7th generation AirPort Extreme, 6th generation Time Capsule

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by nutmac, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #1
    Historically, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule are refreshed every 2 years and AirPort Express every 4 years. Based on that, AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule are now due for update.

    At the very minimum, they need 4x4:4 (transmit antennas x receive antennas : streams) MU-MIMU (current products are 3x3:3) and USB 3.0 ports (USB-C perhaps).

    I am also crossing my fingers for QoS (which would improve Wi-Fi Calling), iTunes media hosting (at least for Time Capsule), and VPN server, but I strongly doubt it.

    If you ask me, Apple should just eliminate AirPort Extreme for good and sell only Time Capsule and AirPort Express (updated for 802.11ac).
     
  2. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #2
    @nutmac The AirPort does have a QoS service built in but it is not configurable. USB 3.0 on a router is generally a gimmick as most cannot handle the increased bandwidth of USB 3.0 due to slow chipsets. That being said, I think the Extreme has the most purpose in the line up as the pro-sumer router for Apple. It also offers Time Machine for USB drives as well!
     
  3. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    Oregon, USA
    #3
    The easiest way to predict airport revisions is to study the wifi protocols. Is there something out soon to replace 11.ac?
     
  4. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #4
    That being said there is always room for improvement and Apple could easily make the 7th generation a minor performance update.
     
  5. nutmac thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Mar 30, 2004
    #5
    While I agree that AirPort Extreme ($199) is a better value than Time Capsule ($299 2TB / $399 3TB), I think Apple's wireless lineup would be more effective with just two products: $99 AirPort Express upgraded to 3x3:3 802.11ac and $399 Time Capsule model with 4x4:4 802.11ac and 4TB hard disk (with iTunes support to enhance its value).

    As for USB 3.0, throughput from Time Capsule is faster than AirPort (80MB per second vs. 25MB per second for large files), so I think updating to 3.0 could be beneficial (it certainly shouldn't add much cost).
     
  6. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #6
    The AirPort Extreme could effectively replace the Express if given an audio port. Apple sells them for $129 refurbished so they could lower the price to $129 new or $99 refurbished and I think that would still satisfy most customer's needs. The Time Capsule is only faster as it is an internal SATA bus. Plugging in a USB hard drive to a Time Capsule or Extreme only gives the ~25 MB/s figure you stated. The USB 2.0 standard can handle 60 MB/s so it proves it is a chipset speed issue.
     
  7. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    #7
    You have it right with the first sentence but slightly inaccurate with the second sentence. That might have been true before the 802.11n but afterward, it's not.

    For an example, there's generational waves of 802.11ac products coming with more streams, MU-MIMO, and etc. We're close to seeing the wave 2 generation of 802.11ac routers coming out with 4x4 antenna setups, better MU-MIMO support, and so on. AirPort Extreme is at 3x3 only and doesn't support MU-MIMO, it does MIMO only.

    802.11ac goes up to 8 streams but it is extremely difficult to just do 4x4 right now and while routers will be coming out now with 4x4 (wave 2), the clients are still struggling to reach 2x2 on mobile devices and 3x3 on laptops.

    The problem with 802.11ac is that it is extremely difficult to support all of the changes it has right off the bat, it will take several years or a decade before we can take advantage of all the features.

    802.11ac will stick around much longer compared to 802.11n.
     

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