Thanks for the reply stevech
My laptop is a MacBook Pro with Retina, which is physically too thin to accommodate an Ethernet port. I can get an adapter, but if I'm going to have to plug something in, I might as well carry on using an esata/usb3 external drive.
I do have a windows desktop, but I barely use it (gaming) and the rest of my devices are apple.
I've been reading the reviews on this site, which is why I'm looking at alternatives to the AirPort, but I'd like to hear what knowledgeable people would recommend. Could you point me to the forum thread you mentioned? My google-fu is failing
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