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Can I Use New Airport Express As Router?

 
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:47 pm    Post subject: Can I Use New Airport Express As Router? Reply with quote

Hi everyone. It's been a long time. Hope everyone is well & had a happy & healthy Thanksgiving.
Here's my question:
When the Power Supply in my Time Capsule finally dies, I'll need a new router. I'm done with having the Hard Drive inside the router. Been there, done that. Don't need it! So if I bought a new Airport Express & used it as my Router, would it give me a weaker wi-fi signal than using an Airport Extreme or Time Capsule? I know it's a smaller box, so theAntennas are probably smaller. I also don't care that it's not Gigabit Ethernet, since my DSL Modem is not Gigabit Ethernet. Have any of you tried this? In a 2000 Sq. Ft One Level Home?
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've tried the new Airport Express, it's a great product but it's not strong enough for a 2000 sq. ft home. It was barely adequate for my 1,300 sq. ft town-home (750 sq. ft on main level - small place). I could only get 2 bars upstairs, 20 ft away. It's rock solid, but it's not very powerful. If I walked out the front door, 25' from the router I could still get a signal. If I walked 1 car length out the front door it died. No signal at all. My old Linksys router is much stronger.

Apple suggests the Express for dorm rooms, apartments and small homes (not much larger than a dorm room or apartment).

BTW I live in a area on the edge of town. There there are farms just outside my door. There are no power lines or much chance of interference from anything.


Get the Extreme. I know I will, if I ever need a new router or choose to upgrade.

Here's a good review of the new Extreme if you want something to read.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4577/airport-extreme-5th-gen-and-time-capsule-4th-gen-review-faster-wifi-

BTW, nice to see you visit the forum again.
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Bandit! I had a feeling you'd answer! Yea, good advice & you talk from experience. I'm just planning for the future. The Hard Drive in my Time Capsule died. IMO, I think that fan hardly comes on & does very little to cool. It took 3 years and it died slowly. First giving me the "Server Connection Interruption" error. Then eventually the entire thing stopped working, due to the hard drive. I know that makes no sense, but the router part of stopped working. I replaced it temporarily with a small capacity drive & it works fine now. But I hear from a lot of folks the Power Supply eventually dies on them.
When the time comes, I will get the Airport Extreme. Like I said, not a big fan of the Time Capsule idea. I never used it for Time Machine & I'm glad I didn't. So her's another question. I have a large capacity 2.5" Laptop Hard Drive. Could I put THAT in my Time Capsule? It should work. Maybe even run a little cooler. I know I can mount it & of course put the heat sensor to it, that does no good anyway. Smile
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time Capsules use 3.5 inch drives.
http://www.slashgear.com/apple-time-capsule-using-wd-desktop-hdd-is-this-a-server-grade-drive-24161252/

Currently they use 3.5" WD Green drives because they run cool.
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea I've read about those drives. B&H has a 1TB for $69.

But off the record, technically a 2.5" Laptop Hard Drive would fit in there & work. It would be a Frankencapsule, but it should work. Same SATA cable hook ups. Smile
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Badger
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got my new AirPort Express yesterday. I'm pretty impressed with the signal throughout our house. We have two stories and around 1300 square feet. I know it's doing much better than our stock 802.11b/g DSL modem. We had dead spots with it in a couple places upstairs. I'm sure the AirPort Extreme would provide a stronger signal, but this isn't shabby. You might just give one a try. I also like that it has AirPlay functionality, which was one of the main reasons I purchased one in the first place.
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yea, Badger. That's what I may do. My house is pretty straightforward, no upstairs & as long as my Apple TV & iPad work in the living room, which is only under 50 Feet to the Airport, I think it may be fine. But the true test will be trying it first!!
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dino1956 wrote:
Yea, Badger. That's what I may do. My house is pretty straightforward, no upstairs & as long as my Apple TV & iPad work in the living room, which is only under 50 Feet to the Airport, I think it may be fine. But the true test will be trying it first!!


You may be fine. I would still recommend the Extreme. Your router is the heart of everything and it's a component that is rarely replaced. There is a good chance that you will be using the router for the next 10 years.

I was real tempted to purchase the Express when I evaluated it, but I just couldn't. Your needs are different, and I respect that. For me though, I wanted full bars throughout my small home and I also like the option to hardware more than one component. I would have felt like I compromised, just because of the price.

Also keep in mind, that just because you are getting a signal, doesn't equate to getting a good signal. Packet loss, means slower speeds.

I wish I could have taken the Express into a field and measured the signal, but I would suggest no more than 30' if you want a solid signal, more than 50' and you won't have a signal.
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit, you are always the voice of reason. It makes perfect sense. For another 80 bucks or so, I won't be just settling, I'd be getting the best signal. Internet Speed is big on my List.
Off Topic: Someone just gave me an Airport Card for my Powermac G5, I did not realize it needs an Antenna. I tried to connect & it would not. Guess I need one of them.

Thanks for all your help.
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devo
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dino,

Not sure if you bought the AEBS yet, but don't forget about the $138 refurbs from Apple. It's always nice saving a little money before the holidays. Plus, they come with the same warranty. All of mine have been refurbs without issue.

I also agree with everything Bandit said. I would also just add that you'll have the ability to use Airdisk with the AEBS. Not to mention having Gigabit Ethernet for your wired stuff or NAS. Those are still features lacking from the Airport Express.

I would also suggest downloading the Airport Utility for iOS. Assuming that you have an iPad or iPhone. Because it's awesome with a capital A!

Happy Holidays!
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Dino1956
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Devo. Currently my Time Capsule works fine. I was just thinking ahead because I see where the TC's die prematurely due to heat. So I don't plan to buy now. A refurb sounds like a Plan.The Gigabit Ethernet does nothing for me since my Modem is not Gigabit. And I plug only one iMac into the Ethernet, the other 3 are empty. That's why the new Airport Express caught my eye in the 1st place. Seemed to be completely designed for my minimal needs. But I have an old TV & I would not want to lose any bandwidth. Also, never have used my iPad using Airport Utility to set up my Network. Is it that much better than AU on the Mac?
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Macbook Pro 2.4 GHz i5 8 GB Ram 500 GB HD
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Time Capsule 1st Gen 2TB

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