Airport Extreme - You get what you pay for!

So since January I was under the assumption that all AC WIFI are created equal and I thought that the purchase of my Dlink AC1200 for $42 was a steal. Even on the Dlink dashboard it says that all my apple products were connected at high speed AC and when I tested my new AC speed test I was so disappointed and even posted a post that blasted the falseness of all AC routers. At peak I got 11MB/s which equates to about 88mbs which is just slightly faster than 56mbs single direction N speed.

When I posted, people kept asking me, how far away from the router were you? how many wifi signals were you running. I was 10 inches away from the router and was running only 1 wifi device although I live in an apartment where wifi signals run rampant and other users would say “ahh, that’s why”.

Recently I switched over to a new Shaw service which provided me with a 150mb service. The max speed of Shaw previously was 50mb/s so my Dlink Wifi was never maxed out as since AC wifi has a lot of a headroom or so I thought. When I tested out my new Shaw 150mb service through my Dlink AC1200, I got a disappointing max of 50mb/s again. of course when I switched over to wired ethernet, I saw a vast improvement of 150mbs straight away.

The last nail in the coffin for my Dlink router was for some reason my Dlink switch decided that everyone on my network should run at 100mb instead of gigabit because my Dlink router had 100mb ethernet ports and it was connected to the switch. When I bought it, I had thought everything was gigabit these days and so I had no idea that it had 100mbs ports hence the $42 sale price.

My suspicions grew that my AC1200 wifi was actually limited by the 100mb ports or perhaps it was just a bad router, but nevertheless my suspicions were aroused by all these problems.

I’ve been playing around with wifi security cameras these days as well as Apple’s homekit which controls all my lights within my house so my wifi network has grown to over 20 peripherals. I would attempt to record my wifi cameras while I’m away from home, but after several hours, the wifi would cut off. This problem could be my Dlink Router or the fact that it is still connected to the shaw router. Although I got a new Shaw Router, the fact remains that on my previous shaw router it would always disconnect my internet services throughout the day which in turn disconnects all my devices locally. The Dlink router had been moved from the dlink switch back to the Shaw router to separate it from everyone else because it took everyone down to 100mbs speeds when connected.

Thus… I decided to splurge on an Apple Airport Extreme. Yes, although I am an Apple Fan boy somewhat, I come from the PC world for decades and I hate the fact that everything Apple is over priced, which was the reason that I did buy the Dliink AC1200 router for $42 because I thought it would be equivalent to an Airport Extreme for $250 canadian.

I was wrong.

After plugging in the Airport Extreme, I picked up the little Apple pamphlet trying to read how to set it up, immediately the Airport extreme setup panel popped up on my MacBook without any app installation. I then filled in all my information which was basically I wanted to extend my home network and my new network name and password. The pop-up disappeared and that was it.

I disconnected my old Dlink AC1200 and connected my Macbook to my new Airport Extreme. Here are my test results through my new Airport Extreme.

After picking up my jaw from the floor, I double checked that my ethernet cable was indeed disconnected and that I everything was all WIFI, I am totally impressed. Remember that this speed is in MB/s which comes out to 490 mb/s writes and 203 mb/s reads. Don’t ask me why the reads are slower. This is also my first test.

I don’t know if I will sell my Dlink router on craigslist or I should simply run over it with my car but I have had it with Dlink.

So for all you Apple users out there, look into getting an Airport Extreme for your AC Wifi needs; no not the Airport express as that only supports dual-band N.

My apologies for touting this Apple product but ease of use was one of the reasons that I changed over to Apple products six years ago. It was not for the lack of knowledge on my part that I chose Apple as I was a PC guru up until my burn out in 2008; I was simply tired of having to restore, rebuild and re-install all my windows setup every time I upgraded my windows.

With Apple, I have never had to re-install any of my apps since 2010 although I’ve upgraded numerous OS’es and upgraded my apps but I never had to re-configure an app that I had installed previously.

Today I am just starting to discover the power behind this little Airport Extreme. I bought this unit yesterday thinking that I was going to return it once I’ve done testing but the shock of discovering that I have been fooled by cheaper versions of AC has made it a spot on my bookshelf and in my heart.

With the Dlink AC1200, I could not find a bridge mode option where DHCP would come from the main Shaw router and the Dlink would act as an access point or as the main wifi hub by switching off the shaw router wifi. I spent hours pouring over the various options on the Dlink router, toggling options off and toggling options on. At times I would lock up the Dlink router and had to reset it completely. In fact, despite my searches over the internet, I had the dlink router connected at the wan port thus creating two different networks at my house. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that by plugging the cable into one of the four hub ports of the Dlink, it would configured the router as a switch or the other term called bridge mode, thus uniting my two networks into one.

The other problem was that the wifi dashboard was at ip and I could not change this ip which resulted in a clash with my new shaw modem/router which has its wifi dashboard at the same ip. Both were not changeable and thus I had to set up the Dlink wifi “before” connecting it to the main network.

Which brings me to the Airport Extreme which has only 3 x gigabit ports for wired devices and 1 wan port. Thus I would lose one port to creating a bridge mode as I did with the Dlink and have only 2 gigabit ports left for wired ethernet. Thoughts of plugging the two clouds into the remaining ports has passed through my mind; I would have only one long cable, rather than three, running across the room to get to my Clouds and the new Airport Extreme. The reason that the Airport Extreme is on the bookshelf across the room, it is the highest point in my apartment.

Remember that I said it only took me less than a couple of minutes to configure my Airport Extreme yesterday. I had configured it to create a wireless network working as an extension of the existing network.

I did plug my ethernet cable into one of the 3 gigabit ports. However while I slept, my dreams told me that I could now use the WAN port as the bridge port, leaving the 3 gigabit port free for wired devices. So just now, I switched the input to the WAN port and double checked the configuration “Router Mode” which was set to “off (Bridge mode)”. I then rebooted my Macbook and the Airport Extreme and did a speed test.

Yup, still got the 45 -61 MB/s writes and 25MB/s reads.

Oh and the other problem of having clashing wifi dashboards, it is now gone since Apple uses an Airport Utility app to configure the Airport.

I’m impressed. I haven’t been this impressed since my first Apple device, the iPad.


Thanks for sharing this with the rest of the community. I’m sure this will help other users.

I used XP for years, and never felt any need to upgrade. So I never had to revert, restore or rebuild. Now I’ve moved to Win 7 and have disabled auto-updates, and don’t intend to update much. I tried Win 10, but couldn’t disable automatic updates, which seemed to happen all the time, usually at inconvenient times like when turning the PC on to actually use it. And it didn’t seem to be any better than win 7. So I reverted to win 7. I’ve only recently started using system backup tools, to save the system before trying win 10.

I have an iPad 2. It continually annoys me by not letting me control it. I had to update the OS to use apps as they got updated. So I switched to a much cheaper, much more controllable android tablet. The iPad sits in a cupboard unused.

I have nearly 40 years experience of being in control of my computers. I see no reason to change that because the Ghost of Steve Jobs thinks he knows better.

sounds about the same number of years except I had 3 kids of whom I kept them up to date with the latest PCs.

Is there a tldr? I got to ‘D-Link’ and quit reading. :smiley:

here is a summary:

Very surprised OP on Airport Extreme purchase, for some reason he is raving about it on WD forums.
Don’t buy Dlink
Buy Airport Extreme if Apple Fan
ignore recommendations if PC Windows 7 and Android user and hates Steve Jobs.