I need a new Wireless Router... Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by majordude, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. majordude macrumors 68020

    majordude

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2007
    Location:
    Hootersville
    #1
    Crap! I came home to a dead Netgear wireless router. This one lasted only two years. I guess I wear them out downloading pr0n or something. Anyway, at least I finally found a use for the 3G part of my iPad! :rolleyes:

    I need a new wireless router and I think I've narrowed it down to two units:

    1. Netgear N750 450 Mbps Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router WNDR4000
    2. Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

    I really don't know why the Apple unit is sooo expensive (other than it being an Apple, I mean) but it is highly rated on the Apple site and Amazon.

    It's $30 difference between the two. Anyone have an opinion or have another suggestion? I need one ASAP! ;)

    Thanks!
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    The choice is yours really. I have an older extreme (non simultaneous dual band) and a WNDR3500L and I like them both for different reasons. The netgear runs Tomato and is super flexible, the AEBS just works and is a snap to setup. The AEBS comes on refurb occasionally and is pretty much the same price as the wndr4000 then.
     
  3. aesp533262 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    I recently just replaced an older linksys 54gs router for a newer model e4200...no complaints yet...and it has a powered usb port which I current have a 500 portable hd connected to sharing and streaming without the need for a pc to be on...using the linksys 54gs as a bridge on the other side of the house it picks up great signal...hope that helps...

    Sent from my SPH-M900 using Tapatalk
     
  4. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    Apr 28, 2007
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    Hootersville
    #4
    The Netgear claims "up to 450 Mbps wireless speed" which, presumably is faster than the Apple and faster than the Netgear that just died.

    I try to clamp down on security as much as I can so I password protect the signal and use MAC identification. Does the Apple support this? My old Netgear did so I assume this one does too.
     
  5. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #5
    I've had multiple router and have set up multiple routers for friends.
    No preference here.

    I run a linksys wrt610 and airport extreme.
    They get swapped out once in a while just so I can mess with my neighbor that is stealing my bandwidth.
     
  6. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #6
    I have had bad experiences with Linksys and D-Link so those two brands are out of contention! :mad:
     
  7. hudsonCrossing macrumors member

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    Jersey
    #7
    Went for the Airport Extreme a month ago. The $30 difference is for not having any headaches. ;)
     
  8. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #8
    Both can do 450mbps, as long as you have a compatible client. Yes, Apple can do both password and MAC restriction. It cannot do QoS if that is important to you.
     
  9. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #9
    Yeah, the Netgear that just died is the only wireless router that my Macbook Pro liked. It kept dropping off of Linksys and D-Links. It was VERY frustrating finding a router that worked. I'm not sure if it was Apple or the routers (there were reports on here that MBP's had wireless issues back then) but I'll side with Apple since I've had other problems with Cisco and D-Link products. :cool:
     
  10. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #10
    Good to know! :)

    I've never used it so I guess it isn't. Usually it's just me hogging the bandwith from one device/room or another. :D
     
  11. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #11
    Mac restrictions are on the linksys, netgear, and apple routers; express, extreme and TC
     
  12. Zortrium, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #12
    Hardware or software issues? The default firmware on Linksys sucks but a Linksys plus Tomato setup is better than an Airport Extreme and much cheaper, and every one of my multi-year old Linksys routers is going strong (all running Tomato, and never drop wireless on any of my Macs/iPods/iPad/printer/etc). Given which routers you're looking at, I'd recommend the Linksys E3000 loaded with the Tomato USB firmware. Also cheaper than what you're looking at ($130 vs $150/$180).
     
  13. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #13
    Airport Extreme Base Station Advantages:
    • Guest Network: allows guests access to the Internet while protecting the main network.
    • Wake On Demand support (extremely helpful for Apple TV users with a Snow Leopard Mac as an iTunes source).
    • Reliable, with decent signal range.
    Disadvantages:
    • No QoS.
    • Not able to restrict WAN bandwidth of the Guest Network (not much of a deterrent to leechers).
    • Only three Ethernet LAN ports (most others have four).
     
  14. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a

    ThaDoggg

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Location:
    Peterborough, Canada
    #14
    I've been using the DGL-4300 for years now. I run torrents, there's like 4 computers connected all the time, xbox live sometimes, digital phone, etc. It has never dropped the connection in all these years. Simply amazing. I assume the newer DGL-4500 is just as good. Definitely a pricey router but it was definitely worth it as I haven't had to troubleshoot it once.
     
  15. r0k, Apr 14, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011

    r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #15
    I have had a string of routers, including the dreaded WRT54G V5 which is incapable of being reflashed with better firmware. With Comcrap cable modem they go into some sort of funk from time to time and I have to trudge downstairs and unplug the cable modem and plug it back in. Before I got an AEBS, I also had to unplug the router and plug it back in. What a pain. Since getting the AEBS, these internet disruptions are much less frequent and I almost never have to reset the AEBS.

    I have a password required on our guest network. To me, one disadvantage is there is no way I have found yet to allow guests to use our printers without giving them the "real" network login. Only 3 ethernet ports? No biggie for me as I have a couple of 8 port gigabit switches next to my AEBS. For a while I used a TC as my router but decided to upgrade when the AEBS got the guest network capability. I also didn't like the idea of our TC backups being on a device connected directly to the internet. Lastly, the TC had to be reset now and then, not as frequently as the previous routers but more frequently than the AEBS.

