New Airport Express vs old Airport Extreme

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Sangdushi, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. Sangdushi macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2011

    signal strength and range wise, are they the same?

    I also have an hp printer that I need to be able to wireless print from.
  2. merrickdrfc macrumors 6502


    Jan 8, 2011
    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
  3. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    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?
  4. cadillac1234 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    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
  5. Sangdushi thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    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.
  6. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    According to Apple the Express is recommended for an apartment, smaller home, or dorm:

    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.
  7. JUiCEJamie macrumors 6502a


    Mar 22, 2011
    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?
  8. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    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.
  9. joudbren macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2007
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    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.
  10. 50voltphantom, Jun 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

    50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    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.
  11. mfram macrumors 65816

    Jan 23, 2010
    San Diego, CA USA
    Not correct. The old APE could function as a standalone router. Same as the new one.
  12. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    How did I not know this?! I thought it only gave AirPlay/wireless capability to to other hardware.
  13. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    Not quite sure. It's fully documented both online and in the user manual...
  14. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    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?
  15. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    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...
  16. Dee908 macrumors newbie

    Aug 13, 2008
    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
  17. 50voltphantom macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2011
    Can you use it to extend wifi from a non-Apple wifi router?
  18. btbrossard, Jun 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012

    btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    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!

  19. CplBadboy macrumors 6502

    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.
  20. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    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.
  21. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011

    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.
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    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.....
  23. BeatCrazy, Jun 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2012
  24. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    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.
  25. btbrossard macrumors 6502a

    Oct 25, 2008
    Whoops! Thanks for the correct info. Embarrassed...

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