Which wireless router is the best?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by leeming, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. leeming macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #1
    Hi,

    I want to get a wireless network in my house but have no idea what wireless router to get. Could anyone give me some suggestions on what i should get.

    Thanks
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    My favorite router is the Linksys WRT54GL with 3rd party firmware. But to be honest, any name-brand router will work.
     
  3. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #3
    The Linksys WRT54G series. Course, everyone has their own fav, which by pure coincidence also happens to be the one they went for :p

    Just pick one, they're probably all much of a muchness.
     
  4. leeming thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #4
    ok thanks, but do you think it is worth paying more for the apple base station?

    thanks
     
  5. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
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    #5
    In my opinion, No. There are plenty of other routers and do that same things for much cheaper. Many of them are even better than the Airport.
     
  6. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #6
    Nope. I have an AirPort Extreme as well as the WRT54GS. The Linksys has a much better signal, and many many more features, especially when running a 3rd party firmware such ast HyperWRT (no where near as complicated as it might sound ;)).
     
  7. sk1985 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #7
    Both airport models are pretty lame (I've returned both). Linksys and net gear have both failed me too many times in the past. So I really can't recommend both those brands. I hear good things about berlin and D-link.
     
  8. leeming thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    #8
    what are the advantages of the 3rd party firmware?
     
  9. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #9
    Look at the website (which I even linked for you) and see :rolleyes:
     
  10. mchendricks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Central Florida
    #10
    Netgear

    I've got 1 Mac wired, 1 Windows PC wired, and 2 Windows laptops connected wirelessly to a Netgear router (MR814) and have had no problems during the past 3 years. The set up is for a home network.

    Mike
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #11
    I have a Netgear setup at my parents' home which seems to work okay, although it doesn't handle the erratic nature of their DSL modem very well (urgh...#$#!@$ Bellsouth). I have an AEBS here. I love the AEBS for the print server.

    However, I don't personally think I'd buy another one. I think if I were getting a new router... I would probably get an Airport Extreme + a wired router (actually, I have one somewhere) so that I'd have audio streaming and a print server, plus wired ports.

    But I would only get an Airport if you plan on using one or more of the wireless printing, the streaming audio, and the portability of the AirEx. I wouldn't get one if none of those things were valuable to me....

    (EDIT: In response to dmcelroy's post...let me also add that I really like my AEBS. I wouldn't pay the $170 I paid for it again... :eek: but I love it. :) It's also much cuter than any other option! :eek: ;) )
     
  12. dmcelroy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2002
    #12
    Airport

    I use an Airport base station along with an Airport Express to extend the network range. I originally bought the Airport because I could get it with both the modem and Ethernet for later when I went to DSL. In both cases the Airport has worked flawlessly, is easy to administer, and has offered no problems. When I added the Express it was simple to set it up to extend the network and I plugged my printer into it making that available on the network. I have a 2400 square foot home and I have a full power signal throughout the house.

    The other routers may work just fine too, but I thought someone who has been very happy with the Apple product should speak up.
     
  13. Placeholder macrumors member

    Placeholder

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Canada
    #13
    I think you've nailed it - that's pretty much the bottom line for wireless routers. You hear good stuff and bad stuff about them all.
    Personally, I'm buying an Airport Express in the months or so - I'd try something lesser if there was a good sale on - but I figure apple's been good to me in the past, why not give them another shot.
     
  14. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #14
    Here are the setups I have used.

    Mk 1: Modem -> Netgear RP614 wired router -> Netgear HE102 802.11a
    This worked pretty well until we needed wireless on a Mac.

    Mk 2: Modem -> Netgear RP614 wired router -> Apple Airport Extreme
    The RP614 eventually crapped out, leading to...

    Mk 3: Modem -> Linksys BEFVP41 wired router -> Apple Airport Extreme
    This worked really well until the Linksys router crapped out too.

