Airport Extreme worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ppenn, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. ppenn, Feb 8, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2017

    ppenn macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2013
    My airport express is not enough anymore in my new house. Is the Airport extreme worth it (using the express as an extender)? Or are there better options for the price?
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Nope -- probably not worth it any more.
    You're aware that Apple has effectively discontinued development on their routers, are you not?
    The current Airport Extreme is still being sold, but looks to be "the last of its product line". And the current unit is now… 3 years old?

    My suggestion is that you investigate one of the new "mesh" systems out there:
    - eero
    - google wifi
    - ubiquiti
    - Netgear Orbi
    - Luma

    There are LOTS of user reviews and answered questions on these (check amazon).
    I would recommend that you set a date in the future -- say, 60 days -- and in the meantime "do your due diligence" to research what's available and make your decision.

    I'll probably be going for the Orbi in the next few months.
    It's the only one of the "new systems" that can be managed effectively from a web browser.
    All the rest require some kind of smartphone and app (which I don't have).
  3. ppenn thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2013
    Thanks for the input. Most of those are not in the same price range though. Luma looks more in my budget. I'll continue to research these options. It's also important that I have a few Ethernet outputs in the router a well.

  4. tomislavf macrumors member

    Nov 2, 2011
    Check out Ubiquiti Amplifi. If you're a little technical check out Ubiquiti's Unifi access points for the real toys. I use their UAP AC LR access points (one on each storey of the house) and never looked back :)

    Edgerouter X + UAP AC LR = $150
  5. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    penn wrote:
    "It's also important that I have a few Ethernet outputs in the router a well."

    If I'm not mistaken, the only one of the "mesh systems" that HAS multiple ethernet ports is the Orbi.

    All the others have a "max" of just 2 per unit, I believe.

    However -- you could always plug in a "dumb" either switch and add ports that way...
  6. jksu macrumors regular

    Nov 26, 2009
    almost got an orbi setup for our new larger home earlier this year but found our airport extreme did just fine providing coverage. also like being able to plug in usb drive to airport extreme for wifi time capsule backups.

    does anyone know if any of the new mesh systems allow attached usb drives for wifi time capsule backups?
  7. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Did you try what Netgear: Time Machine Setup to see if it works?
  8. MrX8503 macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2010
    AirPort Extreme is still a very capable router. I would buy it again today if I didn't already own one. I switched from Netgear's nighthawk to the AE.

    I would just get a time capsule if you value your time.
  9. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX
    honestly, i would just buy a used one off of eBay etc. lots of people are dumping them after hearing the news that Apple discontinued their wifi division.

    I was going to do the same and ended up purchasing Google Wifi...i had nothing but problems and my Time Capsule and Airport Expresses were way more reliable. Luckily I tested the new system before selling my old stuff. iMO, they are still great routers. But then again, i wouldn't pay the $200 price tag....find a used one!
  10. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    One thing to mention if you are running OSX server, the server can configure an apple router automatically. Not sure what apple's plan with server when airport goes away, some of the ease of use of server will be gone.
  11. richpjr macrumors 68040


    May 9, 2006
    If you can afford it, I'd go for one of the mesh systems as well. If not, there are many routers that are much, much better than the AE is.
  12. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    FWIW, the Airport Extreme is showing up in Refurb store for $129.99 of late - I just picked one up to replace my first gen Time Capsule, which I'll keep for TM backups, and integrate into my network that has a couple of Airport expresses.

    I do like the new mesh (or "mesh" in some cases) idea, but wouldn't mind seeing it develop a bit - each of the systems seems to have drawbacks . . . hoping this will tide me over. (The network is running fine, but realize I need a bit more coverage and would prefer to have some redundancy given the TC is pushing 8 years.)
  13. ppenn thread starter macrumors regular


    Oct 22, 2013
    I'm like you in the sense that I do not like the "mesh" systems. I need one strong router with multiplier Ethernet ports.I'm not looking for a TC solution as that is not important to me.

    After the research I've done I probably will buy an AE even though it's many years old. I'll still have my express to bridge if I need to. I appreciate everyone's input and opinions.
  14. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    People started selling 6th gen AE for dirty cheap at eBay.
  15. Klaatu63 macrumors regular


    Nov 3, 2010
    New Jersey
    I am as happy as a clam with my Airport Extreme, Started out with Gen 5 and did an good job of covering my 2700 square ft home. When the Gen 6 was released in June 20, 2013, I upgraded and installed a Power Line adaptor and placed the Gen 5 on the remote end in a roaming network config. I have no problems for three years. I plan to purchase a backup Gen 6 soon, just in case.
  16. bigdog5142 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2008
    I picked up a Google Wifi for our house and I LOVE it. I have a "long" house and needed the mesh to cover the house and yard. I use a switch for the ports I need out of my U-verse box.

    This system replaced an AirPort Extreme and AirPort Express setup I had been running and I haven't looked back.
  17. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    OP wrote:
    "I'm like you in the sense that I do not like the "mesh" systems. I need one strong router with multiplier Ethernet ports."

    Look at the Netgear Orbi.
    Base router has 3 LAN ports, and the satellite has 4 more LAN ports...
  18. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    the people stating that the AE is not the best option must have had bad experiences. I bought an Airport Extreme in 2008, and I am still using that same one now, almost 9 years later. Always on, hardly ever needs a reboot.

    I am going to replace it shortly. Ebay is full of new model ones for under $100. A steal if you ask me. I used to have the Linksys and Netgear ones in the 2000s, and they weren't not nearly as reliable as what i have experienced with the Extreme.

    You can even pick up a new model time machine for a good deal.
  19. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    The problem with buying into "AE technology" now is that it's uncertain just how much longer Apple will continue to support their older hardware.

    Since the Airport development team has been disabanded by Apple, could we see older AE units (such as the flat model) reach that point where they don't work properly with newer Macs because there's no version of the Airport software that will recognize or update them?

    This is not to imply that old AE's won't work with vintage Macs running older versions of the OS.
    But we could see the time when they'll no longer be fully functional with -newer- Macs.

    BTW, as mentioned earlier, I've been using an older "flat" AE for around 7 years now with nary a "hiccup" from it. It "just works". But it -IS- growing older, and since the time for replacing it is nearing, when that time comes, I'll spring for one of the "mesh" solutions...

Share This Page

18 February 8, 2017