel's financial and management troubles no one knows how long Netgear will be around.
     
  19. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #19
    i have a netgear wireless router and it seems ok, i dont have anything to compare it to though. I get signal all over the house, all though it does drop of a little, nothing to significant though! Can't speak for their support, it was easy to set up without any support. my router is the DG384G, which has all of the security features you mentioned
     
  20. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #20
    eerrrr......

    not a good idea! Then they will know that you want to connect more than 1 computer, and will want to charge you extra for "home networking" too!

    Time Warner tried that ***** with me a while back, claiming the install tech reported that I had 2 computers in my house and just "assumed" that I would be networking them together, and he therefore authorized the additional charges (without my knowledge or consent) when he turned in his paperwork to the office :(

    I was one MAD S.O.B when I got my 1st bill too.......I then had to spend 45 minutes on the phone with 3 different buttheads in the billing office to get the charges reversed :( :(
     
  21. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #21
    There is a difference between providing two modems and two IP addresses and allowing a router to handle that through DHCP. Most IPS will not care - or even know - if you have three computers hooked up behind a router. They can even see anything behind the router anyway. Most IPS also have a registration process by which only MAC addresses that they have associated with your account will be allowed access. My ISP - InsightBB - will even cut you off if you do not register your router or computer with them.

    I don't think that the router will matter one bit with whichever ISP you choose. It can be a quality crapshoot like was mentioned, so get one and see if it works for you.
     
  22. cgratti macrumors 6502a

    cgratti

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania, USA
    #22
    I dont think there is no clear "BEST" router, but I do like Linksys, using one now for about 6 years and never a problem.

    My ISP doesnt care if I have 30 computers networked in my home, same price for everything. $35.00 Month for 5MB/s down and 364 Kb/s up.
     
  23. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #23
    you seem to be contradicting yourself........

    If your ISP does NOT care how many computers you hook up, then why would they cut off your access unless you register your computers with them :confused:
     
  24. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816

    SmurfBoxMasta

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Location:
    I'm only really here at night.
    #24
    Well, TW sure as hell DOES care!!!......to the tune of an extra $20/month.....for absolutely NOTHING other than KNOWING that you have more than one computer connected to the internet thru their service.....
     
  25. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    #25
    I prfer Linksys despite the fact that i've gone thru one a year. I think they die under the heavy load I put them under.
     

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