Apple Airport Extreme

The Airport Extreme from Apple: It just works.

The Airport Extreme from Apple: It just works.

Our old Apple Airport had died, and we needed to replace it. I (briefly) considered going with one of the non-Apple brands of wireless router, but networking is one of the more complicated aspects of computers, and our Apple Airport had always worked seamlessly both for us on our Macs and our guests who needed to access the Internet while visiting. So I decided to stick with Apple.

I found that the old UFO-looking Airport models were gone, replaced by the newer (and smaller) Airport Extreme.

So I ordered an Airport Extreme. After it arrived, I hooked it up, and with almost no fiddling I was online wirelessly. My husband has his office set up in a separate building next to our house, and he has no trouble getting the signal over there. With the old Airport base station, he had to have his computer in just the right place to get the signal, and it would drop frequently. Now, he never loses the signal except when our DSL goes out, which is a problem with CenturyLink and has nothing to do with the Airport.

The Airport Extreme has both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, which is supposed to be a good thing. It has both 802.11g and 802.11n, which I know is a good thing.

Airport Extreme at Sam's Club

It has the ability to set up a guest network to allow guests to access the internet without giving them access to our home network. I haven't used that. I have my computers all password-protected, and I trust my guests, so I'm not worried about that and I don't use that feature. But it's nice to know it's available if I should decide I need it.

It also has the ability to plug my printer into it and share it on the network, but I don't see why I'd need to do that. My Mac lets me "share" the printer in System Preferences, and other people can print to it, so why would I need to plug it into the Airport? I guess if my computer was turned off, having the computer plugged into the Airport would still allow others to print to it, but my computer is never turned off except in the wee hours anyway.

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