Replace saucer AEBS with new one?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Eric S., Jan 23, 2010.

  1. Eric S. macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #1
    I'm considering updating my old saucer-shape Airport Extreme with one of the new ones. But are there really any advantages to this? Will my Macbooks really see faster wifi with 802.11n than g? Will it make a difference to have them on a separate band from my iBook? I'm not interested in a Time Capsule, but I would like the extra ethernet ports.
     
  2. mathcolo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    Before you decide whether or not you need 802.11n, consider a few things. First, what's your actual Internet speed? Unless you have an internet connection that has a speed upwards of 54 Mbps, then 802.11n will not make your actual connection to the internet any faster. However, 802.11n would make the connection between computers on the router faster. Secondly, do you need any more range? 802.11n will provide you with better range in many cases.

    A long time ago, I was hooked to Apple's AirPort line for my wireless setups. However, these days, I've started to use Linksys products as I've found that they are cheaper and still do the same thing as the Apple ones, if not better.
     
  3. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    #3
    If the only impetus here were the extra ethernet ports, you'd be better off buying a cheap ethernet switch, which would give you more ports than the new AEBS for considerably less.

    If the main question is network speed, you would need to consider not only your incoming DSL/Cable speed, but also how many computers you have accessing the wireless in your house. We had two laptops and a Wii hitting against our old 'g' access point (not Airport); when we added an 'n' network to take the Wii and one of the laptops, the other laptop's connection was also significantly improved. And this was on a 6Mbps DSL connection, with far less bandwidth than would be provided by 'g' wifi in theory. So, I'd venture to guess that if you have multiple computers on your network you'll see a speed-up with the newer Airport.

    The selling points of the Airport Extreme are the above-mentioned extra ports (again, cheaper to buy a separate switch than an AEBS) and the ability to hook up external hard drives for network-attached storage (compatible with Time Machine et al). Also you have some advantages with "sleep" waking of more recent Macs which older hardware (and the Airport Express line) can't offer (I forget the details, but essentially you can have a machine "sleeping" and still be able to access its iTunes library/etc when you need to; the AEBS can 'wake' it on demand transparently).

    Again, though, if you REALLY don't want those features, then you might do as well to buy a new Airport Express and a cheap ethernet switch.
     
  4. Eric S. thread starter macrumors 68040

    Eric S.

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    #4
    Thanks for the replies. I wasn't thinking of the new router only for the ethernet ports, just that that would be a nice benefit. I was really thinking it might make for better network performance. But Speedtest shows that I'm getting about 18.5 Mbps download speed, so that's not going to be any help. Well I'm happy to stick with what I have and consider a switch for more ethernet ports.
     
  5. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #5

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