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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

Question On AirPort Express


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PsYkOoOoO

 
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Hey guys,

I am interested to get the AirPort Express, to get rid of all the irritating cables in my house. Currently, my house is hooked up as follows:

The modem is connected to a router, and from the router a bunch of cables out to the other computers in the house, and it really is quite a mess you wouldn't want to imagine.

I understand that the AirPort Express is going to solve this problem, but I am wondering if I still need the router I currently have at all. That is to say, I am wondering if I can connect the AirPort Express directly to the modem?

Also, I am wondering about the lifespan of AirPort Express, if anybody has had problems using it for an extended period of time?
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mrplow

 
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Happy to be corrected ...... but I believe you can connect a modem directly to the Airport Express using a network cable (not USB) when the port is in WAN mode rather than LAN mode. Obviously that uses the 1 port you have on the express so all connections would have to be made wirelessly.

The alternative is to connect the Express to your router and then you could have a combination of wired and wireless connections.

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PsYkOoOoO

 
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What are some of the disadvantages associated with a complete wireless network at home?

Because I'd really like to get rid of, well, everything. Including the router, if possible.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PsYkOoOoO View Post
What are some of the disadvantages associated with a complete wireless network at home?

Because I'd really like to get rid of, well, everything. Including the router, if possible.
Disadvantages:
1. ALL your machines need some kind of wireless adapter which, if not built-in, is more expensive than cable & network cards
2. The quality of a wireless signal is subject to many influences (wall thickness, wall composition, room layout, surrounding area, electrical interference etc)
3. The Express is an 'N' speed device. However it will drop to the much slower 54g if a non 'N' device connects to it.
4. If you're shifting files around between machines then wireless is slow unless everyone's on 'N' as above
5. If you have 24mb+ broadband you may not even have bandwidth to take full advantage of it on a 54g wireless connection. Again depending on the quality of your network signal. It's easy to lose half the speed of a real-world 54g connection down to low quality and error correction.

After all that there are, obviously, many advantages to a wireless network. Mobility, ease of adding new clients, accessibility etc.

You could always go for an Airport Extreme to give you wireless 'N' and wired connection ports in one.

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Lifeisabeach

 
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There's a couple things you should be aware of with wireless networking and the Airport Express stations. Firstly... if your wireless base station can't get a full-strength signal to all your computers, then you will need to consider getting "extenders" to relay the signal to all the computers. Oftentimes you'll have obstructions in the house that will interfere with the signal, creating dead spots. If you have to use extenders, then you will need to start off with the Airport Extreme base station, then get a couple Airport Express units to act as the relay stations.

I have an Airport Extreme base station and a couple Airport Expresses and am very happy with the way this works (nearly 4 years now, I think I've had these). One thing to really pay attention to is where you place the Express units. Before I got mine, I had dead spots in my living room due to the walls and obstructions therein like the AC intake venting. Putting an Express in the Living Room helped but I still didn't have a full-strength signal at first. Then I added the third one upstairs, which really helped out more because it has fewer obstructions between the base station and the Living Room's Express unit. It basically helps relay the signal around the downstairs obstructions.

If you wanted to go COMPLETELY wireless, you'd have to get an internal wireless modem/router and basically set up one computer with those to act as a base station. I've not done it myself, but I'm sure it's quite possible, though there may not be proper Mac solutions with driver for those.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
If you wanted to go COMPLETELY wireless, you'd have to get an internal wireless modem/router and basically set up one computer with those to act as a base station. I've not done it myself, but I'm sure it's quite possible, though there may not be proper Mac solutions with driver for those.
Sorry but if I'm reading this correctly your mistaken about this. Apologies if I've got the wrong end of the stick.

To go completely wireless you don't need a computer to act as a base station.
Any of these would do the job:
- external modem + wireless router
- wireless router with internal modem

It's true that many routers require you to do the initial configuration by connecting to a machine via cable. But once that's done your good to go. The whole network can be used and administered wirelesssly

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrplow View Post
Sorry but if I'm reading this correctly your mistaken about this. Apologies if I've got the wrong end of the stick.

To go completely wireless you don't need a computer to act as a base station.
Any of these would do the job:
- external modem + wireless router
- wireless router with internal modem

It's true that many routers require you to do the initial configuration by connecting to a machine via cable. But once that's done your good to go. The whole network can be used and administered wirelesssly
Well my understanding of his desire to go "completely wireless" was that he didn't even want to run a network cable from computer to external cable modem, then from cable modem to router (he said he'd ideally like to get rid of the router). Obviously I know about the solution you just posted... it's what I use and referred to in my posting (aside from this alternate all-internal option).
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PsYkOoOoO

 
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Hey guys, thanks for the replies, greatly appreciated.

It seems like having a house that is completely wireless based on the AirPort Express creates a whole new set of problems.

I am guessing the wireless coverage in my home would be based on how my house is like physically, so I guess it'd be silly to ask about that here.

I guess I'd go for both a wired and wireless network at the same time, still using the router with one end connected to the AirPort Express while the other being a wired cable. I think that should eradicate some of the potential problems here.
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