Airport Extreme Goes Nappy

october 1, 2006

Netgear WGR614v5After switching over to 802.11g + WPA for my wireless network at home, my Airport Extreme Basestation seemed to have lost its mind. The other day, it locked my Powerbook off the network until I restarted it. Then a little later, it decided that my CentOS notebook was rotten and kicked it off the network. I went looking for new firmware and found firmware version 5.7 from Apple. After upgrading, things seemed a bit snappier until this morning when the AEBS decided that all machines were offlimits to the network. Sigh.The other day I had picked up a refurbished Netgear WGR614v5 from Fry's for $20 (yea, I know great price!) It was going to be the AP that I would turn on to use when I wanted to play online with Nintendo WiFi -- since Nintendo decided that wifi devices of this day and age only needed to support WEP encryption. Well, I just put the WGR614 to work as the main wireless AP and router for the house. I added a $40 Ethernet print server from CompUSA so that I could get the same network print functionality of the AEBS. The WGR614 eliminates me having to connect a switch to the AEBS because the AEBS only has one Ethernet port on the back. The WGR614 also eliminates me having to connect the AEBS to the Netscreen 5GT for firewall protection. Oh, and it is really nice to be able to manage the AP from any box without any special software (the AEBS needs a special Mac/Win application to manage it, no web interface). The Airport Extreme Basestation is now taking a nap in its box. It is too bad that it had such a bad reaction to WPA. I'll keep my eye out for new firmware from Apple to see if that will correct some of these issues I have been seeing. I know my friend John had switched away from his Airport Extreme Basestation a while ago because he also had consistent crashes.