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

Best Router Search Issue


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pigoo3

 
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I don't know what the problem is...maybe I'm losing it.

I'm thinking about getting a new wireless router for home...so I was searching the forums for recent wireless router recommendations threads. I know that there was one of these threads in probably the last month or 2...but I can't find it.

I tried searches using:

- best router
- router recommendation
- wireless router
- router
- good router

Can anyone help me find this thread...I know that there was one router that seemed to be used by a fair number of members...but I can't remember the brand & model.

Thanks,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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bobtomay

 
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At least myself, cwa and kash use the D-Link DIR-655. Believe we all picked it out independently at about the same time 2-3 years ago now. You'll get a good recommendation from at least the 3 of us.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
At least myself, cwa and kash use the D-Link DIR-655. Believe we all picked it out independently at about the same time 2-3 years ago now. You'll get a good recommendation from at least the 3 of us.
Bob,

That's probably the router that was most mentioned in the thread I was looking for...and I remember you, kash, and cwa having it.

I don't know why I wasn't able to find the old thread when searching...and I REALLY didn't want to start another "What is the best router thread?"

By the way...I'm going to look up the specs on the D-Link DIR-655...but in case I can't verify...two questions (just did some searching):

- Do you know off hand if it supports "WDS"?
- Do you know if it supports 802.11b?

The D-Link website seems to mention more than once that it's backwards compatible with 802.11g...but doesn't seem to be super clear on 802.11b. I have too many old Mac's with 802.11b to not have a "b" compliant router.

Thanks alot,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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bobtomay

 
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I've gone looking for some of those threads in the past also and been unable to find them. Bet there's at least half a dozen of them where all 3 of us have chimed in.

Don't know about WDS. I ran 100' Cat5E through the attic from it to my TC at the other end of the house when I set them up.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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pigoo3

 
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What I'm trying to do is, connect an older Airport Extreme Base Station (the "flying saucer" type) as a wireless bridge...getting it's wireless signal from my "Main" Belkin router.

If both routers supported WDS...then the setup would be much easier. The Belkin doesn't have WDS...but the older Airport Extreme Station does.

There's supposed to be a router firmware flashing program called DD-WRT (for compatible routers)...but this is only supposed to be used/needed on the router that is acting as the bridge:

How To Turn An Old Router Into A Wireless Bridge

DD-WRT Tutorial 2: Extend Range with WDS - www.wi-fiplanet.com

Since the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station already supports WDS...it doesn't need to be flashed (and it isn't in the compatible router list for DD-WRT either).

As can be seen in the first link above using two non-Apple routers...what I want to do should be "doable"...but since the router that I'm using as the wireless bridge is an Apple product...the instructions don't directly apply...so I have to experiment until I get it right...but it's a pain in the neck!!!

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Jrmiller

 
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there are 2 things that i just cant get away from

1. my macbook
2. my linksys wrt54g

upgrade the firmware and your golden.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jrmiller View Post

upgrade the firmware and your golden.
I'm not quite sure I understand what you're saying. Only the firmware on the router acting as the bridge needs to be updated (according to one of the links).

In this case I'm using an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station as my wireless bridge...which is not a supported router for the DD-WRT firmware update...and the Airport router already supports WDS.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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dtravis7

 
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Pigoo, all routers have Firmware and many times updates are released to fix bugs in that firmware. Linksys, Dlink, Netgear all release new Firmware from time to time. That is what he was referring to and he was talking about his Linksys WRT54G. I use a WRT54GL (L for Linux).

Of all the new N routers I have seen, I back Bob, CWA and others that the DLink DIR-655 is an excellent router and probably one of the finest N routers on the market.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Pigoo, all routers have Firmware and many times updates are released to fix bugs in that firmware. Linksys, Dlink, Netgear all release new Firmware from time to time.
Thanks. I understand the firmware updating procedure.

In this case there is a "special" firmware update for routers (not a firmware update from the manufacturer)...which is a special firmware update to make older (or maybe newer routers as well) DD-WRT compatible.

See this link:

Supported Devices - DD-WRT Wiki

DD-WRT is something that somehow enables a router to act like it's WDS compatible (which Apple router products already have built in).

Then the DD-WRT firmware updated router can act like a wireless bridge for extending a wireless network or for setting up a wireless print server.

So the response from "Jrmiller" was a bit confusing & brief...as to what he meant.

When trying to do what I'm doing this link:

How To Turn An Old Router Into A Wireless Bridge

...says that only the router to be used as the wireless bridge needs to be firmware updated with the DD-WRT firmware update. I'm trying to use a Apple Airport Extreme Base Station as my "wireless bridge". Since it's already WDS capable...it does not need a firmware update (plus it's not on the DD-WRT firmware update list).

This is why I was confused by what "Jrmiller" was referring to.

- Nick

p.s. bobtomay mentioned above that he ran an ethernet cable to his attic to extend his network. What I'm trying to do is very similar...except what I'm doing is trying to eliminate the hassle of running the ethernet cable...and do everything wirelessly.

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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dtravis7

 
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I know all about DD-WRT. Your wording seemed you did not understand firmware updates. Sorry.

