Airport Express as access point

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Rare, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. Rare macrumors member

    Rare

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #1
    Hi all,

    I own a mac pro and MacBook. Annoyingly I failed to purchase the wifi card when I bought the Mac Pro, and now I need one. From end of April onwards I will need wireless access, so I was thinking about I use an Airport Express and connect the Mac Pro to it through ethernet, then access the wifi network that way?

    I'd rather not have to drag my Mac Pro to a store (all the ones nearby seem to be miles from a road in middle of shopping centres - not fun to carry a Mac Pro containing 4 drives with critical data on them through town), and I don't believe Apple will sell just an upgrade kit.

    I looked for a USB wifi dongle with no luck. If I can use the Airport Express, could I use the USB port for an external drive for Time Machine that can be shared on the wifi network? Or at least for the Mac Pro (will allow me to put a HDD in another room and the ethernet cable from the AE just a few meters)?

    Thanks in advance.

    Oh yeh, ps: I am in the UK, so importing USB dongles from US isn't an option.
     
  2. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #2
    I don't know about there, but I bought a USB dongle before I realized it was the same card as the one in the MBP.

    It was this.

    This is supposed to work too.

    If you can purchase one of those there, they'd work ok. If you're comfortable cracking that baby open, I bought a wireless kit from a retailer for it. It was actually for a MBP, but other than the BT part, it worked fine. It was difficult, but works fine.
     
  3. zainjetha macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2007
    #3
    AirPort Express has only one ethernet port..

    In wireless, dont waste your money with apple, they are good, but you can get a Linksys WRTG54 which would serve your needs perfectly, they have four ethernet ports, so MP would go in via ethernet, MB would connect wireless. Never go down and are absolutely brilliant.

    Quite cheap also.
     
  4. Rare thread starter macrumors member

    Rare

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #4
    Thanks, but I already have a router - I need something to act as an access point - not a router for the Mac Pro, essentially forget about the fact I have a MB. I have a Time Capsule, and I need that to be downstairs, my Mac Pro is upstairs, does anyone know the best solution? I think I may have confused the matter with talking about the Airport Express - after research I've found that won't help me.
     
  5. orpheus1120 macrumors 65816

    orpheus1120

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location:
    Malaysia
    #5
    List your crtierias again clearly.

    1) Time Capsule is downstairs.
    2) MP is upstairs.

    Questions:
    1) The MP is using wired connection or wireless?
    2) How about the MB?
     
  6. Rare thread starter macrumors member

    Rare

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #6
    1) Mac Pro has no wifi built in (that's what I need to get somehow)
    2) The local Apple stores are a long way away from roads, so carrying a Mac Pro through the streets to get it upgraded isn't ideal
    3) Mac Pro is upstairs
    4) MacBook connects to the router via wifi (as I want the Mac Pro to do)
    5) Wifi router is hypothetically downstairs (I will be moving the Mac Pro from place to place so need to think of worst scenario - thus running an ethernet cable isn't ideal)
    6) Solution must be reasonably cheap unless it has other benefits (hence why I suggest Airport Express - except that won't help so that has been disgarded)

    Basically I need a means of making the Mac Pro have a wifi connection. I've looked into dongles - they are rare and generally only available in the US.

    I've looked into access points and for what they are they are stupidly expensive - £50 just for a box that converts wifi to ethernet, they all seem to be like 8 x gigabit port'ed ones, all I need is one port (obviously they won't make them like that though probably).

    Just wondering if there is a cheaper or better solution that's all. Cheers.
     
  7. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    23 Railway Cuttings
    #7
    Hi Rare,

    Don't know about Time Machine. With regard to using Mac, Ethernet cable and Airport Express (AE), I am using -

    Bondi Imac connected to AE by Ethernet cable, then wireless to another AE connected to a cable modem. The two rooms are upstairs, but I can connect to the network downstairs (all rooms with a Titanium Powerbook) - the rooms have brick walls, ie range/signal power seems fine.

    I suppose the AE has the advantages of - easy to move, can be used by different computers and Air Tunes (+ for me, I don't think there is a card for the Bondi).

    Cheers,
    OW
     
  8. Rare thread starter macrumors member

    Rare

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2006
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #8
    Are you using the latest AE?

    So let me get this straight, the AE shares the internet from it's wifi connection to it's ethernet port? (just checking before I hit the Apple Store)
     
  9. oscillatewildly macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    23 Railway Cuttings
    #9
    No, two b/g AEs.

    Cable co. cable/signal to cable modem. Signal from cable modem to first AE by Ethernet cable. Signal from first AE to second AE by wireless transmission. The second AE takes the wireless signal and passes it to its Ethernet port. Second Ethernet cable to second AE's Ethernet port and Bondi's Ethernet port completes. So I suppose that's a yes.

    The first AE is set as a base station. The second is not set as a base station - I can't remember off hand what it is set as, extender/WDS... Someone on MR may post or ask at the store.

    Cheers,
    OW
     
  10. plangly macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    #10
    i have owned 3 AE's, 2 of which have died just after warrenty period, i was lucky to get one repaired under of of the others warrenty. this tec's said it was the board in the AE that gave up.

    go for the linksys or serve the wireless network of the MP if it is running like a server
     

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