Airport Express Alternatives?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by wesli_1, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. wesli_1 macrumors member

    May 26, 2004
    Mount Isa, OZ
    With all of this hype about Airport Express, I was wondering if there are any other products currently available which provide similar functionality to the airport express?

    Surely someone must have already thought of an audio streamer with 802.11b/g connectivity?
  2. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    I dont think so, after doing a quick search on google nothing jumped out at me. But AirPort Express, desides being cheaper thant he standard base station is a really nice peice of hardware.

    I think what seems to have been overlooked is it can do a lot more than simply stream music (all be it this being what makes it pretty unique right now...) but you can also use it to do things like connect to the internet and, link it up to a printer and you can do these thinsg from form all over your house (provided your in range of the Base station). This is of course just the tip of the iceburg.

    If similar wireless devises so exist i dout they have as much functionality in such a small enclosure and the APExpess :cool:

    Somone please correct me if i'm wrong here :D,

  3. michaelrjohnson macrumors 68020

    Aug 9, 2000
    Well, the Roku Soundbridge and another (can't remember the name) offer iTunes streaming to your stereo... However they do not have the 802.11g repeater, and the USB sharing either...

    As far as i know of, AEx is the only product currently shipping that has that set of features.
  4. masterjedi73 macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2004
    I'm confused about what this device does and how it works. Do I need Airport Extreme to run it? How does it hook up to the stereo? Can I substitute the device for my current wireless router?

  5. ingenious macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2004
    Washington, D.C.

    The AExp is a wireless (802.11g) router. Basically an "express" version of the AE Base Station. It allows you to share the internet and files, share a USB printer, and stream your iTunes music to your stereo. No you do not need an AE Base Station to use it, however if you have one, this one will automatically join that network, along with providing its other features. To hook up to the stereo it uses a mini-to RCA adaptor and includes the cable, or it can also use optical audio, adaptor also included. Yes you can sub. this for your current router.
  6. stoid macrumors 601


    Feb 17, 2002
    So long, and thanks for all the fish!
    To bad AirPort Express isn't shipping until mid-July either. ;) But it is the only product on market with these features.

    As long as I get one by time I move into my apartment in August, it's all good! :D :D :D
  7. vollspacken macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2002
    Boogie-Down Berlintown
    I guess I'll get two of those little helpers...

    ay, get rid of those audio cables and boost my network range :)

  8. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I am a bit confused, but can you add (and by add I mean add, not use it in place of the current router) the AirPort Express to a Non- AE wireless network? I mean I bought it anyways, but it would be nice to know.
  9. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    does anyone think any products will be released so that you can turn your existing airport extreem basestation into an express (well for audio out) e.g. say havean adaptor that you can plug into the lan port that would give audio out? i would quite like the audio out but dont want to buy a new express!
  10. wide macrumors 6502a

    May 17, 2004
    I am a little confused about the AirPort Express thing...I have ethernet at home, and we have a plug in every room in our house. Could I bring the AirPort Express to any of those rooms, plug it into the wall and connect an ethernet cable to it, and BOOM! there's wireless internet (that I can connect to with my 802.11b? thanks for any responses
  11. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    can i push tunes though a non Airport router?
  12. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    yeah you can
  13. Elmy macrumors newbie

    Jun 2, 2004
    Yes, I believe so. And 11b is totally compatible with 11g, just at the lower speed of 11b.

    Would you want to control it from a wired ethernet computer? Scanning the Express web page on didn't seem to mention this, but I can't on earth see why it wouldn't work.
  14. MontgomeryBurns macrumors member

    Mar 14, 2004
    Yes, this is one of the options that the airport express gives you. It will work as a standalone wireless router just like the Basestation does. The biggest difference between the functionality of the Express vs. the Extreme is that the Express can only accomodate 10 users, which is plenty for most people at home.

    Also if you're not using an Extreme basestation (or other wireless router) already, you'll have to set up the network on the Express before it will do anything, but this is accomplished with ease using Airport Setup Assistant.

    If you have wired ethernet all over your house your only concern will be where to put your Express, if you intend to make use of its streaming music capability.
  15. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    The Airport Express:

    1) You DO NOT need to have an existing Airport Extreme Base Station.

    1.5) It will connect 802.11b (Old Airport + PCs with Cards) and Macs with Airport Extreme cards (802.11g).

    2) Think of the Airport Express as a Airport Extreme, with no modem or external antenna option.

    3) This means, you can create a completely new network for up to ten wireless clients (more on this later) which can connect to the internet via the WAN port.

    4) However, if you already have an Extreme base station and network this will act a repeater, extending your existing network's range.

    5) The Express has a WAN port which means you can connect you ethernet DSL/Cable router directly to it. Using normal ethernet settings (be it DHCP or Manually setup - you will know this) the wireless computers will then connect to the Internet via the Express.

    6) If you have an Extreme base station with an internet connection, then the Express will just act as an extender. If for example your PowerBook is in range of the Express, the signal will be bounced to your Extreme which will connect to the internet.

    6b) Not sure if this applies to shared Dialup connections but if you have the 'Connect automatically...' setting on your airport, I don't see why it wouldn't.

    7) There is a USB port on the Express. This means you can share your printer wirelessly!

    7b) If you have an Extreme base station, then Rendezvous will more than likely play its part in sharing the printer connected to either Extreme or Express. This means for me, I no longer have to have my printer on my desk next to my G5 and airport extreme station. I can have an Express in another room with the printer and next to... my stereo...

    8) So we come to AirTunes. The Airport Express has what many of us have been waiting for - an audio out port.

    9) This port can connect to any hifi / stereo / set of speaks. Yes, you can have JUST speakers if you want, connected to your Express, say, in your Living Room.

    9b) There is a connection kit available from Apple at extra charge. This allows you to connect to an Optical IN, RCA plugs (AV plugs in EU, UK).

    10) For it to work you MUST download iTunes 4.6, which came out today.

    11) The Express automatically detects you having speakers connected, which sends a little message to iTunes telling it there are external speakers.

    11b) Then say you want to play 'Marilyn Manson' so the whole Living room can hear (your mum's will be happy) - you just click 'Use Airport Express' box in iTunes - very easy.

    Hope this helps... i'll add more if people ask, and if i've missed things.
  16. mikeyredk macrumors 65816

    Mar 13, 2003
    Just found out that you cannot use extreme to extend the length of a non-extreme wireless signal

  17. debo macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2004
    Apparently it might work, they just can't gaurantee it.

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