I DOUBT in all caps that DD-WRT will ever be made for the Apple AE or any Apple router. They can not even be accessed with the Airport Utility. Check the list on the DD-WRT site. I turned 2 Linksys Newer WRT54G's here into DD-WRT and they do everything and much better than the new WRT54G could ever do with it's stock firmware. Access Point, Bridge, Repeater and many other options. I found an WRT54G for $5 at a thrift store and flashed it. Excellent Wireless Bridge!!!

If you live in a place like I do where you can't run cable all over the place, the Wireless bridge is so cool and the price was right! I have found many of the WRT54G's at thrift stores here for $5-7 in perfect shape!

Jrmiller was mentioning flashing his WRT54G's firmware. Not sure if he meant new Linksys (Cisco) or DD-WRT firmware.

One more quick thing, Many here including CWA and I really feel the Airport Extreme is overpriced for what it does and it's firewall is poor with no Stateful Packet Inspection, the Firewall to me is a toy. I am not saying this to hurt anyone but to help. For $180 not having more than NAT redirection REALLY rubs me the wrong way! I would own an AE if it had that one missing feature.

If you saw the Firewall Appliance I use, it makes any routers Firewall look sad.
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post

I DOUBT in all caps that DD-WRT will ever be made for the Apple AE or any Apple router. They can not even be accessed with the Airport Utility. Check the list on the DD-WRT site. I turned 2 Linksys Newer WRT54G's here into DD-WRT and they do everything and much better than the new WRT54G could ever do with it's stock firmware. Access Point, Bridge, Repeater and many other options. I found an WRT54G for $5 at a thrift store and flashed it. Excellent Wireless Bridge!!!

If you live in a place like I do where you can't run cable all over the place, the Wireless bridge is so cool and the price was right! I have found many of the WRT54G's at thrift stores here for $5-7 in perfect shape!

Jrmiller was mentioning flashing his WRT54G's firmware. Not sure if he meant new Linksys (Cisco) or DD-WRT firmware.
Aah...my head is exploding trying to get this stuff to work...and I knew this would happen. It always does (for me) when trying to do home networking with a combination of Apple & non-Apple hardware.

As far as the DD-WRT & Apple products. It seemed to me when I was reading various articles...that most "consumer-level" wireless routers do not support WDS...and the firmware flash with the DD-WRT basically enables lower cost/consumer level routers to act like a wireless bridge (if the router supports the DD-WRT firmware flash).

When it comes to Apple products...since they (at least the Airport Extreme Bas Station I have) support WDS...then they don't need to be firmware flashed with DD-WRT because the Apple Airport Extreme base station already has WDS built in...so it's already capable of acting as a wireless bridge.

I think where I'm stuck is...I have a Belkin wireless "n" router as my "main" router. According to the one article I linked above, the "main" router does not need to be flashed with the DD-WRT firmware...just the 2nd router used as the wireless bridge. I happen to be using an Airport Extreme Base Station as my "2nd router" the old "Flying Saucer" type...and since it already supports WDS...it does not need to be flashed (plus there is no DD-WRT firmware for it anyway).

So basically it seems that I cannot get the Airport base station properly configured to act as a wireless bridge.

Just to make things more complicated. I do have a 2nd option. Some time ago I purchased a Linksys WET54G Wireless-G Ethernet bridge which I can't get configured correctly either. The plan was to connect a Buffalo USB Print Server to the Linksys WET54G...and plug my USB laser printer into the Buffalo.

It would be pretty awesome if I could find a Linksys WRT54G in my local thrift stores for under $10 bucks...and flash it!

I'm pretty much about to give up on this project...wasting a whole Saturday on it is MUCH more of an investment of time than I wanted.

Maybe someone's head will explode reading this post!!!

- Nick

p.s. In case it isn't clear...my project is to get my older USB laser printer to print wirelessly on the 1st floor of my home. Currently the laser printer is in my basement connected to one of my desktop computers...so I have to go into my basement to print from my MacBook Pro (plug the USB laser printer into my MBP) to print...rather than wirelessly on the 1st floor.

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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dtravis7

 
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Nick, does not the manual on the AE tell how to make it a WB? Let me be sure before I do some digging. Do you own the new N Airport Extreme Base Station and not the older AEBS? If so I will see what I can find and get back to you.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dtravis7 View Post
Nick, does not the manual on the AE tell how to make it a WB? Let me be sure before I do some digging. Do you own the new N Airport Extreme Base Station and not the older AEBS? If so I will see what I can find and get back to you.
Here's what I have:

- As my "main" router: a Belkin Wireless Pre-N Router model #F5D8230-4



- As my "wireless bridge: I'm using an Apple Airport Extreme Base Station



I purchased the Airport Extreme Base Station used...so I didn't get a manual. But I have been using various Apple online documents such as this one:

AirPort Utility 5.1 Help: Extending the range of your wireless network

And the main reason I wanted to use the Airport Base Station as my "wireless bridge" is because it has a USB port on it to connect my USB laser printer to.

Thanks for all the help,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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