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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jan 11, 2007
    Posts
    69
    My review of the Airport Extreme router (with Verizon Fios)
    Yesterday I bought the new Apple Airport Extreme routers that
    are ungodly expensive (like everything else Apple sells).

    Did I need a new router? No, not really. To date I was using a Belkin
    Pre-N wireless router that was quite powerful and actually did a really
    good job of covering my entire home -- even providing adequate signal
    strength to my back deck for those times I wanted to sit in the sun and
    surf the Internet.

    So why did I buy this Apple router? Well, a few co-workers bought one
    and were gushing over the fact that they found it to be a lot faster than
    the routers they had previously owned. They also bragged about the fact
    that a printer or external drive could be plugged into the router's USB
    port and be made available to every single computer on the network.

    I think it was the capability of having an external drive hooked to
    the router that could be accessed from my wired desktop and wireless
    laptop that pushed me over the edge.

    Setting up the router was fairly easy, which surprised me because
    routers generally are the most tedious of computer peripherals to
    try and set up. Instead of using a webpage to set up the router (as
    is the case with most), Apple uses a setup assistant that is software
    installed and embedded in the Utilities folder.

    I had some initial problems setting up the router due to my own
    ignorance. I placed a call to Verizon Fios who told me that
    the Apple router would not work with their service because the IP
    address is meant to communicate with their routers, and when it does
    not, the address is not renewed. Had I listened to that "bull" the
    router would be on its way back to Apple. However, I was determined
    to get this router working and simply set it up the way I did my
    Belkin and it WORKED!

    I was also able to easily add my Airport Express module that operates
    my wireless printer to the network.

    So, I am certain you guys are wondering if $179 buys you a
    better router or not. Well, my initial findings is that the Apple
    router gave me the same coverage as my Belkin Pre-N modem.
    Signal strength was just as strong across my home. What I did
    notice, however, was increased speed. Web page loads were
    noticeably faster with the Apple router. It was if my system
    suddenly got a nice kick in the pants.

    I should stop here and say that I am using the "N" standard
    across the board. I downloaded the software update for my
    Mac Pro weeks ago to make it fully "N" compliant.

    I then hooked up an external hard drive to the router using the
    USB connection. You need to tell the Apple router whether you
    wish to share this drive across the network. I told it to do so.
    Like a charm, the hard drive appeared as an icon on my wireless
    laptop and wired desktop.

    The only problem I have with accessing that hard drive wirelessly
    is that the connection is not very fast. I tried to access the drive
    from my laptop and play some stored videos. My laptop had a
    hard time playing those videos as the connection was obviously not
    fast enough. So, it seems that while you can probably access and
    transfer small files easily over the network, the connection absolutely
    is too slow to even stream video content off of the hard drive.

    All in all, I'm happy with the Apple Airport Extreme router for its
    improved web browsing speed and ample signal strength within a
    very large home. It's extremely easy to set up. The only minor
    disappointment I have is over the rather sluggish remote access to
    the external hard drive. I suppose this is to be expected, though I
    would think the simple art of "streaming" videos off of it would have
    worked much better.

    Overall, a great router but extremely overpriced. Most people with
    small homes/apartments/townhouses would fare just as well with a
    $90-$100 Belkin or Linksys.

  2. #2

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,981
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Very good review.

    On the Hard Drive speed, I have had issues like that with all external hard drives using USB 2.0. Not really fast enough to stream videos over my network and mine are plugged directly into computers on the network. USB 2.0 is not the best with fast transfers of large files. My Externals hooked up Via Firewire though have no issues here.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jan 11, 2007
    Posts
    69
    WoW!

    Interesting. I had thought at least wired, a USB2 connection
    would allow video to stream flawlessly. I mean, I can put a
    video file on a USB key, plug it in, and get perfect playback.

    The thing that scares me about the router is VERIZON FIOS.
    According to them, the service checks the IP address on occasion
    and if it is not communicating with their router, it shuts you off.

    Now, I have been using a Belkin router (not Verizon's) for a year
    now and that has never happened. So, hopefully, there will be no
    issues using the Apple.

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 04, 2005
    Location
    Modesto, Ca.
    Posts
    28,981
    Specs:
    iMac 2010 27" QuadI7 OSX10.11, iMac 2008 OSX10.11, MBP Late2011OSX10.11 , iPad Air, iPhone 3GS
    Do keep us updated if you run into any issues with Verizon FIOS and the AE.

