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Showing 1-10 of 37 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on March 19, 2012
This router was a huge disappointment for me. First, regarding the wireless aspects, the Wifi strength is mediocre at best. The signal barely reaches from one end of a tiny San Francisco apartment to the other. However, the separate guest SSID and key have been fairly useful.

Surprisingly for Apple, the iPhone-based app for configuring this thing uses SNMP, a standardized protocol for it all. It is good to see this standard actually put to effective use on a consumer router. So they nailed that part.

This "personal cloud" buzz-word nonsense is just a USB hard drive shared out via SMB and AFS. It isn't really a replacement for SOHO NAS or a real cloud service. I don't actually hold this against Apple though as real redundancy or performance would be a pretty exceptional feature to have. I mostly point this out because of what other reviewers are saying. That said, the lack of any file system support other than HFS+ and FAT32 (pre-exFat!) is fairly crippling. If you have a large hard drive and don't have a Mac to format it, you simply will not be able to mount the drive on your Airport Extreme. NTFS at least should be a given and EXT2/3/4 should be given serious consideration. Can't Apple just rip off some BSD code here like they always do?

The biggest problem is lack of QoS. Routers half this price have it. Without it, even sending heavy traffic on the (W)LAN, like say to that USB hard drive you just hooked up, can cripple your connection. Doing a single file transfer to the networked storage caused packet loss of 20-60% for every system on the network. That makes even a simple Google search nearly unusable. I'd expect that on a $40 bargain-bin Linksys router but on anything over $80, that's really a crippling oversight.

In short, if you plan to do anything other than web browsing with one or two computers, this router simply will not cut it. And if that's all you want, go buy something at a quarter of the cost. Versus OpenWRT routers in the same price range, this overpriced piece of junk isn't really even in the running.
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on March 21, 2013
I think this router is very disappointing for the price. The range is good but not great. The tools are limited. The price is high.

This router is well suited to someone with plenty of money and little time and who needs a basic solution. It does the basics really well with a relatively easy set-up.

However, the wifi range isn't any better than with my 2wire router that I got free from AT&T.

And doing advanced things is difficult.

I bought an airport express to extend the wifi of this device. It took an Apple tech over an hour on the phone to help me set it up. And that's after I wasted hours on it myself. The problem is complicated by the fact that instead of a web-based configuration tool, they have admin utilities that you need to install. But the Mac / PC / iOS versions of the utilities are all different. This means that help docs you read may be out of sync with what you have. And it means the apple tech you call may not have same utility you have.

And Apple has been removing functionality from the utilities. Google that topic to read more. Baffling.

Advanced set-up is very difficult. Stuff like port forwarding isn't easily supported by the utility (it is on some versions, but not in the latest PC version). And there's no place to find the name of devices currently connected. These are both things that my free 2wire router does well. And that's the one AT&T gives out for free.

There are other routers on the market that do more than this one does at 1/4th the price.
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on June 15, 2012
I'd heard the Airport praised as a great router, so I decided to try it out for myself. The router itself looks slick, configuration is simple (caveat: point #1), however I've had 2 major problems:

1. Configuration on Windows is just bad. The Airport is only configurable via the Airport Utility, which on Windows is an outdated and broken piece of software. It is never able to detect the Airport via wireless, unless you connect to it via IP address (which you can't really do initially, seeing as the router hasn't been set up yet).

2. It has a frequent problem with randomly dropping the wireless network. As in the wireless network will just shut off, the Airport will show an orange light, and seeing as my Windows machine can't detect the Airport I can't even check what's going on until the network recovers, at which point I see no indication of what has happened in the logs.

#1 I could live with, #2 is a deal breaker. I can't have a wireless network that decides to disappear for a minute at random intervals. I wanted to make it work, but after 3 days of random wireless disconnects I'd had enough. I've researched both of these problems and they are not isolated cases, numerous people have reported problems on both, most reports at least a few months old and many even years old. There has been ample time to address these arguably critical problems, but they have remained.
44 comments|14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 13, 2012
I replaced my Linksys E4200 after I started dropping connection about every 5 minutes so I was ready to find something better. I read the reviews and decided to take a chance on the AE. I set it up on my Mac pro and was able to connect ipods, iphones, ipads with no problem. The second I tried to add my son's laptop running Win 7 it took me an hour of searching various different forums to find that I needed to update his wireless card driver and it was not easy to find. A lot of people had the same issue with connection and a lot of these questions went unanswered which was frustrating.

All in all the connection is great except for an annoying creaking sound..not as loud as hard drives but it's definitely there. The noise isn't bad enough for me to return it but for the price you'd figure Apple would use better parts. My linksys as annoying as it was, was quiet.

-------------------------
Update:

After a year and a couple days after this purchase it no longer works wirelessly. I can have an ipod inches from the router and it will give me an "out of range" error whenever trying to log into the network since it kicked every device off. So only my main Mac Pro has internet and it's because it's hardwired to the router.
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on November 7, 2011
UPDATE 11/11/11
Apple did a firmware update to the airport extreme v5 last night. I have to say my airport speed is now off the walls. Doing the ISP speed test, the needle flies all the way to 10MBPS (my ISP speed). WOW! 1000% operation improvement. Now displaying firmware ver 7.6. I should update the star rating to 5 stars, but want people to see originally had issues that were fixable. ***** stars!

