World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

AirPort Extreme

Article Id: WHEBN0000645156
Reproduction Date:

Title: AirPort Extreme  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: AirPort Express, AirPort Time Capsule, Power Mac G4, AirPort, Timeline of Apple Inc. products
Collection: Apple Inc. Peripherals
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

AirPort Extreme

AirPort Extreme - 1st to 5th generation

The AirPort Extreme is a residential gateway product from Apple Inc. combining the functionality of a router, network switch, wireless access point and NAS as well as varied other functions, and one of Apple's AirPort products. The latest model, the 6th generation, supports 802.11ac networking in addition to older standards. Versions of the same system with a built-in network-accessible hard drive are known as the AirPort Time Capsule.

The name "AirPort Extreme" originally referred to any one of Apple's AirPort products that implemented the (then) newly introduced 802.11g Wi-Fi standard, differentiating it from earlier devices that ran the slower 802.11a and b standards. At that time the gateway part of this lineup was known as the AirPort Extreme Base Station. With the addition of the even faster Draft-N standards in early 2009 this naming was dropped, and from then on only the gateway has been known as the AirPort Extreme. Several minor upgrades followed, mostly to change antenna and power in the Wi-Fi. In 2013, a major upgrade added 802.11ac support and more internal antennas.

The AirPort Extreme has gone through three distinct physical forms. The earliest models were packaged similar to the original AirPort Base Station, in a round housing known as the "flying saucer". From 2007 to 2013 the Extreme was packaged in a rounded-rectangle white plastic housing, similar in layout and size to the Mac mini or earlier Apple TVs. The 2013 802.11ac model was re-packaged into a more vertical case, taller than it is square.


  • Features 1
    • Overview 1.1
    • AirPort Disk 1.2
  • AirPort Extreme models by generation 2
    • Original generation 2.1
    • 1st generation 2.2
    • 2nd generation 2.3
    • 3rd generation 2.4
    • 4th generation 2.5
    • 5th generation 2.6
    • 6th generation 2.7
  • Comparison chart 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5



AirPort Disk

The AirPort Disk feature allows users to plug a USB hard drive into the AirPort Extreme for use as a network-attached storage (NAS) device for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows clients.[2] Users may also connect a USB hub and printer. The performance of USB hard drives attached to an AirPort Extreme is slower than if the drive were connected directly to a computer. This is due to the processor speed on the AirPort Extreme. Depending on the setup and types of reads and writes, performance ranges from 0.5 to 17.5 MB/s for writing and 1.9 to 25.6 MB/s for reading.[3] Performance for the same disk connected directly to a computer would be 6.6 to 31.6 MB/s for writing and 7.1 to 37.2 MB/s for reading. NTFS formatted drives are not supported.

AirPort Extreme models by generation

Original generation

AirPort Extreme Original/UFO, (vintage)

The original Airport Extreme Base Station was so-named because of its support for the 802.11g standard of the day, as well as for its ability to serve up to 50 Macs or PCs simultaneously.[4] One feature found in most models of this generation was an internal 56K dial-up modem, allowing homes that lacked a broadband connection to enjoy wireless connectivity, albeit at dial-up speeds.[5] It was the last generation to retain the "flying saucer" form factor. Later generations would adopt the short, rounded-square form factor that would be seen until 2013.

1st generation

On January 9, 2007 the AirPort Extreme began shipping.

2nd generation

On March 19, 2008, Apple released a firmware update for both models of the AirPort Extreme that according to third party reports allows AirPort Disks to be used in conjunction with Time Machine, similar to the functionality provided by AirPort Time Capsule.[6] This behaviour is not officially supported.[7][8]

3rd generation

On March 3, 2009, Apple unveiled a new AirPort Extreme with simultaneous dual-band 802.11 Draft-N radios. This allows full 802.11 Draft-N 2x2 communication in both 802.11 Draft-N bands at the same time.

4th generation

On October 20, 2009, Apple unveiled an updated AirPort Extreme with antenna improvements.

5th generation

On June 21, 2011, Apple unveiled an updated AirPort Extreme, referred to as AirPort Extreme 802.11n (5th Generation).

