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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Help with wireless router


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Confused

 
Member Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 2
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Hello All,
New to Macs and this forum - so new that I can't seem to find the search field for this subject that has probably been covered many times - my apologies.
Anyway, purchased a Macbook this spring for my daughter as a high school graduation gift. She was so impressed that I recently purchased an IMac to replace my ailing PC. I'm going through the adjustment period of new logic, etc but all's well so far.
My daughter's Macbook accessed the web on startup from my wireless router. Likewise, my iMac came on line immediately while I was transferring data from the PC and I eventually switched the wired ethernet cable directly to the iMac.
We are moving my daughter to college in a couple of weeks. While the center of campus and other select spots are WiFi, her dorm is wired only. I've shopped for a wireless router - preferably a cheap Netgear or Belkin at $40, another by same makers at $80 but specifies compatible with Mac, or an Apple Airport at $99.
Since both the Macbook and iMac went on-line immediately without software installation, I would think the $40 router would suffice although this statement set up a big debate between employees at the office supply store on whether a software-installed "host' computer must first be used before wireless can work on the Apple products. If I were to lean toward the compatible $80 router, then I would be foolish not to go with the certain Apple Airport, but it's all about "sharing" expenditures with the yet-to-be-named roommate who probably has a PC notebook.
I'm trying to avoid the time-consuming trail and error process in the brief window that is allowed move a student in the dorm - just want to get it right the first time.
Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Gene
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jmullenberg

 
Member Since: Apr 27, 2008
Posts: 92
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Mac Specs: MBP 2.5 Intel Core 2 Duo, 2GB 667 MHz DDR2, 17" Hi-Res Display ; iPhone 3G 2.1

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The upsides to the airport express are that you can print wirelessly and stream itunes music to a stereo wirelessly. Also, make sure you are comparing apples to apples (ha ha), by which i mean, the airport is 802.11n while the belkin and the netgear are probably 802.11g....the 802.11n is a newer faster technology with a larger range. Also the airport should work fine with a pc.

You can also purchase the airport express refurbished at the online apple store and save $20 http://store.apple.com/us/product/FB321LL/A

All that aside...the cheaper belkin and netgear models should work fine without any additional software

Also you may wish to set it up at home first, then when you get to the dorm it should be ready to go

"Sure, I could compare PCs to Macs. But I make it a point to never argue about religion."
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Confused

 
Member Since: Jul 23, 2008
Posts: 2
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Thanks for reply, jmullenberg. Now purchasing the airport express seems justified since wireless printing is available and with the probability that the roommate's PC will also work with it. Good idea to do a trail run at home prior to the breakneck move-in - one less frustration. Thanks again.
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