U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 03-01-2018, 11:12 AM
 
12 posts, read 4,614 times
Reputation: 46

Advertisements

I have an iMac plugged directly into my internet connection via ethernet. My internet speed is 50mbps.

I just bought a new MacBook Air (haven't even opened it yet) so I need a router. I want to leave my iMac directly connected.

I normally research everything to death because I'm not familiar with tech stuff. But, I drove by a Best Buy and some kid sold me a NetGear Dual Band N6400 WNDR3400 for $47.

Is this a good router for my situation?
  1. I live in a 450 sq ft apartment in a major city with lots of competing wifi signals.
  2. I will be the only user - a basic internet user. The most strenuous thing I do online is stream videos.
  3. After buying, I read reviews on Amazon. Some people have trouble with connections dropping every few minutes, some have great experiences. Someone warned not to use it without DD-WRT. Some advised not to use the default settings. How can I know what the best, most secure, reliable set-up is for me?

Confused by so much info, I called NetGear but, even though I bought the router and gave them the S/N, they wouldn't answer simple questions about the router unless I registered it and gave them my name, phone number, etc., Forget that. Help ME first. If the product is right for me, I'll register it then!

Any advice, recommendations, help or warnings would be GREATLY appreciated!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 03-01-2018, 12:23 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,287,974 times
Reputation: 2093
Its a decent router for good price. IT will do the job, just setup the wifi for your ideal name and password. DDWRT is a custom firmware, so just ignore that.


1. Router is good for that size home.
2. Still good for this type of surfing
3. DDWRT is custom ware on it. so just ignore it if your not tech savy.

Default is not always the best solution. Once you are able to log into the router. Change the SSID and Password to something that you can remember. Then leave rest as is.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-01-2018, 01:45 PM
 
12 posts, read 4,614 times
Reputation: 46
Thanks for the input! One of the things I read on Amazon Reviews was that speeds drop on this router but, if you install DD-WRT, it won't.

Routers have been one of the most confusing things I've ever researched. They all pretty much look and do the same thing but their wording and terminology is very confusing... and misleading when it comes to speed.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-01-2018, 01:55 PM
 
1,213 posts, read 836,990 times
Reputation: 2161
If you're confused just reading about it, please don't even consider flashing new software on it! You'll be back here asking how to unbrick your router.

As advised, change the default SSID and password. There shouldn't be any further drama associated with setting it up and connecting to your devices.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-01-2018, 02:17 PM
 
2,360 posts, read 1,287,974 times
Reputation: 2093
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fictional Chef View Post
Thanks for the input! One of the things I read on Amazon Reviews was that speeds drop on this router but, if you install DD-WRT, it won't.

Routers have been one of the most confusing things I've ever researched. They all pretty much look and do the same thing but their wording and terminology is very confusing... and misleading when it comes to speed.
It can be. Just for basic services your getting a decent device. Just keep in mind that stores like best buy, fry's, or any electronic shops work on commission. So they will sell you what they make the most on, not caring about your needs. Numbers you see are speed base. Just a helpful hint. So when it saids N300, means that your data flow will be limited 300MB between devices. Bigger the number faster the rate will be. If you game alot ,then you want high end stuff, if your just facebooking you can live with with mid-low end routers.


My local fry's knows me enough they tell me to stop helping customers when they ask for something and their "skillful employee looks like a deer in headlight". They love pushing high end stuff for the simple task of just checking a email. One Idiot wanted to sell a father a AC3200 Router $300 for browsing twitter. I pull the guy to a side and gave him a N900 Belkin for 50 bucks.. Sales clerk was tickeD!!! I love shopping frys, and get my kicks off listening to some of these so call skillful employees.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-02-2018, 02:15 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,489,851 times
Reputation: 3012
While the basic concept of using a router is pretty standard, there are enough variables to make it so each person needs to do a bit of work.

Here's my suggestions.

1) "I want to leave my iMac directly connected." You can't. Not "directly". The only way to have multiple devices that use one Internet connection is to use a Router. That's what they do, they 'route' the traffic from the Internet to multiple devices.

1.1) If you want to maximize speed, and give you 100% security, connect your iMac to the router via cable, not WiFi. It is the absolutely fastest connection, and it is the best security, since the signal never goes out on the air. Use a Cat 5 (quality identifier) Ethernet cable.

2) As mentioned earlier, first thing you do when you plug in your Router for the first time, is use your browser to log into the Router's setup page, and change the Network name (pick something distinctive, maybe even funny), but for sure, change the user name, and the password for access to the Router.

2.2) For your devices you wish to connect via WiFi, there is another step. While you are in your Router's setup screen, go to the WiFi page. Make sure you select the security to be WPA2-PSK if possible. Do NOT use the WPA setting. (The one that lets you push a button on the Router, then it 'WiFi-pairs' with your laptop. That security protocol has been found to be very vulnerable).

