Hands-on with Apple’s superspeedy 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station

Apple Store“I tested one of the latest and best 802.11n access points, Apple Computer’s [sic] updated AirPort Extreme Base Station,” Julio Ojeda-Zapata reports for The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

“The white, elegantly understated transceiver is Windows- and Macintosh-compatible, with one important caveat — any laptop connecting to that device must be 802.11n-equipped for the superspeedy networking to work. Some portables now on the market still use 802.11g, meaning they will connect to the AirPort at slower speeds,” Ojeda-Zapata reports.

“I set up a wireless network using the base station and a trio of 802.11n-compatible Macs, including two laptops and a desktop iMac,” Ojeda-Zapata reports. “Wireless networking is a notoriously flaky technology, so I wasn’t surprised to encounter glitches. This occurred most often on the Windows side. While some of my PC portables connected readily to the network, others would not. The AirPort itself sometimes acted up, so I had to reset it and start from scratch.”

“But once I had several machines connected to the AirPort, I could do fun things, such as high-def-video streaming,” Ojeda-Zapata reports. “You can do this on a slower network, but you’re likelier to see stuttering; I saw none of that in my 802.11n testing.”

Ojeda-Zapata reports, “The AirPort has special features aimed to lure buyers away from other brands. It lets users plug in devices like printers and hard drives, for instance. I was able to plug in a Universal Serial Bus hub and then connect a hard drive and two printers to the hub. All those devices were then available to computers (minus the Vista PCs, for some reason) on the network.”

Full article here.
Glitches occurred most often on the Windows side. Big surprise.

Related articles:
Apple’s new AirPort Extreme offers increased speed and range – February 18, 2007
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


  1. >MacDailyNews Take: Glitches occurred most often on the Windows side. Big surprise.

    No surprise at all.

    Windows market share figures blow Apple’s outta the water. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

    Kidding aside, anyone here try running the Airport Extreme themselves? Curious what others are experiencing.

  2. Does anyone know if you need a powered hub? I’m thinking of buying on to replace my current Extreme. Right now I only have a printer hooked up, but would like to have the printer and a harddrive. If anyone knows and can share, thanks.

  3. I bought one of the new Extreme Base Stations and absolutely love it. It’s worked flawlessly for me so far. The major selling point for me was the fact I could connect an external USB HDD to the device. Now, I have my entire iTunes library on there instead of hogging half my laptop HDD. It’s wonderful.

  4. Mine has worked flawlessy since it came out of the box a couple of weeks ago. But all its clients are Macs, except for a PS3. The PS3 has YDL 5 for PS3 as a wireless client through a D-Link Ethernet to 802.11g gaming bridge (no wireless drivers for the PS3 yet under YDL 5).

    Before the new Extreme, I had a Buffalo base station (802.11n, too). Lots of problems with that, though. Erratic behavior out of the blue.

    Am very happy with the new AirPort Extreme this far.

  5. So far the airport part of it works fine, and I can’t complain about the printer sharing. (Not only did it share, but Windows running under Parallels had no problem printing to it.)

    Airdisk, however, has so far been a total f-ing disaster. I plugged a minimate drive that has been joined with a mini since I got it a year ago. So it should have just been unplug from mini, plug into airport. No go. Not only is the drive inaccessible, but also plugging in the drive and then trying to access causes the whole base station to go into a panic–green light goes to amber, the airport network shut down, and all of its ethernet ports shut down–looking on the back of the station the ports that were blinking green are suddenly dead.

    Unplugging doesn’t help, resetting doesn’t help, the only thing that gets the airport back on the internet and back to throwing up a wireless network is leaving it for half an hour. With, of course, the drive unplugged.

    I went on support forums to look for solutions, and my god are people having trouble with airdisk.

  6. I only wish I could add a wireless card to my Mac Pro (dual, dual core Intel)… Apparently, if you don’t buy it with your Mac (figured I could upgrade as I always have), there is no way to add one. I’m stuck with a USB Ad Logic wireless card… 🙁

  7. Julio Ojeda-Zapata has been giving Apple good press for quite some time now. Cut him slack referring the “Apple Computer”! Hell, I do it too! Even Apple still does it; or at least not all departments have new stationery yet – I had correspondece with Apple after the name change that still used “Apple Computer”.

  8. To Mac Pro:

    Go to the not-so Genius Bar at your local Apple Store (if there’s one near you) and ask them about the wireless upgrade for the Mac Pro. There is such a part, but it’s not “user installable,” so they’d have to install it for you.

    My 2¢ worth…

  9. Mine has 3 macs connected, mixed G’s, an iMac a Mac mini, and a MacBook Core 2 Duo with N. 2 Windows laptops running G, one an older sharp with a link-sys card the other a newer Dell with built in wireless, also streaming iTunes to sound system to the older airport express.

    Everything setup in a snap, range and coverage are greatly improved. Happy to say I’ve really had no glitches at all, even with the windows stuff.

    Haven’t tried connecting a portable hard drive yet.

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