Wireless Routers for Macbook Air?

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
What are some good routers for the Macbook Air? The reason I ask is because a lot of routers require discs to install software, which the MBA does not have. I don't mind paying $100 for the for-sure-to-work Airport Express, but I wanna know my options. Thakns.
 

kylera

macrumors 65816
Dec 5, 2010
1,196
27
Seoul
There are some SMB brands (at least here in Korea) that come with a fold out piece of paper that walks users through setting up routers on the browser (typing the 192.168.x.x address, etc.)

Personally, I just splurged on an Extreme after seeing $40 routers break before the year was up, and never looked back.
 

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
There are some SMB brands (at least here in Korea) that come with a fold out piece of paper that walks users through setting up routers on the browser (typing the 192.168.x.x address, etc.)

Personally, I just splurged on an Extreme after seeing $40 routers break before the year was up, and never looked back.
What about Express? Will that work for me? I live in a 1 BR apartment.
 

koigirl

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
715
206
Raleigh, NC
We have used D-Link DIR-655 routers with long-term success in 2 different locations (3+ years). We have good signal coverage throughout our large 3-story home for both Apple equipment and other equipment (Dell and PS3). Great experiences with phone customer service as well. I think this router runs about $70? It's hard to beat if you don't want to splurge for the Airport Extreme.
 

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
We have used D-Link DIR-655 routers with long-term success in 2 different locations (3+ years). We have good signal coverage throughout our large 3-story home for both Apple equipment and other equipment (Dell and PS3). Great experiences with phone customer service as well. I think this router runs about $70? It's hard to beat if you don't want to splurge for the Airport Extreme.
Thanks! Would the $100 Airport Express work though?
 

korbearus10

macrumors member
Jun 27, 2012
70
0
California
I believe most routers nowadays don't require the CD. I don't know if it's because I chose the right routers or what, but in the last 8 years, I've had 3 routers: Cisco-Linksys WRT54GL, Medialink N Router and the Airport Extreme. None of them required a CD. You just have to access the router via the web address (ex. 192.168.1.1) and set up your router.

As for you question about the Express, it'll definitely work. The only reason you might want to get the Extreme is if you want to connect an external drive to the USB or require multiple gigabit ethernet ports. If you're only using the router for the wireless access, the Airport Express will be just as sufficient.
 
Last edited:

spillproof

macrumors 68020
Jun 4, 2009
2,028
2
USA
The Cisco Linksys systems allow you to download the Setup Software if you don't have the CD, before you begin. And it is also available for download on your products support page.

I have had zero problems with Linksys products (currently a E4200 v1.0 series) with my MPB, PS3, Android tablet, iPhone, and the various other phones, computers, and game systems that have connected to it over the past year.
 

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
As for you question about the Express, it'll definitely work. The only reason you might want to get the Extreme is if you want to connect an external drive to the USB
Hmmm that's a really good reason to get Extreme. Hmmm. :( $170 just seems like so much to pay for a router, lol.

Wait - connecting to an external HD to Extreme, can you use Time Machine with it and back up your computer "wirelessly"? Or is it only to share the hard drive with other computers on the network? This doesn't seem to indicate that it works with Time Machine:

http://www.apple.com/airportextreme/features/harddrivesharing.html

I live by myself (yeah, sad, right? lol) and only have 1 computer. The Time Machine back up would be my only interest for connecting an external HD to my router.
 
Last edited:

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
Also, what's the real world difference between G and N speeds? My uncle has a spare router for me to use. It's old but it's B/G, not N.

Again, I wouldn't be doing file sharing because I'm the only person in the household, but I want to be able to do high speed streaming (ex/ youtube HD). Would N actually be useful for me or is G fine for my purposes?
 

Moshe1010

macrumors 6502a
Jun 27, 2010
822
80
Also, what's the real world difference between G and N speeds? My uncle has a spare router for me to use. It's old but it's B/G, not N.

Again, I wouldn't be doing file sharing because I'm the only person in the household, but I want to be able to do high speed streaming (ex/ youtube HD). Would N actually be useful for me or is G fine for my purposes?
N is only useful for sharing inside your network or being able to connect to your router whenever your neighbors are sharing the same channels with your network (B/G). N is not useful above 10 feet radius (approx.). So, you can defiantly use B/G router, and there is not need to buy an N router.
 

seared.ahi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 5, 2012
135
0
N is only useful for sharing inside your network or being able to connect to your router whenever your neighbors are sharing the same channels with your network (B/G). N is not useful above 10 feet radius (approx.). So, you can defiantly use B/G router, and there is not need to buy an N router.
Maybe I'll take up my Uncle's offer then.
 

aleni

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2006
2,145
237
I agree with d-link dir 655. It's a beast. Been running it since 2009. 24/7 online and never had any issue and still going strong until now. I dont know if any 655 still being sold now. From 2009 until now, i had 2 of the old airport express died, but not the dir 655. Don't know if the new airport express any good or not.
 

koigirl

macrumors 6502a
Jul 29, 2011
715
206
Raleigh, NC
I agree with d-link dir 655. It's a beast. Been running it since 2009. 24/7 online and never had any issue and still going strong until now. I dont know if any 655 still being sold now. From 2009 until now, i had 2 of the old airport express died, but not the dir 655. Don't know if the new airport express any good or not.
I bought my parents one at a DFW Frye's location in April of this year (2012) and ordered one from BH Photo Video last year so I think they're still available? Model number may have changed slightly.
 

