Revamped the home network

When Apple’s 802.11n-capable Airport Extreme router came out early last year, I picked one up in anticipation of eventually replacing all my wireless networking gear with 11n-capable stuff. At the time I was running Linksys WRT54GL routers running DD-WRT firmware, and doing WDS in order to bridge networks in two rooms together without running Cat5 down the hallway.

I bought the new Airport Extreme router, and one of the 802.11g Airport Express units, and set up WDS between them. Throughput was just a bit slower than it had been with my highly-tweaked WRT54GLs, but I could live with that because “eventually Apple will come out with 11n Express hardware”.

Back in March, Apple finally came out with the 11n Airport Express units. I rushed out and bought one, only to get it home and discover that Apple does not support using WDS in 802.11n mode; it has to be run in “G-compatible” mode. In other words, having 802.11n hardware on both sides of the connection makes NO difference at all in throughput, and gives no advantage over having 802.11g hardware.

I just finished ripping out all of the Apple wireless gear, and replacing it with three brand new WRT54GLs running DD-WRT v24. I reasoned that if I’m going to be limited to 802.11g speeds between rooms, I might as well have it on the best, most-tweakable hardware available – stuff that I have complete control over via SSH and a web interface, instead of being forced to use a proprietary management GUI.

I sold one 802.11n Airport Extreme (non-GigE version) and two 802.11n Airport Express units to a friend for $175, which was just enough to pay for the WRT54GLs from NewEgg with free shipping.

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