So I recently took the plunge and decided it was time to update my existing home network, and to once and for all rid it of the nuisances and inconsistencies that were occurring on a daily basis. The old setup consisted of a Belkin 802.11n router with wi-fi turned off, and two PC’s connected to its ethernet ports, plus an Airport Express (802.11n) to create and share a wireless network.
“Why not use the Belkin’s built-in wi-fi?” – you may ask. Performance. The wireless capabilities of this router were very disappointing, causing occasional drops, hangs, and poor speed. Unplugging the Belkin from the wall for about 10 seconds seemed to do the trick, and shortly after it was all back to normal. This grew old, however, and after a while of dealing with this, configuring the device on a weekly basis and trying everything I could think of, I was glad to get rid of it.
I was looking for different routers and options to upgrade. For a while, the D-Link DIR-825 seemed like a good choice, however, I went with a new Apple Airport Extreme Base Station. I don’t have the newer model with the improved antenna, which was released in November 2009, but the one before it.
The network now consists of: DSL Modem in bridged mode > Airport Extreme Base Station > Belkin Router (used as an access point), > and an Airport Expressed connected via Ethernet to another room. I have wider coverage at home, and have also noticed that performance is faster.
Something that I am still debating is whether to have two networks: 2.4 GHz for the “g” devices, and a 5 Ghz for the “n” devices. I also have to draw a sketch of my network and makes notes, and document all the settings. That will be another day – as I am still not finished with the setup.