Which Wireless Dual-Band N-Router to get?

mclmk8d

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2008
14
0
South Florida
My son and I both have Mac Book Pros and a wireless network running at home. We have Snow Leopard, and Comcast 12mb cable internet. I currently am using a 2 year-old Linksys WRT160N router going through my own Motorola Surf Board SB6120 modem. It's been fine the last couple of months after the switch from AT&T, but every now and then, it seems to lose the IP addresses and connection, so I end up having to call Comcast to reset them from their end. I'm beginning to thing that perhaps it's time to get a new router. What is even stranger is that sometimes I still have service and my son, 20 feet away in his room, loses it or vice-versa.

What are your esteemed opinions on this? Do you think it's the router or some setting? If it is the router, what do you all recommend in the way of a dual-band, perhaps dual radio, wireless N-router? Any help is much appreciated.
 

Kadman

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2007
1,216
0
Keep the 160n and put DD-WRT firmware on it. I used to have some DCHP issues on an older WRT54GS and simply putting DD-WRT on it resolved all issues and added tons of functionality.
 

WisdomWolf

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2010
161
0
I currently have a Dlink DIR-655, but it's single band. I'm thinking of upgrading it to DIR-825 for a stable dual band router.

As far as your current router goes, I would advise that you look into DD-WRT to see if it's compatible with your Linksys. Linksys tends to make decent hardware, but absolutely terrible firmware. DD-WRT will make it much more stable and give you a bunch of new features without having to pay a dime.
 

netfangwei

macrumors newbie
Apr 30, 2010
8
0
Xi'An, China
Keep the 160n and put DD-WRT firmware on it. I used to have some DCHP issues on an older WRT54GS and simply putting DD-WRT on it resolved all issues and added tons of functionality.
My last router is Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, it's DHCP worked slowly and I always need to wait a moment for IP address ready after log in to the Windows, then I tried DD-WRT v24 presp2, but problems came that I lost my connection frequently, so... I gave up and ordered a Netgear WNDR3700, dualband router with usb port! It rocks!

The only problem is the coverage of 802.11a (5ghz??) network, I could hardly received signal in my bed room, about 25m( two concrete walls) from study where router is located
 

jpefjr

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
209
0
Or, save your money and buy something better. Airports are limited to 5mb, or it might be 10 speeds.
Really? Amazing how I get 90+ megabytes per second between my wired gigabit computers and routinely can saturate my FIOS connection over WiFi from my MBP - 20 megabits per second down and 5 megabits per second up.

Plus my Airport Extreme does something that non-Apple routers can't - it serves a hard-drive that's used by my MBP for Time Machine backup.

Do I wish there were more configuration options? Sure, but it does have basic port forwarding, NAT-PMP auto port-forwarding, shares printers and disks, MAC address access control, etc.

Oh, and most importantly my wife's alum-MacBook and my new MacBook Pro have NEVER dropped connection to the router.
 

Sneakz

macrumors 65816
Jul 17, 2008
1,171
198
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Plus my Airport Extreme does something that non-Apple routers can't - it serves a hard-drive that's used by my MBP for Time Machine backup.
.
FreeNAS. That old-ass PIII (in my case, an atom desktop) can be put back in service running FreeNAS, a couple 500GB HDDs and run as an AFP server.
 

jpefjr

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
209
0
FreeNAS. That old-ass PIII (in my case, an atom desktop) can be put back in service running FreeNAS, a couple 500GB HDDs and run as an AFP server.
Cool - nice to see old machines being put to good use. :)
 

Kadman

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2007
1,216
0
Plus my Airport Extreme does something that non-Apple routers can't - it serves a hard-drive that's used by my MBP for Time Machine backup.
Most routers can do this easily. Simply install DD-WRT if it can't do it already.
 

vant

macrumors 65816
Jul 1, 2009
1,231
1
Routers work best with the brand they are working with.

No one knows why, but that is the case. So with that in mind, your best bet is an Airport Express or an Airport Extreme.
 

henry72

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2009
1,194
240
New Zealand
My last router is Buffalo WHR-HP-G54, it's DHCP worked slowly and I always need to wait a moment for IP address ready after log in to the Windows, then I tried DD-WRT v24 presp2, but problems came that I lost my connection frequently, so... I gave up and ordered a Netgear WNDR3700, dualband router with usb port! It rocks!

The only problem is the coverage of 802.11a (5ghz??) network, I could hardly received signal in my bed room, about 25m( two concrete walls) from study where router is located

Nice... I'm using Netgear 3700 too~ Awesome router :D
 

Kadman

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2007
1,216
0
Routers work best with the brand they are working with.

