Would like to upgrade my wireless signal and speed

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by HE15MAN, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. HE15MAN macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
    Florida's Treasure Coast
    #1
    I am running ATT DSL Extreme 3.0 and have a Linksys WRT54G wireless router. I currently only get wireless in approx. half of my house, and the half in which I don't get it, will be needing it. So I am going to need to buy a range extender or wireless access point? I am a college student so I don't have a large budget, but I am looking for advice. Should I stick with Linksys and just buy one of their range extenders, or should I buy an Airport Extreme and hope the N signal is stronger? I am going to be sharing files soon when I get my Mac Mini HTPC setup going on in the living room to this from my other iMac's and MBP.

    In summary, I am just not sure if it would be worth the extra $ for the Airport extreme or if I should just stick with the linksys..

    Thanks!
     
  2. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    #2
    Just get a Linksys Wireless N router. You can get one fairly cheap and it will do what you need to do. If you REALLY NEED the power of the Airport, get a Linksys Wireless N Dual Band Broadband router. It does pretty much EXACTLY what the Airport would do.

    Hope thathelps!!
     
  3. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    Sep 3, 2009
    Location:
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    #3
    Thanks for the prompt response. I am just getting kinda fed up with Linksys and their POS equiptment. I have to reset this router, and their two I have owned before this one at least twice a week, and they also are kinda a pain in the butt to set up, or at least they used to be. Read a lot of people saying how easy the Airport was/is. What makes teh Airport extreme so powerful like you imply?
     
  4. Slowstick macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2008
    #4
    Well, the Airport is Dual Band Wireless-N, etc and does the SAME thing a higher end linksys would do in terms of Wi-Fi. That is essentially what makes the route powerful. One that isn't dual band doesn't quite give the range and speed as one that is.

    And I can understand that you are fed up with your Linksys router, but from my experience over the years, I have found Linksys very reliable. From what I hear with you resetting it, it might be more of a service provider problem or modem problem, but I would need more info. (If your computer "recognizes" or can see the wireless network but doesn't give you an active connection, it is not a router problem or it isn't 99 percent of the time.) A lot can go wrong with a wireless network and it usually isn't the router. I would give your ISP a call.

    Anyway, as for ease of use, Linksys has really made it easy compared to earlier routers. It comes with software, but screw the software. Just plug it in to your modem and your ready to go!

    Airport is no more easier to set up or reliable than a good Linksys router!

    Does that help and do you have more questions?

    Hope that helps!
     
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #5
    if it were me, i would put an airport express, wired via ethernet to your main router, somewhere in the middle or other side of the house.
    If you put it in bridge mode, set up the wireless the same (SSID, wireless type (B/G) and security settings), but different channels, your devices will pick the strongest signal, and switch if you move around.

    for the linksys look at dd-wrt it is a linux based firmware that runs on linksys routers, although you do have to look carefully at your model and version number to see if you can run it, or which version you can run.

    I've been doing this for a while, and had no problems.

    also the 5GHz flavor of wireless N (which doesn't work with B/G) doesn't go through walls well, so your range would probably be worse.
    and the 2.4GHz flavor (which does work with B/G) probably wont see much improvement unless the router haas a stronger radio.
     
  6. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #6
    I would definitely recommend the Dual Link AEBS. It is noticeably faster that my AEBS.

    Cheers
     
  7. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #7
    So I am getting confused. Really all I do need is a wireless access point to increase my signal strength? I figured since I would be in the near future transferring large files wirelessly the N would be better for transfer speeds between the Mac Mini and my iMac. Both of which would be N capable, but I do also need backward compatibility.

    I always thought N signal was stronger and covered a larger distance..
     
  8. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #8
    That is what Wireless-N will do; increase range and strength. If you want it to be backward compatible, get a 2.4GHz Linksys or other main brand router. An AEBS (Airport Extreme Base Station) is 180 dollars and will probably not be necessary. Hope that helps again!
     
  9. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #9
    if you go for the fastest speeds (5GHz N) Your range will be shorter than 2.4GHz (which is what B/G is).
    2.4GHz N is still faster than B/G and will have similar range to what you have now, the airport base station might have a more powerful radio, which will get you a bit more range, but i don't know.

    check out this article. I've also found this to be true about range in my own setup

    or look at what google has to say.

    your fastest option is still hard wired ethernet.
     
