Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 and Apple Airport Extreme are both dual-band wireless routers. Therefore, choosing between these two router choices can be quite confusing and tricky. Adding into the things to consider is the fact that Apple Airport Extreme is slightly cheaper than Netgear Nighthawk AC1900. Well, being ‘cheaper’ is not something typical of Apple products. So, what are the differences between Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 and Apple Airport Extreme? Which is the router model that can give you the fullest value out of your money?
We will start by taking a look at the available bandwidth of each router. One thing that is quite interesting is the fact that Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 and Apple Airport Extreme come with similar amounts of bandwidth. They are both dual-band routers, which means that each of them comes with one 2.4GHz and one 5.0GHz wireless signal channels operating independently and simultaneously. They each offers 1300 Mbps of maximum speed for the 5.0 GHz frequency, which is certainly a lot. Apple Airport Extreme does not specify how much bandwidth it provides for the 2.4 GHz frequency, but we can safely assume that it is identical to Netgear Nighthawk AC1900, which has 600 Mbps of maximum speed for the 2.4 GHz frequency.
Nevertheless, while the maximum speeds can be similar, Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 can actually give you a smoother, more reliable network performance. This is because it is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor and a 256 MB RAM; enough processing power to handle multiple requests at once. It also has three adjustable external antennas with beamforming technology. On the other hand, Apple Airport Extreme relies one six internal antennas, which, fortunately, already support beamforming as well, and is described to be suitable for serving up to 50 devices.
In addition, Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is armed with upstream-downstream QoS. The feature is very useful and beneficial for bandwidth prioritization. This way, you will be able to set certain apps, activities, and units to receive prioritized bandwidth for either up-streaming or down-streaming. So, there is no problem if there are several mobile devices browsing through your network – you can still enjoy a satisfying gaming experience.
One of the biggest strength of Apple Airport Extreme is its ultra-compact design. Unlike many other routers, it is actually so small. It is about the size of a single brick. You can easily place it on any spare space available on your desk. It doesn’t take so much surface area. On the contrary, Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is the size of a regular router.
However, Apple Airport Extreme indeed comes with fewer connection ports. It only has one WAN and three LAN Gigabit Ethernet ports, plus a single USB 2.0 jack. On the other hand, Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 comes with one WAN, four LAN, one USB 2.0, and one USB 3.0 ports.
Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 vs. Apple Airport Extreme
If you are very concerned about the available space at your place, then you can pick Apple Airport Extreme, a very compact router with decent bandwidth. However, for most cases, Netgear Nighthawk AC1900 is indeed a more convenient choice, as you can get better network performance, more control over your network, and more connection ports – the USB 3.0 port is especially very nice!