Better Router than Airport Express?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Designer Dale, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #1
    Hi, and I apologize if this question has been posted x times. I'm sure it has.

    My Airport Express is about 75 feet and two walls away from my workstation, and my online link often sucks. This isn't the case for my iPad in the living room or my wife's TiBook. Both are within 25 feet of the router. I know I can add another AirPort Express to extend the network signal, but I was wondering if there is a router with better range out there. That would free up the Airport Express for my AirTunes music project.

    Thanks.

    Dale
     
  2. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Jul 6, 2009
  3. itickings macrumors 6502a

    itickings

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #3
    My Airport Extreme works great for me two walls away at least, but my apartment isn't big enough to test 75 feet away unfortunately.

    On a related note, most people have their Airport Expresses pretty much at floor level. Placing the Airport Express higher up generally improves the signal (having to pass through less stuff on the way).
     
  4. nwroberts macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    #4
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    Just moving the Express up or down may help, or moving other stuff on the same shelf.

    I had a cordless phone that suddenly was getting terrible reception. I was all set to replace it when I noticed that I had started storing printer paper next to it. Basically, it was trying to push a signal through 8.5 inches of solid paper.

    So check to see if it's next to pile of books, behind an appliance, etc etc. Maybe the solution is simple.
     
  6. DmbShn41 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #6
    Stay away from Belkin. I had their latest and greatest N+ router, what a joke...It doesn't support MacOS Journaled external HD, so no Time Machine. It doesn't support wired or wireless UPnP, so no PS3 or xbox360 online gaming. it also doesn't support USB printers, unless you buy their proprietary dongle.

    Stay away from Netgear also. If all you do is use wireless internet access with your router, and NOTHING else, then you might be OK...

    Go with the Airport Extreme. Hands down, best money spent. Takes less than 10 minutes to setup everything out of box. I live in a tri level hose, close to 2200 sq ft, and don't have any reception issues anywhere. Pulling down consistent 17mbps wireless through RoadRunner. We have two iPhones constantly on wireless, iMac, PS3, and anything else, never any issues. Plus you may be able to score one from the Refurb section on Apple, which is always better.
     
  7. jmk229 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    #7
    With the airport extreme can you hook up any external hard drive to it and be able to time machine back up to it?
     
  8. DmbShn41 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    #8
    Without all the technicals...Yes. I believe if your setting up Time Machine for the first time, you have to format the drive. But I've never met, or heard of Ex HD not working with Airport Extreme. It has one USB, but you can easliy put a $0.99 MicroCenter hub on it and add as many as you like.
     
  9. alectheking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    #9
    NO. I thought this was the case when I sold my time capsule for my dual band extreme. I was WRONG. It can work as a "shared drive" but does not work as a wireless backup through time capsule.
     
  10. alectheking macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2010
    #10
    NO, see above.
     
  11. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #11
    I've had the same number of problems with Netgear hardware as I have with Apple hardware. Neither is better than the other.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    When was this? It seems like this functionality was officially added in later firmware revisions ~2008. http://gizmodo.com/369973/apple-time-machine-now-works-with-airport-disk

    B
     
  13. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #13
    Yes, mine's on the floor too. Looking at it from that vantage point, it has to deal with several cabinets, too.

    Netgear is an option. The problem I have with both the Extreme and this Netgear is that I don't need the extra ports.

    Thanks. See the above quote.

    Thanks for the notes. I really don't need it for anything other than wireless Internet access. The modem is at my wife's workstation and she hates cord tangle monsters.

    Again thanks to all for their input.

    Dale
     
  14. SidBala macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2010
    #14
    Netgear WNDR 3700 Hands down.

    if you don't need that much high performance,

    Netgear WNR 3500.

    Both are amazing routers and cost less than the Extreme.
     
  15. mbmobile macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    #15
    Weird, I'using it with a LaCie Rikiki 1TB connected since day 1 of my MBP.
    It works either on wifi or cabled connection to the home cabling.

    Why are you saying Time Machine is not working on the Airport Extreme?
     
  16. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #16
    That was certainly the case without a hack pre-2008, but as I posted above it seems to work fine since then. Now almost every NAS claims Time Machine support.

    B
     
  17. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #17
    I do not like any of the big-name routers, the way they ship at least. Since bad firmware can cause many, many problems, I opt to use open source firmware on said hardware. I can tune the broadcast strength to whatever I like; more for the utmost distance or less to provide a smaller coverage area to avoid potentially unwanted problems (users?) on my wireless network. Since wep and wpa/wpa2 are very insecure this can be quite helpful. I use a Smoothwall router and keep my wireless traffic separate from my wired traffic. Smoothwall is fully capable of this while I don't believe there are any consumer level offerings from the big name oem's that can do this. I have to wonder if this is intentional so information extraction can be performed so easily. Hmmm.
     
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #18
    Presumably you already have the modem and the AExpress connected by ethernet cable .... can you put a longer run of cable in and move the AE to a spot closer to the middle of the house?

    Failing that, it looks to me that if you purchase a 2nd AE (often for sale in refurbished area of the Apple online store, for savings) you would be able to just plug the new AE halfway between the old AE and your workstation and choose "extend network" in the settings. No cables necessary.
     
  19. Designer Dale thread starter macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Folding space
    #19
    I moved the router from the floor up to a window sill and the performance in my study has greatly improved. There is an outlet high on a wall half way between the two computer rooms. An extra Airport Express there would do the trick too.

    Thanks for all the info.

    Dale
     

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