  10. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #10
    Although 5GHz is less crowded, I WOULD DEFINITELY GO FOR THE 2.4 GHz SPECTRUM!! Just change the channel and you will be fine.

    And the radio in the AEBS is no more powerful than the radio in a good Linksys router. Just because it has an Apple logo on it doesn't necessarily mean it is better; at least not in terms of networking. :p
     
  11. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #11
    I tohught the Airport Extreme though was A,B,G and N all in one? Apple has it on their site for 150 I believe, which is the same price for the similar of what Linksys offers.
     
  12. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #12
    All 2.4GHz Wireless-N routers are backwards compatible with A,B,G, and of course N. And you can get a Wireless N router for sixty to one hundred bucks from linksys if you really look. I'll try to get you some links.
     
  13. milk242 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #13
    I would probably stick with the linksys router and load up dd-wrt firmware and then increase the power to the radios to see if you can extend your wireless strength.

    Usually re-setting of a router is caused by the modem. My old linksys modem constantly lost connection which caused me to unplug both router and modem then I finally got a new linksys modem and it has been working great.

    If none of that would work for you, you should get another wireless router instead of a range extender and change the router mode to repeater bridge. I would also probably suggest getting the 2nd router hooked up via wired lan because just using wireless to extend a wireless signal halves the bandwith since the radio has to receive the signal from the 1st router and rebroadcast it.
     
  14. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #14
    I had looked into wiring the house, but it is going to be a pain in the butt IMO. Vaulted ceilings make running wires from one side of the house to the other miserable IMO, especially being in the attic in Florida where it is full of bugs and a million degree heat. That is why the wireless IMO would be better. What about the power line adapters ?

    How do I go about getting a newer modem from ATT?
     
  15. milk242 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #15
    Just call ATT up and say you want a new modem and preferably the lastest they have.

    You could try those power line things. Last I tried it was over 4 years ago and I had a crappy experience, but things might have improved since then. Or you could try the moca extenders, they rely on your existing coax wiring in the house and heard they are better (probably should look up reviews for both).
     
  16. rkdiddy macrumors 65816

    rkdiddy

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    #16
    That is correct...the (newest) AEBS is dual band. This means it puts out a signal on 2.4ghz and one on 5.0ghz. These show up as seperate networks on my AEBS (i.e. if the network name was moses - your 2.4 would be "moses" and your 5.0 would be moses (5ghz)). You would then chose the best to connect to.
     
  17. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Some Linksys routers do that as well.
     
  18. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #18
    Ahhh ok I understand. So it isn't any stronger, its just one band is shooting out N and the other the legacy side.
     
  19. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #19
    No. :D

    They are both N but one is on the 5.0GHZ band and the other 2.4GHZ band. Does that make sense?
     
  20. HE15MAN thread starter macrumors 6502a

    HE15MAN

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    #20
    Yes it makes sense, but why different frequencies?
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

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    NYC
    #21
    If you set up an Airport Extreme, you can set up another Extreme or Express as a repeater if you need to extend your signal even more.
     
  22. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #22
    It is a different frequency that isn't disturbed by other household objects like cordless phones, microwaves, vacuums, etc. It also isn't disturbed by the neighbors devices or routers.
     
  23. waw74 macrumors 68030

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    May 27, 2008
    #23
    partially true.

    older G network cards can only receive 2.4GHz

    5GHz can carry data faster due to the higher frequency, but has less "penetrating" power (yes i did say that) when it comes to walls and such, so your range will be shorter. it also has more channels available, so your chances of overlapping a neighbor is less.

    The main reason to do it, is if you are running 2.4 GHz N, and you have one G device connect, then the entire network drops to G speeds. having 2 radios means that if your iphone connects to the G network, your laptop can still get full speed on the N.

    be careful about doing this, each jump you make will cut your bandwidth, the figure i've heard is in half for every jump, so after 2 jumps, anything connecting to the furthest base will only be getting 1/4 speed.
     
  24. Slowstick macrumors 6502

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    Dec 16, 2008
    #24
    It will hurt your speed, but not by 75%. But I would not recommend extending your network with extenders, I would get a GOOD quality Linksys router.
     

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