Confused about Airport Express

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by derek1984, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. derek1984 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #1
    I'll be buying my first Mac in a couple days and I am just a little confused as to what exactly is Airport Express and if it would be worth buying. I've been to the Apple website, but I am still left confused. Right now my setup in my house is as follows: Motorola Cable Modem; Belkin 54G router; that are hooked into a Dell Desktop. I will have my MBP set-up in a separate room in my house. Can I still use Airport Express with that set-up? Or do I need to buy something else from Apple to make Airport Express work? Thanks
     
  2. MooneyFlyer macrumors 65816

    MooneyFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    The AE has a few functions:
    - Serve as a wireless access point
    - Extend an existing wireless network (though I've never gotten mine to do this)
    - Hook up to your existing iTunes via wireless and play through remote speakers / stereo
    - Wirelessly share a USB printer

    With your existing Belkin 54G it seems like you have the first function above covered. So unless you are in need of one of the other functions you may not need one.

    I believe that mostly covers things but I'm sure someone else can add...
     
  3. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #3
    You may get help from the online video tutorials on Apple's site, if you haven't seen them already:

    http://www.apple.com/findouthow/mac/

    You should be able to connect your AirPort Express to your router via Ethernet cable, then set up a WiFi network, so you can connect wirelessly to the internet. You can also connect your AirPort Express to your stereo, to wirelessly stream iTunes music to your speakers. You can also connect to a USB printer and share it on your network.
     
  4. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    #4
    Thanks for the replies...One more question now; If I want to replace my Belkin 54g router, I can just connect Airport Express to my Motorola Modem? Since Airport Express is wireless N, could that still work on my Dell Desktop that is most likely only good for wireless G? Thanks
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    Yes. All the details about how AirPort Express works, and how to set it up, are here:

    http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/
     
  6. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #6


    Thanks. My Belkin 54G is not always the most reliable router. If my Dell Desktop (supports wireless G) and my new MBP can both run on this, I am going to purchase it.
     
  7. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #7
    Yes they can both run on the airport express.

    Apple airport routers (such as airport express) are very stable.
     
  8. MarkSTi04 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Illinois Side of St. Louis, MO
    #8
    I recommend that if your going to replace the Belkin go with the Airport Extreme. I got mine before I got my MBP and its been great! Very stable, and Im running my old desk top PC off of one of the 3 ethernet ports my X-Box 360 off the other and the other is unused right now. The 802.11n is fast. I think its the fastest Ive used ever. I will occasionally will run a speed test wirelessly and its always consistant. I keep my wireless network hidden, so other people around me cant use it unless they know its there.

    I hope you like your purchase, and I know you will love your MBP. :apple:
     
  9. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #9
    Just to clarify: Since I have a Motorola Modem, I need only Airport Express and NOT Airport Extreme, correct?
     
  10. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #10
    Both Airports require that you have a modem.

    If you have a second, check out this page:
    http://www.apple.com/wifi/

    It'll explain the differences between the Express and the Extreme.

    I think MarkSTi04 picked the Extreme because he has an old PC and an XBOX that aren't wireless. The Extreme has four LAN ports that allow you to connect non-wireless devices to the network. The Express doesn't have that ability.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You can use either the AirPort Express or AirPort Extreme for wireless internet access. AirPort Express also allows you to share a printer and stream iTunes music, where AirPort Extreme cannot stream music, but can share printers and hard drives.
     
  12. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #12
    So if I buy Airport Express, I will just get rid of my current Belkin 54G router and connect my Motorola Modem (which is connected to my Dell Desktop) to Airport Express? In other words, Airport Express will take the place of my Belkin Router? Sorry to keep asking questions, I just want to make sure I know what I am getting! Thanks guys
     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
  14. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #14
    Great. Sorry for asking so many questions! I'll be buying Airport Express. Thanks.
     
  15. tbae12 macrumors member

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    Sep 26, 2008
    #15
    The airport express, along with Apple's other wireless routers, have backward compatibility with wireless g so your dell will work.
     
  16. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #16


    Perfect. Thanks.
     
  17. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

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    Apr 8, 2004
    #17
    There are some advantages to using an Extreme:

    • there's only one ethernet port on the Express, which will be used up connecting to your cable modem, so your network will always have to be wireless. If in the future you want to add network storage, it would be better to be wired.
    • You can't connect a hard drive (at least officially supported - not sure if people have workarounds for that) to the USB port on the Express.
    • The port on the Express is 100Mb/s while the Extreme is gigabit, which could slow throughput (although that wouldn't be a problem in a wireless only network.)
    On the other hand, the Express is half the price and provides the same wireless performance as the Extreme. I would look on it as a good short term solution, with the view of getting an Extreme in the future. You would always find a use for the Express if you upgraded to an Extreme.

    One more thing you should think about - since your Dell supports only wireless G, you'll need to set up a mixed G/N network, which will slow things down, although the N connection will still be much faster than G. I would consider keeping the Belkin router and using the Extreme as N-only bridge to it.
     
  18. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #18


    How would I set up a mixed G/N network? If I purchase Airport Express, can I just toss out my Belkin 54G router or will I need it?
     
  19. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

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    Feb 8, 2008
    #19
    You can set most all routers to operate in a "mixed" mode which allows for both G and N devices.
     
  20. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #20


    Is that a software fix or should there be a button on the router?
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #21
    There is no such option for the AirPort Express, using AirPort Utility:
    Picture 4.jpg
    The only button on the AirPort Express is the reset button.
     
  22. dirtleg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2006
    Location:
    St. Louis
    #22
    Caught this thread and wanted to throw a question at you folks.

    I have an Airport Express and have tried hooking it up for wireless internet at home. I attached the ethernet cable from my modem and plugged it in. I never get a connection though. The light on the express always blinks yellow. I followed instructions from Apple and tried to reset and all the other suggestions I could find. But I never get past the blinking yellow.

    Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.
     
  23. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #23
    If you have AppleCare or your Mac is less than 90 days old, you can call them and they can walk you step-by-step through the set-up process.
     
  24. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #24
    If you have a cable modem, you might try rebooting the cable modem, letting it come back up, then rebooting the Express. Some cable modems require a reset when you switch the device that they plug into (i.e. switching routers).
     
  25. derek1984 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 5, 2008
    #25
    So let me try to get this straight: Motorola Cable Modem gets connected to Airport Express. Dell Desktop that only supports wireless G still works fine, my new MBP now runs on wireless N.......?
     

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