questions about routers

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by beethovengirl, Aug 11, 2005.

  1. beethovengirl macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2004

    I'm looking for a router to connect both an iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 to a cable modem. Is there a brand that you recommend or any features to look for?

    Also, I notice that Airport base stations are much more expensive than, say, Netgear. What are the disadvantages of those less expensive routers or, alternatively, why should I consider Airport?

    thank you :)
  2. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    This question comes up very often, so you should try doing a quick forum search. I'll give you my opinions anyway, since you asked politely. ;)

    Any wireless router will work for your system as long as it uses the 802.11b or 802.11g standards. I'm assuming that both of your Macs have Airport Extreme (11g) cards installed and all you need is a router to send the signal out.

    My standard answer is that the Apple routers are overpriced and you should strongly consider getting a 3rd party router. But I would stay with a brand name router (i.e. Netgear, Linksys, Belkin, etc.) You can easily get a 11g router for $40 or less after rebates. Setting these routers up is pretty easy since they usually use a web interface (meaning you won't be using the Airport Set-Up wizards in OS X).

    However, if you have the desire to use wireless printing or AirTunes, you may want to consider the Airport Express. If your printer is compatible, wireless printing is great. AirTunes would be pretty cool as well, but I've not had the chance to test it. The downside of the AirExp (other than price) is that their are no LAN ports for connecting wired computers.


    802.11b - wireless standard limited to 11Mbps
    802.11g - wireless standard limited to 54Mbps

    If you have any further questions, post away.

  3. nsutt22 macrumors regular


    May 5, 2005
    I am a netgear fan all the way, linksys also does a nice job espeacilly with its co-op with Cisco. I run a Linksys wireless router and it works great. It has a simple easy set-up interface as well. At my IT job we use Netgear which are a little bit more pricey but also excellent routers.
  4. beethovengirl thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2004
    thanks for your help! :) hmmm...I had tried a forum search but was not able to find a thread that directly addressed my questions. I'll try adding more terms to my search...

    We already have our Airport Extreme cards installed, and we do not need any special features like wireless printing. I think reliability is our most important consideration. I looked at Linksys and Netgear, but the reviews on Amazon mention a lot of problems with Netgear, but those reviews may not paint an accurate picture. Is there a website with more 'systematic' reviews of routers?

    here are the models I'm looking at:
  5. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    I can tell you, as soemone who's on his third router in a year (first SMC, then Linksys) that Netgear is the best router I've used thus far. Easiest to set up and maintain. Linksys is junk. Pure junk. My rotuer with them didn't last but 4 months and then it would only let one IP pass through. Well, what happens when you ahve four devices connecting to the net?
  6. AstrosFan macrumors 6502


    Jul 26, 2005
    One good place to look is on - they have a section on "Network and Wi-Fi."
    Here's the link:

    I personally use an Airport Express - as was mentioned, this is a more costly option than a Netgear or Linksys router, but I use the AirTunes quite a bit. Also, when I travel, it's nice to be able to take a router with me, in order to convert my hotel high-speed internet into my own wireless network.

    Hope that helps!
  7. superbovine macrumors 68030


    Nov 7, 2003
    might want to search the forums for the routers you are interested in and see the good things and bad things people have to say about them.
  8. nsutt22 macrumors regular


    May 5, 2005
    Onizuka - a little confused on Linksys being junk? They are with Cisco now who is deffinitly number one in IT networks technology?
    Maybe something i missed?

    From what i know they are a great cost effective home router system...

    Fill me in :)
  9. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    My Linksys router works perfectly, maybe the guy above had a dud and was too lazy to get it replaced.
  10. terriyaki macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2005
    I've got a Linksys WRT54G and would recommend it to anyone.

    There was one problem, however. The current firmware had a problem which caused the router to crash when large files were transferred through the network. This was easily fixed by updating the firmware though. Every since the router has been working perfectly. :)
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    For the record, the benefits of the AirPort route (excuse the pun) are that they're incredibly easy to set up and manage plus they are generally very reliable. Of course, this isn't always the case, but they are very well put together.

    Of course, you pay a Hefty Apple Premium™ for them though. :(

    Oh, and I've got two Expresses and I love them both. They work so well I hardly notice them, which is how it should be. :)
  12. nsutt22 macrumors regular


    May 5, 2005
    Yes! I have found some felow Linksys fans :)

    I would recomment to anyone as well. Great web encryption set up, very easy to use, also excellent filtering utility. The overall setup interface is superb.
    However, can't complain with netgear.
  13. FadeToBlack macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2005
    Accoville, WV
    I just bought a Belkin 802.11g router today and it's working great so far. I definitely recommend it.
  14. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I personally love the Airport Express. I borrowed my sister's for about a week to play with it. However, I do not feel that it's any easier to set-up compared to a 3rd party router. In fact, I think Apple makes it unnecessarily complicated, but that could be because I'm used to "standard" networking terminology rather than Apple's terminologies.

    Either way, a router is a router. If bee-girl wants the extra features of the AirExp, then that's the way to go. Otherwise, an inexpensive 11g router is the best value.
  15. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a


    Mar 4, 2004
    I'm also a Linksys user. However, I bought the wired versioon a few months ago. In regards to product development, Linksys seems to be focused on wireless, which in your case is good. Not so for me. Nothing but connection problems between my DSL, OSX box and OS9 box.

    Finally, I found a bulletin board website ( that specifically addresses routers and my DSL provider. What is nice about that site is there is a specific forum for LinkSys and a specific forum for SBC in the Northeast US.

    What it all boiled down to for me was the firmware. To gain compatibility between my systems, I needed to downgrade my firmware, using instructions from forum members in the LinkSys forum. There are a few beta testers for Linksys on the site, and they have multiple versions of the firmware available.

    Side note - BB reports holds nothing to the variety and lively conversation available here at MacRumors!

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