should i upgrade my ancient router?

flynnst0ne

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2008
179
2
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.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:

Gillespie81

macrumors regular
Sep 2, 2011
167
0
Minnesota
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
 

johnhurley

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2011
777
55
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.
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.
 

scousers

macrumors member
Oct 14, 2011
68
0
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!
 

steve2112

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2009
3,023
6
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.
 

DaveTheRave

macrumors 6502a
May 22, 2003
599
171
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?
 

EvilShenaniganZ

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2009
262
8
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?
 

jackrv

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2011
300
0
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?
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.
 

CharlesMc

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2010
5
0
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.
 

lali

macrumors regular
Oct 14, 2007
161
17
Hi
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
 

flynnst0ne

macrumors regular
Original poster
Dec 14, 2008
179
2
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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