Router: AirPort Extreme Review

AirPort Extreme is the easiest way to setup home network router.  The latest model (as of January 2015) provides high speed wireless network of 1 Gbps with 802.11ac technology support and good range for wireless signal.  Also, for wired connection, this router provide 1 Gbps network through ethernet cable (RJ45) connection when connected with category 5 or 6 cables and provides 4 switched ports that are managed by the AirPort Extreme.

airport extreme

airport extreme

This router has built in airport extreme firewall for security and also provides USB port for airport extreme wps printer support where most USB printers can be turned into network printers when connected and configured.  AirPort Extreme installation is easy and can be done via simple AirPort Utility on Windows or Mac.  For users of Apple devices such as iPhone, and iPad, airport extreme installation can be done from the AirPort Utility app as well.

Other benefits of AirPort Extreme besides the ones already mentioned is that it allow dual network to be setup in different ip address ranges.  One can be use for normal network usage and another one can be added for guest users.  This can be configured along with WiFi to allow guest WiFi network which can be completely isolated from normal network.  Getting this feature from other router may require purchase of additional router and/or access point with complex configuration.  Futhermore, for Apple device users, this router supports many of Apple’s native and proprietary protocols such as Apple Filing Protocol or Bonjour.

From the actual implementation, one airport extreme setup for WiFi coverage in two storage house is able to cover the entire house including basement without additional network devices.  Also, when extending WiFi coverage for larger area is needed, additional AirPort Extreme can be added quickly via AirPort Utility to extend network using bridge mode and make use of primary router’s configuration automatically.

Few shortcomings of AirPort Extreme is that it does not have web interface for administrator.  Unlike other routers where administrators can open web browser and type router ip address to configure router.  This must be done through AirPort Utility software.  Also, this router does not allow configuration of different subnet masks.  It only allows subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 which is class C subnet of 256 maximum hosts.  While this will be ok for most home network, this may be limitation if more than 256 network devices are wanted.