Extreme for small apartment?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Lukewarmwinner, Jan 31, 2014.

  1. Lukewarmwinner macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
    #1
    Hi guys

    Finally we're getting faster internet in our building, 50mbit, and I have to return my current router.

    Therefore I need to buy a new one. I'm aware, that pretty much all routers can handle that speed, but I'd like it to be as future proof as possible.

    I have a bunch of devices on the connection like Playstation, iPads, iPhones, Macs and so on, but my apartment isn't more than about 650ft2...

    So, would it be overkill to buy an Extreme? I don't need the USB-thing, or a wired lan-possibility. Or should I buy a Express?

    My Air doesn't have ac, but I'm guessing my next one will :p
     
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #2

    The Express only has one ethernet port. I assume your Internet is provided via ethernet. Thus the Express could ONLY be used for wifi devices since the Ethernet Port will be used as a WAN port.

    If in the US, you could go refurb and get an older Airport Extreme (non AC) for only $85 which is actually cheaper than a NEW Airport Express. That should tide you over until you need AC.

    However, if you really want to "future proof" yourself, then get an Extreme w/ AC.

    Note: I use "future proof" in quotes because I really don't believe there is such a thing in the computer world. Anything new today, will be out of date in 2 years. If you don't need it today why spend the money when you will ultimately rebuy it later when you truly need it (and there is something newer/better at that time).
     
  3. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #3
    Yeah, I won't be able to use wired ethernet at any point if I go with an Express. Unfortunately I don't have the refurb option since I live outside the states. So the price for Extreme is actually twice the price of a Express

    And you're right - no such thing a future proof in this biz, but as proof as possible :rolleyes:
     
  4. tibas92013 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 2, 2013
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    Costa Rica
    #4
    I am very happy that I bought a Refurbished Apple Express from the Apple Store(AS) last August and I live in the Country of Costa Rica.

    I also Bought a Refurbished Mac Mini i5 and Apple TV from the AS.
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #5
    The Express is 802.11n and the Extreme has 802.11ac. I suspect you'll find the Extreme is actually better for you even if you don't have any 802.11ac devices.

    Also, you might decide to directly attach your computer to the AirPort one day. And an AirPort can last many years. My old AirPort Base was over 9 years old before I replaced it a few months ago.
     
  6. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #6
    True that. I'm just gonna go with the Extreme.

    Thanks guys :)
     
  7. opinio, Feb 1, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014

    opinio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #7
    I'd get the Extreme. It is very good with WAN throughput on fast internet as it has Gigabit WAN and LAN. The Express only has one LAN and one WAN port and are old 100Mbps (WAN and LAN) not Gigabit. The WiFi on the Express (300) is actually fast than the ethernet if you have a reasonable link.

    Also while you may not use AC now, you obviously will as you get new things.
     
  8. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

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    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    The current 2012 Airport Express model has two 10/100 ethernet ports.
     
  9. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #9
    And some thought on any new upgrades around the corner? The current Extreme is almost a year old right?
     
  10. opinio macrumors 65816

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    Mar 23, 2013
    #10

    The Extreme came out July last year from memory. It is barely 6 months old. No chance of an upgrade in the near future.

    Express on the other hand, yes.

    There have been a few rumours on the Express.

    http://www.macrumors.com/2013/09/03...-shortages-hint-at-potential-802-11ac-update/
     
  11. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
  12. Dr Charter macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2011
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    #12
    Maybe if you buy one it will increase the "shortage" and they'll upgrade it faster. :D

    By the way, I have an Express in a 4 bedroom house (1 story) and it covers every room just fine. That really surprised me. I bought it when we lived in a small condo and I assumed I'd need an extreme when I moved. Not the case.
     
  13. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #13
    I just went through all my old gear and found this oldie - http://www.netgear.com/service-providers/products/home/networking/wifi-routers/WNR1000.aspx

    It's a standard Netgear router I bought for my first internet connection.

    I was wondering, if I would get speedier connection by using an Extreme instead of the Netgear? Or is the Netgear capable of handling the 50mbit-connection?

    I don't want my router to slow the fibre, since it's finally a reality, so wants to hear your opinion :)
     
  14. richard13 macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Mill Creek, WA
    #14
    If you are going to only be using ethernet then any old Gigabit router (including this one) will do.

    If you want wireless get the Airport Extreme. Better yet, get a Time Capsule so you can back up your data to it.
     
  15. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #15
    I'll only be using it wireless - except my Mac Mini

    So the Extreme will deliver a better wireless connection than the Netgear?

    Regarding backup - I'm on a Dropbox-plan, so don't need any local backup
     
  16. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #16
    I'm guessing since the Extreme can run dualband on 5ghz (300 mbps) and not just 2.4ghz (150 mpbs) like the Netgear, whould make it quicker to transmit the signals and making the connection faster.

    Right?
     
