router help/advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by chrislaw, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. chrislaw macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #1
    ok so after much searching both here and thru google I'm confused... not a hard thing to accomplish.

    I have late '09 MBP, i have a BTO iMac on the way, an older HP desktop for the kiddies and game via wifi on ps3.

    My wireless-g Linksys router has been through a lot and im going to retire it as its been giving me trouble. I was considering going to Airport Express b/c i would like to print wirelessly and like the airtunes function.

    I've seen some reports that ps3 isnt compatible with wireless-n and some reports that states that this isn't the case. Ethernet is not an option with an anti-mess wife like mine.

    Please help me out with some answers on the matter. Will my ps3 work with the wireless-n? I've seen some reports talking about a bridge? I don't know about all of this. Basically i want to be able to hook up my new iMac and setup the AE at the same time and for it all to be simple! Tell me this can be accomplished!

    Also when i set up the AE it doesn't have to be a wired connection with my computer I'm setting it up with correct?

    Thanks!
     
  2. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #2
    also, i see things like the following from the apple store and it makes feel as if I am way off base with this:

    "my d link router is dying would an airport express replace a router
    Asked by EL from Salt Lake City Oct 25, 2009 Flag as inappropriate



    Answer
    It could replace your router, but the Airport Extreme would be a better component to replace your D-link. The express is built to work best with a wireless router. It lets you stream music from your iTunes wirelessly and share a printer over the network. The Extreme however, has a bigger range, supports plugging a hard drive or printer to share over a network and it's faster"


    currently I have the the WRT54G V8. everything i mentioned is being ran off of it wirelessly other then my HP desktop (ethernet). If i literally replace my current with the Airport Express with the exact same configuration will it be adequate? the same, worse or better? everything is within a 25' range.

    Thanks again, I'm hoping to solve this by week's end so i can set it up this weekend.
     
  3. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a

    upaymeifixit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #3
    I kinda doubt the PS3 does wireless N, but as you should know (by looking around a little?) the Airport Express is Wireless N, B, G, and A citified. (There is no wireless C) So your PS3 will be fine. I don't have an Airport Extreme, but from what it sounds like they aren't very powerful things. Ethernet would not even be an option as it has no ethernet out. I guess if you wanted to you could do it. Range should be okay. I would work on fixing your Linksys. Then again, it is a Linksys. What's the problem, you keep on having to reboot it?
     
  4. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #4
    yes, basically i lose connection every so often and have to reboot the unit. It becomes a bit annoying. I didn't really think about hooking it up to my pc via ethernet until i just looked back at my previous post. hmmm i may have to go a different route completely as that is the only option i have to hook my pc up as its an older model. I was really looking forward to the wireless printing however.
     
  5. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #5
    What model is your Linksys and are you running the stock Linksys firmware on it? If it's one of the older WRT54Gs or a WRT54GL, you can (very easily) install custom firmware on it that is far better than the garbage Linksys firmware that comes on it.
     
  6. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a

    upaymeifixit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #6
    Agreed. I was not so fortunate and had one of the really old ones. I hate routers… when they don't work that is.
     
  7. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #7
    3rd on the possibility of installing 3rd party firmware on your existing Linksys. What model, exactly, do you have, including version number. Typically the older the better for the WRT54G series. With 3rd party firmware you could have the best router available on the home market for no cost!

    As for printer sharing, there are other options. Will the printer be connected to the iMac or another computer? If so, just share it from there. This is what I do and it works flawlessly.
     
  8. Zortrium macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    #8
    A WRT54G? The only ones that don't work very well for custom firmwares are the NEW ones...all the old ones back to version 1.0 do just fine. What version is it?
     
  9. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #9
    I'm not really sure what you mean by number. It just says WRT54G V8. Thats the only numbers i can find other then the serial number.

    And yes all i have installed on it is the software that came with it. The router is a few years old.

    The printer is hooked up to the pc, there is a way to share it with the iMac still?

    Sorry, I'm a complete noob at this sort of thing.
     
  10. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #10
    Unfortunately that is a newer model that is not supported with my favorite firmware, Tomato. It looks like it is compatible in a limited way with DD-WRT by using their micro plus version. http://dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Linksys_WRT54G_v8.0_&_v8.2

    DD-WRT would likely breathe new life into your router for no cost, but it appears to be somewhat more complex a procedure to install it than Tomato. If that doesn't concern you though, it's a good route for you to go. (Flashing the device is nonetheless a fairly straightforward procedure that is done all the time. The worst that can happen is that you decide to buy a new router, right?)

    If it does, yes, the Apple Airport Extreme routers are considered some of the better consumer level routers on the market, but they do cost more than most. You could likely save some by buying from the Apple refurbished store.

    Yes, you can share your printer from the PC to the other computers in the house, even wirelessly. Google 'share printer windows mac' or something similar.
     
