Apple AirPort Extreme

 
 
By Oliver Kaven  |  Posted 2004-05-18
 
 
 

As usual, Apple sets its products apart visually from the competition. In this case, the Apple AirPort Extreme router resembles a large, collapsed marshmallow. Although the AirPort lacks many of the features that other wireless routers in our roundup have, it certainly serves its intended purpose and target audience in providing basic and secure wireless network access for Apple laptop and desktop systems. The system is Wi-Fi compliant and can support Windows PCs.

Initial Configuration and Documentation

Apple provides a thorough documentation booklet—a welcome rarity these days—and we encountered no difficulties with the largely automated AirPort Setup Assistant application. Theres an equally easy-to-use Airport Admin utility in case you need to configure the product directly.

Management and Features

The AirPort base station lacks a lot of advanced features, such as a DHCP server, SPI firewall, or highly configurable NAT, but it will still satisfy most users. It does include DHCP bridging capabilities.

Security

This newest iteration of the AirPort includes WPA and WEP security. But youll have to rely on third-party applications for Web filtering or parental controls.

Performance

Mac OS X is not compatible with NetIQs performance-testing application Chariot, and we were therefore unable to measure the AirPorts throughput. Also, we could make no performance assumptions based on the AirPorts wireless chipset because Apple declined to provide this information.

To read the complete PC Magazine review of the latest generation of wireless hubs, click here.

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