Questions RE: Airport Express (2012) vs. Airport Extreme (2011)

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by warvanov, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. warvanov macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    Currently available from Apple are the refurbished AirPort Express (June 2012) and the previous model AirPort Extreme (June 2011) for $75 and $85 respectively. I’m wondering about the differences between the two, and I’m also considering whether either one would be enough of an upgrade over my current set up to warrant the expense. Here are my questions:

    1) Which model will offer better performance in terms of range and signal strength? This is my primary reason for updating, as the biggest issue that I have with my current network is audio dropping out when streaming music to my Apple TV.

    2) Does each model offer the same in terms of a/b/g/n compatibility? I realize that only the APX has an audio jack and only the APE has hard drive compatibility, but are there any other technical differences between the two that I should account for?

    Currently I have an APX (2008) as the primary wifi router in my apartment but it does not include dual band wifi, which I think is limiting my network performance.
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Between those two you won't see enough radio performance difference to worry about. If you need Ethernet ports and/or hard drive, get the Extreme. Otherwise get the Express for the smaller size & internal power supply.
  3. priitv8, Jan 2, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014

    priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    Still, the Express has 2-antennae/spatial streams and Extreme has 3.
    Meaning, if you are running a 3-antenna client (like MBP, iMac), you won't see MCS index above 15 (up to 300Mbps) with the Express, whereas with the Extreme you can reach MCS index 23 (up to 450Mbps).
    If you are running a 2-antenna client (MBA, older MacBooks and MBPs) or a 1-antenna client (iPhone, iPad), then there will be no difference.
  4. warvanov thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Oct 13, 2011
    That's good information to know. I hadn't seen or noticed this in any of the tech specs or reviews that I read so I'm glad I asked here.

    I went ahead and ordered the Extreme. I've got two previous gen APX models and an AppleTV for music streaming so it just makes sense to get the APE with the hard drive compatability and the extra ethernet ports.

    Thanks, all!

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