Airport Express: your experience? worth buying?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by zer0tails, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. zer0tails macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    Ok, so I've had enough of living with very slow, spotty internet access in this house and am considering getting an airport express with wirelesss N. I used to own a time capsule and the wireless speeds (not backing up) there were phenomenal so I am hoping for the same with the Airport Express N.

    Can anyone share their experience with the Airport Express please?

    The reason I am considering the airport express is because it's the cheapest. And the portability is a plus. I will not be using the air tunes as I don't own speakers that will work with it, and my printer probably does not support wireless networking.

    Pros i consider with the Airport Express: super fast internet speed, my own personal wifi connection. Added security. Guaranteed good wifi coverage as it will be in my room.

    Cons: this is where i would like you to share your experience. Is it durable, and last me at least 2 years? Worth the money? It's 99 dollars and for a student, it's abit of money. I am moving to Japan next year as well and need to know if i'll be able to take it with me.

  2. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    I've been using a series of Airport Expresses since 2005. I have 4 in total, 3 are used at my parents house to create a wireless network, connect a PC, TiVo, and HP Printer. Nearly any printer can be connected to the USB port on the APX. I also use one to extend my Airport Extreme's network and give my PowerBook "G" speeds by wiring it to the APX, becuase I have an original "b" Airport Card.

    I also use it when I'm at school to connect my TiVo (in the living room, with no LAN jack) to my bedroom that has the Extreme connected to the LAN jack, otherwise I'd need a 30' cable to get it online.

    It uses the Apple standard figure 8 plugs, so the international connection kit would work, but Japan uses the same connection as the US, just different Voltages (sometimes 110V, others 220V), the only question would be the available channels, but I believe a simple change can be done to tweak those.

  3. tmelvin macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2008
    I'm in the same boat. I currently have a Netgear G. I have T-Mobile Wireless, and Vonage for phone. I have a chance to get the new TMO @ Home service, with the wireless router for $10/month/unlimited landline phone.

    Not sure what to do:

    Keep the current.
    Go with TMO
    Go with AirPort Express
    Go with Time Capsule...

  4. soberbrain macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2008
    I've been happy with my Airport Express for going on about 2 years.

    Regarding the printer, what kind do you have?

    I've got an HP 932C bought several years ago that works with the Express.
  5. Sweetfeld28 macrumors 65816


    Feb 10, 2003
    Buckeye Country, O-H
    If i were you i'd get one, and get a Refurb'd one to save an extra twenty bucks.
  6. jpan08 macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2008
    Good but not great

    The Airport Express is good if you're going to be sticking to one room, but I found that if you're in a different room the connection is spotty and not that great. Streaming to you speakers is a great function, but be warned it's only for iTunes. Lastly, make sure your printer is compatible because mine isn't and it's useless.
  7. zer0tails thread starter macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2008
    thanks for sharing guys. Good to know soberbrain's has been going strong for 2 years, and TEG likes them enough to have 4.

    Yep, I'll definitely be going with refurb as long as it's the N version, cheaper is always good. I'm 90% going to be in the same room so not too worried about the range.

    I doubt my printer a cheapo samsung ML-1610 will work because it did not work when I paired it with my Time capsule.

    If it can lasts me 2 years at least, I think I'll have gotten my money's worth. I just remember reading reviews before on the G version and how it would work for a few months, and then conk out. So I figured i'll post the question on the forum.
  8. mrtravel123 macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2007
    I have an 802.11n Airport Express that is a refurb for just $79. It's working great and was easy to set up.

    I love the wireless printing and steaming iTunes to my stereo. Too bad my external hard drive can't connect to it! Of course, having the 802.11n signal is cool. But, I have not tested the limits of it. I'm almost always within 20 feet of it... and it's working fine.
  9. The Hammer macrumors 6502

    The Hammer

    Jun 19, 2008
    Toronto, Canada
    I don't really know much about this sort of thing. So pardon me for asking where the added security comes in? What are you doing for a firewall? I know Time Capsule has a firewall. Are you going to use the one that comes with OS X?
  10. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    We've had the express for almost 2 years and it's been fine. We have had problems with our mini staying connected to it. It's just down the hall and will be full strength one minute and dropped the next. The iMac in the basement office (directly beneath the express) stays connected at full strength. Both computers have a wired Ethernet connection and just use the express for printing so the mini's problems are not too bothersome. The Lenovo laptop (from work), has no problems staying connected from the backyard, which is farther away from the express than the mini, and I can hear my iTouch connect and pick up mail as soon as I wheel my bike into the garage. So I can't help but think that many of the reported problems with the express are actually problems with the airport cards in individual Macs.
  11. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    It is good in an apartment, not sure about a big house. I used to have an older, g unit, which worked ok until it broke two years later.

    My new, N unit has been good for a couple of months so far. Importantly, there has been not a single glitch or network dropout, unlike my previous unit. Maybe this improvement in reliability has to do with software updates rather than hardware, but I have no way to check.

    So I would say go for it.

    Edit: since you are a student, it is less than $99 if you include the educational discount. Also, airtunes is very useful and so is wireless printing. Also #2, you can stream sound from any application, not just iTunes, if you use Airfoil (a few extra bucks).
  12. jhamerphoto macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    I use my Airport Express as a receiver on my current wifi network created by a Time Capsule. I really only use it to stream my iTunes library to the living room, extend my network to my back yard, and connect my xbox 360 to the internet through ethernet. Works very well for that, but I've never used one just for creating a network.

Share This Page