all depends where everything is located. I have 3 apple routers, all wired and two Apple tvs. I like to stream wired because it is faster and more reliable. my portable macs connect to what ever router i preset for wireless mode. b/g for older slower devices and n only for newer faster devices. keep the network separate and it works so much better.
Is there any benefit to picking up an Airport Extreme since it will just have to plug into my 2wire anyway?
What are the requirements for your wireless network?
The 2-Wire is limited to "g" wireless speeds (54 Mbps). An AirPort Extreme is much faster at "n" speeds of 130 Mbps, or up to 300 Mbps if you are using the 5 GHz band.
So any files transfers/copies over an AirPort Extreme network will be much faster. Is this something that you need?
The AirPort Extreme has a USB port that will allow a printer and/or hard drive to be connected and accessed by wireless from any computer on your network. Is this something that you need?
The AirPort Extreme's wireless network can be extended for greater wireless coverage if you add another AirPort Extreme or AirPort Express. Is this something that you need?
If you don't need any of the items mentioned above, then you probably do not need an AirPort Extreme.
If you connect the AirPort Extreme to the 2Wire, you have the option of turning off the wireless on the 2Wire and using the wireless on the AirPort Extreme. You could leave the wireless enabled on the 2Wire if you decide to get the AirPort Extreme, but then you'll have 2 different wireless networks.
If you needed a "guest" network, you could allocate the 2Wire for that function and use the AirPort Extreme as your main or "private" network.
Do you need a separate "Guest" network? If yes, enable the 2Wire. If no, disable the wireless on the 2Wire since it will not be needed.
I've been reading your responses to various questions regarding the AirPort Extreme and 2Wire from AT&T and they have been very, very helpful and informative. However the one answer I didn't see from you was the one asked above (?) :
But if the 2wire is limited to g, will that mean my airport extreme will be limited to g also???
I only bring this to your attention because I too would like to know how/if I can expect N speeds from my AirPort Extreme if I connect it to my AT&T 2Wire modem with wifi 'off'.
If the answer is yes then I'll be at the apple store in two shakes getting an AirPort Extreme.
Thanks regardless of the answer.
The "g" is for the wireless part of the combined modem/wireless 2wire. If you plug a wireless router into the 2wire it connects to the modem part. The wireless is just an antenna to replace a wire. If your computer has "g" it is "g" even if the router has "n", if the router and the computer both have "n" then you are faster. The new Airport has "n" and 2 speeds (as said above), you can use it all, if your Airport card in the iMac has that 2 (on newer iMacs) frequencies (2.4 and 5), regardless whether the 2wire antenna is just g.