AirPort Extreme WiFi Router – installs in minutes

Lately, I’ve been experiencing WiFi connection problems on a number of devices in my home, a notebook, tablet and cellphones. Occasionally the WiFi slows down or disconnects for a few seconds or displays a weak signal. It’s gradually become worse over time. I use an Asus RT–AC660U router, one of the best available when I purchased it about three years ago.

I purchased its successor as a test to see if it would improve things, but I never got past the complex instructions. In this day and age, installing a router should not be so difficult. Yet it required lots of fiddling on its setup site, asking to make selections of obscure items with no explanation. While I’m pretty technically proficient, routers have always been a struggle to get set up correctly, and after all these years, it’s not getting easier, at least with this brand.

So, instead of plowing headlong with the installation, I returned the Asus router and purchased an Apple router, called the AirPort Extreme (APE).

The product essentially sets itself up in a minute or two from my Macbook. No instructions needed, no websites to navigate. Simply connect the APE to your current router or modem (you supply the Ethernet cable), plug it in and wait. A dialog box opens on your computer and asks you to select the new network name and password. That’s it. The network was up and running in less than ten minutes from opening the box.

While there may be more flexible routers that allow all sorts of custom settings, few of us need the complexity they require. Apple understands that. And after a week of use no dropped connections. $199.

by Phil Baker