Which Wireless Router / Or homeplugs?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jamin100, Jan 29, 2013.

  1. jamin100 macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Im going to replace my Apple Airport Extreme 'N' router with something else as I need Simultaneous 2.4 & 5ghz bands.
    I was just going to replace it with one of the latest Airport Extreme's but is there a better option?

    I dont need USB ports (have a server) I dont need it to do anything fancy, other than run simultaneous networks

    ANy recommendations?
    Looking for something under the £100 mark

    More Info

    I have a few devices connected to my wireless network
    Mac Mini (5ghz)
    3 Apple TV's (5ghz)
    2 Iphones (2.4ghz)
    Ipad mini (2.4ghz)
    Ipad (2.4ghz)
    Tab2 (2.4ghz)
    HP Microserver (wired)

    I want to run the wireless on N to help streaming all my iTunes content to the apple TV's faster. My current router does dual band but not simultaneous. Am i better off getting a new router that does, or will homeplugs work if I get some 500MB/s ones with Gigabit Ethernet ports?

    I also run a small ESXI lab on my microserver and do large backups to the server drives from the mac mini, currently wireless..

    At the moment I have virgin (cable) 60mb broadband
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I have always found the site SmallNetBuilder a good resource. You can look at the various performance charts they have to help guide your decision.

    Yes, simultaneous dual band will help in a mixed 2.4/5 environment like you have.

    This Asus model gets good reviews there and it in your price range.
  3. Weerez935 macrumors regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I use a belkin dual band that I purchased from Walmart. It's significantly cheaper and runs 2.4 and 5 seemlessly with my 2 mac airs, wife's MacBook Pro, 2 iPhones, and an apple tv3.
    I purchased it a year ago for around 60$.
  4. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Apparently my Mac mini (late 2012) can support 450mpbs 5ghz wireless N

    So I guess it comes down to homeplugs or a new router?
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    I've set up a couple of powerline ethernet installations for friends, and they do work well. I see there are gigabit units available now, but the ones I set up were 100 only.

    The setup where the powerline adapters really paid off was when the cable company would only install the router/modem at one end of the house, and the Apple TV and some other devices were at the other end, on a different floor. The wireless-N signal was too poor for streaming, so I used a powerline adapter that had a wireless-N unit at the far end (and a wired outlet also). Problem solved.

    I didn't run into any wiring issues but they do exist. In some cases, the AC wiring isn't well-suited to carrying the ethernet signal. With modern wiring this is rarely a problem, but in an older house with older wiring it can be.
  6. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Thanks - so you think I'm likely to get better transfer speeds with plugs or wireless?

    I know that's almost impossible to answer as there are too many variables but I transfer a lot of data between my server (plugged into the router) and my Mac mini (currently wireless)

    Unfortunately there is no option to run cat5e/6 between the router and the Mac mini
  7. Stewart21 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2011
    South Yorkshire
    I use four Netgear Powerline AV200 home plugs. Works well, faster and more stable than WiFi. They say you need to plug them into a wall socket and they should be on the same ringmain but all of mine are plugged into extension sockets and work over the upstairs and downstairs ring mains.
  8. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    If you can get a gigabit kit and your house wiring supports it, you'll be far beyond wireless speeds.

    Plus you could get a little gigabit switch for the far end, and share the connection. Even with a couple of devices on, you ought to beat wireless-N.
  9. designs216 macrumors 65816


    Oct 26, 2009
    Down the rabbit hole
    I couldn't get wireless to work from my TC upstairs to BRP downstairs. The Netgear 85Mbps Powerline Network Adapter Kit (XETB1001) was the kit I tried first and it did not perform well either. The TRENDnet 500 Mbps Compact Powerline Ethernet AV Adapter Kit (TPL-406E2K) is the model I currently use and have been pretty satisfied with it.
  10. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    So keep my current AirPort Extreme in n 2.4ghz mode and get a set of home plugs for the connection between the Mac mini and the AirPort Extreme
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This is good advice. SmallNetBuilder gives you reviews and commentary on many of the models/brands of routers and their performance. They also carry a few reviews on powerline.

    Here are things you may consider -

    Bridged Wireless Network

    Cable --- wireless router --------------------------wireless router

    Powerline has come a long way but if your various connection points are on different fuses, some signal degradation occurs (slower speed). In your situation most likely the powerline adaptor connected to your router that is connected to your cable modem will be on a different line/fuse than the end of your home.

    I have used bridged, dual band direct and powerline 500. In my case, both the bridged and direct single wifi router was faster than the powerline 500. I gave the powerline to a friend of mine who found that bridged wifi was about the same as powerline with the powerline being more consistent.

    If you try powerline consider the 500 models over the 200 as long as you can return the items if not satisfied. - Similar for new wifi routers. Bridged routers have the advantage of providing additional Ethernet connections
  12. jamin100 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2008
    Regarding the power line adapters. I'm pretty sure that where I'm using them they are on the same fuse on the rcd

    It's a 70 year old house but it has been completely re-wired within the past 10 years
  13. dma550 macrumors 6502

    Sep 3, 2009

Share This Page