General Question

Allie's avatar

What specifically are the differences between AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme?

Asked by Allie (17526points) December 3rd, 2008

Several people have suggested both of these to me and I’m still nt quite sure what the differences are and if one would really be better for what I want to use it for. On the Apple website they both say the same descriptions – 5x faster, 2x wider range, connect printers… blah blah blah. Put it simply, what’s the real difference?

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8 Answers

tonedef's avatar

You can share an external hard drive wirelessly with the Airport Extreme, as well as a printer. You can print or play music through an Airport Express. Extreme supports the 802.11a/b/g and draft-n wifi protocols, whereas the Express supports 802.11g and draft-n only.

The Extreme is a wireless router, meaning you can share a connection between wired devices that are plugged into it. It has 1 ethernet in and 3 ethernet out ports. The Express only has 1 ethernet port, that can function either as in or out, and is not meant to be a primary router.

The two work beautifully together, with the Extreme acting as the base station connected to your modem, with the Express acting as a bridge, and it can share its connection through ethernet. This is how I got my Xbox online for half the price, and with lots of perks.

The main difference, basically, is the ethernet ports. What kind of application were you looking for? A simple home wireless network? Remote printing or storage? That can help you make a better choice.

wilhel1812's avatar

Range, max users, ethernet ports and the express has the ability to connect a stereo. Besides from that it’s pretty much the same.

I’d buy both.

andrew's avatar

If you live in a small apartment, get the express. Streaming music to your stereo is the best thing ever.

I think the express is cheaper. (Or at least it should be).

Allie's avatar

I’d like to have a strong, reliable connection from the studio in the back even though the router is in the main house. Sometimes my MBP looses its internet connection and I have to go into the main house and shut it off and back on. It gets realllllllly annoying. I’m connected to the printer now, the only down side is that when I want to print the G5 inside has to be on but I’m told there’s not much I can do about that so I guess I’ll live with it.
Basically I just want a stronger, better connection. The router right now is crap (I think the router is crap.. I’m not very tech savvy at all).
P.S. – Sorry if I’m making you repeat yourself, but what do you mean Express can connect to stereo? =\
P.S.S. – So the Express won’t replace my router now, right? But will it give it a wider range and stronger signal?

andrew's avatar

@allie: The express has a headphone jack in it, so you can stream music from your itunes, through the express, into your stereo.

And yes, you can use the express as a range extender, though if that’s your primary use, I’d recommend using and airport extreme (which you can also use as range extender).

Allie's avatar

Andrew: Can I use AirPort Extreme on its own or does it need to be hooked up to the router I’m using now?

wilhel1812's avatar

You can use both the express and the extreme as your primary router.

Allie's avatar

Ah, thank you wilhel1812.

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