Best modem/router for a Mac / PC Combo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by liamski, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. liamski macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    Hey guys

    I've got a mac pro and macbook pro hooked up to an aging Netgear modem/router - the former via ethernet, the latter via wireless. I also use it for a wired connection to my playstation 3 and a Windows PC

    I basically need a new, faster modem/router that works well with both mac and PC. One day I'll bin the PC, but for the moment, it's part of the equation

    I need at least 3 ethernet connections (high speed if poss), and support for 108 / wimax / mimo / N / whatever protocol happens to be out there

    I know I won't get the 'perfect' router but am prepared to compromise in certain areas.

    Price is a factor, but I'll spend more on something robust

    Any help appreciated - sorry if my explanation if oversimplistic, but that's how I like it :)

    Cheers, L
  2. tgelston macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2009
  3. theITGuy macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2009
    chasing the ghost in the machine
  4. filmweaver macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2008
    What is wrong with the Apple Airport Extreme if money isn't a problem. I have one and it has been up for 4-5 months now and not even one glitch. Mac Pro, HP PC, Dell Laptop, Kodak all in one printer all connected and running fine. I haven't installed my USB disk drive yet but am planning on doing so for shared drive for all computers.

    Just my .02¢
  5. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Why spend more money on something when something cheaper works just as well? In addition, get a WRT54GL and you can run modified firmware and run all sorts of apps on it.
  6. jeremybuff macrumors regular

    Mar 3, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    I'll echo the fact that the Netgear WRT54GL is a nice router. Also, the Netgear WNDR3700 has worked out great for me. I'm not sure if it's available at stores yet, but I got my hands on one and I can honestly see a major difference... well not "major", just a pretty big one. Even my PCs run faster!
  7. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    I am rocking two Airport Extremes (N-gigabit ethernet) as well as an Airport Express (N). I have had no problems, and have tried about 90% of its features. They are a bit pricey, but they plain "just work." The first took 20 minutes to set up, and the others took 5. I use 2 macs, 2 pcs, an XBOX 360, a Wii, a DirecTV receiver, and two iPod touches, all wireless (aside from XBOX and DirecTV). I used a shared drive at one point, but no longer needed it, and so I removed it. I have a printer shared via Bonjour, and it works flawlessly with all the computers. I think it is money well spent. It has worked well with both an ATT DSL modem (about 3mbits/s) and now a Comcast Cable modem (about 16mbits/s)
  8. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    For your USB drive, if you want to have the PCs access it, make sure you format the drive as Fat32. They will not recognize an HFS volume, even if it is shared. The Macs do well with the Fat32 too.
  9. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    What type of sharing does the AEBS do? If it is Samba, it shouldn't matter. I've shared HFS volumes from a Mac to PCs before with no issue.
  10. getfuzzy77 macrumors newbie

    Apr 2, 2008
    I agree with the Linksys. I have used Linksys for the past 6 years and never had a problem with them.

    You should really only consider N if your internet provider provides you with N speeds (108mps) otherwise you are paying for something you aren't using (same with cat6 cables). However, you will get about 3x the distance with N (roughly 450ft) versus 150ft. with G.

    N is becoming more popular so expect the price to drop in the next 6 months or so through your service provider. You can get a G router by Linksys for about $50, and a N for between $80-$100.
  11. liamski thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007

    cheers guys... some brilliant info so far

    the linksys looks decent but only seems to run at 54mbp?

    My ADSL is 18meg down, 10meg up btw. I guess this means I can run N category equipment

    I think the issue with the airport extreme is that it doesnt have the modem built in - I'd have to buy something else, adding another link to the chain and more expense.

  12. liamski thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
  13. Heath macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2005
    I'll add my 2 cents by saying avoid any D Link product. Every single one I've owned has died, and every person I know that has had them has had issues with theirs.
    I have had good luck with my Linksys WRT45GL and dd-wrt firmware.
    I would not hesitate to purchasing another Linksys product.
  14. Wilson1984 macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2007
    I have a two year old airport extreme , its been flawless.
    I had a wrt54g and replaced it with the ape after less then 2 years. It was dropping connections and stuff.
    I'm very happy with my upgrade.
  15. liamski thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007

    cheers. again, i think its the lack of a modem which is the problem with the airport extreme to be honest
  16. txhockey9404 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2008
    For hfs it uses apple file sharing protocol (AFP). For fat it uses smb.
  17. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    We have on for a lab environment at work. It works well.

    Interesting. So it's not really the filesystem per se, it's the protocol the unit chooses to do based on the filesystem. That's really interesting. I wonder why they chose to do that.
  18. numbersyx macrumors 65816


    Sep 29, 2006
    I had a D link for many years and had no problems with it.

    The Airport Extreme is the best router I have ever owned and it now comes with a dual band feature so that the Mac will work on 5ghz whilst other devices can use the 2 ghz network. If you have the money go for that... works very well with my PC
  19. liamski thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2007
    so the question I have is this...

    With my Netgear (which runs at 108mbp), I'd just connect it up to the Airport Extreme and it will work perfectly?

    Will the internet signal degrade by having the netgear between the phone socket and the airport extreme?
  20. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    Doubt it will hurt at all. Your internet connection is most likely much less than the bandwidth you have over wireless.
  21. chewietobbacca macrumors 6502

    Jun 18, 2007
    Go for the WRT54GL from Linksys and flash it to DD-WRT - you will have far more control over what the router can do. You can even change how much power the signal has :eek:

    Best router + mod i've ever done

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