A good idea to buy an Airport Express now for my dorm room?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by johnbro23, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. johnbro23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #1
    I remember seeing vague rumors about the Airport being updated. I'm not even sure of the timeframe the rumor gave. What would I be missing out on (i.e. if I got one today) in terms of price and features?

    I read discussion about a new AE with the introduction of iTV. I have no use at the time (or for the next 4 years for that matter) for video streaming with an AE.

    I will use it for wireless internet mostly. I will also move my Creature speakers to the other side of the room, and will plug my printer into it. The latter are not reasons to get the AE, but will be nice adjustments.

    So for $119 (with the Edu. discount) should I buy now?
     
  2. zwida macrumors 6502a

    zwida

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Location:
    NYC
    #2
    I'd buy now. I don't think the rumored enhancements will be out anytime soon, and your life will be better NOW if you don't wait. I think MWSF is the first possible date for an update, but I'd be surprised to see one before spring 07, frankly.
     
  3. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #3
    I have found mine worth every penny. Even if there are upgrades down the line, the unit will be very usable for a while. I have even taken it to classes to provide a print server (to Shanghai one from the secure network) and to connect to audio systems to enhance presentations.
     
  4. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #4
    Thanks, zwida. I think I'll get one at the PSU computer store monday morning.

    One more question. Can I put a password on my wireless access? I live in wireless range of about 40 people with laptops (not even exaggerating) so I want to be able to limit access to only my computer and my roommates.
     
  5. johnbro23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 12, 2004
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #5
    Interesting. I never thought of those usages. What do you mean by providing a print server? You just mean hooking up to your own printer?
     
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #6
    i would ask the IT department if you can have wireless. In my school we can't have wireless in the dorms...:(
     
  7. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #7
    A couple things to consider...

    1. Yeah ALOT of uni's don't allow students to have routers...
    2. Make sure your dorm and campus already isn't wireless...(kind of a waste if it is imo..)
    3. I remember reading a thread on here where you can't password protect the printer, so if you hook up the printer, anyone in your dorm or room can print to it because it shows up (so if you plan to use this option..just make sure it's what you want)
    4. I'd also deffinetly try and buy one used from the marketplace or somewhere else, since i don't think a wireless router can go "bad" in anyway, and you'd probally save yourself more than the edu discount..
    5. I assume your already at a university this year right? cause if not, might as well wait till you move in and than buy it just incase something better comes out..
     
  8. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #8
    defintely check this out before hand. must Unis don't allow this for several good reasons.
     
  9. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #9

    I came here to ask this question if it hadn't been asked. Last year I worked in tech support on campus in college and a huge "no no" was having your own access points. It could get you kicked out of the dorm if you violated this rule multiple times.
     
  10. zwida macrumors 6502a

    zwida

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2001
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    Yeah, you can even make the network invisible to anyone who doesn't know it's name and password. It'll be an option in the setup assistant.

    But yeah, better check with the IT folks before you plug a router into their network. Wouldn't want them to shut you down.

    Good luck.
     
  11. Eniregnat macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #11
    The university I go to has only two full time IT people for 2 campuses. Many class rooms have printers, but they are not accessible except through the PC in the class, and often teachers don't have access to them. Anybody could just hook up their computer, but when working in groups it is nice to be able to not have to fuss with cables. As long as everything gets plugged in back together, then there is no foul.

    The same holds true for audio presentations. When computers malfunction, it sometimes easier to plug into the AV system directly. Although, there is a lag with audio routed through the Airport Express.
     
  12. zulgand04 macrumors regular

    zulgand04

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Northborough, MA
    #13
    Yeah, definatly check ur school terms of service. I know my school says they don't allow it, but i've had my dorm room wireless for 2 years now. Along with most of the other rooms who have their own.

    So you may be able to get away with it, depends on how much they really care.

    -Neal
     
  13. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #14
    Just turn off broadcast SSID if they have rules against it :rolleyes:
     
  14. elbirth macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    North Carolina, US
    #15
    This doesn't do you any good seeing as how they can still easily see that *something* is illegally assigning IPs from whatever port the router is plugged into.

    Now if you turn of the DHCP server, you might stand a better chance, but still not full-proof
     
  15. generik macrumors 601

    generik

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Minitrue
    #16
    Actually the hosts that are behind your router is completely invisible to your dorm's administrators, provided you connect to the network as the upstream for the Airport.

    In essense you are assigning your own IP addresses that are only visible within your own subnet and as far as your dorm's network is concerned all they see will be network accesses being made through a device with your airport's MAC address. Your airport will handle the network address translation between the greater dorm network and the machines hosted behind your own router, all this out of that 1 IP address you have been allocated :)
     

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