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Airport Extreme and Netgear MR814v2, Take 2

Last July, I posted about how I got my Netgear MR814v2 to talk to my Airport Extreme laptop.  The fix involved setting “Universal Plug ‘n’ Play” preferences.

Since then, I’ve gotten occasional e-mail messages from people thanking me for publishing the solution, and that neither Netgear nor Apple seem to know anything about this problem.  I got one just today, and thought it was probably time for a follow-up post.

The fix I described isn’t a panacea, I’ve found; I still occasionally find the laptop knocked back to its self-assigned IP address.  This behavior seems to revolve around hard sleep/wake events, and iChat might be implicated too.  My father has a Netgear 802.11g wireless router and it’s totally smooth for him using an 802.11b PowerBook, but whenever I visit with my Airport Extreme PowerBook the router starts kicking us both off on an infrequent basis.

I’ve found one of two things will fix my router when it ceases talking to the laptop.  One is to unplug and replug the router; the thing comes back up in about a second and it always sees the laptop again.  The other is to log into the router from a wired computer, go to the UPnP page, and hit “Apply”.  I don’t have to change any setting, just hit “Apply”.  That fixes the problem too.  I do the latter when I’m in my office with my wired G4, and the former when I’m downstairs closer to the router.

Either way, I’m thinking about replacing my 802.11b router with an 802.11g router so I can take advantage of the Extreme access, and I’m thinking the replacement won’t be a Netgear product.  Anyone have recommendations for a good Airport Extreme compatible wireless/wired combo router (I need to plug in two CAT5-bound computers) besides an Airport Base Station?

30 Responses»

    • #1
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1650
    Steve wrote in to say...

    I’ve been quite happy with both the feature set and the performance of the Linksys WRT-54G.

    • #2
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1802
    Justin Perkins wrote in to say...

    I’ve been using a DLink DI-524 with our iBook and it has been quite nice. I did have to tweak some settings in AirPort because it kept dropping the connection when I awoke the computer from sleep or switched users.

    I’m guessing by the name that the AirPort Extreme is a dual-band 802.11g router? If that’s the case, you’d surely want to get a nicer DLink, like the DI-624.

    DLink has an option when you connect to the router admin page to speed up the bandwidth greatly. I was using a Netgear and my Internet speeds could not get any better than around 5-6 Mbps (Fiber Optic) and even when I bought my DLink, the speeds remained the same.

    I dug around in the admin interface for my DLink, found some little dumb checkbox (can’t remember what it was) and checked the box, applied the settings and BAM! I was getting 11 Mbps up/down.

    That is what sold me on the DLink.

    • #3
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1809
    Dan wrote in to say...

    I’ve been very happy with my LinkSys WRT-54GS, and if you are one to tinker it’s nice to be able to run linux on it.

    • #4
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1809
    Christopher Baus wrote in to say...

    I have WRT-54g, and it used to work fine, but I have been having problems with newer adapters. I was actually think about, gasp, getting a netgear.

    • #5
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1814
    Jonathan Freese wrote in to say...

    I had the same problems with Netgear’s WGT624 and Linksys’s WRT54G for some time. The problem occured on all my systems: a Powerbook G4, iBook G3 dual-USB, PC desktop and PowerMac G5. However, since upgrading both routers to the most recent firmware available all problems with random disconnections have disappeared. Both products have worked extremely well ever since. I have found that the Netgear routers are easier to set up on a DSL connection and that Linksys routers tend to be easier to set up on a cable modem connection.

    • #6
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1926
    Tony wrote in to say...

    I recommend Buffalo.

    • #7
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 1959
    Laurens Holst wrote in to say...

    The “apply” button probably resets the UPnP service of your router. When I have DC++ running, an application which uses UPnP as well, and I close it down “hard” through the task manager (so that it doesn”t get the chance to unregister its UPnP ports), something goes wrong as well. Running the app again, it doesn”t get its forwarded ports anymore, and the router also doesn”t show up in My Network anymore. Apparantly, it somehow managed to crash the (apparantly a little buggy) UPnP service on my router. Just like for you, going to the router”s page and disabling and re-enabling the service fixes everything.

    ~Grauw

    • #8
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 2213
    Don Whitlow wrote in to say...

    Eric, I’ve been using a Netgear WGR614v4 in my home office for 5 or 6 months now. It does 802.11g and works great with my iBook and accompanying Airport Extreme card. Never had any problems with it so far, and speeds and range are generally pretty good. In addition, I am able to leave UPnP disabled, which from my point of view, is a good thing if you don’t need it.

    good luck with whatever you pick. Later, Don

    • #9
    • Comment
    • Wed 9 Feb 2005
    • 2246
    Brent wrote in to say...

    I have a Linksys WRT54g that I have been using for at least a year or more. I’ve mainly used it with my older PowerBook and 802.11b. I just got a new PowerBook and switched it to 802.11G. I haven’t had any problems with it and would highly recommend it!

