Ethernet Adapter Vs.Airport Express for travelling with your Macbook Air..

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by animatedude, Apr 12, 2011.


Ethernet Adapter or Airport Express when travelling with your Macbook Air? or both?

  1. Ethernet Adapter

    3 vote(s)
  2. Airport Express

    14 vote(s)
  3. both

    10 vote(s)
  1. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2010
    which one do you use? unfortunately most hotel rooms nowadays use ethernet cables not wi-fi....which one do you use with your Macbook air when travelling Ethernet Adapter or Airport Express?
  2. LYvancouver macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    even those hotel has wifi, sometimes they only allow one device using the network..., i have iphone, ipad and the macbook air..., and sometime my wife travel with me too, and she has her own laptop and iphone..., so i always have more than one device connect to the hotel network, therefore the airport express is more convenience...
  3. ReallyBigFeet, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    ReallyBigFeet macrumors 68030


    Apr 15, 2010
    No idea what kind of hotels you are staying in or where, but I travel to a minimum of 40 different countries and at least half of the states in the USA each year. With the exception of some very old, independent hotels in the US, WiFi access is far and away the most prevalent connectivity offered.

    If your travels are primarily within a single country, I would strongly recommend you buy yourself some form of mobile hotspot gadget (or enable Tethering on your phone) and then just use that. For me, I've got a Verizon-powered MiFi in my backpack hooked up to an external battery. I generate my own WiFi personal hotspot bubble everywhere I go and that is my primary internet connection while traveling. I have similar gizmo's for use in Europe and the Middle East. Terrific option and actually, with the right plans, FAR cheaper than paying for hotel WiFi access.

    But ethernet? Only reason you need that on an MBA is for faster connection to your home network.
  4. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    I'm really an ethernet guy but for travelling WiFi is much more widely available.

    But at home and at the office (including remote offices when travelling) I always prefer to plug in for a faster and more stable connection. Of course the 'faster' doesn't really apply with the MBA because the USB Ethernet Adaptor is only 100mbit. But even WiFi-N will struggle to achieve those speeds unless you're right next to the access point.
  5. YMark macrumors 6502a


    Nov 7, 2008
    +1. I'm curious as to where the OP does travel to make a statement that "most hotel rooms nowadays use ethernet cables not wi-fi". I travel quite a bit and can't remember the last time I was in a hotel without WiFi. That includes Mexico and Europe.
  6. weenie macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2010
    I have a different experience...

    For the last 6 weeks alone, I have been to KL (6 times), Beijing, Jakarta, Perth, Ho-Chi-Minh and Dubai. Stayed in all nice international hotel (Shangri-La, Sheraton, Hyatt, etc) and in at least deluxe rooms to junior suites.

    I had wireless connection in the room only once.

    And in HCM, I was required to create a single ID/PW to access Internet so that even prevented the use of my Airport Express to allow simultaneous connection with iPad / iPhone.

    To answer the OP, I always travel with the Airport Express to expand my own access in the hotel room. Or share with colleague in office when there is only 1 Ethernet connection left in the spare office / conference room.
  7. thelookingglass macrumors 68000

    Apr 27, 2005
    Why not just use the ethernet adapter with your MBA and then use Internet Sharing on your MBA to broadcast a wifi signal to your other devices?
  8. dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    The choice of connectivity isn't necessarily consistent among locations owned by the same hotel chain, either. I've been to a few timeshare-style resorts owned by Wyndham, and here's the rundown:

    • Wyndham Bonnet Creek (Orlando/Disney): Ethernet only in rooms, 1 connection. Wi-Fi in the main lobby area only.
    • Wyndham Smoky Mountains (Sevierville TN): WiFi only in rooms (routers hidden behind bolted-down plastic covers, and not in every unit).
    • Wyndham Panama City Beach Resort (Panama City Beach, FL): Ethernet only in rooms (numerous connections, though; one behind every TV and another beside the couch). Wi-Fi only near the Skyway bridging the room tower and the lobby.
    • Wyndham Ocean Walk (Daytona Beach FL): No connectivity in rooms at all; WiFi in lobby area only.
    I'm glad I have a MBP, considering the conundrums faced by traveling MBA users. However, that won't help me much because I'm going to the Ocean Walk in Daytona this summer. I might just have to invest in a hotspot or new phone with a tethering plan.
  9. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    You need a fourth option. I use an ASUS WL-330gE portable WiFi hotspot. The airport express is probably a better option (AirPlay)
  10. Beaverman3001 macrumors 6502

