New Airport Express vs old Airport Extreme

merrickdrfc

macrumors 6502
Jan 8, 2011
448
60
Berlin
The new AirPort Express has dual band capability, where as the old one was single band, that's the only significant difference I can see
 

2ms

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2002
440
70
Generally new versions of Airports have better range etc because newer generations of wireless components inside generally perform better. So I am confident this one will too.

What I'm wondering is whether there is any possibility this version might have faster buffer loading etc for Airplay. I hate the delay when I change songs.

Anyone have ideas? Does the dual band possibly let it load the buffer faster?

Also, if I have an older APE in my wireless network would everything be only as fast as the older APE?
 

cadillac1234

macrumors regular
Aug 20, 2010
144
0
The new AirPort Express has dual band capability, where as the old one was single band, that's the only significant difference I can see
It also has a corded plug and a pass-through ethernet port.

The old express plugs directly in the wall although it can be modified to plug in the wall with the extra plug-in cord from a MagSafe adapter
 

Sangdushi

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 9, 2011
128
0
The new AirPort Express has dual band capability, where as the old one was single band, that's the only significant difference I can see
Yes, the same dual band capability the extreme has. That's why I thought other than some extra features like connecting a hard drive it would be the same range wise. I don't know enough about this stuff to know if that means anything lol.
 

skorpien

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,339
0
According to Apple the Express is recommended for an apartment, smaller home, or dorm:
http://www.apple.com/wifi/

Whereas the Extreme is recommended for a larger home, office, or classroom.

My guess is the Wi-Fi antenna in the Extreme is larger and thus able to transmit a stronger signal over a longer distance.
 

JUiCEJamie

macrumors 6502a
Mar 22, 2011
750
18
Sorry for my ignorance, but what are the benefits of the dual-band spec means?
I know that they'll know run at 2.4GHz and 5GHz wireless bands, but how does that compare to an old AirPort Express? Or what would my current AirPort Express be running if I'm using my MacBook Pro and/or iPhone/iPad?
 

skorpien

macrumors 68020
Jan 14, 2008
2,339
0
The benefit of simultaneous dual-band is exactly that. It can run both simultaneously. The old Express had the option of running one or the other, and if you had any devices that could not utilize the 5GHz band, you had to run strictly in 2.4GHz mode. The new one allows you to connect both 5GHz enabled devices and 2.4GHz enabled devices at once.

Another benefit would be that if an older b/g device were to join the 2.4GHz band, any devices connected to the 5GHz band would not suffer from a drop in speed. However, any wireless n 2.4 only devices would still be throttled when the b/g device is actively using its connection.
 

joudbren

macrumors regular
Apr 13, 2007
244
1
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
The new AirPort Express has dual band capability, where as the old one was single band, that's the only significant difference I can see
Technically, the old Airport Express was also dual band. The difference is the new one can do SIMULTANEOUS dual band so it can transmit on both 2.4ghz and 5.0ghz at the same time which is the same as the Airport Extreme.

I have the old one providing a 5ghz access point for my carrier provided router/modem combo and works great. I've even disabled the 2.4ghz side of my old Airport Express as that frequency is handled fine by my Actiontec router. Cheers!

Edit: Skorpien beat my post by about 2 secs. LOL. His explanation is correct.
 

50voltphantom

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2011
177
0
Am I missing something? The old airport express couldn't function as a stand-alone wifi router, correct? I can't wait for reviews of this thing.
 
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50voltphantom

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2011
177
0
Not quite sure. It's fully documented both online and in the user manual...
I don't own one, but I still can't believe I didn't know that. If I currently have a Belkin N600 DB would I be stupid to replace it with the new Airport Express for use strictly as a wifi router?
 

Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
1,954
4
So, between a $99 Airport Express and a refurb last-gen Airport Extreme for $139, what would people buy? Is the extreme worth the extra $40, or will the new Express do everything needed for a small apartment?

The old Express was never a consideration because I need ethernet in and out, but now that the new one supports that I'm less sure of which makes more sense...
 

