PC Mag reviews Apple’s new 802.11ac AirPort Extreme Base Station: As gorgeous as a router can get; ‘just works’ out of the box

“Apple newest AirPort Extreme Base Station model A1521 (and the related Time Capsule) doesn’t just represent an 802.11ac upgrade; its latest router also underwent a complete redesign,” Samara Lynn reports for PC Magazine.

“Gone is the flat, boxy form factor,” Lynn reports. “Instead, the new AirPort is a mini-tower—designed to maximize wireless performance.”

“It’s no surprise that the device is about as gorgeous as a router can get and that it has decent throughput (excellent at the 2.4GHz band, actually), not only with the 802.11ac-supported 13-and 11- inch MacBook Airs at Apple Store wireless adapters,” Lynn reports, “but with Windows systems, too.”

MacDailyNews Take:

It’s like giving a glass of ice water to someone in hell. – Steve Jobs, May 30, 2007

“Add in dead-simple setup and it’s a sure bet the new AirPort will delight many, despite the fact that the AirPort is not among the fastest pre-draft 802.11ac routers we’ve tested in 11ac mode,” Lynn reports. “Also, power users and those who need to get very granular with their wireless networks will likely want to look to other dual-band routers with more advanced capabilities. Still, those with a love for Apple’s design—and hassle-free setup—will no doubt be happy with this attractive piece of hardware.”

Advertisement: Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station with 802.11ac Wi-Fi only $194. Eligible for free 2-Day shipping.

Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance
Apple’s redesigned AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule base stations feature 802.11ac Wi-Fi for up to three times faster performance

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Pure Speed: Apple’s new 802.11ac AirPort Extreme benchmarks – June 28, 2013
802.11ac wireless networking: What it is and why you want it – June 17, 2013
Teardown: Apple’s new AirPort Extreme is extremely easy to disassemble – June 12, 2013


  1. My Apple Extreme is the fastest and most reliable router I’ve ever used so I’m expecting the new one to continue that.

    In a mixed environment like I have (multiple wireless and wired clients on gigabit Ethernet), no other router has provided the simultaneous throughput of 1GB on the wired ports while giving my wireless clients the full 802.11n transmission speeds to my 50mb/s broadband network (Comcast).

    I thought I would miss the full configuration ability of other router’s firmwares (and I’ve also has DDWRT routers as well) but I really haven’t.

    I miss only one thing – ability to see the DHCP client assignments. This is absent in the iOS and newest OS X Airport Configuration clients. I keep the older OS X version around for that.

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