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View Full Version : New user - wireless router recommendations for Mac



mckenzie
2006-02-09, 16:06
I am considering buying a Squeezebox3 to use with my PowerMac G5 (OS X 10.3) - thanks to Pogue's review in today's NY Times, which I'm sure will generate plenty of sales - but first I need to establish a wireless network. (My computer is too far from my stereo to make a wired connection feasible.)

Can people recommend specific wireless router/switches to use with my planned setup, based on personal experience using a Squeezebox3 with a Mac via wireless?

Ideally I would like to use WPA2 encryption, but I will settle for WPA. Cost of the router is a consideration, but not an overriding one - I will gladly pay more for a superior product.

My internet connection is Verizon DSL via an old Westell DSL modem, which looks to be "plain vanilla" - not a crippled router.

I assume that an Apple Airport Extreme base station would do the job, but it seems overpriced at $200, and doesn't have WPA2. I can deal with something that is a bit fiddly to configure, as long as it works reliably.

David

danco
2006-02-10, 01:19
Airport Extreme certainly works, I've had no trouble with it.

I believe that officially it has WPA2, but that this (or possibly WPA2 on the SB) does not work well, while WPA does work.

stokessd
2006-02-12, 08:35
I've been using linksys routers with a cable modem for years with my macs, unix and pc's. They are cheap and have been very robust for me as well. I am now using aftermarket firmware in mine that allows me to change the broadcast power level as well as adds a bunch of advanced firewalling features.

The linksys has been a plug it in and forget it. I change the ssid and stop broadcasting it as my simple security measure.

I have an airport that I bought a few weeks ago to stream music to my shop and to use as a travel router, and it works well with my squeezebox as well.

jameshavelock
2006-03-13, 09:00
I am using a D-link router and having problems. I asked the tech support guy at Slim Devices and he says that Netgear are the least problematical.

mckenzie
2006-03-13, 11:42
Thanks to those who replied with advice. I am now up and running (and delighted with my Squeezebox).

I started with a Linksys WRT54GL, which worked fine, but didn't have enough range to give a good signal where I wanted to site the Squeezebox, even after an upgrade with the optional high-gain antennas. (I live in an apartment building built in 1926, with very solid plaster-and-lath walls which are absolutely brutal as far as killing wireless signal strength goes. I suspect that there is some chickenwire in there underpinning the lath.)

Based on some web research into routers with superior range and/or that work well through walls, I switched to the Belkin "Pre-N" router, and it has been smooth sailing since. I don't know exactly how much more range it has vs. the Linksys (the Squeezebox is already about as far away as it can be without putting it out in the hall), but it is enough to do the job. The Belkin also looks a lot nicer on my desk - Linksys routers are pretty garish.

The Mac installer was missing from the CD in the box, but I didn't need it - the web config system built into the router works fine, and I was more than sufficiently expert in the fine points of router config after messing around with several different flavors of third-party firmware on the Linksys.