First Look: Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

First Look: Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station

The Mac mini is .62 inches taller than the AirPort Extreme. We know you're not supposed to stack anything on top of the Mac mini (doing so blocks the AirPort and Bluetooth antennae) - we're just providing this shot to give you a size perspective.



After you install the 802.11n updater, Network Utility (Applications/Utilities) will show that your Mac has been n-powered.



Up and Running: For this first look, we connected the AirPort Extreme to Mac|Life's network to get the thing up and running so we can get a first impression of the 802.11n speed. Our speed results here are preliminary results. In our final review, we'll test using a setup that's more of a real-world example, using a more-controlled network situation.


Before we plugged the AirPort Extreme into our Ethernet network, however, we first prayed to the IT gods that we wouldn't bring down the whole company network.


We then used a 17-inch MacBook Pro without the 802.11n update installed to get a baseline speed number. We transferred a file to a FTP server in about 30 seconds using 802.11g.


We then installed the 802.11n updater (it comes on the AirPort Extreme software CD). We copied the same file (different name) to the FTP server. It took 23 seconds - that's more than a 20 percent speed increase.


There's more testing to be done - a lot more testing. We'll have a full review of the AirPort Extreme in the May issue of Mac|Life, which will be released in late March.




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