Airport Express scenario?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Cybix, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Cybix macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #1
    Phew here goes..

    I have a Linux server that has a DSL modem directly connected to it, with a bridged link (not pppoe). the Linux server connects to a switch, where other wired computers have access to the internet. I am not using NAT, ea computer has a publicly visible IP address (full Class C subnet).

    Enter wireless.

    I have a Cisco wireless bridge in my roof.. it's some old Aironet BR350 or something.. anyway, it's connected to the switch also (wired), it's only an 11mb wifi setup..

    I just got some new MacBook Pro's... I'd love to have 54MB wireless.

    At the same time, I love it how the airport express can throw music at a stereo, wirelessly, very neat.

    My question is, can I use the Airport express, in my network which will allow my laptops to have 54mb/s access to my linux server, to the internet, and the ability to stream music to a hifi?

    I'm guessing Id need to plug the airport express into my wired network (so it has 100mb/s to my switch. It would need to be plugged in next to my hifi too. So my hifi, and the wired ethernet would need to be in the same area/proximity.

    Can I setup the airport express to use my linux server as it's gateway? much like how my cisco is setup? ultimately I could even remove the cisco AP from the whole network, as the airport express will take over access point functions.

    is the airport express an actual access point?

    are you confused? I am. hahaha

    im trying to work out if i need to fork out for a true 54mb/s access point (airport extreme, or other cheaper alternative), or if the airport express will do the job.

    My wife also travels and stays in hotels often. she will be taking her MBP and using their high speed internet.. the airport express would be ideal for this? (with it's profiles ability?)..

    I guess the airport express will plug into the hotel's eth socket, setup for DHCP, and then pretty much provide wireless internet to her laptop...

    Does the airport express meet my requirements, and I should I go buy one? Based on my requirements I feel like I can use almost all of the product's features. I even have a USB printer that I can plug into it when it's at home..

    James
     
  2. Cybix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #2
    here's a ****ty image.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. asherman13 macrumors 6502a

    asherman13

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    SF Bay Area, CA
    #3
    Ah, good old AppleWorks (I'm assuming?)...

    Anyways, I think that the AirPort Express would work just fine for what you want. I don't have one (I use a pair of Belkin Ethernet Bridge/Access Point boxes that I bought at CompUSA a while back), so don't take my word for granted, but I think it should work out just fine, providing that everything has the same settings, etc. Get two if you can (refurb. perhaps?), and then plug one into the switch and the other near the Hi-Fi (maybe put a printer there too for wireless printing?), thus giving you extended range and more space in which you can roam and put the Hi-Fi.

    Hope that helps!

    By the way, the Apple page on Airport Express explains most of what you're asking for, I believe; check it out in detail if you have yet to do so.
     
  4. Cybix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #4
    taa,

    I found a FAQ in the support section on the apple site which explains most things..

    ****ty image was done with wind0ze 'paint'.. I'm at work, unfortunately using an Acer PC. *vomit*
     
  5. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #5
    James-

    I've owned an airport express for a couple of years (it was rocky at first) now so hopefully I can answer your questions.

    First, the airport express is actually an access point, you can connect it directly to a cable or dsl modem using its 10/100BASE-T Ethernet WAN port.

    Depending on your specific hardware, you may be able to use the Airport Express to extend your existing network but it doesn't sound like that would be beneficial given your existing setup. Apple uses WDS (Wireless Distribution System) to (officially) extend the range of Airport Extreme base stations. Here is a link to a short article about it:

    http://www.gizmodo.com/archives/why...icially-extend-nonairport-networks-015834.php

    The reason why I bring this up as I initially had a D-link DI-624 wireless router and attempted to extend the range of my network. After many tries, I finally gave up as the WDS protocol Apple uses is different than D-link's because this protocol isn't part of the WiFi standard.

    After trying to extend my current network and failing, I decided to see if the networks could coexist. While, they both networks were recognized from my powerbook. When I tried to stream my music from iTunes to my stereo it skipped intermittently. After, trying every setting to fix it I finally decided that the interference between the two networks was too much for streaming music.

    I have since sold my D-link and purchased an Airport Extreme to go with the Express. The Express works perfectly with the Extreme but you should know that while it may be possible to extend non-proprietary hardware it isn't always possible or easy.

    As far as the Express as your main access point, it depends on how big your place is. The range is a 50-ft radius but you have to remember that this degrades across the entire distance and even more through walls.

    I think the Express would be awesome for connecting to Hotel networks but I don't travel much so I haven't tried it out.

    Finally, one benefit of having both an Airport Express and an Extreme is that I use the Extreme to network a USB printer (an old HP laser that isn't supported by Apple and was a pain to get working...if you need help with this let me know), and the Express is connected to my HK receiver and I also used it to network my Tivo box.

    Good luck with your setup...hopefully this helps...
     
  6. Cybix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #6
    DD, thanks for your info...

    I plan to use it not to extend my existing wireless, but more, run along side it.. so it will need to be plugged into my ethernet in order to allow internet access to the laptop's..

    after reading the FAQ's available.. it looks like it will work to my requirements. I'll be picking one up from the apple shop tommorow, and setting it up that evening, hopefully.. will post my experience!

    James
     
  7. ddrueckhammer macrumors 65816

    ddrueckhammer

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Location:
    America's Wang
    #7
    No problem, I didn't think you were trying to extend it but I just wanted to let know about some possible pitfalls... Let us know how it works out!

    Dustin
     
  8. Cybix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #8
    ducked into my apple shop today to have more ram put in my new MBP (which was sposed to be put into it when i bought it, but wasnt, doh).. sorted.

    whilst there i went to the shelf to find they had no more airport express left! *GASP* :eek:

    the nice blokes there said they would try to arrange one for me today from their other store.. which is neato, as I'll be in the area tonight whilst shopping for suitable bag/cases for my wifes MBP...

    so.. err. update over the w'end sometime, perhaps, haha
     
  9. Cybix thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Cybix

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2006
    Location:
    Western Australia
    #9
    okay, got the airport express. got it home, ran the wizard, was connected to my internet, nice.

    upon a further snoop with the airport admin util, it had setup my clients to get a dhcp ip address 10.x.x.x so from an 'automatic' point of view, it did it's job.

    I did a load of modifying, and it's now setup perfectly in my network. I also added some profiles to the device for when my wife goes to a hotel. easy.

    im streaming out some iTunes to it right now to my home hifi, whilst browsing my server's shares, surfing the net (typing this) etc...

    possibly one of the best products I've bought recently! (after my MBP's) hah.

    I also picked up an 'STM glove' to suit my MBP today from my apple shop, fits nice, and is ideal for storing my MBP when it's just laying around the house, etc.
     

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