New Airport Extreme Needed?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mic j, Sep 21, 2015.

  1. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I currently have an AEBS (model without ac) which is working very well. The aTV 3 and MBP is within 15 feet of it. My Tx rate is always 300Mbps. The new aTV, which I plan on buying, uses the ac protocol. Is it worth buying a new AEBS, which uses the ac protocol, to pair with the new aTV? Don't plan on gaming much if at all. Current aTV is very responsive, no buffering when playing a movie. Should I wait till after I get the new aTV and test it out before deciding or is there something compelling about have the newer AEBS that I should just go ahead and get it?
  2. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I would not think you would need it and I have both. Do you have a iPhone 6 which support ac? Do you plan to change the 15 feet distance with your phone or MBP. In any case I would wait.
  3. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Since wifi type is always set to that of the "lowest" connected device, upgrading to an AC router isn't really worth it until all your devices are capable of using AC (or you use ethernet on the other devices). Thus, don't upgrade to the newest Airport just the ATV.

    For example, all my devices use either N or AC, except for my printer which only uses G. Thus, if I had the printer on wireless, all my devices would have to use G. Since I put the printer on ethernet, all of my devices now use N. I won't have a reason to upgrade to AC until I get rid of the Macbook Air which relies on N.

    Also, I know you can use both N and AC at the same time with dual-band routers or having a dedicated access point only for the slower devices - but that adds a level of complexity that it sounds like the OP wasn't asking about.
  4. mic j thread starter macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    No iPhone 6 at this point, maybe 7 next year, and no location changes as we live in a small condo with everything in the living area. So thank your and d21mike's input. Sounds like I should just stay pat at this time. That's what I figured but thought I should check with a more knowledgeable base before making any decision.
  5. phrehdd, Sep 21, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015

    phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I think some folks covered it well as 802.11ac more often than not is much faster than 80211n under the right conditions.

    Unlike what one person said, all connections speed on WiFI are NOT determined by the slowest device. It is a matter of the router and the setup related. As example, using a WiFi ac router while someone in the net room is using an android device and someone has an iPad watching Netflix (no joke). All of us are as if we are the only one's on the net as there is no issue of service. The iPad and the android device are 802.11n and I am using on my laptop ac. One of the n devices is at 2.4 ghrz and the is at 5 ghrtz as am I (as that is where ac does its 'magic.'

    I'll just say if you decide to get a new router, why not explore non-Apple routers as well. This is not to say that Apple's router is bad, but at the same price there are better WiFi routers out there and some do amazing with QoS (quality of service) as a feature where YOU decide how to allocate your internet connection. (Perhaps in my case the Neflix user might have the most given it is a function of streaming etc.) Smallnetbuilder site is a good place to start.

    As for me, I have used various makes of routers over the years and the key is to get a good actor that has stable firmware and admin mode that you feel comfortable. Makes like Linksys, Apple, Netgear, Asus and a couple of others seem to all have some viable offerings (yes I did mention Apple only because some find it friendly and don't mind giving up some features that others provide that can be very useful including some security facets).

    Last item to toss out here - With decent ac routers, they do "n better than n routers" meaning that 80211n performs better with these routers than with routers that don't do ac but only n. This is not an opinion but has been tested and metrics to go along with it.

    In your shoes, I'd stick with your present set up and see how your ATV purchase performs. If you have other devices that are WiFi, then time to do your homework and select a new router.

    This is the typical household here - 2 desktops Windows, 1 Windows laptop, my rMBP, 2 iphones, 1 android phone, Nvidia Shield TV (like ATV but does a bit more things) all on WiFi. As I positioned the WiFi router properly, everyone can be on at the same time and the only "choke" is due to the Internet connection speed itself at the modem (how much up and how much down by our provider).
  6. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I play with routers all day. In my experience I haven't been to impressed with the new extreme. It is ok, and the idiot proof configuration is still great. For the same money, I like the high end Asus routers better. Better range, more options etc.

    I have actually achieved a speed, and ping identical to a hard wired connection over Ac wifi with my asus. For me that is the holy grail of wifi.
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Under the right conditions, an 802.11ac router connection just might surpass a gig cable connection. Btw, which Asus model are you using?
  8. x-evil-x macrumors 68040


    Jul 13, 2008
    do i need to do anything different to turn on the ac part of the wireless router? I currently have it but no devices I'm pretty sure that have that. Macbook pro? just 5ghz channel
  9. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    If your router is 802.11ac and your device handles 802.11ac, then just go to the 5ghz. It will either connect ac or n. You don't have to do anything. Some routers, do offer the option of which ways to connect b,g, g,n or g,n,ac or n/ac etc. (there is also "a" but that's a detail not worth getting into).
  10. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have the current 802.11ac Time Capsule, which is the same as the Extreme but also includes a 2TB disk. Might not be the fastest on the market but it has worked very reliably for me. On my MBA using 802.11ac wifi, the BlackMagic Disk Test reports about 60MBytes/sec using a shared drive on a Mac Mini. Using gigabit ethernet for the same thing, I get about 100MBytes/sec though.
  11. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011

    I have pitted it against, the extreme, and nighthawk routers, and almost always got better throughput.

    It is capable of doing time machine backups, I also use it as a NAS for dlna streaming of all my media files.
  12. ozaz macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2011
    Have you used TP-Link's Archer routers? They seem to be getting very good reviews. If you have, what are your thoughts?

    I currently have the 5th gen Airport Extreme (the last flat one), and don't get anywhere near sufficient range from it.

    I do like the simplicity of the Airport Extreme so am considering upgrading to the new tower model, but not sure if the range improvement will be enough. So I'm also thinking about Asus, Netgear, and TP-Link. Is the range on routers from these manufacturers considerably better than the latest Airport Extreme, or only marginally better?
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    How is the interface for admin as compared to the Netgear counterparts? Features and ease of access to make changes as example.

    From what I can tell, it compares to the Netgear r7000 in terms of real use throughput.
  14. mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    I have setup the net gear, asus, and TP link archer from brand new. I would definitely rank them as

    Asus easiest

    Net gear still pretty easy

    And somewhere way down here for the archer UI.

    Unless you are a nerd like me you don't spend a lot of time in router settings pages, but the archer is very unintuitive to setup. However we installed 2 of them in a buddies new construction metal frame house, and they perform excellently. For the price it may be worth it.
  15. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Thanks for your thoughts on this. Btw, Hows the Asus for setting up as an extender or bridge? I only ask because a friend is switching over to cable from DSL and may end up purchasing a modem/router combo (I believe Netgear's as it is DOCSIS 3.0 + 1900 series router -akin to the r7000) and would definitely need to talk to a 2nd router preferably 802.11ac.

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