Skip to Content
Skip to Table of Contents

← Previous Article Next Article →

ATPM 15.07
July 2009





Download ATPM 15.07

Choose a format:


by Mark Tennent,

Suggestions Requested for Router Replacement

According to behavioural scientists, it takes three days for people to settle down after a major event. As we have just returned from beautiful Brittany, three days is a gross underestimation. It takes us about six months or until the next holiday.

What a beautiful part of the world is Brittany, with long, white sandy beaches and rocky coves rivalling the best in the world. The English Channel turns deep blue, and everywhere are the fruits of the sea with oysters and shellfish so fresh and cheap you just have to gorge yourself. (Didn’t notice any “other” benefits of eating oysters.)

What do we come back to? More of the same sums it up. Our new Netgear router, a DGN2000 to replace the brand new Netgear DG834G we bought a few weeks ago, is doing the same as the last one: the wireless networks become hit and miss. This time we have found the problem if not the solution. Often we open our laptops and find the networks are there but won’t let us on unless we reboot the router, and then only sometimes.

The router can run up to four separate wireless networks at one time. We have to run two of them because of recent changes in wifi data encryption so that our old iBook, which cannot connect using WPA2-PSK, has its own WEP network. Meanwhile our newer MacBook gets up to “n” speeds and uses WPA2-PSK.

Reading the on-screen messages and using sniffers, the networks lose their “identity”; their names vanish leaving a blank where the broadcast name should be. Other times, the WPA2 networks starts demanding a WEP password.

The DG834G just wasn’t up to managing a network with four or more computers—even two were pushing its capabilities. If one Mac was sending or receiving via FTP, it hogged the whole bandwidth no matter what we did to the router’s QoS settings. Similarly with transferring files across the network. Our Linksys WAG54GS isn’t compatible with BT’s C21 MSLAMs at our local exchange, and our DLink 604+ is ADSL1/802.11b slow. Both routers, on the other hand, have excellent wireless routers that gave zero difficulties for years.

All suggestions for a replacement router requested.

Also in This Series

Reader Comments (7)

Stuart Dootson · July 3, 2009 - 06:19 EST #1
I've used Belkin wireless routers (g and n) and they've been rock-solid with my Apple hardware (and PS3 and Niintendo Wii - it's just Windows laptops that have trouble).

I think this is the one I currently use - I upgraded recently so I could make use of 802.11n when the PS3 and Wii are turned off (as they're g and drag the network down to g). Two thumbs up, anyway!
Bradley Dichter · July 3, 2009 - 11:16 EST #2
I've had many different brands of routers and they die far quicker than any other peripheral. I've had the longest life with D-Link routers, wired and wireless. I now have the DIR-655 (I picked it for it's top speed throughput) and they now have a dual band router, the DIR-825 so you can keep the MacBook at the n only 5 GHz range and keep the slower g units on the cluttered 2.4 GHz range.

I just looked, the 2 routers you mentioned have built-in DSL modems, the D-Links I mention do not. That's a bit unusual in my experience to combine these things. As your Macs are dropping the signals, make sure there are no 2.4 GHz cordless phones in the house. They will conflict even when not actively in use.

They do have one that has the DSL modem inside, but the wireless part is not too fancy. DSL-2640B
G. Watson · July 3, 2009 - 12:55 EST #3
After wandering in the wilderness of non-Apple routers,
I bought my first Apple Extreme 'G' base station last year. I then upgraded it with the Extreme 'N' router. A few months ago, It started losing it's connection to the Motorola Surfboard Cable modem. A clean reinstall of the router's software via my G5 tower did the trick. I can see 3 other networks in my neighborhood now.
Joe Anonymous · July 3, 2009 - 22:21 EST #4
I've had trouble with Dlink and Belkin routers. Since I switched to Apple routers, everything has worked fine. I think I had to reboot the routher once in a year or so.
Ken · July 4, 2009 - 15:53 EST #5
Name a wireless router, I've got it laying around in a box. IMHO they fall between junk and c**p. Over a year ago I purchased a Apple AirPort, best thing I've ever done, very close to zero (0) problems, awesome range, It Just Works. Cost more hell yes, worth every penny in saving frustration.
Dave · July 6, 2009 - 01:26 EST #6
I own various models of Airport (Snow, Extreme, Time Capsule. Express X2) with only one failure (my original blue model... died about two years ago) all are very reliable and the Airport Utility is a joy to use. Once you buy one, you will never by another brand again. Last month I installed a wireless backbone for a local private school... with three dual channel Airport Extremes: this is an AWESOME solution.

Locations are work, home, business, rental home, vacation home and the Express-N is for streaming music from my iTunes.
O. M. · September 4, 2009 - 22:09 EST #7
I've been working with a private school for a few months on their network... just last week I vowed I would NEVER buy a linksys or cisco router EVER AGAIN. I finally gave in for personal use and bought an Extreme "N" JUST BEFORE they switched to dual-band... rather annoying, thinking now, I should've taken it back and paid the restocking fee if nothing else... oops...
Hands down, with the two new firmware updates, it now does everything I want it to do. (My problem before the second most recent update was: when I would unplug the station at night (paranoid about the waves/sleep-loss etc.), when I plugged it back in the morning, it would remember all my settings, EXCEPT the name of the network... well, they solved that issue, and I am as happy as ever, and the only machine with "N" capability is the new desktop anyway (none of the laptops are new enough)... so... get the dual-band... the reliability, the technology, and the ease of configuration (bridge mode for a purely static IP LAN took a second to get the hang of, but after initial set-up i haven't even glanced at any literature) all make it a pleasurable experience to turn on.

Add A Comment

 E-mail me new comments on this article