  11. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #11
    hmmm, so any other ideas before i attempt something like that? another router model maybe? one that is reliable for under $100?
     
  12. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #12
    Well, the Linksys WRT54GL is a fantastic router with or without 3rd party firmware. This model may look the same as the one you have, but it is entirely different internally. It's been the default router I set up for friends and family for years, as I can install Tomato firmware on it (one of the best pieces of software I've ever used) and never have to worry about touching their router again. And it's only $60.

    Installing the Tomato firmware on this Linksys is simple. If you can download and upload a file, and can connect to the router's administration page, you can install this firmware:

    Installing from Linksys' firmware

    * Open the Linksys GUI in your browser. The default URL is http://192.168.1.1/.
    * Click the Administration tab, then Firmware Upgrade.
    * Select and upload the correct firmware for your router.
    * Wait for about 2 minutes while the firmware is uploaded & flashed.

    That's it. :)
     
  13. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #13
    thank you very much zhenya. This will probably be the route that i take then.

    And with this router set up to my pc with ethernet i can still print wireless from my macbook and iMac? I haven't checked this out in google yet just wanted confirmation. There is nothing else i need to accomplish this?

    also should i not get a router that is wireless-n to take full advantage of the capabilities of the MBP and iMac? and to be more future-proof?

    also this one does look 100% like my current one externally... every aspect of it....how do i know its not the one i have?
     
  14. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    Jan 6, 2005
    #14
    Yes, you will still be able to print wirelessly with this setup - with the caveat that the PC has to be left on in order for this to work...

    I agree that the lack of N capability is a limiting factor with this router. Are you currently at a point where you are maxing out your wireless network? For example - do you do large wireless file transfers between devices that you wish would happen faster? Note that N will not make your Internet connection faster except in the unlikely event that you have a 20Mbit + connection speed to your ISP.

    You have to make sure to buy the WRT54GL (note the L at the end of that model). This distinguishes it from the other WRT54G models. You can't generally buy this model in local stores.
     
  15. upaymeifixit macrumors 6502a

    upaymeifixit

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    #15
    Oh my bad. Well it's a BEFW11S4, and from what I've seen, there is no hacked firmware for that. Am I right?
     
  16. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #16

    well I do actually make quite a few large transfers that take some deal of time and do some online gaming in a couple windows simultaneously ... but if staying G is going to be exponentially easier and cheaper then i will make that sacrifice. Is there another router that is N that is close in reliability and price?
     
  17. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #17
    Unfortunately I am not aware of any N-routers that are Tomato compatible. If I did, I'd probably already own one.

    The other problem with N routers is that, while they are backwards-compatible with B and G clients, sharing the network with these clients will slow down the speed of the N clients by up to 50-80% (not all the time, primarily if both are receiving/transmitting at the same time). In your case, the newer Macs would both be N capable, and it would be the PS3 that is likely still on G. There is likely a ethernet to wifi N bridge available that would work with the PS3 if you felt the need to go all N.

    Going with the WRT54GL is the less expensive, ultra-reliable method, but it is certainly dated tech. I still like the Airport Extreme as a newer model router; and it looks like these are currently in the refurbished store for $129 which is a nice price.
     
  18. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #18


    Geesh! i thought i was online a lot! haha

    Ok, well thanks a lot for all your help. It's much appreciated.

    one more question, would you take the router with the G that u mentioned over the airport extreme? or vise versa?
     
  19. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #19
    Ha! I'm off-shore waiting to work and there is literally nothing to do except eat, sleep and be on-line. Fairly common occurrence in my line of work - although when we are working it is entirely the opposite - I may not get online for days or weeks. Good luck!
     
  20. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #20
    haha, your so fast that you responded before i edited my last post with the preference question!

    sounds like your job is either extreme... sounds busy and then maybe boring...lol
     
  21. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #21
    Yes - it is one or the other - although it's when I'm in the office that I find myself the most bored truth be told.

    That's a hard question...

    I keep the WRT54GL mostly because I don't yet have any N clients that matter. I love the reliability of the router, and like I've said, I really love Tomato - I would have a hard time leaving it because of the QOS that allows me to have functional VOIP even during heavy downloads, because of the real-time/weekly/monthly/yearly bandwidth logs, all in a beautiful, simple interface. I honestly wish I could get bandwidth info displayed as well from my 'professional' tools as work.

    I guess if my WRT54GL were to suddenly die tomorrow, I'd probably buy another one or search for any possible compatible N models. I guess I value the rock-solid reliability over the need for occasional faster speeds.
     
  22. chrislaw thread starter macrumors 6502a

    chrislaw

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2009
    Location:
    central ohio
    #22


    Very good, thanks again. I couldn't ask for better help. If i have any trouble with installing or setting up Tomato you will be hearing from me! lol
     

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