Any rumors on an AirPort Extreme update?

CtotheP

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
131
1
Whitefish Bay, WI
I've got a 3rd gen extreme and it's about time to upgrade. For the first time in a while, I'm looking at an Asus unless there is enough motivation and perks to pay $199 for the 6th gen extreme
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I've got a 3rd gen extreme and it's about time to upgrade. For the first time in a while, I'm looking at an Asus unless there is enough motivation and perks to pay $199 for the 6th gen extreme
The general perks of the AirPort line in general was ease of setup, reliability, and stability. The ASUS has the stronger antennas as well as more advanced features and configuration.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,313
1,696
I've been extremely happy with my Airport Extreme (6th gen). Its so nice that I haven't had to log into it and mess with settings, forward this port, place that IP in DMZ, etc etc. I just bought it, plugged it in, and haven't touched it, not even for a power cycle.

That said, its a little bit unnerving knowing I can't really get to some of the more advanced settings if I need too. However I haven't needed to so thats a moot point.

Its coverage blankets my house with a strong signal albeit my place isn't that huge and I have it in a centralized location.
 

phositadc

macrumors 6502
Dec 9, 2012
454
35
The general perks of the AirPort line in general was ease of setup, reliability, and stability. The ASUS has the stronger antennas as well as more advanced features and configuration.

This. I started with the latest AirPort Extreme but decided to give the asus a try. A little more difficult to setup (though still easy), but I get better range and speeds all around. Kept the asus, returned the AirPort Extreme.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
This. I started with the latest AirPort Extreme but decided to give the asus a try. A little more difficult to setup (though still easy), but I get better range and speeds all around. Kept the asus, returned the AirPort Extreme.
In my case, the overall capability and reliability of the Extreme made all the difference for me.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,174
8,823
California
I've got a 3rd gen extreme and it's about time to upgrade. For the first time in a while, I'm looking at an Asus unless there is enough motivation and perks to pay $199 for the 6th gen extreme
Unless you need the Time Machine compatability of the new Extreme it has little to offer over the new Asus units in terms of range, speed, and features. Also the Asus costs less. The Extreme is a little easier to setup with Airport Utility.

Compare subjective test results of the two at smallnetbuilder.com
 

robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,287
230
+1 on smallnetbuilder reviews.

You pay a premium for the Apple kit, and I have found mine harder to use, especially since they dumped the old Airport Utility. The web interfaces for other routers are so much easier. Sure, most setups work outta the box with most newer routers. But when you've got problems the AE is a mess.

Also, if you do wifi it's great to have external antenna connections. A good antenna is one of the best ways to tune wifi performance. I'd never buy a router or AP without them again.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
Unless you need the Time Machine compatability of the new Extreme it has little to offer over the new Asus units in terms of range, speed, and features.
I have, and love, the Asus RT-AC68U. I did not need Time Machine over the network nor have I had any experience with the Extreme, but the range, speed and features of the Asus are indeed impressive. It is a router that I fully expect will serve me well for a long time.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Great to hear both sides of the "coin" here. I'm going to check out the smallnetbuilder reviews and keep you guys posted!
Sounds good! I installed a network of AirPorts for a school as my Eagle Scout project. It is a roaming network with eight Expresses (2nd Generation) wired to a central 5th generation Extreme. It handles 100+ users without issues. As a joke, I had a ASUS purchased lying around so I swapped it in place of the Extreme. It took all of under 11 minutes to crash it.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
Great to hear both sides of the "coin" here. I'm going to check out the smallnetbuilder reviews and keep you guys posted!
Fair enough.

In addition to the individual reviews of the RT-AC68U (and Netgear R7000) and the A1521 Extreme at SmallNetBuilder, I also recommend you check out these useful charts. :)

By the way, while I haven't played any jokes on my Asus, I have pushed a serious amount of data through it and as of yet haven't managed to crash it. :p
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Fair enough.

In addition to the individual reviews of the RT-AC68U (and Netgear R7000) and the A1521 Extreme at SmallNetBuilder, I also recommend you check out these useful charts. :)

By the way, while I haven't played any jokes on my Asus, I have pushed a serious amount of data through it and as of yet haven't managed to crash it. :p
I guess my experience is irrelevant as that is not something that the ASUS is advertised as being capable of.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
I guess my experience is irrelevant
I don't recall making any claims that your experiences were irrelevant. I was just adding my own into the mix.

By the way, was this an RT-AC68U that you just happened to have laying around that crashed on you?

I did make it clear that I don't have any personal experience with the Airport Extreme. I bought the Asus based on its excellent reviews and superior performance.

