Thinking about getting an Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MacJohnson, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. MacJohnson macrumors regular


    Dec 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Really dont like the linksys, however love apple products what to make the switch over to it all.....Just wondering what everyones thoughts where on it. thank you
  2. imaketouchtheme macrumors 65816

    Dec 5, 2007
    It broadcasts your internet wirelessly throughout your household.

    That's about all.
  3. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Its a decent general purpose wireless router that lets you attach both a printer and a hard drive that any connected computer can use (Windows or Mac). If you game or stream video or have other high throughput requirements in a multi-user household, there are better solutions that can implement QoS and are easier to administer.
  4. c-Row macrumors 65816


    Jan 10, 2006
    From our experience at the office, "QoS" and "easier to administer" don't belong into the same sentence without a negation.
  5. jamesraward macrumors regular


    May 18, 2009
    Look at the Airport express, it's cheaper, doesn't have direct cat-5 connection if that's an issue, has printer support AND airtunes - which the Airport Extreme doesn't. I use the AExpress and a TC (which seems to be an AExtreme with a HD) and it works brilliantly together. I started with the Express and it's fantastic (unless you've incredibly thick walls) and if you get it from an apple store if it doesn't fit your bill then you can take it back, no problems
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm happy with it.

    The main difference is how you administer the router. With AE you use apple's application in OSX. a third party router will have the minute settings to adjust via accessing a webpage, those are generally more technical but gives you access to to adjust the router. AE's interface is a bit "dumbed" down. Yes you can do port forwarding logging, MAC address filtering but the application is quite Mac like. You can take that as good or bad depending on your perspective.
  7. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    Related question about the Extreme

    I've been thinking about upgrading my router as well. I currently have a D-Link G speed router (DI-524, I believe); it has served me well for nearly five years, but I want to upgrade to N speeds.

    My wife's computer is connected via Ethernet to the router; her PC does not have WiFi, so the Express would not be an optimal solution. In addition to my iMac which can do N speeds, I have a couple of other PCs that have G adapters, and my wife's iPod touch is G as well.

    My question to all is: How well does the Extreme's "simultaneous dual band" implementation work? I'm trying to future-proof my WiFi network in case I get a video streaming box like the :apple:tv, and would like to prevent the G devices from slowing down the iMac's N connection.

    Any real-world SDB anecdotes are appreciated. :)
  8. Habitus macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2009
    Where ever my life takes me...
    I love mine! I definitely recommend it.

    Habitus :apple:
  9. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    They are nice WiFi routers. Never had a problem with mine.
  10. doubleohseven macrumors 6502a


    Jan 13, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    Not just that...

    It has a USB port so you can link your printer to your network using a program called 'Bonjour' (comes with the AEBS). Or you could convert your AirPort Extreme into a Time Capsule by adding an external hard drive to it (using the USB port). I've even enabled file sharing so everyone on our network can access files on the 'shared' folder in our network.

    Never had a problem or a drop out with mine. There's two computers, two game consoles, a touch and a DSi that all use the same connection and not once has it let us down. And the connection speed on our computer connected by cables has basically the same as the connection speed on my MacBook which gets internet through WiFi (802.11n draft). The simultaneous dual-band implementation on the AEBS is alright...naturally the internet on my touch and the G-Standard PC in our network has slower connection speeds (no more than 10-15mbps) than my N-Standard MacBook (which can reach up to 21mbps), but on the whole it's still pretty good.

    Only problem here is that our network's span is rather big - you could access our network half way down the street :eek: but thank god for WPA2! On the other hand, in our old house, the network barely stretched to the backyard... so find out what's between your walls.
  11. superbaguy macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2008
    My Airport Extreme is a week old...

    ..and we love it! We replaced a Netgear 624v3 with it. Our iPod Touch units connect instantly now and even the lone (soon to be replaced with a Mac?) PC laptop in the house is happy.
  12. galstaph macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2002
    The Great White North Eh
    I replaced my dlink (dl-524) last month with an airport extreme (well, relegated it to ibook/renter access duty looped off the airport lan) and have been quite happy. i run my 09 Mac Pro and 09 mbp on it so I have it set to separate the signal and gave my 'n' its own name for access directly to top speed. I've noticed a slight increase in speed (~500kbs) but more importantly, it seems more stable (I replaced the dlink as it was dropping out every 20-30 minutes). I also have my HP AIO (c7200 I think) connected via usb (it has its own wirelss nic, but due to the great mac support it dropped signal constantly when the computers slept) it has worked every time since (just need to set up the fax and scanning from the computers still).

    for comparison here are my wireless 'g' speeds off the dlink (on my Mac pro, dlink connected to the airports lan port): 11.78 down .49 up 17ms ping

    airport extreme using wireless 'n' immediately afterward (again on my mac pro):
    12.36 down .49 up 8ms ping

    most importantly in real world usage, the most I ever got for d/l on my dlink was around 1.5mb/s with the airport I've already seen over 5..... YMMV
  13. ghostlyorb macrumors 6502a


