Should I buy a AirPort Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gobikerider, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2016
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    United States
    #1
    I currently have a Asus RT-66U. It is slow and I don't get how the wireless speed on 5ghz is half the speed of of 2.4ghz 30mbvs60mb. We pay cox for 50mb. I want a new router that will be simple, easy to setup and not a lot of crazy settings that might cause issues. The most important thing is realibiltiy. I want to plug this into the modem and have consistent wifi and for heavens sake can my 5ghz be faster than 2.4ghz network.

    Is the Airport Extereme going to work well still? I looked at all the new Asus and Netgear options and yes they have a lot of wiz bang features but we don't need a tri band fancy router we need simple
    , solid reliable performance with good signal and so far Apple has always had that.
     
  2. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

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    Sep 7, 2007
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    Netherlands
    #2
    I considered it, and instead went with the Netgear Nighthawk r7000 router.
    I put my modem from the isp in bridge mode, and put the r7000 behind it.
    It has support for older 802.11g and n for 2,4ghz and 5ghz. As well as 5ghz 802.11ac And at the same time.
    So guests can use the 2.4 slower speed network on their old androids and ios devices, while I have my own network on 5 at full speed.
    The performance is great, reach in the house is amazing with the antennas on it, the firmware is good enough to be used by consumer to pro user. And it is stable. I only restart it when i had a firmware upgrade.

    My friend and dad bought it as well and had nothing but praise for it.
     
  3. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #3
    I second going with Netgear . Apple's offerings haven't been updated in years and were never class leading. if you think you'd prefer staying in the Apple ecosystem, then (just like with most of everything they offer now), you should wait and see what come next.

    but if you cant wait and want Apple, the previous couple gens of Airport Extremes are worse mostly only due to the lack of AC. bargains are out there to be had,
    http://www.macofalltrades.com/Airport-Extreme-Base-Station-5th-Generation-p/ap-ext-5.htm
     
  4. gobikerider thread starter macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #4
    I'm confused the latest air port extreme has AC
     
  5. BeefCake 15 macrumors 65816

    BeefCake 15

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    #5
    I'm very happy with the performance of the Linksys wrt1900acs for 6+ months now.
     
  6. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
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    #6
    I'm saying, if you want to be in the Apple ecosystem but recognize the value of the currently selling product is low (it is), you can get in by purchasing from the previous generation. that is what I linked to. $50 for something that will likely be just fine, unless you want AC, then Apple charges $200. I, for example am using a 3rd gen TimeCapsule, around 6 years old, does just fine for my simple needs (couple computers, couple iOS devices, small house).

    if you just want to maximize performance per dollar spent, take a look at Netgear.
     
  7. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #7
    Airport Extreme is a 'nice' item though over priced for what it offers. There are superior routers out there for the same price or cheaper.

    The entire notion of the Apple Eco system falls short with the Airport Extreme. While it has an Apple software interface, it offers not much in terms of ease and control over the traditional "Web faced" management of other routers. In fact, the Airport Extreme management has been dumb-down too much - not as in making things simpler but in removing various useful controls.

    Every "Mac house" I have dealt with, I have opted for a 3rd party router. I have only installed maybe 3 (out of a couple of dozen homes) AE's due to home owner's insistence. Given all the changes going on, I would often consider a "1900ac" router to be the new minimum. Netgear, Asus and then a handful of other makers offer reasonable routers that perform well plus some useful extra features.
     
  8. Cordorb macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #8
    I am 60/6 with TWC (actually see 70/6 ) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station at 5Ghz run good and I find that it is easy for people to set up.

    I do change the ch numbers as more people in the area set up u-verse and all select the same numbers

    There are several good WIFI monitoring program on the Mac store to let you see ch noise.

    it is a bit sad that the old windows version of airport setup has more set up options
     
  9. gobikerider thread starter macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    Apr 15, 2016
    Location:
    United States
    #9
    Might try this netgear, how well does it work to just set it up and leave all the settings to auto. I do not want a router that needs 30 minutes of tweaking the settings to work.
     
