View Full Version : Airport Express

26th September 2008, 11:01 AM
Please forgive my ignorance and total dumbness but I'm confused about the Airport Express and it's use.

I have read and read and read some more and I still don't fully understand what it basically is.

I realise it's a Wireless access point, but what is it's actual purpose? Is it's use to extend an already existing wireless network or is it for adding a wireless network, which I thought that's what the Airport Extreme was for?

I already run a Wireless router at home for kids MB's and wife's laptop, do I need the Airport Express then to help, add, change anything at all to my current set up?

Again apologies but it really does have me confused of it's purpose and thank you..:)

26th September 2008, 11:14 AM
It can be used to create a wireless access point if you don't have one. It can extend the range of an existing access point. iTunes can wirelessly stream audio to it, so you can play audio through remote speakers.

It's a stripped-down, cheaper alternative to the Airport Extreme. The Extreme has a gigabit Ethernet switch for directly connecting computers. That's the main difference. The Extreme can't stream audio, so that's an separate focus of the Express. The Extreme can share a printer on its USB port, just as the Express can, but you can also attach a hard drive to the Extreme's port for network disk sharing.

Unless you want to change to Apple hardware (good reason!) or you need to extend your wireless network or perhaps take advantage of the Express's 11.n speed, making a separate 11.n network, then you don't need this product.

26th September 2008, 12:28 PM
Cool thank you for that, helps and explains it now..:)

Wonder if I should be looking at replacing my Billion Wireless Router with Airport Extreme then?

26th September 2008, 12:35 PM
Cool thank you for that, helps and explains it now..:)

Wonder if I should be looking at replacing my Billion Wireless Router with Airport Extreme then?

If your Billion is not only your wireless router but also your modem, and it's working fine, and you don't need 11.n, then I would advise not. If your modem is not wireless, then it's a great idea to get the Extreme or even Express.

It is nice to have the Apple hardware. I used to have a Linksys modem/wireless router but gave it up so that I could have an 11.n Apple product. I have a simple modem now.

26th September 2008, 12:54 PM
Yep the Billion is my 1 and only ADSL1 Wireless Modem/Router I use and that sits in the middle of the house with the kids using their MB's in their bedrooms and wife using her laptop in family room no problems, but as ya say would be nice to switch over to Apple.

Wonder if the Wireless would work any better, hmmm.

Thanks again for ya help..:)

26th September 2008, 12:59 PM
Well, you could use a base station to extend the network. The first one is in the centre of the house and you could put another one closer to the kids, for example. Then you can configure it to extend, which means that it appears to be the same router to the computer, but because it's closer to the kids, the signal is stronger. It's like a virtual extension lead.

26th September 2008, 01:00 PM
Pardon my ignorance but the 'Base Station' being?

Can ya tell this is all new to me these Apple products..man I gotta get away from PC...:D

26th September 2008, 01:13 PM
Base station is a wireless router, an Apple Airport Extreme or Express. There are many of these on the market. Apple has the above two. They also have the Time Capsule, which is essentially the same as an Airport Extreme, but it includes a built-in hard drive for backups. So that makes three base-station wireless router products from Apple. Your Billion is also a base station.

I don't think you need to make any changes to your network. It obviously works and all computers seem to be able to access your Billion over wireless. The only reasons to make a change would be:

1. You want to stream audio from a computer to a remote speaker (Express)
2. The Billion is wireless 11.g, you have one or more 11.n (later model) computers and you want to take advantage of the greater speed of 11.n
3. You're a MacMac who would prefer to have anything that Apple makes.

26th September 2008, 01:25 PM
Unless you need any of these things, don't go messing with your wireless set up. It can be a real hassle trying to fix an unreliable wireless network. If things ain't broke, don't fix them!

Mac Ram
26th September 2008, 01:27 PM
I have a netcomm adsl2 wireless modem/router. Bought a AEBS for 'n' goodness.

I then started to use the AEBS's ethernet ports for my (mostly) wired LAN. What I found was that the AEBS just did not seem as fast via ethernet, it's wirelesss was excellent though. This manifested itself as, e.g., youtube via the appletv (ethernet) would stall after a few minutes, plug the ethernet into the netcomm, it would play right through.

At the time I remember googling and came across some articles which backed this up with eveidence, i.e. the AEBS is an excellent wireless router, but it's ethernet performance is not very good.

26th September 2008, 01:34 PM
Thank you guys cleared a lot up for me and answered questions I had and for that I thank you. Might just leave it be for the moment and progress when I can work out music streaming and an iMac purchase..:)

Appreciate the input..:)