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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Airport Extreme vs Express v Other n router

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Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posts: 39
davidcoad is on a distinguished road

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I recently bought an AppleTV and have an existing airport express used to stream music to another room.

At the modem end, I have a Netgear 802.11g access point connected to a netcomm modem which has 4 ethernet ports on it.

I want to replace the access point with a faster 802.11n router.

I have been considering getting either:

- Airport Extreme
- airport express
- another brand 802.11n router

I want to get peoples opinions and experiences, is the Airport Extreme worth the extra over an Airport Express as well as being better than a cheaper third party router when connecting to Apple products?

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Lots of factors here. I'll try and provide info to help guide your decision. I have a Time Capsule (basically the Airport Extreme with a hard drive) and an Airport Express. I also have a Linksys WRT54G v.3.

1. How large is your home? If you are in an apartment the Express should be enough. If you live in a multi-story house you may need the Extreme.

2. Is EVERYTHING in your house capable of 802.11n? If it isn't the Extreme or a 3rd party router with dual band capability will be required otherwise as soon as something with 802.11g enters your network, EVERYTHING goes to G.

3. How much are you going to "tinker" with your network. If you want to do anything really advanced, it rules out the Airport Extreme and the Express. With those you are forced to use Apple's Airport utility and you really can't upgrade the firmware (like upgrading a linkyss to DD-WRT firmware). You can't set up DMZ's or Mac Address cloning on the Apple products.

I used my Linksys WRT54G for a couple of years and never had any problems with it. Very easy to set up and with the DD-WRT firmware, I could do a lot more stuff than with the stock firmware.

Once I bought my MacBook Pro and my original D-Link Print server died, I decided to upgrade to the Time Capsule and Airport Express. The Apple products are nice. They work well, once you get them set up. I had some weird issues in the beginning where Back to My Mac was not working but all of a sudden the problems disappeared. Everything is working well now.

Sure, I probably paid extra money but they are both covered under my AppleCare warranty for my computers.

If you are looking to save money, you can easily get a Linksys (or other brand) dual band N router for less.

Hope this helps.
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Member Since: Mar 27, 2008
Posts: 39
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I live in an apartment so range isnt an issue. I think that i'll need the dual band as there are some 802.11g machines (my wifes laptop and iphone) that use the network regularly.

I dont care much for tinkering just want it to be reliable.

Will look into other brands but I think its an airport extreme I need

Thanks for all your help

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