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Airport Extreme W/ PC only household

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Well I kick this off by saying that my wife was so impressed as to how simple the Airport extreme was to set up, that she said she could have done it by herself!! The fact that she thinks that is pure gold as it stands. So for a PC only enviroment how well did the Airport extreme stack up? Let me tell you about it.


Overall setting up the router was pretty simple and only took about 10 minutes at the longest. Sorry, but I was too excited to keep track of the time to give yall that exzact 7mins 55sec number. :D The Basic instructions were simple as heck to follow.

1. Put disc in drive

2. install software

3. plug airport extreme into cable modem

4. plug AE into computer via cat 5

5. run airport utlity

6. enjoy!


Once finished, the hardest part was configuring my sony Vaio to stay under 802.11A instead of 802.11G. After remembering that Sony had put thier own wireless controller software on the laptop is was a piece of cake getting it all setup. For a total of probebly 20 minutes time setting up it was not at all frustrating like my former motorolla router or my fathers D-link.


What did all that effort get me? Well hows a comparision in signal quality for you? Distance between the router and wireless client in both instances is about 30' seperated by 2 walls and on opposite floors.


With the previous Motorola 802.11G router the best signal strength was around -72db with very somewhat fluctuating background noise. Also Important to note that there are about 4 additional 802.11G networks around.


With the airport extreme operating at the 5ghz level at 802.11A the signal strength is now around -84db with practically no fluctuation in background noise. Operating out of the range of the additional networks in that area has obviously helped to make a good diffrenece with background noise. And even though the AE did slightly worse than the motorola it should also be noted that the motorola router had taken quite a bit of tweaking and a 7dbi antenna to be able to perform as well as it did. The AE also holds the datarate at 54mbps compared to the moto where it would drop as low as 12mbps depending.


Since I dont have a USB hard drive or the need to put a printer on the network I cant say much accept its a nice feature to have when I want to use it. :)


The biggest surprise was recieving it way early! by a full week even. My origninal envoice had show it scheadule to ship around the 22nd-27th and ariving anywhere between the 26th- 5th of march! Fed-Ex was even more insane. I had overslept when they had come by earlier this morning. So when I had woke to relize that I had missed the drop off I was in shock. Well not but 2 hours later as I had decided to go ahead and pick it up from the Fed-Ex warehouse. The truck pulls up again, with a greeting at the door!


PROs: So easy my wife can set it up!, good looks B), simplicity all around, Not one problem setting up with PC's


CONs: Slightly degraded signal strength (still performed better), wish I had a Mac!


Overall, the New Airport Extreme has convinced me even more that Apple is the way to go and I cant wait to get my first Mac!



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I discovered today that I need to correct some misinformation on my review. When I had listed degraded signal strength as a con, I had not concidered the fact that I was running 802.11A and not 802.11G as I had been previously. I decided to go with 802.11A because of the number of 802.11G networks in my area. Well as I had read earlier today. One of the drawbacks of 802.11A is that it does not have as good of range as 802.11G. as it turns out, I switched my Airport Extreme to 802.11G and BAM! My signal strength shot right up to -62db, -10db even better than my previous motorolla. So as it turns out my one "con" for this thing was actually my own assumption that 802.11A did everything 802.11G did, but on the 5ghz freq. scale. At least I had good news!



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