Airport express

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by cobra01977, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. cobra01977 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    #1
    I'm thinking of buying an airport express and I've read a lot about it not being able to extend the range of third party wifi routers but I dont want to do that, I just want to use it as a wireless print and audio server, does this present any compatability problems?
     
  2. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #2
    Nope, as OS X finds the Printer and Audio equipment via "Bonjour/Rendezvous" it doesn't matter if you also have a 3rd party router. The problems occur when you, as you stated, try and WDS an Express with a 3rd party router. WDS is when two base stations work in tandem to increase the range of the wireless network. As you've said, you don't want to extend the range in that way, so you wont come across any WDS problems.

    My worry however, is that if your 3rd party router is attached to your mac wirelessly then you wont be able to use the Airport express as a print or audio server, as they'll be on their own wireless network, generated by the Airport Express itself. If however, you are connected to your router through an ethernet cable AND your computer is airport/wireless compatible then you'll be able to be connected to both routers.

    Another solution is to make the airport express your router by connecting its ethernet/wan port to your other router. Then you connect your computers to the internet VIA the Express and not your existing one. However, it would then appear you wasted money in the first place buying a wireless router.
     
  3. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2005
    #3
    So I cant add an Airport express to my wireless network and have wireless audio and printing without either connecting anything by wire?
     
  4. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #4
    Yes, you can add the airport express as a client of your existing wireless network - i.e. just plug it in without an ethernet cable and you'll be able to use it for AirTunes. I can't remember if you can use the print functionality in this way though.
     
  5. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2005
    #5
    That and the audio ius kind of the main point of buying it, I suspect you can print like that but I want to be sure
     
  6. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #6
    The AirTunes and Printer thing is essentially the same thing. Anyway, a wireless card in your computer can only access one network at a time. The AirTunes and Printer will be on the network created by the Airport Express, whereas Cobra's computer will be connected to his other router, thus not being able to access both at the same time.
     
  7. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2005
    #7
    But why cant the express join the other network?
     
  8. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #8
    I would test this for you, but unfortunately I can't as my 3rd party wireless router broke so at the moment my airport express is connected to a wired modem/router that i've borrowed from work. I know that before I could connect it to my existing network and use it for streaming my iTunes, but I never tried the print functionality out when it was connected up that way. So the way I have it set up right now is with the Airport Express as my one and only wireless access point.

    The only thing I would say is that if you connect the Airport Express to your existing network, don't have it too far from your main wireless router otherwise you might experience drops in your AirTunes streaming.
     
  9. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 26, 2005
    #9
    From reading the setup guide it can join another wireless network and stream audio and share the printer
     
  10. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #10
    OK I've just found the setup guide booklet and here's what it says (page 31):

    ...so i guess that means that yes both airtunes and print functionality can be achieved if you connect it to your existing network
     
  11. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    #11
    Also can I ask as a seperate question, if you set it up as a wifi router with an adsl modem connected by wire can any pc with 802.11b/g use the connection or do they have to have the airport setup thingy installed?
     
  12. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #12
    Any mac or pc with a wireless card will be able to use the connection. You'll only need the AirPort Setup Assistant on one of those machines (this is the configuration software for the airport express itself)
     
  13. cobra01977 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2005
    #13
    Ah, thats great as I have a powerbook and my housemates next term have windows xp laptops.

    Thanks for all the help everyone
     
  14. dcv macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 24, 2005
    #14
    The box itself says "Mac + PC" but I haven't personally tried mine with a pc. I have had friends round with other mac laptops and they can immediately connect to my network and stream their itunes to my stereo.

    Anyway, hope you enjoy it, it's a great product!
     

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