Current linkysis vs extreme/express? plus other Q's


macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 4, 2007
I need some network help as well as if an upgrade is worth it. I currently have a linksys WRT54G firt gen. Its old but works, up until i moved into an area with many different wifi networks. I have tried different channels and what not. I have found a decent one but it still screws up a few comps here and there.

My question is would buying the dual band airport extreme fix said issues? Or would buying the express also fix the issue? I am looking for things to get this holiday season and a new router was an option. I really would like to wirelessly print from my mac and pc running windows 7? this would be possible correct?

Also is there any real difference between extreme and express to warrant the $80 more.

Also how many printers can you configure to the wireless router at the same time?

thanks for you help


macrumors 68000
Mar 13, 2007
Houston, TX
Regarding the Extreme vs. Express price difference, I believe you get a more powerful signal off the Extreme (which would help in your highly populated airspace), plus I don't think the Express can operate a dual-band network.

Either will allow you to connect a printer via USB for network printing, but the Extreme would also allow you to connect a printer via ethernet (the Express only has one ethernet port, which would be used for the connection to your modem). If your printer(s) has built-in wireless networking, this is not an issue. I have no idea the limit, if there even is one, of the number printers that can be attached wirelessly, but there's nothing in either Apple router that would prevent access from a WinPC.

If you're going to have a combination of "n" and "g" devices attached to your wireless network (which sounds likely if you are attaching printers wirelessly), the Extreme is definitely the way to go. Otherwise, you'd never get the benefit of the faster "n" speeds as your network would always be slowed down for the "g" devices. The Extreme's dual-band capability means that you can have an "n" only band and a separate n/g/b band so that everything is getting the best service.


macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
The Extreme/Express would be worth the update in my opinion, especially if you have computers using wireless N. You may still get intereference, but you can use the Interference Robustness option to counter it.

You can share a printer with either Extreme or Express, but if you plan on sharing USB hard drives, only the Extreme will help. I'm unsure of Windows 7 being able to share printers, but if Apple hasn't yet supported it I'm sure they will in the relatively near future.

The differences are mainly these:

Simultaneous Dual Band, longer range
Up to 50 wireless users
Printer and Hard Drive Sharing
3 LAN ports to hard wire computers
No AirTunes audio jack
Guest networking

Dual band (not simultaneous)
Up to 10 wireless users
Only printer sharing
No LAN ports
AirTunes audio jack
No guest networking

With a hub, you can network multiple printers/hard drives. Not sure of the maximum, but I don't think you'll be networking that many printers...
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