Airport extreme vs express

Discussion in 'Apple Forum' started by aboyes, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Hi all, quick question.

    I think the differnce between the two is that the extreme has more ports on the back?

    I've just bought a wd my book live and am now looking to upgrading my router as the time machine back up on G is slow. The WD my book live is connected via ethernet not USB so it should theoretically work.

    Basically can I connect the my book live to the express version or would I need to get the extreme?
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  2. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    It's possible using either, but if it is to upgrade your Router, as stated, then you should really go for the Extreme as its got lots more function built in and then grab an Express if you need the signal boosting anywhere on the edge if coverage. The Extreme on its own is usually enough if positioned optimally in a central location.
     
  3. RobM

    RobM
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    The only two benefits of the Express are Airplay support and it's size. For networking functionality, the Extreme is certainly the way to go.
     
  4. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Thanks for the replies. I agree it's the best way to go, but I never plugged anything into my current router apart from the my book live and I think the only other thing I may plug in one day is a printer mayhem. Does the extreme offer better wifi signals or is it simply the fact I can connect more to it?
     
  5. RobM

    RobM
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    WiFi performance will be largely the same, your environment will have more of an impact than the hardware itself. In absolutely perfect conditions I'd expect the Extreme to offer better range and better speed at the extreme ends of range, but in reality you'll be using this in a house with walls, metal, electronics and many other wireless signals bouncing around.

    So really, IMO, it comes down to wanting either more Ethernet ports, or wanting Airplay.
     
  6. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Ah ok. Well at the moment I have an 2011 iMac, iPad 3, apple tv and 2 iPhones. My main priority is backing up the mac using time machine. I'm new to NAS drives and the wd my book seemed like a good option however, I'm now wondering if I should've got the extreme and plugged a USB harddrive into it for backing up via time machine? I really like the fact that with the my book I can also acess photos via an app over 3G.

    It looks the the extreme and USB drive might offer the same functionality.

    Ideally I want to keep everything apple but I read bad reviews of the time capsule....
     
  7. RobM

    RobM
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    I think the Extreme is the right thing for you, I don't think the Express will work with a USB drive in the back, only the Extreme advertises USB storage compatibility.

    The Time Capsule is a good bit of kit, don't read too much into bad press, mine has served me well for a long time now. This would give you the wired and wireless benefits of an Extreme, but with a 2TB or 3TB HDD built in that your Mac will automatically detect over the network for use with Time Machine, as well as normal network attached storage. It's not cheap, but it's really, really effective.
     
  8. aboyes

    aboyes
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    The mybook live is Ethernet only so I think it'll work?
     
  9. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    It will work fine connected to the Extreme via Ethernet, no question.
     
  10. RobM

    RobM
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    My apologies, I had USB storage in my head! Listen to bpsmith rather than me... :D
     
  11. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    We're all entitled to lose the plot every once in a while fella... ;-)
     
  12. aboyes

    aboyes
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    In terms of range do you think it'll be as good as my old netgear G router?
     
  13. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    It all depends on individual setups and houses, but I would say most definitely. I used to swear by Netgear until I got my Extreme. The Extreme has a very strong signal and is also dual band, so can use the 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks simultaneously.

    I use the 5GHz for 3x ATV3's and our iPad, whilst keeping the 2.4GHz band free for iPhones and other items. Works extremely well, no pun intended, in both my 100 year old old house and the new build house we just moved to. Very impressed with it!
     
  14. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Ok great. To be honest I'm having a bit of trouble with the wd my book live. In wondering if I should've just got the time capsule as it has the router built in.

    Do you know if you can remotely access the time capsule?

    The wd my book has a nifty app where by I can access files via the iPhone and iPad
     
  15. spinaltap

    spinaltap
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    I've recently upgraded from a Netgear DG834N to an Airport Extreme, and the difference in usability is like night and day in performance.

    For example, sitting alongside my Netgear router would often only transmit low-level signals to my iPhone, while the Airport Extreme can be the other end of the house and still transmit strong signals to my iPhone.

    I'm so pleased I made the switch.

    BTW, it's only £109 on the Apple Refurb Store...

    Refurbished Mac Accessories - Apple Store (UK)
     
  16. aboyes

    aboyes
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    My wife is going to kill me! :)

    Now shall I keep the wd my book live which was 120 and get the extreme bringing my total to 229 or take the my book back to John Lewis and get a time capsule for 250? Hmmmm or get the express bringing my total to 200 odd
     
  17. spinaltap

    spinaltap
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    Personally, I would avoid the Time Capsule and buy the Airport Extreme (you have greater flexibility, that way).

    If the hard-drive fails in the TC (and there are copious reports on the web of failed units - look for yourself), then your whole investment goes down the pan.

    Also, if you have larger storage needs in the future you can buy a larger disk.

    Or, like me, if you have a ReadyNAS, that is Time Machine compliant, you can add as many extra disks as your NAS/budge can handle.
     
  18. aboyes

    aboyes
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    That's a good point. So do I keep the mybook live then or buy a different USB hdd and plug that into the extreme?

    I assume that doing it that way gives me a wireless back up solution?
     
  19. spinaltap

    spinaltap
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    You plug your existing drive into the Airport Extreme...

    ...allowing you dual functionality: direct connection to your Mac that is directly connected to your Airport Extreme - plus wireless access to other Mac's wirelessly connecting your Airport Extreme.

    As for Time Machine: you dictate what portion of your existing hard-drive will be allocated to Time Machine functionality.

    In Time Machine software on your Mac: you dictate what folders will be backed-up to your hard-drive - e.g. documents or applications, or both, or more.
     
  20. aboyes

    aboyes
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    The wd my book is driving me round the bend!!!!!! It just wont back up via time capsule. It's going back.

    What wireless solutions do you guys use on here?
     
  21. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Got a time capsule! £219 on amazon! :)
     
  22. RobM

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    Good choice :)
     
  23. aboyes

    aboyes
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    Agreed! I'm hoping it's like all apple products, easy to set up and pure quality.

    It'll replace old G netgear router too and I'm looking forward to being able to manage it via the airport utility app rather than logging in via a browser
     
  24. bpsmith

    bpsmith
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    I have the Airport Extreme and it's very good indeed. Add a hard drive to the mix and I bet it rocks! Enjoy!
     
  25. aboyes

    aboyes
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    I'm very impressed with the timecapsule. It worked first time :)

    Now, I want to free up some hdd space on my mac. What external wired hard drive would you recommend for storing my iTunes content? Not sure if FireWire is the way to go?

    Also is it easy moving the library? Lol
     

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