Any reason not to get old Airport Express?

Eric8199

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 27, 2009
753
133
So I'm looking to get a couple Airport Expresses to be able to stream music to a few rooms in my house. I also would like to be able to use one for wifi when I travel. I don't need N speeds because it's just a backup in case a place doesn't have wifi. Is there any good reason to get the current or older N airport express, or should I just pick up a couple of the old G ones? Can get the G ones for about $30 less. But want to make sure they're compatible with Mountain Lion, iOS 6, and AirPlay.

Thanks.
 

waw74

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2008
3,232
227
the g ones work, i'm still using one, a couple of things to keep in mind.

you can't join a wireless network and then use the ethernet port, say if you wanted to hook up something like a PS3 that doesn't have wireless. You can do that if you extend a network, but that requires the main wireless base station to be apple, and for you to have access to the configuration.
The N version will let you join a network, and then connect something to the ethernet port.

they tend to die, mine's been pretty good, but there are several posts about them just up and dying, when the power supply or something goes, the G ones are at least 4 years old, and up to 8, so it may not be worth the extra few dollars saved if it dies in 6 months, might last for a lot longer though, no way to tell.

you can get the N model refurbished from apple for $79
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
the g ones work, i'm still using one, a couple of things to keep in mind.

you can't join a wireless network and then use the ethernet port, say if you wanted to hook up something like a PS3 that doesn't have wireless. You can do that if you extend a network, but that requires the main wireless base station to be apple, and for you to have access to the configuration.
The Airport Express can join any wireless network as long as SSID and password (plus encryption, of course) matches. Using the ethernet port gives the device connected access to that network. In short, it acts like a wireless dongle.

If you're looking for extending the wireless network, Apple claims this can't be done unless you're using a router from Apple. Which is a lie, since as long as the router supports WDS there are no problems.

But hey, Apple are used to lying about their products capabilities, so I'm not even surprised.

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So I'm looking to get a couple Airport Expresses to be able to stream music to a few rooms in my house. I also would like to be able to use one for wifi when I travel. I don't need N speeds because it's just a backup in case a place doesn't have wifi. Is there any good reason to get the current or older N airport express, or should I just pick up a couple of the old G ones? Can get the G ones for about $30 less. But want to make sure they're compatible with Mountain Lion, iOS 6, and AirPlay.

Thanks.
.
 

smellalot

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2011
277
2
The Airport Express can join any wireless network as long as SSID and password (plus encryption, of course) matches. Using the ethernet port gives the device connected access to that network. In short, it acts like a wireless dongle.

If you're looking for extending the wireless network, Apple claims this can't be done unless you're using a router from Apple. Which is a lie, since as long as the router supports WDS there are no problems.

But hey, Apple are used to lying about their products capabilities, so I'm not even surprised.

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Just want to say I think both points hafr is making are wrong.
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
924
5
The Airport Express can join any wireless network as long as SSID and password (plus encryption, of course) matches. Using the ethernet port gives the device connected access to that network. In short, it acts like a wireless dongle.
Not the old G version, no. You'd need a WDS setup in that case. Like waw74 wrote...

If you're looking for extending the wireless network, Apple claims this can't be done unless you're using a router from Apple. Which is a lie, since as long as the router supports WDS there are no problems.
Well, "no problems" is a pretty bold claim. All WDS implementations are not created equal. Besides, WDS more or less equals pain.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Just want to say I think both points hafr is making are wrong.
I base my statements on what I've experienced myself and what people are reporting actually does work for them, what do you base your scepticism on?

Not the old G version, no. You'd need a WDS setup in that case. Like waw74 wrote...
The old G version, yes. You don't need WDS if you're just after using the Airport Express as a "wireless dongle" to a product that doesn't have wifi capabilities. It's to make it extend the wireless network that you need WDS

If you want to call me a liar, that's absolutely fine. I'm an anonymous person on the internet, of course I have no authority. And since I'm not running it at home, I can't give you exact specifics of how to set it up. But ask yourself if it's really probable that all the other people on the net (and here on MR) that claims it's working perfectly and explains how they're doing it are also lying...
 

smellalot

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2011
277
2
I base my statements on what I've experienced myself and what people are reporting actually does work for them, what do you base your scepticism on?


The old G version, yes. You don't need WDS if you're just after using the Airport Express as a "wireless dongle" to a product that doesn't have wifi capabilities. It's to make it extend the wireless network that you need WDS

If you want to call me a liar, that's absolutely fine. I'm an anonymous person on the internet, of course I have no authority. And since I'm not running it at home, I can't give you exact specifics of how to set it up. But ask yourself if it's really probable that all the other people on the net (and here on MR) that claims it's working perfectly and explains how they're doing it are also lying...
Look here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1515 third question.
Won't work with the g version. Only when using WDS. Which apparently is a pain or non functional at all with non-apple-devices.

