Wireless Router: Which is best?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by sirjpbear, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. sirjpbear macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2008
    Hey all,
    I'm in the market for a wireless router for my cable modem. My TWCNY download speed tops out at a fairly constant 10 Mbytes/sec, and wondered if this a factor? Any suggestions or favs, Apple or otherwise?
    -Jim Bear
  2. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    Do you have PC's and Mac on your network? Or just Macs? Or just PC's?
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Linksys would be my first recommendation, always have been very reliable for me. I've got a D-Link right now and I'm not all that happy with it.
  4. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    The speed of your internet connection is irrelevant so long as it is not higher that your internal network speed.

    Internal network speeds only matter if you plan on sharing large amounts of data quickly between computers on your network. Even then wireless G (54Mb/s max) is more than suitable in regards to wireless.

    If you want to go all out, just buy a new Airport Extreme. If you want a more budget conscious router, go with something i Linksys's lineup. I recommend the WRT54G as a great budget router.
  5. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Lets just be the pessimist here and make sure that you know this now and not later...

    NO router, wired or wireless, is any good.

    Sure, youll hear people here and elsewhere say theyve had NO problems with their router, or this brand or that. And Im sure they will post below me their experiences. But, hey, some people get lucky. Though, the Airport base stations have a good reputation...

    But, truthfully, unless you are Enterprise sized and equally wealthy, the router you buy WILL fail. It WILL break. It WILL give you problems. You WILL replace it in the future.

    You get what you pay for...and when you see how much a "pro" router costs, youll know why your $50 one breaks after a year or two. Buy name brand (Cisco, Linksys, Netgear...something youve at least heard of before) and be happy. Just dont be surprised at how it acts!
  6. nissan.gtp macrumors 6502

    Aug 22, 2007
    my Linksys has never given me an instant of trouble (it's 3 or 4 years old). I have never upgraded it or messed with it. it just works.
  7. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    You clearly have high standards because I completely disagree. Certain routers are better than others, but all brands of routers can produce duds. If this is the reason you call all routers bad, then I assume you call everything no good.
  8. sirjpbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2008
    Whoops! I forgot to mention; it will be a new MacBookPro 13".

    The Earthlink/TimeWarnerCable speed is rated at 10Mb/sec download, and will only be using two separate Macs; mine and my roommate. I don't know if that qualifies as a network, but I'm new to this.

    Some of the reviews for the Express and/or Extreme came back as not being as strong at max distance or not as reliable, and so the reasoning for the thread. Thanks for the info.

    Huh. Keep in mind I asked for input, not just happy input. Your info is welcome and I'd like to hear more of your personal experiences with routers.
  9. toxicdrift macrumors member

    Jul 22, 2009
    Just adding up to the thread coz I'm in a similar situation myself, since the new 13 supports the n range, isn't it good to buy a n router rather then regular g ones as they have more range, ?? Any suggestions ?? If not I think I'm going for the linksys or buffalo one.
  10. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA
    An N router is definitely an advantage in terms of speed and range. If you are any distance from the router or do even moderate file sharing an N router will give you noticeably better performance than a G router.

    However, I'm about to switch back to my good G router (Linksys, 6 years old, has worked flawlessly) from a sucky N router (D-Link) even though internal transfer speed and range matter to me.

    In short, get a decent brand first, then figure out if your budget can afford a little more for the N version versus the G.
  11. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I have had excellent luck with the airport extreme and a time capsule. Just works and never a problem.
  12. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
  13. fehhkk macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Unless anything of what you do is absolutely mission critical, no regular user would justify spending more than $300 in a home router. Go ahead and spend $200,000 in a Catalyst 6509, and it will still fail. Your post sounds overly dramatic.
  14. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    Still using my AEBS (Apple flying saucer) from five years ago. I keep
    hoping it will break so I can justify buying one of the Apple "N" routers.

    Go Apple imo-worth it.
  15. designgeek macrumors 65816


    Jan 30, 2009
    I'm all for Apple routers. If it's just you and your roommate I'd get an AirPort Express 802.11n because you can connect it to your stereo and with 11n there aren't any bottlenecks for your internet connection. Not to mention that it's really easy to set up.
  16. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    ...here's my experience:

    I live off base in Japan (stationed with the USN) and I only buy name brand routers.

