• Welcome to the Off-Topic/Schweb's Lounge

    In addition to the Mac-Forums Community Guidelines, there are a few things you should pay attention to while in The Lounge.

    Lounge Rules
    • If your post belongs in a different forum, please post it there.
    • While this area is for off-topic conversations, that doesn't mean that every conversation will be permitted. The moderators will, at their sole discretion, close or delete any threads which do not serve a beneficial purpose to the community.

    Understand that while The Lounge is here as a place to relax and discuss random topics, that doesn't mean we will allow any topic. Topics which are inflammatory, hurtful, or otherwise clash with our Mac-Forums Community Guidelines will be removed.

Should I buy Airport Extreme?

Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
I knowledge is a little bit fuzzy about the Airport Extreme.

1. From my knowledge, the Airport Extreme is a router/modem is that correct?

2. If the answer was yes to #1. What reasons are there as to why one would buy the A.E as opposed to a normal Belkin AC router.

3. It is designed by Apple but is it compatible for other brands? E.g. Windows PC/Laptops, Android phones

4. Does it increase the speed of my internet or simply extend the range of my Wi-Fi? I bought my Belkin N1 router somewhere between 2007 to mid 2009.
 

cwa107


Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
27,038
Reaction score
810
Points
113
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Your Mac's Specs
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
I knowledge is a little bit fuzzy about the Airport Extreme.

1. From my knowledge, the Airport Extreme is a router/modem is that correct?

It is a wireless router, not a modem.

2. If the answer was yes to #1. What reasons are there as to why one would buy the A.E as opposed to a normal Belkin AC router.

Simplified setup, reliability, range, Time Machine support, best in class printer sharing. These are all compared to Belkin, mind you, their networking products are mediocre at best.

3. It is designed by Apple but is it compatible for other brands? E.g. Windows PC/Laptops, Android phones

Sure. Devices with the WiFi logo and branding on them (anything that conforms to the 802.11<x> standards) are designed for interoperability regardless of the manufacturer.

4. Does it increase the speed of my internet or simply extend the range of my Wi-Fi? I bought my Belkin N1 router somewhere between 2007 to mid 2009.

Too many variables to give you a solid answer on that. But in general, a dual-band router should be able to give you greater signal strength. Your Internet speeds are governed by your ISP, however.
 

Raz0rEdge

Well-known member
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jul 17, 2009
Messages
14,254
Reaction score
918
Points
113
Location
MA
Your Mac's Specs
2022 Mac Studio, macOS Monterrey, 32 GB
4. Does it increase the speed of my internet or simply extend the range of my Wi-Fi? I bought my Belkin N1 router somewhere between 2007 to mid 2009.

The Apple Extreme would be used instead of your Belkin router, not in addition to it.Depending not the size of your house and location of the router, if you find that the signal strength isn't adequate everywhere, you can grab the Airport Express and use it as a repeater in other parts of the house..

As far as network speeds go, you want to make sure that all devices on the network are 802.11N or faster. As cwa107 said, at the end of the day your local WiFi network might be blazing fast but your Internet speed is gated by what your pISP plan..
 
OP
S
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
The Apple Extreme would be used instead of your Belkin router, not in addition to it.

I previously grasped that concept, I just asserted the year of my router so perhaps someone can enlighten me as to the connectivity or speed my current router has compared to the Extreme. I assume it's pretty darn slow. But in short- My WiFi signal is maximum with my current router so the A.E wouldn't make it any faster.

Unfortunately I live in a suburban area of Australia where NBN (cable) internet is still unavailable. I'm still on ADSL. It's a pity.
 

dtravis7


Retired Staff
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
30,133
Reaction score
703
Points
113
Location
Modesto, Ca.
Your Mac's Specs
MacMini M-1 MacOS Monterey, iMac 2010 27"Quad I7 , MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhoneSE
What Macs do you own? If they are newer and your belkin is older you might get faster WiFi Connect speeds with the AE but nothing will boost your ADSL speeds. Those are determined by your ISP and phone lines.

Older routers were G WiFi at 54mbps, newer are N and even now A/C. The WiFi Connect speed will based on your Macs WiFi Card if you get a newer router.
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Joined
Dec 1, 2013
Messages
424
Reaction score
0
Points
16
What Macs do you own? If they are newer and your belkin is newer you might get faster WiFi Connect speeds with the AE but nothing will boost your ADSL speeds. Those are determined by your ISP and phone lines.

Older routers were G WiFi at 54mbps, newer are N and even now A/C. The WiFi Connect speed will based on your Macs WiFi Card if you get a newer router.

I own a MacBook Air I bought in 2013
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
453
Reaction score
10
Points
18
Location
The same as Sheldon Cooper - East Texas
Your Mac's Specs
iMac 2014 i5 5k 32gb 1tb fusion, second TB display, 2014 MBA
The Extreme is really good, if somewhat expensive. And it is a place and forget box, as compared to my old Linksys routers. And, as has been pointed out, to extend the range, just add more of the cheaper Airports.

I have no recent experience with other modern wireless routers, but the Extreme is both very powerful and very sensitive. I live in a rural area with no chance of interference, with houses widely spread, but when the Extreme was installed, my finder side bar suddenly filled up with icons from windows machines that had to be several thousand feet away. Then I realized that I needed a really good WPA2 password so as not to supply the county with free WiFi.

