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is AirPort Extreme Base Station the right device and reliable for my setup?

308 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: Nov 22, 2012 7:50 PM by driftin_out RSS
driftin_out Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 22, 2012 5:27 PM

hey guys,

i got a 2012 13" macbook air, iphone5 and an 2012 appletv

ive also got two external usb3 2tb powered hdd's that i would to setup towards and use on my network.

i have videos/movies/files/music that i would like to access from the network,


so ive been looking at the extreme device and i can share via sb in the back x1 external hdd.

from what ive googled i can share more devices such as my x2 external hdd's via a powered hub, is that correct?

so my main question fast is the read/copy/write going to be via through a hub?

will it lag/skip if i watch videos on my macbook or straight to my appletv, which supposedly i can do access aswell, is that correct?

just say video file will be 1gb only.. and im going to be only not even 5meters from the extreme device(network).


what transfer rate will it copy/write from and to from one device(usb3 external hdd via powered hub via airport extreme) to my mac?

what is the usb port on the back? 2 or 3?


does anyone have a similar setup or use an airport extreme device for this setup?


and my last question is...

how reliable are these extreme device?

from what i read, these devices only last like two yrs and people have had alot of problems issue with faults etc....

MacBook Air, 6/2012 13" 128SSD 4GB
  • CRMDVM Level 4 Level 4 (1,360 points)

    Hi - the Extreme can do what you want it to - whether it is the right device for your setup can only be determined by you.

    You can attach multiple hard drives via a powered USB hub but they must be formatted properly for your system - and the USB port on the Extreme is USB 2.0.

    There is no way to predict the transfer rate - it would depend on the types of drives and the quality of your connections.

    There is also now way to know how long any electronic device will last - in my opinion, the Extremes are very reliable.

    My son has network similiar to what you propose and it works very well - but everybody's situation is different - you won't know if this will work for you until you try it - I would therefore suggest that you check on the return policy where you do your purchases before you buy - and remember that Apple products come with 90 days of support if you need help setting things up.

    Apple Airport Extreme, Windows 7
  • Ledgem Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)

    Speed of read/write: if you're going by wireless, you're going to be limited by the wireless speeds.  Based on my usage, it seems like wireless N at 5 GHz tops out around 5-6 MB/s (40-48 mbps) with this router.  That's fine for video streaming, but will feel slow for heavy file transfer activity.


    The USB port on the back of the device is USB 2.0.  As a reminder, USB 2.0 is rated for theoretical speeds of 480 mbps, although in practice they're much lower; regardless, it's much faster than the wireless protocols are capable of.  Your bottleneck will be the wireless.


    I only use a printer with my USB port, so I can't give you any real-world experience with sharing hard drives.  You can use a USB hub to expand the ports, but it will need to be a self-powered hub: the Airport Extreme won't power devices through the port.  It's also worth noting that trying to use a network-shared disk as a Time Machine drive is a bit flakey; I've read a number of reports where people got it working, but then had their backups become corrupt with time.  I haven't read any reports of people having issues with using drives for purposes besides Time Machine, though.


    As for reliability, it's hard to say.  Nothing lasts forever; you'll find people whose devices failed very quickly, and some who are using generation 1 or 2 devices that are still working just fine.  I haven't heard any reports of an usually high failure rate with Airport Extremes.  Operation-wise, my Airport Extreme (5th gen) is the most stable router that I've used, and I went through four or five other routers before this one.  It's the only router that I have not needed to reboot, even after months of uptime and heavy traffic that usually choked up my other routers.  I'm very impressed with it.


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