OK, everyone has asked me “Hey Logan how do you like the new Airport Base Station you bought?”. Well I have decided to write a formal review to answer everyone’s questions.
Out of The Box:
The First thing I noticed about the new Airport is the box is rather heavy. I opened the box to find a square thin white station nothing like the UFO shape of the last Base Stations. Under the station I found a quick-start guide with very simple instruction, an install CD (well get to that later), and a Power Supply. One thing I was happy to see with the power supply is the length of the cord was very nice as it reached the top of my Entertainment Center very easily.
Well an important thing about setting up your new Airport is INSTALL THE SOFTWARE. The old apple airport software does not support the new one so you must install the included. I plugged all the cords into my base station to be greeted with a scary flashing Yellow Light. I went to my G5 and installed the software which immediately started after the install. First, it shows a little picture of the base station and an indicator light identical to that of the base station for easy monitoring of the station. The setup menu asks you for basic info like the name of the station, password and encryption of the actual signal. After that, it asks for how you get your internet (LAN, DL etc.) then that is it. Immediately the light turned green on the Base Station and my G5 picked up the Network. VOILA! Setup is complete
I immediately noticed that the internet was faster and also noticed I was now able to Video chat in iChat and surf without getting bandwidth errors. OK, so it sped up my connection in the G5 by about 1.5x but I had to try it in the Powerbook G3 with original Airport (802.11b). It was amazing. The speed was about 5x what it was before. But, the ultimate test was yet to be completed. The 802.11n test. Of course I do not have any Core 2 Duo computers but my good friend does. Well, first I gave him the install CD which Included the 802.11n enabler that can be bought as well. We installed it and had to restart. We started surfing and could not stop. The speed was just as fast as being wired into the Modem directly! Video playing was awesome and reliability again was perfect. Now range wise I had to test. I grabbed my iBook and my boots and headed to my neighbors house which was 175 feet away and could still catch the signal (good reason to password your signal).
I had to try out the new feature that allows wireless access to an external USB Drive. First, I plugged the drive into the USB port and returned to my G5. The CD installs a utility for the disk as well that allows you to monitor the disk in the Menu Bar. I pressed connect and the drive mounted. I transferred a full movie in half the time as downloading It off the internet. It was awesome. I also accessed it through my iBook with great success. This is the perfect network storage solution for the non-network storage geniuses (Jimmy).
This new base station is the best yet and also the cheapest Airport Extreme station selling for $179 (compared to the previous $199 station). The station is perfect for home or small business and am looking forward to using it to its full extent when I finally fork over enough cash to buy a Macbook. But, under older computers it is still worth the upgrade as the range is improved and the overall coolness of Airport is improved as well.