Several of us are Mac users here at Consumers Guides, so there’s a certain faction of our staff that always jumps at the chance to review Apple products. The AirPort Extreme Base Station is the latest WiFi router offering from Cupertino. The latest generation AirPort claims to have three times the speed of the previous generation AirPort. It also adds double the channel bandwidth. Obviously, with every new generation of WiFi routers we expect things to be smaller, faster, and allow more data transfer and the Airport Extreme comes through on all of those fronts.
What’s our take? The latest AirPort was easy to setup via iPhone and more compact than the previous generation but one drawback we noticed over earlier versions is that the latest iteration contains a small fan that runs constantly. It wasn’t really loud, but it was definitely noticeable in a quiet room. When we got it up and running we found that it did give us fast networking speeds, but we didn’t really notice it as actually being any faster than the earlier model. We did a speed test and found that the speed had in fact doubled, but I guess it was already fast enough that the difference wasn’t too noticeable.
Here’s what we found. The new model also features more ethernet ports, so you can hardwire more devices than the previous version. We were able to easily print wirelessly, stream hi-def video, and participate in online gaming with no noticeable lag or drops in connection. As with all Apple products, the newest model costs more than the previous one. The AirPort gave us faster connections, more bandwidth, and was smaller than the previous versions. It was also very easy to set up.
Would we recommend? As with all Apple products, the latest model costs more than the previous one, and with networking speed, we at Consumers Guides always recommend to only pay for what you need. So if you have been satisfied with your current speeds, you probably don’t need to upgrade just yet, however, if you are engaging in a lot of online gaming, HD-video streaming, and have more devices connected to your network than most people, the new AirPort Extreme Base Station could be a great solution for the Mac and iPad loving family.