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Apple's redesigned AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule models debut with 802.11ac support

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Apple on Monday announced immediate availability of its next-generation AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule models, each of which feature an all-new "mini tower" design and support for fast 802.11ac wireless.

AirPort


The base AirPort Extreme features a beamforming array antenna coupled to a fast 802.11ac radio tranceiver, which grants up to three times the speed of current Wi-Fi- protocols as well as stronger signals.

As with previous AirPort models, the newest design allows for dual-band support across the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bandwidths. Added to the latest iteration, however, holds a total of six antennas, three for 2.4GHz and three for 5GHz, which grant greater parity and thus a cleaner signal. In addition, the antenna array is located on the top of the unit, which Apple claims helps the AirPort users connect from farther distances.

Apple's Time Capsule models take an AirPort Extreme and add on either a 2TB or 3TB hard drive for easy wireless backups and remote storage. Working with OS X Time Machine, the units seamlessly interface and provide persistent backups behind the scenes without user interaction.

On the back of all three AirPorts are a number of connection options, including three Gigabit ethernet LAN ports, one USB port for connecting printers or external hard drives, one Gigabit ethernet WAN input, and a power socket.

AirPort Back


The three new routers will be able to connect with Apple's current Mac lineup, as well as the all new MacBook Air, which feature 802.11ac technology built in. So far, the computer is Apple's only machine that uses the protocol.

Apple's Online Store has the new AirPorts available for purchase, with the Extreme coming in at $199, while the 2TB and 3TB Time Capsules are priced at $299 and $399, respectively. Currently, ship times are showing 1 to 3 business days, with in-store pickup available from June 12.
post #2 of 55

Such a flipping weird shape. Styled, probably, after the new Mac Pro, but it doesn't fit in at all with, well, anything else.

 

Does this mean the Haswell Mac Mini will also be vertical? Because the AirPort and Mac Mini designs have been tied for a while now…

post #3 of 55
Kind of a funny lookin' design, but I guess it's the best way to get the antennae extension without ugly antennas, or without looking like a twig n berries.

   

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post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatchyThePirate View Post

Kind of a funny lookin' design, but I guess it's the best way to get the antennae extension without ugly antennas, or without looking like a twig n berries.

 Um yea, it should stand up rather than lay flat, hello.

 

Great move on their part, bet WiFi reception improves all around.

post #5 of 55
Unfortunately, I'm not a fan of this new design. It looks like they did this to improve the antenna design which is fine.

I use the airport extreme as a wired main router, disable the wireless part, and use Airport Express to do the actual WiFi part. The original, compact design was nice so for stacking multiple units. I'm not the "normal" user for this, so I accept it and move on. I just like Apple's quality and using Aiport Utility makes administering the boxes so easy.

It also looks like they removed the external AC adapter for the Extreme and integrated it into the unit.
post #6 of 55
Damn mother$%&43king sh#$#t!!

Why can't these guys add one more flipping ethernet port?! Everywhere I use these things; I always have to buy a f&%king ethernet switch to add on. Just for one extra needed port.
WHY?? WHY??!!! 4-ports is a no brainer. There is absolutely no excuse.
Idiots.
post #7 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Damn mother$%&43king sh#$#t!!

Why can't these guys add one more flipping ethernet port?! Everywhere I use these things; I always have to buy a f&%king ethernet switch to add on. Just for one extra needed port.
WHY?? WHY??!!! 4-ports is a no brainer. There is absolutely no excuse.
Idiots.

 

If THEY are Idiots, ....who is the Much BIGGER Idiot, for buying it?

 

I'll give any idiot, three guesses.  1hmm.gif

post #8 of 55

That's probably a design you have to see in person at a store. The pics don't give you a good impression.

 

One thing I am wondering - why not adding AirPlay to the Extreme or the TimeCapsule? I know it's wrong to consider your own needs and think everyone else needs it too, but it's a nice technology that they are pushing. So why leaving that neat thing to the Express? Am I the only one who streams his iTunes to a HiFi system in another room? Or just wants to continue listening to the album that you started on the iPhone but once you are home, change the output to the AirPort that is attached to the home HiFi system?

