Which airport to buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by BFG, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. BFG macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #1
    Hi im a newbie to macs, and i've placed my order for a ibook.
    Im off to university in 20 days, and i need to get my ibook to be working wireless in my room, whilst have a pc on the network.

    The university im going to provides me with a ethernet port, which has direct access to the internet, but what i need to know, is what is the cheapest way to connect my ibook and pc to the internet, whilst having the high level of protection.

    the setup i was thinking about was: network point > AP base station {pc (wired) & ibook wireless}

    assuming that AP base station has a built in firewall i wont need to install software firewalls?

    also, come 2nd year university i'll need to find a flat to live in, so i dont really want to be changing my hardware again, so what would be the best option for me?

    one more question what is the main difference between AirPort Extreme Base Station (with modem and antenna port) & AirPort Extreme Base Station (with Power over Ethernet and UL 2043)

    thank you
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    You don't need the Extreme base station. It's massively overpriced. Have a look at the Linksys range for something offering the same function for far less cash. :)
     
  3. BFG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #3
    so any router in other words? I was under the impression that if you dont have ISP account information you wouldnt be able to use a router, since it wouldnt know that the internet was connected already?
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Hmm... If you get a Linksys (or NetGear or whatever), you will be able to get the internet from the wall (ethernet port) and wirelessly distribute it to your iBook and (assuming you get one with more than one ethernet port (pretty much anything but the AirPort Express), you'll be able to hardwire your PC to it also.

    Of course, since you're not accessing an ISP directly so much as a uni network, it'll have to be set up slightly differently, but most routers should come with comprehensive yet easy-to-follow instructions for this. It's fairly straight forward. :)
     
  5. BFG thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    #5
    ok thanks for your help.

    although just for reference, what is the differences between the two AP's?
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Extreme: more expensive, can have 50 users, has an extra ethernet port for hardwiring computers to it, can have a third party antenna easily added.

    Express: can do AirTunes (wirelessly play music from your Mac/PC), cheaper, smaller, can only have 10 users.

    Interestingly, they are the same standard (802.11g) and therefore offer the same speed. They also offer the same range according to Apple but some people insist the Extreme is slightly better. Both can connect to a printer through USB for wireless printing too. :)
     
  7. cleanup macrumors 68030

    cleanup

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7
    I also recommend the Linksys Wireless Routers. They're great. I got my iMac on wireless, while my PC notebooks are also on wireless, and PC desktops are wired (because installing wireless on a PC desktop is a retardedly troublesome process).

    There really is no difference between the two AirPorts, except the base station has some more features (ie. more ethernet ports, the AirPort Express has one that you connect into a cable modem, which means you can't network it to a wireless-less computer). I would get an Airport Express, but that's just because I wouldn't use wires if I were in a dorm room.

    Also, if you don't want people accessing your Linksys, make sure you turn on MAC Address Filtering, and add your iBook's MAC address to it (which can be found in System Profiler, under Network).

    Have fun!
     
  8. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #8
    I recommend the Linksys WRT54G, priced at a nice $39.99 at your local WalMart.

    As with any router, however, keep your receipt. ;)
     
  9. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #9
    Airport Express would be more than what you are after...
    You might want to suss out your College though.

    Some IT depts don't like students setting up WiFi networks inside their own network - and I know at the College I work at - there were all sorts of problems with reassigning IP addresses as well.

    So check with your College before you buy anything.
     

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