A good idea to buy an Airport Express now for my dorm room?

johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
I remember seeing vague rumors about the Airport being updated. I'm not even sure of the timeframe the rumor gave. What would I be missing out on (i.e. if I got one today) in terms of price and features?

I read discussion about a new AE with the introduction of iTV. I have no use at the time (or for the next 4 years for that matter) for video streaming with an AE.

I will use it for wireless internet mostly. I will also move my Creature speakers to the other side of the room, and will plug my printer into it. The latter are not reasons to get the AE, but will be nice adjustments.

So for $119 (with the Edu. discount) should I buy now?
 

zwida

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2001
587
0
NYC
I'd buy now. I don't think the rumored enhancements will be out anytime soon, and your life will be better NOW if you don't wait. I think MWSF is the first possible date for an update, but I'd be surprised to see one before spring 07, frankly.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
I have found mine worth every penny. Even if there are upgrades down the line, the unit will be very usable for a while. I have even taken it to classes to provide a print server (to Shanghai one from the secure network) and to connect to audio systems to enhance presentations.
 

johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks, zwida. I think I'll get one at the PSU computer store monday morning.

One more question. Can I put a password on my wireless access? I live in wireless range of about 40 people with laptops (not even exaggerating) so I want to be able to limit access to only my computer and my roommates.
 

johnbro23

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Apr 12, 2004
770
0
Pittsburgh, PA
Eniregnat said:
I have found mine worth every penny. Even if there are upgrades down the line, the unit will be very usable for a while. I have even taken it to classes to provide a print server (to Shanghai one from the secure network) and to connect to audio systems to enhance presentations.
Interesting. I never thought of those usages. What do you mean by providing a print server? You just mean hooking up to your own printer?
 

puckhead193

macrumors G3
May 25, 2004
9,235
457
NY
i would ask the IT department if you can have wireless. In my school we can't have wireless in the dorms...:(
 

i4k20c

macrumors 6502a
Sep 10, 2005
683
17
A couple things to consider...

1. Yeah ALOT of uni's don't allow students to have routers...
2. Make sure your dorm and campus already isn't wireless...(kind of a waste if it is imo..)
3. I remember reading a thread on here where you can't password protect the printer, so if you hook up the printer, anyone in your dorm or room can print to it because it shows up (so if you plan to use this option..just make sure it's what you want)
4. I'd also deffinetly try and buy one used from the marketplace or somewhere else, since i don't think a wireless router can go "bad" in anyway, and you'd probally save yourself more than the edu discount..
5. I assume your already at a university this year right? cause if not, might as well wait till you move in and than buy it just incase something better comes out..
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,239
4
puckhead193 said:
i would ask the IT department if you can have wireless. In my school we can't have wireless in the dorms...:(
defintely check this out before hand. must Unis don't allow this for several good reasons.
 

elbirth

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2006
1,154
0
North Carolina, US
puckhead193 said:
i would ask the IT department if you can have wireless. In my school we can't have wireless in the dorms...:(

I came here to ask this question if it hadn't been asked. Last year I worked in tech support on campus in college and a huge "no no" was having your own access points. It could get you kicked out of the dorm if you violated this rule multiple times.
 

zwida

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2001
587
0
NYC
johnbro23 said:
Thanks, zwida. I think I'll get one at the PSU computer store monday morning.

One more question. Can I put a password on my wireless access? I live in wireless range of about 40 people with laptops (not even exaggerating) so I want to be able to limit access to only my computer and my roommates.
Yeah, you can even make the network invisible to anyone who doesn't know it's name and password. It'll be an option in the setup assistant.

But yeah, better check with the IT folks before you plug a router into their network. Wouldn't want them to shut you down.

Good luck.
 

Eniregnat

macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
1,841
0
In your head.
johnbro23 said:
Interesting. I never thought of those usages. What do you mean by providing a print server? You just mean hooking up to your own printer?
The university I go to has only two full time IT people for 2 campuses. Many class rooms have printers, but they are not accessible except through the PC in the class, and often teachers don't have access to them. Anybody could just hook up their computer, but when working in groups it is nice to be able to not have to fuss with cables. As long as everything gets plugged in back together, then there is no foul.

The same holds true for audio presentations. When computers malfunction, it sometimes easier to plug into the AV system directly. Although, there is a lag with audio routed through the Airport Express.
 

zulgand04

macrumors regular
Jul 16, 2002
240
6
Northborough, MA
Yeah, definatly check ur school terms of service. I know my school says they don't allow it, but i've had my dorm room wireless for 2 years now. Along with most of the other rooms who have their own.

So you may be able to get away with it, depends on how much they really care.

-Neal
 

elbirth

macrumors 65816
Jan 19, 2006
1,154
0
North Carolina, US
generik said:
Just turn off broadcast SSID if they have rules against it :rolleyes:
This doesn't do you any good seeing as how they can still easily see that *something* is illegally assigning IPs from whatever port the router is plugged into.

Now if you turn of the DHCP server, you might stand a better chance, but still not full-proof
 

generik

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2005
4,116
1
Minitrue
elbirth said:
This doesn't do you any good seeing as how they can still easily see that *something* is illegally assigning IPs from whatever port the router is plugged into.

Now if you turn of the DHCP server, you might stand a better chance, but still not full-proof
Actually the hosts that are behind your router is completely invisible to your dorm's administrators, provided you connect to the network as the upstream for the Airport.

In essense you are assigning your own IP addresses that are only visible within your own subnet and as far as your dorm's network is concerned all they see will be network accesses being made through a device with your airport's MAC address. Your airport will handle the network address translation between the greater dorm network and the machines hosted behind your own router, all this out of that 1 IP address you have been allocated :)