Apple Airport Express through Ethernet Switch?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Hecklerdanny, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. Hecklerdanny macrumors 6502


    Aug 27, 2007
    Hi everyone. I've very recently purchased an Apple Airport Express to send wireless internet through my new condo. (I don't plan on using it for Airtunes or for Wireless Printing, but I might at some point.)

    I'll be using the Airport Express to supply wireless internet to my Apple TV, our iPhones, my Macbook, my wife's iPod touch, and hopefully not my 24" iMac. I'm just not crazy about the idea of giving my nice new powerful iMac ONLY wireless internet to use. I like it to be wired. (Just personal preference) So I'm wondering if the Airport Express will work through a little 3-4 port Ethernet Switch. You know, Cable Modem to Ethernet switch, Cat5 from Ethernet Switch to iMac and Airport Express. I think it should work, just wanted to see if anyone else is doing this before I purchase the switch. If so, how does it work for you? Do you lose any signal to the Airport Express?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm pretty sure you're going to need a router and not a switch. In other words cable modem -> router -> iMac and Airport Express. Then you'll need to turn off DHCP in the Airport (router will be assigning the IPs) and set the Express for bridge mode.
    This is basically how my wired/wireless setup is done.
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    Go for a router, like darth said, probably what you were going for, but just used the wrong word.
    It will add a firewall, and some basic protection to the stuff on the network.

    As far as "giving your nice new powerful iMac ONLY wireless internet to use", unless you have some stupid fast internet (i.e. top dollar FIOS or expensive commercial connection), even a wireless G signal is faster than your connection to the internet. the only thing you would notice a speed difference on is file transfers between machines on your network. or if there is a big file transfer happening wirelessly, it could cause a bottleneck for the internet traffic.
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68040


    Sep 2, 2006
    United States
    I agree with the others. For a little clearer picture, think of the switch as simply adding more ports / jacks to your router.

    I am an anti-wrireless guy. But, not for speed but rather security (I have a crazy long and varied password on my wired router). I know my password would likely make wireless fairly secure, but it's still a lot easier to crack than wired.

    My neighbor has a wireless signal. He's about half a mile away. I don't know him. But, I see his network.
  5. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    Yeah, definately secure your network, and use a random WPA key, let a machine make it for you. WEP can be cracked fairly easily.

    I think mine used to be 40 random characters (upper, lower and numbers), when i could cut and paste it was no big deal, then after trying unsuccessfully to type it into the iPhone multiple times (please apple, give us a checkbox to unmask passwords) i dropped it to 10
  6. nidserz macrumors 6502a


    Mar 28, 2008
    Dubai x Toronto
    Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8310/4.2.2 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/107)

    I was wondering the ame thing. Currently I had a router and airport express. Needed the router to hardwire my brother's PC desktop. I don't think I set up my AE correctly to bridge mode, but the internet on my iMac (wireless) slowed down a lot, but my PC laptop was speedy! Anyways now I just use airport express as the router and nothing is wired. I may trade up for and Airport Extreme if using the router in between continues to slow down my iMac (probably isn't the reason why). Sorry if this is confusing. If you get a switch that works please let me know.

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