Another good point for the Asus I forgot to mention is that they are quite regular with firmware updates to hone performance. This is in direct contrast to Netgear who are not nearly as regular with theirs. Apple, I have no idea about as far as firmware updates for the Extreme go. Do tell.

as that is not something that the ASUS is advertised as being capable of.
I'm not entirely sure what the that you're referring to here is, but where is the Airport Extreme advertised as being capable of it, whatever it is?
 
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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I don't recall making any claims that your experiences were irrelevant. I was just adding my own into the mix.

By the way, was this an RT-AC68U that you just happened to have laying around that crashed on you?

I did make it clear that I don't have any personal experience with the Airport Extreme. I bought the Asus based on its excellent reviews and superior performance.

Another good point for the Asus I forgot to mention is that they are quite regular with firmware updates to hone performance. This is in direct contrast to Netgear who are not nearly as regular with theirs. Apple, I have no idea about as far as firmware updates for the Extreme go. Do tell.



I'm not entirely sure what the that you're referring to here is, but where is the Airport Extreme advertised as being capable of it, whatever it is?

Well, I said it was irrelevant as no home is going to strain a network that much. It was indeed an ASUS RT-AC68U. As for firmware updates, ASUS is faster, but Apple takes more time to squash most if not all bugs and their firmwares generally are more for feature introduction. I am pleased with Apple's stable and consistent support of the AirPort line. Netgear is garbage with support and I took Apple AirPort over Netgear's pro line with lightweight APs due to their lack of support and fixes. I actually spoke with Apple engineers and they guaranteed it.
 

SaSaSushi

macrumors 601
Aug 8, 2007
4,079
470
Takamatsu, Japan
Well, I said it was irrelevant as no home is going to strain a network that much.
Oh, your Eagle Scout project. Yes, I will admit I have not come close to putting that much of load on my Asus, yet.

I've dealt with Netgear routers in the past and there is no question that they do indeed suck with support and updates. This is probably why the RT-AC68U gets so much love over the Netgear R7000 in spite of the Netgear actually having slightly better performance.

As for firmware updates, ASUS is faster, but Apple takes more time to squash most if not all bugs and their firmwares generally are more for feature introduction. I am pleased with Apple's stable and consistent support of the AirPort line.
Appreciate the info, thanks. :)
 

eduardrw

macrumors 6502
May 20, 2013
252
3
I have multiple apple devices in my house. The Apple routers are not only very stable, they also provide for some "additional benefits" for Apple users -
just to name a few:
Wake up on Lan - transparent to users - nice when you want to stream stuff from your iMac to your Apple TV

Screen sharing local - and Back to my Mac -> lets you remote log in to your different apple computers fromLAN and WAN if properly set up.

Remote access of Time capsule hardisk without having a degree in IT

I know I could set most of that on any previously mentioned router, but it with Apple routers "it just works"
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Oh, your Eagle Scout project. Yes, I will admit I have not come close to putting that much of load on my Asus, yet.

I've dealt with Netgear routers in the past and there is no question that they do indeed suck with support and updates. This is probably why the RT-AC68U gets so much love over the Netgear R7000 in spite of the Netgear actually having slightly better performance.



Appreciate the info, thanks. :)

I spoke with an engineer from Ubiquiti, Apple, and Netgear. Ubiquiti's UniFi line is what I wanted since it has PoE (Power Over Ethernet) and had a free software controller which really was more like a settings pushing utility. It had some advantages, but the UniFi AP Pro (Most affordable dual band model) was $180 an AP if I recall correctly. My other issue is that to use them with PoE on some models you either needed a custom Ubiquiti switch which isn't well regarded or an adapter with a regular PoE switch.

Netgear was a world of idiots. The engineer couldn't tell me what the maximum number of APs on a controller that I could afford was. I said thank you for the time but I am going with a different vendor. I can't afford to have the system go down and require expensive repairs or consultation because Netgear doesn't support it well. Keep in mind this is the top line of products for them.

Apple said it will work fine! I didn't have to supply a 3rd party router like I would have to with Ubiquiti (they lack a built in router). I get updates as needed and support if necessary (unlike Netgear). It lacks some of the features a hardware or software controller would afford me, but having the mobile AirPort Utility is fantastic. In fact when setting it up the first time, I had an eleven year old assisting me. He had his iPad there and downloaded AirPort Utility on it. He was able to add the Expresses to the network with a couple of taps. In fact he didn't even need my help. I had the central Extreme's antenna go out, and swapped it at the local Genius Bar in under 15 minutes. Any other vendor would need an engineer to come out or send the parts in for repair, both causing down time. My checklist was support in case something goes wrong, affordability, and simplicity. If there is a problem the network tells me and I can resolve the issue easily. Can't beat it and 100+ students and I are very happy with the performance.

