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

Decided against Airport Extreme, here's why..


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MichaelSullivan
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I was considering the AExtreme, but after reading the reviews on CNet, no way. My Local CompUSA had all the powerbooks hooked up to both AExtreme AND a Belkin from a distance of not more than 10 feet. I frequently was dropped from the AExtreme, and even though it showed 3 or 4 bars, safari had trouble connecting. Switch to the Belkin, and a major difference... no drops, full 5 bars, easy surfing with no problems. Switching to and from the Belkin? No problem, I was surfing instantly. Switching to and from the AExtreme? Nearly a problem every time, and in many cases it showed that I was connected to the AE, even though safari refused to connect.

So then, I'm thinking... how is the AExpress, which got good ratings? No way because I can get a Belkin Pre-N router, which has better ratings & range than both, for the price of an AExpress.

AExtreme: $199 http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_AirPor...-20852329.html
Editors' rating:6.9 Fair
Average user rating:7.6 Good (from 20 users)
The good:Excellent performance in an 802.11g-only network at close range; attractive design; solid security; allows network bridging.
The baderformance drops in mixed-mode (802.11b and 802.11g) environment; has a short range; weak tech support; only two Ethernet ports; doesn't include an Ethernet cable.
The bottom line:The AirPort Extreme performs well in a close-knit 802.11g network, but it's not fast enough in mixed mode to warrant upgrading.


AExpress: $119 http://reviews.cnet.com/Apple_AirPor...-30910240.html
Editors' rating:8.1 Very good
Average user rating:Be one of the first to rate this product!
The good:Windows and Apple compatible; works as a USB print server; streams digital music via iTunes; excellent performance; WDS capable.
The bad:No browser-based configuration; no SPI firewall; lacks configurable port filtering; no built-in interface for audio control.
What's it for:Adding Wi-Fi to a wired network, bridging two LANs, repeating Wi-Fi signals, printing over a network, and streaming digital audio with iTunes.
Who's it for:iTunes/iPod fans interested in setting up or adding onto an existing wireless network.
Business use:File sharing and network printing.
Essential extras:A wireless adapter for your computer.
The bottom line:This is among the best compact wireless-networking devices available.



Belkin Pre-N: $118 http://reviews.cnet.com/Belkin_Wirel...-30993672.html
Editors' rating:8.4 Very good
Average user rating:
The good:Fast; great range; simple setup; includes software for both Windows and Mac.
The badricey; requires MIMO adapter to achieve its full potential.
What's it for:Setting up a wireless network.
Who's it for:Those looking for a long-range wireless solution, say, someone with a big house or a large office.
Business use:Sharing an Internet connection; standard file and printer sharing.
Essential extras:You'll need Belkin's Pre-N PC Card adapter to take full advantage of the router's range.
The bottom line:If you're looking for a router with great range, this is it.
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IanCT

 
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I usually don't trust CompUSA (or BestBuy, etc) example demos, they're usually setup and configured by someone who you wouldn't want near your own computer equipment for a number of reasons.

I use both an Airport Extreme, and Airport Express.
I get great range in my home, even back out to my shop/garage which is about 60 feet from the base station, with about 6 walls in the way. The Airport Express adds greater range with WDS, I also use it for Airtunes and it works nicely.

But, everyone has their own preference and luck of the draw.
I do have a Netgear MR814 802.11b that I used for a couple years before I got an Extreme and it's worked great during the two years it was in operation.

And my background is not predominately Apple, been a PC-type for 20 years, and Apple-type for about the last five.

r/
-IanCT
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MichaelSullivan
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Well, I wouldn't usually trust CompUSA because I also feel that they know little. However, CNet reported the same kinds of problems that I experienced at CompUSA. Also, with the Belkin getting much better reviews and reports plus it just worked better in the store-I'll be going with it. Three antennas, each can transmit data seperately... thats just amazing.

Heck, the additional antenna needed to extend the range of the AirportExtreme is $99 ("ExtendAIR Omni Antenna") which is just $20 less than the belking. That would be about $300 to get the airportExtreme up to what *might be the level of the $118 Belkin. Yikes!

http://www.thinkdifferentstore.com/p...roducts_id=235
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pstauff
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My Airport Extreme card in my iBook is impressive. It picks up signals most of my friends cannot with their laptops. At home I run a combo Westell DSL modem/router. It works great with my Airport Extreme card. So the base station doesn't matter. Go with whatever floats your boat.
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menace3054
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yea but the airport extreme just looks sooo cool! lol. i agree with you 100% i had a linksys router, and i decided to replace it with the AE router soley base on a) looks and b) i wanted everything apple so it integrated nicely. Right now, i am no more than 30 centimeters away from my router and I do not have full signal. if i go into the other side of my house, forget it.
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MichaelSullivan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pstauff
My Airport Extreme card in my iBook is impressive. It picks up signals most of my friends cannot with their laptops. At home I run a combo Westell DSL modem/router. It works great with my Airport Extreme card. So the base station doesn't matter. Go with whatever floats your boat.

I'm talking about the Airport Extreme BASE STATION, not the card. Of course the base station matters... its what puts out the signal! :blind:
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JRV

 
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i never even thought to buy an airport. they are too over priced. i just bought a wireless linksys router and i works with my iBook just fine.
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i2oadi2unnei2
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Hrmmm... Whenever I read a device that is "Pre-N", one my eyebrows raises. I won't go into full detail but hey, if it works, great!

Most apple products has an asthetic appeal to it and I'd love to get every apple products, but I prefer to stick with what I know works and understand...Cisco :cool:
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MichaelSullivan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i2oadi2unnei2
Hrmmm... Whenever I read a device that is "Pre-N", one my eyebrows raises. I won't go into full detail but hey, if it works, great!

Most apple products has an asthetic appeal to it and I'd love to get every apple products, but I prefer to stick with what I know works and understand...Cisco :cool:

Hopefully you don't purchase products based on what they look like, in this case the airport extreme would be a big mistake. The Pre-N designation simply refers to the standards that it supports:

802.11b
802.11g
802.11n

Since the 802.11n standard won't be finalized until next year, its called a pre-n router. Incidentially, this router did better than any others including Cisco. It also puts out less interference, and ignores interference better than other routers.
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i2oadi2unnei2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelSullivan
Hopefully you don't purchase products based on what they look like, in this case the airport extreme would be a big mistake. The Pre-N designation simply refers to the standards that it supports:

802.11b
802.11g
802.11n

Since the 802.11n standard won't be finalized until next year, its called a pre-n router. Incidentially, this router did better than any others including Cisco. It also puts out less interference, and ignores interference better than other routers.
I beg the differ regarding Cisco, however I'd rather perfer not to debate. As far as this topic goes, but it's more of a personal preference than anything else. I've been using Linksys products since its inception and as far as consumers concern, they provide relatively inexpensive and "not so" complicated configuration. And as for Cisco products, you pretty much have to know and understand their OS. I use and have both products and I think they're great. As far as Netgear, D-Link, etc., I've never touched one so I don't know much about their products other than reading up on them. It comes down to personal experiences is all I have to say
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MichaelSullivan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i2oadi2unnei2
As far as this topic goes, but it's more of a personal preference than anything else....
If, by personal preference, you mean referring to unbiased professional reviews to determine performace, value, and quality-I agree.
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