wireless router for mac/pc

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JoshR, Feb 3, 2003.

  1. JoshR

    JoshR Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm trying to get a cross-platform wireless home network up and running. Of course, I'd really prefer not to purchase seperate routers for my mac and pc. If anyone can answer them, my questions are these:

    1)Will an Apple airport base station work with any network card, including ones for PCs, or only Airport cards?

    2) The corollary: Will PC-based access points(like the ones from Linksys, etc.) work with a Mac?

    3) Will a wireless pcmcia card typically work in either machine? If so, does it depend on whether it's an Airport or PC-based access point?

    4) The new Airport comes in two flavors: one is $50 more, and comes with an antenna and modem. Don't all wireless routers need antennae? And would the version with the modem eliminate the need for a seperate cable/dsl modem?

    Hope somebody can enlighten me. [​IMG]
     
  2. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2002
    Messages:
    563
    Likes Received:
    0
    Josh: The cross-platform stuff should work without a hitch. For comparison's sake, Plain Airport is the same as WiFi/801.2b, and AirPort Extreme is the same as 801.2g.

    A Wireless PCMIA card will typically work in either machine, but most new Apple notebooks come with the ability to plop in an AirPort card internally, which leaves nothing sticking out. I'd suggest going with an AirPort/AirPort Extreme card if you end up with any Mac Laptops on your network.

    As far as the base station is concerned, I'd stick with a LinkSys router unless you put a BIG premium on design. The AirPort Extreme is $199/$249 compared with the LinkSys' more reasonable price tag of $129.

    As far as the whole one modem/one without: the version with the modem has a dialup connector added along with the antenna port. The $250 model would only be worth it if you had dialup and/or planned to use computers located a fair distance away from the router. It would NOT eliminate the need for the seperate cable/DSL modem, though a wireless router of either stripe (LinkSys or Apple) DOES allow you to share a single cable/DSL hookup with multiple computers.

    Hope that clears things up a bit. [​IMG]
     
  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  4. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2000
    Messages:
    713
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    Real Name:
    Christian Behrens
    Also, I just read the other day on xlr8yourmac how they made a PC 802.11g card work with a Mac, but you need to be comfortable using the terminal to get the drivers running.

    This is still listed on the front page, so check it out.

    -Christian
     
  5. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    1,806
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the quality of the LinkSys units are suspect, having seen three of them die in our office. If you don't want to spring for the Apple hardware (which we've been using for a year now without a hitch) then I'd recommend getting a D-Link router.
     
  6. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2001
    Messages:
    1,849
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm also not a big fan of Linksys equipment. I've been through a few of their routers, and then I bought a Netgear router and an Apple Base Station. This was over 2 years ago, so the Linksys quaility may have improved, but my current equipment has been working 24/7 for over 2 years.
     
  7. Patrick Larkin

    Patrick Larkin Screenwriter

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Messages:
    1,759
    Likes Received:
    0
    A major concern here is whether the non-Apple base station supports Appletalk. I know when I bought mine, the Linksys dod NOT support Appletalk. (To make it worse, they made it CLEAR on their website they didn't support Apple.)

    Appletalk may or may not be important to you. I had an Apple Laserwriter which needed Appletalk so I needed a base station to support it. Also, if you want EASY file sharing between Macs (including OS 9 based machines) then Appletalk is a must.

    for what its worth, I got the SMC Barricade wireless router. They work great with Appletalk and they have antennas and 3 switched ports. I didn't buy an Apple unit at the time because they were $350. Now that they are more reasonable enough to consider.
     
  8. JoshR

    JoshR Agent

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input, guys.

    Seems like the thing to do is get an Airport base, and then airport cards for the macs and pc cards for the pcs. I'll let you know how it works out. [​IMG]
     
  9. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2000
    Messages:
    693
    Likes Received:
    0
    I recommend Netgear. Either the MR314 or the MR814 can often be had for under $50 via various deals and either are superior to LinkSys units IMO. The MR314, which they consider the pro version of the two, has been around for some time and does support AppleTalk.

    I would also recommend these over an Airport Base station.

    Setup the router well - securely, not basically - and your good to go with the Airport cards in the Macs. Assign the network a unique name, enable 128-bit WEP, enter a password to generate a passkey, set the router to allow only the MAC addresses of your wireless cards, and enter the passkey in your wireless machines for access to the network.
     

Share This Page