Which Wireless Dual-Band N-Router to get?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mclmk8d, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. mclmk8d macrumors newbie

    mclmk8d

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    South Florida
    #1
    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.
     
  2. xlr8in3 macrumors newbie

    xlr8in3

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Location:
    Sunny and Beautiful South Carolina
    #2
    I use the Airport Extreme with dual band, and I have no problems. It's a really nice router to boot. IMO
     
  3. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #3
    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.
     
  4. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #4
    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.
     
  5. mikes70mustang macrumors 68000

    mikes70mustang

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Location:
    US
    #5
    Or, save your money and buy something better. Airports are limited to 5mb, or it might be 10 speeds.
     
  6. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #6
    Not to mention, fewer Ethernet ports and gimped admin options. No Web interface? What?!?
     
  7. netfangwei macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Xi'An, China
    #7
    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
     
  8. jpefjr macrumors regular

    jpefjr

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #8
    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.
     
  9. Sneakz macrumors 65816

    Sneakz

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    Jul 17, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #9
    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.
     
  10. jpefjr macrumors regular

    jpefjr

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    Jul 8, 2008
    #10
    Cool - nice to see old machines being put to good use. :)
     
  11. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #11
    Most routers can do this easily. Simply install DD-WRT if it can't do it already.
     
  12. vant macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #12
    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.
     
  13. henry72 macrumors 65816

    henry72

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2009
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #13

    Nice... I'm using Netgear 3700 too~ Awesome router :D
     
  14. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #14
    This is utter garbage. Did you make that up or were you simply spoon fed by an Apple employee? It's 100% inaccurate.
     
  15. caonimadebi macrumors regular

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    May 7, 2009
    #15
    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.
     
  16. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #16

    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:
     
  17. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

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    Sep 22, 2007
    #17
    Yep. Exactly this.
     
  18. numbersyx macrumors 65816

    numbersyx

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    #18
    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...
     
  19. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2009
    #19
    So by that logic, you're posting this from a Broadcom computer, right?

    I would look at one of the Linksys' or 3COMs
     
  20. gwsat macrumors 68000

    gwsat

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2008
    Location:
    Tulsa
    #20
    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.
     
  21. jpefjr macrumors regular

    jpefjr

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #21
    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.
     
  22. WisdomWolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    #22
    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.
     
  23. mclmk8d thread starter macrumors newbie

    mclmk8d

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    South Florida
    #23
    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?
     
  24. Kadman macrumors 65816

    Kadman

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    #24
    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.
     
  25. mindquest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    #25
    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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