New Airport Extreme Base Station Router in 2011?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by lukecro, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. lukecro, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    lukecro macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    I was reading through this old "Airport Extreme 2010" thread, but didn't see a discussion around 2011 yet - so I thought I'd start one.

    I might have missed the news, but we never did end up getting a new version of Airport Extreme last year, right? So do you think the odds are good we'll get a new Extreme in 2011?

    What's your best guess at a release date? Possibly around March 2011?

    What new features would you expect a 2011 AEBS model to have? What upgrades would you like to see? Minor spec bumps? Stronger/wider range? More...?

    Personally, I'd love to see some Airplay support - at least audio out (a la Airport Express), but maybe even video out - although I suppose full AV output might make it a competitor to the new Apple TV and/or would make the Extreme too expensive to manufacture at it's current price point.

    I've already got a pretty good D-link router (wireless N, but it lacks the current Airport Extreme's simultaneous dual-band) that covers my apartment fine, and an N-draft Airport Express (only used for AirTunes at the moment) - but an Airport Extreme with audio-out would allow me to simplify my setup by replacing my current router and the Express with one device (my home theatre is conveniently close to my cable modem and router). I've also got a modest NAS and a Boxee Box - maybe a new suped-up Extreme would be worth buying if it increased the speed of data going between the NAS and Boxee (I've got both wired via ethernet to my router; I suspect the router is a bottleneck on the throughput speed, but I'm not positive). Also connecting to the router via Wifi with a MacBook, an iMac, and two iPhones in my house (multiple users), so the better at, umm, routing the Extreme router is, I guess the better everyone's network connections will be. Anyway, sorry for rambling: I'm just trying to figure out how to justify a new router purchase when my old router is OK :)


  2. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    While I do think refresh is in the works, I do not envision something radical like audio and/or video output on AEBS. Apple TV does exactly that already, with better UI to boot.

    What I do think will happen is support for AirPrint and AirPlay (for storing and streaming media files directly from AEBS without Mac/PC). Most high-end WiFi routers have built-in UPnP/DLNA server, so I think both features are long overdue.

    In my wildest dream, I would also love QoS, parental control, additional security features (e.g., SPI), ability to change most settings without triggering a restart, reset button, and more status lights. But I somehow doubt these will go fulfilled this time around. Oh and Time Capsule being retired in favor of Apple's own Drobo like server.
  3. kiranmk2 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2008
    Down the same lines, I'd expect both the TC and AEBS to get home sharing support so they can stream to ATVs without needing a computer on. Hopefully, Apple will update iTunes so you're whole media library can be stored an airdisk/TC drive and be streamed and synced to all other devices on the network. It would be nice if Apple supported DLNA, but I guess they will stick to their own protocols. Hopefully, they'll open up the protocols so other NAS drives can offer home sharing (as 3rd party NAS units can offer iTunes music servers) and maybe even TVs will start being fitted with airplay...

    Don't think there's much need for airprint as a printer connected to the router can already be shared across the network and with an airprint-compatible printer, you can cut out the middle-man (router) and printer straight to the printer.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    Tell that to iOS devices.
  5. lukecro, Jan 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2011

    lukecro thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    So, whaddaya reckon' . . . Should I buy the current Airport Extreme or wait for a new 2011 version to possibly come out, or go with a different brand?

    On the one hand, my current router isn't bad (it's an old draft-N D-Link with wireless that covers my apartment fine, no serious network problems), and I don't really need the Extreme's ability to plug in external hard drives or printers (already got a NAS for backups and media-serving, and I don't use printers at home).

    On the other hand, my router is a few years old, doesn't have Gigabit Ethernet or dual-band, and, uh, isn't as cool looking as the Extreme. But I'm not sure if that will provide a big enough performance boost over my current set-up to justify getting the Extreme right away vs. patiently waiting for the next version of the Extreme to come out.

    It'd be easier to decide if we had a better idea of when the next Extreme will come and what extra bells and whistles and performance gains it might have ;)
  6. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    Grab a refurb Airport Extreme for $129:

    I picked one up, works great.

  7. belvdr macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2005
    If you're not running any services locally, such as NAS for backup or sharing files, gigabit isn't going to help. Also, if you have all 802.11n-based devices, dual band won't help there either.