Ksh

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2012
50
0
I'm using a Cisco Linksys neutral router with my acBook Air and allows firmware upgrades directly from the network :)
 

JPamplin

macrumors 6502
Mar 12, 2009
319
60
Nashville, TN
Also, what's the real world difference between G and N speeds? My uncle has a spare router for me to use. It's old but it's B/G, not N.

Again, I wouldn't be doing file sharing because I'm the only person in the household, but I want to be able to do high speed streaming (ex/ youtube HD). Would N actually be useful for me or is G fine for my purposes?
I would submit that N is needed if you a) stream YouTube HD, b) have many access points around you, and further, an Airport Express is especially handy if you do AirPlay.

Get your uncle's router and turn off it's wireless. Then get an Express.
 

checkitout

macrumors member
Nov 2, 2009
34
0
You can buy 802.11n routers for like $40 these days and they work fine.
Sure. Inheriting the one your uncle tossed out works fine, too.

However, there are advantages in buying a home gateway that has active ongoing development of its software (e.g., bufferbloat or IPv6; I'm not going to explain either here but you can google them).
In today's market, active development is available only for two classes of products:

Those based on openwrt and friends, and those from Apple.

Apple also has good integration with OS X (e.g., sleep proxying/back to my mac). With the Extreme and a USB disk, you also get a great simple-to-administrate file server (for time machine and other purposes). With the Express, you can attach your hi-fi and use Airplay. With either, you can attach a cheap (USB-based) printer.

I know what I would recommend to anyone who takes their time seriously.
 

stchman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 16, 2012
671
2
St. Louis, MO
Pretty much any wireless router will work with the MBA. I personally use the Linksys E4200, but other brands will work.

As far as the disc, that is intended to make the router setup easier. Pretty much every router I have ever used has a web interface (e.g. 192.168.1.1 in a web browser). The included disc just accesses that interface and make setup easier (encryption). If you know you way around the web interface, the disc is un-necessary.

There are a lot of people out there that think Apple routers are much better for use with an Apple product, that is a false statement.
 

tdhurst

macrumors 601
Dec 27, 2003
4,070
196
Phoenix, AZ
Agreed

Pretty much any wireless router will work with the MBA. I personally use the Linksys E4200, but other brands will work.

As far as the disc, that is intended to make the router setup easier. Pretty much every router I have ever used has a web interface (e.g. 192.168.1.1 in a web browser). The included disc just accesses that interface and make setup easier (encryption). If you know you way around the web interface, the disc is un-necessary.

There are a lot of people out there that think Apple routers are much better for use with an Apple product, that is a false statement.
Agreed with that last line. Technically, Apple routers are no different than their competitors.

However, Apple's tend to be easiest to set up, if only because the UI is pretty and simple looking.
 

urkel

macrumors 68030
Nov 3, 2008
2,748
792
I use an Apple Time Capsule 2011. With the Air I thought it would be a perfect match because I could use it for extra storage also, but the wireless speeds are ridiculous. I get about 4-10/Mbs up and down even when 5ft away which is pretty slow so Im considering another brand.
 

austinguy23

macrumors 6502a
Oct 8, 2008
613
8
Get the Apple Extreme. Longer reach, better throughout, etc. than the Express. It's the best router I've ever used. Haven't had to reset it in the 2 years I've owned it.

Also Apple devices tend to have issues with non-Apple routers.
 

Xgm541

macrumors 65816
May 3, 2011
1,088
761
I got the extreme and it works wonderfully.

Prior to the extreme I had some asus wireless N router with dd-wrt on it. It was great except it wasnt dual band and I have 2 devices on my network using wireless G. Therefore all my devices were stuck on wireless G speeds. It was okay until I got 25/25mbps internet and i was bottlenecked.

Extreme has wireless N, configures even via iphone, and is dual band. Great companion to my air.
 

max pl

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2010
180
3
if you really want to spend $180 on a router, go ahead and listen to some of these posts.

if you want the same performance and stability for much, much less, pick up a cisco e3000 or e4200 and toss tomato or ddwrt on there and youre good to go. both extremely simple to install.

do no, however, get one of these routers and run stock firmware as you'd be better off getting one of the apple routers instead.

I got the extreme and it works wonderfully.

Prior to the extreme I had some asus wireless N router with dd-wrt on it. It was great except it wasnt dual band and I have 2 devices on my network using wireless G. Therefore all my devices were stuck on wireless G speeds. It was okay until I got 25/25mbps internet and i was bottlenecked.

Extreme has wireless N, configures even via iphone, and is dual band. Great companion to my air.
dual band is the difference between 2.4 and 5 ghz. 802.11n can operate at both of these frequencies and is backwards compatible with 802.11g, so if your router is set for N, devices that support N run at N speeds, and those that only support G run at lower speeds on the 2.4ghz band.
 
Last edited:

SprSynJn

Guest
Sep 15, 2011
362
1
Japan
I'm not sure if they are offered outside Japan, but Buffalo routers are some of the best I've ever used. Last time I checked, Americans could get them at Fry's Electronics, but that was several years ago.