Wireless Router Apple Airport Express

9/29/2012 9:14:51 AM

The original AirPort Express was a basic 802.11g wireless router that majored on portability. It was built into a white plastic case very much like the MacBook power charger.

Along with Apple's complete refresh of its MacBook line in June 2012 came a new-look AirPort Express. This third-generation product loses the convenience of being able to plug it directly into a mains wall socket, but gains a sleek new flat and sguare look.

Description: Wireless Router Apple Airport Express

If you've seen the latest Apple TV, the AirPort Express will look familiar - it's the exact same shape and size, only finished in virgin white rather than black.

Whereas the Mark I was limited to 802.11g, and the second device to single-band operation of either 2.4GHz or 5GHz 802.11n, the new 2012 model is capable of concurrent 2.4/5GHz 802.11n coverage.

Setup really is a breeze. Apple is the only router maker we've encountered that doesn't use a web browser to set up the device.

Instead, you get a dedicated app for Windows and Mac, and an iOS app will allow limited management of AirPort devices, too.

When the Express is first powered up, the - AirPort Utility software automatically opens on nearby Macs. This guides you through setting up the network.

The AirPort Express remains a versatile unit: you can use it as a main router connected to an external ADSL or cable modem, leaving you with one LAN network port for direct connection to a PC, or add a network switch to expand your LAN connections.

A popular use for the Express is as a repeater to extend the wireless network. But the AirPort Express has another very useful capability as an audio-distribution system.

Using iTunes on one computer, you can send your music to an AirPort Express in another room in the house. The system has been expanded to include AirPlay from iOS devices and Mountain Lion Macs.

As with most things Apple, the AirPort Express system works simply and reliably, with next to no technical knowledge required.

We tested the AirPort Express for performance and could comfortably transfer files at around 94Mbps using 5GHz band.


Description: Wireless Router Apple Airport Express

The move to the new Apple TV case makes the 2012 AirPort Express cute as well as compact, while dual-band capability expands the usefulness of this easy-to-use wireless router.


Price: $123


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Wireless dual-band router; 802.11a/b/g/n; 1 x 10/100 WAN port; 1 x 10/100 LAN port; USB 2.0 for printers; 3.5mm audio jack with Toslink optical out; NAT firewall; MAC address filtering; WEP; WPA 2; 802.1X/PEAP/LEAP/TTLS/ TLS/FAST; 2.4GHz; channels 1-13,5GHz: 36-64 and 100-140; 98 x 98 x 23 mm; 240 g

PC Advisor Gold

Build: 8/10

Features: 6/10

Performance: 6/10

Value: 6/10


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