UPDATE 11/9/11
By messing with settings thru the airport utility, I was able to improve performance greatly on this airport extreme ver5 router. I manually played with the wireless transmitting channels. Now getting close to the 10mbps the ISP provides. I suggest playing or tweaking the settings for wifi if the performance is poor.

Replaced an netgear 3700 dual band with the 5th gen airport extreme. Setup was easy and I like the looks of the airport extreme, but performance was just awful. I have 10mbps internet from my ISP. The apple Airport extreme degraded that down to between 1.5 and 2 mbps. Barely poor DSL quality. Just a tad above dial-up. Yes... it was the airport extreme causing the problem. Tried apple support, verified the firmware version was up to date, etc etc, and still gave very poor Wi-Fi speed. Naturally, totally unacceptable. Back to the netgear.
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on May 30, 2013
I replaced a Linksys router with the Airport Extreme. It took awhile to get port-forwarding to work. And I still can't get a wireless Brother printer to work on the network. Even with the latest download of the Brother wireless setup, I'm nowhere.

I still have not figured out how to display the IP's for the wired connections.
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on April 7, 2014
For the first 5 months, everything seemed fine with this modem and it worked great.
The past few months we have experienced frequent dropped internet connections. I have it narrowed down to it being an issue with the router. I have tried a hard reset, soft resets, everything with the router and nothing has made a difference.
This product came with only a 30 day warranty. I know I was taking my chances buying a refurbished product, but I think that next time I will stick with companies that provide a longer warranty for their refurbished products.
P.S. I did contact the company a few weeks ago about having difficulties with the product but I haven't heard back.
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on December 1, 2011
Happy with Amazon's service in terms of delivery and return of the device.

Disappointed with the Airport Extreme. It kept dropping connections. Seemed to start out strong, but the drops became more frequent as days went on. The signal strength was not as expected, either.

I'm a real Mac fan, but this is not their best product. We ended up buying a Linksys (again), and we're very happy with it.
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on September 18, 2012
I really need to stop reading the reviews because lately companies actually hire professional "reviewers". So I decided to pick this router based on the glowing reviews. It was time to upgrade my trusty old Linksys. I own a MBP but I also still run a Win 7 desktop and two legacy HP laserjet printer and HP photo printer. My plan was to hook up my USB printers to the Airport Extreme to share with my Mac and PC (as directed). What it failed to mention is that there are only certain printers that can work and mainly the newer ones. I had to go to the Apple support sites and group discussions to find out that users are also having similar issues. Don't get me wrong if you're running an ALL APPLE envirnoment - then get this router no doubt! But if you have a mixed environment, then be prepared to do some major customization jobs. I had to reinstall my HP device drives multiple times on the PC and even the MBP had a hard time installing the printers since its a legacy device. And after it was done, it kept printing blank pages from the MBP but printing from the Win 7 was ok. You also need to install the Airport Utility in the PC and the Bonjour Printer application. I also attempted to print from my iphone (i know - but just to see if it works- I do print out coupons or tickets) but according to the phone, you will need an AIRPRINT printer...Basically I have to buy NEW printers. In the end, it was just a headache so I went back to my old Linksys. Maybe you will have better luck.
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on November 10, 2012
The router and wireless actually work pretty well for those two functions. Speed and signal strength are good. Two stars for that.

The Airport Extreme lets you attach a USB hard drive for network storage, which seems to work well as a low-end NAS. But, almost inconceivably, Apple does not support using this network-attached drive for making Time Machine backups!

I specifically "upgraded" to the Airport Extreme for the purpose of doing network backups. Apple initially advertised the Airport Extreme for exactly that purpose. Apparently, they later determined it to be buggy and unreliable. Rather than fixing the problems, they instead just quietly withdrew that advertising claim and now tell people, "oh, we don't support that configuration". I pay a premium to buy Apple equipment because I expect seamless interoperability. To belatedly discover that their hardware is incompatible with their own software is beyond infuriating. What makes this even harder to comprehend is that they do support Time Machine backups to an external USB drive connected to their Time Capsule product -- which is essentially an Airport Extreme with an internal drive.

Also, the configuration options for this router are limited in the EXTREME. They don't even have hidden "advanced settings" to do some basic things that most every other router supports out of the box. I have 15-year-old routers that are much more flexible than this one. And although this router does supposedly support port forwarding, I've never been able to get it to work properly. Want to set up a firewall or your own filters? Forget it. Logs or statistics? Signal strength? Time Server? MAC access control? SNMP? None of these things are supported in Airport Utility 6.

Unlike virtually every other router on the market, you can't configure this router via a web browser. You have to use Apple's special software to configure it, and Apple doesn't have a very good track record with their Airport Utility software. Older versions of their software won't run on newer versions of their OS. Newer versions of their software don't support their older hardware. So, you can find your working Airport hardware made obsolete simply by Apple's choice to make their newer OS's incompatible with the version of Airport Utility you require. Mountain Lion no longer supports Airport Utility 5.6 or earlier, so now you're stuck with the severe limitations of Airport Utility 6. (Yes, I know there are hacks to make 5.6 work, but Apple has gone out of their way to prevent it, and most people won't know how to do it.)
11 comment|6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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