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Damn mother$%&43king sh#$#t!!

Why can't these guys add one more flipping ethernet port?! Everywhere I use these things; I always have to buy a f&%king ethernet switch to add on. Just for one extra needed port.
WHY?? WHY??!!! 4-ports is a no brainer. There is absolutely no excuse.
Idiots.

 

What do you do with the ones you already have?

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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Damn mother$%&43king sh#$#t!!

Why can't these guys add one more flipping ethernet port?! Everywhere I use these things; I always have to buy a f&%king ethernet switch to add on. Just for one extra needed port.
WHY?? WHY??!!! 4-ports is a no brainer. There is absolutely no excuse.
Idiots.


I'm in the same boat as you.  However, I suppose there will always be one port less than what certain people need.  Since you brought up the subject, I wonder why Apple didn't add extra ethernet ports simply because there is so much room on the back of that unit?  That's unfortunate.
 

post #11 of 55

It really is a weird design, hopefully it has a low center of gravity and strong range. But I've been waiting for 802.11ac to come to Airport for what seems like forever, so I'll take it!

post #12 of 55
Al-Qaeda have already announced their intentions to try and take one of these down with an aeroplane.
If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
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If you want to make enemies, try to change something.
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post #13 of 55
Can't wait to hear about the range on these. Have the previous model, but if range is substantially increased- I'm all over it! (I'd love to drop my Airport Extreme I'm using as an extender)

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #14 of 55
Hopefully I won't need a new one of these anytime soon. My current one is actually wall mounted.
post #15 of 55

I'm ok with the new form factor.   It now has 6 antenna (3 each for 2.4 and 5Ghz) so positioning them higher may really help.   

Is the Time Capsule still using 3.5" drives.  I was figuring they may choose 2.5" drives for size reasons. 

 

I'll upgrade my current TC when I get the next iPhone coming up.  I think 11AC is probably a bigger deal for mobile devices than it is for 

desktop devices at this point considering mobile devices typically only have a single antenna

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He's a mod so he has a few extra vBulletin privileges. That doesn't mean he should stop posting or should start acting like Digital Jesus.
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post #16 of 55
I'm curious - it looks like the Airport Extreme and Time Capsules are basically the same except for the hard drive itself. Would it be possible to buy an AE and install your own HD? While the old Time Capsules weren't designed to be user-serviceable, it was possible to replace the drive.
post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post

I'm curious - it looks like the Airport Extreme and Time Capsules are basically the same except for the hard drive itself. Would it be possible to buy an AE and install your own HD? While the old Time Capsules weren't designed to be user-serviceable, it was possible to replace the drive.

Considering no one has torn into one- no idea.  But 99.9% chance you won't be able to.  And why would you?  Just add an external hard drive to the Extreme via USB 3.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #18 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Hopefully I won't need a new one of these anytime soon. My current one is actually wall mounted.

I think for the vast majority, if you a recent AirportExtreme/TimeCapsule, most won't need to upgrade given the current functions of the box or of the other participants.

 

My guess is that I'll upgrade next year (I just got a new TC last year... it fixed all my coverage problems in the house)... by that time, i'll probably have at least 3 AC devices in the house, and a 40Mbps link to the house.  if all 6 antenna are 'ac' in the new AE/TC, that's a 2-4Gbps of bandwidth.

 

If/when Apple builds caching into their Airports (local app, rental, movies), for a local iCloud appliance, and/or density of wifi traffic (Airplay everywhere) becomes thick, that's when 'ac' speeds will be needed.   Your typical laptop, appleTV, iPad, iPhone, (with only 2 of the devices active at a time) printer house with 6-20mbps cable modem...  likely not so much of an need.

post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I'm ok with the new form factor.   It now has 6 antenna (3 each for 2.4 and 5Ghz) so positioning them higher may really help.   

Is the Time Capsule still using 3.5" drives.  I was figuring they may choose 2.5" drives for size reasons. 

