A question about Airport Extreme and other routers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Crashster, Mar 2, 2016.

  1. Crashster macrumors newbie

    Mar 2, 2016
    Hey guys, I have a few questions about the Airport Extreme as well as other routers.

    The AE has a USB port on it. Currently I use CrashPlan for backing up my MBA. I backup both to CrashPlan Central (offsite) and to a local hard drive that I have to plug into my MBA. My question is if I was to purchase an Airport Extreme, could I just plug the external hard drive into it instead of the MBA? That would be very convenient.

    Second question, would I be able to do that with other routers with USB ports, such as the TP-Link C7?

    Third question, from what I can tell the difference between the Airport Extreme and Airport Express is: No USB port, No Gigabit ports, and no AC on the Express. Is that all? If I don't use those 3 things, would everything else be the same? I am only connecting with basic devices and I don't need any of that hardcore router configuration stuff that some people do.

    Thanks for the info!
  2. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    @Crashster Here are my thoughts on your questions:
    1. Yes. You can use a USB hard drive connected to an AirPort Extreme or AirPort Time Capsule for Time Machine or most other backup programs.
    2. That capability may be a feature on other routers, but Time Machine is only officially supported on Apple AirPort routers. Generic USB hard drive hosting is available on a variety of other routers and may support your third party backup plan, but you must refer to the manufacturer documentation in regards to that.
    3. The Express has a USB port but it is limited to printer sharing, is limited to 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, and is also limited to wireless N. The Express has also been tested to be a bit weaker than the Extreme in terms of both signal and performance. It does however offer AirPlay capability, which is a feature limited to the Express.

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