Extreme vs. Express, wireless upgrade

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by zim, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. zim macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    I am trying to upgrade my wireless network, have read the other threads but did not get a direct answer to my desired setup.. also desire an opinion.

    Currently I have an old, the original, ABS, of which I have been told does not work with the airPort Express. I would like to have the airPort Express so that I can stream to my living room stereo but also want to, at some point, have a stationary ABS, the Extreme model.

    So the questions are as follows:
    1. Is it true that the old ABS and airPort Extreme are incompatible.
    2. Does the airPort Extreme work alone? without an ABS? I think the answer is yes.

    Would you get the ABS Extreme or just the airPort Express? I love the design of the ABS Extreme but, is it worth having? The Express seems to do everything the ABS Extreme does... I guess I am just lost, wish the Extreme had the airTunes option.

    I think my best option is to go with the Express and then, if needed, add in the Extreme or just another Express... any opinions?

    Thanks... (this info will be for my secret Santa).
  2. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    I would recommend going with the AirPort Express, since it is new, has more features and is mobile targeted. Plus it is wireless G. Wireless N is actually around the corner so I would not think about spending too much on an AirPort Extreme. If you are networking more than 10 macs or pc's and want to transfer movie files or stream movies from one work station to the next wireless N is great. Wireless G will also work however wireless N have more bandwith. If you have one mac and only looking to surf the net than a wireless B should be more than enough for your needs.

    In conclusion buy the AirPort Express, more neat features like Air Tunes. :)
  3. JeffTL macrumors 6502a

    Dec 18, 2003
    The main people to whom I suggest Airport Express are also hooking up an Ethernet device (usually a Windows PC) to the LAN port, which is also handy if you prefer Ethernet printers to using the Airport as a USB print server. But if you don't want or need the LAN port on the AirPort Extreme or plan to have lots of clients, get the AirPort Express and put the savings towards some good speakers for it so you can enjoy AirTunes.
  4. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Airport Express should be able to join your old (802.11b) wireless network as a client, but it won't be able to extend that network - that only works with one of the reasonably new Airport Extremes. However I think you should still be able to stream tunes to it when it's acting like a client.

    Check out the data sheets on Apple's website to be sure.
  5. James Craner macrumors 68000

    James Craner

    Sep 13, 2002
    Bristol, UK
    For most home users the only extra that Extreme gives you is a Modem port, but assuming that you have a broadband connection then the Express is the way to go, unless you have more than 10 computers that you want to connect to it, or need to use an external antenna to extend the range. You will not want to use the older airport with the Express (even if you could) as the network would work at the lower speed of B rather than G.
  6. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    The AE works fine with the .b ABS. I use them every day. That is a fine set up for a home user. Forget all the talk of .g and the new .n standards. Most home users will never need or be able to use that much bandwidth.

    My set-up- ABS and an AE driving an iMac G5, Toshiba laptop, iBook and a Tivo. AirTunes is awesome as well as wireless printing. Haven't figured out how to print to it from Toshiba laptop but not really an issue because anything I need to print for work (laptop is for work) I just print to my printer at my desk so it's there when I get to the office.
  7. zim thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 5, 2002
    Thanks for all the advise!

    Extremely happy to hear that there is compatibility with my current ABS set up.

    So, my wife and I were sitting down, figuring out how to divide up the shopping money, setting limits for each other and then she goes... so this thing that you wanted... I could play music through our surround sound system? So I explained what the Express could do... 5 mins later, 5 mins before the sale ends, and we have a brand new AirPort Express on the way :D

    Now I am faced with challenge replacing the top item on my Christmas list... not that I am complaining.

    Thanks again.

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