should i upgrade my ancient router?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by flynnst0ne, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. flynnst0ne, Dec 8, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2011

    flynnst0ne macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2008
    After nearly 7 glorious years, i'm finally beginning to toy with the idea of upgrading my Linksys WRT54-G v.5 router. It still works ok for the most part, however i've recently purchased a new MB Pro, and i'm running into issues with an intermittent wireless connection.

    The specs of the WRT54-G claim speeds of up to 54mbps. The internet package i currently have from Cox provides download speeds of up to 27mbps.

    So here is the dilemma... What is the point in upgrading to an N router, which will support speeds in some cases of 400mbps, if my main pipe only supports D/L speeds of 27mbps?

    I performed a bandwidth test, and found that my wireless speeds currently are between 12-15mbps.

    I do like to stream HD content from my PC to my xbox, and i also have an Apple TV on the network. I've noticed that if i attempt to stream files to the xbox any larger than 1GB, i run into streaming issues. I haven't experienced these issues yet on the Apple TV.

    The only way i'm selling myself on an upgrade at this point, is to clear up the intermittent wireless issues on the MB Pro.

    This is the router I'm interested in is the Linksys E4200 or the Airport Extreme.

  2. Gillespie81 macrumors regular

    Sep 2, 2011
    i am kind of in the same as you with 5 year old router. i recently did a firmware update on the router and picked up 4mbs per sec. i have the 25mb plan as well. hardline into the mac i get 25 wireless I'm at 18 to 20 depending on time of day. from what I've read is that routers do get slower over time and they can't send the data packets fast enough. I'm looking into a dual band 2.4 and 5ghz. my mac can run on the 5 and everything else i can set on 2.4

    I'm looking at the net gear, linksys, belkin or the airport/time machine in january
  3. johnhurley macrumors 6502a


    Aug 29, 2011
    Not a huge upside in bandwidth obviously but still a new N router has dropped to a fairly low price point.

    I cannot imagine many problems streaming almost anything if your current setup gets you 12+ mbps.
  4. scousers macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2011
    I upgraded last month from an old Linksys that kept dropping connections all the time, to a new Linksys. It was just as poor so I returned it and got the Airport Extreme. No issues of any sort yet..... stable strong connection! Love it - highly recommend.

    it saved my sanity with all this networking crap!
  5. steve2112 macrumors 68040


    Feb 20, 2009
    East of Lyra, Northwest of Pegasus
    The intermittent connection drops could be a sign of the router dying. Most home routers run hot, and eventually the heat will kill the motherboard.

    If you do upgrade, you won't really get a faster connection to your ISP. As someone pointed out, sometimes firmware in older routers won't handle the speed of modern connections, so that would be one advantage of an upgrade. Also, the N wireless would allow faster transfer speeds inside your own network. This is handy for your streaming to other devices. Another advantage of newer dual radio routers is that your can separate your devices and put some stuff in the 5Ghz range and get away from the crowded 2.4 range and avoid some interference.

    If you don't have many wireless devices and don't transfer a lot of stuff on your in-house network, then you probably won't see much improvement.

    Edit: Forgot to add that newer routers with USB ports would allow you to network a printer or external hard drive for backups for all machines on your network.
  6. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    I think a N-router has better range than a G-router. Also if your router is ancient the newer routers may have better security. Can your old router do WPA2?
  7. maril1111 macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2010
    nope that router can only do wpa.
  8. EvilShenaniganZ macrumors 6502


    Jul 9, 2009
    I'll be looking for a new one soon as well. For those with the Airport how is the distance on these? Good for a two story house?
  9. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    The two best routers I have worked with are the airport extreme and the new Cisco/linksys e-series. Both have covered 3 stories in a house, but it does depend on the construction materials and electrical interference.
  10. CharlesMc macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2010
    I recently upgraded to the E4200 and have not had any problems. I connect a mac mini, mbp, mba, xbox360, ps3 and a dell windows 7 desktop. Kids have iPad 2 and iPod touches. I live in 3 story house.
  11. lali macrumors regular

    Oct 14, 2007
    I had a 15megabit connection with a wrt linksys like yours
    When i upgraded to 60 megabit my DL speed increased but not so much. I was limited by my router

    I upgraded to a new router and am now getting the full speed from my connection

    You should compare with a friend or neighbor with the same internet package to see it you get the full speed off your connection or not and if your router is a bottleneck or not
  12. flynnst0ne thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2008
    Wanted to provide an update after upgrading to the Airport Extreme. I did before and after wireless speed tests to see what type of gains i could get out of the Airport.

    I consistently averaged 14-15mbps (D/L) on my old Linksys WRT54G router. After upgrading to the AE, my first wireless speedtest yielded 29.54mbps. So i've basically doubled my download speed, and have found a substantial improvement on the wireless range.

    I have a 2500 square foot, 2 story home, and the router is upstairs.

    Overall, i would advise anyone on the fence, to jump in feet first!

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