Dualband Wireless N Suggestions

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dlim, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. dlim macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #1
    Hi everyone. I currently have a d-link dir-655 which is working fine, but I'd like to buy a dual-band router to make the most use out of my wireless N.

    I'm debating between the Airport Extreme Base Station and Linksys e4200. I was actually set on the AEBS but amazon has a deal on the e4200 right now for $158.99 and a $10 amazon.com gift card (putting it at about ~$30 cheaper than the AEBS)

    Few specs about my network and what will be relying on it:

    -2011 MBA
    -2011 Mac Mini
    -iPhone 4S
    -whatever my friends bring with them when they come over (most are mac and iphone owners)
    -Verizon Actiontec Router (25/25mbps FiOs)
    -2 printers wirelessly connected to my current dir-655 (which I'd like to do the same for whatever new router i get)

    Was wondering if anyone had experiences with both the current gen AEBS and the e4200. Thanks guys!

    On a side note: my old 2009 13" MBP I used to have would get 300mbps (according to network utility) on the dir-655, but my current air (2011 13") only reports 144 mbps. I no longer have the MBP, but there were a few weeks when I had them side by side and it would repeat the MBP as getting 300 and the MBA as getting 144. Is there a way to get 144 on the air for me through my dir-655? I've tried to research it but couldn't find anything.
     
  2. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
  3. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #3
    Smallnetbuilder seems to trash the AEBS saying it is overpriced, under-featured, and slow. But, I own an AEBS and I suppose it's fine, except for its range. Maybe I just don't know any better.
     
  4. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #4
    I bought my AEBS from Provatage for just over $160 a couple of months ago (yes the current model) so that isn't much more than your hot deal at Amazon (minus the 10 dollar gift card).

    The cool thing is being able to use the Airport configuration app from my iOS devices. I can do everything (i.e. reboot it, change DHCP, etc) all from my iPhone and/or iPad. Yes you can access the web admin for non-Apple routers, but it is just so dang easy.

    Also linking an Airport Extreme to an Airport Express (or other Extreme) to extend your network is just dead simple. So much easier than any other product out there for bridging/extending wireless networks.
     
  5. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #5
    True. The iOS app does make it somewhat easy, but in order for you to use it, you must be on the network you are trying to configure. You cannot configure your AEBS remotely. Suppose you are out-of-time and you wanted to open up a port on your router, your SOL if you have an AEBS, but can do so if your router administration is web-based. So, basically the iOS app acts no differently than Airport Utility on your Mac.

    I guess if the maximum amount of "configuring" you want to do while setting up your router is merely plugging in the Ethernet cable, while sacrificing flexibility and performance, then get the AEBS. Don't get me wrong, the AEBS is no slouch, especially when we are all being throttled anyway. But it certainly isn't the fastest and most wall-penetrating router out there.
     
  6. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #6
    Who's buying a consumer grade router looking for something they can manage outside of their own network? Frankly, if you are looking for something you can configure outside of your own network, why are you looking at a router/wireless access point all in one at all?!?! At my office, we have commercial grade equipment for that sort of thing. I can't ever imagine logging into my home router from outside my network to change anything from work. And if I did want that sort of flexibility, no consumer grade router would offer the security I would feel comfortable with. I don't want the outside world to mess with my home network. I would need to have a VPN with SSL certificates before I would ever let my home network be configurable anywhere but within the confines of my home.....

    If you are confortable with opening up the web admin of your router to the world wide web, please let me know your IP address and I'm going to hack my way in.
     
  7. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #7
    I must be an abnormal consumer (I guess?) because one day I wanted to access my Synology NAS via FTP while at work. It would have been nice to access my router remotely to open up port 21. That seems like a pretty basic consumer want, right? Besides, if someone really wanted to get into my NAS to listen to my mp3s or look at pictures of my dog, I'm sure they could regardless of my router configuration. You must be one of those paranoid OCD types.
     
  8. kas23 macrumors 603

    kas23

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #8
    I must be an abnormal consumer (I guess?) because one day I wanted to access my Synology NAS via FTP while at work. It would have been nice to access my router remotely to open up port 21. That seems like a pretty basic consumer want, right? Besides, if someone really wanted to get into my NAS to listen to my mp3s or look at pictures of my dog, I'm sure they could regardless of my router configuration. You must be one of those paranoid OCD types.
     
  9. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #9
    Really? You think the average consumer even understands opening ports and/or port forwarding? No sir, they do not. And no I am not an OCD type, I just don't believe you should be opening your network up to greater potential for hacks. If you really want to do this, create a VPN into your network and then you don't have to worry about anything. Apple makes that very simple with Lion Server.
     
  10. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #10
    Not sure why your MBA won't kick up to the higher speed. That said, I don't see anything in your setup which is really going to cause you to notice one way or the other in day-to-day use.

    One thing you can do with a dual-band router is name the 5gHz network something different; and then you can force the MBA and your personal devices (that can handle it) to run at the higher speed. In that scenario you could pretty much let the 2.4 gHz b/g/n side be for printers, guests, and legacy equipment.
     
  11. dlim thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #11
    After doing some extensive research, it seems like the general consensus is that the DIR-655 is NOT a dual band router so it doesn't simultaneously broadcast on 2.5 and 5GHz, which is 100% understandable. But what I don't understand is how my MBP would get 300mbps and my MBA 144mbps haha :[. Adding to it, my friend's 2011 13" MBP would connect at 144mbps though.
     
  12. lolwut89 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    #12
    Different radios probably. Also in order to get 300, your router needs to eat up 2 un-overlapped wifi channels. So if your router was set to channel 1, it would eat up all the way to channels 1-9. So it could also be a bandwidth issue. N is touchy on 2.4GHz.

    But why do you need all this speed? Do you transfer big files constantly? IF you just use it for the internet then you probably don't need a dual band router.
     
  13. dlim thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #13
    I don't NEED the speed. It's just be nice to get the most I could out of my internet connection haha. I've usually always been connected via ethernet, and purchased the DIR-655 in undergrad because it had good reviews in providing a strong, stable signal over good distance. Just that now in my new place if I wanted to connect via ethernet I'd have a cable going diagonally across my living room to my den and I'd prefer not to do that, so I'm exploring my exploring my wireless options even deeper haha.

    I think I'll stick with my dir-655 for now, and hop on an airport extreme if I ever come a cross a good deal on one. Thanks guys!
     
  14. dlim thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    #14
    Costco has the e4200 for 129.99, so now I'm wondering if I should get that over the AEBS..
     

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