new Airport Extreme vs old model

ventuss

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2011
363
9
I have the 2009 Airport Express. I'm planning on buying the new 2013 model, but I don't really know what to expect from it. I live in a 3 floor house, and the current Airport is in the middle level. The signal is great overall, though the lower floor gets really bad reception, and the wireless N 5GHz has a very weak reach.

Is it true the new Airport Extreme has 3x more range and better quality? I also heard it can transmit wi-fi N over 2.4GHz, really? What do you think?
 

treestar

macrumors 6502
Feb 28, 2010
366
5
I have the 2009 Airport Express. I'm planning on buying the new 2013 model, but I don't really know what to expect from it. I live in a 3 floor house, and the current Airport is in the middle level. The signal is great overall, though the lower floor gets really bad reception, and the wireless N 5GHz has a very weak reach.

Is it true the new Airport Extreme has 3x more range and better quality? I also heard it can transmit wi-fi N over 2.4GHz, really? What do you think?
The 5 GHz band is very fast. Its max is 450 Mbps over N, and will reach that in near proximity even through a couple walls or a floor. 2.4 GHz is not as fast but the range is much better. I can use it a couple hundred feet away. The Extreme can operate over 1 Gbps over AC. I think it's a very advanced router. It has a complicated antenna array that works very well. If your current router reaches 450 Mbps on a 5 GHz N band, I would not upgrade, unless you plan on using AC devices. I also don't recommend the Time Capsule version. It works well but the cost is too great and there is too likely a chance the drive will fail and it's not easily serviceable.
 

ventuss

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 9, 2011
363
9
The 5 GHz band is very fast. Its max is 450 Mbps over N, and will reach that in near proximity even through a couple walls or a floor. 2.4 GHz is not as fast but the range is much better. I can use it a couple hundred feet away. The Extreme can operate over 1 Gbps over AC. I think it's a very advanced router. It has a complicated antenna array that works very well. If your current router reaches 450 Mbps on a 5 GHz N band, I would not upgrade, unless you plan on using AC devices. I also don't recommend the Time Capsule version. It works well but the cost is too great and there is too likely a chance the drive will fail and it's not easily serviceable.
I don't really know how to test for efficiency. Right now I'm on the iMac 20 feet and a wall from the router, and the signal is strong, it shows fine. My PS Vita though, can't find the network.

Those are the devices on my network:

2013 iMac
2008 iMac
2010 Macbook Pro
2009 Macbook
Sony Vaio S

iPad Air
iPad Mini
iPad 2

iPhone 5s
iPhone 5c
Galaxy Note 2
Galaxy S3
 

RMo

macrumors 65816
Aug 7, 2007
1,212
207
Iowa, USA
I also heard [the new AEBS] can transmit wi-fi N over 2.4GHz, really?
Sidenote, but potentially useful information: that is true, but so can the old ones. 802.11n is defined on both the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz bands. A device needs only to support the 2.4 GHz band to be considered 802.11n, so this isn't really notable information. For example, the iPhone 4 and 4th gen iPod touch, despite supporting 802.11n, don't support the 5 GHz band. I think such devices are becoming rarer.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
I don't really know how to test for efficiency. Right now I'm on the iMac 20 feet and a wall from the router, and the signal is strong, it shows fine. My PS Vita though, can't find the network.

Those are the devices on my network:

2013 iMac
2008 iMac
2010 Macbook Pro
2009 Macbook
Sony Vaio S

iPad Air
iPad Mini
iPad 2

iPhone 5s
iPhone 5c
Galaxy Note 2
Galaxy S3
The new Extreme has much better range and in fact, goes right up to the FCC's limit on wireless power! It also has beamforming that will help alot! You may want to look at wiring an access point if signal is atrocious in areas.