Any Time Capsule/AirPort Extreme experts?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by eattherich, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. eattherich macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    Hey everyone!

    I'm in the market for a new wireless router and I came across the AirPort Extreme for £139. This is much higher than I planned to spend on a wireless router but as I have two MacBooks and two iPhones in my apartment I liked the idea of sticking with Apple products. I understand that only one of the MacBooks (my late 2009 2.66GHz Pro) will be able to utilise the "N" band but I liked the sound of the router being simultaneous dual-band for when my girlfriend uses her older "G" MacBook.

    Anyway, is the AirPort Extreme Base Station a good option for me? I live in a fairly small apartment so I'll never be more than 10 metres from the router with my MacBook or iPhone. If you think that this would be a better option than a NETGEAR 3700, for example, then please advise me.

    My next question was regarding a 2TB Time Capsule. Am I right to think that these are basically AirPort Extreme Base Stations with internal hard drives? If so, is the Wi-Fi performance the exact same? I'd like a new external hard drive so this sounds like a viable option but can you tell me what the real world speeds are like accessing the 2TB hard drive wirelessly? Are they 'that much' better than if I had an AirPort Extreme with a USB 2.0 external hard drive attached?

    I've been struggling to decide on this for a while now so hopefully there are some experts here to answer my questions and give me some advice.

    Thanks in advance! Have a great weekend :)
  2. iStudentUK macrumors 65816


    Mar 8, 2009
    The Airport Extreme is a bit much in a small apartment. It does have some great features like guest networks, however, I personally don't think it would be worth the money. Especially as it doesn't even have a modem built in.

    However, we only have one computer in our house so we just use time machine with an external drive by the computer. If you want a wireless backup solution the Airport/Time Capsule starts to make more sense. As far as I know you can use an external drive with the Extreme (despite Apple not mentioning it) and I would prefer that over a Time Capsule. This is for two reasons- firstly price (big premium for the TC) and secondly flexibility in case your setup changes in the future.

    Overall, I'd say an Extreme/TC is good if you want to do wireless backups but if no t save money and go for a cheaper router.
  3. eattherich thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    Thanks for your reply. I completely understand what you're saying about the cost etc. To be fair, wireless backing up would be nice but it's not essential. My main priority is to get the best possible Wi-Fi signal to my devices. It seems stupid paying for a 64 Mbps connection when it's held back by a cheap router. As of now, I'm more inclined to go for an AirPort Extreme but I've still got the idea of the NETGEAR 3700 (€91 delivered) in my mind as it has the same great features as the AirPort Extreme such as simultaneous dual-band etc. Hmm...
  4. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Nov 11, 2009
    The Netherlands
    I think you can't go wrong with either the Extreme/TC or the Netgear.

    If you want to do backups over your network, note that Time Machine to a HD connected to an Airport Extreme is not officially supported by Apple. People have reported problems with this. I would use a TC in that case.

    I myself have chosen for an Airport Extreme for these reasons:
    - it supports wireless wake-on-lan (I needed this to stream music from my iMac to my stereo downstairs)
    - it is very easy to set up
    - from what I've read, the current generation Extremes are very reliable, and with 8 months of use I think I can confirm that
    - I have a house with 2 stories and the Extreme is in the basement, I have WiFi at every floor and also in my backyard 15 meters outside. So I'm very satisfied with the reach (this last point is of less importance to you of course)
  5. eattherich thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jul 8, 2011
    @lexvo: Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it! :)

    I've kind of gone off the idea of a Time Capsule as wireless backups aren't essential to me. The main thing I want is the best Wi-Fi speed/quality from the router. I've now narrowed it down to:

    - Apple AirPort Extreme
    - NETGEAR WNDR-3700
    - ASUS RT-N56U

    They all seem about as good as each other but I still don't know which one to go for! Any advice?...
  6. psxguru macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2006
    I have the AEBS and I'm happy with it (although it could do with more than 3 ethernet ports!).

    I have mine set up with one channel as 5Ghz n (Macs only), and the other channel as 2.4Ghz b/g/n (ps3, iphone etc) - you may need to option click on the radio modes in the airport utility to show all the different available radio combinations though.
  7. ahdickter macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2011
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Why the hell would you need a "macs only" channel if there are other "n" devices (like iPods, gaming consoles) that are stuck with sharing lower speeds of "g" devices?

    Since Apple just updated their AEBS (quietly) and many reviewers are stating how speeds and reliability increased further from the previous generation (which everyone loved) I would recommend an Airport Extreme for you. Although the cost may be higher than the competition, reliability is unmatched.

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