Wireless Routers for Macbook Air?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by seared.ahi, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #1
    What are some good routers for the Macbook Air? The reason I ask is because a lot of routers require discs to install software, which the MBA does not have. I don't mind paying $100 for the for-sure-to-work Airport Express, but I wanna know my options. Thakns.
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    kylera

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Location:
    Seoul
    #2
    There are some SMB brands (at least here in Korea) that come with a fold out piece of paper that walks users through setting up routers on the browser (typing the 192.168.x.x address, etc.)

    Personally, I just splurged on an Extreme after seeing $40 routers break before the year was up, and never looked back.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #3
    What about Express? Will that work for me? I live in a 1 BR apartment.
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #4
    We have used D-Link DIR-655 routers with long-term success in 2 different locations (3+ years). We have good signal coverage throughout our large 3-story home for both Apple equipment and other equipment (Dell and PS3). Great experiences with phone customer service as well. I think this router runs about $70? It's hard to beat if you don't want to splurge for the Airport Extreme.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #5
    Thanks! Would the $100 Airport Express work though?
     
  6. korbearus10, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2012
    Location:
    California
    #6
    I believe most routers nowadays don't require the CD. I don't know if it's because I chose the right routers or what, but in the last 8 years, I've had 3 routers: Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL, Medialink N Router and the Airport Extreme. None of them required a CD. You just have to access the router via the web address (ex. 192.168.1.1) and set up your router.

    As for you question about the Express, it'll definitely work. The only reason you might want to get the Extreme is if you want to connect an external drive to the USB or require multiple gigabit ethernet ports. If you're only using the router for the wireless access, the Airport Express will be just as sufficient.
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    spillproof

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    The Cisco Linksys systems allow you to download the Setup Software if you don't have the CD, before you begin. And it is also available for download on your products support page.

    I have had zero problems with Linksys products (currently a E4200 v1.0 series) with my MPB, PS3, Android tablet, iPhone, and the various other phones, computers, and game systems that have connected to it over the past year.
     
  8. seared.ahi, Aug 10, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2012

    thread starter macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #8
    Hmmm that's a really good reason to get Extreme. Hmmm. :( $170 just seems like so much to pay for a router, lol.

    Wait - connecting to an external HD to Extreme, can you use Time Machine with it and back up your computer "wirelessly"? Or is it only to share the hard drive with other computers on the network? This doesn't seem to indicate that it works with Time Machine:

    http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/features/harddrivesharing.html

    I live by myself (yeah, sad, right? lol) and only have 1 computer. The Time Machine back up would be my only interest for connecting an external HD to my router.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #9
    Also, what's the real world difference between G and N speeds? My uncle has a spare router for me to use. It's old but it's B/G, not N.

    Again, I wouldn't be doing file sharing because I'm the only person in the household, but I want to be able to do high speed streaming (ex/ youtube HD). Would N actually be useful for me or is G fine for my purposes?
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #10
    N is only useful for sharing inside your network or being able to connect to your router whenever your neighbors are sharing the same channels with your network (B/G). N is not useful above 10 feet radius (approx.). So, you can defiantly use B/G router, and there is not need to buy an N router.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    seared.ahi

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    #11
    Maybe I'll take up my Uncle's offer then.
     
  12. macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #12
    You can buy 802.11n routers for like $40 these days and they work fine.
     
  13. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    #13
    I agree with d-link dir 655. It's a beast. Been running it since 2009. 24/7 online and never had any issue and still going strong until now. I dont know if any 655 still being sold now. From 2009 until now, i had 2 of the old airport express died, but not the dir 655. Don't know if the new airport express any good or not.
     
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #14
    I bought my parents one at a DFW Frye's location in April of this year (2012) and ordered one from BH Photo Video last year so I think they're still available? Model number may have changed slightly.
     
  15. Ksh
    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    #15
    I'm using a Cisco Linksys neutral router with my acBook Air and allows firmware upgrades directly from the network :)
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    JPamplin

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    #16
    I would submit that N is needed if you a) stream YouTube HD, b) have many access points around you, and further, an Airport Express is especially handy if you do AirPlay.

    Get your uncle's router and turn off it's wireless. Then get an Express.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2009
    #17
    Sure. Inheriting the one your uncle tossed out works fine, too.

    However, there are advantages in buying a home gateway that has active ongoing development of its software (e.g., bufferbloat or IPv6; I'm not going to explain either here but you can google them).
    In today's market, active development is available only for two classes of products:

    Those based on openwrt and friends, and those from Apple.

    Apple also has good integration with OS X (e.g., sleep proxying/back to my mac). With the Extreme and a USB disk, you also get a great simple-to-administrate file server (for time machine and other purposes). With the Express, you can attach your hi-fi and use Airplay. With either, you can attach a cheap (USB-based) printer.

    I know what I would recommend to anyone who takes their time seriously.
     
  18. macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #18
    Okay

    Expresses are awesome.

    Why worry about $40 price difference?
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #19
    Pretty much any wireless router will work with the MBA. I personally use the Linksys E4200, but other brands will work.

    As far as the disc, that is intended to make the router setup easier. Pretty much every router I have ever used has a web interface (e.g. 192.168.1.1 in a web browser). The included disc just accesses that interface and make setup easier (encryption). If you know you way around the web interface, the disc is un-necessary.

    There are a lot of people out there that think Apple routers are much better for use with an Apple product, that is a false statement.
     
  20. macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #20
    Agreed

    Agreed with that last line. Technically, Apple routers are no different than their competitors.

    However, Apple's tend to be easiest to set up, if only because the UI is pretty and simple looking.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    #21
    I use an Apple Time Capsule 2011. With the Air I thought it would be a perfect match because I could use it for extra storage also, but the wireless speeds are ridiculous. I get about 4-10/Mbs up and down even when 5ft away which is pretty slow so Im considering another brand.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    #22
    Get the Apple Extreme. Longer reach, better throughout, etc. than the Express. It's the best router I've ever used. Haven't had to reset it in the 2 years I've owned it.

    Also Apple devices tend to have issues with non-Apple routers.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    #23
    I got the extreme and it works wonderfully.

    Prior to the extreme I had some asus wireless N router with dd-wrt on it. It was great except it wasnt dual band and I have 2 devices on my network using wireless G. Therefore all my devices were stuck on wireless G speeds. It was okay until I got 25/25mbps internet and i was bottlenecked.

    Extreme has wireless N, configures even via iphone, and is dual band. Great companion to my air.
     
  24. max pl, Aug 11, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2012

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2010
    #24
    if you really want to spend $180 on a router, go ahead and listen to some of these posts.

    if you want the same performance and stability for much, much less, pick up a cisco e3000 or e4200 and toss tomato or ddwrt on there and youre good to go. both extremely simple to install.

    do no, however, get one of these routers and run stock firmware as you'd be better off getting one of the apple routers instead.

    dual band is the difference between 2.4 and 5 ghz. 802.11n can operate at both of these frequencies and is backwards compatible with 802.11g, so if your router is set for N, devices that support N run at N speeds, and those that only support G run at lower speeds on the 2.4ghz band.
     
  25. Guest

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Location:
    Japan
    #25
    I'm not sure if they are offered outside Japan, but Buffalo routers are some of the best I've ever used. Last time I checked, Americans could get them at Fry's Electronics, but that was several years ago.
     

Share This Page