Seriously. Why should I get an airport instead of a regular router?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by MacGuyver2, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. MacGuyver2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #1
    And for the life of me I can't figure out what the difference is between the Extreme and the Express...

    The express just seems smaller.... I don't care about that iTunes streaming ****... aren't they both just routers?
     
  2. mediaguru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    The middle of BentFork, TN
    #2
    Well, the Express currently does not support 802.11 "draft-N" wireless support, but the Extreme does, meaning that any newer Macs with draft-N built in will communicate much faster.

    Also, and important note along the same line is that some "N" routers use an incompatible "pre-N" (versus 'draft-N) implementation which will cause newer airport adapters to only connect at the slower 802.11G spec.
     
  3. bjett92 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    Indy, IN
    #3
    I would wait and get a time capsule. That way you can get a router with a hdd for time machine built in.
     
  4. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #4
    Having setup a linksys router but never having setup an airport router, I'd assume that the airport setup is VASTLY easier, because the linksys setup could not have been much more complicated.
     
  5. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 8, 2007
    #5
    Sounds to me like you just want a router.

    Go pick up a Linksys WRT54G.
     
  6. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Hoosiertown
    #6
    I had a wifi router. I replaced it with the airport extreme.

    You pay for convenience really, and a few features.

    Its so easy to manage, not that other router are hard its just so easy.
    It very easy to update, and its included in apple software updates.
    Something I found really nice is the drive I have connected to it (over usb) and is shared on the network.

    also I had a linksys wrt54g, it had ok connectivity and wouldn't hit the far side of my house. The airport extreme is always spot on and I get full connectivity at the far end of my house. I have no idea why, still Wifi G.
     
  7. MacGuyver2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    #7
    I tried to set up a printer wirelessly and absolutely could not do it using my Linksys...

    So I was wondering if getting an Airport (extreme or express) would make my life easier?
     
  8. mediaguru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2006
    Location:
    The middle of BentFork, TN
    #8
    For many printers, absolutely. The printer will show up on a wireless network (via Bonjour) as if it were connected to another Mac. Be aware of some driver issues, though. Some printer drivers may not support ALL advanced features such as a display of ink levels when you connect the printer to the Airport base station. See this site for info regarding printer compatibility.
     
  9. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #9
    The AirPort Express - Has one Ethernet Port for access to either a WAN or LAN and a USB Port to allow for Remote Printing or charging USB devices.

    The AirPort Extreme(n) - Has a 4 port LAN Hub (gigabit or 100-T) and an aditional WAN port, and a USB Port to allow for Remote Printing, AirDisk, and charging USB devices.

    The AirPort Extreme(g) - Has a LAN and WAN port (optional modem), optional antenna port, and an optional USB port for Remote Printing and Charging USB devices.

    I personally prefer the Airport Interface over the web based interface of other routers, mainly because it is always the same from model to model.

    TEG
     
  10. katorga macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2006
    #10
    Features...

    Several features the AEBS lacks....

    - Stateful packet inspection firewall
    - dynamic DNS support
    - decent logging
    - QoS functionality
    - uPnP

    But, it does have 5Ghz N only mode, and that sunk it for me, especially since I had my original Dlink DGL4300 G router that covered all the gaps. I just added my AEBS in bridge mode behind the Dlink. My G-only devices connect to the 4300 and my N devices connect to the AEBS in the fastest mode possible. Works perfectly.
     
  11. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #11
    uPNP is a windows feature. Mac has something similar, though it slips my mind. But the Extreme does support it.

    Shrug.

    Works fine for me.

    I do hear lots of good things about the DLINK DIR-655 N router. QoS, SPI, etc etc etc though.
     
  12. apachie2k macrumors 6502

    apachie2k

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    was NYC...now MIAMI
    #12
    i have no complaints, in fact it's the best router i have every used/dealt with. Linskys just sucks...
     
  13. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #13
    I love my Extreme. I get much better range than I do out of my old Linksys.

    Does the Extreme support mac address cloning yet?
     
  14. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #14
    That model is the biggest piece of @#%#@)*U%#%@!!!! I have ever used. The 802.11b LinkSys model wasn't too bad. But I can't tell you how many times I had to reset and re-setup that thing. I can't remember if I decided to play Titanic with that thing.

