Airport Express

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by forrest1992, Jun 6, 2006.

  1. forrest1992 macrumors member


    Jan 13, 2006
    I do not really understand Airport Express. I know you plug it into the electric wall socket. After that, does it just create a wireless network by itself? Do I have to plug an Ethernet cord in? Can I plug it in anywhere, like would I plug it into an adapter in a moving car and then go online?

    Thanks, Forrest
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    It'll create a wireless access point but will only provide users of its wireless network with the internet if an ethernet cable is plugged into it (from an internet source, such as a modem). :)

    It has more than just internet though. You can also plug in a stereo and broadcast your iTunes music to it wirelessly.
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Okay, the Airport Express is what is commonly called a "router" or a "gateway." Its primary purpose is to provide internet access to computers by sharing a "wide" area network (WAN) with a "local" area network (LAN).

    The usual configuration is that you plug it into power, plug an ethernet cable from a device with an internet connection (a cable modem, a DSL modem, etc -- this is the WAN) and then it provides this connection wirelessly to your computers (in the LAN).

    You cannot do that unless you have an internet source plugged into the Airport Express physically (ethernet cable).

    Routers can also allow computers within the local area network to share files and so on (actually, with Macs, you don't need a router for this, but that's a side issue...).

    In addition, the Airport Express has a couple of special functions most routers don't have. If you plug an audio cable between it and your stereo, you can play songs from your computer wirelessly to the Airport Express, and from there by wire to the stereo and its speakers. Finally, if you plug a printer into the Airport Express by USB, you can print to it wirelessly from the computer to the Airport Express (and then by wire from the AirEx to the printer).

    These features in the last two paragraphs do NOT require a WAN connection. So in principle, you could use them in the type of situation you describe, although probably that wouldn't make any sense....
  4. OldManJimbo macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2004
    California Coast
    Airport Express or Extreme

    So - what is the diffeence between the (smaller) Express and (larger) Extreme?

    Will the Extreme allow me to hook up a printer?
    Does the Extreme have better range?
    Will the Express work as an extender for the Extreme?
    Will they both work with the one lonely PC we have in the bunch?
  5. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816


    Dec 24, 2005
    The only difference is how many clients (users) can be connected at one time. An express can hold 10, extreme 50 (I think).

    Both can be hooked up to a printer.
    Extreme might have slightly better range but not much if any.
    Yes, or it can be the other way around.
    I believe they both will. My express is mostly plug and play.

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