I have multiple apple devices in my house. The Apple routers are not only very stable, they also provide for some "additional benefits" for Apple users -

just to name a few:

Wake up on Lan - transparent to users - nice when you want to stream stuff from your iMac to your Apple TV



Screen sharing local - and Back to my Mac -> lets you remote log in to your different apple computers fromLAN and WAN if properly set up.



Remote access of Time capsule hardisk without having a degree in IT



I know I could set most of that on any previously mentioned router, but it with Apple routers "it just works"

It definitely follows the saying "it just works"...
 

rkuo

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2010
593
192
I love the stability of the Apple products and the It Just Works aspect of it, but the product manager over there has lost his gourd.

I filed a bunch of reports noting the loss of serious settings like individual band selection, the non-deterministic "auto" selection of extended bands, transmit power, settings to exclude b/g/n clients are all weirdly reversed (generally people don't want to exclude the faster clients, they want to exclude the slower ones), the nonsensically out of date Windows client, etc. All of them got closed out without so much as a reasonable explanation.

You need to understand the market and what makes a wireless access point usable to succeed, and as the large number of people struggling to find old settings can attest, the direction Apple has been taking the Airport Extreme in is the wrong one. Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. The new Airport Utility has made things too simple to the point of deleting settings necessary for proper configuration.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I love the stability of the Apple products and the It Just Works aspect of it, but the product manager over there has lost his gourd.

I filed a bunch of reports noting the loss of serious settings like individual band selection, the non-deterministic "auto" selection of extended bands, transmit power, settings to exclude b/g/n clients are all weirdly reversed (generally people don't want to exclude the faster clients, they want to exclude the slower ones), the nonsensically out of date Windows client, etc. All of them got closed out without so much as a reasonable explanation.

You need to understand the market and what makes a wireless access point usable to succeed, and as the large number of people struggling to find old settings can attest, the direction Apple has been taking the Airport Extreme in is the wrong one. Make things as simple as possible, but no simpler. The new Airport Utility has made things too simple to the point of deleting settings necessary for proper configuration.
I agree... I still use the transmit power settings afforded by AirPort Utility 5.6. Aside from that, even with my complex network, I am just fine with 6.x. In fact, AirPort Utility works better with roaming networks!
 

CtotheP

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 15, 2011
131
1
Whitefish Bay, WI
Well, I pulled the trigger and bought the Airport Extreme 6th gen. My sister has an Education discount ($179), and I had $150 in Apple Gift Cards, so I only had to pay about $38 (incl. tax, etc.) for it. Not a bad deal, going to set it up this week sometime
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
Any rumors on an AirPort Extreme update?

My data point: I've owned the Asus the netgear r7000 and the last 3 generations of airport extremes.

I currently am using the r7000 for router and the 6th gen AE for wireless as a hardwired extender on main floor


None of these routers will cover our home without dropouts (approx 5500 sq ft). The netgear and Asus give better range but the newest AE is a HUGE improvement in range over the last one. It will almost do the whole house.

Netgear has HORRIBLE support and drivers.


Here's the main problem (and it's a big one in our home) with the apple router : for whatever reason (and I've bought and returned 3 of them and done countless hours of net research to no avail) you CANNOT run two or more Xbox one consoles on the same network with an apple router. The lag is intermittently terrible. I think there is an issue with upnp but really don't know other than after tearing my hair out for weeks I went back and bought the netgear again (had returned one previously due to driver (lack of) support) just to be able to have our consoles work.
 
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brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,406
766
Here's the main problem (and it's a big one in our home) with the apple router : for whatever reason (and I've bought and returned 3 of them and done countless hours of net research to no avail) you CANNOT run two or more Xbox one consoles on the same network with an apple router. The lag is intermittently terrible. I think there is an issue with upnp but really don't know other than after tearing my hair out for weeks I went back and bought the netgear again (had returned one previously due to driver (lack of) support) just to be able to have our consoles work.
The Airport Extreme doesn't support upnp, so pretty unlikely that there's an issue with the feature. Also don't understand the comment about drivers. In what sense would you need drivers for a router?
 

FrozenDarkness

macrumors 65816
Mar 21, 2009
1,382
466
i used to own the 655 router, supposedly the holy grail. what happened was that i ended up having to reboot my router once a month. once i switched to an apple router, i never, ever had to do that, like ever. no router issues, never.

apple has me as a customer for life for their routers.
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
The Airport Extreme doesn't support upnp, so pretty unlikely that there's an issue with the feature. Also don't understand the comment about drivers. In what sense would you need drivers for a router?
Well the lack of it maybe an issue.... All I know is 2 or more xbox one's attached to same network with it does not work

And I meant firmware sorry not driver