AirPort Extreme Gains 802.11ac, New Design UPDATE

| Product News

Apple adds 802.11ac support to AirPort ExtremeApple introduced a revamped AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi basestation at World Wide Developer Conference in San Francisco on Monday. The new model supports 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and sports a redesigned body that can also hold a hard drive, turning the new Basestation into a TimeCapsule.

The new Basestation was introduced along with updated MacBook Air models that also support 802.11ac, which makes sense considering Apple needed a Basestation that suppors the new laptop's wireless networking capabilities.

Apple changed the AirPort Extreme form factor by changing from a flat and squat box to small tower-like shape that's 6.6-inches tall and 3.85-inches across. It includes three Gigabit Ethernet ports, a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port, and a single USB 2 port. The Basestation supports up to 50 simultaneous users, and uses a six-element beamforming antenna array with simultaneous 2.4GHz and 5GHz dual-band connections.

Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme BasestationApple's redesigned AirPort Extreme Basestation

The Time Capsule version is available with 2TB and 3TB built-in capacities, and Apple said it offers performance that's 50 percent faster than the model it replaces.

The 802.11ac AirPort Extreme is available now and is priced at US$199. The 2TB Time Capsule model costs $299 and the 3TB model is priced at $399.

Apple's WWDC 2013 keynote is still underway, so be sure to check in with TMO for updated information and new announcements.

[Updated with additional AirPort Extreme specifications]

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Is it going to hold a regular 2.5” HDD or is Apple going to make big bucks selling SSD versions ?


They listed the Time Machine as 2TB or 3TB, so it’s likely a 3.5” desktop drive.


It seems ridiculously large, doesn’t it? Almost like they made it that way so the next one could be “40%” smaller. And the next one too.
Anyway… I’ve ponied up for 2 of the older models and one express too, and they just don’t seem to have the range of a cheapie from the box store.  I don’t think they’ll convince me to do that again without some really good features.. which a larger size is not.



This is extremely interesting to me personally.  I recently had some problems with my backup protocols. I now want to have a 2 mirrored bootable drives with my entire OS which gets backed up at least once a week and then one mirrored drive gets carried offsite each time. Then I was thinking a time capsule to keep those incremental changes would be nice so that if a file got corrupted for some reason, I would be able to go back and retrieve it if I didn’t catch the error in a timely fashion.

This device would be a nice add and I could use my other base station to expand my wireless coverage on my property.


“.... is Apple going to make big bucks selling SSD versions ?”

Seems that for the price it definitely is not SSD. I don’t know of a 3TB SSD solution that would come close to a lowly $400 all by itself, let alone 3TB tacked on to an airport extreme base station.

It seems it is big because it needs to be a 3.5” form factor drive based purely on the current size of available 3TB drives.

Scott B in DC

My question is will they let us insert our own drives?


Unless it is glued shut, a tutorial on how to replace a drive will be likely forthcoming on one of the teardown sites.


My question is why USB 2.0?

Let me answer my own question along with the SSD question. It’s overkill for a home router with one or 2 users.

Isn’t it?

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