 

I'll upgrade my current TC when I get the next iPhone coming up.  I think 11AC is probably a bigger deal for mobile devices than it is for 

desktop devices at this point considering mobile devices typically only have a single antenna

my guess is will be the density of Video Airplay going on in your home, coupled with end device antennas.  If you got only one antenna, and you're blasting out 60fps of 1080p from a internet source, you're probably taxing an 'n' network.  Now add 2 more active devices, (like that new MBA Airplaying to an AppleTV connected monitor), Time Machine backups, etc., more antennas would be a very good thing, if for nothing else to split the bandwidth across multiple spectra.

post #20 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post

Damn mother$%&43king sh#$#t!!

Why can't these guys add one more flipping ethernet port?! Everywhere I use these things; I always have to buy a f&%king ethernet switch to add on. Just for one extra needed port.
WHY?? WHY??!!! 4-ports is a no brainer. There is absolutely no excuse.
Idiots.


I'm in the same boat as you.  However, I suppose there will always be one port less than what certain people need.  Since you brought up the subject, I wonder why Apple didn't add extra ethernet ports simply because there is so much room on the back of that unit?  That's unfortunate.
 

Yes the new design made it easy for them to take the opportunity to add a port (or more). 4 ports is a very happy medium for a typical home router (hence, every other manufacturer's inclusion of 4 ports.)

Don't know about the new unit, but the previous A.E. actually contained a 7-port switch inside, to which Apple simply attached only three RJ45 ports.

post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post

I'm curious - it looks like the Airport Extreme and Time Capsules are basically the same except for the hard drive itself. Would it be possible to buy an AE and install your own HD? While the old Time Capsules weren't designed to be user-serviceable, it was possible to replace the drive.

Considering no one has torn into one- no idea.  But 99.9% chance you won't be able to.  And why would you?  Just add an external hard drive to the Extreme via USB 3.

This has not been allowed (not worked) on the earlier units (maybe with some sort of hack?).  Haven't looked into whether they've changed that here or not.

post #22 of 55
I assume my 2009 airport express can still act as an extender albeit at N speeds. Might update my 2009 extreme, speeds are ok but not brilliant.
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post #23 of 55
Not a big fan of the design, but AC is pretty nice. Have an AC router already, and it'll be nice to get a new MB Air with AC support.
post #24 of 55
I've had my Airport Extreme standing on its side for years. The shape doesn't matter to me anyway. I stash the thing behind stuff, out of the way. I'd prefer if it were black though. Still, I want one... but I can't justify it since my current Airport Extreme has been flawless.
post #25 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JupiterOne View Post

Hopefully I won't need a new one of these anytime soon. My current one is actually wall mounted.

 

Mine isn't wall mounted, but it's in a location, tucked away in a closet, where this monster size router simply won't fit. I'm sure Apple has some good reasons (ie, the antenna performance, etc) for making it this big, but I think the size is going to turn off at least some prospective buyers. (Of course, I'll have to see one in person because the photos online could be deceiving.) In any case, until my current Extreme dies I see no reason to upgrade.
post #26 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

I'm ok with the new form factor.   It now has 6 antenna (3 each for 2.4 and 5Ghz) so positioning them higher may really help.   

Is the Time Capsule still using 3.5" drives.  I was figuring they may choose 2.5" drives for size reasons. 

 

I'll upgrade my current TC when I get the next iPhone coming up.  I think 11AC is probably a bigger deal for mobile devices than it is for 

desktop devices at this point considering mobile devices typically only have a single antenna

3.5" drives aren't going to fit. It has the same width and depth as an Apple TV.

post #27 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

3.5" drives aren't going to fit. It has the same width and depth as an Apple TV.

 

If that were the case then the 2 TB and 3TB Time Capsules are using a magical new 2.5" drive that nobody's ever seen. Or Apple is using RAID, because I don't believe there are any 2.5" drives with those capacities.
post #28 of 55

Upped the price by 20%+ in the UK. 1mad.gif

post #29 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

 

If that were the case then the 2 TB and 3TB Time Capsules are using a magical new 2.5" drive that nobody's ever seen. Or Apple is using RAID, because I don't believe there are any 2.5" drives with those capacities.

