802.11g Router Suggestions?

Posted by: Topper

802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:07 AM

I have a 12" PowerBook with Apple's Airport Extreme 802.11g card.<br><br>I need a powerful router to work with the PowerBook.<br>My Mac Pro is downstairs attached to a cable modem. <br>My PowerBook is upstairs. <br>Any router recommendations? <br><br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:33 AM

Linksys WRT54G-L<br><br>Make sure you get the "L" version. Then you can replace the firmware with DD-WRT, and do all kinds of advanced things, like controlling radio transmit times and even boost the output power. It's a great little router.<br><br>Actually you can replace the firmware of the latest version, but the firmware isn't as advanced as the one you can put on the "L" model. Also the L model has removeable antennas so you can put high gain models on it, the regular WRT-54G has antennas you can't remove.<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: Topper

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:35 AM

Thank you very much.<br><br><br>
Posted by: FSM

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:49 AM

why not recommend an Airport base station? <br><br>i use an airport in the basement with my Mac Pro and we have 4 wireless machines upstairs that get the reception just fine. <br><br>Airport also plays nicely with Apple (e.g., back to my Mac), etc.*<br><br><br><br>*except for me . . . back to my mac fails miserably when i am away from home. <br><br>
Posted by: Pete

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:50 AM

Because an Airport isn't $50 after rebate. <br><br>
Posted by: Jashue

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 07:54 AM

Why not get an 802.11N router? Backwards compatibility isn't an issue-- and your 12" Powerbook won't last forever. Think about your next machine and all the potential that lies with its WiFi card!<br><br>I'm very pleased with my new Airport base station (aside from the fact that I cannot yet use Time Machine to back up to an airdisk). The file transfer speeds are dramatically faster than they were with my old Airport-- and the range is far better too.<br><br>
Posted by: Topper

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:00 AM

Point well taken, thank you.<br><br>When you say the file transfer speeds are dramatically faster and the range is far better, are you talking about 802.11n or 802.11g?<br><br><br>
Posted by: Jashue

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:02 AM

N<br><br>I'll see if I can dig up the tests that I ran myself regarding transfer speeds...<br><br>Edit: Here. Not the most scientific tests, but they're mine!<br><br> <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by Jashue on 02/26/08 11:09 AM (server time).</EM></FONT></P>
Posted by: Mississauga

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:05 AM

I always recommend Apple's AEBS 'cause it just works!!! The included software relieves a lot of stress managing wireless networks and is in typical Apple fashion - easy to set up and use.<br><br>- alec -
Posted by: FSM

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:08 AM

oh, forgive me for not seeing that Topper asked for the cheapest. the guy is spending a bazillion on his Mac Pro and video card . . . or is his video card and Mac Pro. <br><br>
Posted by: Topper

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:08 AM

Thank you, Alec.<br><br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:09 AM

Well for one you can't hack the airport easily and turn it into a $600 commercial router like you can the Linksys. ;)<br><br>Secondly, the Linksys plays fine with Macs and is $100 cheaper. While it's true the Airport is currently 802.11n, but since he doesn't have an n client, that doesn't matter.<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: FSM

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:14 AM

i have 2 broken linksys routers sitting here so i am pretty much done with them. they have had times when their support for Macs was quite lacking -- perhaps it's good now, or perhaps your hack makes it unnecessary. <br><br>forgive my ignorance, but what i am missing by using the Airport base station and not the hacked Linksys? what will the "commercial" router do?<br><br>
Posted by: Pete

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:17 AM

You're forgiven.<br><br>Anyway, I've had 2 different Linksys routers for about 7 years now (first one was hard-wired, upgraded to the 2nd one which was wireless) and they've never had a problem running a home network with 2 Macs, 2 PCs, a Wii and an Airport Express. <br><br>So why spend $120 more for the Apple name? Personally, I didn't see the point. <br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:24 AM

