Computerworld: Apple Airport Extreme’s wireless storage feature works flawlessly

Apple Store“Apple’s new Airport Extreme base station, which offers wireless connections using the still unofficial 802.11n standard, promises greater transfer speeds and better signal range than its 802.11g predecessors and — for the first time — wireless storage,” Ken Mingis reports for Computerworld.

“After four weeks with the stylish new base station, I can say that it delivers. The wireless storage feature, which I consider the best thing about the hardware, works flawlessly. Transfer speeds are indeed faster when moving files around,” Mingis reports.

Mingis reports, “And if you’ve used your Apple base station in the past for wireless printing, fret not. You can plug a USB hub into the single USB port on the Airport Extreme and connect both a printer and a hard drive.”

“Time Machine will be part of Mac OS X 10.5 ‘Leopard’ and is designed to make it easy to back up your system and help recover lost files. When Leopard was unveiled last August by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, I wondered then how Time Machine would work for laptop users — most of whom aren’t that interested in having a portable hard drive connected to their laptops 24/7. Now, I think I know. (I say “think” because Apple is notoriously mum about products not yet released, and it has said little about Time Machine since last year.) The combination of the Airport disk and Time Machine may just solve the problem: As long as you’re on your own network, Time Machine — and presumably future versions of various backup apps — should allow you to make backups wirelessly. We’ll know more when Jobs officially unveils Leopard this summer,” Mingis writes.

Full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s Airport Extreme sets Wi-Fi on fire for Macs and PCs – March 03, 2007
Apple’s AirPort Extreme vs. Microsoft’s Windows Home Server – February 23, 2007
Hands-on with Apple’s superspeedy 802.11n AirPort Extreme Base Station – February 19, 2007
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


  1. As long as you’re on your own network, Time Machine — and presumably future versions of various backup apps — should allow you to make backups wirelessly.

    Duh. That’s the money line? Totally weak. Of course that’s what it’s for.

  2. The airdisk is really easy to set up, but is very slow. It is actually faster to access a shared drive connected via ethernet to one of my macs. This issue affects both wired and wireless connections. I am using a LaCie external usb drive and I am VERY dissappointed in the speed of airdisk. Hopefully a firmware update wil fix this soon.

  3. I had the same issue, until I reloaded a current version of the printer driver from the manufacturer. Works fine now plugged into my Airport, even through a USB to serial port converter (its a 12-year-old HP laser).

  4. I think the AirDisk is great except for one major flaw which caused me to stop using it.

    The read/writes are SLOW!!!!

    Especially with writing many small files such as Quicken data files.

    With large files I can get 4MB/s. with a quicken data file it hits a brick wall and is painfully slow.

    It does not matter if you use it wirelessly or via ethernet. It is painfully slow to use as a network disk. Even for a daily backup it is slow.

    Also, when writing many files, it disappears and reappears which causes programs to fail and hang.

  5. AL,
    Noticed the same thing. Huge vid files cruise. Copy my sill 54 MB website (iWeb) and slooooow.

    Would be nice to choose which disk to hook up to. Stupid to have keep going back up to the menu bar (option) and then get both of my drives. I only want one, not all of them.

    Silly request, but its a bandwidth issue.


  6. I don’t get why Apple abandoned Firewire after promoting it so hard. I have a LaCie Firewire hard drive hooked up to my G4 iMac (no USB 2 ports) and I can access it wirelessly with my Powerbook. So I guess I don’t see what the fuss is regarding a crummy USB port on the new Airport. This is not new functionality (wireless remote hard drive access), nor does it seem to even work very well from the reports I’ve read. Still, I’ll buy one eventually. My current DLink wireless router is not robust.

  7. JJ,

    You can mount only one drive if that is what you want. If you know the IP address of the AirPort, simply access it like a network drive. I have it set up that way so it automatically mounts one drive on startup without loading the AirDisk utility.

    Hope that helps…

    I just wish Apple put in a Firewire port and gigabit ethernet. Firewire connections for me are a lot faster for hundreds of small files.


  8. Still no dice. Loaded new drivers, and that let me add the printer through Bonjour, but in the actual print queue window, the job would process, and then stop a few seconds later, every time.
    Not a big deal though. The AE sits on top of my Mini, and that’s the server, so I just plugged in and shared though USB sharing. Same effect, but just not plugged in to the snazzy AE port. I guess I can plug in another mini stack hard drive now…
    {I’m a storage whore}


    MW: ‘stock’ (up on the teras)

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