“I sampled ‘n’ routers from Apple, Belkin, Linksys and Netgear, plus an old ‘g’ model for comparison. For each test, I installed the router in the basement, and then measured signal strength and range in six locations: two spots each in the basement and on the first floor, second floor and attic… Apple’s Airport Extreme earns five superlatives: smallest, best-looking, fastest, strongest signal — and most expensive ($180),” David Pogue reports for The New York Times.
“Then again, Apple fans save money at the other end. Since the fall of 2006, Apple has secretly built “n” receivers into most Mac laptops and desktops. In other words, you don’t need to buy cards for Macs — you need only a software “enabler” that unlocks the “n” features. It comes with Apple’s router, or you can buy it for $2,” Pogue reports.
“The setup program, identical for Mac and Windows, is light-years more polished and accessible than its rivals. You can attach a printer or hard drive to the router’s U.S.B. jack, and presto: it’s accessible by all the computers on the network. Very cool,” Pogue reports.
Pogue reports, “Most ‘n’ routers operate in the same frequency range (around 2.4 gigahertz) as cordless phones, microwaves, Bluetooth gadgets and older Wi-Fi networks. Apple’s router, however, is among the first to offer an alternative, much-less-crowded frequency band — 5 gigahertz — that doesn’t ruin your cordless-phone calls and trample neighbors’ networks. Linksys, Belkin and Netgear plan similar ‘dual band’ cards and routers later this year.”
“The biggest disappointment: All four routers have Ethernet jacks on the back to accommodate nonwireless computers, but bizarrely, Apple’s are old, slow 100-Mbps jacks. That is weird considering that Apple’s own computers come with gigabit jacks (1,000 Mbps),” Pogue reports.
Full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Island Girl” for the heads up.]
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