Wireless Router Suggestions?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GREEN4U, Jul 17, 2012.

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  1. GREEN4U macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    Next month I'm moving out of my parents' house (yay!) and into an apartment. I expect that I'll need a router to go with Charter internet and modem.

    Very simple question: Which router do you guys suggest? I'm looking for something rather inexpensive (I'll be on a graduate student budget) and that will work flawlessly with my soon-to-be new Macbook Air/Mac OS X! Do I need to buy a router before I get my cable/internet set up? I'm not sure how this all works...Thanks!
  2. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    I would definitely get one that has a USB port on it to connect a drive, if you are using an Air. Also make sure the wireless router can do wireless N.
  3. WSR macrumors regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    First ask yourself how many devices, if any, do you want to connect directly to the router.

    I started off using a Airport Express (G) router and just connected all my devices through WiFi, but I now use an Airport Extreme (N). Now, I mainly do the direct connect with my iMac and my Macbook Pro, when it's at home. This makes transfers between them much faster. I use the Airport Express (G) now to stream audio to my sound system. Of course now the new Airport Express has the ability to be the main router and direct connect 1 device.

    Also, keep in mind that if you are moving into an apartment definitely make sure you understand security. Chances are there will be many wifi networks at the complex, and probably a few neighbors looking for free internet. Best to password protect and setup MAC filtering. MAC doesn't stand for Macintosh. I forget what it stand for, but each device has a 12 character MAC address. When setup, even if a person got your password, they can't access your network unless their device's MAC address has been entered into the router. Your could probably get by with just the password, but the MAC filter gives added security.

    Also with the above, take note about friends accessing your network. Some routers, like the Airport Extreme, allow guest access. Thus, friends can access the internet without accessing your complete network. If you have guest access ability then they would either need a direct connect; or you would have to give them the password and setup their devices MAC address. Either way they would then have access to you computers, drives, printers, etc.
  4. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Usually you can buy or rent a modem that will convert the signal from the ISP to something your computer can use & interpret (At least this is how it works in the US). From the modem you can go directly to your computer, or if you want to connect multiple devices you plug that into a router.
  5. jacg macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2003
    For an easy way to wireless audio and printing, I like my Airport Express.
  6. Vizin macrumors 6502a

    Jun 30, 2007
    My advice: don't cheap out on a router, it'll cost you more in the end. Every cheap router I've ever bought has started failing within a year and has had to be replaced. You're better off buying a high-quality router that'll last longer.

    I have the Airport Extreme. If you're in an apartment the $99 Airport Express will work fine. The nice thing about buying an Apple router is it's covered under your Mac's warranty, meaning as long as you own a Mac that's under warranty, your router is covered.

    You can rent or buy a modem. I suggest buying one, because you end up paying more otherwise. I got a refurbished cable modem for $40 two years ago and it's running great. At $5 per month, a rental would have cost me $120 over that period. This modem looks good to me: http://www.amazon.com/Motorola-Surfboard-SB5101-Cable-Modem/dp/B000JV9LUK/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_2 but call your cable company beforehand to make sure it's supported on their system.

    Get your modem and router before getting the Internet set up. You'll definitely need the modem so they can activate it on their network. You won't be able to access the Internet without a router since the MacBook Air doesn't have an ethernet port, just WiFi (unless you get an adapter), so there's no reason not to have the router ready to go.
  7. GREEN4U thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2010
    Thanks a lot for the excellent suggestions guys!

    As part of my ISP, Charter's, promotion, the modem comes free and I just have to return it to them when I'm done. I'm thinking of going for the $99 Airport Express. Up to this point, I didn't know the Express worked as a router itself. I was hoping to not spend more than $40 but I want something that I know will work flawlessly.
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