The detailed table of output power comparison between the 4th generation model MC340LL/A and the 5th generation model MD031LL/A can be seen below:[9][10]

Frequency range (MHz) Mode AirPort Extreme model Output power (dBm) Output power (mW) Comparison (percents) Difference (percents)
2412–2462 802.11b 4th generation 24.57 286.42 100 -10.3
5th generation 24.10 257.04 89.7
802.11g 4th generation 21.56 143.22 100 +114.8
5th generation 24.88 307.61 214.8
802.11n HT20 4th generation 21.17 130.92 100 +96.8
5th generation 24.11 257.63 196.8
5745–5825 802.11a 4th generation 23.07 202.77 100 +61.1
5th generation 25.14 326.59 161.1
5745–5805 802.11n HT20 4th generation 22.17 164.82 100 +104.6
5th generation 25.28 337.29 204.6
5755–5795 802.11n HT40 4th generation 21.44 139.32 100 +181.8
5th generation 25.94 392.64 281.8

Note: 3dB more equals doubling in power output

6th generation

On June 10, 2013, Apple unveiled an updated AirPort Extreme, referred to as AirPort Extreme 802.11ac (6th Generation). The 6th generation AirPort Extreme (and 5th generation AirPort Time Capsule) features three-stream 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology with a maximum data rate of 1.3Gbit/s, which is nearly three times faster than 802.11n. Time Machine is now supported using an external USB hard drive connected to AirPort Extreme (802.11ac model only)[11]

Comparison chart

Approx. release date Consumer nickname AirPort Extreme Model Wireless standard Gigabit Ethernet Guest network[12] Radio type MIMO IPv6 router mode*** Supports Time-Machine Backup
January 7, 2003 Original/round M8799LL/A A1034 802.11b/g No No Single band

2.4 GHz

No No No
January 9, 2007 1st generation MA073LL/A A1143 802.11a/b/g/n* No No Dual band

2.4 GHz or 5 GHz

3×3:2 No No
August 7, 2007 2nd generation MB053LL/A A1143 802.11a/b/g/n* Yes No Dual band

2.4 GHz or 5 GHz

3×3:2 No No
March 3, 2009 3rd generation MB763LL/A A1301 802.11a/b/g/n* Yes Yes Dual band (simultaneous)

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

2×2:2 (in each band) No No
October 20, 2009 4th generation MC340LL/A A1354
802.11a/b/g/n Yes Yes Dual band (simultaneous)

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

3×3:3 (in each band) Yes, but not over PPPoE No
June 21, 2011 5th generation MD031LL/A A1408 802.11a/b/g/n Yes Yes Dual band (simultaneous)

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

3×3:3 (in each band) Yes, but not over PPPoE No
June 10, 2013 6th generation ME918LL/A A1521 802.11a/b/g/n/ac** Yes Yes Dual band (simultaneous)

2.4 GHz and 5 GHz

3×3:3 (in each band) Yes, but not over PPPoE Yes

*802.11n draft-specification support in 1st to 3rd generation models.
**802.11ac draft-specification support in 6th generation model.
***All models support IPv6 tunnel mode.

See also


  1. ^ "Mac OS X v10.6: About Wake on Demand (Apple Article HT3774)". Apple. August 27, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. Setting up Wake on Demand", "Setting up a Bonjour Sleep Proxy 
  2. ^ – AirPort Extreme – Sharing, Retrieved on January 17, 2007.
  3. ^ "Airport Extreme (5th Gen) and Time Capsule (4th Gen) Review – Faster WiFi". Airport Extreme (5th Gen) and Time Capsule (4th Gen) Review. AnandTech. Retrieved October 24, 2011. 
  4. ^ "AirPort Extreme". Archived from the original on June 8, 2004. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Airport Extreme – Technical Specifications". Archived from the original on June 8, 2004. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Time Machine now works with AirPort Extreme's AirDisk feature". March 19, 2008. Archived from the original on March 20, 2008. Retrieved March 19, 2008. 
  7. ^ "OS X Mountain Lion: Disks you can use with Time Machine".  
  8. ^ "Time Machine doesn't back up to AirPort Extreme AirPort Disks".  
  9. ^ Test Report – Previous version Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  10. ^ Test Report – Current version Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  11. ^ AirPort base stations: Time Machine hard drive compatibility
  12. ^ About the guest network feature of AirPort Extreme and AirPort Time Capsule
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.