Choosing a wired router to use with Airport Express

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by schwickmar, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. schwickmar macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2011
    Hi all - I'm a first time poster --- Been a Mac user all my life, but recently got married and moved to rural Iowa. We just got our broadband internet service connected yesterday, and at this point in time, only my husband's Dell laptop is connected to the internet. He needs a wired connection for his unit (since it's a work computer, I don't want to spend money on a wireless card), but I also have two older Macs (one a desktop and one a laptop) and a new Acer laptop that are all wireless capable.

    My two Macs worked flawlessly when I lived on my own using my Airport Express Base Station (connected to my DSL modem), but since I now need at least one non-wireless connection, I'm thinking I need to buy a wired 4-port router... Figuring I'll use one port for my husband's laptop and one for my Airport Express Base Station for my Macs (and now my new Acer).

    My first question is will this work (as in, is it the appropriate setup - Broadband Modem > Wired Router > Airport Express Base Station)? ***If it makes a difference, my Acer is running Windows 7, my Macs are both running OS X 10.2, and my husband is using Windows XP, I believe.***

    And secondly, does anyone have any idea what router I should buy? I've been sifting through reviews and it seems as though some work fine with Airport products and others won't recognize them at all. I'm worried with the Acer running Windows 7 that this may also throw a monkey wrench into things... I'm looking for something reliable, but inexpensive (since the new house will be sucking up a lot of our extra finances)!

    I appreciate any advice - Thanks!

  2. stev3n macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2010
    I have my Broadband Modem hardwired via Ethernet Cable to my AirPort Extreme Base Station (older model) and I have the AirPort Express (older model) on the same network but connected wirelessly as an extender.

    The AirPort Extreme is a great router but it is not cheap. According to Apple's Support site the Extreme will work on Windows Vista or later but it does not mention Windows 7.
  3. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    Yes it will work, but it's not the optimum setup. You would have to setup the Airport Express as a wireless access point (Bridge Mode), for this setup to work as you have it laid out. Any wired router would do the trick.

    Like I said, any "wired" router will do the trick. But if you want simplicity, I would just get a new wireless router. I would recommend an Airport Extreme which would eliminate the need for your Airport Express. You can also keep the Airport Express and extend the wireless network if you have a very large house.
  4. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    You may need only a switch.
    Did your internet service provie you with a router?
    Is it cable or DSL?
  5. schwickmar thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2011
    Flynnstone, I've got a cable hookup for our internet service (no router provided), so I'm not sure a switch will work for the wired hookup needed. I think I'll take JRoDDz suggestion since I need to buy a router anyway, and just buy a wireless; hook my husband's laptop directly into a wired port and temporarily hook up the Airport Express to it so I have wireless access throughout for my computers. (While not ideal, I'm just going to buy a Cisco-Linksys for the time being (easier on my pocketbook) and hopefully upgrade to an Airport Extreme within the next few years.)

    Thanks for all your help! I'll let you know if I run into any trouble!!!

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