    If true, then it won't matter which AEBS you buy.
  8. nehalvpatel macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2010

    First, go to and write down the results.

    Now plug out your router and connect your computer directly to the modem and do the test again.

    If the speed is better with connecting directly to the modem, THEN BUY THE AIRPORT EXTREME. If the speed is same or worse then keep the same router and wait till the new version is released.
  9. DaveTheRave macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2003
    I would like to know the answer to this question, too. However if you look at you'll see that both the AEBS and the TC say they are "new". I wouldn't expect to see anything new soon.
  10. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2010
    built it modem PLEASE.

    is it hard for Apple to realize that ppl dont want to use AEB AND another router?
  11. lukecro, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011

    lukecro thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Well, I've got a NAS, a TV, and a Boxee Box plugged directly into my router. But my iMac and Macbook (and of course iPhone) just connect wirelessly. So the NAS is the only gigabit device I've got directly hooked to the router. Any potential for performance gains with this type of set up, if I buy a gigabit router? Maybe not, since none of the other devices can take advantage of the gigabit speeds coming out of the NAS.

    And my current router has a "QoS engine", while the AEBS doesn't, although I don't know how much that matters

    On the other hand, although most of me wireless devices are draft N, I think my current N router is only using the 2.4 GHz band, so I might benefit from the AE's 5GHz band. (This is me trying to justify getting a new Apple router even though my old D-Link router is working fine. :apple:)

    Good idea. I think I'll order a refurbished Airport Extreme today :D

    But I'm gonna be grumpy if Apple releases a much-improved Airport Extreme with an Airport Express-like audio-out option or a built-in modem or QoS or other cool bells and whistles just a couple of months after I buy the current-generation Extreme ;)
  12. scotsomuni macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    I am interested in a AEBS as well, but I am curious to know if they might update it in 2011. I am in no dire need to upgrade my router either as my current Netgear router works OK. Any rumors of an update soon?
  13. NutFlush920, Aug 31, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

    NutFlush920 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    New model or refurb?

    Now that there is a new model AirPort Extreme out for the $180 pricetag, what do think about buying a $130 refurb?

    I want to get one to replace my old Linksys WRT160N but would like some guidance if I should spend the extra $50 on the new model vs the refurbished ones being offered by Apple.

    I have multiple devices connected to my home network and will soon be buying Apple TV to stream both HD and SD movies and music through my MacBook Pro and wife's Sony Vaio.

    I want to purchase yet this week if possible after reading what you all think.

    I can actually get a new AEBS for $165 with free shipping through Apple via discount through my employer. Now the question is, new or refurb for a cost difference of $35?
  14. class77 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 16, 2010
    I absolutely love my 2011 AE. It has great range, it's easy to set up and it's extremely stable. Can't say enough about the product. I don't know about you, but it would definitely be worth way more than $35 to me.
  15. scotsomuni macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2009
    Personally, for only $35, I'd lean towards a new AEBS just for piece of mind. I'm sure the refurb is fine too though. I'm looking to get an AEBS soon too, especially now that its updated. I just have not really "needed" it since my current router works fine. I'm sure an AEBS would be faster and offer better range (which I don't need now), but I'm more interested in it for connecting my external hard-drives wirelessly through the AEBS USB port.
  16. NutFlush920 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    Got the new 5th gen

    Well folks I ended up getting the brand new 5th gen AEBS from Best Buy for $158.39 before sales tax. Less then $30 more then the refurb!

    I used a 12% Reward Zone coupon I found online and printed.

    At first the guy was like "sorry can't use it on Apple accessories". I told him it wasn't an accessory and that it was a router (as stated on their coupon under Computer Networking). I told him keyboards and mice are accessories. He was like, "oh ok then" and scanned the coupon I printed before leaving my home. I didn't think he would by it but he did. LOL

    Very happy customer!
  17. Roy G Biv macrumors 6502

    Roy G Biv

    Dec 26, 2010
    I got this to replace an aging Netgear router, hoping to get a more stable internet connection. I had no idea how much faster it would make a measly 3Mbs. Pages often load almost instantly, rather than 4-6 seconds. Call of Duty has far less lag or slowdown. Fantastically great all-around.

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