You won't get increased speeds with an N router unless you also have an N client.<br><br>Of course, you can hack the Linksys N routers too, I believe. ;)<br><br>Also, take into consideration what you're going to be doing with this. If you're just surfing the web, then wireless G is far faster than any internet connection you can get. If you're going to be copying gigabyte sized files between computers, then go for wireless N, but you'll also have to buy a new airport card for the laptop.<br><br>Alternatively, you could get an airport card for the Mac Pro and just share the 'net connection using point to point. Easier and cheaper still.<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:34 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>forgive my ignorance, but what i am missing by using the Airport base station and not the hacked Linksys? what will the "commercial" router do?<p><hr></blockquote><p>The DD-WRT firmware (which BTW is available for many routers now, not just the WRT-54's) just has overall more robust security, DMZ options, time scheduling (i.e. turn the radio off in the wee hours of the night to save electricity), adjusting radio power output, etc... features that are in the chipset of the router (and likely in the airport too since it uses Broadcom chipsets), but aren't enabled by default.<br><br>In actuality you're probably not missing anything because you probably wouldn't use those features to begin with. But there are a lot of features I use, like the radio scheduling, that are just nice to have.<br><br>Although, it does make the router more reliable too.<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: Topper

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:43 AM

I was pretty sure Jashue was talking about N but I had to make sure.<br>The only thing I am concerned about is the range. Can the card find the router between floors.<br><br><br><br>
Posted by: Jashue

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 08:57 AM

I've got an 800 G4 iMac upstairs that gets its internet connection from my APE. No problems-- aside from the fact that the machine itself seems underpowered in every way a machine can be underpowered (next to my new MBP it seems unusable). Funny how fast I remember it being when it was new! Funny how spoiled we get!<br><br>But to answer your question specifically... yes<br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 09:01 AM

Well as an example, I have 2 of the linksys routers, hacked them both with DD-WRT and run in WDS mode, one in my house, one in my in-laws garage 300 feet away, and then was able to get 4-5 bars in the airport menu of an original airport equipped ibook in their house which was about 200 feet from the router. That was running in mixed B/G mode, if you force the router to G only, signal strength just about doubles.<br><br>That's the nice thing about the DD-WRT firmware though, you can put the routers in WDS mode which lets them talk router to router and use one as an access point.<br><br>Also, my wii is on the opposite end of the house from the router, on the same floor.. but it's going through about 8 walls and the signal meter in DD-WRT is telling me 42% on the signal. <br><br>If I'd put high gain antennas on it, that would probably increase dramatically. I think the airport base has an antenna port, but I'm not sure.<br><br><br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 09:11 AM

Does the base station have a port to add an external high gain antenna?<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: Jim_

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 09:33 AM

The range boosting hack makes me laugh. It's just a geek pissing contest. If the computer isn't range boosted also you'll only get the enhanced speed one way, from the router to the computer. It won't improve computer to computer or computer to router transfer as the computers are only able to transmit at stock strength. If the computer is too far away, it may be able to pick up but may not be strong enough to adequately transfer back. Now if you had another boosted linksys acting as an access point to the computer it would help.<br><br>------> JD's Trivia game<br><br>------> MCF-MM Trivia game
Posted by: Jashue

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 09:46 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>Does the base station have a port to add an external high gain antenna?<br><p><hr></blockquote><p>Nope.<br><br>I don't seem to have suffered for it though. This router is everything I need (aside from that firmware update necessary to use Time Machine with an air disc).<br><br>
Posted by: SgtBaxter

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 10:18 AM

It's not "range boosting", you're simply increasing the signal to noise ratio between the router and client within the router's range. The router typically has a higher gain receiving antenna than the client.<br><br><br><br>Hey I'm an F'n Jerk!
Posted by: MacBozo

Re: 802.11g Router Suggestions? - 02/26/08 03:14 PM

I'm running a dLink WBR-2310. I've had to fine tune the network settings, but it has been remarkably stable (the wireless side) since I tweaked the settings. My wife's Mini is connected wirelessly (802.11g) from about 40 feet away with multiple walls between. My G4 FrankenMac is hard wired and my father-in-law's Powerbook is also hard wired. It's probably not the best router around, but it is working well for me.<br><br><br>
Posted by: Topper

Thank you, Everyone - 02/26/08 04:04 PM

I really appreciate your suggestions.<br><br><br>