Sorry if this question has ben asked before

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Edwin the Elder, Apr 1, 2007.

  1. Edwin the Elder macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #1
    I did a quick search and couldn't find this question.

    I have an original G5 iMac without the airport card. It is connected to a Linksys router through a wired network. I would prefer to keep it that way - i.e. hard wired. (I also have 2 PC's connected to the network through hard wire - though they both have wireless cards.)

    I am buying a Macbook and would like to use it wirelessly through the house, so I am looking at a mix of wired and wireless (hopefully).

    I called the Apple Store, and they suggested buying the new Airport base station to replace the Linksys router and then connecting my iMac (and the 2 PCs) through the hard wired network to the Airport base station.

    That seems straightforward enough.

    I asked them whether instead I could keep my Linksys router, buy the Airport Express and connect it through the hard wired network to connect my Macbook wirelessly. This would be a bit cheaper and a bit easier.

    The CSR I spoke with could not answer this question. He replied that the main purpsoe of Airport Express was to extend an existing wireless network - not to turn a wired network into a hybrid - wired and wireless.

    So, should I buy the Airport Base station or can I make do with the Airport Express?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #2
    You can do exactly what you want to do with the Airport Express. The Airport Express is a wireless access point, plain and simple. You will need to tinker a bit in the Airport Admin Utility to turn off DHCP in the Airport Express, so that it doesn't hand out its own IP addresses to wireless clients (your MacBook, and anything else that you connect wirelessly), but instead allows your existing Linksys router to handle IP addresses for all devices on the network. By doing this you'll have an easier time with network shares between wired and wireless computers, for example.
     
  3. sturigdson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #3
    i agree. will work great for your needs. just plug the AE into a port shared from your router, turn off its IP distribution, and have a blast!
     
  4. Edwin the Elder thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2005
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    #4
    Thanks a bunch.

    One final question. Airport Extreme seems to support 802.11n while Airport Express seems to be only 801.11g

    Is this correct?

    Does it matter?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. Richard Flynn macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    Sydney
    #5
    Yes, that is correct at present. Some people think that by reducing the price on the current Airport Express, Apple is trying to reduce stock levels prior to introducing a new, 802.11n-enabled, device in its stead.

    You would only be able to achieve 802.11n speeds if your MacBook is one of the C2D models and has been ‘enabled’ to use 802.11n. Also, the network can only achieve 802.11n speeds if all devices connected wirelessly are n-enabled. As soon as an a/b/g-only device connects, the bandwidth has to be throttled for all devices.

    In practice, this doesn’t matter in the slightest. I use an Airport Express for streaming audio and video using iTunes sharing with no problem whatsoever. There is no way that your internet connection is faster than the 54Mbps theoretical maximum provided by 802.11g, so you can connect at full speed to the internet. Occasionally, when transferring large files over the network, I choose to plug my MacBook Pro into the gigabit switch and connect that way—obviously 1024Mbps is considerably faster than 54Mbps—but this is only when, as I say, transferring large files that would take an age at the slower bandwidth.
     

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