    Before I came to Japan I had a belkin die on me with-in 3 months and and belkin refunded my $$ which was great customer service but I chose to use that $$ on a netgear.

    The netgear lasted 7 years = it was a b router and died when I moved to another off base house.

    I replaced that with a linksys which died after 7 days.

    Linksys had great customer service and they got the on base PX to RMA the item for me since they wouldn't ship via USPS to my FPO military address.

    The replacement linksys WRT54GS still works ~5+ yrs later but its on back up duty in the OEM box.

    I also was given a ~7+ yr old linksys WRT54G when my friend upgraded to a linksys N router (don't remember the model) and I donated that "old" router to use in my office and its in use even as I type this.

    Above I say my WRT54GS still works but its now a back up router to my sim dual band AEBS = I was very hesitant to spend what apple wanted for the AEBS but the new sim dual band and the rest of the features intrigued me... there were cheaper "similar" offerings from linksys, etc... but they didn't offer all the features of the apple AEBS.

    A friend gave me a $50 gift card for my birthday and the AEBS was on sale for $169 so OTD it only cost me $119 out of my pocket = not much more than what the other brands would have cost at the time of purchase (~$25 before shipping cost)...

    I've been using the apple AEBS now for almost 6 months and its been great, I highly recommend it!

    I would also STAY away from the airport express unless its for a tiny room only (they are also not sim dual band) - the range is not good and they do drop connection (yes I also work in a building were the manager is an apple freak). This guy tried to save some $$ by getting the express for the building, 1 didn't work well due to the size of the building so he added a 2nd, then he added a 3rd = he would have been better off with one current gen AEBS and maybe one airport express (if it was needed at all).

    Good luck with your decision.
  17. Redlander macrumors newbie


    Jul 25, 2009
    The Redland
    I have had Siemens, NetGear, Linksys, and currently D-Link wirless routers. They have all done what they were supposed to do.

    The comment on the N router is not bad advice.

    I think it is best to buy the newest and the best. This is because, when they start lowering the prices and putting them on sale, they seem to be the out-dated ones, with waning support from their makers.

    Remember to keep a good record of your set-up configuration. If you can print the pages, even better (not often the case in the past). This is especially important for newbies, as once these products are out of the support period and warranty, the brand name people will indeed charge for any furhter assistance, without any grace.

    I hope this helps.


    The Redlander
  18. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    The Airport line is pretty much the only Apple product I can fully recommend without qualifying it somehow (usually price) It's competitively priced, extremely easy to interface with and set up on Macs or PCs and just generally does a great job.
  19. Carmellom macrumors member

    Jul 23, 2009
    Get an Airport if you can afford it. Apple makes the best stuff. If not Linksys should be the alternative.
  20. steve knight macrumors 68020

    steve knight

    Jan 28, 2009
    they will all fail if ants build nests in them. don't ask me how I know this. ants love routers. they don't care what brand it is.
  21. sirjpbear thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 14, 2008
    ANTS!?! Ok, now fess up. Tell us.

    What is "sim dual band"? What does "AEBS" stand for? It also seems to me that the dominant opinion is that Apple works best with Apple.

    To be clearer: The wireless connection has to be rock solid, not the limiting speed factor or slow down from my 10Mb/s ISP, and it must simultaneously connect another MB 'g' from the floor downstairs in a woodframe house.

    Everyone's experience is welcome... and still want to hear about the ants. Ugh....
  22. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

    Aug 15, 2007
    Apple works best in my experience period. It's not a "work better with Apple" thing, it's just a router. AEBS = Airport Extreme Base Station. The Airport Express can do much the same thing on a smaller budget too.
  23. rfrankl macrumors 6502a

    Apr 15, 2006
  24. theimacdude macrumors member


    Aug 2, 2008
    I had a Linksys and after about a year, the internet in our house just went so slow (Both Wireless and Wired) So for me, I've not had a good experience with Linksys, but thats just me.
    I'm currently using a Belkin.
    Also an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station is perfect, it allows you to connect both wirelessly, and with ethernet, and it allows you to share drives over the network.
  25. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    AEBS=airport extreme base station. As I said earlier, the new Apple
    dual band router looks great. Amazon has it for around $170, free shipping
    and no tax. Also, yesterday the Apple refurb store had them again for $149 (but you'll pay tax).

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