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

Any Time Capsule/AirPort Extreme experts?


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darrylyoung

 
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Member Since: Jun 26, 2008
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Hey everyone!

I'm in the market for a new wireless router and I came across the AirPort Extreme for £139. This is much higher than I planned to spend on a wireless router but as I have two MacBooks and two iPhones in my apartment I liked the idea of sticking with Apple products. I understand that only one of the MacBooks (my late 2009 2.66GHz Pro) will be able to utilise the "N" band but I liked the sound of the router being simultaneous dual-band for when my girlfriend uses her older "G" MacBook.

Anyway, is the AirPort Extreme Base Station a good option for me? I live in a fairly small apartment so I'll never be more than 10 metres from the router with my MacBook or iPhone. If you think that this would be a better option than a NETGEAR 3700, for example, then please advise me.

My next question was regarding a 2TB Time Capsule. Am I right to think that these are basically AirPort Extreme Base Stations with internal hard drives? If so, is the Wi-Fi performance the exact same? I'd like a new external hard drive so this sounds like a viable option but can you tell me what the real world speeds are like accessing the 2TB hard drive wirelessly? Are they 'that much' better than if I had an AirPort Extreme with a USB 2.0 external hard drive attached?

I've been struggling to decide on this for a while now so hopefully there are some experts here to answer my questions and give me some advice.

Thanks in advance! Have a great weekend

Web Developer, Vegan & Tech geek. Berlin.
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bobtomay

 
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If her older MacBook has a Core 2 Duo vs the first gen Core Duo, then it can do 'n'. It'll just cost you $2 to enable it - link.

Of course, no iPhone prior to the 4 can do 'n' and the iPhone 4 only does 'n' on the 2.4Ghz band.

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darrylyoung

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
If her older MacBook has a Core 2 Duo vs the first gen Core Duo, then it can do 'n'. It'll just cost you $2 to enable it - link.
I've just checked her MacBook and it actually says b/g/n - I didn't realise. I guess it's newer than I thought! Ok, that's one thing sorted...

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DavidHH

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EATTHERICH View Post
Hey everyone!

My next question was regarding a 2TB Time Capsule. Am I right to think that these are basically AirPort Extreme Base Stations with internal hard drives? If so, is the Wi-Fi performance the exact same? I'd like a new external hard drive so this sounds like a viable option but can you tell me what the real world speeds are like accessing the 2TB hard drive wirelessly? Are they 'that much' better than if I had an AirPort Extreme with a USB 2.0 external hard drive attached?

I've been struggling to decide on this for a while now so hopefully there are some experts here to answer my questions and give me some advice.

Thanks in advance! Have a great weekend
Yes a Time Capsule is an Airport Extreme Base Station with an Internal Hard Drive. The Wi-Fi performance should be exactly the same. If you purchased an External Hard Drive and attached it to an Airport Extreme you would have to live with USB 2.0 transfer speed of 480 Mbps which can be slow depending on the type of task you are doing. Wi-Fi 802.11n has a theoretical speed of 300 Mbps so USB 2.0 should be faster.

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darrylyoung

 
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@DavidHH: Thanks for your reply, I really appreciate it.

I've kind of gone off the idea of a Time Capsule as wireless backups aren't essential to me. The main thing I want is the best Wi-Fi speed/quality from the router. I've now narrowed it down to:

- Apple AirPort Extreme
- NETGEAR WNDR-3700
- ASUS RT-N56U

They all seem about as good as each other but I still don't know which one to go for! Any advice?...

Web Developer, Vegan & Tech geek. Berlin.
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DavidHH

 
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There are many people on this forum that prefer to just use the Apple Airport Extreme and then choose an External Drive to connect to it. Certainly it gives you much more flexibility on brand and size of Hard Drive.
Personally I am very interested in the rumours regarding the potential integration of the Apple routers with the upcoming (this fall) iCloud Service. There has been some discussion regarding the Apple Router "Caching" some of the iCloud Services so that it is well integrated into your home network and the syncing of your devices.

I have only had experience with the Apple Airport Extreme so I cannot comment on the other units.
I have been very happy with my Apple product. It has worked flawlessly for me and does not give me any issues. I also "extended" my Network with an Apple Airport Express and again it has worked wonderfully for me.

Good luck in your shopping.
DavidH
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class77

 
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I can only offer my personal experience with an Airport Extreme, but I have been very impressed with it's service. I've had one for a little over a month(first an AE4, then an AE5). I set both up myself with no problems and very little time required.

Our wireless output has been just about the same on our MBP '11 as the ethernet connected iMac '09. The AE5 has an extended radius over the AE4 in my experience. JMHO

 24" iMac, 3.06GHz C2D, 4GB RAM, 1TB HDD, 10.6.8
 2011 Mac mini, 2.7Ghz i7, 8GB RAM, 750 GB HDD, 10.7.3
 iPad3 64GB, iPad2 32 GB
 iPhone 4, 32GB  Airport Extreme 5
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