Need faster WiFi, Airport Express ?

manuseg

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 4, 2017
8
0
Hey guys ! Not sure if I'm in the good forum.

My WiFi connection is very slow at my place. When I stream some movies from iTunes or videos from Youtube on my Mac or Apple TV everything is fine, but when I mirror screen videos from my Mac to my Apple TV its always buffering. It's even worst when friends are at home using their phones on my WiFi at the same time.

I dont have a high speed connection but it works great, until I mirror screen or when lot of people are here using my WiFi. I have a Bell modem with built-in router and I know these are not the best and fastest routers. I have 3 iPhones, 2 Macbooks, Apple TV4, Philips Hue bridge, and a Google Home mini (which will be replaced soon by a Homepod) always connected to it. Thinking about getting a second and better router.

First question : should I buy an Apple Airport Express ? I'm only using Apple devices except the Philips Hue bridge. Will I have any benefits of using an Apple router with Apple devices ? I have see some good reviews on it and the price isn't that bad, and I love Apple product.

Second question : if I buy a second router I have 2 options. Connect the Bell modem to the new router and use it as a main router, or connect the new router to the Bell modem as a bridge. Still dont know what is the best option in my case. Right now I have full WiFi all over my place on all my devices.
 

hk556

macrumors newbie
Oct 27, 2017
8
5
I've used both Airport Express and Extreme for quite a while. Never had any issues until I moved to a bigger home and started bridging the two, and even then it was mainly only speed issues related to the bridging. You mentioned you have good coverage so that shouldn't be an issue any way.

Never really saw any benefit of it being an Apple router though, other than nice UI to the app/software. It seems the hardware is getting a little outdated, more so on the Express.

I'm now using two Netgear Orbi's for the great coverage/speed they provide. Very impressed and don't really miss the Airport Express/Extreme.
 
Last edited:

Phil77354

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2014
184
88
Eastern Washington State
I used my Airport Extreme with two Airport Express for quite a few years, finally decided to upgrade in order to get a more current system and better performance. Purchased Google WiFi and am totally happy, installation and setup was very easy and managing it using iPhone is quite nice. Am now able to have guest wifi accounts which were not possible with the Airport units.
 
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cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,442
1,773
Without identifying your actual problem we aren't really helping. There are apps available to determine wifi speed (in network) like wifi sweetspots to at least verify the issue.

Which ISP do you have and what model cable/modem? Is it supplied by them?

To answer your question I would recommend the AirPort Extreme (not Express) since your wireless AC device can leverage the in network speed.

The AirPort Extreme isn't the fastest router I've used it maxes 800-900 Mbps and at the opposite end of the house gets 450-650 Mbps. This is more than adequate for me. However one place it really shines has been its reliability. Since its on a UPS the only thing that has powered cycled it over the last 4 1/2 years is firmware updates and its probably only had 3-4 of those. I've never had a router be this reliable and never require a power cycle, maybe I've just had bad luck.

I have a hard time recommending it due to its age and 200 dollar price tag. Its a great product but you would have thought it would have reduced a bit in price by now, sheesh...
 

LiveM

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2015
1,147
529
Buying Airport solved my Apple TV problems and have been super steady and high performing for years. I would get the Extreme if you only get one.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,627
31,760
Boston
At this point, with Apple abandoning Airport routers, I'd be hard pressed to recommend that. There's better solutions out there, including mesh networks.
 
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EzDoesItSC

macrumors member
Nov 20, 2012
62
7
Google wifi. $110 from best buy and performs wayyyyy better than the $250 that I'm having to junk after less than 2 years.
 

Phil77354

macrumors regular
Jun 22, 2014
184
88
Eastern Washington State
I recently replaced my early generation Airport Extreme + Express with Google Wifi, and am very satisfied.

I did not consider purchasing another Airport simply because it is not competitive with current Wifi products. If Apple had been continuing to update their Airport products, I would have purchased another one.
 

cynics

macrumors G4
Jan 8, 2012
11,442
1,773
Google wifi. $110 from best buy and performs wayyyyy better than the $250 that I'm having to junk after less than 2 years.
Why?

I've had mine since early 2014 and its still going strong.

Admittedly its not quite the fastest network I've been on but its more than adequate (800-900mbs). Since I use hubless HomeKit switches I have 28 wireless clients on the network at any given time. One of the few that I found to be very reliable with handling a single SSID for both 2.4 and 5ghz as well.

Obviously this doesn't replace the need for a mesh network or something else however if that is the case than it wasn't the right product for you to begin with.

Just make it sound like its completely obsolete. Although I'll gladly admit its price is high for its age.
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
65,627
31,760
Boston
I recently replaced my early generation Airport Extreme + Express with Google Wifi, and am very satisfied.
I've had a number of different routers in my house over the years, and given its an old house, the router signal just isn't strong enough. The next one I purchase will be one of those mesh networks., that way I can plug in the holes in my wifi coverage. They're pricey though, almost like, do I buy a HomePod or a mesh network, because they're nearly the same price.