Airport Express vs Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by msduncan, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. msduncan macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010
    About three weeks ago I bought an Airport Express (n) for travel. During testing I was amazed at how much faster it was than my net gear (g) router, and so I kept my Airport Express live instead as my primary router. My question:

    Should I buy an Airport Extreme? Would it buy me anything? I.e. Does it have even higher bandwidth, speed, etc than my express, or are you paying essentially for more connections and network drive capabilities?
  2. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    I did it the other way, had the extreme base station due to wanting the sim dual band (which the express doesn't have) as I have 6 PC's and Mac's in the house with an iPod touch so 4 of the devices didn't have N wireless... my Linksys G router was working fine but I wanted the N speeds on my 3 N machines and the USB port, guest networking and sim dual band sold me on the apple unit...

    I liked it so much I got an N express to extend my network at my 3 story house or use when I travel... all of which would work for you also...
  3. mikes63737 macrumors 65816

    Jul 26, 2005
    The extreme's USB port works with both hard drives and printers, the express only works with printers.

    The extreme has gigabit ethernet ports (not sure if WAN is gigabit or not, but it doesn't matter since home internet speeds are not anywhere near 100mbps yet).

    The extreme accepts more wireless clients, and has dual-band, guest network, etc.

    But... the extreme does not have AirTunes.

    So, if you have the money and don't want AirTunes, get the extreme.
  4. hellfire88 macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2008
    I believe the Express also can only have 10 computers/devices connected to it at once time, just something to keep in mind in case you have lots of other computers/ipods/iPads. If not and you don't really used wired ethernet nor will you hook up a hard drive to the USB port for Airdisk I don't really see a reason to get the Extreme.
  5. msduncan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 27, 2010
    Number of connections is not as big of a deal as performance to me. Does the Express match the Extreme in performance? Does it have better range or bandwidth?
  6. Adam0306 macrumors regular


    One thing I noticed that the Extreme has that the Express does not is it is VPN capable. So depending on whether that is a benefit for you or not. Other than that I don't really know the pros and cons of either. If you have the money go for the Extreme.
  7. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I would assume....and this is only an assumption...that the Extreme's larger surface area would allow a larger antenna and therefore, a longer-distance, stronger signal, yet I have no real-life data to back this up.
  8. J&JPolangin macrumors 68030

    Jul 5, 2008
    Thule GL @ the TOW
    #8 you have any G devices in your house?

    If so the extreme has simul dual band capability that the express DOESN'T have so your N devices run at full N speeds while your G devices run at full G speeds and doesn't dumb down your N connection to compensate...
  9. itickings macrumors 6502a


    Apr 14, 2007
    My experience is the opposite actually, it is the G devices that suffer much more than the N devices if the base station isn't simul dual band.
  10. Tex-Twil macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2008
  11. haloplay3r16 macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2010
    I dont have proof by experience, but on Apple's website, it says that he extreme has Simultaneous dual-band(2.4 GHx And 5 GHz) and the express has just plain dual-band (2.4 GHz OR 5 GHz)
    Also in the recommended uses, it says the Express is for "Apartment, smaller home, or dorm" and the extreme is for "Larger home, office, or classroom". That description suggests more range.
  12. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    Extreme definitely has a longer range. I had an Express, replaced it with an Extreme, and now I get signal around the pool in the back yard, where before it was only in the house.

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