Best Wireless Router
Networking your Mac
The best way to prevent networking problems is to set up your network carefully to begin with. The router is the centre of your network. Your broadband connection plugs into it, as do all your computers and network devices. Apple Macs are pretty easy to add to a network. For this you will need a router, or gateway, as the hub of your network and each of your Macs will need to be connected to this either via an ethernet cable or a wireless network adaptor. All Macs come with ethernet sockets for wired networks and the latest models have wireless adaptors built in. If yours does not then read on to find the best wireless router on the market (visit www.which.co.uk ). The Airport Extreme is made by Apple and is therefore Mac-compatible. Whether you use a Mac or a PC your whole network can be ready to go in about 5 minutes.
Best buy wireless router *****
Following our research in 2010 the Apple Airport Extreme is rated by us as best buy for features and price. The latest Airport Extreme Base Station Wireless Router 802.11 (Airport is Apple’s name for Wi-Fi) sells for £139 and we believe it beats all competitors on ease of use and performance visit the networking section of the Apple UK store. Airport Extreme 802.11n is compatible both with Macs and PC’s and is reliably easy to set up when compared to other routers. The setup programme is superb and measures to get your network secure are robust. You have to name your network -no defaults are offered- and you have to add your own password. Access to the routers advanced settings is given after you have entered your base password. The Airport Extreme uses the 802.11n wireless standard which is currently the fastest wireless connection speed available.
So why would you choose to go Wireless?
Going wireless gives you the freedom to roam around your home, or garden, and to remain connected to the internet. Provided you have multiple-wireless enabled computers in your home the family can all go online at the same time. A wireless network also frees you from cables and enables you to wirelessly achieve videos, pictures, share files and internet connections all over the house. The Airport Extreme is great for school or small business use too as it allows up to 50 users at the same time and also means you can print documents, photos etc from any room in the building to one central printer.
Airport Extreme 802.11n features
The Airport Extreme is somewhat different to your average router, as you might expect from an Apple product. Apart from being a good-looking piece of kit, it comes with only one power wire which you plug into your wall socket. There’s no built in modem -Apple expects you to have an existing Ethernet connection to the Internet- setting up a device with a modem included is going to be more complicated. The aerials for Airport Extreme are all built into the latest 802.11n and reception is excellent.
Airport Extreme operates simultaneously on 2.4GHz wireless band (used by iPhone and iPod) and the higher-speed 5GHz band used by Apple computers and Apple TV. It uses a technology called multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) to transmit multiple data simultaneously …. what this means in real terms is that your data transfer speeds are increased up to 5x those of earlier wireless networks whilst achieving twice the range.
It also allows you to share the Internet securely with guest networking without sharing your password or allowing others access to the rest of your network. You can set up a guest network with a different password (or none at all). The new Airport Extreme 802.11n is fully compatible with previous 802.11a/b/g, Mac computers, PCs, iPhone and iPod touch. Another good feature is the automatic built-in firewall as this creates a barrier between your network and the Internet, protecting your data from the bad guys. For computers with a cable or DSL modem, using Airport is safer than being directly connected to the modem. If you own an Apple TV you can integrate it into your Airport Extreme network and enjoy your iTunes library and streaming to your widescreen TV. Use your iPhone or iPod touch too to surf the web and more by connecting to your Airport Extreme network. In fact, iPhone will automatically switch from the cellular network to your Wi-Fi network as soon as you walk through yout front door!
Value for Money?
British broadband users may be put out by the lack of an internal modem which could require more investment in more equipment.Also you need to make sure that your wireless equipment is ready for action before connecting. If you have a Mac with an Intel Core 2 Duo processor (except the 17-inch, 1.83GHz iMac) or a Mac Pro which has Airport Extreme Built in- you can enable it to access an 802.11n wireless network using the Airport Extreme 802.11n Enabler software for a mere £5.75 visit visit the networking section of the Apple UK store
Current Best Deals
Visit www.warehouseexpress.com where the Apple Airport Extreme Base Station 802.11n Wireless Router is advertised for £134.99 but you will pay £4.99 for standard UK postage and packing.
You can buy a range of Apple Extreme Routers new and second hand from www.ebay.co.uk Today they were offering a new Airport Extreme Router 802.11n for £128.08 or £67.00 for secondhand Apple routers.
Alternatively, visit www.techbargains.com for refurbished Apple routers.
www.Argos.co.uk advertise the Apple Airport Extreme for £139. It might be worth checking them out?
Or try www.shopcompare.eu for their recommended best buys.
If you found this article of interest you might wish to read a similar item on www.macbroadband.co.uk entitled Wireless Router for Mac.