Why are Airport bases so expensive?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by danmoo, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2005
    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:
  2. Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    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.
  3. macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    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!
  4. macrumors 6502a


    Jul 4, 2004
    Tallahassee, FL
    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.
  5. macrumors 601


    Mar 29, 2004
    Boston, MA
    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.

  6. Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Absolutely. Next time I'm in the Apple Store, I hope I remember to look and see if they sell 3rd party WiFi equipment..
  7. macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    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.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
  9. slu
    macrumors 68000


    Sep 15, 2004
    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.
  10. macrumors 6502

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    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"
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Mar 3, 2004
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    Well, i use the entire "G" bandwidth when i transfer files.
    THat is the reason why.
  12. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2003
    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.
  13. macrumors 65816


    May 12, 2002
    England, Great Britain (Airstrip One)
    yeah, that's like teabags too.
    square is good.
  14. macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Montreal, Canada
    No it doesn't. B and G cards can work on the same network, at their full speeds, and at the same time.
  15. macrumors 65816


    Nov 18, 2004
    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
  16. macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    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
  17. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    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. ;)
  18. macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2003
    Montreal, Canada
    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?):



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