    Jan 9, 2010
    Virginia, USA
    it's great.. the simultaneous dual-band works great. I have it set to work as 2 different networks.. i use computers on the 2.4GHz.. and my xbox360 on the 5GHz.. and no lag at all... (and that's half way across the house in the basement). I use both Extreme and Express.. I need the extreme because it has Ethernet output. I have the multicast set to Medium.. which gives it good range and speed. Using a printer through the router works flawlessly.. and airtunes works great too. I know for xbox.. and i'm not sure about computers.. but in order for "N" to work on xbox.. the encryption has to be set to WPA/WPA2.. or just WPA2. i have had G and it worked okay.. but you will see a huge difference in speed and distance.. from the beginning.
  14. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    Thanks, ghostlyorb and galstaph. That pretty much seals the deal for me, then.
  15. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    If the only reason you want the Extreme over an Express is that your wife's computer doesn't have a wi-fi card, then I would just stick a wi-fi card in your wife's pc. Then you can stash the Express in the middle of your abode or wherever else is your most preferred places (eg by your stereo/entertainment system so you can listen to itunes). If you'd be having one of your computers tethered to your Extreme anyway, then the ability to connect hard drive and/or printer to it is rendered unuseful -- you might as well just connect the devices to the PC then.

    Plus, the Express is a lot more compact and is portable.
  16. Jack Flash macrumors 65816

    May 8, 2007
  17. jettredmont macrumors 68030

    Jul 25, 2002
    Well, except for having to have that particular computer on 24/7, of course.

    Network Attached Storage (eg, a hard drive attached to an Airport Extreme) benefits from low-power-consumption, always-on accessibility.

    Personally, we've got a printer with built-in networking, but will be adding an Airport Extreme base station to our network (which is currently using an Airport Express only) to cover dead zones, replace the old 'g' access point (still needed on occasion), and NAS up a Drobo and another external drive we've been using for Time Machine backups.

    At the same time, our DSL "modem" has a router built into it which can't be disabled, so the Airports all are in Access-Point-Only mode. Can't speak to the ease of use for the router side of things (setting up NAS, etc), but the access point setup is as easy as can be (far easier than the equivalent in our 'g' access point from Buffalo).
  18. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    My wife's PC has had WiFi via USB adapter before, and she hated dealing with the occasional dropout. She prefers the wired connection. But that's not the reason.

    I have no plans for using the USB port as of yet. (A shared external hard drive would be put there, perhaps, as I already have my own FW800 external for Time Capsule attached locally to my iMac.)

    If I want to listen to iTunes out loud, I slip my 2nd gen nano into my Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere. If I find myself wanting to expand my iTunes into the living/entertainment room on a more permanent basis in the future, I'd get an :apple:tv instead-- might as well get my videos there too.

    The real reason for the Extreme is simultaneous dual-band, which the Express (as admittedly nifty as it is) just doesn't have. It's a necessity in my case-- my iMac has N, my wife's new iPod touch and my old PC has G. I don't want those Gs slowing down my N, or any future adapters which will have N capability.
  19. csucollegian macrumors newbie

    Jan 1, 2010
    I use an AirportExpress. Its cool and they can do the job just as the Airport Extreme. However, it can get very hot but I never had any problems with it so far...
  20. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    If the computer with the printer is running Snow Leopard and you have the AirPort Extreme, the AirPort will wake the Mac if any other system tries to access its resources (printer, drives). This works very well and saves electricity. I found computer connected resources to be more reliable.
  21. Ambrose Chapel macrumors 65816

    Ambrose Chapel

    Jul 24, 2002
    i have a pre-dual band 802.11n AE and am very happy with it. I had to reset my old linksys router fairly often, but have only had to do it once so far to the AE.
  22. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    i have had several Linsksys products over the years, and it seems that the ones I kept "upgrading" to, were getting worse and worse. DDWRT did help on the WRT54G, but then the router started to go, needing a reboot every day.

    I then "upgraded" to the WRT160N, and that was worse. The firmware WONT upgrade while running safari. I found that out by myself. There is NO DD-WRT support yet (doubt there ever will be).

    SO i decided to cut my loses, sold the router for $50 (paid $80, not too bad of a loss) and bought the AirPort Extreme in late December. I have NOT ONCE had to reset the router. I port forwarded for the XBOX 360. I highly recommend this product!
  23. akhentek macrumors member


    Oct 6, 2006
    elphinstone, canada
    the AE's signal strength and overall router quality are perfect for home users
    and much better than linksys ones. i recommend AE's to all our clients

    our household has 1 Time Capsule, 1 Airport Extreme and 5 x Airport Expresses (we like our wireless audio in every room).

    if you need QoS, just add a pro router into the chain

    we have a dual WAN router that splits the 2 internet connections (cable and dsl) into 3 balanced inputs.

    1 is for time capsule (5.0 GHz N)
    2 is for airport extreme (2.4 GHz G/N)
    3 is for airport expresses (5.0 GHz N)

    they each have their own wireless network name, the airport expresses are a closed / invisible mesh.

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