    I do like the signal range of the AEBS but we decided to add an Airport Express (AE) at the opposite end of the house to extend our network. If you want to be able to extend a network using an AE, Apple says it only works properly with TC or AEBS. Not such a huge tradeoff for me because I like Apple gear.

    Another minor down side for the AEBS is the inability to configure it from a standard web browser and there is no Airport Utility available (yet) for iOS and it would be nice to be able to tweak settings on my AE or AEBS directly from an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.

    Bottom line: Go for an AEBS.

    Looks nice but still doesn't offer guest network. BTW if you recommend a router, it's helpful if you also let us know your ISP. Trouble free with DSL might not be trouble free with Comcrap. (Can you tell I'm getting tired of Comcast?)
     
  16. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

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    #16
    Giving guests access to a printer device would open up a port that could be exploited to let non-print data get through. So in this case Apple chose security over convenience.

    For a short time, I had my Guest Network enabled, but turned it off after I discovered I couldn't limit the Internet bandwidth. So I just type in the WPA password for the two or three family members who need it when they visit.

    Web-based configuration is another easy point of entry for hackers and leechers, so this is a plus, actually. Apple really does need an iOS Airport Utility app, though.

    Overall, I second your bottom-line advice: AEBS for the W.
     
  17. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a

    ThaDoggg

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    #17
    I'm from Canada so I guess my ISP is irrelevant to you :D. BTW it's cable, not DSL.
     
  18. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Detroit
    #18
    Hey I'm one of the people in the US for whom Canada is actually SOUTH of where I live. Well, Windsor is at least. So while I don't know much about Canadian ISPs, I still think it might be helpful to let the rest of the thread know the brand and model of your cable modem.

    Sometimes those things make a difference, but I suppose the real difference is the ISP. For instance, I strongly suspect that my troubles relate to the fact that Comcast insists on meddling with the settings on my DOCSIS Motorola Surfboard cablemodem and making it lose its mind on a fairly frequent basis.

    Two outages ago, when I spoke with tech support they apologized for some sort of "digital transistion" they were working on. These bozos decided it was time to dump analog signals at the very same time they were running ads that said Comcast would allow the use of older TVs after the US FCC digital transition. This meant that all those cable ready TVs were useless unless they included a QAM tuner and even then all the channels come up with numbers like 117.394 and so forth. Basically it seems like a scam to bully people into renting converter boxes.

    I have been reluctant to move to satellite or uVerse because of the inability to get a signal without a box. Now that every system "requires" a box, I think it's time for me to leave Comcast and their unreliable service behind. In about a week, I'll be finding out how well an AEBS works with a uVerse Residential Gateway. At&t claims it can be set up "just like a cable modem" but they also claim it has its own firewall and its own wifi. I plan to run Comcast and uVerse side by side for at least a week to find out how they compare but if my experience is anything like that of my friends, I'll be hauling all our comcast converters back about a week after At&t shows up.

    I might decide to let the Residential Gateway become my guest network and switch off the guest network on the AEBS and put all our printers on the RG network. Then everybody could always print, but visitors couldn't get to our real files. BTW, by guest, I don't mean wide open, I mean a network whose SSID and password I'm willing to tell a visitor or allow a Wii, xbox, Windows box, or Boxee/Roku to use.
     
  19. stompy macrumors regular

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    #19
  20. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #20
    I have dealt with a bunch of crappy routers, and I can solidly recommend the AEBS. It's wonderfully reliable, and you can just set it up and forget it's even there. Previously, routers had to be reset on average of once a day, sometimes more, and I'm fairly certain the only time I've had to reset the airport is when it got a software update. It's plenty fast too
     
  21. IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

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  22. majordude thread starter macrumors 68020

    majordude

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    #22
    Okay all! I went with the Apple AirPort Extreme. $190 or so out the door. :eek:

    I hope it lasts longer than the others! :apple:
     
  23. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

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    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #23
    Great! I think you'll be happy with it. I find my AEBS works flawlessly with Apple gear and with Linux and Windows gear. The only time I find myself thinking about it is when Comcast has taken a nosedive. And I'm only a week away from replacing Comcast with uVerse. Yay!
     
  24. Satori macrumors 6502a

    Satori

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    Location:
    London
    #24
    I have an airport extreme that has been working continuously since 2004. I hope your lasts as well.
     
  25. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #25
    I have had Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, and Apple routers. I usually buy the high end model in any line. All of the routers except the Apple have on occasion locked up or become extremely slow, fixed by manually cycling the power on the router.

    Only the Apple has run rock solid for as long as I need it, only cycling power during power outages. :)

    The Apple is true dual band 5GHz router with USB disk and printer support. Most of the competition with those three same features (mostly that first one) tend to be expensive too.

    The only thing I don't like about the Apple router is that it requires client software to configure. No web configuration as far as I can tell.

    Also, mine has started buzzing last year during heavy wireless use. Still works though.
     

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