Apple’s new AirPort Extreme offers increased speed and range

Apple Store“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.

Related articles:
High-quality Apple AirPort Extreme 802.11n unboxing photos – February 04, 2007
Apple ships new Airport Extreme Base Stations two weeks early – February 01, 2007
Apple AirPort Utility 1.0 screenshots, 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station manuals – January 26, 2007
Apple releases AirPort Extreme Update 2007-001 – January 26, 2007
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme ‘AirPort Disk’ feature: cheap, simple network storage for home networks – January 15, 2007
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme supports 802.11n, enables wireless streaming of HD media – January 10, 2007
Apple introduces new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n – January 09, 2007
Do you have an Apple packaging fetish, too? – September 15, 2005

25 Comments

  1. I love mine. You can even share the disk across the wan port. It is a really great file server for basic use. So easy to set up . Range is much better, and if you have a n airport card you get very fast file transfers.

    Great product. TV next !!!!!!

  2. Yeah – But look at the fine print. I had problems with my extreme on my imac, and Apple told me that they can only stand by what they claim if the extreme is within an unobstructed line of sight to the computer. No problems with my macbook, but they dodged the imac problem.

  3. It’s great for most users as it is with an easy interface, but it would be better if it additionally had a web based interface like all other routers, so no software installation is necessary. Also, not sure about this revision, but in the previous version, installing a SlingBox or other similar devices to the network required the purchasing of a non-Apple router. Hopefully this has been fixed to include the ability to manually open and close ports as well as port forwarding.

  4. Attached drives do spin down. I have a Maxtor One Touch drive attached to mine, and it has been spun down pretty much all day.

    My only complaint is that moving files is only slightly faster than it was with my Linksys NSLU2 – about 1.7 MBytes/sec writing, and 5 MBytes/sec reading, and from a wired connection. I’m pretty sure that is nowhere near what it should be over Ethernet & USB 2. I haven’t seen anything yet indicating whether I’m alone on this (bad network setup) or if this is the norm. I hope it’s not the norm, because I figured nothing could be as slow as the NSLU2.

  5. It’s estimated that 10 Mbps is needed to stream the highest resolution of high-definition (HD) video…

    With MPEG 4 perhaps, but lots of important sources use MPEG 2. Broadcast HD is 19-Mbps per channel, and HDV is 25. I’ve read that while Blue-Ray and HD-DVD can use MPEG 4, most current disks use MPEG 2 because they are running into some kind of problem with MPEG 4.

  6. Larry: Attached drives do spin down. I have a Maxtor One Touch drive attached to mine, and it has been spun down pretty much all day.

    That’s different from other people I know who have attached drives. Perhaps there’s an issue regarding certain makes of disks. Although given my (bad) experience with Maxtor I suspect it’s spun down most of the time because it has broken.

    Interesting to note that when MDN publishes a rare positive article most of the comments complain about the product ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  7. Got mine about a week or two ago. Wife’s 20″ iMac Duo 2 (w/ the ‘N’ capable card) reports its connected at 130Mbps on the N-wireless card. I have the Airport Extreme basestation setup for b/g/n (@2.4 Ghz) compatibility mode because I have some older macs that need internet access. The wife’s imac is one floor above and ~50 ft from the basestation. I’m happy with the range and performance.

  8. An updated AirPort Extreme Base Station from Apple should solve the range problem for most homes.

    So much easier for the wardrivers, chomo’s, snoops and spooks too.

    Trust me when I say “ditch wireless” for the home and office.

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