Apple AirPort Extreme

Updated June 30, 2013
Apple AirPort Extreme

Bottom line

The sixth-generation Apple AirPort Extreme is a solid choice if you have an all-Mac or mixed Mac/PC network and want 802.11ac support. Experts say it's fast, easy to use and reliable, and they praise its sleek design. While the AirPort Extreme offers a respectable array of features -- including the ability to host up to 50 guests on your network or share printers -- those with PC-only networks might find this router a bit limiting.

Ease of use

Great for novices, Mac users. Experts say the Apple AirPort Extreme wireless router is very easy to set up, even for first-time users. Samara Lynn at PCMag.com calls it "idiot-proof," but this convenience comes at the expense of flexibility. Apple's free AirPort Utility software is required to use the router, which is geared toward Mac users; external hard drives formatted in NTFS (Windows) aren't supported. You can share wireless printers easily, although only Mac users can do this via the Internet. "There's not much love for Windows users here," writes CNET editor Dong Ngo. Since the AirPort Extreme is 802.11ac-equipped, all Wi-Fi clients are compatible.

ProsGood range, coverage, Excels with Macs , mixed networks, Easy to useConsNot the best for Windows users, Not much customization, Fewer connection ports than rivals
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