Airport Express N vs. Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Whorehay, Apr 1, 2008.

  1. Whorehay macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #1
    I know all the technical differences, but is there any one that uses/used one or the other and can share their experiences of each as your main wireless router?

    I'm intrigued by the Express' portability, while I'm intrigued by the expandability of the Extreme. If they cost around the same (I'm thinking about getting a non-gigabit version, and the new N express), which would you choose for a nomadic person like myself?

    Thanks!
     
  2. cyclingplatypus macrumors 6502a

    cyclingplatypus

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2007
    Location:
    Earth
    #2
    Biggest difference in the two is that the Airport Express you can only attach a printer to the USB port and you can use it to stream via AirTunes.

    AEBS you can attach pretty much any USB device to it and have it work but you can't use it for AirTunes.
     
  3. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #3
    If by nomadic you mean that you'll be traveling around a lot with it, then I'd choose the Express, unless you've got have any of the features that cyclingplatypus mentioned.

    I've used both as my primary routers, and they both were great.
     
  4. Whorehay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #4
    Mostly back and forth from home to school. What could I attach to the Airport Extreme via the USB port other than a printer? Hard drive?
     
  5. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #5
    Right, a hard drive.

    If you haven't already seen this, it's an easy-to-see breakdown between the models:
    http://www.apple.com/wifi/
     
  6. Whorehay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #6
    One thing I thought was interesting is that they advertise the Airport Extreme to be for "Larger Homes" vs. the Airport Express. I thought they had ~ the same range? But the express seems to be for me. Do they use the same software to set up the network?
     
  7. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #7
    Yeah, the software is the same. By default, it asks you some questions to get it setup, or you can skip the questions and manually configure it.

    I don't have a large home, so I can't tell you (first-hand) which has the best coverage. Both did well for me. :)
     
  8. catachip macrumors regular

    catachip

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2007
    Location:
    Vancouver, British Columbia
    #8
    Most reviews are showing the performance of the airport express N to be about 25% less than the airport extreme in the same location. MacWorld found the airport express to transfer files at 39 Mbits/sec, compared to approximately 50 Mbits/sec in the same location for the extreme. The range of the airport express is also smaller, although greater than the old airport express G. There is just a smaller antenna in the smaller package of the airport express.
     
  9. Whorehay thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #9
    Makes sense. I think it will be worth it for the portability of the Express, and later if the needs arise, I can just use the Express as an extender for the Extreme.
     
  10. nerdynerdynerdy macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    #10
    I'm also currently trying to make this decision. I want Airtunes, but my modem is not near my hifi, so at least one airport needs to be an Xpress. If the Xtreme has faster transfer for internet browsing then I'd get one of those instead of a second Xpress.

    But how do you know if your computer is browsing the net through the slower airport, or does it always default to the faster signal if it's in range?

    Thanks.

    nnn

    Originally Posted by catachip
    Most reviews are showing the performance of the airport express N to be about 25% less than the airport extreme in the same location. MacWorld found the airport express to transfer files at 39 Mbits/sec, compared to approximately 50 Mbits/sec in the same location for the extreme. The range of the airport express is also smaller, although greater than the old airport express G. There is just a smaller antenna in the smaller package of the airport express.
     
  11. balk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    #11
    I would not bother too much about wifi limiting your download speed. Unless you have a 100mbit connection but at that point you're probably wired anyway.
     
  12. logicpro7 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2006
    Location:
    London UK
    #12
    Ok......

    A bit of an idiot post here but i have to ask as i am interested in replacing my netgear router.

    Is the new Airport Express N an actual router? I mean will it replace my existing netgear router?

    Or does the Express need to connect to an external router for internet access?
    :eek:
     
  13. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #13
    All of the Airport Base Stations are full-on routers that would do fine replacing your Netgear router.

    However, if you have an external router you wanted to keep, the Expresses could be set to run in 'bridged' mode, which allows them to act as just access points or bridges for wired devices.
     
  14. macleod199 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    #14
    Umm... 'pretty much any device' is not at all accurate. Pretty much any printer, yes (but don't expect the scanner and whatnot to work on one of those fancy multi-function ones), and almost any hard drive/usb storage device. It's not like you can hook up scanners, mice, keyboards, headsets, iPod docking stations, blah, blah, blah. USB just isn't designed to be tunneled over a network in general, whereas there are well-established protocols for files and print jobs.
     
  15. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    #15
    Seeing as you're in the UK, your Netgear's probably acting as your modem as well. The Express IS a router, but it is NOT a modem. You'll still need your Netgear modem/router.

    Just for the record, the modem is what connects to the Internet and the router is what routes that connection. You just happen to have an all in one.
     
  16. rishi13 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #16
    connection integrity

    Does anyone have any comments on the integrity of the connection of the two routers? For example, does one tend to drop connectivity more often than the other?
     
  17. kolax macrumors G3

    kolax

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #17
    I own both and use both. Before I bought my Airport Extreme, I used the Airport Express as the sole wireless router. Worked perfectly, great range and reception. Signal was constant too, didn't have any drop out issues (mind you that was pre 10.5). AirTunes is a great feature (I no longer need it since Apple TV offers the same capability) and if you have a decent sound system, it works a treat. Cableless connection to your ghetto blaster.

    I now use my Airport Express to create a 'G' network, since my flatmates only have 'G' laptops, and let the Airport Extreme create a full speed 'N' network for best performance with Apple TV. The 'Extreme's ability to act as a server for USB connected hard drives is fantastic - that was the main reason I bought it. Performance is great too, however I do experience dropouts (because of Leopard, flatmates running Windows work fine).

    I'd get the Airport Extreme - it has LAN ports that the Airport Express does not, and offers hard drive connection that the Express does not. AirTunes and the portability is the only benefits of the Express.
     
  18. tylermoney macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #18
    Airport Extreme & Express

    I went crazy this past weekend, and bought both. I really was intrigued with the idea of streaming my music through airtunes....and I really needed a new wireless router. I was running of an old d-link di514 802.11b, and my new iMac didn't like the old school ways. I share connection with my wife, who has an old eMac, and does not have wireless. I also have 3 floors (not a big place, just multiple floors). I felt that the express alone wouldn't do the trick...We have two hard drives, and a printer we want to share over the network. So far, things seem to be running smoothly.

    So, when I went back to the apple store, I just decided to get both (since they'd also be covered under my newly purchased apple care for my iMac).

    I spent way too much money, and now I'm broke, but I have music streaming in my house....so, that's awesome. I'm finally a member of the new wireless world.....not to mention a new iMac (which i bought two weeks before this recent upgrade...which really pissed me off; however, I was able to get credited the difference in price from the apple store...so, that helped in buying the rest of the new toys).
     

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