Purchase Airport Express or Extreme?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by TheCookie, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. TheCookie macrumors regular

    TheCookie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    I'm looking to purchase an airport to create a wireless network in my new apartment. Until recently I was a PC guy, so the best option I had was to buy a Linksys range expander and pirate my neighbor's internet (yes, that's bad, but it's my parents who live next door, so I'm not so worried about it).

    Now I've got a MBP and I'm moving to a new apartment. So I want an airport for (ideally) 4 reasons.
    1) Wireless internet (duh)
    2) Wireless print serving
    3) Wireless PC speakers
    4) Wireless Time Machine backup

    I know I can easily do 1-3, but it's 4 I'm concerned about. The Apple Store website says that with the Extreme, you can connect a USB hub to connect more than one USB device--the Express says nothing of the sort.

    But here's the rub: the reviews on the Extreme page seem to suggest that a lot of people have had trouble setting up the Time Machine backups over the Airport Extreme. I don't really want to spend the extra 80 bucks if it's not going to work anyway.

    So this leads to three questions:
    A) Can the Airport Express handle multiple USB devices
    B) Will either be able to process my Time Machine back-ups, or am I just going to have to continue doing it the old-fashioned way?
    C) If I'm going to have to do the Time Machine back-ups the old-fashioned, wired way, is there any reason to get the Extreme instead of the Express?

    Thanks!
     
  2. 199708 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #2
    Airport Express:
    +: wireless connection to your hi-fi.
    -: USB is only for printer.

    Airport Extreme:
    -: NO wireless connection to your hi-fi.
    -: USB is for printers and harddrives.
     
  3. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #3
    Note also:

    Airport Express - only will connect to your DSL/cable modem and serve the connection wirelessly.

    Airport Extreme - will connect to your DSL/cable modem and also have three ethernet ports for wired connections, in addition to wireless sharing.

    The problem for you is that the Airport Extreme will not do hi-fi Air Tunes. An interesting product segmentation for Apple where the "better" product is missing a key feature of its smaller brother.
     
  4. gwerhart0800 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2008
    Location:
    Loveland, CO
    #4
    Extreme has better reception

    The Extreme has better antenna placement (internal) and better reception than the Express ... mainly a factor if you have walls or distance to cover.
     
  5. shadowband macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2004
    Location:
    massachusetts
    #5
    None of the above - you should get a Time Capsule (which is an airport / disk combo).
     
  6. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #6
    By PC speakers, you mean AirTunes/music streaming? Just making sure you're aware that they're not literally wireless speakers (as in you hear system sounds, or hear sounds while playing a game or what not). They only work with streaming music through iTunes.
     
  7. mcnicks macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2006
    #7
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    Time Capsule won't connect to stereo speakers. Only the Airport Express will do this.
     
  9. TheCookie thread starter macrumors regular

    TheCookie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    Well, sounds like I can go with the Extreme, then, as I don't have a hi-fi.

    But it will connect to PC speakers to play music from iTunes wirelessly, correct? I know they're not wireless speakers, but they're speakers that I don't have to connect directly to my laptop to play iTunes through them...

    I'm poor (hence the attempt to save 80 bucks), so it's a tiny little studio... no distance to cover.

    Yeah, I mean connecting computer speakers directly to the Airport so that I can play iTunes through them. For example, if I had a party and wanted to put my laptop in a closet or a desk drawer so it wouldn't get damaged, but have it still play music via iTunes (and not have to have my iPod sitting out, etc.).
     
  10. ravenvii macrumors 604

    ravenvii

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    Location:
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    #10
    If AirTunes is important to you, then Express is the obvious choice. If you want wireless Time Machine backups, you should get Time Capsule, or a AirPort Extreme and an external drive (I'd opt for the Time Capsule myself, it's much more sleek and works better, and the cost isn't much more than an AirPort Extreme-external HD combo).

    That's what it basically boils down to.
     
  11. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #11
    Sorry, I wasn't clear. I used the term "hi-fi" to mean "audio output". There is not audio output on the Airport Extreme. Only on the Airport Express. The Airport Express is, however, much cheaper. It will not share a hard drive though.
     
  12. CWallace macrumors 603

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #13
    With the problems folks have been having using Time Machine with HDDs connected to the Airport Extreme, it might be better to get a Time Capsule. And you still get the three Gigabit Ethernet ports the Airport Extreme offers.
     
  13. TwinCities Dan macrumors 603

    TwinCities Dan

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Location:
    Double Parked out front of the Courthouse
    #14
    Hahaha, that's why I have both!

    Sneaky :apple:!
     
  14. TheCookie thread starter macrumors regular

    TheCookie

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Location:
    Boston
    #15
    Wish I could afford both, but that's just not in the cards right now.

    Since AirTunes is more important to me--I can always continue to do my Time Machine back-ups the old-fashioned, wired way easily enough--it looks like I'll be going with the Express. Thanks for all of the advice!
     
  15. Whorehay macrumors 6502a

    Whorehay

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    #16
    The Express a great piece! The form is really great, as well as the function (most people wouldn't notice the difference between the two). You won't regret it.
     
  16. 199708 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2008
    #17
    Just to ad to the thread, I have the older b/g express. I use it only for itunes, if your planning on using it for movies/games there will be a delay of about 2/3/4 seconds in the audio.

    using Airfoil allows you to feed any kind of audio (not jsut tunes) to the express, how ever you'll still have some delay.

    there is a video playback program i think its VLC? using this you can adjust the delay in video so that it matches up.
     

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