Wireless modem router or Airport express

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Whyapple, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. Whyapple macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2005
    I am about to buy a Macbook Pro.

    I have a windows desktop system which I want to keep running for a while longer, for various reasons. This is on broadband with Pipex who have supplied the external modem for that service.

    My question is, I intend running the MBP 2 levels down in my house, will I need a Netgear wireless modem router or an Airport express? I know there are alternatives such as Linksys but the question is not about makes but about specific hardwear.

    If the answer is either, I would probably go for the Aiport as I have an Ipod.

  2. topgun072003 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    What does the airport have to do with your ipod? Anyway I think both will work. We have a couple Airports here and it just makes everything easier when everything is Apple.
  3. Whyapple thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Ok thanks for the 1st part.

    Doesn't the Airport allow you to play your Ipod through remote Stereos around the house? Or have I been misinformed?
  4. topgun072003 macrumors 6502


    Sep 11, 2006
    Los Angeles, CA
    OH. That's what you meant....yeah the Airport Express has a miniplug..(1/8 inch output jack). This allows you to plug in external speakers and play your music over itunes. So you can do it if your ipod is plugged into your computer, but your computer should have the songs that are on your ipod. So you can just play your itunes through the remote speakers. It only has one output. So you'll need a splitter for multiple speakers. We have a splitter hooked up to a left and right.
  5. VMAn macrumors newbie

    Sep 4, 2006
    I'm going to be buying a new MB v.soon, but will want to keep my old PC running also. So I've been wondering the same thing about routers Vs Airport.

    At the moment I don't have it (internet) set up wirelessly. I just have the ISP provided modem linked directly to my PC via USB.

    From what I can gather the Airport Express doesn't offer an ethernet connection so I couldn't keep both my PC + Macbook (wireless) connected to the 'net.

    I've never set up an wireless network but I don't imagine it being too hard - and from the looks of things an 'ordinary' router that offers wireless + ethernet connections is gonna be the best bet.

    Can anyone recommend any 3rd party wireless routers that will serve my purpose? Does anyone know how you can find out if your PC has wireless capabilities???
  6. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    the Airport Express is different from a regular Airport (Airport Extreme). note that they're both called "base stations." the Express is portable and will create a network just fine; that, other than the feature that lets you play iTunes through remote speakers, is the only difference in functionality. i have used both and i think they are comparable in reliability, so you might as well go for the Express and save yourself some money. one thing i have heard, though, is the Express doesn't have as much range as the regular Airport but this was only from one person.

    i think d-link makes the best wireless routers, but some people here like Netgear and Linksys. i have had the same d-link wireless router since 2003 and have had no problems with it.
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    If you want to spend as much as an Airport Express/Extreme, you should look at getting a Draytek router, they are more expensive but are a class above Netgear/Dlink/Linksys. In my student house I have a Netgear router, and it is OK, but isn't anything like as good as the Draytek I have at home.
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you have the Airport Express it can connect remote speakers. Really it has nothing to do with iPod. It's iTunes that can work uses the "airtunes" feature of the Airport Express. It also use my Airport Express as a printer server

    But you say "2 levels down" that is a long ways to go with wireless. Would be nice if you could pull some wire. You could hire the job done for the price of one Apple Airport Express.

    Ok give that you really want to send wireless two floors down concider an Apple base station with the antenna port and use an extrnal antenna. You can aim a directional antenna and get better range.

    One more option is to use a set of Airport Express. Use the second unit as a "range extender" use one unit on each floor. But again these work best if you can run wires between them

    Lots of options and they will all work. but just be warned that 2 flors down is a long ways to go. It might ork but the data rate will not be the nominal 56Mbps, could be only 1/10th of that I'd start simple, plug an Apple airport express into the netwok and then walk about with the MBP and see how reception is and how badly it degrades with distance. Then only if the problem is there fix it by adding more hardware. It depends strongly in the specifics of your house and how it is built. The Apple diocumentation shows a zillion options of haow to use multipe wireless routers to extend the range.

    The Apple devices allow you to built a larger system of multiple routers. The low end stuff from dlink and lynksys and to like make it harder o do this. The aplle routers are designed to be hooked together to give wide coverage
  9. danny_w macrumors 601

    Mar 8, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I have also been thinking about the Airport basestations (both Extreme and Express) but the lack of a built-in hardware ethernet router is holding me back. I currently have a Linksys WRT54 that I have connected by cable to my desktop (a PB right now) and a network printer (a Dell 3100cn), and then also providing wireless access for another iMac and PC at other locations in the house (and my PB when it is not at my desk). I had some problems initially when I went to WPA security, and was thinking of an Airport network instead, but I would have to hook it to a hub or switch for my desktop (I need at least 2 ethernet jacks). Why doesn't Apple have an Airport with a built-in router? Or do they?
  10. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a


    Jul 9, 2005
    The town without George Bailey
    I agree. For its price, I feel that the airport extreme should come with some more LAN ethernet ports.

    I love my expresses though! I have three of them, but I only use two because I live in a tiny house. As a joke, I snuck one into my next door neighbor's house (a friend) when he went on a beer run, and started playing mind games with his stereo a few days later. :p
  11. Whyapple thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2005
    Thanks to all who have replied, I think I will try the Airport Express route.
    I am surprised that 2 floors in a relatively small modern house would be such a potential problem for the wireless set up. (don't Apple's ads suggest a range of 45M or thereabouts?)

    I know someone locally who sends his I-Tunes around a similar type house but down only one floor with no problems, so I assume he would be ok connecting a remote laptop if he wanted. He uses an Airport Express, but told me a Wireless router modem may be the best option - hence my original question.

    Well, I guess it's suck it and see time?

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