Worth upgrading 2011 AEBS to newer model with AC?

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
My internet is only 25mbps and speedtest claims my iMac upstairs across the house is getting ~27-29mbps. It also streams cnn.com well but seems slow loading websites. My Apple TVs both seem to stream fine (other than mkvs from a USB attached HDD to the AEBS).

I'm just curious if getting a new model will generally speed up my home internet usage or I'd just be throwing money after newer technology with no substantial benefit (I always have the itch to upgrade tech and I've had this router so long). Is there something I'm not considering?
 

jdag

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2012
827
212
I have the new model, and have better connectivity/speed than I had with my old model. In fact, I have 2 routers, 1 Airport Extreme and 1 Time Capsule. They are connected via ethernet and spaced fairly well across my house. I have phenomenal coverage and it has been very very stable. I have also taken the time to wire those "stationary" devices where possible (iMac, 2 AppleTVs, my son's Xbox, etc.).

But with WiFi is finicky and can be very dependent on your environment. So I would suggest you try one from a retailer with a good return policy.
 

winstars

macrumors regular
Dec 10, 2015
120
40
My internet is only 25mbps and speedtest claims my iMac upstairs across the house is getting ~27-29mbps. It also streams cnn.com well but seems slow loading websites. My Apple TVs both seem to stream fine (other than mkvs from a USB attached HDD to the AEBS).

I'm just curious if getting a new model will generally speed up my home internet usage or I'd just be throwing money after newer technology with no substantial benefit (I always have the itch to upgrade tech and I've had this router so long). Is there something I'm not considering?

I retired my old flat Extreme with the newer "tower" version last year. My speed increased like 15% and the signal is a lot stronger in my home on the newer model.

Its just better.
 

Hermes Monster

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2010
1,145
304
UK
I can't really compare as I never had a AEBS, but I do have the ATC Tower, which is excellent and I get about 10-20% faster speeds than with my ISP supplied router.

I have a similar set up to you, but I have a USB 3 4TB HDD attached to the ATC and streams flawlessly to my ATV. The issue you have may be the speed of the stick rather than the base unit.... or it could be the base unit :/
 

chuyn

macrumors 6502
Nov 13, 2015
365
108
I retired my old flat Extreme with the newer "tower" version last year. My speed increased like 15% and the signal is a lot stronger in my home on the newer model.

Its just better.
Same experience here. Although the only devices we have that use AC are our iPhones, the coverage we have for everything else is farther/stronger than the old version.
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
I can't really compare as I never had a AEBS, but I do have the ATC Tower, which is excellent and I get about 10-20% faster speeds than with my ISP supplied router.

I have a similar set up to you, but I have a USB 3 4TB HDD attached to the ATC and streams flawlessly to my ATV. The issue you have may be the speed of the stick rather than the base unit.... or it could be the base unit :/
I may be limited by the AEBS being USB 2.0 instead of 3.0 but I think the newer AC version kept the 2.0 standard (which should still provide enough bandwidth for a bluray MKV). I get flawless streaming with m4v/MP4.
 

LiveM

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2015
1,131
518
USB is 2.0 as it is faster than the processor can handle. USB 3 on routers is usually just a gimmick. However, the current generation ac Extreme will offer improved speed even for n devices.
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
USB is 2.0 as it is faster than the processor can handle. USB 3 on routers is usually just a gimmick. However, the current generation ac Extreme will offer improved speed even for n devices.
Thanks, that's probably what I wanted to know. Have my eyes on a refurbished 2tb time capsule for $180 from Apple. My assumption is that it had a bad HDD or power supply that was swapped out. Can't imagine there's much else they'd bother trying to refurbish.
 

LiveM

macrumors 65816
Oct 30, 2015
1,131
518
AE has excellent reliability, doesn't look like a giant bug or a tiny space ship, and seems to avoid performance issues that may occur between Apple devices and non-Apple routers.
 

phrehdd

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2008
3,266
725
AE has excellent reliability, doesn't look like a giant bug or a tiny space ship, and seems to avoid performance issues that may occur between Apple devices and non-Apple routers.
While we might agree or disagree about the "look" of the AE, your last statement well...I'll just say I fully disagree.
AE doesn't "perform" with respect to distance and speed with some of the more popular competitors in the same price range nor has a full feature set. It is simple to be sure and quite 'dumb.' I always thought it was a pity that Apple elected to make the software lackluster and less than a past incarnation.
 

off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
I'll skip my subjective and just offer you this -

http://www.smallnetbuilder.com/wireless/wireless-features/32512-does-an-ac-router-improve-n-device-performance

I highly suggest you read it. As well, why bother remaining with AE option when there are better performers out there for about the same price?
I've had nothing but trouble with every single router I've owned, the AEBS the sole exception. The AEBS has performed flawlessly for over five years now while all the prior ones developed issues just a year in. I don't need elite performance and I'm not willing to put up with their persnickety and temperamental hardware and software.


I've now ordered a refurbished 2tb time capsule for $180. I'll test it out a week or so to see if there's a noticeable difference. If not I'll take back to an Apple Store.
 
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off_piste

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Oct 25, 2015
763
470
Update: tested out the new time capsule and saw no performance increase over my 802.11n AEBS. However, I did have a problem with my videos not streaming smoothly from my HDD attached to the USB port on the time capsule. I'm not sure why that would be the case but it made it easy for me to decide to return it to the Apple Store today.
 

jdag

macrumors 6502a
Jun 15, 2012
827
212
Too bad...but as I said earlier, "WiFi is finicky and can be very dependent on your environment." It is interesting that you had trouble with the attached HDD.