And I certainly didn't need an extra Airport to extend the range.
 

vansmith

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
19,924
Reaction score
558
Points
113
Location
Queensland
Your Mac's Specs
Mini (2014, 2018, 2020), MBA (2020), iPad Pro (2018), iPhone 13 Pro Max, Watch (S6)
Here's a question to consider - does the Airport Express meet your needs? It's an easily configured base station, it has AirPlay and wireless printing and it has 802.11n support (dual band). Take a look here to compare it to the Extreme. If the Express meets your needs, you can get that and save some money (seeing as how it's half the price).
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Razor, you made me think of something....we used to be in a 2600 sq ft 2 story home, and had my setup upstairs. I do recall sometimes hesitation streaming my music/photos via Apple TV. I can't recall what my Comcast speed was, although I had the fastest (whatever they offered) because I work from home.

Currently I'm in a one story home, and have not experienced the same issues, however, I will be moving to a bigger two story home in February....so now I'm thinking I may need an airport express to supplement my AirPort Extreme.....hmmm
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2014
Messages
58
Reaction score
1
Points
8
Location
MS, USA
Your Mac's Specs
See Signature
I bought a refurb AE from Best Buy back in August for 129.99 at the time. It has been working fine so far. When I first saw it I thought to myself "That's a wireless router?". I then realized that whatever Apple makes something it looks like a work of art.

My 2014 MBA came with 802.11ac and of course the AE is 802.11ac. While it doesn't speed up the internet things like Time Machine backups really fly.
 

cwa107


Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
27,038
Reaction score
810
Points
113
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Your Mac's Specs
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
Some things to consider...

First and foremost, while Apple makes decent enough networking products, that is not quite their forte and compared to competitors, they are usually somewhere in the middle of the pack in terms of performance.

Additionally, unless they finally got their stuff together and introduced it quietly, none of the Apple networking products has an SPI firewall, which is an important security consideration. For the money, I would expect top tier performance and features.

Also, please be aware that in most cases, a single wireless router has plenty of power to cover an entire home (even a large one), provided that it is placed appropriately. Too often, folks have the wireless router in a basement, or in a room at the extreme end of a house and wonder why they can't get signal on the other side. The best place for a wireless router is high up and central to the home. If you can't get it there due to the placement of the modem or whatever, then consider moving around your components to accommodate it.

Lastly, be aware that your wireless router needs to be kept away from other sources of radio emissions to work effectively. Things like cordless phone bases, baby monitors and microwave ovens can all wreak havoc on a wireless radio.
 

dtravis7


Retired Staff
Joined
Jan 4, 2005
Messages
30,133
Reaction score
703
Points
113
Location
Modesto, Ca.
Your Mac's Specs
MacMini M-1 MacOS Monterey, iMac 2010 27"Quad I7 , MBPLate2011, iPad Pro10.5", iPhoneSE
I 2nd everything CWA just said. I was coming to point out the lack of a true SPI firewall (unless like CWA said they stuck it into the router without telling us) is a very negative for me. My Router has SPI and checking the Logs it catches daily many attacks on my IP that are blocked by the firewall. For the cost of the Apple router there is no excuse to not have at least an SPI Firewall.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
43
Points
48
Location
Louisville, KY - USA
Your Mac's Specs
MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM
Your main questions have been answered already. I will just add that I have been using an Apple Extreme router (2012) for the last 2 years now and I have have no issue with it whatsoever. While the A/C and N offer more speed inside the network, they do little to your internet speed. I have 50MB internet into my house, as I stream and play a lot of games and such, so I wanted more upstream speed. Even a G router (54MB) would be fine for internet, the router would not be the bottleneck. The other nice thing that I found usefull - Dual Banding. I have my main hardware linked to the 5GHz band so they all communicate at the fastest speed possible. Any legacy hardware (wifi that only supports G) is sitting on the normal band. I also have a guest access network set up for when people come over. Keeps them from gaining access to my devices.

I have recommended the AirPort Extreme often, and the only reason some people dont get it is they just dont have the money to drop on the device. Even though it is much better (IMO) than the other routers they are buying. When I get a new PC that supports the A/C bands, I will upgrade.
 

cwa107


Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
27,038
Reaction score
810
Points
113
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Your Mac's Specs
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
I have recommended the AirPort Extreme often, and the only reason some people dont get it is they just dont have the money to drop on the device. Even though it is much better (IMO) than the other routers they are buying. When I get a new PC that supports the A/C bands, I will upgrade.

I can afford to buy whatever router I want - I have never purchased any of the Apple networking devices. I understand that this is just your opinion, however, if you take a look at the reviews, the premium price does not justify the performance.

Is it easy to setup? Absolutely. Does it have some great features that other devices don't? Again yes. Is it the best wireless router on the market at this price point? Absolutely not, not even close.
 
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
1,291
Reaction score
43
Points
48
Location
Louisville, KY - USA
Your Mac's Specs
MBP 17" 2011, 2.3GHz Intel Quad-Core i7, 8GB RAM, MacMini 2011, 2.7GHz Intel Dual-Core i7, 8GB RAM
First, I never recommended it to you. These are people who I have talked to face to face, not on forums. I was giving my own experiences with the device as the OP had questions (which were already answered) so I thought some actual experience in use would give them something else to think about.

Sorry you felt the need to lash out.
 

cwa107


Retired Staff
Joined
Dec 20, 2006
Messages
27,038
Reaction score
810
Points
113
Location
Lake Mary, Florida
Your Mac's Specs
14" MacBook Pro M1 Pro, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD
First, I never recommended it to you. These are people who I have talked to face to face, not on forums. I was giving my own experiences with the device as the OP had questions (which were already answered) so I thought some actual experience in use would give them something else to think about.

Sorry you felt the need to lash out.

I'm sorry you took it as lashing out - that was not my intent. I just wanted to let you know why I disagreed with your statement.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top