    The Videos I have had issues with by the way are full HD Trailers.

  5. #5

    schweb's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 27, 2002
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    13,190
    Specs:
    MacBook Pro | LED Cinema Display | iPhone 4 | iPad 2
    Great review.

    But are you really sure it's running at "N" speed? If you connected an Airport Express which runs at "G" speed which in theory brings your network down to G level.
    schweb | community leader
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  6. #6

    ndwgolf's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 30, 2007
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by NJRonbo View Post
    I should stop here and say that I am using the "N" standard
    across the board. I downloaded the software update for my
    Mac Pro weeks ago to make it fully "N" compliant.

    I.
    Sorry for my ignorance but what is "N compliant?????

  7. #7

    riguy's Avatar
    Member Since
    Aug 08, 2007
    Posts
    9
    This brings up an interesting question. I assume what Schweb is saying is true, having the Express active on the network slows the whole network down because Express is still only G compliant. Based on that, has anyone heard if the Express will get updated to N anytime soon?

  8. #8

    milessthomas's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 28, 2007
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    783
    Specs:
    MBP 3.06Ghz, MBP 2.2Ghz, Mini G4, B/W G3 (Media Server), LCII, Beige G3
    nvr mnd

  9. #9

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
    Posts
    26,947
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by NJRonbo View Post
    The thing that scares me about the router is VERIZON FIOS.
    According to them, the service checks the IP address on occasion
    and if it is not communicating with their router, it shuts you off.
    I believe this has about as much validity as their comment about the router being incompatible with their service. This sounds like an uneducated tier one help desk jockey who misinterpreted his or her script.

    Most likely, the FIOS "modem" is a router itself and the person you spoke to doesn't understand how to interface two routers together. Many times what happens is that the modem, acting as a NAT router, is handing out private IP addresses in the same range as the wireless router you want to use. This creates a conflict, which is easily rectified just by changing the IP address and DHCP scope of the third-party router.

    Anyway, very nice review.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  10. #10

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
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    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    Quote Originally Posted by ndwgolf View Post
    Sorry for my ignorance but what is "N compliant?????
    "n compliant" refers to the 802.11n IEEE standard which some newer routers support. It's essentially a variety of the 802.11 standard that runs at a higher speed. 802.11b runs at a max speed of 11Mbps, 802.11g runs at 54Mbps and 802.11n runs at a theoretical max of 248Mbps.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2007
    Posts
    121
    technically, N connections are still draft.

    Nice review though! I've been wanting to see a review like this.

  12. #12

    cjbowen.apple's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location
    Kansas City
    Posts
    13
    Specs:
    17" MacBook Pro: 2.4GHz | 13" MacBook: White 2.16GHz | 24" iMac: 2.8GHz
    Good review! I loved reading it. :]
    Now I have made the final decision to make my dad get me one.
    Mwuahahaha! Thanks.

  13. #13

    rogerinlondon's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 02, 2006
    Location
    London, England
    Posts
    398
    Specs:
    iMac Retina 5K 4GHz i7 24GB RAM MacBook Air 11-inch 1.6GHz 4GB RAM
    I have also had thoughts about the speed when transferring files with the Airport Extreme. See this thread.

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=78406

    If anyone have achieved any other (better) speeds or understands what the limitation is, please let me know.

  14. #14


    Member Since
    May 13, 2005
    Posts
    2,410
    Quote Originally Posted by riguy View Post
    Based on that, has anyone heard if the Express will get updated to N anytime soon?
    i think the express is bein fazed out with AppleTV

    Quote Originally Posted by schweb View Post
    Great review.

    But are you really sure it's running at "N" speed? If you connected an Airport Express which runs at "G" speed which in theory brings your network down to G level.
    is this true? that would suck if having tunes in my bathroom was bringing down my whole network.

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    53
    GREAT REVIEW...!!! Thanks...I'm switching to my first Mac next week (iMac 2.4 + 2GB ram)...My router is also an old pre-N...

    My question has been is the Airport worth the extra $80 (give or take a few) over a decent D-link or something?

    I'm not an IT guy and I hate dealing with IT issues. Sounds like the power and the ease of set up alone make it worth the $$$...at least to me....

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