I bought one of dem new Apple router thingies

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    [​IMG] router would be on its way back to Apple. However, I was determined
    to get this router working and simply set it up the way I did my
    Belkin and it WORKED!

    I was also able to easily add my Airport Express module that operates
    my wireless printer to the network.

    So, I am certain you guys are wondering if $179 buys you a
    better router or not. Well, my initial findings is that the Apple
    router gave me the same coverage as my Belkin Pre-N modem.
    Signal strength was just as strong across my home. What I did
    notice, however, was increased speed. Web page loads were
    noticeably faster with the Apple router. It was if my system
    suddenly got a nice kick in the pants.

    I should stop here and say that I am using the "N" standard
    across the board. I downloaded the software update for my
    Mac Pro weeks ago to make it fully "N" compliant.

    I then hooked up an external hard drive to the router using the
    USB connection. You need to tell the Apple router whether you
    wish to share this drive across the network. I told it to do so.
    Like a charm, the hard drive appeared as an icon on my wireless
    laptop and wired desktop.

    The only problem I have with accessing that hard drive wirelessly
    is that the connection is not very fast. I tried to access the drive
    from my laptop and play some stored videos. My laptop had a
    hard time playing those videos as the connection was obviously not
    fast enough. So, it seems that while you can probably access and
    transfer small files easily over the network, the connection absolutely
    is too slow to even stream video content off of the hard drive.

    All in all, I'm happy with the Apple Airport Extreme router for its
    improved web browsing speed and ample signal strength within a
    very large home. It's extremely easy to set up. The only minor
    disappointment I have is over the rather sluggish remote access to
    the external hard drive. I suppose this is to be expected, though I
    would think the simple art of "streaming" videos off of it would have
    worked much better.

    Overall, a great router but extremely overpriced. Most people with
    small homes/apartments/townhouses would fare just as well with a
    $90-$100 Belkin or Linksys.
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Glad to hear you like it, Ron. I bought one with my MBP and I love it! With a $6 four-port USB hub, and I've got a networked photo printer and network hard-drive!

    Friends have come over and connected to the network easily. It's trivial to change from 5GHZ 802.11n to 2.4 GHz 802.11g for them, and then back when they leave.

    I had some troubles getting it setup initially, but a bit of experience-based intuition plus reading between the lines of the skimpy instructions got me going.

    A few caveats
    1) While you can network a multi-function printer with it, features like scanning or memory card access cannot be accessed through the AX. This seems to be a limitation of the technology in general and not printer specific.
    2) External hard-drive access requires OS X 10.4. My wife's 10.3 machine can't use the drive.
    3) It only has 10/100 Mb/s ethernet connections [​IMG] Personally, I think it should have 1 Gb/s to match current Macs.

    For me, this is a killer device and I highly recommend the AX for home users!
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    The Airport Express isn't that expensive if you compare it to similar routers that have the external drive connection. I have one as well and its been soild and easy to use...like most apple products [​IMG]
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Dave,

    This brings up a very good question. Every single review of the
    Apple Extreme I have read hits sorely upon the fact that the router
    lacks 10/100 Mb/s ethernet connections.

    My primitive knowledge of these connections gives me a lack of
    understanding as to how this affects anything.

    Does the downgraded connection affect hardwired Internet speed,
    wireless Internet speed or transfer speed with a wired device?

    Can you give me an idea of why this sort of inferior connection
    is a problem? Thanks!
     
  5. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Ron, do you have any non draft-N wireless devices connected? If so, how does that affect overall speed?

    I have an older G wireless router, and I want to upgrade it and obviously am looking at this, but I heard that if you have non draft-N devices it will slow down the overall wireless speed. There are two laptops in the apartment who are not draft-N, while my MBP is.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    I only have one laptop (Macbook Pro) which is N compliant.

    Are you saying if someone comes in my home with a G compliant
    laptop it will slow down the network?
     
  7. Michael_K_Sr

    Michael_K_Sr Screenwriter

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    The only time you'd see a reduction in speed is if you networked two or more machines with Gigabit or faster Ethernet installed. There's no residential Internet service that I'm aware of that is going to provide speeds of 100Mb.
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Lacking Gb ethernet speed, currently, only affects wired LAN speed, and not wireless nor broadband 'net access as those are much slower.

    It matters to me for the occaisional computer to computer copy of large (>10 GB) files. I also think it would speed copies to my external hard-drive, but I'm uncertain. It's a non-issue for most people, and I don't even know other routers in this class have Gb speed. But I'd like to have it.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    The reviews I've read state that it drops to the slowest connection speed. If someone uses G on your network, it will drop to G for all connections.
     
  10. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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    That's not entirely true -- the speed drops significantly, but not all the way down to G speeds. The transfer speed between N devices with a G device on the network is about half of the maximum N speed, and returns to full speed when the G device disconnects.

    It has something to do with how the N standard maintains backwards compatibility.
     
  11. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    I bought one of these too. I don't have a need for Gigabit ethernet, so I don't mind its absence. I bought this device solely for 802.11n, since I am using Apple TV. This access point is able to stream 2 Mbps video files from my Mac mini to my Apple TV, no hiccups at all. Every Apple product I buy makes me love the company more and more.

    CJ
     
  12. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    You know what? As much as I love the Apple router, had I known
    about this new router last week, I would have bought it instead.
     
  13. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Holy mother! Between that beast and the new iMac that Jobs is debuting as we type...I might be out almost $2K!!! [​IMG]
     
  14. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    It looks great, but has a (for me) fatal flaw: no USB. There is NO WAY I'm giving up the USB port from which my laser printer hangs.

    The main reason one regrets there is no gigabit on the AirportExtreme, is that you could hang a bunch of HDs off the USB -- and Belkin in their infinite wisdom gives you the gigabit, but takes away the USB... Grrr.
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm with Ted. Love the USB on the AX. And I keep my router hidden, so I'd never see that cool screen, anyway.
     
  16. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    Ha! Guess what -- Apple just upgraded the Airport Extreme to gigabit ports. Now it totally blows the Belkin out of the water -- USB and cheaper price.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Sweet!
     
  18. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Ted,

    When do these new gigabit models come out?

    I just bought my Apple router and if I can return and exchange
    it I'd like to do so.
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Bummer. Mine is well past the point and return / exchange [​IMG] Oh well. I needed it the past two months and really couldn't have waited another two months to buy it.

    See, this is what happens when I violate Fischer's Rule of Computers #2: "Never look at computer hardware for the six months following a purchase." [​IMG]
     
  20. Ted Todorov

    Ted Todorov Cinematographer

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    They are shipping now from store.apple.com

    It will probably be a few days before Apple's B&M stores get them -- I just called the Soho store and they didn't have iLife '08 nor did they know when it was coming -- so definitely call ahead.

    Ted
     

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