“The most frequently aired complaint about Wi-Fi wireless networks is that they don’t reach far enough. In most larger contemporary homes, Wi-Fi signals can’t maintain enough strength as they pass through walls and floors to blanket the house,” Glenn Fleishman reports for The Seattle Times.
“An updated AirPort Extreme Base Station from Apple should solve the range problem for most homes. The base station comes with a few extras, too, that can improve home networking and that of small offices,” Fleishman reports. “Apple unveiled the updated hub, which routes Wi-Fi signals among computers [Mac and PC] and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices, back at Macworld Expo with little fanfare. The router started shipping early this month for $179.”
“The new Extreme — confusingly having the same name as the previous model — uses what’s called Draft N to improve both range and speed…With Draft N, wirelessly connected computers that also have Draft N adapters can move data at more than 90 megabits per second (Mbps), or nearly five times faster than Apple’s previous release,” Fleishman reports.
Fleishman reports, “Apple’s Apple TV, a media adapter, has Draft N built in as well. It’s estimated that 10 Mbps is needed to stream the highest resolution of high-definition (HD) video… The base station adds more than just speed and range to justify its price tag. While you can get $100 Draft N routers, they lack the ease of configuration that Apple brings with its new AirPort Utility software, and the ability to share USB printers and hard drives.”
“With hard-drive sharing, a family or office could keep files like photos or documents on a centrally accessible drive that can be reached throughout the network,” Fleishman reports. “Perhaps Apple should have named their new model AirPort Extremer, but it’s most modest improvement in reaching further could bring the greatest satisfaction.”
Full article here.
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