Router Suggestion

  • Posted: 18 September 2009 06:43 PM

    My current setup is an old Belkin G router with the wireless turned off. I have Ethernet out going to an Airport Express which gives me wireless. I’m not sure why, but I think the old Belkin is taking a crap. I keep having to power it off all too often. I recently updated my dsl to 6.0 Mbps, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not.
    I have my xbox, imac, and Directv hooked up via ethernet to the Belkin. I use the airtunes feature on the Express. My wife has a MB and I use my work PC at home some.
    So, I’m in the market for a new router. Should I just get a new wired router-it seems so antiquated. I’m leaning toward an Airport Extreme. I have read about gigabit and am still confused. Will I see some benefit from that? Should I just buy a $60 N wireless router and let my express be a client so I can use the airtunes feature? I also have another express in another part of the house-it would be nice to have this act as an extender instead of just a client.
    Is anyone using a hard disk connected to the extreme for TM backups?  Does the hdd stay mounted and rejoin on restarts?
    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

         
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    Posted: 01 October 2009 11:54 PM #1

    I recently bought a Linksys 610N and love it, although I hear the 310N is also a great product.

    Gigabit internet will help your connection bandwidth between devices in your house, but not really for your internet connection.  Even your wireless bandwidth is greater than the dsl 6 Mbps.

    I have an express that connects wirelessly to the 610N as a client.  It works great.  You may also be able to set up WDS in the router’s configuration, which allows the routers to extend the wireless range.  I remember a while back with the 54gs, there was a whole rigamorerole you had to go through to get it working, but these problems may have been ironed out in further Linksys software.  You should google “airport express wds [router model]” though before you buy to make sure.

    I can’t comment on the Airport Extreme backup options.

         
  • Posted: 02 October 2009 12:08 PM #2

    I have an Airport Extreme, and it’s been great. Unfortunately, my Time Machine backup drive is Firewire and the Airport only has USB2, so I can’t comment on how that works. I was surprised at the strength of the signal though. I have the airport in my attic, and I get a full strength signal in the basement (my house is 2 floors, plus full attic and full basement). Even out in my backyard, about 100-150ft away, I only lose 1 bar of signal strength.

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    Posted: 11 October 2009 08:39 PM #3

    brokentry - 18 September 2009 09:43 PM

    My current setup is an old Belkin G router with the wireless turned off. I have Ethernet out going to an Airport Express which gives me wireless. I’m not sure why, but I think the old Belkin is taking a crap. I keep having to power it off all too often. I recently updated my dsl to 6.0 Mbps, so I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or not.
    I have my xbox, imac, and Directv hooked up via ethernet to the Belkin. I use the airtunes feature on the Express. My wife has a MB and I use my work PC at home some.
    So, I’m in the market for a new router. Should I just get a new wired router-it seems so antiquated. I’m leaning toward an Airport Extreme. I have read about gigabit and am still confused. Will I see some benefit from that? Should I just buy a $60 N wireless router and let my express be a client so I can use the airtunes feature? I also have another express in another part of the house-it would be nice to have this act as an extender instead of just a client.
    Is anyone using a hard disk connected to the extreme for TM backups?  Does the hdd stay mounted and rejoin on restarts?
    Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks.

    Some good discussion in previous posts.  I’m in a similar situation.  I have a Dlink router running 80211.g with several G devices a couple B devices and the Xbox 360 running via ethernet.  As I’m sure you understand ethernet can run on a number of standards 10,100, 1000 and the cabling matters.  Fiber, Cat 5 two wire or Cat 5 4 wire.  So if you are running 1000 you need cat 5 4 wire or fiber.  That said faster is always better for future proofing but if you have to run new cable that is a royal pain.  I am slowly moving toward wireless, but G does not have the bandwidth or coverage I need.  I am looking at the Extreme because of the dual band G/N which will meet my current device requirements without killing the N devices.  I tried wireless G on the 360, but had trouble hosting games so I went and ran the cable.  As far as the backup I run my disk direct to my main machine so not much help

         
  • Posted: 02 November 2009 02:28 PM #4

    A quick tip: If you use Time Machine to a networked hard drive (ie. Time Capsule or a USB drive on an AirPort Extreme base) I strongly recommend that you connect via Ethernet for your first backup. It can take a long, long time over wireless because it has to do an initial backup of your entire computer, plus there can be problems later if the initial backup is interrupted.

         
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    Posted: 03 November 2009 09:26 PM #5

    I have an Airport Extreme and recommend it for your situation. The extra $$ up front will more than repay you with years of service and integrated features, especially if you have Apple Care on one of your macs, which extends to the AE.  I have my AE connected to a USB hub, with a 500gb time machine drive to backup my main mac’s 500gb, and a 750gb drive to backup the other macs in the house. The AE serves up my DSL to an Express in the wife’s office which splits to a gigabit router for her stuff (Mac/printer). It also bridges to an old saucer AE in the finance desk for internet on the first floor.

    For you, the AEBS will let you connect a USB backup drive for time machine and file serving, connect both your Express’ over WDS, and consolidate on Apple network hardware. Check out Apple’s refurb accessories page on the online store for a $129 deal. I used to have linksys and dlink router/wifi hardware sprinkled in, but have had no network flakiness for years with this setup.

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