    While the AEBS has a flaw or two (try hooking up a second external HDD), it's vastly superior to anything else I have seen. It's worth the $180. If a buyer has Leopard, he/she should at least get the 500GB Time Capsule.
     
  15. md63 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    #15
    If you have a MBP or MB with draft N, then I would suggest the AEBS since you get better wireless throughput from two Apple products. I have tried using my MB with other brand N routers and speed was never the same.

    The other thing you pay for is a router that doesn't look like a router. My AEBS sits under my TV in my living room and I was willing to pay a little extra for something that doesn't have many antenna's on it. Performence is good but Air Disk feature was a let down. I would suggest getting an NAS drive.

    Regarding the upcoming TC, I am not sold on this product. Currently, I use Time Machine with the wireless hack and an NAS drive to back up my MB. I backed up over a 100GB with no problems with this setup and I suggest going this route.
     
  16. Adrian3300 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #16
    I have never used a wireless router until the AEBS. It took about 3 minutes to set up and has worked flawlessly. So, yeah, I guess you are paying for the ease of use like all of Apple products, they just work!
     
  17. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #17
    But without a SPI firewall, that seems foolish to rely on it for router security.

    that's why I've stuck with my dlink gamerlounge model, though it's a pain to configure. I demand security above all else from a router.
     
  18. Mindflux macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #18

    And how precisely before SPI firewalls came along did people keep secure. ;)

    My guess is Apple expects you to use the SPI firewall inside of Leopard or Tiger if you really think you need one.
     
  19. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #19
    Do you find using a web browser complicated? Because that's about how complicated routers are to set up.

    To setup a WRT54G:
    1. Plug in cables.
    2. Go to the router's address in a web browser (e.g., http://192.168.1.1).
    3. Go to "Wireless Security", activate WPA security and set a password.

    The only difference with an Airport is that you do it through System Preferences rather than a web browser. Other than that, every router is fundamentally the exact same thing.

    I've setup dozens of routers, there's nothing more to it than that. If there's some sort of technical problem -- bad connections, whatever -- having an Apple router instead of a Linksys isn't going to solve your problem.
     
  20. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #20
    If it were as easy as you describe then a retard could do it in their sleep. What do you think, I'm an idiot? That wasn't the way it worked on the linksys router I bought. THESE are the instructions to set up the linksys router that I bought (and each of the links that it points to in each single "step" on that page connects to a whole other lengthy page of instructions that you have to follow). Not as easy as you were trying to make it seem huh? And their online instructions aren't even written for leopard yet! So I had to interpret their Tiger instructions and find the equivalent controls in Leopard. And it would keep giving an unexplained error when I tried to save the settings it described in the instructions. I figured out that it would timeout after about 30 seconds after loading the setup page. So you had to load the setup page, quickly set the correct options, and then quickly save the settings. If you didn't do it within 30 seconds then when you hit the save button it would just say "error: could not save changes." So I had to figure out that it was a timeout error on my own with no clues. And there were tons more similar problems. After a huge nightmare I finally got it working, but it clearly was not a box that I could depend on.
     
  21. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #21
    You're also having to setup PPPoE with those instructions, which is something you would *still* have to do with your Apple router if that's the kind of ISP you have. You're still going to have to input the same information, the Apple router doesn't magically devine it for you. But yes, Linksys' instructions (especially for Mac users) could be better. I've personally never used them though, because if you don't have to setup PPPoE (and most people don't) then it really is as easy as 1,2,3. The 30 second timeout you were experiencing is definitely odd though, I've never seen that.
     
  22. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #22
    I've used both, and while Linksys was 'alright', I still prefer Apple. DLink is particularly bad, though, and in certain browsers/OS combinations it would not respond to the 'save' button on certain pages. Nightmarish.
     
  23. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #23
    NAT-PMP is what you're thinking of, which is an IETF standard. Sadly not supported by as much stuff, and also broken in the AEBS 7.2.1 firmware.

    UPnP is supposed to do 'way more stuff,' is non-standard, but really all anyone cares about is port mapping anyway.
     

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