Best Wireless N Router for Streaming Media

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by robotartfashion, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. robotartfashion macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm getting ready to move to a new state and I'll have a new apartment there, I've upgrade my tv and bought some other fun stuff so far. I'll be buying a MacMini (here's hoping they're updated by April) for a media server/eyetv dvr and I wanted to buy a good wireless n router

    I'll have my cable modem with the mini/ps3/xbox 360 all in the living room so it needs to have gigabit, and then I'll have an IMac in my bedroom (older core duo with b/g only) and a Mac Pro in my office with wireless N

    I want to be able to stream media between the devices. I'd looked at a Dlink router (DIR-655) that had a lot of positive reviews about its speed but apparently it has streaming issues with media

    I've heard about the hit and miss of AEBS, so what should I do?

    Thanks! (I did try searching this in the forum strings and all I read about several routers but no specific mention of media streaming)
  2. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    any ideas from anyone? I'd like to hear what others are using before I make a purchase
  3. themoonisdown09 macrumors 601


    Nov 19, 2007
    Georgia, USA
    I've had an Airport Extreme Base Station for a year now and have had no problems with it. I do have it set to 802.11n (802.11 b/g compatible), so it's not just strictly 802.11 n. I stream videos from my iMac to my PS3. I also have a Macbook Pro that I stream videos to.

    The AEBS is a little high in price, but it's been worth it to me.
  4. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I have used various Linksys Models without problems. In my house I have multiple routers so I can set one as 802.11n (AppleTV and Laptops) Only and 1 at 802.11g Only (iPhones). In mixed mode I don't get the full 802.11n speed. is a good place to get routers at a good price.
  5. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I've been very happy with my Airport Extreme 802.11n base station (first generation model, no gigabit ports).
  6. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    so I can plug two routers into one cable modem?

    so a wireless n and then run a wireless b/g router (i have a linksys one) from one of the gigabit port so I don't have to have one router with a mixed internet connection?

    i wasn't sure that would work
  7. FoxyGrandpa macrumors newbie

    Feb 9, 2009
    D-Link DIR-825

    Running 3 ATV in my home, and about 5 other wireless devices, I have had the best luck with the Dlink DIR-825 dual band router. I put the ATV and iMac on the 5Ghz band and PC's on the 2.4Ghz and have not had any issues streaming. Plus you can prioritize streaming to the ATV's with the DIR-825 WISH (Wireless Intelligent Stream Handling) settings.
  8. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    I do the same thing, using an Airport Express to serve 802.11g signals so I can get all the speed on my 802.11n network.
  9. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    Yes. What you do is plug the cable modem into 1 of your Wireless Routers (Primary) and you plug the second Wireless Router (Secondary) into one of the ports on the first Wireless Router. Like you do with any other device (like a computer).

    1. Make sure the Primary Router is the only one that has DHCP Enabled.

    2. Make sure the Secondary Router is setup to not do NAT Routing. See "Setup/Advanced Settings". It sometimes says that this Router is not the Primary Router (or something like that).

    3. Make sure the Secondary Router has a unique IpAddress, I use Normally your Primary Router is set to

    4. I use a different SSID for each Wireless Router. Like "WIFIg" and "WIFIn" or something that is easy for you to remember.
  10. marbles macrumors 68000


    Apr 30, 2008
    EU mostly
    So you can say.... plug an Apple router into your netgear router, have the netgear connected to the telephone socket and have your Apple wireless box plugged into the netgear router serving the wireless to your home/office
    Would that provide any extra security being behind two routers so to speak or would that just be silly slow/ pointless ?

    just curios
  11. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    You could get the brand new Airport Extreme Base Station. It has simultaneous dual-band, so that WiFi-N devices and Wi-Fi G devices can connect to it independently, with both types running at their respective full speeds. The updated Time Capsule does the same thing.

    My guess is that the next revision of the Airport Express will feature simultaneous dual-band as well-- provided 802.11g is still a common protocol. We all know how quick :apple: is to ditch older technology.
  12. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    That's actually what I'm considering right now. If the new AirPort Extreme allows wireless G clients (iPhone, work laptop) to connect while reserving its second radio for dual-band N (Apple TV, desktop computer NIC) clients that can take full advantage of a dedicated N radio (not running in mixed mode), then that might be the best of both compatibility and performance.

    Right now I have the D-Link DIR-655 Xtreme N router (not dual-band, just N) and it works pretty well. I think I ran the numbers and figured out that a normal iTunes movie only requires about .3 MB of information per second to stream the movie, so I think any router, even a G router, that maintains a consistent signal will do, and have bandwidth to spare for other activities (web surfing, file transfers, etc.).

    The only thing you might want to consider is getting a router with good QoS capabilities so, for example, your streaming movie takes precedence over the non-urgent file transfer.

    The D-Link routers with intelligent QoS are great for this, though I'd still consider the Airport Extreme with the dedicated radio.
  13. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    I just want to add that if at all possible you might want to run cable from your router to your media center. I know that it sucks but if you want to really stream everything to the mac mini or appletv you will want that speed. I have a airport extreme and it is great but I use my trusty D-link 4300 for the 4 ethernet ports to run my two desktops, HP mediasmart server and finally my mac mini media center. Streaming HD to the little mac takes wires for optimal speed.
  14. Shiner macrumors 6502

    Oct 1, 2007
    Additionally, the DGL-4300 will prioritize the stream you decide.
  15. johnnj macrumors 6502a

    Dec 11, 2008
    Not here
    Before I pulled 5E down to the wall-mounted bedroom TV, I was able to stream 1080p MKV and DVD vob/iso to my PCH using this setup:

    Apple Time Capsule - network-wise running only as an Access Point, 5.0GHz dedicated, draft-N ONLY

    Apple Airport Express - running as a wireless bridge on the far end, 5.0GHz only

    I experimented with dual mode on a dlink router that got good reviews, but I found that performance really got nailed unless it was running in dedicated mode.

