Wireless router for my Windows XP-using parents?
December 27, 2010 8:38 AM   Subscribe

What's a good, relatively easy-to-setup and problem-free wireless router I can get for my PC-using parents? I'm their Mac user son.

The folks would like a wireless router so they can stream Netflix on their Wii. I'm a Mac user and know my way around my Airport Extreme, and while I am a pretty proficient Windows XP user I've never set up a wireless router in that environment. I'd like something that I can set up and forget about it since I live two time zones away (but I do have LogMeIn set up on their PC if I need to troubleshoot). Any recommendations? Thanks!
posted by DakotaPaul to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: Almost forgot: I am staying with them for the next four days, so I'd really like something I can get from Amazon with Prime shipping so I can set it up before I leave.
posted by DakotaPaul at 8:40 AM on December 27, 2010

Best answer: An Airport. Painless, even for a PC.
posted by FauxScot at 8:56 AM on December 27, 2010

Seconding the Airport Extreme. If I'm not mistaken, you need to create a WEP password for the network that is exactly 5 or 13 characters, or it won't work. Don't know if that's still the case, but something to be aware of. Discussion on Apple support board here.
posted by qwip at 9:13 AM on December 27, 2010

Do not use WEP. It's horribly broken.
posted by devnull at 9:29 AM on December 27, 2010

Good old Linksys WRT54 family, like the 54GL. I've had the following problems: Mum forgot her password and a specific cordless phone was causing interference. That's it.
posted by anaelith at 9:42 AM on December 27, 2010

I bought this Cisco-Linksys router a little over a week ago (delivered with Amazon Prime) upon the recommendation of a friend's super geek husband, and I really like it.

Set up was extremely easy - you hook everything up and then run the CD that it comes with, and it creates a secure network for you that you can control via the interface of the application that it installs. Recommended!
posted by mewithoutyou at 9:56 AM on December 27, 2010

AirPorts work great with PCs, and the current revision of AirPort Utility supports XP SP3. Also, so long as you're running a well-updated installation of XP you won't have any problem with the superior WPA/WPA2 arrangement.
posted by thejoshu at 9:59 AM on December 27, 2010

If you get the WRT54GL (a great router!), install Tomato on it. It's easy and solid.
posted by gregglind at 10:43 AM on December 27, 2010

If their internet connection speed is pretty high (tens of Mbps), I'd go for a wireless N router. In that category, the research I did ~3 mo. ago suggested that the Buffalo Nfiniti are the way to go. I got one for myself and one for my parents. Both worked immediately upon plug-in. The WPA key is inscribed on the device, and no hassle there either.
posted by akprasad at 2:49 PM on December 27, 2010

The Cisco Valet Plus is great for those who aren't terribly networking-savvy.
posted by roomwithaview at 4:30 PM on December 27, 2010

Response by poster: The AE never even crossed my mind. Setuo was a cinch since I have one already, and my folks are talking about getting a Mac someday, anyway. Thanks, all!
posted by DakotaPaul at 7:54 PM on January 4, 2011

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