Airport Extreme or something cheaper?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Frisco, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Frisco macrumors 68020

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    #1
    My friend has a Power PC G4 Power Mac. He recently received an iPod Touch for X-mas. He is running Tiger OS. He has no wireless card on the G4 so an ethernet port is needed.

    His daughter has a Macbook and is running "Snow Leopard" or "Leopard", I am not sure.

    Their current router is dying. Is Airport Extreme compatible with all of this? Is there a cheaper router I should consider buying? I want to get them a gift, but I want to know if Apple Airport Extreme allows for all of this or should I consider a cheaper solution? Remember the G4 running Tiger has no Ethernet card so a physical wire is required.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. tacomahunter macrumors regular

    tacomahunter

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  3. dickdaney macrumors regular

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    Dec 10, 2009
    #3
    Airport extreme will work fine. Almost every other N router is cheaper than the airport extreme and they'll work fine too. If you've got airport extreme money, then just but it.
     
  4. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    Connecticut
    #4
    No reason to buy Apple wireless gear. Get a good router, based on budget.
     
  5. Menel macrumors 603

    Menel

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    #5
    E3000 refurb is a pretty hot option. Saw it pop on slickdeals.net yesterday or this am.
     
  6. BlackViper macrumors member

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    #6
    Airport extreme is a great device, worth the premium to me. Up to 5 years of warranty coverage and being able to have Apple support your network is awesome.
     
  7. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I wouldn't touch the new Cisco/Linksys stuff. It's pretty much crap. That's coming from a former Linksys diehard with multiple WRT-54G(L)'s running third-party firmware.

    In today's world, I'd get the Netgear WNDR 4500, or if you need DD-WRT right off the bat, some of the slightly older ones with N750 or N600 have DD-WRT support. Supposedly, the WNDR 4500 is getting it soon, which is great, since that's N900 (3x3 MIMO on both 2.4 and 5.8).
     
  8. mreg376 macrumors 6502a

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    Brooklyn, NY
    #8
    I always used Lynksys and Netgear routers and they worked well for me, and went to an Airport Extreme about a year-and-a-half ago. I have to say that the Extreme has been the most hands-off and reliable of them all. You just forget it's there. And Apple alerts you to the the firmware updates so you never have to search them out. The stability, reliability and virtual invisibility are well worth the money.
     
  9. NateEssex macrumors 6502

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    Aug 30, 2008
    #9
    More speed?

    I need a new wireless router for cable. At Best Buy, they told me I needed at least a Netgear N600. Then I was told an Airport Extreme would be best, but they always try to get people to buy more expensive things. So, wiill the A. Extreme provide faster speeds than the Netgear? I can get my hands on a used Netgear WGR614v8, but will that be slower? Much slower?

    Thanks!
     
  10. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #10
    A. Why are you shopping at Best Buy?

    B. Why are you listening to anything they say?

    Go to Smallnetbuilder or whatever your favorite networking review site is, pick the model you think would work best for you and your fleet of gadgets, and buy it off of Newegg or Amazon. Problem solved.
     
  11. NateEssex macrumors 6502

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    #11
    It must be those Geek Squad guys.... They sounded like they knew what they were talking about...sort of. So, can 1 router make your connection considerably faster?
     
  12. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #12
    They don't know that much. Go and read the reviews, and draw your own conclusions.
     
  13. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

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    Apr 25, 2011
    #13
    Your last sentence there, easier said than done. WAY easier, when it comes to routers.

    It's a crapshoot wether you get a good router or something that's utter junk. Since routers have gone down so much in price it means not much money is actually SPENT on them by manufacturers. Even if the hardware itself is solid (sometimes it's not), how's the firmware? Is the manufacturer issuing updates for it?

    Most of the time the firmware is bad, and the update support is spotty at best. I've not had a single router I've not had to forcibly restart at least every other month or so because it stopped responding, until I bought my Apple Time Capsule. In six months it's never crashed once even though it also perform backup duties on top of the routing.

    Basically, you don't find any GOOD routers that are cheap. They always skimp somewhere to meet their desired price point; the cheaper the more skimping takes place.

    If you compare Apple routers to other GOOD dual-band, triple-stream routers, you find they're not that much more expensive (well, the time capsule is, due to the harddrive and the attached price premium there, so it's a corner case). Airport Extreme is a very fast router, it has great range and above all it's stable. It does not offer all the features of many of the other top-range routers (notably, there's no uPnP support or stateful packet inspection for example), but most people don't actually need that.

    It's not the cheapest though, but I've had enough of cheap at this point. :p
     
  14. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #14
    Read the reviews. The Apple routers also don't have as many options or a web-based interface like every other router on the planet.
     
  15. Lennyvalentin macrumors 6502a

    Lennyvalentin

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2011
    #15
    Finding reliable reviews on routers isn't easy. Very few websites have the resources and knowledge neccessary to do thorough reviews of networking equipment; like with power supplies you can either do a review that tells you what the box the product comes in looks like, what it contains, and if stuff works when you plug everything together, or you can get an electrical engineer college degree so you are able to speak with any authority on the device's design and construction, then connect some $2k programmable loads, variacs and digital oscilloscopes to the thing and analyze how it performs under a range of input voltages, output levels and temperatures.

    One of these reviews is actually useful. The other is not.

    Do you actually need any of those fancy options? Other than MAYBE packet forwarding (which Apple does support, and which very few applications actually require or else won't work at all), few people actually have a need for esoteric settings. Web-based interfaces can also be compromised, giving intruders access to your internal network. Especially if the default password is left intact; few bother to change it, or know that they should, or even know how to do it for that matter.

    Tell most computer illiterate people to type in raw IP addresses into their browsers and their brains immediately become confused and dig in their virtual hooves like a stubborn mule, trying to resist even the smallest inkling to understand. Thanks, I've been there, done that. :razz: Not experiences I like to re-live.
     
  16. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Yes, having some configurability is a good thing. Smallnetbuilder has some good reviews with semi-scientific testing, and there are router roundups out there. I know PCMag used to do extensive testing, not sure if they are still doing that...
     
  17. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #17
    As if it makes a difference to the type of user who buys Apple networking products...
     
  18. BiggAW macrumors 68020

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    #18
    When they try to do anything with it, they will find out how limited it is.
     

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