Wireless router for Mac mini recommendations

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by graphicsward, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. graphicsward macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    Can anyone recommend a good wireless router for my mac mini? It needs to have good range. Is the airport extreme really worth the money?

    I'm bummed and kinda confused I had an airport express 5/6 years old and it died on me over the weekend. I went to out the store and bought a Netgear N600 thinking that a good mid range router would be much better than the old one I had. Not a chance, speed tests give me less than a 1mb second download speed. the old express gave me 6/8mbs average in the office. Sitting right next to the router the average is 12/14mbs. I know walls and wifi don't get along too well but why is something generations old so much faster than new? The n600 is being returned but for what?

    My use, basics now with mini, ipad and cell phone using wifi. Would like to set up a hard drive on the network in the future as well as getting and streaming netflicks.

    Thanks everyone.
  2. Weaselboy Moderator


    Staff Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    You might check out the site SmallNetBuilder. They do a pretty good job with router reviews. The ASUS RT-N66U is a good router and very popular.

    The Airport Extreme is a good router, but does not have some of the features of other routers for less money. The upside is it can easily be managed using the Airport Utility software on a Mac or iOS device.
  3. Ajsam macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2013
    I can second the recommendation of the Asus RT-N66U. I just finished setting mine up tonight. The router is slight overkill for a 1600sqft apartment, but I wanted a good signal from a dual band router.
    I have no problem with getting a very strong 5ghz signal everywhere.
    To test it out, I am mirroring a blu ray movie from my Mac mini to the Apple TV roughly 35' away with no issues.
    If the price is a little over budget, look at the RT-N56U model. Same great router, but with internal antennas. The range would be a little less.
  4. goy091 macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    I have an Asus RT-N56U router and it's great. I too wanted a dual band router that was easy to setup and has many user selectable options. No problems with range. The 2.4GHz band gives you better range with the expense of speed, and vice versa for the 5GHz band.

    Also has gigabit ethernet, hooked up to my PS3, Wii and Synology Diskstation, and 2x USB ports for printers and USB HDD's.

    You can find it for about $100. I've been using it for a year+ with no complaints. Works great.


    It replaced an old reliable Linksys WRT150N.
  5. graphicsward thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    Thanks weaselboy and ajsam. I should have been listening better. Even the guy at the store recommended the ASUS RT-N66U but i found it outta my price range 150 vrs the 80 i spend seemed way too much but i'm considering it now. I'll look into the lower model too.

    Does anyone have any explanation why a 6 years old airport express works much better than a "new and improved $80 Netgear router?
  6. graphicsward thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    I'll stop badmouthing the Netgear N600

    A quick update. Went back to the store and they couldn't figure it out either. Range is a very finicky thing depending on the conditions and they were reluctant to say why i was having my problem but recommend a new N600 saying there is no reason it shouldn't be better than the old airport express and i might have gotten a faulty one.

    Brought it home, and it just worked. Plugged it in and typed the password and it is faster than my old airport express. I'll certainly miss airtunes but i can get over that (haven't used it as much since my ipod died anyways).

    thanks everyone
  7. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Aye, that is a very good, albeit pricey router. All I can say is, you get what you pay for. :)
  8. 50voltphantom, Mar 21, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013

    50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    I'm going to chime in as a total Apple fanboy and say that, without doubt, my AirPort Extreme has been 100% rock solid since I've set it up like 9 months ago. ZERO issues. No resets, no dropped signal, nothing. Are they expensive? Yep. But they are quality routers. If you're living in a smaller home/apartment, I also recommend the AirPort Express. I just installed one on a remote jobsite for work and I know already it was one of the better decisions I've made. Setup in no time and if it's even close to being as reliable as my Extreme, I will buy nothing else.
  9. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    Great to hear. I have an N600 myself, it's been ROCK SOLID since I got it 18 months ago. The only gripe I have, and it's a minor one, is that the wireless has to restart if you change ANY configuration item for it including adding/removing a device from the MAC filter. That's a minor gripe though since my device list hardly ever changes.

    My place is small (1000 sq. ft) but I get great speed and coverage throughout and can even get access outside and across the parking lot (though it's a little slow over there).
  10. Karsted macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2013
    Airport Extreme

    Slightly off topic, my 2nd gen airport extreme has been rock solid since I bought in 2007. I know the newer models offer better performance, but I'm reluctant to take the plunge until the next generation comes out (which may have 802.11ac). Any thoughts on waiting vs buying current model (gen5)?
  11. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    To me, waiting to see if the next gen has gigabit wired Ethernet would be worth it to me.
  12. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Extreme already has Gigabit wired ethernet ports, WAN and LAN.
  13. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Dec 24, 2010
    Winnipeg, MB
    Oh oops. Misread his questions as regarding the Express. My bad :)

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