5 Advantages of Using AirPort Extreme to Network Macs - dummies

5 Advantages of Using AirPort Extreme to Network Macs

By Edward C. Baig

You can create a wireless network with most Macs by employing AirPort technology with the AirPort Extreme. The advantages of using AirPort Extreme to create a wireless Mac network include the following:

  • AirPort Extreme is compatible with most Macs made in the last few years. Even older Macs, however, can be made compatible to AirPort Extreme with the addition of an AirPort Extreme card.

  • Windows machines can also be connected to an AirPort base station.

  • AirPort Extreme comes with five ports that make it easy to connect a server, Macs and other computers, a printer and/or external hard drive.

    • Through the one wide-area network, or WAN, port, you can connect a DSL (digital subscriber line) or cable modem, or existing WAN network (through your school or business, perhaps).

    • Through the three Ethernet local-area network, or LAN, ports, you can connect any Ethernet device. For example, you might hard wire your Mac computer to the AirPort Extreme to make it faster or more secure, or because it’s not WiFi-compatible. You can also connect a LAN router, Ethernet-capable printer, or Ethernet-capable scanner through this port.

    • Through the single USB 2.0 port, you can connect a USB printer or scanner, external hard drive, or a USB network hub.

  • The range and speed of any wireless network are affected by all sorts of factors, including interference from other devices, concrete, and metal walls. But the AirPort Extreme, under ideal conditions, provides a maximum range of 50 feet at about 54 Mbps data transfer speed. At 150 feet away, AirPort Extreme provides a data transfer speed of about 11 Mbps.

  • A combination of up to 50 Macs or Windows PCs can simultaneously share a single AirPort Extreme base station.