Router compatibility

I currently have a d-link dl-624 “g” router, and have been having a lot of problems with dropped connections, and poor range in our rather large house. I do have one repeater, but overall, with laptops, full house coverage is poor. I was thinking of upgrading to an 802.11n router, either dlink or other. Would that still be compatible with the “g” adaptors I currently have, and most importantly, would it communicate with my one apple computer, an IMac G5 with airport? What router seems to have the greatest range? Is there a way to boost the range of the router I now have, if compatibility problems will exist?

Hold off on buying any “pre-n” gear if you can - there’s no guarantee that what you buy now will be compatible with official 802.11n, once that standard’s been settled on.

As I mentioned in another thread here recently, the current crop of Linksys routers do not play well with Macs. Specifically, a setup wizard is required, and the wizard only runs on Windows. If you can set the device up with a Windows PC, it’ll be just fine with the Macs, however.

How large is large? You may be better off running Cat5 to strategic locations and setting up access points in infrastructure mode, rather than ad-hoc repeaters or attempting to mess with antennas.

While you can usually add aftermarket antennas to routers, it’s a two-way street. Just because the router can push more signal strength into the air, doesn’t mean your laptops will be able to do the same. A higher-gain directional antenna may help, but don’t expect miracles.

Sorry, but I don’t have anything positive to say about the D-link routers. Any time I’ve had problems with setting up a wireless network, or have continuous problems with dropped connections or limited areas, they’ve been with the D-link series. I’ve found that the Linksys stuff works very well, and has a higher level of connection quality, easier set-up, and fewer “mysterious” problems.

If I were you, I’d borrow a Linksys from a friend, or test one out in your house, and see if your problems disappear.

I also agree with the previous poster regarding the “draft-N” standard.

I have lots of PC’s, but only one Mac, which belongs to my wife, and because of this connectivity must be maintained at all costs. The one computer hard wired into the router will be a PC, so I assume I will have no problem setting it up. I know all the companies have an “extended range” router out there. Is it worthwhile to purchase one of those?

I hadn’t even thought of the fact that an antenna at the router is one way, and won’t improve connectivity from the laptop end. This is why I have to ask questions here, because I don’t always think things through well.

The house is 140 feet long, and the current router is at one extreme end. Of course, to get elsewhere in the house the signal has to traverse multiple walls, sometimes even exterior walls. Even so, it seems like range in limited.

The indoor range of 802.11g is only about 100 feet, and intervening walls between the router and card only make it worse.

And I always assumed that the 100 feet was a radius with the router antenna in the center. I bet it is really a diameter.

What wizzard? Has linksys changed how these work? Just connect the mac to a wired port of the router to set channels and WEP keys and such via the web based interface.

the difficulty my linksys router was having was one of passwords and encryption. the encryption setting needed 26 character password from the mac, but a ten character password for the p.c. once the router was set for wep40/128-bit hex, i was able to use the same ten character password for both machines.

No dice with the latest hardware version. Over a wired connection, I was able to access the router’s admin page and plug in all the settings for channels, keys, DNS, etc, but it just wouln’t work. Nevermind the wireless, it wouldn’t pass any traffic at all until I realized they were serious when they put a sticker over the jacks on the device saying the CD must be run first. :mad:

The difference here is probably that the Mac was using the hexadecimal representation of the passphrase (is it should) and the software for your p.c. was using an ASCII representation but presenting it as hex. Be aware that Wired Equivlent Privacy is a compromised method of authentication and encryption; either you should change the keys regularly (like once a day, or automagically via a RADIUS server), use a tunnelling protocol like IPsec or SSH to a secure server, or not transmit any critical information (login passwords, credit card info, private email, et cetera) in plaintext across the Wi-Fi network. (Since all of this is kind of high end geek stuff, the latter is really the only option available to average users at this point.)

As far as the OP, pre-N or 802.11n-compliant routers won’t do a damn thing for your AirPort-equipped Mac. It should be nominally backward compliant with 802.11b/g adapters but I’ve had numerous problems with using pre-N routers with standard 802.11g adapters. (Apple, for all their issues, at least adheres stringently to compliance with standards. The same cannot be said for other Wi-Fi hardware manufacturers.)

As for boosting performance, you’ll have to get into third-party firmware. I don’t know about the DI-624, but with the Linksys WRT54GL (among others) you can flash the factory firmware and replace it with something like DD-WRT. You have to know something about Linux, though, or be prepared for the painful process of learning.