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Airport vs. Linksys

#1 User is online   budopo 

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Posted 21 November 2005 - 04:38 PM

I'm about to set up a WiFi network at home, and was wondering if there are any reasons to get an Airport Extreme base station when other companies like Linsys, etc have comparable (if not better) routers for considerably less money. I'd like to stick with Apple products, so I thought I'd post here to get some input.
TIA
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#2 User is offline   pdrayton 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 02:59 AM

Your choice among Apple routers is:
Airport Extreme Base Station
Airport Express

I chose the Airport Express due to its very small size and its ability to stream my iTunes music wirelessly to my stereo. Setup of Airport networks is a breeze, too.
Plus, have you seen a Linksys router? Compared to Apple products they are monstrosities.
I get excellent coverage in my home with Airport Express, really enjoy wirelessly streaming music and I don't have a big ugly boxy router attracting attention. I got things Linksys doesn't offer, I feel I got a good value, so I don't see the Airport Express as being "more expensive".
If ease-of-use, nice design, and additional features are something you'd enjoy then you'll probably find the price of an Airport router a good value, too.
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#3 User is online   budopo 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 08:02 AM

Can you tell me what features the Airport Extreme has that other routers don't? I was in the Apple store yesterday, looking over the $200 base station, then walked into Best Buy across the hall and saw a number of routers for under $60-$80 that seemed to have the same features (in terms of security features and wired eathernet ports).
The Aiport base station has a USB port, which could be handy for peripherals, but I'll have to see if they (mainly my printer) can handle wifi.
Can a thid-party router stream iTunes to an Airport Express hooked to my stereo?
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#4 User is offline   pdrayton 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 08:25 AM

The only router that streams music is Airport Express.
Only you know what's important to you, so far you haven't indicated any desires or needs for what you want from your router.
To see how they differ visit their web sites to compare the tech specs.
Airport Express

Airport Extreme Base Station
Linksys butt-ugly routers /forums/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smirk.gif
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#5 User is offline   d00d 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:44 PM

For what it's worth, except when Apple first introduced Airport, I've never found their router offerings compelling.
Save for the USB port for a printer or the Airtunes, Apple's routers simply don't stand out in my book. The Airport Express lacks any way to share to a wired connection, and the Airport Extreme Base Station has only a single port, requiring a switch if you want to connect multiple devices through ethernet.
Further, Apple is still lacking a MIMO router (I should hope we'll see one at Macworld in January). Belkin, Linksys, D-Link, and Netgear all have their own MIMO solutions that have some pretty impressive range and speed. I personally own a D-Link DI-624, but I've been look at upgrading to a DI-634M or a Netgear WPN824.
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#6 User is offline   d0csp33d 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 01:55 PM

My 2 cents.
I have had other routers like Belkin (the new one with printer port) and D-Link. All of them are good. But they were not compatible with Macs (regarding wireless printing only).
What I have noticed is that the software from the extreme and express bases is far better than the competition, also very easy to setup. Espress base can be use anywhere.
Range comparison. I just replaced my home network from belkin (Main router with usb printer and an access point) to the new Extreme Base and Espress base. I have noticed better connection (not faster). My whole home has signal, but with the previous network I was not having enough signal in some places. (Note: I placed the routers in the exact same place as the previous equiptment)
The only problem is that Apples' bases are more expensive.
Hope this help.
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#7 User is online   budopo 

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Posted 22 November 2005 - 07:47 PM

Thanks for all of the info. From what I've read at various sites, it looks like other routers might have somewhat less dropoff, but it'll still be faster than my ISP speed. I like the Airport's USB port, since that might help unclutter my desk by letting me move my printer elsewhere. It looks like an Airport Extreme plus possibly an Express if the range isn't there (or if my house blocks the signal too much) might be the way to go. Or maybe just the Airport Express. I'm mainly looking for coverage for laptop use in the house and backyard.
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#8 User is offline   pdrayton 

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Posted 23 November 2005 - 05:50 AM

In reply to:

It looks like an Airport Extreme plus possibly an Express if the range isn't there (or if my house blocks the signal too much) might be the way to go. Or maybe just the Airport Express. I'm mainly looking for coverage for laptop use in the house and backyard.


Regarding range, it's true that Airport base stations don't broadcast to as large an area as other routers. But my one Airport Express provides good coverage throughout my 1400 square foot home (and does so from a location near the front of the house). It doesn't give good coverage to my backyard, however. For that I'll be getting an additional Airport Express.
Also, an attractive solution to raising an Airport Express to a higher level (remember, it will be attached to an electrical socket) for even better range is the AirBase. Pretty inexpensive, and before buying you can test to see if raising it up will boost your range by using an extension cord.
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