Good news! I completely resolved all the problems with my Cisco/Linksys Wi-Fi router!
…by ordering an Apple AirPort Express which I will pick up at the local store tomorrow on my way home from work.
I tried, though. You’ll remember that I tried to set it up myself. Then I consulted their tech support. Things still weren’t right. I chatted them up a second time. I kept waiting for them to tell me that there was some known issue, some incompatibility between something on my network and the settings on the router–but no. In the end, they tried to tell me that there was some kind of interference in my apartment.
Interference. With their router in the exact same spot, serving the exact same devices the old Netgear had done for years without issue. Basically they were grasping at straws and had no clue. Meanwhile, I had two Wi-Fi SSIDs, no idea if I should leave them separate or not, a slow web experience on the MBP, intermittent streaming issues on the Apple TV, and I discovered I could no longer push video or audio to the TV from the laptop.
I’d even done my own research, consulted some other clever people I know, and come up with nothing.
So I’m done. I’m casting it back into the fiery chasm from whence it came–Best Buy. And I’m picking up my new Apple unit. The Linksys cost me $82. The Apple cost me $20 more. If it works as well as I expect it to, it’s money well spent.