Is the airport express okay these days?


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2005
I am thinking about buying an airport express, but a lot of stuff I see on the internet about it talks of dropped connections and poor streaming (interruptions) in the audio. I get the impression, though, that most of the people with problems are using it to extend the range of another router, or in conjunction with another router. The reviews I read were from when it first came out, too, so a lot of problems can be fixed with time...

I live in a small apartment, so all my stuff is in one room, and the airport express seems super cool for me, but if it is won't work consistently, and my music has hiccups, I will not be a happy boy, and will just deal with the hassle of wires (it is a small apartment afterall, and I can grab a couple of wires pretty easily.)

I was just wondering if actual owners of the AEP could let me know how they feel about it. I am cool with spending the money on it if everything works as it should. But does everything work as it should... ?

thanks a lot, everyone.


macrumors G4
I've got one which is hooked into my Extreme's network; I had the AEBS first and got an Express to hook up the stereo.

It's absolutely marvellous. The only bugbear I have with it is that since I moved to WPA security it takes longer to connect initially (about 10 seconds rather than 2-3 with WEP) but once it's streaming, it behaves perfectly.

About once every couple of months, it drops out but powering down and up again gets the signal back in a matter of a minute or so.

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
A years worth of experience with two Expresses (on WDS) and no problems thus far. Yay. But I'm only using WEP which isn't really as secure.


macrumors member
Aug 10, 2002
Mine has always worked perfectly, and I love it.

I do have a friend that has frequent problems and we've made an amatuer diagnosis that the problem seems to be caused by the portable phone (land-line).

So: that's one vote for no problems, and another for problems.


macrumors 65816
Nov 30, 2003
I'm using WPA Personal on my Express as well, and I've never had a dropped connection when streaming music (although, as Applespider notes, it does take a few seconds to make that initial connection). I'm also using it for my internet connection and for printing.

Every once in a while, though, my powerbook will wake up without being connected to the Express, selecting my Express network are re-entering the password fixes that pretty easily. I get a good signal throughout my apartment, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Express.


Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
Bergen, Norway
I've used an AirPort Express for 11 months now, and apart from the fact that it died yesterday, I've never had any problems with it. ;)

Also using WPA, I'm familiar with the bit slow initial connection, but that's not a problem. And, also mentioned, the roughly bi-monthly ritual of restarting it to get connection back because it has had a hiccup is also just minor nuisance.

All in all I was, until yesterday that is, very happy with it, and used it to stream music ~12 hours a day and as the only networking connection for my iBook, so it was well used.

Conclusion: Highly recommended (if you get a 12 month warranty ;))!


macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2003
I bought one because it is cheaper than AEB... it's 'invisible' to other computers in the area (one of the safety features my old 'pc' router didn't have) I never use the streaming function... but as a router for WiFi its great, works allways, and don't know why but now with Tiger I get full reception instead of 2 bars with Panther...


macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2004
Wires would be a much cheaper option provided you're not into exotic audiophile cables. Having said that, I have had my Airport Express since they first came out. It's sitting as a client on a non apple 802.11g network that is shared with a PC laptop, and a couple of PB's. This uses 128 bit (hackable)WEP encryption. The AE is on 24/7 and I have had to reset it twice. There have been a few instances of music drop out but it is not common.
I make a point of fully chaging my PB before parties and setting it up so it is clearly visible with no cables. It's only when I change the music mid way though the evening that people realise that the PB has been pumping out tunes all night. Then all the question start - how do you do that etc?
Good fun.


macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2005
i've had it for a few months now in my apartment on campus, no problems at all. it's great for parties, i can just put on a playlist on my laptop, lock my door, and music is going out in the living room all night


macrumors regular
Jun 29, 2005
Washington, DC
Could anyone advise as to its range? I'm about to get cable internet this afternoon (finally!) so I was thinking about getting this to use the PB wirelessly in my room; but the cable hookup is on the other side of the house, about a living room and bedroom away. Thoughts? It'd probably be this one or the Linksys WRT54G, depending how much I can shell out after some rather impulsive purchases as of recent :rolleyes: Thanks!


macrumors 603
Sep 3, 2003
North Carolina
I have the express, and I do occasionally get audio dropouts. I'm using it to extend an existing network, so that may be part of the problem. They tend to happen if I'm doing some large download simultaneously while playing, not if music streaming is all I'm doing. Could also be due to my old hardware -- a cube and a clamshell iBook.

Range depends on what computers you're using it with. Powerbooks, especially the TiBook, tend to have the worst range. I get 3 bars on my G4 iBook on the other end of the house -- upstairs, and three rooms away.

Westside guy

macrumors 603
Oct 15, 2003
The soggy side of the Pacific NW
I haven't noticed any problems with audio dropouts on my Express - but I don't use it for streaming nearly as much as some of the other posters here.

I also don't have a problem with having to reset it infrequently, except for during long periods (weeks) where it's been plugged in without any traffic. Since I plugged a Tivo into it a few months ago, it's been getting at least once daily use and has never required a reset.

I'm using 802.11g, WPA, and have installed the latest firmware updates.


macrumors 68000
Jan 22, 2003
In your head.
I bought my week one, and I haven’t had any problems other than it working with rendezvous and my brother printer.

It's a great little unit. I travel with mine (it also a secondary charger for my phone or shuffle).

You won't be wasteing your money.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 1, 2005
thanks everyone..

for your fast replies. I guess I'll be buying one pretty soon.

thanks again...