    Mk 4 Modem -> Apple Airport Extreme -> Netgear Ethernet switch
    I finally just replaced having a router with putting a good $30 switch on the LAN port of the Airport. This is my current configuration and is working better than anything before it. The Airport outlasted the shoddy Linksys product -- which perhaps lasted a year, compared to the Airport, which I've had for about two and a quarter years with no signs of decay yet.
     
  15. tonyl macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2006
    #15
    But be careful with different versions of Linksys routers, some of them can't run 3rd party firmware. Btw, I use DD-WRT, it's great.
     
  16. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #16
    How common are wireless router failures? My AEBS has been in almost continuous operation since December 2003. The Netgear has been in operation since, I guess... about July 2004. I also have a Linksys wired router but it gets used on and off, and is in a box somewhere.

    What do you think it is that makes them fail? Is this a power spike thing, or....hmmm....

    Well, as long as my hardware keeps working, I'm happy! :D
     
  17. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #17
    The current ones that can are the WRT54GL and WRT54GS. Some older versions of the WRT54G also can.
     
  18. EricBrian macrumors 6502a

    EricBrian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    #18
    Wow, nice improvements. :)
     
  19. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #19
    Pre-N's are appearing. Might be a good buy for the future.
     
  20. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #20
    What's the likelihood at this point that a pre-N device will be soft upgradeable to the final standard?
     
  21. EricBrian macrumors 6502a

    EricBrian

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    #21
    Yeah... and how expensive are the pre-N's? Might it be better to just wait?
     
  22. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

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    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #22
    There were a couple of different solutions proposed to be the 802.11n standard. The different proposals were not totally compatible with each other. In January, the IEEE took the first step in accepting a draft of one of the proposals to become the standard. Right now all major companies are working on creating routers that will comply to the standard. The problem is that the routers currently on the market may still follow a proposal that wasn't accepted. So it is still undetermined if a pre-n router (even with a firmware upgrade) will fully comply with the official N standard. My advice, stay away for now. Pre-N routers are too expensive for something that may not even be compatible with tomorrow's technology.
     
  23. Apmonia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2003
    #23
    I actually own an Airport Express and it works great. Also, just to note, D-Link isn't exactly the nicest company on the planet (not that any are REALLY nice but...). Check out this link http://people.freebsd.org/~phk/dlink/
    Apmonia
     
  24. M. Malone macrumors 6502a

    M. Malone

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    #24
    I also have an Airport Base station, I'm not really that technical on computers, I first had a Linksys wireless B, and decided I wanted to upgrade to G, so I got a Belkin Wireless G, it worked nicely, BUT, when I attempted to video/voice chat on iChat, it didn't let me, I called Belkin, they said I need to forward some port numbers or something like that, they said I had to call Apple then call them back, I did, and then called Belkin back, I finally input all the port numbers, but oh no, I didn't know which were UDP and which were TCP, I called Apple, the guy who took my call seemed confused, I just gave up and returned it...

    got the Airport Extreme base station, I plugged it in, put a wep key, and I was set, iChat video works flawlessly, uploads over ichat work, no problems, all my Macs and Windows machines work smoothly, and I now have a wireless printer, and it was so easy to do, just plug it in :)
     
  25. lopresmb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    #25
    Linksys ???

    :confused: I have a hard time with Linksys - I kinda have a love hate relationship:

    1) Hate it - I had a pain of a time setting it up (Model WRTP54G)
    2) Love it - Great price after rebates - included a VOIP adapter
    3) Hate it - Waited 5 months before rebate checks showed up after phone calls.
    4) Love it - Worked flawlessly after initial setup - both wired, wirelessly, and VOIP all at once.
    5) Hate it - Inexplicably dies one day for no good reason (after 7 months of usage) AND takes 4 hours of phone calls to get it replaced.
    6) (kinda) Love it - that said they are replacing it for free


    --so there you go my love/hate with linksys. As with the apple routers - the express is pretty sweet with the Airtunes - if you put it near some speakers it def. has some value add. That and it you use the printer server its nice (as a wireless print server will run you upwards of $100 at best buy).

    --and setup of APEB and APEXP is pretty painless and management it nice and easy (no typing in IP addresses into web browsers to manage devices)
     

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