Apple’s new Airport Extreme Router

by Mike

Apple's new AirPort Extreme
Steve Jobs just announced the iPhone, a product pretty much everyone in the entire world knows about due to it being on just about every newspaper, news show, and website within a day or two. But another product, besides the Apple TV, was also put out: the new AirPort Extreme, Apple’s own wireless router. This next generation AirPort uses the 802.11 draft-n standard, which provides up to 2x the range and 5x the speed of 802.11g, the older standard. That’s cool and all, but there’s some more to this router that makes it even cooler.

What makes this so cool is the USB port on the back of it. Sure, this isn’t something new on routers, but it’s implemented extremely well. With your AirPort, you also get the AirPort Disk Utility which will take any of hard drive you’ve connected to your AirPort and make it a network drive on either your Mac, and yep, even your PC. Maybe you don’t want to share a hard drive though, then you can share your printer for wireless printing. Now, maybe you’re a real nerd and want to do both, but don’t want to go out and buy two. You’re in luck, you can just hook a USB hub up and put a few hard drives and a printer or two in. After that, the AirPort is just a standard router with 3 ethernet ports and a small footprint.

Anyone looking for a new 802.11n router that has a USB port should at least consider the new AirPort Extreme, the features are just awesome, especially with the AirPort Disk Utility. Maybe I’m just an Apple fanboy (I’m sitting here on my MacBook Pro with my iPod Nano and Mighty Mouse), but I think it’s awesome. The $180 price tag was a bit of a bummer though. Order yours now, but you won’t get it until they start shipping in February.

Product Page

2 reviews or comments

Daniel Says: January 14, 2007 at 11:43 am

The two things I love about this new product from apple are the 2x range as I work a bit away from my wireless router also the 5x the speed seems very impressive, so whats that then around 250mb/s as that would be amazing.

Mike Says: January 14, 2007 at 12:39 pm

It’s a real bummer that they didn’t include gigabit ports on this for the premium $180 pricetag. If they did, I’d probably jump on it. After all, every Mac that’s been produced for years has a gigabit LAN connector on it.

I’ll be curious to see the reviews for this and see if Apple was able to coax better performance out of the 802.11n draft standard than other manufacturers. The reviews on the existing draft-N stuff are pretty pathetic and you’re basically paying a huge premium for “5X the performance” and “loads more range” which never materializes according to the reviewers. Hopefully, Apple has done it right with this router and you actually get the promised speed/distance enhancements.

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