Although the Apple AirPort Extreme router lacks advanced functionality, it succeeds as a wireless router in terms of performance and appearance.
Although the Apple AirPort Extreme is costly, it provides the greatest experience in a variety of ways. The lack of some complex functions may turn off power users, but this router is hard to top in terms of wireless speed.
The AirPort Extreme includes six internal antennas (Apple claims the antennas are at the top, creating a higher platform for signal dispersion), allowing it to support simultaneous dual-band wireless networks and all wireless frequencies.
However, only a few ports are on the back: one USB 2.0 port, three-gigabit ethernet LAN connections, and one ethernet port for a WAN connection.
The router was created with simplicity in mind, whether you're using a Mac, an iPhone, or an iPad to set it up. Instead of the traditional web browser-based administrative interface, OS X has a special software called AirPort Utility.
It recognizes the router immediately, and the settings panels load faster than on a browser-based interface. However, updating some settings still necessitates a full reset.
The AirPort Extreme (version 6) has dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11ac wireless, a Gigabit Ethernet WAN port for connecting to a DSL modem, cable modem, or Ethernet network, a USB2 port for connecting a USB printer or hard drive, and three Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports for connecting to a computer, Ethernet hub, or networked printer.
Both the 802.11n and 802.11ac wifi bands have excellent performance. It hit one of the highest peak 802.11ac speeds we've ever observed, at 706Mb/s, before settling down to a still-impressive average of 578 Mb/s at short range and 540Mb/s over the longer 10m range.
We also got good results with 802.11n, with an average of 105Mb/s at long range.
One of the most striking looks we've seen in networking gear is the AirPort Extreme. Despite being three years old, the design is ageless and worthy of Jonathan Ibest ve's work. It has the same footprint as the Apple TV but is 168mm taller. In addition, it's enclosed in a smooth, glossy white plastic, creating an appealing product that skillfully conceals its boring function.
The built-in internal Power Supply Unit (PSU), which requires only a short figure-8 wire to power rather than additional power brick to conceal somewhere in your home, is also a pleasant enhancement.
A little status light on the front shines green while everything is working well and flashes amber when something goes wrong. A USB port can be used to connect an external hard drive.
This version, which was first released in 2013, may look to be out of date, but it's still one of the fastest wireless routers we've tested and is perfect for any Apple fan. It's also cross-platform compatible so that aspiring Windows users can get their Apple fix.
As the Apple Time Capsule, you can buy the Apple AirPort Extreme with built-in backup storage. The Apple Time Capsule is essentially an AirPort Extreme with a storage capacity of 2TB (£299/$299) or 3TB (£399/$399).