Airport Extreme or other Wireless router?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jamiefoster5, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. jamiefoster5 macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    Hi everyone, new to the forums (not to MacRumors, remember the daily checking before the release of my beautiful aluminium MacBook :p).

    My Belkin router and wireless Lexmark printer have been playing up, so have decided to invest in a new wireless set up.
    I have looked around and an Airport Extreme seems to be the best bet for my needs, just want some reassurance on this!

    So, I would like:
    • better and further coverage (it has to cover quite a large area, and the current router doesn't reach the other end of the house, and also doesn't go through the walls to the living room, so the PS3 cannot connect to the router - would N improve this situation, or would connecting a long ethernet cable and moving the router to the middle of the house help? )
    • ability to connect one or more MyBook external powered hard drives [to be accessed over the network, for backing up/sharing files etc]
    • ability to connect a USB printer [for printing over the network]
    • online gaming from ps3, xbox 360, wii, ds (?)
    • ability to work on a brand new MacBook, Dell 1525 running Vista and a Dell Inspiron running XP
    • on BT broadband so need to connect my modem (i think!)

    Would an Airport Extreme best suit my needs or should I go for something else?
  2. KelchM macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2007
    I've had good experiences with the D-Link DIR-655.
  3. jamiefoster5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    Thanks, I've had a look, but can you share both a printer and a hard drive at the same time, and does it have to be a specific type of hard drive (I've heard that it must be NAS).

    Also, how quick is it to access files on the HD?
  4. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    Airport Extreme has worked very well for me. I had a D-Link before this and it would continually drop the signal. AEBS works very well over distances at the 2.4 Ghz frequency. Very well. Not so good at the 5Ghz which is what you need for max. speed for file transfer. That is it's only downside.

    It is easy to set up. Has never let me down on signals and goes long distances.
  5. Solemony macrumors 6502


    Nov 26, 2008
    Another option is a Linksys router...Works great for me :D
  6. springerj macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2004
    Portland, OR
    wireless routers

    You can get a pile of routers in the $60-$80 range, like linksys, DLINK, etc. They're all about the same. They're fine for a couple of users, but prone to software freezes with a lot of users or traffic. Then you can get a flawless Cisco router for $500-$800. It's really hard to find anything in between. The Apple airport extreme IS a mid-range router though. The networking consultants I deal with claim its the best of the consumer-grade routers. I've had good luck with it.
  7. gsahli macrumors 6502a


    Jun 1, 2007
    When you're talking sharing a USB printer And Network Addressable Storage, the question becomes much more difficult!

    Both of these options require software (firmware) in the router to provide the service. NAS is easier of the two, because OS X can use SMB/CIFS and AFP, both of which are industry-standard sharing protocols.

    Printer sharing is an area where the Apple Extreme/Express/Time Capsule HAS A UNIQUE ADVANTAGE. Apple has put printer sharing software in them, which allows sharing the printer as if it were on a Mac.
    If your printer is a non-postscript one, you will almost certainly be searching for/using a third-party CUPS driver in order to use any other print server (including built-in on a router).

    If you already have the printer, tell us the model for specific info on printer sharing and driver.
  8. rfrankl macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2006
    Airport Extreme is the easiest router to set up. Never had a problem with it. Great speed and range.
  9. filmweaver macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2008
    That's what were talking about!

    I also have the Extreme, easy setup, solid support, our PeeCee's work great on it, OH and it is an APPLE! Just Do it.

    Excellence comes to those that are willing to pay!
  10. jamiefoster5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    I currently have a Lexmark X4550, which is meant to be wireless but has given me so many problems I would like to send another printer through the router (yet to be bought!).

    That seems as if it would be quite straightforward with the AEBS, but I'm still a little confused about the storage - can I just plug my MyBook's in, or would I need to buy extra NAS?
  11. Crevice macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2008
    I was in the exact same position you were in just a few weeks ago. I wanted a fast router so I bought the d-link dir 655, though it was a great router I couldn't hook up a printer or a hard drive to it, and I could not get full "n" capabilities because it did not support 5ghz band, like all macs need for full "n" speed.

    So I took back the router and opted for the more expensive airport extreme. The setup was user friendly and easy, and I had my printer and hard drive hooked up in seconds. Not only does it work faster on my macbook pro, it works great with my PS3 and Xbox 360 which are both hooked up to it.

    So know I have all my music on my hard drive and have it so I play all my 200 gigs of music wireless from my harddrive to my macbook, freeing up much needed space on my computer. Again don't get me wrong the d-link 655 is a fantastic choice, just not what I needed.
  12. jamiefoster5 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2009
    That is literally the exact answer I wanted!

    Thanks everyone, I think I will be going for the AEBS =)
  13. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    I own 2 older "g" Airport Extremes, 2 new GiGE Airport Extreme "N" units, and 2 Airport Expresses.

    They are flexible, they work well, the configuration tools are second to none, and they look nice too.
  14. mrpawn macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2009
    Am I doing it wrong?

    I just switched to mac about 6 weeks ago. I'm on a MacBook Pro, my husband is on an iMac, and both of my kids kept their PCs. I am trying like the dickens to set up a My Book 1T harddrive w/ all music & movies wirelessly so that everyone can share. I started with the Apple Time Capsule, but found the internet painfully slow. I'm talking old dial up speeds. So, I bought the My Book & an Airport Extreme. Got better speed, but still no where near what my old Linksys was. So, I returned it & go a Belkin USB hub to hook up the My Book. Problem is the connection to the My Book continually drops. My internet connection and connection to both of my WiFi printers is fine. It's just the connection to the My Book. This makes it nearly impossible to transfer files. Any ideas?:confused:
  15. musicman59 macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2009
    I used to run a Linksys WRT54GS with an external singal booster of 500mV. The main use of the wirless network was to stream music to a pair of Squeezebox. I had problems with the range even having the booster so I added a Linksys extender.

    After less than 1 year the extender died so decided to try the Airport Extreme and one Express as extender. They were very easy to install and all the drop out I was having with the Linksys system disapeard.

    Yes, you will be paying more but you also get for what you paid.
  16. gsalvador05 macrumors newbie

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum. I recently bought a D-Link DIR-655. it works fine and dandy and I also have my Macbook Pro connected wirelessly.

    My question is, how do I set my the router so no one else can use the network besides myself, family and friends who have laptops or wi-fi connection.

    I've tried going online and checking all other forums, but I'm having a hard time with the installation disc as well.

    any help is greatly appreciated.
  17. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2007
    setup wireless security (use wpa2) and enter in the password on your families' laptops
  18. Crevice macrumors regular

    Sep 3, 2008
    ^^^^ unfortunately d-link routers aren't the easiest to set-up if you aren't too network savy.
  19. CP123 macrumors regular

    Dec 22, 2008
    This is the link from the D-Link page:

    I think it's pretty straight forward.
  20. trekster macrumors member

    Jan 10, 2009
    I'm also in the market for a wireless router. I'm might jump and get the AEBS. It only has 3 Ethernet ports. One for the Quicksilver Power mac G4 to run as a torrent machine/Comp for my 5 year old nephew. Another Plug for my Xbox360, One Plug to connect the MBP or whatever computer that wants to be connect directly. That's 3. It only has 1 USB Plug in. I wanted to Plug in a 1tb External Harddrive so I can transfer all my music/media/misc to. I'm going need an extra USB Plug to either connect a Printer or external harddrive. Can I get a USB hub for it? Or is there another product that has multiple USB plugs? I can also buy a wireless printer.

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