Airport Express - will this work?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by w00h, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. w00h macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    Hi everyone,
    I've just read about all the features Airport Express provides, and all those modes (bridge, etc) left me a bit confused, so I wondered if one of you could tell me if this actually would work.

    I've got a router (asus wl-500g) in my basement, providing WAN access to all of my rooms via LAN. WLAN is also working, but afaik only 802.11g.
    Now I'm setting up an workplace in one room, with one LAN Port connected to the router.

    Now I'm wondering if i will be able to
    1) connect an Airport Express to the router in my basement via LAN and
    2) provide wireless access (802.11n) to my home network and to the internet for my Macbook and my iPod touch
    3) connect a printer to the Airport Express and use it wirelessly from the Macbook and via ethernet from all the other (windows) PCs
    4) output music at the Airport Express via Airtunes
    5) disable the (slower) wlan of my router

    As far as i know all this should be possible but i'm a bit confused if all this can be done simultaneously...

    Many thanks
  2. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    #1 - yes ... obviously
    #2 - once #1 is done, then #2 is possible
    #3 - The Express only has one ethernet port which is being used in #1, so if the printer is not wireless itself, then no. If the printer is wireless then yes. If the printer is USB, then your mileage may vary .... some printer require an "intelligent" host computer to function and will not work independently via the USB port on an Express.
    #4 - yes
    #5 - maybe ... let me explain ...

    If your network contains 2.4Ghz "B" and "G" devices (like a wireless printer), you will end up setting up the Express 2.4Ghz band to run in b/g/n mode. In that mode, when a "b" or "g" device is using the wireless network, the overall speed/bandwidth/throughput will drop to match the lower capabilities of the device. If your "wireless air space" is uncluttered by neighboring wireless networks, you can set up the "b/g" network on one channel (say channel 1) and an "n" only network on another channel (say channel 11). Now, if your "n" devices are capable of running on the 5Ghz band, then you can set up the "express" to offer a 5Ghz "n" network to the devices that are capable of running on the 5Ghz band and continue to use the existing "g" router for all of the other devices.

    On my home network, I have two extremes: one dual band that offers up both a "b/g/n" 2.4Ghz network and a 5Ghz "n" and is the core router for my ISP connection , the second older single band that wirelessly extends the "b/g/n" network at the other end of my house. I also have an express that is used in ProxySTA mode on the 5Ghz band to extend a wired network in my home office. I previously also had a Linksys G54WAP that offered a "b/g" network that supported a few older "WEP64" only devices, but I recently got rid of those. In that case, I was running two separate 2.4Ghz networks (one on channel 1 and the other on channel 11). If you are in a high density area, chances are that the 2.4Ghz space will be crowded. In that case, I would move toward running dual band 2.4Ghz (your existing wireless) and add a 5Ghz via the express for the Apple products that are capable of handling it.

    Best of luck ...
  3. w00h thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 17, 2010
    Many thanks, you've helped a lot already.

    concerning #3: The printer is a kyocera FS-1920. I thought if i hook it up via usb to the Airport Express, I don't need an extra hub in the office, just for the printer... but well, if it doesn't work directly on the AE, I'll just connect it via ethernet.

    to #5: So, if I use only my MBP, it will work with "n" speed, but if I connect my 1st gen ipod Touch, it will fall back to the slower speed... well, no problem. I guess I'll have to try it out :)

    Thanks again, now I'm going to order one :D
  4. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2008
    Loveland, CO
    A minor clarification ... the slowdown only occurs when the less capable device is active. So, if the network is set up as b/g/n and if the iPod Touch is not using the network, but the "n" capable MBP is, then it should run at "n" speeds. In an active mix of "g" and "n" traffic, the speeds will drop to the "g" range.

Share This Page