I’m considering purchasing an Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station… My Linksys router has served me well over the years but I’m ready to upgrade to 802.11n support and gain additional features that are more relevant (and reliable) these days.
The thought of replacing my router has occurred several times, especially since, on a few occasions, I’ve come home to discover the firmware settings had reset and my wireless network was wide open. It’s only fair to point out that this probably isn’t a problem with the router itself. I’ve been running DD-WRT on it instead of the factory Linksys firmware.
Lately, I’ve also been thinking about adding network-enabled storage to my setup. The Extreme Base Station has a built-in USB port for that I could attach a USB hard drive to, which would allow me to connect shared storage without having to buy a stand-alone device or leave another computer on. In addition, I’m also attracted to the ability of creating a “guest” wireless network on-the-fly, which would be good for visitors so they don’t have to type in my very long and cryptic wireless key.
Having built-in gigabit ports is also a plus (though it’s also a slight negative that it only has three). Obviously that won’t make a difference when accessing the Web any time soon but it will help with local, high-bandwidth file transfers.
Overall, Amazon customer reviews are very positive and several have also stated that the signal strength is excellent. It just might be good enough to properly cover our home, which means I could remove an AP that is located on the opposite end of the house and thus reduce some unsightly tech clutter.
This is probably a purchase I’ll make very soon, but I need to give it some more thought. At $170 I’m hesitant to drop the cash right now but I think the feature set will win in the long run.
Update 03/17/2011: Due to another failure of the Linksys/DD-WRT setup I went ahead and purchased the AirPort Extreme.