do I need airport express or just a wireless router?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by meegs, Aug 17, 2004.

  1. meegs macrumors newbie

    Aug 17, 2004
    all the hype aside, I can't figure out if I "need" (loosely defined, of course) an airport express or if it makes more sense for me to just get a regular wireless router.

    My roommate and I both have iBooks. we live in a very small apartment with a roadrunner cable highspeed connection. I got an airport express, but i am considering returning it because if we used it the situation would be as follows: it would have to be plugged in in her room, because that is where the internet connection is, but the printer is in my room, so i'd have to move that to her room to have a wireless printer connection. we'd also have to rig up to her stereo for airtunes, since all of this is in her room. if i wanted to play airtunes, i couldn't do it from my stereo. and i don't really feel like it is ideal to pay an extra $40 for airtunes cables. on the plus side, it would be really cool to be able to print wirelessly, as i will currently have to drag my printer out of the box every time i want to plug it in (small room) and airtunes is a neat feature.

    as you can see, i just can't decide.

    as a second question, if it seems that express is not for me, what wireless router would you recommend?
  2. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Well, if you don't want to have your printer in her room or attach the Express to her stereo, then you're really not taking advantage of having the Express, and it may be less expensive to simply buy a $40-$50 wireless router (Linksys, Netgear, D-Link are among the good consumer ones) and be done with it.

    If, on the other hand, you have a "common area" with a stereo and where you could plant the printer, I'd recommend trying to move the cable modem (either call Roadrunner, or simply run a longer piece of cable along the baseboards) there so you could attach the Express to the common stereo and put the printer out there as well. That way you get Airtunes, wireless printing, and wireless internet sharing and everybody's happy.
  3. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    Why don't you just run an ethernet cable from the internet connection to your room? Then hook your AE up to that and you stereo and printer will be in your room. She'll still get wireless internet access too.
  4. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Hmmm. Move router? Run ethernet cable? Move router? Run ethernet cable?

    I suppose running an ethernet cable is probably a little simpler than relocating the router... It just doesn't solve the "small room for printer" issue, which may not be a huge one.

    Running the ethernet cable would work in the common area scenario as well - run the cable to your common area and share there.
  5. noahsnyc macrumors regular

    Sep 27, 2003
    Los Angeles
    What Airport Express does best is service a common area. It's really not made for multi-room use. In other words, it does no good if you have an AE yet keep your printer in one room and your stereo system in another. Unless, of course, you have more than one AE.

    It sounds like your apt. is very small, so consider just making all the components to AE in the same place; i.e run the cable modem into one room along with the stereo and the printer.

    If the room is small, consider placing the printer on a shelf either high up on a wall or close to the ground. That's always helped me in small spaces.

    If it's a little too difficult to get everything together and the fact that AE is about three times as much as you could get a wireless connection for, just remember, it's not that much of a hassle to plug in your computer to a printer all the time. That's why you got a laptop. Just find a handy place for the printer. Also, AirTunes is nice, but why not just plug your computer into the stereo when you want to party? Or burn MP3 CDs...These are not nearly as cool options as AE, but they'll save you some cash and a little remodeling....

  6. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    If money is not an option, then 2 APEx is ideal. 1 connected to the Cable modem and stereo and the other to YOUR stereo and printer. This will work very nicely but is a pricey solution.

    If you want to have just 1 station, then I think the wireless iBook option is the best, so connect it to the modem and go iBook wireless, have 1 stereo connected and share your printer and plug it in as needed.
    As for $40.00 cable, you can get the miniRCA to RCA at Radio Shack for under $8.00

    Good luck.
  7. crazzyeddie macrumors 68030


    Dec 7, 2002
    Florida, USA
    I think the difference in price is worth it for wireless printing. I would never be able to live with having to move a printer around... what a waste of time! I agree with what everyone else says: try to find a common area for the stereo and printer to live so you can both share it.
  8. timsq macrumors regular


    Feb 27, 2004
    New Orleans
    AEx is mostly for Airport networks and airTunes, wireless printing, but it sounds like you could use it and have another router for internet sharing. So you get a Linksys WRT54G and hook it up to the modem and the AEx all in the same "common area" , then either one of you can print wirelessly, stream tunes, and surf, etc. The AEx is more of a niche(ish) network appliance. It's definitely worth keeping.
  9. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I'm not sure what you're talking about. AEx will work for internet sharing. There is no need to buy the second Linsys router and use up more money.
  10. Krizoitz macrumors 65816


    Apr 26, 2003
    Tokyo, Japan
    if you decide to go with another router I have a Netgaer 802.11g router I'm trying to get rid of, brand new and all. PM me.

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