Airport Express Base Station

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mstruve, May 18, 2011.

  1. mstruve macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #1
    Hi, not sure if this is the right place for this, but I would appreciate some advice on the Airport Express.

    I'm basically looking for something to put in my kitchen so that I can stream over Airplay to the stereo in the kitchen. I don't really want to buy expensive airplay enabled speakers, so I was thinking this might be a decent option.

    Can anyone confirm if this will work? And also, whether the Base Station will also act as a range extender for the wireless network? The Apple site seems to imply that it will, but can anyone confirm?

    Thanks.
     
  2. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #2
    I am using the Express in this exact way as you are, only I am using it in my garage with speakers. In the Airport Utility I had the Express "Join Current Network" and once it connected I plugged in a set of speakers and can play music from my iPhone or Macs.
     
  3. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #3
    Great, thanks very much.

    Can you also confirm whether it acts as a range extender? i.e. does it boost the signal of your wireless network?
     
  4. b-rad g macrumors 6502a

    b-rad g

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #4
    Yes you can also wirelessly extend internet if you need to, but have heard that it may cut your internet speed down some. But don't hold me to that someone else can comment on that who knows more than me.
     
  5. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #5
    Ok thanks again buddy.

    Does anyone else know if it's true that it cuts your internet speed?
     
  6. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #6
    The "speed cut" happens because of wireless router-to-router repeating, also called "bridging" (Apple actually calls this "bridge mode"); this side effect is not limited to Apple network products. Each bit of data from such clients must first go through the secondary router. The secondary router, in turn, must relay that to the main router and receive acknowledgement, then back to the client. This effectively cuts network speed for any wireless client attached to the secondary router in half.

    Assuming you're connecting at WiFi-N speeds (150 Mbps), that means your computer will only get 75 Mbps throughput. In the US, that's way more than most residential Internet connections, so you're probably safe for Internet usage.

    However, if you do large file transfers within your network, such as streaming movies from your iTunes library to an AppleTV, you might occasionally notice the slowdown.
     
  7. emaja macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 3, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #7
    The AX is exactly what you need. I have been streaming my lossless files to my stereo for years now and it does so flawlessly.

    I will be adding a deck to the house and as soon as it is finished, outdoor speakers and an AX are going in. I'll control it from my iPad or iPhone and be very comfortable out there on a warm summer night.
     
  8. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #8
    I've been wondering about this speed cut issue, sorry to change the topic but the OP seems happy with his answer.

    I have a setup with the cable modem and airport extreme on the top floor and my MacBook and Mac mini on the lower floor. They both receive the airport extreme signal with 4/5 or 5/5 bars but I had to install an airport express N on the lower floor so I could get the wifi to my iPad that I use on the back deck of the lower floor.

    All of these are being used on the 5GHZ N channel.

    How can I tell if the MacBook and mini are connecting to the extreme upstairs or the express that is downstairs and closer to the computers?

    Also, this iPad relay results in never being able to watch a full YouTube video without horrible stalling.

    Any advice?
     
  9. mstruve thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2011
    #9
    This could be an issue for me as well actually. Is there any way of choosing which transmitter you are connecting to? At the moment my iPhone and iPad pick up the wifi signal fine in the kitchen, but not in the garden. I'm hoping the express will boost the signal to the garden, but if it's going to struggle with a YouTube video then I'd rather not have everything connecting to the express by default when near to it (and still within range of the primary router).
     
  10. dXTC macrumors 68020

    dXTC

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2006
    Location:
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    #10
    I know of no way to choose which specific router in a wireless network that shares the same SSID.

    However, I have a suggestion for this, especially for spacepower7 who has an AEBS: Set your 5 GHz network's SSID to something slightly different than your 2.4 GHz network SSID (the Extreme should act as the link between the two SSIDs). Then connect your MacBook and MacMini to the 5GHz SSID for guaranteed N speeds directly to the Extreme. Set your Airport Express to extend the 2.4 GHz SSID, and connect the iPad to it.

    If there's a HD YouTube video you want to watch on your iPad, then go into the iPad's network settings and connect to the 5 GHz SSID, for which only the Extreme will be configured.

    Disclaimer: I haven't done this multi-SSID range extending configuration myself (my Extreme reaches everywhere I want it to), so your mileage may vary. I'm simply suggesting a possibility.
     
  11. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    #11
    Bump with my results tomorrow :)
     
  12. Omne666 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    I've got 2 networks setup of the same name using 7 AEs, 2 of them running on the 2.4GHz, the rest on the N standard at 5GHz. As I move from one place to another the ipad just seamlessly jumps from one to the other.

    The reason for the 2 networks? The 5GHz standard is absolutely horrible at penetrating metal walls, and my place has pressed metal ceilings that extend down a couple of feet on the walls. Seems to really screw with the signal. The 2 AEs on the 2.4GHz network cover the worst hall/rooms area easily.

    FYI...I have so many not because of networking requirements, but I have speakers everywhere and stream music to all major areas.
     
  13. rayward macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #13
    I have WiFi broadcast from two locations in my house - one from an AEBS that I use as the main router and one from a Time Capsule that is connected to the AEBS by Cat 5e. This way I have two "clouds" of WiFi broadcasting simultaneously, avoiding the speed issues with bridging.

    I have no idea how feasible this would be for you, but if you can run just one network cable from your AEBS to where you need a WiFi signal boost, and hard wire your AX to your router, you'd enjoy the same solution. Better still, hard-wire another AEBS instead of the AX to your main router, so that you can connect the macbook and/or mini to its network ports, and enjoy gigabit speeds for them!
     

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