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

Help with Airport Extreme, Express and Airtunes

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Member Since: Nov 13, 2007
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rco1980 is on a distinguished road

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Hi Folks,

I’m new to these forums and the Mac platform so I apologise in advance for any stupidity on my part. I have a question regarding the Airport devices. I intend to buy an Airport Extreme to take advantage of the 11n bandwidth. I also plan to buy an Airport Express to use Airtunes. I’m just wondering how the audio data is actually streamed to the AP Express when you have more than one Access Point. Obviously I want the mac to associate with the Extreme to make use of the extra bandwidth, but how the audio data gets from the mac to the Express I can see happening via one of two ways:

The mac will un-associate with the Extreme and associate with the Express and directly stream


The mac will continue to associate with the Extreme and the Extreme will forward the data to the Express in a repeater-type fashion.

Obviously my preferred option is the second one. Assuming it is the second option, my next question comes down to security. During the setup of the devices will it allow the two Airport devices to be “paired” and communicate in an encrypted fashion or will it just be streamed in a “open” state?

Thank you for listening and any advice you can offer ☺
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It will depend on how you set up your network.

You can leave the Express as a separate network, not associated with the Extreme and simply stream music when you are not surfing the web or require access to the internet.

You can set the Express as a wireless access point on your network and it will receive music via the main access point (usually the Extreme) via the network. However if the express is physically closer to the machine hosting the music then the music will stream directly to the Express and bypass the Extreme.

No matter what, when you use and Express the speed of your network will not be "N" but will be "G" as the Express only does "G", at least until Apple comes out with an updated version.

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