Airport Express v. Airport Extreme v. non-Apple base station

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
I am going to be upgrading from a netgear 802.11b router to a 802.11b/g router in the near future, and I am, of course, looking at the Apple offerings. The Airport Express is very appealing given its tiny size. I would appreciate feedback from those who have used both the Airport Express and a standard Airport Extreme base station with regard to strength of signal and wall penetration. I am looking to put the base station on the 2nd floor or a 3 story house and cover all three floors.



Alternatively, are there any non-apple products that you would recommend in the alternative?



thanks in advance,

SM









edit: spelling

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    I cannot comment on the Apple wireless devices because I do not have one (still trying to figure out how to get an Airport Express considering I have a wireless router and a wireless accesspoint already) anywho if you want the music capabilites of the Airport Express get that if you just want a regular 802.11b/g WAP or Wireless Router then my personal preference is Linksys. I have them running perfectly with mac's and the range on the WAP is impressive. I have the WAP11 (802.11b) and have it downstairs in one corner and upstairs in the opposite corner I have 3 bars on my iBook G3. And the house is around 2,500 sq ft. Hope that helps.
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Thanks for the response. My goal here isn't necessarily the music capabilities, as I am not all that excited about playing low-quality mp3's over my stereo. what I want is great b/g range. I will set up my netgeat router and see what kind of range I get...
  • Reply 3 of 20
    I got a D-Link DI-524 802.11g 4 port wireless router last week and it's working great with my refurb iBook Airport Extreme card. It works from one end of my house to the other which is about 50-60 feet away and through 3 walls. It cost $40 after rebate. Their documentation even covers Mac OS X.



    If you do get a DI-524, make sure you update the firmware. Out of the box, the WAN port is set incorrectly for most cable modems at 100mb instead of 10mb. It fails to connect. It The new firmware corrects this (1.05).
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Will all 3 allow for a printer to be hooked up to it, or is that just Apple?



    Also will I be able to have it run into a router since my roomates don't have wireless capabilities?



    Thanks, JAK

    http://www.10111.biz/

    http://www.kajsidog.com/
  • Reply 5 of 20
    e1618978e1618978 Posts: 6,073member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by smatanovic

    Alternatively, are there any non-apple products that you would recommend in the alternative?



    I have a Belkin pre-n router on order - if it lives

    up to its advance billing, then it is much better

    than anything else. Adaptive channel usage,

    can do both 802.11g and 802.11b without dropping

    the speed for the 11g users.



    If somebody releases pre-n drivers for the mac,

    then we are cooking with gas (3 times the speed

    of Airport Extreme, and 8 times the range).

    But on the flip side, there is a chance that the

    real 802.11n spec will not be compatible with the

    belkin when it is released in 2 years.



    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?si...id=193&tid=218



    For $140, I will throw it away in 2 years if it is

    not firmware upgradable to the real 802.11n.
  • Reply 6 of 20
    I can't say enough great things about the Airport Express. It was such a breeze of a set-up compaired to when I attempted set-up of an Airport Snow base station. The Express took minutes, and its small and portable. Best Apple product of last year.
  • Reply 7 of 20
    I was the guy who stared this thread back in August. Since then I got an airport expresss for christman (cool mother in law, no?) and I have it up and running. Great speed, terrific ease of use (I have both PC and mac machines at home) and it's been rock solid. Very happy with this set up.
  • Reply 8 of 20
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    I know why too, Airport Express is absolutely cool

    Wait until you take it from one place to another and have multiple profiles loaded...it only gets cooler.
  • Reply 9 of 20
    I'll try again before I let this post fall down for good.





    >Will all 3 types (express/extreme/non-apple) allow for a printer to be hooked up to it, or is that just Apple?





    >Also will I be able to have it run into a router since my >roomates don't have wireless capabilities?



    I'm just trying to make my new iMac as wireless as possible because it will be on an arm. Which means I'm going to have to find a great router also I guess. So much for just the power cable out the back.



    Thanks, JAK

    http://www.10111.biz/

    http://www.kajsidog.com/
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kajsidog

    I'll try again before I let this post fall down for good.





