airport v. airport express

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by plunar, Dec 9, 2006.

  1. plunar macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #1
    i've enjoyed the compactness of airport express, but the damn thing just seems to constantly have issues. these days my wi-fi is slower than dial up, and i'm hijacking my neighbors signal because mine is so ****ing unreliable. i know it's the airport too - plug directly into the cable modem and i'm back at light speed. i've tried everything - factory default resets, etc.

    i've also read reports that airport expresses tend to last only 2-3 years, right about where mine is now.

    so i'm wondering now as i'm considering the last of christmas shopping this year, should i buy a new airport express, or even an airport at all, for my wi-fi?
     
  2. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #2
    Okay, I know you're not asking this question :) but is your home network secure? Could your neighborhood kiddies be jacking your wifi to share movies, porn, etc.? Do you have a Windows box on the wireless that might be "0wned" (which could be saturating your network)? I'm not saying this is the case; I just thought it was worth asking.

    On the actual question - I've had two Airport Expresses (three and two years old), and an Airport Extreme (for three years), and they've been pretty much problem free. One of the Expresses occasionally needs to be unplugged and then plugged back in (hard reset), probably every 6 months or so. However the only argument for using an Airport, other than ease of use, is the feature set. If you don't need the USB printer port, for example, it will save you some bucks to buy a cheap D-Link wireless router. But be sure whatever you purchase is compatible with your Mac. D-Link is managed via a web interface, so they're pretty easy to set up from any operating system.

    Whichever way you go, you should secure it with WPA encryption to prevent the possibility of what I said in the first paragraph. :D
     
  3. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #3
    it is secured, via WPA Personal. would it be better it i was on WEP?
     
  4. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #4
    No, WPA is great. It's just that a lot of people don't bother to secure their networks so I thought it was worth asking to eliminate that possibility.

    So ignore the first paragraph of my prior post then. :D
     
  5. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #5
    seems turning up the multicast rate from the default of 2 to 11 helps wonders...
     
  6. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2003
    Location:
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    #6
    Interesting. During the time period that your Airport Express hasn't worked well - did you buy a new cordless phone, new microwave, or some other piece of equipment that could be interfering?

    Another thing worth trying, if you haven't done this already, is to change the channel your base station uses. Since the channels overlap, you'd want to change it significantly if this is the problem. While there are 11 channels, most people think about just 3 of them (since the three have no overlap) - 1, 6, and 11. So if your AE is currently using channel 2, try changing it to 6 or 11. That will help if, for example, your neighbor's wireless network channel usage overlaps yours.

    Of course (and I guess this is obvious) if altering the multicast rate did the trick, as long the range reduction isn't a problem then you're good to go now. I'm a great believer in "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" :) even though I like to fiddle with - and unfortunately sometimes break - stuff. So I guess it's do as I say, not as I do...?
     
  7. plunar thread starter macrumors 6502

    plunar

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2003
    #7
    well now the damn thing isn't even showing up in airport admin utility. i can get on the network, but i can't see the base station. even if i click the rescan button.


    this crap is wearing thin.
     

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