Question about

June 10th 2013 4:38 pm

What am I missing that makes the airport extreme worth $199?

So I am sort-of in the market for a new router (I am currently using the wireless modem my ISP gave me)

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?
top answers
TgD's pick

I hate to use this argument but I think this is prime example of something getting the apple tax.
mark as good answer

6 people like this answer

Clicking the mark as good answer button helps us highlight the best answers.

community pick

The Asus RT-N56U is an 802.11n router, the Airport Extreme is 802.11ac.

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.
mark as good answer

4 people like this answer

sort by

8 more answers

What everyone here is missing is reliability. Every firmware update the AC66U has inevitably causes issues with one thing just to fix another. 1st uPnP had issues with 270, then the 2.4ghz radio was slow after 354 and Merlin writes about 4 firmwares a day to experiment with settings. At some point I just want my router to work well, at high speeds for more than a day and even after my isp pushes an new IP to my modem. Apple may be simple but its fast and I would much rather play games or stream video than to re-write code over and over to get firmware that works. No to mention there will be a model a month....Next flavor of the week, the bright shiny new AC68U. Just 200 more dollars and you can have the best hardware money can buy and reprogram everyday for the rest of your life getting it to go even faster and farther! Oh, and try not to brick it!
mark as good answer

2 people like this answer


The main advantage of an AirPort is that it works well with apple devices, particularly for Time Machine, otherwise you are better off going with the ASUS RT-AC66U or waiting around for the new ASUS AC router that is not yet available for sale, which will be the RT-AC68U. The main advantage of the new router is it will have a dual core CPU.

This is the place to check router rankings (other than GDGT)­/rankers­/router­/ranking­/AC1...

The RT-AC66U is currently in the $180 range, but I have seen referbs for as low as $120:­/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)­/wiki­/ASUS­_RT­-AC68U
mark as good answer

2 people like this answer


Why you buy Porsche, Ferrari? When most of cars can get you to same destination.

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.
mark as good answer

1 person likes this answer


Mine is pretty sweet. Went through other routers that bricked or just didn't perform very well. Solid connection and feels faster (didn't do any measuring, though). Basically, I've had pain-free performance and haven't had to think about it. Worth the money, easily.
mark as good answer

0 people like this answer


Do you have any gadgets that use 802.11ac? I have the Linksys E4200 and I am finally happy with the dual band G and N experience. The only device I have that supports 802.11ac is my Galaxy S4 and it connects now through N. N is fast enough for most peoples needs. 802.11ac offers gigabit speeds but not much else. I believe it only supports 802.11ac on one band and B/G/N on the other so the other band would be bogged down (for me at least). It seems you would gain only if you only had 802.11ac and N devices IMHO.
mark as good answer

0 people like this answer


I had that Asus router for two days, before returning it. It had all the bells and whistles (Like), but the web UI was horrible and badly translated into English (Dislike). In terms of performance it was not better than my now-old Airport Extreme.
mark as good answer

1 person likes this answer


An annoying and EXTREMEly limited app to manage it?
mark as good answer

0 people like this answer


Well, Apple sells their stuff way more expensive than the competition. So, get the ASUS one (it better than the airport).
mark as good answer

0 people like this answer