Is the WRT610N a good replacement for Airport Extreme-N?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by gnomeisland, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. gnomeisland macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY
    So I've about had it with my Airport Extreme. We came together under dubious circumstances (she was sold to me as a gigabit model but turned out to be a busted Faster Ethernet---hooray Craig's List, and hooray Apple for fixing it) and there's been tension ever since. She drops connections (I'm stealing some one else's wireless at the moment because she's having fits). She actually worked with Time Machine BEFORE the Apple update but not since. The reception is a touch above dismal and I am underwhelmed by the Apple management tools.

    All my wireless routers before this one were non-Apple and they left a lot to be desired as well but I feel that Apple solidly failed to live up the expectations that I had even for those routers--let alone one with a higher price tag--so I am tempted to switch back. I am leaning toward a linksys, either the 310N or the WRT610N. The 610N is appealing because I have several legacy wireless devices (and an iPhone) that need b/g networking but I really like the faster N for my laptop and wired devices. So I have a series of questions that hopefully will find answers here.

    Has anyone experienced Linksys' new "Mac friendly" set up? Is it good? (not that I had much problem with their web-based setup earlier)

    Does anyone know if the 610N supports different security on the different bands? ie WEP for the backward compatible b/g devices on the 2.4Ghz and WPA2 on the 5Ghz channel?

    Is the "Media Server" iTunes compatible? (I heard a rumor that it was and that could be a strong selling point.)
  2. purdueboiler87 macrumors member

    Aug 5, 2005
    Clearwater, FL
    I am actually using both at the moment. I have the 610N as my "main" router in the office and I ran a cable to the family room to connect the Airport Extreme. I am able to connect my Macbook Pro to both with no issues. It does take about 15 seconds after I wake up the MBP before it can get an internet connection through the 610N (seems almost instantaneous on the AE). It does allow you to configure separate security for both bands. I have not tried streaming anything or trying it with time machine. Reviews of the 610N on Amazon aren't very good at the moment but so far no issues with mine. I do like the web based admin. This is my first AE and I think all routers should be configurable through an IP address. I personally don't like the fact that I need to install Airport Utility on all my machines. I got mine at CC. Both the 610N and the AE get pretty hot so watch where you put it.

    I did run the config. initially on my MacPro and it seemed to run fine but I changed my config and I just did that manually. If you know what you are doing, I think it is always faster to just configure manually.
  3. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'd get the WRT600N; had mine for over a year and it's never had any issues; it's fast and the signal gain is awesome.
  4. abhs macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    I was in a similar position to you. Actually, the best option is to flash your router with a different firmware. I suggest DD-WRT. You probably will not need to upgrade your router at all, the hardware is more than capable of supporting your needs, the software simply isn't. All you need is a little technical know-how or support from a friend. This is a list of much cheaper, - and with an open-source firmware - much more capable routers.
  5. pinktank macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2005
    asus wl500g premium is great, despite not having n
  6. rpeters83 macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2007
    I just replaced my Fast AEBSn with a WRT610N. So far so good :D

    Gigabit is fast as hell!! :eek: I'm transferring at 40-60+ megabytes a second on LAN. Wireless is good so far, but can't gauge the speed yet since the wife has the only macbook and she's in a deadspot in the house right now (5 ghz mode). Even with that I'm only getting 2-4 megabytes/sec. (i just set it up this evening)

    EDIT: nevermind, she's actually getting around 6-8 megabytes/sec in the deadspot
  7. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY
    Let me get this straight, in the "dead spot" the macbook gets 6-8MB/s? What is a typical speed for a location with good reception? Those are some impressive numbers to me, seeing as how my AEBSn seems to top out at a 5MB/s even with all bars.

    Have you tried using the USB file server? Obviously Time Machine won't work (doesn't work with my AEBSn anyway) but what about the promised iTunes integration?