  17. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2012
    #17
    If your internet is 50 mb/s then a N router that is capable of 150 mb/s should be capable of transmitting sufficiently in the 650 ft^2 space you quoted. I would plug in the old router once you get your new internet and see how it works. Regardless of how fast the router is capable of, you will never get internet faster than 50 mb/s because that is what your internet modem is limited to.

    If you are doing file transfers/data backup between devices within your network then you can benefit from a faster router.
     
  18. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #18
    Thanks for a great response! I won't be transferring any files within the network, but really just using it for wireless connection. I get your point about not getting any advantages using a 300mbit router, when my limit is 50mbit. But then again - why would people buy the .ac-routers and go for ones with faster capabilities when no one (that I know) got an 300mbit internet connection... 'Cause of the transferring between devices?
     
  19. Dark Dragoon macrumors 6502a

    Dark Dragoon

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    UK
    #19
    The frequency isn't linked to the speed as such, at-least not with 802.11n. I think the current (and even the older) Airport Extremes will go up to 300 mbps on either band with 802.11n (maybe 450 mbps, I would need to check).

    It doesn't make it connect any faster either. The real advantage of having dual simultaneous bands is that you can for example put your older devices with slower wifi cards on the 2.4 GHz frequency and the devices that are faster and capable of connecting to 5GHz can connect on the 5 GHz frequency.

    In general:-

    2.4 GHz (802.11b/g/n) is supported by more devices especially older ones, has better penetration through objects such as walls but can be more susceptible to interference from things like baby monitors, cordless phones and other devices which operate on the 2.4GHz frequency band. This band also tends to be more congested as most peoples WiFi networks are using 2.4 GHz.

    5 GHz (802.11a/n/ac) has less device support, combined with the frequency not being used as much, often means that you experience less interference and so a better signal. However the higher frequency means that the signal tends to be more affected by objects such as walls more than that of 2.4 GHz (though thats less of a problem now). As 5GHz supports 802.11ac it will be faster if your equipment also supports it.

    If you don't have a fast internet connection, then having a WiFi network which is faster as mentioned is still useful for transferring files between computers, backing up and restoring your files from a networked backup drive (could be the Time Capsule), remote controlling other computers on the network or streaming media (movies/music) over the network to a receiver such as an AppleTV. Basically anything which involves data being transferred between devices in your home.
     
  20. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #20
    Okay...

    This is new for me, so don't really know what to get.

    But, I guess you're saying, that I'll only benefit from a Extreme if I have devices with ac, and doing data transfers.

    At the moment I don't have any. But my main concern was, that if the Netgear would be able to deliver the internet connection without any drops in speed - which seems to be possible.
     
  21. Bear macrumors G3

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    Jul 23, 2002
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    Sol III - Terra
    #21
    People have noticed faster 802.11n speeds with an 802.11ac Airport Extreme. Whether or not that will benefit you is another question.
     
  22. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #22
    Faster speed are always welcome :)

    And I've read about people experiencing faster internet with an Extreme - I just wasn't sure if it was a reality or placebo
     
  23. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    Dec 9, 2012
    #23
    AC wireless can theoretically provide transfer speeds comparable to gigabit ethernet, so there is an advantage doing transfers, since network attached storage devices can be pretty speedy.

    Internet speed will inevitably get faster, so some people like to go for the "future proofing" aspect. Verizon offers up to 500 mb/s in some areas (for a hefty cost) and Google fiber offers gigabit ethernet (although extremely limited in geographic scope) and I imagine fiber internet will someday become the standard in metro/suburban areas. However, if my router is fast enough for my current connection I'd rather just use it for now and spend the money on whatever the technology is in a few years when something faster/cheaper is available.

    I think the AC/dual band N routers also can give a better wireless range, which is helpful in multi-level houses and large spaces in general. Wireless connections drop in transfer speed as the signal gets weaker so it is something to consider, but for a small apartment it shouldn't be an issue. Personally I think 802.11ac is overkill for your situation.
     
  24. Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #24
    Our connection is gonna be fiber as well, but no way near 500mbit.. I Think you're right, and AC might be a tad too much, since I only get a 50mbit connection, which my old Netgear router can handle. Maybe the atennas in the Extreme is better and have a greater range, but I'll try it out and see how it handles the speed. Hopefully it'll deliver allmost the same speed as ethernet, otherwise I might have to get an Extreme, hence other peoples experiences.
     
  25. Lukewarmwinner, Feb 8, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014

    Lukewarmwinner thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 12, 2012
    #25
    Okay. Finally our new connection became a reality, and I could run some tests.

    On my MBA, 2013 on wifi I get:

    [​IMG]

    On my Mac Mini, 2007 with lan directly without router:

    [​IMG]

    However, if run ethernet through the router (plugged into "lan 1) on the router and to my Mini I get:

    [​IMG]

    Obviously, there is a huge difference between the three - even on my old Mini. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing that my router actually is too old, and hopefully an Extreme would give almost the same speed as directly lan through my Mini? And can the router be worse on the wi-fi-connection (pic 1) than through ethernet (pic 3), 'cause that one it handles pretty well - though not as good as lan directly to the Mini.
     

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