Wireless network recomendation.


macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 9, 2001
Hi, I'm fixing a budget for some company. The thing is that I may get 5 iBooks with airport card included, plus the cards for my 3 computer I already own (all of the Macs). So, I was searching in the net about the airport itself but I have seen there are other divices like the Wireless Linksys that are cheaper and has more functions, now:

-Are other devices compatibles with airport cards?
-What kind of fuctions can they offer that I may need?
In other words,
-Can I have the same (or better) performance of the airport with other units in the market at a lower cost?

I have 3 computer in a network right now and I'm not using firewall or things like that, just transfering data from one computer to another. Please help me out with this.



macrumors 6502a
Dec 15, 2002
I have a very similar set-up at home. 2 ibooks, a powermac and a sony desktop. I use a seimens speedstream router and haven't had any problems what so ever. The siemens, as well as most other routers setup via a web interface so for the most part they are platform independant. Airport is nice but not $300 dollars nice

--I like Cheese


macrumors 68000
Nov 8, 2002
Chinatown NYC
You can use any 802.11b router - that 's the great thing about open standards. I use this D-Link router myself:


The differences in price usually have to do with the security features. For example, my router was $120 but it had more advanced security functionality (the main thing I was interested in was IPSec VPN pass-through, since I use a VPN to connect to work).

Although the Airport is more expensive, it has the much more advanced 802.1x security (so it handles EAP/LEAP encryption, external RADIUS authentication server, and all that mumbo jumbo). In fact, the Airport is supposedly the least expensive wireless router that handles 802.1x.

It sound like for your needs you should get one of the cheaper models, though, especially since you're not even bothering with a firewall now. At least make sure the router has WEP encryption and can filter users by MAC address (the Airport ID that is displayed in the Airport control panel). WEP encryption is crackable, as I understand it, but I figure it's like having a Club on your car - it's not foolproof but it's better than nothing...


macrumors regular
Nov 17, 2002
The airport cards for the machines themselves are must, they are pretty much your only reliable and supported wireless networking cards for the mac. As far as the wireless router that connects them all together and off to the net, you dont need to buy apple. I would recommenc the linksys, have two in the house, using one right now. All "wifi" certified products are 100% compatable and integrated easily.

Best of luck.

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
Don't get Linksys - they do not support Apple Macintosh even though Airport cards work on the machines. I found out the hardway when I had a problem and there was no one at the support center who could handle even the simplest Mac question - they told me they didn't have the resources availble to do Mac support.



macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
if you're just doing file transfers between computers, and don't need internet access, you don't even need a wireless hub or router, the cards will talk to each other. Airport cards are your only way to go, they're the only internal solution, and they integrate very well. not wort the $60/per machine you would save by going to something cheaper...

but if you want internet sharing, stuff of that sort, go for 3rd party wireless router... i like the price of netgear products for ethernet work, tho i've never used their wireless products...



macrumors 68020
Original poster
May 9, 2001
Good, more quiestions.


My system would work thsi way.

I'll be the only user, it is for my house so I do not need security stuff. The thing is that I'm working as a VJ (video Jockey) and I have 2 pismos right now and a dual 500. I may buy 5 iBooks and all I have to do is to transfer the animations to the iBooks, I won't need internet connection for them. As I understand:

In my case with getting the Airpot Cards would be enough, no router needed.

No, another question, using only the Airport Card, can I do a network rendering using all the machines? I mean, would they work as a fisical network as the one I have now?

I'm using a LinkSys DSL router and I have all my computers connected to it.



macrumors 68000
Nov 22, 2001
I have just ordered a Linksys wireless router (£99 here in the UK v £210 for the Apple Airport router). Plus, feature wise, the linksys is better.