After years of using an Apple Airport Extreme as my home router, I’ve decided that I need something different. As an early 802.11n device, it lacks many of the features available in newer routers, such as advanced dual-band features, guest networks (not so advanced, but sadly lacking on the AE), and the like.
The top-of-the-line routers from Cisco/Linksys and Netgear look promising, although their >$150 price point hurts my wallet just thinking of them. They offer some nice features on top of standard router faire:
- Netgear’s box features both printer and drive ports, easily turning your desktop printer into a workgroup machine and let’s you share media over the network.
- Linksys’ box includes a built in UPnP server and a single USB port.
Unfortunately, my printer has a built in Ethernet port and my home server is serving up my media via UPnP much faster than an attached drive would. What it’s coming down to is network performance and price.
I’ll be doing some performance research (the findings of which I’ll post here) and will make my decision before the end of the month.
Of course, if you’re interested, I’ll be putting my old router up on eBay. So, if you want a solid router with easy Mac/iPad/iPhone integration and a USB port for a printer or drive, you should check that out.