Another router question..

ChickenSwartz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2006
903
0
I know there have been a lot of threads about routers, and I guess this is mine.

I need a router that I can make a wired connection to my Gateway PC, a wireless connection to an older Toshiba laptop, and a wireless connection to my yet to be bought MBP. I have a $50 gift card at BestBuy so I woujld like to stay under $50.

Here are my choices:
Netgear WGR614NA
Linksys WRT54G
Belkin F5D7230-4
D-Link WBR-1310
D-Link WBR-2310
Buffalo WHR-G54S

I just wanted to get input whether anyone has had particularly good or bad experience with these (using with PC and/or Mac).

I am leaning towards the Netgear or Linksys.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I have one of the Netgear at my parents' house. It works well enough. Actually I'm connected via it right now. But I also am a fan of the Linksys... If either the Linksys or the Netgear support WPA2 out of the box now (I'm pretty sure they both do WPA1), I'd go for that one. Otherwise I'd say either will treat you pretty well.

Linksys does seem to have a very active community of amateur developers who make alternate ROMs and so on for their routers....if you're interested in that, that's a plus.
 

MacsAttack

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2006
825
0
Scotland
I'm using a linksys router with a range of wired and wireless PCs and a Mac Mini.

Not a single problem in nine months constant operation.
 

freiheit

macrumors 6502a
Jul 20, 2004
642
90
California
Netgear or Linksys are good

In the past 5 years I have had one Netgear router (wired only but VERY nice), a Belkin wireless (I sold it as quickly as I could due to acknowledged limitations in the number of connections it could handle) and a Linksys wireless. I love the Linksys (WRT54GS v4). It's fast, supports WPA wireless encryption so it's quite secure and has a very easy to use web interface which works fine with Firefox on my Mac (haven't tried Safari with it). If you're into the tweaker and hacker lifestyle, there are also tons and tons of 3rd party and open-source firmwares for this thing which open up additional features.

I'm currently using my Linksys with a wired connection to a PC, wired connection to a Mac and wireless connection to a PC. It handles all 3 being on the net together. The only downside IMHO is that it's not a gigabit switch, so my LAN (between my own computers) is restricted to about 9.5MB/s real-world transfers, which isn't very good for doing backups from one computer to the other.
 

raleigh1208

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2006
55
0
Raleigh, NC
I also use Linksys routers. But here I suggest you get the WRT54GL version rather than the WRT54G version. They downgraded components in the WRT54G version starting with version 5, with many people having problems with it. So Linksys started selling the WRT54GL version (L means it works on a Linux system), but it's really the old WRT54G version 4, which is more powerful, but with a slightly higher price. You can also upgrade the firmware easier on the GL version. I suggest you look at both versions on Amazon and you'll see many bad comments for the WRT54G version and many good comments for the WRT54GL version.
 

kgarner

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2004
1,512
0
Utah
Has Linksys gotten better in recent years. I ask, because a few years ago I tried to set up a Linksys router for my sister on a PC and it was a pain in the butt. Then my brother tried to set up the same router in a new apartment for his iBook and fought with it for 3 days. Then it just started working without any explanation. It died about 3 months later. He bought a Netgear and had it set up and working in about 10 minutes and hasn't had a problem since.

Not saying Linksys is bad (I reserve that term for DLink), just sharing my experience and wondering if they have fixed the problems I have seen.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
29,777
12
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
kgarner said:
Not saying Linksys is bad (I reserve that term for DLink), just sharing my experience and wondering if they have fixed the problems I have seen.
The weird thing is that I have seen forum posts here and elsewhere that tell this same story both about Linksys and Netgear products (not as often as DLink though :p )... I don't understand what the common factor is. In at least some cases, it doesn't seem to be user ignorance -- like in your story, it sounds like people know what they are doing.

I don't think Linksys has particularly gotten better or needed to. I think it's just a crapshoot... but if you count up all the people who buy routers, you seem to hear complaints about Linksys and Netgear infrequently in comparison to the size of the install base.
 

Demoman

macrumors regular
Mar 29, 2005
194
0
Issaquah, WA
Linksys used to have a sinister reputation for quality and ease of set-up. In fact, I had pretty much discontinued using them all together. That was when I was only using them for their 2 products; ethernet cards and hubs. I always have found Netgear products to be extremely reliable, and that goes back a long way.

My company sets up many small WAN units, that may stay in existence for 6-24 months. Nowadays, Linksys works very good within their targeted market (one of their senior techs told me that right now their niche is consumer and very small office networks). So, they are a very good fit for what you are doing.

When I am setting up a firewall, VPN, DHCP Router, I go with Netgear. I also like their Gigabyte switches better. The Netgear Wireless Access Point was a little easier to set-up for me, but the Linksys may be easier for a home user.
 
F

freakonguitar

Guest
I personally run off a Dlink router, and it works fine, but i would go for the Linksys. It has better range and a nicer setup. The two antenna will put out a better signal that the single little one like on my dlink.
 

ChickenSwartz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 27, 2006
903
0
I just wanted to thank everyone for their advise. I bought the Linksys WRT54G today. It took me about 15 minutes to set everything up and get security enabled (disable SSID broadcast, WEP, and MAC filtering). Signal so far looks good.

Thanks!