  10. Cordorb macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2010
    #10
    only extra set up I had to do was change the 2.4 and 5.0 Ghz to be different names and block a person's mac number who had the password. I think the new apple firmware lets the guest account work better.

    it is also easy to make(force) a fixed address for devices like silicondust or tivo

    most all routers are going to try to find a ch that is not in high use but you may want to pick one that gives you better range or the best speed.

    You are more a tech person that I generally help set up equipment but the Apple device has been set and forget for most people. It is always that cable modem that needs a reboot every few months.
     
  11. Matt-Exeter, Oct 15, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016

    Matt-Exeter macrumors newbie

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    Exeter, UK
    #11

    I got my first Airport Extreme and Expresses when I got my first Mac back in 2009. Simple to install and set up. Technology always lagging behind the dedicated router companies, comes with basic only set up so can't make many changes. Better offerings from Netgear, Asus and Linksys. Out of the three and having tested all of their latest routers this year, I prefer Linksys.

    Also, for wifi coverage, the other routers have large external antenna to boost the signal around the house.
     
  12. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #12
    Airport Extreme AC is no better or worse than any other Broadcom based AC1900 class router/AP performance wise - they're all pretty close.
     
  13. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #13
    Unless things have changed, the Airport Extreme is a ac1750 router not ac1900ac. What it is closest to with respect to ac1900, is cost which means it is priced high for the ac1750 designation. - The simplest review at Smallnetbuilder places it at a ranking of #4 among ac1750 and yet the highest priced of the ac1750 with one less Ethernet port, less features, poor handling of file shares with Windows (for those that use both Mac and PC).

    The AE is not a bad router. If I had to pick two reasons to not get one - price and overall limitations compared to other same class routers and ac1900 routers.
     
  14. o0OBillO0o macrumors member

    o0OBillO0o

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    Nov 27, 2015
    #14
    The AirPort Extreme is simple and exactly what you are looking for.
     
  15. GIZBUG macrumors 65816

    GIZBUG

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    Oct 28, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #15
    Remember ASUS and other brands sometimes don't play nice with Apple Products. Had an AC88, sold it, as every time I turn on my iMac, it said it was connected to wifi, but nothing would load. Had to turn off wifi, turn back on, for it to work. Never had that issue once with Airport Extreme.
     
  16. HDFan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #16
    I have a current Time Capsule that I purchased along with an airport extreme (to use as a network extender) on the Apple refurbished site and am quite happy with them. Besides ease of use you also have to consider support, which in Apple's case is excellent. Don't know about other vendors.

    As new Apple products come out you should be in good shape as Apple will either update Airport software, or will release a new model (sob). Keeping in the same ecosystem means there is no finger pointing from one company to the other saying it's the other guys problem. Wifi problems are not trivial to diagnose.

    As for performance I just ran speedtest on my iPhone 3 feet away from my Time Capsule in a closed closet and got 178 Mbps upload, 17.72 download which is pretty much the limit of my Comcast connection. My Apple TV upstairs is connected via ethernet to the airport extreme extender, and I get between 60-90 Mbps.

    I was tempted by a netgear router than will run a Plex media server:

    https://www.plex.tv/netgear-nightha...e&utm_campaign=Roundup+October+2016+Plex+Pass

    and also runs 802.11 ad which can go to 7.2 Gbps. But then 802.11 ad doesn't go through walls. I would have to get an extender for upstairs in order to get ethernet ports for devices that don't have wifi. Configuring an extender even with an Airport isn't exactly trivial, so I decided that this just wasn't for me.

    So for the latest, greatest, cheapest, more "useful controls" go with another vendor. For ease of use and support go with Apple.
     
  17. an-other macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    #17
    A lot of good commentary here. I'll agree the Airport Extreme is not "class leading". They're solid and easy configure for anyone that's not a power-user. They're extremely stable, and I can't recall any need to ever reboot them (which was my prior experience with Linksys.) "Standard" portforwards and ip reservations are easy to configure. You can also access network configuration (and see if your internet is down) through ipad and iphone apps.

