wireless routers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by psmithc, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. psmithc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    new york, ny
    #1
    right now i'm tethered to the desk with my cable modem. any recommendations for wireless routers? i'd love to be able to watch tv and play moh at the same time.
     
  2. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #2
    I personally like d-link. Just don't get an airport. They are way too expensive for the what they bring to the table.
     
  3. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #3
    the airport express is a good deal if you would use the streaming function or the wireless printing. otherwise i know linksys makes quite a few different ones but im not sure which ones are the best hopefully someone else can point out a good model
     
  4. denm316 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #4
    The Linksys WRT54G works great and has a very good price tag. It works seemlessly with my powermac and powerbook.
     
  5. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #5
    netgear, im on the toilet as i type this :eek: .

    $80, 4 ethernet ports, slim form factor, apple-like design, great range (works outside on my hammock as well, sweet).
     
  6. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    #6
    i only use one.... apple all the way... my extreme is top notch.....
     
  7. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #7
    Netgear's 108Mbps wireless is now $79 with $30 rebate...
     
  8. micsaund macrumors 6502

    micsaund

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #8
    Only problem is that it probably won't be 108mbps with an Apple wireless card - just FYI.

    Anyway, my 2 cents: I love my D-Link 614+ 11mbps router. It's flawless and I've thoroghly enjoyed owning/using it. As such, when the time came for me to want to try 54g, I immediately assumed D-Link again. Well, I bought a DI-624 (rev. C IIRC) and matching DWL-650G card (for a cheap Dell laptop) since it was a good deal and was D-Link.

    That thing was a piece of crap.

    Even using just their own products (the 1 wireless card to the router), it would routinely drop connections (and therefore kill any X apps I was running from a server in the basement) for no reason. I updated firmwares, drivers, and dicked with it for about a week (keep in mind I'm way more advanced than 90% of the computer users out there) and I could never get the pair to work properly.

    Another issue with the 624 was that, even in the EXACT same physical location as my previous 614+, the signal strength at the laptop about 10 feet above it (through the floor) was only about 2-3 bars while the 614+ got 5 bars (maximum) all the time. In search of a way to remedy this signal strength issue, I started doing research and found a guy who owns a company selling antennas for wireless routers. Believe it or not, he actually informed me to NOT buy an antenna from him (now that's honesty from a seller) because he had been unable to improve the transmission performance of the DI-624 using any antenna he had (and he had the full suite of expensive electronic test equipment to measure the radiant signal strength/etc.) He actually recommended that I REMOVE the external antenna that D-Link ships with that router because his tests had shown that the internal PCB-trace antenna cancels-out the signal from the external antenna somehow (or perhaps the RF circuit that generates the signals was unbalanced by having both antennas connected). Well, I did remove the antenna and the signal strength all over my (small) house went back to 5 bars!!

    The signal strength issue is just an indication of the design issues with the DI-624, but the constant dropping of the connection is what made me return both the router and the card. I think that D-Link has just been expanding their product line too quickly to keep things at an acceptable quality level. You can hit DSL Reports forums for D-Link hardware and you'll find all kinds of nightmare stories about the DI-624 (and search for my username there to find my full write-ups). Anyway, after returning the 624/650G pair, I plugged my "old" 614+/650+ back in and immediately got flawless performance once again, albeit only at 11mbps.

    Thus, when I go to get a 54g (or 802.11i or whatever the recently ratified standard is), I will not be looking at D-Link. I would look to Netgear first I think as they seem to have the fewest complaints right now and they, in general, are a good networking company (I have a handful of their wired stuff and it's all top-notch).

    Mike
     
  9. DJY macrumors 6502a

    DJY

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra AUST
    #9
    I also am in this dilemma...
    new Powerbook
    keen for wireless (to avoid this nice big cable following me around my apartment).

    Wait for Airport Express? or buy another brand wireless router...

    I'm leaning towards waiting - thats if the Express does get released in Aust in the next 2-3 weeks like promised.
     
  10. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    #10
    i got a 802.11G from netgear for $20, has a 4 port 10/100 switch built into it too very stylish looking too
     
  11. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #11
    My Intro to LANs teacher uses a cheap D-Link, worked with my Dad's 12 inch PB just fine.

    It was an older-looking model, looks like one of their regular broadband routers except it had an antenna sticking out..

    I'm about to buy a wireless router for my dad, I'd be interested to see what's available.

    Oh, and any word about extending the antenna in the Air-tunes thing? He's got a lot of RF interference at his house and even my cell phone doesn't work unless I stand outside.
     