    • #10
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 0127
    TjL wrote in to say...

    I have a Linksys BEFW11S4 which has worked flawlessly for me with a Powerbook G4 (hrm, which may only be wireless-B), but if I were to get another today it would be a WRT54G, which seems to be the favorite of the hacking crowd.

    • #11
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 0611
    Rupak Das wrote in to say...

    Another vote for Linksys WRT 54G. Although the web front-end to the router is less than impressive in design, it has a lot of functionality.

    On a related note, this router operates on a 2.4 GHz band. Later on, I wanted to purchase a wireless telephone handset, also 2.4 GHz. The salesperson informed me that if I had a wireless router operating on 2.4 GHz, then the handset would cause lots of interference. I haven’t bought a handset yet, but you already might have a handset which may interfere with the router. On the other hand, the salesperson could have taken me for a ride!

    • #12
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 0629
    Dave Marks wrote in to say...

    My netgear wireless router () kept refusing to talk to the two Windows XP laptops in the house, but still showed as connected…

    A reboot as you mentioned fixed the problem. Anyway I finally gave up last week, and picked up a brand new Belkin Wireless Access Point for £20 off eBay… no point replacing the whole router which would be far more expensive…

    • #13
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 0816
    Dave Marks wrote in to say...

    By the way, for what its worth I have a Netgear MR314 and my problem is PC related (as i mentioned above), so I’m rather inclined to push the blame in the direction of Netgear… I will be thinking twice about buying Netgear products again!

    Sorry for the double post ;)

    • #14
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 0838
    Sandy Smith wrote in to say...

    I just installed the Asante FriendlyNet FR1104-G combo router, and, once I upgraded my PowerBook’s AirPort software, it has been very smooth and easy to use.

    I talked to various other geeks in our company and they universally panned DLink stuff as having a terrible mean time before failure. Too early to say about the Asante, but they do explicitly support Macs.

    One bit of funky stuff I found was that when you do a firmware update, the Mac version has the extension .bin but it isn’t MacBinary encoded–it’s just encoded for whatever format the Asante router uses. So there’s no expanding what you get, and it will confuse Stuffit Expander if you try.

    • #15
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 1003
    Carlos Porto wrote in to say...

    Eric, I’m more of a pc user and recently bought an older ibook w/ airport to mess around with os X. I have the dLink DI-784 AirPremier AG Wireless Router and it works flawlessly with the ibook. Best part about this router is that its located on the second floor of my home and I can use the laptop in the basement with excellent signal strength. Its a bit pricier then other routers, but its worth the money for no hassles and and good coverage.

    • #16
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 1540
    Chris Platts wrote in to say...

    No problems here with a Linksys WRT-54G connected to DSL line via an Alcatel modem. Network clinets consist of an iMac G5 (AP Extreme), titanium Powerbook G4 (standard Airport), my son’s PC with D-Link card (802.11b) and my other son’s Sony Viao (Linksys 802.11g PC-Card), together with an Airport Express streaming music to my stereo.

    • #17
    • Comment
    • Thu 10 Feb 2005
    • 1556
    Mark Szymanski wrote in to say...

    Eric,
    I have just purchased a D-Link 784 for home after installing it in a wireless network setup at our local Ramada Inn. It supports 802.11a (which will run at 5Mhz), as well as the “g” and “b” protocols. Carlos is right in that it works perfectly. Cost: $129.xx at Best Buy.

    Regards,
    Mark

    • #18
    • Comment
    • Fri 11 Feb 2005
    • 0947
    Peter Foti wrote in to say...

    I’ve used several WRT-54G routers and have had terrific experiences with them. Recently, I learned that you can upload other firmware, like the free Sveasoft firmware, which adds a bunch of features. But I would recommend the WRT-54G even without the 3rd party firmware.

    • #19
    • Comment
    • Tue 15 Feb 2005
    • 0913
    C wrote in to say...

    Eric, Sorry to be off-topic, but your “new feeds” post is not accepting comments. Thought you might want to know that my.msn.com added an RSS feature to its content personalization. I was able to add your technical feed, but not your personal feed:
    http://meyerweb.com/eric/thoughts/category/personal/rss2/summary
    It may be having trouble with your xml(?) I now return comments to WRT-54Gs and 3rd Party firmware…

    • #20
    • Comment
    • Tue 15 Feb 2005
    • 1015
    C wrote in to say...

    Oh, and to add a bit of constructive information to the thread…my 2.4GHz Sony phones DO disrupt my 2.4GHz SMC Barricade router/access point wireless LAN (B not G). So I can’t talk on the phone and be online at the same time — so what’s the difference between that and Dial Up? Not much. (Very frustrating.)

    • #21
    • Comment
    • Tue 15 Feb 2005
    • 2156
    Tony wrote in to say...

