Over the holiday break I replaced my Linksys WRT-54GS2 with an Airport Extreme Base Station. Holy smokes! I absolutely love this router. My download speed actually increased by .5 Mbps. After getting the AEBS I changed my backup strategy and now have my SuperDuper backups and music/photo data on one external HDD and Time Machine backing up to a 2nd external HDD connected to the AEBS. Since I was doing this anyway I couldn't help but add an AppleTV to the mix so I can stream music from my MacBook Pro to my HT, plus I'm dabbling with Netflix streaming (free month trial).
I've attached a couple of pics showing the AEBS and HDD along with my AT&T MicroCell.
I don't understand why the new AEBS is ginormous! Apple is obsessed with thin and small, and they put out this towering router; it seems larger than everything else on the market. I like my little pancake AEBS from 2007, since it's easily hidden behind a picture frame in the living room.Grumbling aside, glad to hear it works well. I've considered whether I'd benefit from upgrading my 6 yo router. Having a multiple bands might help with the mixture of 2.4 and 5 ghz devices. And the guest network would be helpful now and then.
I have read that as well Keith. I didn't realize the AEBS had been refreshed so the model I bought is the latest and greatest that has dual band 802.11ac. Although I don't have any hardware which uses ac currently, I should be sitting pretty for future hardware updates (read: iPhone 6, iPad Pro).
My office router at work was a Linksys WRT-120n which had to be rebooted at least once per day. I have been so impressed with the AEBS, I bought an Airport Express to replace the 120n last Thursday. Although there is a marked speed difference (the Express has full 802.11n compared to the WRT-120n's 802.11 draft n), it is not as substantial as the switch from the WRT-54GS2's single band wireless g to the dual band ac of the Extreme.
I like the elegant form factor of the router but frankly for the price it is lacking in features.Only 3 LAN ports when most if not all in that price range have four, USB 2 instead of 3, and networking features that are too rudimentary. My guess is that they want to keep it as simple as possible for the users so they limited the networking features.I would also like to see media streaming from the USB port and an AirPlay audio port. Hopefully the next gen will have some of these improvements.
The AEBS has only had 3 LAN ports since launch, so that's not changing (though I wish it would)Is wifi faster than USB 2? Huh, looks it can be. USB 2 is 480 Mb/s. -ac is 500Mb/s for a single connection.
There may be other routers which offer more LAN ports and more customizable settings, but for a home environment, do we really need them? I like the way Apple keeps the setup simple on their equipment... Less I have to manipulate to make it work. I am only using two of the LAN ports, one for our Dish DVR and the other for our AT&T MicroCell. That leaves the third open for a diagnostic connection if necessary. I do wish the AEBS had a USB3 connection but all I use the attached HDD for is Time Machine backups (and later a shared printer perhaps) so once again, perfect for my needs.
I think I'll be buying a new router this year. We've had intermittent internet speed problems. I've suspected they're substantially due to the router and/or 2.4 GHz spectrum conflicts (and second due to FIOS fighting with YouTube over who should pay whom over data transfers). Somewhere in some other threads I hashed this out last year.
Today, my wife was complaining why her iPhone was so slow. SpeedTest was showing less than 1 Mbps. This made no sense; I upgraded to FIOS Quantum Friday (50 / 25 Mbps). The desktops show that speed. But I checked and sure enough, my iPhone is getting 0.8 Mbps.
What could it be? As a last-ditch idea, I switched my 2007 AEBS from 2.4 GHz a/b/g/n to 5 GHz n-only. Bingo! iPhone and iPads are reporting >10 Mbps with the SpeedTest app.
Most likely, the 2.4GHz channel is overwhelmed with the neighborhood reheating microwave meals for pre-SuperBowl lunch, and YouTubing Joe Namath videos. But the 5 Ghz channel is much better (for now). And for the first time, I can use 5 GHz exclusively. I moved my Tivos off wifi and to ethernet last year. And last Fall's upgrade from iPhone 4 to 5S gets my last device onto 5GHz -n.
I think I'll upgrade routers this Summer to allow use of 2.4 Ghz for guests, and ensure my 6 year old router isn't part of the problem in some way.
It's cheaper and reviews give it top marks for performance. And I don't need ac in my wifi.
I struggled over this. Then I stopped worrying and bought the Apple at BestBuy this afternoon. I knew it would plug in and be configured by my Mac's Airport Utility in minutes. And it was. Super fast packaging. Not antennas for me to fiddle with endlessly. Not wonky webpage-based configuration pages. Just worked. And the Guest Network I wanted in the upgrade: a checkbox and it's on. A second checkbox and it has a password.
I'm sure the ASUS would be easy enough, but I expect Apple was easier. I'm giving up some power-user features. I'm not into those tweaks these days.
There you go. I'm sure Apple will release the 7th Gen AEBS next month to spite me