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Are Airport Extremes a good option for home networking

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#1 +Audien

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:28

I'm going to be moving into my own place within a month so I need to buy a new router for the place.  I've never really been satisfied with the performance and stability of the usual vendors - I've felt as though I've had to deal with issues one too many times (I have a Linksys E4200).

 

So for this time I'm wanting to buy something with a higher build quality.  Is the Airport Extreme a good option here?  I have a mix of devices, Windows PC, Apple phone and tablet, Xbox One, Chromecast, etc.  Is it totally configurable through Windows?

 

 



Best Answer Brian M. , 04 February 2014 - 20:39

I have two Airport Extreme's here.

 

They're great routers - and provide pretty much the best wireless signal I've ever been able to find. There are, however, 2 major downsides:

 

 - No web UI. Configuration is done through Apple's app. (on the plus side, everything can be managed through your iPhone)

 - Quite limited configuration. if you want something to do advanced routing/QoS, domain blocking, etc, forget it. 

 

Forgiving those though (and after the god awful Linksys cloud UI on my last router!) I'd happily buy another in a heartbeat.

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#2 Brian M.

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:39   Best Answer

I have two Airport Extreme's here.

 

They're great routers - and provide pretty much the best wireless signal I've ever been able to find. There are, however, 2 major downsides:

 

 - No web UI. Configuration is done through Apple's app. (on the plus side, everything can be managed through your iPhone)

 - Quite limited configuration. if you want something to do advanced routing/QoS, domain blocking, etc, forget it. 

 

Forgiving those though (and after the god awful Linksys cloud UI on my last router!) I'd happily buy another in a heartbeat.



#3 Astra.Xtreme

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:43

I also have an airport extreme and it's been nothing but rock solid.  It was worth every penny.

 

After having nothing but nightmares with Linksys and so-so experiences with Netgear and Asus, I decided to stop buying cheap crap.

 

As Brian M. said, it's not the more configurable router out there, but if you want something that's simple and stable, I don't think there's a better choice out there.



#4 Ryoken

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:49

Agreed.

 

People can scream about all Apple stuff being overpriced, which maybe some of it is, but it's never cheap. They don't take garbage, slap an Apple Logo on it, and sell it.

Apple AirPort stations have been among the best consumer routers on the market for years now, I remember using the old ones with A/B and a Phone Jack (for backup Dialup) at my school, as they provided a better signal than the Cisco stuff was able too at the time.

 

Also if you use Apple computers, then the no web-ui thing really isn't an issue, as all copies of MacOS come with the AirPort Utility to set it up, and as was mentioned, you can get it for iOS as well.



#5 +virtorio

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 20:50

There is a version of the AirPort Utility for Windows (http://support.apple...y_5_4_1_Windows), but I can't speak to how it compares to the OSX version.



#6 Co_Co

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:03

My airport has been great. i never have to fiddle with it



#7 Anibal P

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:07

From my experiance, at the AirPort pricepoint there a few just as good options form the other manufacturers that will perform just as good or better, yes compared to a $20 Linksys the Apple is better, but once you start getting to the top models they are all essentiially the same thing, you home/appartment will have a bigger say in signal strength and so will congestion on the frequency than what logo the router has on it



#8 blade1269

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:16

I have two AirPort Extreme and one airport express and will never go back to linksys.
So easy.

#9 Emil Valsson

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:18

Still have my 1st gen Airport Extreme and still doing a good job. :)



#10 Shadrack

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:22

In my experience, Linksys routers with their default firmware do suck.  I had nothing but trouble with them.  When I installed DD-WRT (a custom 3rd party firmware) to my Linksys router, I'd describe the performance and up-time to be "rock solid."

 

That being said, I've heard good things about the Airport Extreme.  When I'm needing a new router I'll probably strongly consider it.



#11 Ironman273

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:27

Over the last week or so I was thinking about this.  So you need an iOS device in order to configure it? That's sort of limiting...



#12 #Michael

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 21:41

Over the last week or so I was thinking about this.  So you need an iOS device in order to configure it? That's sort of limiting...

 

No, there is a windows config utility for it.  Also, macs come with a utility built in.  There is an iOS app for it though which makes it very convenient for maintaining it. 



#13 Ironman273

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 22:16

No, there is a windows config utility for it.  Also, macs come with a utility built in.  There is an iOS app for it though which makes it very convenient for maintaining it. 

Oh, OK.  Local web page is convenient but a utility is fine with me.



#14 OP +Audien

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 22:31

Thanks for the comments all.  It's a no brainer then I guess.  I don't make use of the advanced features, as long as I can forward ports.

 

 

No, there is a windows config utility for it.  Also, macs come with a utility built in.  There is an iOS app for it though which makes it very convenient for maintaining it. 

 

Configuration isn't a big deal.  I have a Macbook Air, iPhone and a Windows desktop so as long as one device does the job that's okay. :)

 

From my experiance, at the AirPort pricepoint there a few just as good options form the other manufacturers that will perform just as good or better, yes compared to a $20 Linksys the Apple is better, but once you start getting to the top models they are all essentiially the same thing, you home/appartment will have a bigger say in signal strength and so will congestion on the frequency than what logo the router has on it

 

I would agree if we were comparison it to a $20 Linksys.  The E4200 cost $156.57 at the time so my expectations are a teeny bit higher than something that cheap.



#15 Enron

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 22:41

I have one and agree 100% with what Brian M said. It's good and reliable but the configuration options are pretty basic.