2.3) On the same screen, there is a place to enter a WiFi password. You put it here, and then you enter it, One Time, for each new device you use to connect to your WiFi, IE: smartphone, tablet, MacBook. Here is the tip, this is the most vulnerable you are for hacking, so pick a really REALLY hard and complex password. 30-40 characters, upper case, lower case, numbers, symbols, the works. This should be The Hardest password you use.

3) If you live in an area where there are a lot of other WiFi users, (like an apartment building), you should find out which radio frequency channel is used least in your location.
Your router has a way to change the channel, but I don't think it can display what is in use. For that, use your smartphone and download a free utility that shows all the other channels in use and their signal strengths.
IE: for Android, I use WiFi Analyzer WiFi analyzer - farproc

4) Once you've done all the above, and tested the connections and they're working, you should save your customization settings on your iMac. That's another thing to do from the Router settings page.


Oh, and as said above, ignore DDWRT. You really don't want high-complexity tweaks.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-02-2018, 02:40 AM
 
4,544 posts, read 7,540,487 times
Reputation: 13828
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post
2.2) For your devices you wish to connect via WiFi, there is another step. While you are in your Router's setup screen, go to the WiFi page. Make sure you select the security to be WPA2-PSK if possible. Do NOT use the WPA setting. (The one that lets you push a button on the Router, then it 'WiFi-pairs' with your laptop. That security protocol has been found to be very vulnerable).

This was only mentioned once and is, IMHO, at least as important as changing the login password if not more-so (hard to login to a router when you can't get on the same network).

It's needed because Anyone that can get onto the network, can see all the files in any connected device that's on... that means your iMac too. Or send stuff to your printer... or change your Nest temps.

Given that you, OP, live in a dense building, you probably have access to an urban environment with a lot of tech savvy people. If you still work, ask the folks in your IT department if they could help you get it setup. I've done this a number of time, and always leave a printed page with the stuff the Next person (or you, yourself) need... like login info. Takes a little trust in another person, but there are more good people willing to help than bad so your odds are good.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-02-2018, 02:47 PM
 
2,900 posts, read 1,702,654 times
Reputation: 2983
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_RDNC View Post

3) If you live in an area where there are a lot of other WiFi users, (like an apartment building), you should find out which radio frequency channel is used least in your location.
Your router has a way to change the channel, but I don't think it can display what is in use. For that, use your smartphone and download a free utility that shows all the other channels in use and their signal strengths.
IE: for Android, I use WiFi Analyzer WiFi analyzer - farproc
Do your neighbors and yourself a favor by not messing with the channels. This article is a start https://www.extremetech.com/computin...-right-channel but the problem is worse. Let's say you did not pick 1, 6, or 11, but something in between. You have just messed up the auto-negotiation scheme among routers for handling traffic!

Your router will find the best channel itself.

the 5GHZ band is different, with more "space" to work in, and usually fewer users.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-04-2018, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
16,724 posts, read 29,321,260 times
Reputation: 12539
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fictional Chef View Post
I have an iMac plugged directly into my internet connection via ethernet. My internet speed is 50mbps.

I just bought a new MacBook Air (haven't even opened it yet) so I need a router. I want to leave my iMac directly connected.

I normally research everything to death because I'm not familiar with tech stuff. But, I drove by a Best Buy and some kid sold me a NetGear Dual Band N6400 WNDR3400 for $47.

Is this a good router for my situation?
  1. I live in a 450 sq ft apartment in a major city with lots of competing wifi signals.
  2. I will be the only user - a basic internet user. The most strenuous thing I do online is stream videos.
  3. After buying, I read reviews on Amazon. Some people have trouble with connections dropping every few minutes, some have great experiences. Someone warned not to use it without DD-WRT. Some advised not to use the default settings. How can I know what the best, most secure, reliable set-up is for me?

Confused by so much info, I called NetGear but, even though I bought the router and gave them the S/N, they wouldn't answer simple questions about the router unless I registered it and gave them my name, phone number, etc., Forget that. Help ME first. If the product is right for me, I'll register it then!

Any advice, recommendations, help or warnings would be GREATLY appreciated!
Your iMac should be connected to a router, not directly connected to your ISP's provided Internet's modem. Hopefully you aren't connected wide open to the internet.

Also, you should at least set both computer's firewalls to standby, and keep file and other "sharing" turned off in both System Preferences. You can turn them back on if you need to transfer files from one computer to the other at home. But not if traveling with your laptop.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-07-2018, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
6,855 posts, read 5,327,615 times
Reputation: 4479
Many ISPs (Comcast, CenturyLink, etc.) provide a combo modem/router that makes setting up Wi-Fi pretty simple. Running a separate router connected to a modem adds a level of complexity, plus you'll have two separate customer supports (who'll likely blame each other for any problems).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology > Computers
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:46 AM.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top