User Rating: Very Good
Ease of Installation:
Ease of Use:
Pros:Very good range as compared to my Linksys WRT54G.
Cons:No web based setup. Network disk is intermittant. No dynamic DNS.
The Bottom Line: It is a well made router that has nice features, but is far from perfect.
I was getting tired of having my Linksys WRT54G lock up entirely or just have some of the features not work. Partial failures were web based control interface stop working, or stopped forwarding UDP packets on certain ports (I sniffed both sides of the router with WireShark to verify this).
Recommend this product?
Thinking of uprading to 802.11n, I figured I'd pay a little more and get an Apple router, so I got the Airport Extreme. I have had much better luck with my Apple products so I figured this would also hold for the Airport Extreme; this didn't turn out as well as I expected.
It was easy to set up and the range is superior to my old Linksys router, allthough I don't have another N router for an apples to apples comparison. I'll get to the pluses later, but here are my gripes:
I found that the Apple router can lock up and display some similar annoyances that the Linksys router did, making me recycle the power to reset it. With a USB hard drive hooked up, I found that sometimes if the USB drive goes into a power save mode and "spins down", it won't wake up again; I didn't have another USB drive on hand to isolate "who was at fault", but be forewarned. Over the network this network drive appears as a volume in file explorer but clicking on it goes into a "device not ready wait forever" mode.
Another thing that is inconvenient but not a show stopper, is that there is no web based setup interface; you have to install a program on the Mac, and they also provide a Win-Doze version too. If you are troubleshooting or experimenting, you'll have to install the program on several computers.
This unit does not have a dynamic DNS client, so if you were using feature of this product that allows you to remotely access your attached USB hard drive (a feature I like) and your IP address changed, you won't be able to reach it; DSL systems frequently change IP addresses on you. The reason for wanting dynamic DNS and having a USB drive "on line" is so that you don't have to leave a computer on all the time, thus saving electricity.
To use the dual band feature your computer needs to be compatable, and my version of my MacBook Pro is; my MacBook came with 801.11a,b,g and you have to run a "N enabler" program on the Mac to turn on the extra features. The documentation on line states that the program is provide on the CD that comes with the Airport. I searched CD and found no such program. There is an option to buy it on line for a few bucks, but why tell people it's provided when it isn't? C'mon Apple, please don't start acting like Microsoft!
I have a network of several computers, and wanted to hang another router (with separate sub-net) off one of the Airport LAN ports. I found that the DNS server addresses do not get handed forward to the attached router, although the attached rounter did get issued a DHCP address.
Swinging to the positives, In addition to the feature where you can have travelling access from anywhere on the internet, to your secure USB hard drive that is attached to the Airport, the unit will support the new IPv6 addresses.
Another feature I like is where you can grant a temporary open access account, which you might like to do if someone brought a laptop to your house and you wanted to give them quick and easy access; this will give them internet access but they will not be able to see other devices on your network. I didn't investigate this feature enough to find if this temporary account can be allowed to access a printer on your network or not.
So in the ballance I'm pleased and disapointed at the same time.
Amount Paid (US$): 179
Driver Availability: Windows, Linux, and Mac