Can AirPort Express be used this way?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hoosker, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. hoosker macrumors member

    hoosker

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #1
    Hey guys I need some help. I am a network newbie.

    I want to help my dad set up a home network. He has an older PowerCenter Pro running OS 8.6 and an iBook with 10.3. He wants to get DSL and share it with both computers. I assume this is posible.

    I wanted to know if AirPort Express would be a cheaper alternative to an AP base station in this case. So if I understand how it would work:

    Phone line into DSL modem-- line into a DSL router (or just a hub?) From router or hub a line to PowerCenter Pro for internet access. Another line from router or hub to AirPort Express. The iBook will need an AP Extreme card or would the older Airport Card work?

    thanks for any advise!
     
  2. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #2
    In this case, and Airport Extreme base station would probably be the better setup than an Airport Express. It will act as the router AND the wireless access point, whereas the Airport Express will act only as an access point, and has no LAN ethernet port.

    Side note: If your iBook has the older Airport card, it cannot be upgraded to have an Airport Extreme card, they are different slots.

    Lee Tom
     
  3. jknight8907 macrumors 6502a

    jknight8907

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2004
    Location:
    Hudson Valley NY
    #3
    If you don't mind non-Apple products, don't get the Airport routers. You can get a Linksys or D-Link for less than $50. Try www.pricewatch.com for cheap prices on them.
     
  4. hoosker thread starter macrumors member

    hoosker

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #4
    thanks

    Well after alot of thought I decided on the AP base station. Really it is because I know I will not be around to help support any issues my Dad may have (he is a new Mac user). I wanted to save him some money but in the long run I bet I won't regret it.

    thanks for the advise. Now if only I could get DSL where I live!

    PS. do both base stations have the USB port or only the more expensive one. He has an Epson stylus Color 740 printer that he would like to print to.
     
  5. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    #5
    Both of them have the USB port for printing capabilities. The only advantage you have with the AE Base Station over the Airport Express is a little more range (which is never going to matter if it is centralized in a house or apartment anyway) and the ability to connect 150 users as opposed to 10, with the airport express. Oh, and you loose the wireless iTunes, amazing portability, and you can't use the base station as a wireless access point if you're somewhere that already has a wireless network. Personally, I think big old base station is going to be a pretty tough sell for an extra 70 beans.
     
  6. hoosker thread starter macrumors member

    hoosker

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #6
    but...

    If I understand correctly I would still need a switch/hub before Airport Express to have DSL access to both the old wired computer and the iBook as in my original post. Aslo would this allow me to pass files between the two computers? The iTunes deal would be cool but my dad would not use it.
     
  7. Elbeano macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    #7
    Technically yeah, you would need something to split the signal before going to the airport express since it doesn't have any other ports.

    You do have a number of other possibilities though. Obviously, if you need something wired, you would have to have more ports on some other router or something to begin with. Getting a non-wireless router is maybe going to save you like 4 dollars over a nice d-link or linksys with a rebate. So if you don't care about the music or printing capabilities of the airport express, I'd just get a wireless router. They usually have 4 ports on them, on top of being wireless. You can even find an 802.11g router for under 50 bucks if you look hard enough.

    If you get the wireless router then you can still use the airport express for it's abilities. For instance, you could plug the wired computer directly in to the AE and use it as an access point (if you don't want your computer near the modem), and then you could use the printer on that computer, and any wireless machines you have around.

    Or, if you get just the AE you could get either a PCI card to make a desktop wireless ready, or a USB wireless adapter for a laptop without a card slot or a desktop that you don't want to open up. These range from 20 to 50 dollars, and can basically cost as much as an Ethernet cable anyway, especially if you have to get a long one. There are cheap enough alternatives that if you just don't already have the necessary wires, you could make just about anything wireless for the cost of running some wire. Then you're also going to be able to take advantage of some of the cool features of the AE. I think if you demonstrate that for your father, he might be in to the iTunes feature, if he cares about music at all.

    Now I know that might bring up more questions than answers, but bring it on. I hate to see people waste wires and money on networking.
     

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