    May 20, 2010
    I can't recall ever going to a hotel and seeing a ethernet cable and not having wifi access :eek:
  11. cleric macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    I always just pair my iPhone via bluetooth if theres no Wi-Fi available.
  12. stylinexpat macrumors 65816


    Mar 6, 2009
    In Dubai and China they usually mostly only offer Ethernet.
  13. ttate90303 macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2008
    As most have said, having the AirPort Express is indeed handy for travel. I've been in hotels (budget and expensive) and have found that most have had weak to poor WiFi service in room. Most times they've installed a standard ethernet jack which gets one machine online. Having a profile that shares the internet configured on the AirPort Express allows me to get multiple devices online. So I've always brought along an AirPort Express to create my own secure connection (WPA2) in my room vs. using the "free WiFi" provided by the hotel. Of course you could always throw in your own layer using VPN but that's for another thread.
  14. animatedude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2010
    yes i stayed in 5 star hotels in both London and Dubai and they both offer Ethernet only...

    for those of you who think most hotels nowadays have WIFI you will be shocked...but i think in the US it's totally different story, i have never been to the US but as far as i know WIFI is the norm over there when it comes to hotel rooms.
  15. Le Big Mac macrumors 68030

    Le Big Mac

    Jan 7, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Yeah, the way I look at it is you're pretty much covered for everything with an AEx, but not necessarily if you have only an ethernet adapter.
  16. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    Airport, I don't even own the ethernet adapter for my MBA:apple:
  17. gb1631 macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2009
    PNW Puget Sound
    I haven't stayed at many hotels in the USA that had WiFi, most seem to have ethernet connections. So far my Apple Ethernet connector has worked just fine with them, using my MBA 11" :D:apple:.
  18. IngerMan macrumors 65816


    Feb 21, 2011
    Another option that is fairly new is Tether to your iphone. I signed up for that recently and have been pretty happy with the results while out in the field.:D
  19. mac jones macrumors 68040

    Apr 6, 2006
    Best to bring both. It's not like the ethernet adapter takes up any space.

    I do this, and have iPhone tethering as a backup. I can't rely on internet at the hotels I stay at. It varies room to room, and I seem to always get the dead zone.

    Armed to the teeth. ;)
  20. rsdq macrumors member

    Apr 21, 2008
  21. Macdctr macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2009
    All the hotels I have stayed at (Hilton) have wireless. If anything I can pair my MacAir to my iPhone4 via bluetooth (teathering). :D
  22. bmb012 macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2006
    Always seems like the nicer the hotel is, the more of a chance there is that they don't have Wifi and you need to pay for online in general...
  23. revelated macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Speaking as a fairly frequent traveler in the US.

    Marriott in Cleveland/Westlake. That includes Townplace Suites and Residence Inn. Both are ethernet only. I think WiFi is down in the lobby. Residence I know has WiFi down in the courtesy area, but not in the rooms.

    Holiday Inn in Seattle. Ethernet.

    Holiday Inn in Minneapolis. Ethernet.

    That's just three major ones.

    On the flip side, every casino hotel I've been in has been WiFi. Even a run down one in the center of Summerlin/Las Vegas, NV.

    I think the reality is that some hotels just refuse to put in the infrastructure to support WiFi for whatever reason because they don't believe there's any value to it. A lot of them stick to the old ways of what a hotel is all about.
  24. christophermdia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2008
    I stay a minimum of 100 nights per year in hotels...I find that many hotels have wifi, but even the likes of Marriott, Westins, Hiltons, and Hyatts have wifi throughout their hotels but many dont have wifi in the rooms, only ethernet. I carry around a Verizon mifi when I travel, but always have my ethernet adapter handy just in case. Ive even stayed at marriott's in New York City where there is ZERO phone signal in the room and no wifi, this is in times square. for $29 its completely worth making sure you have a ethernet connection for your MBA, and bringing the Airport Express is small enough for its convenience as well.....I'll be bringing my Airport Express with me on a trip to the bahamas to give me and my family internet connectivity at the same time without everyone paying for wifi at the same time....saves me $15/person/day

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