    You might be able to get away with running dual mode, since the ATV does a lot of buffering and the stuff is pretty heavily compressed, or downloads content completely and plays back locally, though. My setup had very little buffer and everything was streaming from my server in the basement.

    Good luck with your setup...

  16. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    I want to reiterate:

    I have a 98 minute movie that is 1.19 GB large. This means to stream it, I would need ( 1.19 GB * ( 1024 MB / GB ) ) / ( 98 Minutes * ( 60 sec/min ) ) which translates to:

    .2 MBps

    ...need to stream video.

    The typical throughput speeds of routers of each protocol are:

    802.11g - 2.75 MBps (22 Mbps typical / 8 to get MBps)
    802.11n - 6.25 MBps (50 Mbps estimate for one router / 8)

    So I don't think you even need an N router! Theoretically, you could stream 13 movies at once over a typical G router!

    The ideal thing is a router that has a consistent signal, and maybe one that has QoS feature to prioritize movie streaming.

    That said, why not go for N if you're getting a new router?
  17. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    I love my AEBS. It's much nicer then my old router, and much more reliable. And with the new AEBS you can have multiple channels of broadcast, among other features. I personally think that the AEBS is the best router out there.

  18. srexy macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2006
    I use the Actiontech wireless g router that comes w/my Fios plan and it works fine. I stream from an XP pro box that has a Linksys G PCI card in it. The :apple:tv is connected wirelessly to an AEBS wireless N (pre gigabit) that is patched via ethernet to the Actiontech.
  19. azdunerat macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2009
    I just joined the world of streaming movies over a wireless connection and I have the AEBS. Set up was a bit of a pain to get the external drive mounted and auto mount each time I turn a computer on but now that it is set up it works flawlessly. I have my video library on an external LaCie 1TB drive that is connected to the AEBS via USB and I can stream my uncompressed video-ts folders without any problems.
  20. Hot Snowboarder macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2009
    Behind you...!
    I have an extreme and an express running in 'n' 5Ghz. Perfect for streaming movies.
  21. robotartfashion thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 1, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    thanks so much everyone! i love the wealth of info on here

    I'm going to be picking up a new mini soon, and instead of streaming media from my mac pro as a server i just picked up a external 2 drive usb enclosure and a couple of WD Green 1TB drives when NewEgg had them for 89.99 and i'll have that plugged into the Mini to avoid my MacPro from destroying my electric bill :) (I still have 2 1TB WD Black drives as backups of the media on my MacPro)

    I'm going to get the AEBS and even though it has a dual mode available I'm going to run the strictly 5.0 GHZ and then plug my Netgear G router into it, just to make sure I don't muddy the waters as I've still heard about problems with the dual band on the new AEBS

    i'll probably pick up a N usb dongle for my 2.0 coreduo white imac as it can't be upgraded to N without popping it open and replacing the extreme card which i have no interest in doing

    I'm excited about the new setup

  22. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I am not sure if I understood your set up but I'll just add my peanuts to the gallery of responses (all very interesting and worth reading)...

    My set up - Cable Modem to Dlink 655. I use the Dlink as my "DMZ" of sorts and it handles all filtering. after that -

    Cablebox-->Dlink655-->AEB----wireless bridge<---2ndAEB--PS3/Tivo

    The Dlink is set up to allow "Guest" for internet without touching my network. The 1st AEB is set to N 5ghrz only to bridge to the media side AEB.

    There are so many variations on a theme. While I think the AEB is over priced, it works very well (for me) in bridge mode. The Dlink655 on sale is an excellent bang for the buck (though the newer firmware upgrades no longer support bridge mode). In this, it is my router/line of defense only at the starting point and naturally I use it because I have had it since the early days when it came out <grin - hate waste>.

    It sounds like your plan is a pretty good one. Something to consider, if you can get one of those meters that checks strength of wireless, you should go thru the exercise of 5ghrz vs 2.4. Also, you can consider multiple wireless routers handling their own traffic (as indicated by others). Media on one and your PC/Macs on another. Streaming is always a challenge and I find I avoid it as often as possible by providing the media in tact local to the player.

    Good luck!

    - Phrehdd
  23. cubbie5150 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2007
    Same here...1st Gen 802.11n AEBS, zero issues...
  24. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Dual-band works perfectly fine on my AirPort Extreme router. Apple specifically put two sets of antennas in the new base stations to run dual-band. If you have 802.11b or 802.11g devices, you're crazy not to take advantage of it.
  25. skasol macrumors 6502

    Sep 20, 2007
    I am too on the same boat, looking for a good N router, I was thinking of the Linksys just for the DD wrt firmware upgrade, so I am still looking around, another thing for all those streaming movies, I have a WDTV from western digital, that pretty much decodes anything, it plays anything. I grabbed a usb harddrive and put all my mkv files in there and it reads all of them, you should give it a try.

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