What am I missing that makes the airport extreme worth $199?
At $199, this seems more expensive than top of the line routers including the gdgt must-have Asus rt-n56u (At $95)
However that router is only wireless N and the truly comparible model, the asus AC66U appears to be the same price ($205) so perhaps the airport extreme is a competitive price
I am assuming the Apple router does something very well, in order to be competitive in the market. What advantages does this have?
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My understanding is that AC routers can be up to 3 times faster then N routers. There are cheaper (and potentially better, hard to say before it is reviewed) AC routers then the extreme but they mostly start at 160$ish?
So when you look at it that way it's not that much more expensive.
Personally, I've had trouble with the line of Airport products. I now run my time capsule as a NAS on Ethernet and bought an ASUS RT-N66U for WiFi and router.
AC may not be ready for primetime in my place then
"What 802.11ac should achieve, however, is far better coverage. Those who moved from 802.11g (a 2003-era standard) to 802.11n (released widely in 2007) remember what a difference that was. Dead spots in your home and office were suddenly lit up. Areas in which you had slow data rates but a good signal were now able to communicate at several times the previous data rate.
Apple doesn’t ignore range and coverage, but that’s really the benefit of 802.11ac for most users, not speed. Let’s dig into Apple’s claims."
At campus, I was working under the previous Director of IT when the first Airport Extremes with N shipped, so he bought one and told me to test it. After testing it throughout the dorms, I found the N was noticeably weaker signal than the G of the Linksys WAP 54G units we were using. Even the G of the Extremes ended up being a little weaker. I reported all this and soon after that I went back to a previous employer. They later hired me back in another position, then asked me to take over the Director position a year later. During that time, he had ignored my recommendations and bought Airport Extremes. So inherited a network full of the things and grew to hate them for all the constant problems we had with certain client devices and signal dead zones. I finally dug the WAP 54Gs out of storage, put dd-wrt on them, and put them back into place. Most of our problems disappeared immediately and signal was better across the board.
All that to say that you really have to test units in your physical location and can't really rely on reviews or manufacturer claims. Every location has its own oddities with signal propagation and interference and the only way to know for sure is to test in the actual environment. In every place I have worked with N, the signal has been weaker and less reliable than G. YMMV.
People always tell me apple sells stuff more expensively. This is almost never the case and I have built 60 plus Systems for Linux Boxes or Windows Machines. Apple tends to sell stuff maybe slightly above market for things that generally are expensive items in the first place. If you do the 1:1 comparison with hardware of the same spec. Apple products start becoming much more reasonable. And if one looks at the software and software integreation the ecosystem provides Apple becomes even more reasonable. You get what you are paying for really. How valuable is your time becomes more of the question.
Apple never sells cheap stuff so in order to buy what they are currently selling you have to spend more money to get it. Apples Airport Extreme is $199... the comparable Asus was over $200 last year and can be had for $160 this year. Apple almost never reduces their price until a newer product comes out.
My old Apple router has been zero trouble for the last couple of years. My Neighbor had to upgrade his system because my setup was always more powerful and he got a stronger signal in his house from my Apple router than he was from his own router.
Before the Apple Airport Extreme Base station I went through a string of top rated routers (D-Link, Cisco, LInksys, and Netgear). Some of them were over $200 and all of them had issues and eventually ceased working. I have not had even an inkling of trouble with the Apple Router so far. Grandma has also had non-stop issues with all kinds of routers. She has been through at least 4 different models over the last 3 years and all of them have had problems with dropping connection and having to be rebooted constantly. I setup this new Airport Extreme. No more dropped connections. Increased responsiveness and speed. Rock solid so far and no more calls for me to come over and fix things because none of her stuff is working anymore.
I will be buying another for myself.
When I have the time, I plan to build a machine to use as my router with Sophos (formerly Astaro) and buy one or two Ubiquiti access points for my wireless. I am tired of fighting with consumer toys.
This is the place to check router rankings (other than GDGT) www.smallnetbuilder.com/rankers/router/ranking/AC1...
The RT-AC66U is currently in the $180 range, but I have seen referbs for as low as $120: www.amazon.com/RT-AC66U-Dual-Band-Wireless-AC1750-...
More info on the RT-AC68U (this page is mostly guesses right now since it is not out yet) wikidevi.com/wiki/ASUS_RT-AC68U
I thinks it is the same, I buy Apple product when I have to put it in my living room but I use DD-WRT at my office.
From my research, routers that run the same wireless protocol (B,G,N,AC) are largely the same speed. So I think your analogy may be a bit flawed
The newest Asus model with AC (AC66U) is actually $205 which is basically the same price.
You tell me the Asus one is better, but why? I am looking for specs, or features or tangible proof.
I will look into Ubiquiti. Thanks for the suggestion!
You still haven't told me a technical reason of why I shouldn't buy an Apple router. Do you have one? I am looking for a better reason than "Buy Asus, or D-Link and not apple"
At a comparable price, things seem almost equal here