Is an airport just a router?

thedon1

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 26, 2010
482
52
Hi, i'm new to macs, looking to pick one up as soon as there is a refresh.

Just doing my research and wanted to know what an airport is. It seems to me that it's just a router but i'm not 100% sure.

Is there anything that differentiates this from a normal router?

I am in the UK and sky is my isp. They provide a netgear router with my log in details installed. Is there any reason i would need an airport?
 

Schtumple

macrumors 601
Jun 13, 2007
4,906
131
benkadams.com
Unless you have cable there isn't much point getting an airport, I've got the express and to be honest it's not very good, I've found my mac often can't find it if there's more than 2 or 3 other wifi boxes around, and the signal is pretty poor compared to other wireless n routers.
 

mikes63737

macrumors 65816
Jul 26, 2005
1,133
246
Airport devices are routers with additional features.

The Extreme supports external USB hard drives and printers to be shared over the network, while the Express supports sharing USB printers and wirelessly playing iTunes music.

Also, these routers are configured using desktop software instead of a web interface. Apple's interface makes it easier to configure more advanced features like WDS.
 

Frosties

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2009
981
116
Sweden
I think Apple is still alone with the feature to be able to wake an apple computer from sleep on a wireless lan. Pretty cool feature.

Mac OS X v10.6: About Wake on Demand

But I would just the same skip the expense and use the provided router. Use the money for something else fun.
 

ggogins

macrumors newbie
May 21, 2010
22
0
i bought a used one from eBay and i prefer it over the linksys...way too connection problems for me