  12. nels0360 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #12
    If you are going to be using a print server as well, get the airport express/exteme. I had a linksys print server and router. The print server could not be setup on the Mac. It worked fine from the PC but a no go from the Mac. The Epson RX600 worked great through Rendeavous when I got the Airport Extreme.
     
  13. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #13
    Well, since my WRT54G's WAN port got fried in last night's storm, (don't ask me how, it just did. The cable modem is fine) I've started looking at a replacement. My big question is, is there a reliable 802.11g + 4 port 10/100T switch that can forward any external port to any internal port? My brother's Linksys 10/100BT does it this way, but I have no idea why it's different on the WRT54G.
     
  14. psmithc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2004
    Location:
    new york, ny
    #14
    and this is probably a stupid question, but... can i just plug the wireless router into the cable modem and have everything work? i assume it to be this simple but i just want to be sure. i'm guessing there will some playing around with ip crap, just as there was when i plugged the cable modem into the new laptop, but i just want to make sure that:
    i have an airport card installed
    i have a cable modem

    all i need is a wireless router?
     
  15. slughead macrumors 68030

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #15
    Yes, you may. All the routers I've ever seen (Netgear, D-Link, Airport) have all worked out of the box.

    HOWEVER, you should always setup the WEP thing! ALWAYS! it encrypts every packet so your credit card info and etc isn't floating around. Also you don't want people pirating your internet service looking at kiddie pr0n.. They'll shove an Ashcroft up your asscroft before they even hear your side of it!
     
  16. Amani macrumors member

    Amani

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    #16
    I paid more for mine, but it works like a charm. Since I've gone wireless, its taking my computer usage to whole nuther level. Now I want to upgrade my internal hard drive so I can have all my photos and tunes on the laptop.
     
  17. jhomayne macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    #17
    ok.. soo... riffing around a similar theme.

    my dad is getting a brand new wintel pc and with it we are upgrading to broadband.. i intend to get an iBook with an airport extreme card. yet we are unsure as how to setup a secure working wireless network..

    is it possible to merge to 2 together with minimum hassle?
    what components are going to be necessary?
    am i making a fuss over nothing?

    cheers if anyone can (be bothered to :p) help
    :)
     
  18. vwguy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2004
    Location:
    Silicon Valley
    #18
    I don't think there would be any hassle. Right now, I have 2 PC desktop (using wireless connection), 1 Centrino Laptop and 1 Powerbook connected to one single Linksys Router and they work seamlessly. All I can think of is to get 128 bit encrpytion setup on your wireless router and you are good to go.
     
  19. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #19
    WEP is so week that it isn't worth it. Mac filtering is my choise. But remember, is you are totally paranoid, you can never fully secure your wireless. If someone wants to get it, they will.
     
  20. micsaund macrumors 6502

    micsaund

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    #20
    MAC spoofing is often even easier than cracking a WEP key. Cracking WEP keys takes at least finding software, collecting packets, and crunching numbers. Spoofing a MAC can be done from within some network drivers themselves.

    Remember that security is like layers on an onion. One layer is not very strong, but if you have enough layers, the "crackers" will likely move-on to an easier target. It's just like locking the doors on your house. If someone wants-in, they will simply break the door down. The idea is to get them to think twice about choosing *your* house to come into...
     
  21. Enigma macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #21
    I was once told something quite funny, and kind of makes sense in a roundabout way. If, like a lot of people, you download stuff from the web you shouldn't (MP3s, films, warez etc.) and you have a WAP, leave it all unencrypted and open. Then, if you ever do get raided by law enforcement officials, you can plead ignorance and stupidity and say that you didn't do it, but would it be possible for somebody else to be using your WAP to download the illegal material over your internet connection?

    There's your reasonable doubt.

    :D
     
  22. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2003
    Location:
    Democratic People's Republic of Kalifornia
    #22
    excess capacity is good. I have a Netgear 54g, but my PB doesn't take AEx. Still, $40 for a g router isn't bad... considering I payed almost $80 for my 4 port DSL router long ago.
     
  23. grapes911 Moderator emeritus

    grapes911

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Location:
    Citizens Bank Park
    #23

    MAC spoofing is much easier, but you need to know a MAC address that has permission to use the router. That is very hard. I agree that you should use many "layers" if you are concered about security. My point was that if you are going to use just one, don't pick WEP. It is probably the weakest protection you can use. Mac filtering and limiting the number of ip addresses your router can assign are much more secure than WEP.
     
  24. Loge macrumors 68020

    Loge

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2004
    Location:
    England
    #24
    Most wireless network kit today should support WPA (wifi protected access). This is considerably safer than WEP, in that the encription key is changed dynamically to prevent sniffers from acquiring enough data to break the encription. I agree, though, the more layers the better.
     

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