generic 802.11 vs. Airport

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Stevp1, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. Stevp1 macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2003
    #1
    I'm considering buying a 17" PB, along with a wireless access point. If the Mac is compatible with standard 802.11g stuff, why would I consider a very expensive Airport Extreme? Do I get some sort of other benefit with the Airport? I'm willing to justify it, if there is. Also, what's the difference between the two versions of Airport ex? Just the modem and antenna port?
     
  2. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

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    NJ
    #2
    just the modem and the antenna slots
    a regular wireless router will work just as well and will cost under a hundred
     
  3. wHo_tHe macrumors regular

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    :: sfbay.ca :: All bay, all day.
    #3
    AppleTalk support

    Many non-Apple base stations don't support the AppleTalk protocol. This generally isn't an issue with pure OS X or OS X/Windows environments, but if you have OS 9 machines on your network you need to access, you might need the AppleTalk support.
     
  4. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #4
    Wireless USB printing with the Airport Extreme! Seriously, if you have a laptop and you want to print do you really want to have to pick it up and take it to the printer? I love being able to work at the kitchen table, and just go in to the office to pick up prints that I send. It's a beautiful thing. One less wire connected to my machine.:p
     
  5. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #5
    Oh and yes, the only differences between models of AE are the modem (useful if you can't guarantee broadband access your entire life, or if you want to send and recieve faxes without your laptop plugged in to the phone jack) and the antenna port. I got the one with all the goodies, and haven't regreted it since. I'm about to get a Dr. Bott antenna to boost my signal enough that I can work in the back room behind our house, all the way out to the garage.
     
  6. sahnert macrumors 6502

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    Seattle
    #6
    is there any way to use the modem in my desktop pc if i but the airport without modem? probably not. know of any others that will do this?
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    New Zealand
    #7
    On the desktop machine, go to Sys Prefs -> Sharing -> Internet, and share it :)
     
  8. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

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    Las Vegas, NV
    #8
    I print wirelessly from my iBook without an Airport Base Station. My eMac has printer sharing turned on, and it's connected to the printer and a Linksys WRT54G wireless access point / router. Of course if you don't have a Mac desktop, the Airport Base Station with its USB port makes a lot of sense. Pictures of my setup are in an auction I put up.

    mactastic is right -- Wireless printing rocks!

    edit:
    StevP1, if you need an excuse to spend an extra $100 or so on the Apple base station, here it is -- the Airport Setup Assistant is built into the OS (it's in the Utilities folder). That Setup Assistant works exclusively for Apple Airport Base Stations. People with Linksys and D.Link wireless access points are stuck with utilitarian web-based solutions, which is far less pretty.
     
  9. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

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    Creativille
    #9
    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how to set up the non-Apple wireless routers, but it's a much bigger hassle than it should be and a far cry from plug-and-play.

    Non-Apple wireless routers can be found for about a third of the cost of an Airport Extreme Base Station, but they don't have modems. If you want wireless printing, and you don't have Bluetooth printers, you have to buy a separate wireless print server. Which equals more cables, more hardware devices and more hassle.

    But hey, you could save 10 bucks!
     
  10. johnnyjibbs macrumors 68030

    johnnyjibbs

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    Sep 18, 2003
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    London, UK
    #10
    If I was to buy an Airport Extreme base station, would my home PC be able to use it as a wireless access point? Or is it Mac-only?
     
  11. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    Aug 24, 2003
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    airport and wi-fi are the same god damn thing they work with each other seamlessly (some appletalk issues OS9 )
    g=54mbs b=11mbs

    the only difference - the aport one looks cooler it's smaller and it has an apple on the front

    I don't like companies like d-link netgear ect their custumer support guy recomended I get windows XP!!!!!!!!!!!
    after I said I had a mac.

    thus get the apple one
     
  12. Stevp1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2003
    #12
    Thanks all!

    you've helped with my decision. I placed the order yesterday for the 17" PB and the AP extreme, the good one. Thanks for the info.
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Oh you are gonna enjoy that setup. Just make sure any printer you have is on the list of printers that supports printing from AE.
     
  14. Stevp1 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Dec 8, 2003
    #14
    approved printers?

    Oh, don't tell me that. Might you be able to provide a link to the list? I have a new HP all-in-one.
     
  15. justswitched macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2003
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    nyc
    #15
    well, i used to think the airport was a great idea...til i got an smc wireless router for free. it has a built in printserver and i didnt have to search a list for compatible printers. just automatically started working with my hp that wasnt on the list for airport.

    why spend close to 200 when you can get a compatible alternative w/ print server for significantly less, and be able to modify everything on the web.
     
  16. sahnert macrumors 6502

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    Oct 20, 2003
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    Seattle
    #16
    which smc do you have with a printer server. I assume it's USB? and which HP are you using?
    I am at school with broadband so I don't need the modem option here, but at home I have dial-up. So how do I hook that up to a desktop with modem to share that modem connection? Does the PC need an ethernet network card to plug into the router?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  17. ExoticFish macrumors 6502a

    ExoticFish

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    Dec 3, 2002
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    The inner depths of madness, aka Kent, OH
    #17
    i have a question. i'm thinking about getting the airport base station and love the wireless printing option. my question is, can i print to the airport print server from a windows machine? i have not seen this info anywhere.
     
  18. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
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    Colly-fornia
    #18
    AFAIK you cannot use windows to print over AE. Here's the list:

    Compatible Printers

    FWIW, I just got an Epson C84, which isn't on the list, but it works just fine over my AE network.

    Edit: Yeah, I didn't think you could use windows. Here's the relevant language:
     
  19. justswitched macrumors newbie

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    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    nyc
    #19
    i use one of the barricade wireless routers, its an older model but some of the older models are still for sale online. ill find out the specific model # when i get home. i am using a multifunction hp officejet d145 and it works great. the print server comes iwth software to enable the wireless printing.

    well at home i use broadband but i believe on the model i have it has a dial-up input as well. and sharing is easy as there are three ethernet ports at the front if wired and of course the wireless access as well. yes u will need an ethernet port or wireless 802.11b, but you can pick up an ehternet card for 25 bucks. works great and its easy 25 minute setup. and i got it from an IT guy at work who was just gonna throw ti in a parts bin. check tigerdirect.com though they have a lot of older models including the d-link 714p+ htat is both wireless and print server and tis around 80 bucks.

    as a recent switcher, i usually think apple products are the greatest but the airport has better more cost effective choices.
     
  20. yosoyjay macrumors regular

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    Nov 20, 2002
    Location:
    Canada
    #20
    I print wirelessly from my laptop to my lexmark piece of crap printer that is connected to a pc with a usb cable.
     
  21. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Apr 24, 2003
    Location:
    Colly-fornia
    #21
    Yeah if you have a desktop to anchor your network with, wireless printing is a snap. If I had a desktop I wouldn't have bought the AE base station, I would have gone with a third party solution, or just an Airport card in my desktop. But I'm not gonna buy a desktop system just to print wirelessly when a $250 AE will do the trick for me. We'll see what happens when I have to build a Wintel box for Autocad.
     
  22. huntsman macrumors member

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    One other difference is that while virtually all wireless routers for the home market have a standard web browser and telnet interface, the Airport uses a proprietary one, so it can't be administered from non-supported operating systems (e.g. Linux). Probably doesn't matter for most people, but worth mentioning nonetheless :)
     
  23. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

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    #23
    Telnet interface? I wonder if Linksys has that...
     

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