 

Edit: It would appear that the only way a 3.5" drive would fit is on a diagonal, standing on end. And at those capacities/prices, it has to be a 3.5" drive. *IF* the drive standing on end is a major reason why the unit stands that tall...all for the sake of making it the same footprint as the AppleTV and Airport Express, then I'd say that's a poor design choice (in my opinion).
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Considering no one has torn into one- no idea.  But 99.9% chance you won't be able to.  And why would you?  Just add an external hard drive to the Extreme via USB 3.

 

USB 2

http://www.apple.com/airport-time-capsule/specs/
post #31 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

 

Mine isn't wall mounted, but it's in a location, tucked away in a closet, where this monster size router simply won't fit. I'm sure Apple has some good reasons (ie, the antenna performance, etc) for making it this big, but I think the size is going to turn off at least some prospective buyers. (Of course, I'll have to see one in person because the photos online could be deceiving.)In any case, until my current Extreme dies I see no reason to upgrade.

'Monster"?  

 

It's 6.6" tall... about the same height than current AE width, with a current AppleTV footprint.

 

So volume wise, it's what, 20% larger than the the current AE.  hardly monster... just different dimensions for the same innards.

post #32 of 55
Weird design? Not stackable? Was the original UFO Airport before you were born?

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post #33 of 55

Expect the new design was chosen for a reason. Yes, it currently looks odd, & who was expecting the design change? I'd say it only looks odd because it's such a sudden change.

 

I think it looks much better than the current Netgear AC routers, also a vertical only design like the Belkin routers have been for a few years, so maybe it's that the AC standard & older standards, sans external aerials, benefits even more by being vertical & not horizontal.

 

Was considering an Extreme or Time Machine before, & the new design will fit into the area even better for me, + the benefit of AC, so i'm happy. 1smile.gif

post #34 of 55
USB 2.0? Really? Oh well, I look at it like this: $200 for the Extreme + $100 for a good built in 2TB NAS that links with my current 1TB that's USB 2.0 anyway for "on the go" just in case. I'm good with it, shouldn't need much more for a few years at least.
post #35 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2oh1 View Post

I stash the thing behind stuff, out of the way. I'd prefer if it were black though.

Huh?
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post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Upped the price by 20%+ in the UK. 1mad.gif

 

All AC routers are currently more expensive, as it's a new standard. Netgear & Belkin prices are approx double that of their older N models. Prices should fall as it gets to become established.

post #37 of 55

Simply brilliant solution. Dig it.

post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Considering no one has torn into one- no idea.  But 99.9% chance you won't be able to.  And why would you?  Just add an external hard drive to the Extreme via USB 3.

 

I wasn't expecting anyone to have an answer just yet - but something that I would look for in the inevitable teardowns. I'm guessing it will be like the non-Fusion iMacs, where the circuit board has a space for the connector, but no connector was installed. Perhaps the TC version would also include additional support frame for the drive. No end-user retrofit? Oh, well! I am quite happy with my current AE, so I'm not in the market for a replacement, either. However, the current AE does not support using a USB-connected hard drive as a Time Machine target. From my little bit of research, it seems like it sort-of works, but that corruption is likely. Apple says no. :(
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbmcavoy View Post

I wasn't expecting anyone to have an answer just yet - but something that I would look for in the inevitable teardowns. I'm guessing it will be like the non-Fusion iMacs, where the circuit board has a space for the connector, but no connector was installed. Perhaps the TC version would also include additional support frame for the drive. No end-user retrofit? Oh, well!I am quite happy with my current AE, so I'm not in the market for a replacement, either. However, the current AE does not support using a USB-connected hard drive as a Time Machine target. From my little bit of research, it seems like it sort-of works, but that corruption is likely. Apple says no. 1frown.gif
How are you backing up currently? Ever since I got the time capsule I've been extremely happy. Range, seamless backups, all wireless- it's nice.

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

Reply
post #40 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Upped the price by 20%+ in the UK. 1mad.gif


If I'm not mistaken, the time capsule models dropped $100 US each.

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