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View Full Version : Why are Airport bases so expensive?


danmoo
Feb 28, 2005, 11:09 AM
Airport Extreme base is $179 for people in education and $199 for those who aren't. A third party g-wireless router at 54MBps (the same as Airport Extreme) can go for about 30 dollars or less (i.e. dLink, Linksys, etc). Even Super G-wireless routers at 108 MBps are cheaper than airport extreme (approx $70-80). So what's up with the HUGE price difference? Aside from the look and design of the Airport base, is there something special about the Extreme that's better than the third party routers?

Who here thinks Apple should cut their airport base prices? I mean with all the cuts going on with iMacs, Powerbooks, and all that.. what about the airport base?

Just wondering. :confused:

yellow
Feb 28, 2005, 11:13 AM
Better? Not as far as I know..


You have bundled apps to control/config the AeBS. Whoopity do.
Apple users know that the AeBS will always work with their Macs. Yeah right.
Some Apple users just don't know any better and go with the Apple brand.

wordmunger
Feb 28, 2005, 11:17 AM
The cheapest wireless router/print server I could find that supports 802.11g on macconnection was $94.95. The airport express is $129 and also offers Airtunes streaming. Doesn't seem like such a big difference to me. If all you want is a wireless internet hub, and don't need print/music serving, there are cheaper options. I'd recommend using them.

Re: cheaper options: -- what I'd LOVE is a music-only Airport Express Mini for, say $50. I'd buy three!

rtdgoldfish
Feb 28, 2005, 11:28 AM
I agree, they are way to expensive. I bought a Belkin 54g router for $19 after rebates. My brother has a LinkSys that he payed around $30 for. Even those with a print server can be found for under $100. I bought an AirPort Express for $119 but that was just to stream music and that seems to be an average price for a media expander. I think LinkSys has one that runs $149 but has a small screen on it that shows track info. Apple should drop the price of the AirPort Base Station by at least $50 or add some features to it that make it work the $199. Maybe put AirTunes on the regular base station. That might justify the price.

andiwm2003
Feb 28, 2005, 03:28 PM
Better? Not as far as I know..


You have bundled apps to control/config the AeBS. Whoopity do.
Apple users know that the AeBS will always work with their Macs. Yeah right.
Some Apple users just don't know any better and go with the Apple brand.


when i bought my pb i was totally clueless about wireless internet and stuff.
but with the airport i got bundled apps to control/config the AeBS.
And i thought that the AeBS will always work with my Macs.
And i didn't know about the other products so i did go with the Apple brand.

aeh, does that sound familiar? you mean i could have saved some money? doh!!!!

well i think it's really marketing to people like me. we want an all in one solution and we don't have the konwledge or the time or the will to learn that wireless stuff. but we are usually in a hurry so apple can rip us off. it's easy money for them.

andi

yellow
Feb 28, 2005, 03:33 PM
well i think it's really marketing to people like me. we want an all in one solution and we don't have the konwledge or the time or the will to learn that wireless stuff. but we are usually in a hurry so apple can rip us off. it's easy money for them.

Absolutely. Next time I'm in the Apple Store, I hope I remember to look and see if they sell 3rd party WiFi equipment..

ravenvii
Feb 28, 2005, 03:36 PM
The AirPort Extreme Basestation is overpriced. I wouldn't buy one.

But the AirPort Express is very reasonably priced. I own one, it works great.

Blackheart
Feb 28, 2005, 03:38 PM
It's because they're circular.

slu
Feb 28, 2005, 03:52 PM
The only reason I can think of to buy Airport Extreme Base Station would be if you want to use Airport Express to be a singal relay and also use it for AirTunes.

I am moving into a new house in about a month and right now I use a Linksys 802.11b router and an Airport Express to stream via AirTunes, but when I move into my new house, the Linksys Router probably won't be able to cover the whole house, so I was considering an AEBS to use with my AE to cover the whole house.

Problem is that my TiVo box only supports 802.11b currently, so a g network really is a waste for me since the TiVo brings the whole network down to b anyway.