    Oh, and to add a bit of constructive information to the thread…my 2.4GHz Sony phones DO disrupt my 2.4GHz SMC Barricade router/access point wireless LAN (B not G). So I can”t talk on the phone and be online at the same time – so what”s the difference between that and Dial Up? Not much. (Very frustrating.)

    Try switching channels in your router setup.

    • #22
    • Comment
    • Wed 16 Feb 2005
    • 1614
    Kathy wrote in to say...

    I have a DLink Dl-624. Works extremely well with both the airport extreme in iBook and the cat-5 connected iMac. It replaced an airport base station that refused to work with the cable modem (cable ip stacks too old for it said Apple support). For those who need to use a particular MAC address with their ISP, the DLink can alias it with no problem. It also works well with the 2 tivo’s in the house, allowing them to trade programs and contact tivo wirelessly via the network.

    • #23
    • Comment
    • Thu 17 Feb 2005
    • 1337
    mikeW wrote in to say...

    my SMC 2804WBRP-G works great with my powerbook and my girlfriend’s emac, it lets me hide the SSID, use 128 bit WEP encryption and lets me specify a list of MAC addresses to allow connections with. we live in a pretty dense neighborhood – i can connect to a few neighbor’s networks at any given time, so security was definitely a concern when i made the choice. the print server would work great with an HP or an epsom printer, my bottom-of-the-line canon doesn’t support the protocol that the router uses.

    • #24
    • Comment
    • Sat 26 Feb 2005
    • 1855
    Travis wrote in to say...

    After reading a bunch of good things about Belkin and seeing reasonably prices, I got a Belkin 802.11g wireless router and PC Card for my laptop. I’ve now got router, laptop, and an AirPort Express all on my 802.11g WPA wireless network. I’ve been very happy with them.

    Interestingly, iStumbler can use my Belkin wireless card as if it were an AirPort interface.

    • #25
    • Comment
    • Mon 7 Mar 2005
    • 2219
    Daniel Kim wrote in to say...

    I’d got with the WRT54G from Linksys. They’re pretty affordable, being about $70 street retail. Be sure you upgrade it to the 3.0.3 firmware. It’s using an Open Source firmware. Has SSID disable, WPA encryption and MAC address ACL features for full security.

    It also has external antenna which can be upgraded to higher gain antenna for extended range and coverage.

    • #26
    • Comment
    • Sun 10 Apr 2005
    • 2320
    Anthony Kirwan wrote in to say...

    I would not go with the Linksys WRT54G and suggest the Dlink-DI 524 instead. My WRT54G worked fine for a few weeks and then I started having constant problems with random disconnects from the router, issues when downloading large files and the router crashing. I would either have to disconnect from the network and then reconnect or if that did not work physically unplug the router wait 15 seconds and then plug it back in. When I did a search on google about my problems with the WRT54G, I found it seems to be a common issue with the router. I really like the features of the WRT54G because it is one of the few affordable routers with QoS for my IP Phone so the issues kind of suck. I replaced the WRT54G with the Dlink DI 524 and it has worked without a problem since.

    • #27
    • Comment
    • Tue 26 Apr 2005
    • 0706
    Terry Brady wrote in to say...

    Hi,

    I have an MR814v2 and had the same problem you describe when I first used AirPort Extreme with it. The fix was trivial: a firmware update from Netgear’s website. The firmware version I’m using now says “V5.3_05″ in the unit’s management interface.

    Good luck with it.

    • #28
    • Comment
    • Sat 30 Apr 2005
    • 0243
    Chris wrote in to say...

    Hi,
    Could I get setup tips on using the Netgear DI-524 with a home network of 3 Macs, 2 using Airport Extreme cards and one using an original Airport?
    Justin reported having to fine tune the settings a bit: could you provide those?
    Thanks.

    • #29
    • Comment
    • Fri 9 Dec 2005
    • 1213
    Richard wrote in to say...

    I found that two thins helped your IP assignment problem.

    1) I set the router to always assign a specific IP address to the Mac client. You should find within the router a section where you can configure these options – something about reserving particular IP addresses for certain machines (identified by MAC addresses). You can also, on the Mac, use the option to assign IP addresses ‘manually via DHCP’, and put the same IP address in there.

    Generally I found that just the router part of this solution worked fine. The second piece also seemed to work fine at first (and possibly better), but after a few days I hit a problem that I then resolved by reverting to automatic DHCP on the Mac client! So since then I’ve just had the forced addressing on the router – but I’ve had no further problems with an inability to get the right IP address on the Mac client.

    2) A stronger signal between router and client helped sometimes, for no apparent reason

    Hope this helps
    Richard

    • #30
    • Comment
    • Thu 9 Oct 2008
    • 2151
    jon wrote in to say...

    You sir, are a Saint. The $ trick (which I’d already found) and the UPnP trick worked exactly. I had all of the windows machines working just fine, except for my Mac, which had crapped out after switching back to my old router after playing around with the FON network.

    THANK YOU!

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