The Apple AirPort Extreme Review
If you read our AirPort Time Capsule review, you might be wondering, “The Apple AirPort Extreme looks the same.”They do look similar, but the Apple AirPort Extreme is a 6th-generation base station and does not have internal storage.With the dual-band and compact design, it supports the faster 802.11ac wireless standard. Compared to its predecessor it offers the same functions, ports, and features.
The AirPort Extreme is one of the fastest wireless routers available. This is only a router and you still need to connect it to a modem.
What makes the AirPort Extreme great?
The AirPort Extreme looks amazing and is a bit more expensive than its forerunners. Therefore, if you have the latest AC-wireless devices or the MacBook Air the base station has an excellent wifi speed.
The AirPort Extreme has a rectangular tube shape, stands 6.6-inches high, and is 3.85-inches wide. Compared to the 2nd-generation model this one is taller. When you look at the router, it looks like an ornament box. You find all the status lights on the front glowing green. As soon as there is a connection problem, the light turns to amber. You have three GB LAN ports, one GB WAN port and a USB 2.0 ports found on the back of the Wi-Fi router.
The downside is it does not have an extra LAN port or a 3.0 USB port. Further, the device does not support AirPlay and will have to buy the AirPort Express. Luckily, the routers easy to set up and needs the Mac, iOS, Windows AirPort Utility software. This software helps to make the setup process easier.
With the Apple AirPort Extreme, you get a dual-band wireless connection. These comprise of the 2.4 and 5GHz frequency bands. The great news is you can use them all together for the best coverage. Further, it supports three-stream use on both the latest Wireless-AC and Wireless-N standards.
When used with the latest MacBook Air the data speed is 1.3Gbps when connected with Wireless-AC users. In addition, with the Wireless-N users, you can reach up to 450Mbps speeds.
You get guest networking available on the 2.4GHz band. Further, the router supports IPv6 and has port forwarding, file-sharing, print-serving, access control, and DynDNS.
You can block access to the Internet by using the connected MAC address but cannot set up web filtering. Another great thing is you can add an external storage device via the USB port. The wireless router supports FAT or HFS+ and not NTFS drives.
While using a Mac the sharing feature appears automatically while on Windows you might have to search for it. The downside is you cannot backup the server to an external drive nor do digital streaming.
Via the USB port, you can plug in an extra printer or use a wireless one.
What is included with the purchase?
- The Apple AirPort Extreme 6th-generation base station
- Power cord
- Owner’s manual
Setup and OS Requirements
Setting up the AirPort Extreme is much easier when you use your Mac or iOS device. All you need to do is connect it to a cable modem or DSL. Use the pre-installed assistant and create a new home network in a couple of seconds. With the included AirPort Utility, the setup process is fast. Further, you will need the following OS requirements:
- Mac with OS X Lion v10.7.5 or later with the AirPort Utility 6.3
- iOS device with iOS 6 or later with the AirPort Utility 1.3
- Microsoft Windows 7 SPI
- Apple MacOS X 10.2.7 or later
- Microsoft Windows Vista SP2
- Microsoft Windows XP SP3
- Windows 8
The Apple AirPort Extreme is a general router and offers you a reliable home wireless network. Unfortunately, you cannot customize the unit but remains the best choice for novice users. The Extreme has an amazing design with easy setup. You get two frequency bands with three gigabit LAN and one by gigabit WAN port. There is a 2.0 USB to connect external devices and it offers you an excellent wireless connection.