Dee908

macrumors newbie
Aug 13, 2008
15
0
I use my last generation Airport Express to do a few different things.

1) As an extender to my latest generation Airport Extreme Base Station.

2) Plugged into my A/V receiver for use of AirTunes

3) Plugged in via ethernet to my non wifi devices (1st gen Xbox & Blu Ray player)

Can someone let me know whether or not the NEW Airport Express released today would be any better for the purposes I need them for? (NOT as a standalone router)

Not too knowledgeable on networking issues but would the simultaneous dual band help me out any way as a network EXTENDER? Is the current generation Airport Express holding back the speeds coming from my AEBS by limiting me to either 2.4ghz or 5gHz?

I spend the majority of my time in the room with the extender and I'm sort of disappointed by the speeds I've been getting on my devices, any knowledge would be greatly appreciated
 

btbrossard

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2008
973
11
Chicagoland
Can you use it to extend wifi from a non-Apple wifi router?
Other Airport gear would only extend other Apple Airport gear - so I would imagine this new Express would be the same. EDIT - Sorry, bum advice. See below. Sorry!

Extend an existing Wi-Fi network’s range.
If you already have a wireless network in your home and want to extend its range, AirPort Express can help. Just place it in range of your primary base station — an AirPort Extreme, Time Capsule, or another AirPort Express — and near the area where you want your wireless connection. Launch the easy-to-use AirPort Utility app on your iOS device or Mac, and you’re mere minutes away from long-range Wi-Fi enjoyment.
 
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paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Incorrect. I had a an AEX extend and be part of my network when a DLink router was the main hub. I got rid of the DLink because it was simply too unreliable with multiple dropouts.
This! But of course Apple will not officially state this. I believe you need WDS on your primary router for this to work though...

So if you have a really old router this will not work.
 

smellalot

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2011
277
2
I use my last generation Airport Express to do a few different things.

Can someone let me know whether or not the NEW Airport Express released today would be any better for the purposes I need them for? (NOT as a standalone router)

Not too knowledgeable on networking issues but would the simultaneous dual band help me out any way as a network EXTENDER? Is the current generation Airport Express holding back the speeds coming from my AEBS by limiting me to either 2.4ghz or 5gHz?

I spend the majority of my time in the room with the extender and I'm sort of disappointed by the speeds I've been getting on my devices, any knowledge would be greatly appreciated

The current generation APX supports 2.4ghz and 5ghz. So the new one will only be better in terms of speed if it gets a better signal in general. I don't think it has anything to do with simultaneous dual band.
Have you tried extending your wireless network on both frequencies? Maybe 2.4ghz will work better than 5ghz or the other way round.

One advantage over your current setup could be the second LAN port so you don't need a hub anymore (which I believe you're using) That is if Apple allows the use of the WAN port for LAN.
 

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
3,960
120
Not too knowledgeable on networking issues but would the simultaneous dual band help me out any way as a network EXTENDER? Is the current generation Airport Express holding back the speeds coming from my AEBS by limiting me to either 2.4ghz or 5gHz?
The question is, why are you unhappy with the speeds coming from your AEBS? There are many factors such as the following:

1. If using 2.4ghz band, you will get greater range, but often times more interference, so try switching to 5ghz band and see if that is faster.
2. If using the 5ghz band, the signal might be weak so try switching to the 2.4ghz band and hopefully you won't have too much interference.
3. Or are you unhappy with the speed of your internet connection? Most internet connections are considerably slower than the speed of the wifi so it might not be anything to do with your hardware, but rather your internet speeds.....
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,330
45
Colorado
Although simultaneous bands generally provide the potential for higher throughput, my experience using a Gen1 AE is that it does not provide speeds on par with an AEBS or TC. So I would suggest holding off for reviews showing throughput speeds before spending the money to replace an existing AE.

As an extender, I would expect it to provide some improvement over the previous generation just on the fact of it operating on simultaneous bands. As a client, I would think any improvement in throughput would be negligible, affected mostly by improvements in WIFI circuitry.
 
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