    >Will all 3 types (express/extreme/non-apple) allow for a printer to be hooked up to it, or is that just Apple?





    >Also will I be able to have it run into a router since my >roomates don't have wireless capabilities?



    I'm just trying to make my new iMac as wireless as possible because it will be on an arm. Which means I'm going to have to find a great router also I guess. So much for just the power cable out the back.



    Thanks, JAK

    http://www.10111.biz/

    http://www.kajsidog.com/




    I can speak about the Express and about the 802.11b Netgear router that the Express replaced.



    Printer sharing:

    The Express has a usb port that can be used for printer sharing. Honestly, though, I RARELY use a printer anymore, so I haven't tried it. My old netgrar did not have a usb port and would therefofre not work as a print server.



    Wire networking:

    The netgear device included a router with 4 ports, which allowed for wired and wireless connection. The AEX has only one port: if you use this as the newtork-in port (I have mine connected to my cable modem, for example) you cannot connect any other *wired* devices.



    Hope that helps...
  • Reply 11 of 20
    hmmm, the plot thickens... i can get wireless printing but not wired internet for my roomates or wired internet capablities with a wired printer also...



    since I'm going to need a big usb hub anyways for my numerous peripherals i may as well have the printer wired also...

    now it's time to search reviews of other company's wireless/wire routers.



    thanks, JAK

    http://www.10111.biz/

    http://www.kajsidog.com/
  • Reply 12 of 20
    regreg Posts: 832member
    USB printer - I have only seen it on the apple products. You can still share printers that are attached to other computers. If you have a machine running anything before 10.2, printer sharing won't work with the extreme or the express. http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=108038



    It would be easier to just connect the express to the router. Set up is very easy. As long as there is an open port on the router that is the way to go.



    If you got bluetooth then the power cable is all you will need most of the time.



    reg
  • Reply 13 of 20
    g-newsg-news Posts: 1,107member
    id even dare say, the power cable is the only thing you ALWAYS need
  • Reply 14 of 20
    >It would be easier to just connect the express to the router.



    So I can just have express plug into the allready present router? That would be perfect.



    >If you got bluetooth then the power cable is all you will need most of the time.



    Is there a bluetooth adaptor that lets me have a hub for things like my scanner, wacom tablet, zip drive, camera cable, speakers etc.? That would also be great although I doubt the speakers outlet.



    Thanks, JAK

    http://www.10111.biz/

    http://www.kajsidog.com/
  • Reply 15 of 20
    rokrok Posts: 3,519member
    posted this before, but it bears repeating... the linksys routers are solid, BUT their firmware updates are infrequent, and their support has dropped dramatically since the days i first bought my router a couple years ago.



    so basically, if you want wireless routing hardware that can "keep up" with apple's added features with every airport update (range, security, etc), you should stick with apple hardware. i know i wish i had.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    >if you want wireless routing hardware that can "keep up" with >apple's added features with every airport update (range, >security, etc), you should stick with apple hardware. i know >i wish i had.



    Good point. I really do appreciate everyone's help. It looks like I'm going with an express plugged into the current wired router.
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Hello,



    sorry to resurrect this old thread but no-one answered the original question about how good the AE's range is...



    At most I will probably want to go about 20 meters through a couple off brick walls - will it manage this at reasonable strength (enough not to notice the difference on a 2Mb connection)?
  • Reply 18 of 20
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    My experience



    But remember your experience can be very different...
  • Reply 19 of 20
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    don't you think that the airport line needs upgrading?? shouldn't we see new stuff and features after the new year???
  • Reply 20 of 20
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by NOFEER

    don't you think that the airport line needs upgrading?? shouldn't we see new stuff and features after the new year???



    it took me a while to get my airport snow up and running with my ibook, g3 imac and pc dell and adelphia modem. now if i wanted to upgrade to another airport would it be hard or simple, would all the settings simply transfer?? any advice or prep i'd need to do it, without spending a ton of time which i don't have (2 and 4 yr olds little girls don't let me sit AND consentrate long on my computer)
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