Newest Apple AirPort Extreme Exceeds Apple's Claims

The Apple AirPort Extreme (Wi-Fi) base station has at least fives times the throughput and twice the range of the previous 802.11g model, according to Tom Yager at InfoWorld.

Apple claims that the new AirPort Extreme with 802.11n tests out at five times the top speed of 54 Mbps in the previous generation. The actual speed measured was closer to 300 Mbps.

While the official 802.11n IEEE standard has not been formally ratified, Apple has joined other companies in manufacturing Wi-Fi equipment that complies with the draft standard. Regarding the ratification, Mr. Yager said: "It has been baked but not served for so long that most Wi-Fi users donit know what theyire missing."

In terms of range robustness, the new AirPort Extreme was able to punch through where the previous AirPort model could not, and literally bathed the author in bandwidth.

The new AirPort Extreme stands out in many other ways, namely:

  • Easy management from Mac or Windows
  • Fast authentication and IP address assignment
  • Operates on either 2.4 or 5 GHz band
  • Built-in USB 2.0 port for sharing printers and storage devices, optionally to the WAN
  • Auto-mounting of shared network volumes
  • Bluetooth-style pairing for individual client authorization

The contrast to other home and small business devices was deemed considerable. "The disposable, insecure, unconfigurable wireless gateways that cable modem and DSL providers foist on their customers cost $100 to $200," Mr Yager concluded, "and not one of them is wired for disk and printer sharing. In business or at home, you may change broadband providers and client machines, but AirPort Extreme will be with you until we all agree that 300 Mbps isnit fast enough..."

Apple AirPort Extreme