    Thanks too to everyone who's responded to this thread!
  8. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY
    I may just be going blind but I don't see the AEBSn on that list. While I'm not opposed to flashing my firmware, and DD-WRT doesn't intimidate me, it does seem to defeat the purpose of paying the premium for an "all apple, all the time" set up.
  9. rpeters83 macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2007
    Yeah, we have a spot in our house that we know gets less-than-usual strength. I transferred a large file to it from the macbook and was getting between 6 and 8. It may have been a little less, but that was the worse case. It's about the same as it was for the AEBSn. I think the typical speed was really not that much more than that. I was actually surprised it was 6-8 in that spot, as I usually get between 7-9. Maybe the antennas are better in the Linksys.

    I haven't tried successfully using the disk feature, though I have no real use for it since my shared drives are on a windows server (the rest of the clients are PC). When I did, I was having difficulty getting access to the shares I set up. I guess I should read the manual, as it wasn't obvious. At least it read the disk instantly (it looks like it even has FTP and media sharing features built in too, which look neat).
  10. emaja macrumors 68000

    May 3, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Before I got and AE, I used Netgear for years without issues - well, at least issues not caused by power surges.

    I chose the AE for the USB port and Apple ease of use, but would have no problem using Netgear again.
  11. rpeters83 macrumors regular

    Oct 31, 2007
    UPDATE: Just got 8.5 - 9.5 megabytes consistent in the dead spot (this is the only spot I know is weaker in the house, aside from the basement).

  12. abhs macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2008
    Gnome, I checked around and it looks like Apple router owners are SOL for any replacement firmware. The link still stands, however. It may be worth the effort to try flashing some of your older routers. If that is not a possibility than I suggest saving the cash and opting with the Buffalo WHR G54s. I see where you are coming from with the "all-apple" mentality, but coming from a house running (depending on the time of year) OSX, Windows, and Linux-based computers, DD-wrt on a Buffalo and Linksys has been the best option.
  13. dj2big macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2008
    Help Please!

    I have the WRT610N and for the past 2 weeks I have been trying to get my macbook to see the external hard drive when I connect it to the WRT610N, I just cant get it to work! I have 2 more weeks before I can return it @ best buy. I love the speed but if I cant get it to work with an external hard drive connected to it, bye bye!
  14. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    DD-WRT is not ready yet for 610N. 600N already works.

    Caveat: check the status of 270 mbps wireless.
  15. msantoso macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2008
    i'm thinking of buying Airport Extreme to have "all wireless connected" home but i like the feature of having simultaneous dual-band router like WRT610N.

    my current setup is using wrt160n 1st floor and airport express on 2nd floor both connected with cable.

    i'm thinking of replacing both with Airport Extreme and using WDS so that i don't need the cable anymore and i'll use the airport express for wireless music. I have AppleTV in the living room and my room. I really like that Apple hardware can connect to each other wirelessly, but is it reliable? i like the stability and performance of linksys routers.

    will the performance enough to support wireless internet, video streaming to appletv and music streaming in WDS environment? i read somewhere that WDS cuts the bandwidth into half?

  16. nippyjun macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2007

    Did you every get this to work?

    I want to know if you can use a usb external drive with this router to do time machine backups.
  17. nytl macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2009

    I'm afraid not. Apple only supports wireless Time Machine via Time Capsule or OS 10.5 Server. There might be a hack out there, but I'm not aware of one.
  18. gnomeisland thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 30, 2008
    New York, NY
    I would beg to differ. There is a hack out there--I cannot remember now exactly where. I tried the hack and it worked pretty well. Then Apple upgraded the firmware (somewhere around 7.1.2) to support Time Machine via the AES-N. My experience was pretty mixed--the backups were slow and often failed--in fact my memory is that the hack actually worked better before Apple's firmware upgrade. Regardless it didn't seem to be worth the extra flexibility to me since I primarily use/back up one laptop that is regularly tethered to my desk anyway so I went back to plugging the drive directly in and have not tried it in a while.

    The latest firmware seems very reliable and I have very few of the connectivity problems I used to, perhaps they have also fixed the remote disk/Time Machine problem.

Share This Page