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Topic # 104693 20-Jun-2012 10:17 Send private message

I'm trying to decide between buying an Airport Express and coupling it to an ADSL modem, versus buying an all-in-one modem/router unit. The latter can be bought these days for not much more than $100 but I'm a bit nervous about it as I've found that home Wifi networks with sub-standard equipment can be temprimental, particularly if you want to use some of the more advanced features in iTunes.

Is there any substantial benefit of an Airport Express over a cheaper third party solution? Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

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  Reply # 643668 20-Jun-2012 10:37 Send private message

On the plus side, not all your eggs are in one basket, which is generally a good thing with electronics (heat wise etc.).

As you say though, you can get an all in one solution cheaper.

May I suggest a second hand (or new) Airport Extreme instead of the Express (unless you need the AirTunes speaker capability). The Expresses released a week or so ago will do simultaneous dual band, but the older ones won't. With the Extreme you can plug in several gigE ports, as well as USB printers / drives to share across the network.

Either way, I've found the Apple routers rock solid - never had a crash, only time you need a restart is if you change settings - can't say that for most others I've used.

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  Reply # 643682 20-Jun-2012 10:53 Send private message

Is it easy enough to add an Extreme to a combo ADSL Wireless? I have a TPLink WR8960N which works great.

If I can add an Extreme or Express, I can use that for overall wifi, or choose to use it just for the Apple devices (4S, iPad v3, Apple TV v3)?

The blog on here showed the Extreme to be a great device in its own right, faster and more distance coverage http://www.geekzone.co.nz/antoniosk/8139

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  Reply # 643684 20-Jun-2012 10:55 Send private message

If you're set on an Airport just pick up a Draytek Vigor 120 to do your DSL.

There are't any technical downsites to two devices vs one.


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  Reply # 643692 20-Jun-2012 11:11 Send private message

Question regarding the new AirPort Express Base Station; can it authenticate a PPPoE connection?

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  Reply # 643696 20-Jun-2012 11:24 Send private message

myopinion: Question regarding the new AirPort Express Base Station; can it authenticate a PPPoE connection?


According to the specs, it appears so. It has two ethernet ports now, rather than the single of the old style, and seems to be more of a pruned back Extreme.

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  Reply # 643697 20-Jun-2012 11:25 Send private message

:) Thanks for that.



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  Reply # 643710 20-Jun-2012 11:56 Send private message

sbiddle: If you're set on an Airport just pick up a Draytek Vigor 120 to do your DSL.


Thanks for the recommendation - are those more robust than a Netgear/Belkin/etc. unit that I might get from a mainstream retailer? I would expect that there's a big difference between a good router and a bad one, but I wouldn't have thought there'd be quite so much difference when it comes to standalone modems.


There are't any technical downsites to two devices vs one.


I figured that it wouldn't be any worse, but I wondered if it would be better given that it's a more expensive solution than a single device.

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  Reply # 643748 20-Jun-2012 13:01 Send private message

I know you specifically mentioned the Airport Express, but I thought I'd share my experience with switching to an Airport Extreme. Prior to this switch, we were using a Netgear DGN3500 as our ADSL modem and wireless router. After the silly season we had a few extra wireless devices connecting, and network stability took a significant hit as a result. I purchased the Airport Express just over a month ago, and that now handles DHCP and all wifi connections, with the Netgear handling ADSL connectivity.

Next step is to replace the Netgear completely with a simpler ADSL modem, such as the recommended Draytek, but for now things are working a lot better than previously. Since switching the current configuration, I've not had a single repeat of the network stability issues we'd been suffering. The ADSL connection has also been a lot more stable, which may or may not be a co-incidence.

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  Reply # 643759 20-Jun-2012 13:09 Send private message

alasta:
sbiddle: If you're set on an Airport just pick up a Draytek Vigor 120 to do your DSL.


Thanks for the recommendation - are those more robust than a Netgear/Belkin/etc. unit that I might get from a mainstream retailer? I would expect that there's a big difference between a good router and a bad one, but I wouldn't have thought there'd be quite so much difference when it comes to standalone modems. 


Not necessarily more robust, but they avoid all the issues configuring bridge mode etc on some devices and the DSL performance is good. Simply tick a box to do PPPoA/PPPoE passthru which takes all of 30 seconds and configure your PPPoE user details in the Airport.


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  Reply # 643874 20-Jun-2012 15:58 Send private message

As a side note I'd never travel overseas without my Airport Express. Especially when you have 3-4 devices (iPad/iPhone/MacBoook) all trying to connect to the hotel internet.


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