Also nobody is calling you a liar. Simply correcting your statement. Sorry, didn't want to be rude :)
 

havokalien

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2006
650
49
Kelso, Wa
2cents

I have both a g and n express with extreme base as main and I find that the g's are less reliable and cannot be reset with airport utility on iPad. The new airport utility doesn't play as well with them either. I always get issues with update not applied or such things. When the g works it's a tank, when it doesn't play, it doesn't play nice.
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
924
5
Only when using WDS. Which apparently is a pain or non functional at all with non-apple-devices.
It is a pain even with all Apples. :p Rock solid when it is up running, though, but the bandwidth penalties... Yuck!

I base my statements on what I've experienced myself and what people are reporting actually does work for them, what do you base your scepticism on?
While this specific response wasn't directed to me, I'll chip in:

Actual experience with the devices in question, Apple's specifications and KB articles and the fact that I've never ever found someone successfully claiming that it works, the only reliable posts state that it won't work.

The old G version, yes. You don't need WDS if you're just after using the Airport Express as a "wireless dongle" to a product that doesn't have wifi capabilities. It's to make it extend the wireless network that you need WDS
Funny that Apple won't agree with you, those darn liars. They probably have a hidden agenda to force you into updating to a newer Express... http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2272

If you want to call me a liar, that's absolutely fine. I'm an anonymous person on the internet, of course I have no authority. And since I'm not running it at home, I can't give you exact specifics of how to set it up. But ask yourself if it's really probable that all the other people on the net (and here on MR) that claims it's working perfectly and explains how they're doing it are also lying...
Touchy, eh?

No, I won't call you a liar, but rather misinformed. I'm rather convinced that you actually believe in what you are saying, thus you cannot be a liar. The problem is not that you are anonymous and on the Internet. The problem is that you claim something that is directly opposite of what official documentation states and that conflicts with my personal experience and the vast number of posts I've read covering this topic.

You have been provided with a couple of links to official pages where Apple states that it won't work, and my personal experience is that WDS is needed. And unlike you, I actually run the darn things at home and have for many years. Would you care to provide links to back your claim about all those people running the 11g to share the Ethernet port on an existing wireless network without WDS? I did a quick search and only came up with a few false positives.

And once again, being wrong does not equal lying. Completely different concepts.

I have both a g and n express with extreme base as main and I find that the g's are less reliable and cannot be reset with airport utility on iPad. The new airport utility doesn't play as well with them either. I always get issues with update not applied or such things. When the g works it's a tank, when it doesn't play, it doesn't play nice.
Yeah, pretty annoying that the new Airport Utilities refuse to play with legacy hardware. It is definitively going to cause me problems down the road, having to power up some archived old hardware or a virtual machine just to reconfigure the Expresses. :(
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,743
5
Actual experience with the devices in question, Apple's specifications and KB articles and the fact that I've never ever found someone successfully claiming that it works, the only reliable posts state that it won't work.
Would you look at that, I thought the draft-N version was the first gen... :eek:

Funny that Apple won't agree with you, those darn liars. They probably have a hidden agenda to force you into updating to a newer Express... http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2272
The page is not accessible. But Apple also claim that you can't use a USB drive connected to the AEBS for Time Machine backups, yet support USB drives connected to the TC and every single other router on the market with AFP, and it's as simple to set up the AEBS+USB combo in Time Machine as it to set up a TC...

In short, when Apple says something can't be done - it's not necessarily true.
 

itickings

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2007
924
5
But Apple also claim that you can't use a USB drive connected to the AEBS for Time Machine backups, yet support USB drives connected to the TC and every single other router on the market with AFP, and it's as simple to set up the AEBS+USB combo in Time Machine as it to set up a TC...

In short, when Apple says something can't be done - it's not necessarily true.
A main difference there is that Apple initially advertised that functionality and later removed it, followed by people using hacks to access that function in another fashion, followed by a firmware update that silently re-enabled the feature which was widely discussed.

If Apple says one thing, and virtually everyone save for some random dude on the web agrees, then it is probably true enough.

If Apple says one thing, and a large number of people coherently disagrees, then it is worth to investigate the alternative opinions.

As for the supposed "can't use a USB drive", the devil might be in the details, but I don't care enough to dig up the relevant KB articles.