Is an Airport Extreme a router?

Tsurisuto

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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Or do you have to buy an Airport Extreme AND and router to be able to connect to the internet?
 

siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
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the OC
more precisely, the airport extreme base station is a router. "airport extreme" can be applicable to both the base station or just 802.11g/n in general. all macs ship with airport extreme installed, but that doesn't mean all macs ship with wireless routers.
 

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samh004

macrumors 68020
Mar 1, 2004
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Australia
Or do you have to buy an Airport Extreme AND and router to be able to connect to the internet?
You need an internet connection (modem) to connect to the internet, before you can use an Airport Extreme Base Station to share that internet connection around, either wired or wirelessly.
 

Tsurisuto

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Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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You need an internet connection (modem) to connect to the internet, before you can use an Airport Extreme Base Station to share that internet connection around, either wired or wirelessly.
I'm confused now... Can I plug an Airport Extreme Base Station into a broadband phone line directly, and just connect to the internet wirelessly?

Or do I HAVE to connect it to another broadband modem first?

I was just looking to replace my Netgear Wireless Router.
 

iToaster

macrumors 68000
May 3, 2007
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In front of my MacBook Pro
Generally you need a gateway type thing to get you the internet (such as DSL or broadband and whatnot) which you take the ethernet cable from and plug that into the appropriate spot on the AE base station. It will replace the old netgear router just fine.
 

Nermal

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Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
A router is simply a device that (and I'm dumbing this down) looks at the data and sends it in the right direction (down the right route). You will still need a DSL or cable modem, most of which can also perform routing.
 

Tsurisuto

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
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So if I still need an additional device to connect to the internet with the Airport Base Station, then it is rather useless to me.

At the moment I have a Netgear DG834GT which I just plug into my phone socket, and I am able to access the net wirelessly.

I was hoping to replace my Netgear with an ADSL router which supported N, and I was considering getting an Airport Extreme Base Station to this job. But if I need to buy a Airport Extreme Base Station AND a third party modem to connect to the internet, I might as well just buy a third party wireless router for cheaper that does the complete job.

What I don't understand is why would anyone buy an Airport Extreme Base Station if 3rd party wireless ADSL / Cable modems do excactly the same job (for a LOT cheaper)?
 

Paulsan

macrumors member
Jul 30, 2007
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Earth
I could be wrong as I am no expert, but as I understand it, Wireless-N does not have a standard yet. Your Airport on your Mac may not play nicely with the Netgear Wireless-N standard.
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
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What I don't understand is why would anyone buy an Airport Extreme Base Station if 3rd party wireless ADSL / Cable modems do excactly the same job (for a LOT cheaper)?
The "exactly the same job" is a matter of opinion. Not all routers are equally good. Bittorrent can bring a less capable router to its knees or brick it, data throughput can be bottlenecked, etc. Some routers have extra functions you may or may not have use for.

I for one prefer separate modem and routers. That way I'm free to find a nice router, without limiting myself to a specific broadband technology.

If you are happy with a cheap combined modem/router, then get one of those.
 

Father Jack

macrumors 68020
Jan 1, 2007
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Ireland
The "exactly the same job" is a matter of opinion. Not all routers are equally good. Bittorrent can bring a less capable router to its knees or brick it, data throughput can be bottlenecked, etc. Some routers have extra functions you may or may not have use for.

I for one prefer separate modem and routers. That way I'm free to find a nice router, without limiting myself to a specific broadband technology.

If you are happy with a cheap combined modem/router, then get one of those.
What would you consider as a good modem?
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
923
5
What would you consider as a good modem?
When it comes to modems, I've been lucky enough to get good ones from the ISPs included with the subscriptions so I haven't really compared different brands... Either the ISPs know a good modem when they see one, or it's easier to build a modem than a full router. :)

For me, a good modem is simply one which is stable (ie doesn't crash/lose connection) and delivers the bandwith advertised by the supplier, and has a normal ethernet connection to connect a computer, switch or router to.

So far I've been through ADSL (0.5/0.7), VDSL (13/9) and Cable (8/4) - never a problem with the modem, always the router or something on the ISP's side. No idea about the ADSL modem, but the VDSL one was a Cisco and the Cable one a Thomson.

Routers on the other hand are another story. The same basic requirements (stability & throughput) still apply, but there is a ******** of other functions available. Functions which may or may not work as advertised. :p
 

youashwag

macrumors regular
Aug 8, 2007
101
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If your iMac is connected to a modem which is connected to the internet, can you use the Airport Extreme that is built in to connect to for instance to a Wii so u can go on the internet on that to?
 

Tsurisuto

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 13, 2007
343
0
If your iMac is connected to a modem which is connected to the internet, can you use the Airport Extreme that is built in to connect to for instance to a Wii so u can go on the internet on that to?
My iMac, Wii and PS3 are already connected wirelessly to my wireless ADSL router, but I was just looking to upgrade the wireless ADSL router to one that support "N" speeds.
 

anim8or

macrumors 65816
Aug 16, 2006
1,362
9
Scotland, UK
I'm confused now... Can I plug an Airport Extreme Base Station into a broadband phone line directly, and just connect to the internet wirelessly?

Or do I HAVE to connect it to another broadband modem first?

I was just looking to replace my Netgear Wireless Router.


You NEED a broadband modem....

The Airport Extreme Base Station is a wireless (and now wired) router, therefor you need something to connect to the internet, supply the router with something to route, and a computer to receive said route.

Don't make the mistake of buying one without having a compatible broadband/dsl modem.

This is a great modem for sucj task in the uk;
http://www.adslnation.com/

If you live elsewhere I recommend a Netgear modem, they work very well with Macs.
 

Allanist

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2007
25
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If your iMac is connected to a modem which is connected to the internet, can you use the Airport Extreme that is built in to connect to for instance to a Wii so u can go on the internet on that to?
I have never tried, but:
In System Preferences, Sharing->Internet
Share your connection from: Built-in Ethernet
To computers using: AirPort
In "Airport Options" you may want to put WEP encryption on.

Now Wii should be able to connect to iMac wirelessly.
 

lag1090

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2007
280
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NJ
So if I still need an additional device to connect to the internet with the Airport Base Station, then it is rather useless to me.

At the moment I have a Netgear DG834GT which I just plug into my phone socket, and I am able to access the net wirelessly.

I was hoping to replace my Netgear with an ADSL router which supported N, and I was considering getting an Airport Extreme Base Station to this job. But if I need to buy a Airport Extreme Base Station AND a third party modem to connect to the internet, I might as well just buy a third party wireless router for cheaper that does the complete job.

What I don't understand is why would anyone buy an Airport Extreme Base Station if 3rd party wireless ADSL / Cable modems do excactly the same job (for a LOT cheaper)?
You're talking about an ADSL modem/wireless router combo box. Those are two separate functions, typically handled by two separate devices. Apple's wireless base stations are routers, not modems. Either buy an Apple base station and use the DSL modem your phone company provided, or look for another combo box.

On a side note, Apple's base stations in the past had dial-up modems integrated so you could use wirelessly. This must be where you got the idea that they might have DSL modems. Most routers are not modems, you need a modem to be a bridge between the router and the Internet.
 

lag1090

macrumors 6502
Jan 28, 2007
280
0
NJ
If you live elsewhere I recommend a Netgear modem, they work very well with Macs.
For the OP's intended setup, this is irrelevant. The router handles the PPOE dialing and such directly, so the computer itself isn't a factor.