New Airport Express Review

New Airport Express Review
Airport Express

Airport Express

The new Airport Express has a new body. It looks like an Apple TV, but in white.

The main differences with the old one are:

  • its new body
  • 802.11a/b/g/n simultaneous dual-ban
  • Wifi 2.4GHz + 5GHz
  • 2 ports instead of 1 (LAN + WAN)

It is available for $99.
We have been testing it for one month and so far we are very pleased with it.

On june 11, during last WWDC keynote everyone had the eyes turned on the MacBook Pro Retina. Not a single word was said about the new Airport Express.

What can I use it for?

Airport Express Overview Ports

Airport Express Overview Ports

There are many situations when an Airport Express can become handy :

  • To use as a DSL router/bridge + Wifi access point
  • To extend an existing wifi network
  • To provide network access to a device that does not have wifi adapter
  • To connect printer to its USB port (note that you cannot connect a hard drive here)
  • To connect a speaker to its analog/digital jack port


Product comparison

If you really care about wifi strength signal, you would rather get a Cisco WAP4410N with does only Wifi Access Point (no gateway, no routing, only Wifi) but does it really well. It is available for $160.

The AirPort Extreme, available for $180, is also an interesting candidate. Differences with Airport Express are:

  • Bigger body
  • 4 LAN ports (instead of 1)
  • USB host port (to connect a USB hard drive)

We compared the Airport Extreme and Airport Express on the same connection.
Whereas the difference is almost impossible to see when surfing on the Internet, we noticed a huge difference when downloading local files.

Please note that these are maximum rates as they may vary depending on several parameters.

New Airport Express bandwidth

New Airport Express bandwidth

Installation

Just plug the Airport Express to 110V or 220V.
Plug what you need:

  • Power cord (mandatory!)
  • your DSL router/gateway to the LAN port (if you do not want to use it as wifi extender)
  • a computer to the LAN port
  • a printer to the USB port
  • your sound system to the 3.5mm jack

That’s it.

Setup

New computers allow you to setup the Airport without changing your current wifi configuration. Just launch the Airport Utility and follow the steps.

Airport Express, Setup #1

Airport Express, Setup #1

Airport Express, Setup #2

Airport Express, Setup #2

Airport Express, Setup #3

Airport Express, Setup #3

Airport Express, Setup #4

Airport Express, Setup #4


Configuration

You may need to configure the Airport a little further depending on your needs.
Remember that if you own an iPad or iPhone you can use the iOS AirPort Utility.

Airport Express, iPad Setup #1

Airport Express, iPad Setup #1

Airport Express, iPad Setup #2

Airport Express, iPad Setup #2

Airport Express, iPad Setup #3

Airport Express, iPad Setup #3

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About the Author

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Benjamin Bellamy

Paris, Beirut, NYC & Agen // e-commerce, social media, open-source & geek // follow me on twitter: @benjaminbellamy.

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