If you’ve ever had to deal with a wireless router that just would not cooperate in one way or another, this review is for you.
In my lifetime, I’ve used and dealt with quite a few routers (to say the least). From DLink and Linksys to Belkin and many, many more. Whether I set them up for myself or someone else, all sorts of problems have plagued these and many other brands of routers, that oftentimes no firmware update would fix. From connection losses and lag, to the need for random resets, to just plain losing your wifi connection and set up, many routers on the market today just aren’t worth the time or hassle.
Enter, the Apple AirPort Extreme…
The first thing you must know is that this router works with any and all devices, from all forms of Windows PC’s, to video game consoles on down to that wifi enabled smart phone. Just because its made by Apple, doesn’t mean its only for Apple devices nor does it mean it works best with only Apple devices.
This is one of the easiest routers to set up. Its so straight forward that even the most tech-illiterate person on the planet can set this up, hassle free. Better though is the fact that once you set this router up, you never need to go back! Set it and forget it!
The AirPort Extreme has excellent range that is 100% interference free. If you want to add even more range, you can easily add an AirPort Express (or THREE), which is basically a small unit that plugs directly into an electric outlet and wirelessly connects to your AirPort Extreme router and extends its signal. No added wires or difficult set ups, its almost as simple as plug and play! Theres simply nothing better and easier on the market to get that needed wifi range than this router!
Another great feature is that this router has dual-band support, meaning that you can not only set up the typical 2.4ghz wireless band, but you can also set up a 5ghz wireless band that runs alongside the 2.4ghz. As most devices currently use only the 2.4ghz wireless band, many devices in the near future will use the 5ghz band, making this router future proof. Many Apple products out right now use the 5ghz band, from most current Mac computers to the iPad and Apple TV. No matter how many devices you have (up to 50 simultaneously), and no matter the wireless band, they will work together flawlessly with this router. Your multi band devices will automatically use the best band available. By having 2 separate bands, your wireless devices will get the fastest performance and best possible range.
This router is also packed with all the options and features you could ever want or need! It has a built in USB 2.0 slot on the back of the router that you can plug any printer or external hard drive into, and make it shareable with any and all devices on your network, fast and easy. It also features your typical wireless (wifi-enabled) printer sharing, as well as the option to share files, music, movies, etc, from any other computer or device on your network. You can also protect all the devices sharing on your network with individual passwords.
Another great feature is guest networks, if you don’t want guests to your home or network to use your specific network and password, you can easily create a separate guest network with its very own password (or no password at all) as well as set up restrictions for that guest network if you choose to do so. This will protect your network shared printer and any attached drives or devices that are sharing as well.
And theres no better router out there with the security to protect your network and all its connected devices and shared files. From its built in NAT firewall that stops viruses and malware before they ever make it to your computer, to all the latest and greatest encryption technologies (WPA/WPA2 & 128-bit WEP), your network will be well protected. Another great little addition is parental controls that can control who uses the internet and when!
And something that I absolutely love about this router is that it can be set up and/or tweaked (if you so desire) using not only a Windows PC or Mac computer, but it can also be done from an iPod, iPhone or iPad. Even if you don’t own a computer, you can set this network up and access it from any of those portable devices thanks to AirPort Utility.
If you buy the Time Capsule version (built in harddrive) of AirPort Extreme, you can easily back up your devices to it, wirelessly, on your schedule! Or just use your own external HDD in the USB slot on the back of the router (as mentioned earlier) as either version will allow for Time Capsule back up.
I use this router not only for streaming, downloading and internet, but for gaming as well. All my consoles (360,PS3,3DS,Vita) are hooked up to this as well as iPads, iPhones, MacBook Pro’s, iMac, and a Windows PC, all wirelessly and all without any problems EVER.