No one knows why, but that is the case. So with that in mind, your best bet is an Airport Express or an Airport Extreme.
This is utter garbage. Did you make that up or were you simply spoon fed by an Apple employee? It's 100% inaccurate.
 

caonimadebi

macrumors regular
May 7, 2009
216
1
Most routers can do this easily. Simply install DD-WRT if it can't do it already.
I don't believe DD-WRT will enable wireless time machine backup, at least not without some serious tweaking. Last time I checked Apple only allowed wireless time machine backup with Time Capsule.
 

WisdomWolf

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2010
161
0
I don't believe DD-WRT will enable wireless time machine backup, at least not without some serious tweaking. Last time I checked Apple only allowed wireless time machine backup with Time Capsule.

I'm pretty sure DD-WRT shares things via smb, which means using time machine would be pretty trivial. Unless you consider a single command to be serious tweaking. :eek:
 

numbersyx

macrumors 65816
Sep 29, 2006
1,148
85
I must say that I have used many routers in the past - DLink and Netgear but the Apple Airport Extreme has been the best. No signal drops whatsoever unlike the other two...
 

gwsat

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2008
1,920
0
Tulsa
Routers work best with the brand they are working with.

No one knows why, but that is the case. So with that in mind, your best bet is an Airport Express or an Airport Extreme.
This is utter garbage. Did you make that up or were you simply spoon fed by an Apple employee? It's 100% inaccurate.
Although the notion that 802.11n clients work best with routers of the same brand may be slightly outdated, it's hardly garbage. The 802.11n standard was not approved until last September and was not published until last October. Until then, every manufacturer's version of the proposed 802.11n standard was likely to, and often did, differ from that of every other other manufacturer's. Thus, the only way for a Mac owner to insure that data passed at 802.11n speeds, rather than at 802.11g speed, was to use an Apple router to communicate with his Airport wifi client. I have had no opportunity to try out mixed routers and Airport clients since the 802.11n standard was approved, although, I gather that it can be done now.

I have used a Time Capsule with Airport wifi clients for two years. Its ability to do automatic backups is impressive but as a router, I would give it a grade of no more than C+. The TC has a distressing habit of dropping wireless connections every few weeks, which requires a reboot. That said, I have kind of a Rube Goldberg setup. The TC communicates with an Airport Express client, which is connected via Ethernet and an Ethernet switch to several Ethernet cards contained in various components in my home theater. To make matters even more complicated, I have two more Airport Express units in other parts of my house, which are set to extend the network. This way, I have 802.11n wifi throughout my house. It works most of the time and when it does, it is fast.
 

jpefjr

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2008
209
0
I'm pretty sure DD-WRT shares things via smb, which means using time machine would be pretty trivial. Unless you consider a single command to be serious tweaking. :eek:
You can't use an SMB shared drive for Time Machine. Time Machine will only backup to a drive shared via AFP. Technically the only supported configs for wireless backup are Time Capsule and sharing a drive with "File Sharing" from a Mac. However, sharing a drive from an Airport Extreme does work.
 

WisdomWolf

macrumors regular
Apr 15, 2010
161
0
You can't use an SMB shared drive for Time Machine. Time Machine will only backup to a drive shared via AFP. Technically the only supported configs for wireless backup are Time Capsule and sharing a drive with "File Sharing" from a Mac. However, sharing a drive from an Airport Extreme does work.
I beg to differ. :D

I haven't had a chance to test any of those myself yet, but I'll be setting this up this weekend when I get a chance.
 

mclmk8d

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 8, 2008
14
0
South Florida
Dd-wrt

According to dd-wrt.com, my router is not supported; it is a Linksys WRT160N Ver. 2. Looking at the Linksys E3000, WRT610N, D-Link Wireless N Gigabit Router DIR-655; anyone here with experiences of these 3?
 

Kadman

macrumors 65816
Sep 22, 2007
1,216
0
According to dd-wrt.com, my router is not supported; it is a Linksys WRT160N Ver. 2. Looking at the Linksys E3000, WRT610N, D-Link Wireless N Gigabit Router DIR-655; anyone here with experiences of these 3?
Bummer about the ver 2. I have a ver 3 on my network (wireless through the part of our neighborhood) and it's extremely solid. The only things I've heard about the 610n were a firmware issued (subsequently fixed last year and irrelevant if you use DD-WRT) and that it can heat up if you leave it in the horizontal position (I like mounting them to a wall anyway). It may very well be my next router and it would be the core router for my neighborhood network so I put a lot of stock in that selection.
 

mindquest

macrumors 6502
Oct 25, 2009
317
57
Or, save your money and buy something better. Airports are limited to 5mb, or it might be 10 speeds.
New to this but was wondering if you meant that the Airports are limited in speed compared to other brands?

Which non-apple brands does everyone recommend?
 
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