So I am kinda stuck on this one...unless I setup two different wireless networks: one for upstairs and one for downstairs, using the old linksys router for the downstairs with the TiVo and the AE upstairs. I guess I would need two cable or DSL modems to do this though.

kwikdeth
Feb 28, 2005, 04:15 PM
can someone clear this up for me?
maybe i'm just dumb or something, but why does all this speed matter? i mean, the original airport B was 11Mbps. Now we have G and super-G that are 54 and 108, respectively....
your average cable or DSL modem is only a 1.5Mbps connection. so even on airport B, that's 9.5Mbps that's just going to waste.
now, i see how it would be a factor if you were using airport express for airtunes or something like that, but for me at least, all my machines are gigabit-compatible so when I need to actually copy files between some macs i just plug in and get much better speed anyway, and then i use my linksys B router for internet cruising.

I guess i'm just asking everyone's thoughts on what it's good for... or like someone said earlier, it's all just about marketing and getting people to cough up for new stuff simply because it's "better"

jackieonasses
Feb 28, 2005, 04:18 PM
can someone clear this up for me?
maybe i'm just dumb or something, but why does all this speed matter? i mean, the original airport B was 11Mbps. Now we have G and super-G that are 54 and 108, respectively....
your average cable or DSL modem is only a 1.5Mbps connection. so even on airport B, that's 9.5Mbps that's just going to waste.
now, i see how it would be a factor if you were using airport express for airtunes or something like that, but for me at least, all my machines are gigabit-compatible so when I need to actually copy files between some macs i just plug in and get much better speed anyway, and then i use my linksys B router for internet cruising.

I guess i'm just asking everyone's thoughts on what it's good for... or like someone said earlier, it's all just about marketing and getting people to cough up for new stuff simply because it's "better" Well, i use the entire "G" bandwidth when i transfer files.
THat is the reason why.

jacg
Feb 28, 2005, 04:25 PM
The Express is worth it for the audio streaming (I have 2) but the Extreme I have is a load of rubbish. There is absolutely no guarantee any Airport printer port will work with a particular printer (Apple have completely washed their hands of this one, removing the list of compatible printers that I originally referred to) and I have found to my cost that it doesn't work with the HP deskjet driver.

My Extreme sits there looking pointlessly interesting, pumping out a crappy range and costing much more than many better performing units.

I understand there are other brands that can act as repeaters like Airport units, so there's another advantage that isn't worth the money.

kettle
Feb 28, 2005, 05:06 PM
It's because they're circular.

yeah, that's like teabags too.
square is good.

Jonathan Amend
Feb 28, 2005, 07:10 PM
Problem is that my TiVo box only supports 802.11b currently, so a g network really is a waste for me since the TiVo brings the whole network down to b anyway.
No it doesn't. B and G cards can work on the same network, at their full speeds, and at the same time.

wnameth
Feb 28, 2005, 07:21 PM
I have a d-link router that i got off of tiger direct for like 30-40 CAD, it supports sharing itunes music, printer sharing, and of course wireless internet :p

dotdotdot
Feb 28, 2005, 09:19 PM
I hate routers currently as I am on dial up because of a mishap with my family router...

But because of it, I hate Linksys so I'm biased now - I hate dial up more though :mad:

------

802.11b + g are for sharing files faster... on a G network
Internet speeds (some) are more than 1.5 MBPS...

-------

NOW, here is the real reason why airport bases are so expensive: Apple makes 'em.

They are really good though

mad jew
Feb 28, 2005, 09:27 PM
No it doesn't. B and G cards can work on the same network, at their full speeds, and at the same time.

Not so sure about this. When I add an 802.11b PC to my Airport Express only network, the whole thing chugs insanely. The PC is just used for accessing the net but I ended up buying it an 802.11g card just to speed up the link between my other computers. It worked too!

I'm pretty sure that the addition of an 802.11b computer to an 802.11g network brings the whole thing back to 11MB/s max. Isn't that why most public wireless access points are 802.11b?

It'd be great if someone cleared this up for me though. ;)

Jonathan Amend
Feb 28, 2005, 10:04 PM
The number of public wireless hotspots I encouter is usually a 50/50 split between b and g types. Mixing b and g shouldn't be a problem since it was one of the goals of the g specification, but according to this it can cause the performance issues you experienced depending on the devices (maybe the Airport really is overpriced?):

http://compnetworking.about.com/od/wirelessfaqs/f/mixing80211bg.htm

When both 802.11b and 802.11g clients are connected to an 802.11g router, the performance of the 802.11g clients can suffer. In the worst case, all 802.11g clients will slow down to have the same network speed as the 802.11b clients. More typically the 802.11g clients experience some degradation in performance, but they still perform noticeably faster than their 802.11b counterparts.