Does Airport Extreme provide a greater range than Airport Express?

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

QA AirPort Extreme Base Station

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12 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    The Express is plugged into an electrical socket. The Extreme can be mounted on a wall or ceiling. That makes a big difference as to how your Macs can receive the signal. Where they are located makes a big difference in range.

    Apple keeps improving the antenna layout on both so one would expect similar signal strength on both. But given that the Extreme has separate receivers and transmitters for B/G and N, it should always do better. The problem being, the Extreme will downshift to the lowest common denominator.. so if you have anyone connecting with a B or G card, that is what it will go to, unless you set it to only accept N. The Extreme can handle both independently. I have an older Extreme that I run only in N, and a second AP running G/B to emulate what it can do.

    The newest version of Extreme has even better antenna positioning, which makes for an even better reception. It is the premier Access Point out there right now.

    I'd go with an Extreme.

  • My experience was solidly yes. I bought mine in San Francisco to piggy back onto my brother-in-law's wifi when I visited for a week. My brother in law is in a densely populated area of the city and I counted no less than 12 Wireless networks which I could reach from his townhouse. I tried both the Express and the Extreme. In this interference laden environment The Airport Express barely extended a signal from the middle of the second floor to the guest bedroom through two walls. The Airport Extreme had no trouble.

  • Technically no, but for certain customers, their environments may make it seem so. Wireless interference is one of the main causes for certain customers having a bad experience with the Airport products. Take note of how many other wireless networks are around and what devices are in the same area that utilize similar wireless technology. The Airport devices use same wireless technology and consist of the same hardware. With the Airport Extreme, you get the Dual-band feature and the extra ethernet ports.

    Hope this helps.

  • Absolutly the Extreme has greater range but I really want to address the the error I keep reading where the Extreme defaults to the slowest band on the network. From Apple - "Wi-Fi devices use the 2.4GHz wireless band, including iPhone, iPod touch, and devices using 802.11b/g. Other devices can use either 2.4GHz or the higher-speed 5GHz band, such as the latest 802.11n-based Mac computers and Apple TV. Instead of choosing one of the bands, AirPort Extreme operates simultaneously on both bands, and your multiband devices automatically use the best available band. This means all your Wi-Fi devices get the fastest possible wireless performance and the best possible range."

  • No it does not when using 802.11n only.

    But on the other hand it does provide you dual-band antenna, so when computers with 802.11g connect to the Airport Extreme it still provides 802.11n signal to computers supporting it. Therefore you get a greater range on 802.11n cards when 802.11a/b/g are connected to it.

  • Yes, this current model AirPort Extreme certainly does have at least 25% greater range than the current model AirPort Express. I have a new Extreme and a new Express. Some of the other answers are old news.

    Apple's current reference document states the Extreme is for a "larger home" and the Express is for a "smaller home." That sure says a whole lot to me.

    go to the Apple website forward slash "wifi"

  • An Extreme definitely has far greater range than an Express, regardless of positioning. I have 2 Extremes (fast ethernet & dual band) and 3 Expresses. If you need a strong and reliable signal through multiple walls, then the Express just isn't going to meet your needs. I only use Expresses for AirTunes or small network extensions.

  • Yes, it will provide greater range than an Airport Express due to the MIMO technology found in the latest model. This features multiple antennas which can allow for multiple data streams meaning higher speeds and greater range. As always, interference and the layout of your home will affect the overall range but ultimately it will best an Airport Express for features, range and speed.

  • In my experience, yes. And you get faster throughput at the farther distances too (if your laptop supports 802.11n).

  • YES. My airport express worked fine when I was living in a small apartment, but when I went back to my house, the signal strength was good in just a few areas of the house. I had to buy the airport extreme and I had good signal in every room around the house even outside the patio, and now it has the ethernet ports which can be useful. However, the airport express is great for small to midsize places and it is really small and portable.

  • Apples extreme has 3 antennas since November of 2009 the express still has 2!!!

  • Yes, it does. I am not sure if its significant enough though.