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The Best Wireless N Routers for Mac's

written by: KateG•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 11/30/2009

If you want a wireless N router that will make your Mac internet browsing and download speeds sing a whole new tune, you need to check out these top Wireless N Routers for Mac.

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    Has the time come to upgrade Mac's wireless router? If so it's time to get a wireless N router. This is even more true if your wireless network includes one or more Mac’s. Today we are going to look at some of the best wireless N routers that you can get for use with all Mac or mixed platform networks.

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    Apple AirPort Extreme


    Most users won't be too shocked to see this option at the top of the list. After all, it's native Mac hardware and Macs always play best with their own gadgets. That is not to say that the Apple AirPort Extreme cannot be used on a mixed network, it actually performs very well with other systems. It also has a range that should work for either a home or a small office.

    Unlike many of the other choices you can also share printers and external hard drives with this model. If you can afford to buy this unit, it is by far your best choice.

    The system is very fast because it operates in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, giving you twice the speed. Don't worry if you're at work and not at home, this baby can offer use for up to 50 users at the same time.It can pretty much handle anything that a small, or even medium sized, office can throw at it.

    The system also allows you to share your printers wirelessly. It also lets you use a USB hard drive as a shared drive, that way you do not have to waste storage resources. Files can easily be shared by everyone who needs them, no email or flash drives required.

    The Official Specs Not Mentioned Above

    • Wi-Fi Protected Access™ (WPA/WPA2)2
    • Wireless security (WEP) configurable for 40-bit and 128-bit encryption
    • MAC address filtering
    • NAT firewall
    • Support for RADIUS authentication
    • 802.1X, PEAP, LEAP, TTLS, TLS, FAST
    • Time-based access control
    • One Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting a DSL or cable modem
    • Three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for connecting computers or network devices
    • USB 2.0 port for connecting a USB printer or USB external hard drive
    • 802.11n wireless
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    Linksys WRT400N


    The Linksys WRT400N is a solid second choice for your Mac based routing needs. This piece of hardware allows you to get simultaneous dual-band, dual-radio quality for just about 165 dollars. It does have one major issue that you need to be aware of before you buy, this model was not made with a USB port, which means that you will not be able to connect any external storage.

    The unit may also present some issues if you use your router to hardwire into a gaming console or if your VoIP provider requires the USB port. Granted, only a few users will notice it is missing, but you should know of that one shortcoming regardless of your current situation.

    This unit has also been speed tested and has come out better then some of its bigger brothers from the same brand. If you love the Linksys name and you own a Mac this should be your model of choice.

    It does offer signals simultaneously in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequencies as a wireless N router should. This model also comes with the Linksys' EasyLink Advisor, software which helps you to see a map of all clients connected to the network. It also gives you the ability to manage each of these clients in real time, while providing the option to tag unknown devices in red.

    Official Specs not Mentioned Above

    • Ports: Power, Ethernet, Internet
    • Buttons: Reset, Wi-Fi Protected Setup
    • LEDs: Power, Internet, Wireless, Wi-Fi Protected Setup, Ethernet (1-4)
    • Number of Antennas: 4 Total, 2 Internal Antennas per Each 2.4 GHz & 5 GHz Radio Band
    • Modulations: 802.11b: CCK, QPSK, BPSK; 802.11g: OFDM; 802.11a: OFDM; Wireless-N: BPSK, QPSK, 16-QAM, 64-QAM
    • Streams:
      Two Spatial Streams for Transmitting and Receiving in 2.4 GHz Radio Band
      Two Spatial Streams for Transmitting and Receiving in 5 GHz Radio Band
    • UPnP: Supported
    • Security features: WEP, WPA, WPA2
    • WEP Key Bits: Up to 128-Bit Encryption

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    D-Link DGL-4500 GamerLounge Xtreme N Gaming Router


    This router is listed as a gaming router, sadly, few gamers will find it worth the investment. For the average home user however it's a good investment. It's also one of the most easy to set up routers I've witnessed thanks to a feature called Network Activity Display which allows you to access most of your network information quickly and easily. Just be aware that it is not good for business users, as when this model hits its maximum number of users it will reset itself. As long as you are not a very high volume user you will likely not encounter this issue.

    Also, while it has capability for running on both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands it can only run on one at a time. At first glance this seems like a flaw, If however, you only have older hardware it can be a blessing since you will not waste resources on a band you are not using. Basically, it can be good news for mixed system networks and it does give you some serious security options, allowing you to run on WEP, WPA, and WPA2 as well as VPN pass-through, multisessions PPT, L2TP, and IPSec. The software is easy to install, and the interface is very user friendly. It also comes with a one year warranty.

    Official Specs not Mentioned Above

    • Antenna Type: 3 External Reverse SMA Dualband Antennas
    • Interface Type: 4 Gigabit LAN Ports 1 Gigabit WAN Port • USB Port (for Windows® Connect Now)

    You Should Also Be Aware of The Minimum System Requirements (Only Mac Relevant Listed)

    • Mac OS® X (v10.4)
    • Mozilla Firefox® v1.5
    • CD-ROM Drive
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    SMC SMCWGBR14-N Barricade N router


    This one does not run on the 5GHz frequency, so it is primarily for older machines. Given the life of the average Mac, some users will find that to be a blessing. You can run a newer machine on this band, but you will not take advantage of the extra speed. The USB ports are also on the front of the unit which is great if you need to connect and disconnect storage quickly.

    The best thing to be said for this model is its incredible range, it can handle even the largest homes easily. It also gives you wireless print sharing capabilities. The user interface is also relatively user friendly and set up is easy.

    A great model for someone who does not want to devote their life to managing their network.

    Official Specs not Mentioned Above

    • 4-port 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit LAN switch with auto MDI-MDIX
    • WPA/WPA2 Encryption
    • USB2.0 Multi-function print server
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    Now that you have a new router in mind go ahead and enjoy your home or businesses wireless network. Just be sure to spend the time to set up propery security and get to know your new router.