    My only negative experience with an Airport occurred when I had to replace a HP Ethernet printer. I'll wholly blame HP on that one, and I won't be purchasing one of their printers ever again. I'll go as far to say I'll dump it when my initial toner cartridge runs dry.

    I do have one grievance with the Airport. Only 3 wired connections. It's fair to say the industry standard is 4. That noted, Wireless speed is getting so fast the need for Ethernet is becoming less and less. The 3 limit is something you should consider if you're wired.

    My personal view is I want to spend the absolute minimal time I can configuring and tweaking my router. The Airport has paid for itself many times over on that basis.

    The refurbished store has the latest models on offer for a good deal. I've purchased several from there, and they are all undetectable from new.
     
  18. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2002
    Location:
    Alabama
    #18
    I've had several Extremes used in bridge mode only and they were "okay". Eventually went with a Time Capsule 2TB and it is exceptional. That being said, get the Netgear if you only need one station. Extremes are overpriced and under-featured.
     
  19. steve123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    #19
    Do you want a router or a WAP? You can get both in the same package but that is probably sub optimal. If you want a router I would suggest you look at the Ubiquiti Edgerouter Pro. A bit more money but well worth it if you want a router. You can add a WAP as a separate device. Ubiquiti sells these too but I find their WAP's do require quite a bit of extra work. They just released a new family of meshable WAP's, so things might be getting a little better. Configuration is an issue though because they use special software to do that.

    You could use an AE with Edgerouter, that is what I do.
     
  20. harami macrumors newbie

    harami

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    #20

    a year later, I still have the same question. Should I buy the AirPort Extreme or is it obsolete? go for a netgear nighthawk instead ?
    --- Post Merged, Oct 10, 2017 ---
    banana?
     
  21. steve123 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2007
    #21
    My understanding is the Homepod is the next evolution of the AE.

    At the moment, IMO, AE is the easiest to set up and they are great. I have an two TC’s and three Airport Express units and I have great WiFi coverage.

    You do give up some flexibility. As users are getting more and more connected and VPN’s are now almost mandatory, Apple has not kept up in this department. Moreover, what they do support (IPSec and L2TP) conflicts with their own BTMM making it non functional if you need a VPN. Futhermore, uPnP is becoming more and more a big security rsik.

    So, I stopped using my TC as a router. I also stopped using BTMM and started using OpenVPN.
     
  22. Euroamerican macrumors member

    Euroamerican

    Joined:
    May 27, 2010
    Location:
    Boise
    #22
    Hah! I take a long time to decide as well. I haven't read through all the fine points of this thread, but I can tell you that the Airports I have deployed or advised the deployment of have all been very stable and I almost never get calls from the users.

    One of my users actually wanted to get a faster router because her kids said their friends said FaceTime was slow through the Airport Express (N), but my study showed the bottleneck is probably the speed of her cable service plan, rather than the speed of the router.

    So, two separate houses have Airport Express as their primary router.
    Two have Airport Extremes as the primary and one or two Express to extend the range

    I don't like wireless/router problems for SOHO situations, so I value reliability over performance.... Of course, I need to be getting enough throughput in comparison to what bandwidth I'm paying to have brought to the house.

    Maybe you should an Airport Extreme from Apple directly, test the hell out of it and then send it back if you don't like it?
     
  23. harami macrumors newbie

    harami

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    Apr 11, 2011
  24. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #24
    Go to SmallNetBuilder to get the real deals on many of these WiFi routers via their testing. If I recall correctly, AE runs around 199.00 and it is designated as an ac1750 routers. Netgear's popular ac1900 r7000 router can be found at times at around 160 dollars. There are plenty of other contenders out there too that may best the AE.
     
  25. Artitu macrumors newbie

    Artitu

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    Jun 19, 2016
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #25
    It is obsolete. Apple has discontinued research on routers. Buy an Asus or Linksys or other up to date router.
     

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