Low End Mac's Best Deals

Best AirPort Base Station Prices

2012.06.06

Apple made WiFi popular with the 802.11b AirPort Card for the original clamshell iBook. With AirPort Extreme, Apple moved to 802.11g wireless, which offers improved range and boosted throughput by about 4-1/2 times. The latest protocol that Apple supports is 802.11n, which further increases WiFi range and improves throughput sixfold.

Recent AirPort Extreme Base Stations support dual-band 802.11n, gigabit ethernet, and USB 2.0. Time Machine, the backup software that Apple introduced with OS X 10.5 Leopard, can use a USB hard drive connected to the AirPort Extreme Base Station for backup.

Apple updated the AirPort Extreme Base Station earlier this year, giving it simultaneous dual-band support so you can have two separate WiFi networks linked to the same device for more range, better throughput, or reduced interference.

AirPort Express lets you wirelessly share an Internet connection with up to 10 computers, share a USB printer, and stream iTunes music to your stereo or powered speakers. It's very compact, making it a great on-the-road 802.11n WiFi router for road warriors.

For the best deals on 802.11b AirPort cards, see Best iBook G3 and AirPort Card Deals.

Apple has had many generations of AirPort and AirPort Extreme hubs:

  • AirPort Base Station 1G (1999), graphite: 802.11b WiFi, 1 10Base-T ethernet port, 56k v.90 modem, uses Lucent WaveLAN Silver PC Card
  • AirPort Base Station 2G (2001), white: 802.11b WiFi, 2 ethernet ports (1 10Base-T for broadband modem, 1 10/100 for computer), 56k v.90 modem, supports AOL dial-up, uses 802.11B Apple AirPort Card
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 1G (2003, M8930): 802.11g, 2 10/100 ethernet ports, 56k v.90 modem (last model with modem), antenna port, USB port for shared printer
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 1G Mk 2 (M8799): eliminates modem and antenna port
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 2G (2004, M9397): adds power over ethernet (only model with this feature)
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 3G (2007, MA073, new case design): 802.11n draft, 3 ethernet ports, supports sharing a USB hard drive (AirPort Disk), eliminates power over ethernet
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 3G Mk 2 (2007, MB053): upgraded with gigabit ethernet
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 4G (2009, MB763): simultaneous dual-band 802.11n, adds support for a guest network with a separate name and password
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 4G Mk 2 (MC340): 802.11n final (no longer draft)
  • AirPort Extreme Base Station 5G (2011, MD031): increased power and range for 802.11a, g, and n

Best AirPort Base Station Prices

Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases, and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details.

Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos. Please email any corrections or additional sources with competitive prices toDan Knight .

Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac. Buying at these prices benefits you.

New

Amazon.com

Free ground shipping. Amazon.com collects sales tax on orders shipped to KS, KY, ND, NY, and WA.

B&H

Best Buy

Buy.com

Free ground shipping.

J&R

Free ground shipping.

MacMall

Free ground shipping. MacMall collects sales tax on orders shipped to CA, IL, MN, TN, and WI.

PowerMax

Free ground shipping on orders over $99.

Small Dog Electronics

Flat rate $4.99 shipping.

Used

PowerMax

Free ground shipping on orders over $99.

UsedMac

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