What is the AirPort Express used for?


AirPort Express is the smallest AirPort base station and uses the simultaneous WLAN standard IEEE 802.11 (dual band). In addition to an Ethernet (10 / 100BASE-T) and a USB connection (only for printer), it also offers a connection for a stereo system. This enables music to be streamed over a WLAN. In addition to 128-bit WEP encryption, the device also supports WPA and WPA2 encryption methods. A frequency range of 2.4 or 5 GHz is possible (AirPort Extreme and Airport Express from June 11, 2012: both at the same time). A maximum of 50 users can dial in at the same time. It is managed through the AirPort Utility.

AirPort Express serves AirTunes as a receiving station to wirelessly transport music to a speaker. In addition, AirPortExpress can expand the range of an existing AirPort network. Apple claims that this feature is limited to the AirPort base stations and will not work with third-party hardware. However, there are various instructions on the Internet to do this with various routers from other manufacturers (e.g. for the Linksys WRT54G. WEP or WPA-2 encryption can be used (-> Internet security). WDS is not in conjunction with the older WPA can be used.

In the past, AirportExpress could be plugged directly into a free socket. This was discarded with the new station that was unveiled on June 11, 2012. The dimensions are roughly the size of an Apple TV.

The device also has a USB port and an audio output, an analog and optical-digital audio mini connector). A stereo system or active speakers can be connected to the audio connection.

The default password of an AirPort Express is public. This should be changed for security reasons.

AirPortExpress has firmware that the software update can automatically update as needed. If the update is carried out manually, you download the update, connect the station, then restart and when the computer has rebooted, the AirPort Assistant will guide you through the update.

The express base station can be used for various purposes.

1.1 Ethernet - WAN port

The Ethernet port can be used to connect the AirPort Express to an existing network and serve as a WLAN access point for it. Alternatively, it is possible to connect a DSL or cable modem there.

1.2 USB printer sharing

As with the AirPort base station, a USB printer can be connected, which can then be shared by up to 10 computers in the WLAN. USB speakers cannot be connected to this USB port.

1.3 AirTunes

The AirPort Express has a line-out audio output to connect it to active speakers or a hi-fi system. Via this, the songs from iTunes can be played anywhere in the apartment. From the Mac in the study to the system in the living room via WiFi. AirTunes can also be activated for the Ethernet connection in the settings. AirTunes works with several AirPortExpress so that you can select in iTunes (from 4.6) in which room or AirPortExpress adapter the music should play. The output is analog and optical-digital via a 3.5 mm jack (digital: TOSLINK). Analog devices can be connected without, optical devices only with an additional adapter cable 3.5mm -> TosLink.

The transmission takes place losslessly compressed in the Apple Lossles format. AAC or MP3 are dynamically recoded for this purpose. If one computer is already transferring music to the adapter, the next computer receives a message that the adapter is "occupied" and you should select the next adapter in iTunes, which could be available.

Sometimes you can hear that you cannot use WDS and AirTunes at the same time, although the software can be adjusted accordingly.

The AirPortExpress can be integrated into an AirPortExtreme network. So you can send music from a computer via iTunes and surf at the same time.

2.1 General questions

Q: Q: Which airport devices are supported? Both AirPort and Airport Express are supported. All WLAN devices according to 802.11g (54MB) or 802.11b (11MB) and 802.11a are also supported.

Q: Q: What is the difference to the Airport Extreme Base Station? Airport Express sees itself as the little brother of Airport Extreme and, due to its size, can be taken with you on trips. In contrast to Extreme, Express only has one 10 / 100BASE-T Ethernet WAN connection (Extreme has three 10/100 / 1000Base-T connections), and a maximum of 10 (instead of 50) users can be connected. Instead of a hard drive, only a USB printer is supported on the USB port. Extreme transmits the two frequencies 2.4 and 5 GHz at the same time (Express only one of the two). Only Airport Express has an audio output to which a stereo system or active speakers can be connected.

Q: Q: Can I also use the product if I do not have an AirPortExtreme base station, but have e.g. B. a D-Link? Can I still use AirTunes and the extension of the network? In principle, Airport Express supports all WLAN devices that meet the 802.11g (or -b) standard. However, the question is misleading to the effect that Airport Express is a base station. You don't need your D-Link router for AirTunes. If your computer is connected to the D-Link WLAN router via Ethernet and you want to play your music via Airport Express, this will work without any problems. The device can also be used as a client in an existing network. Optionally, you can even increase the range of an existing D-Link WLAN router, for example. According to statements I have found, however, what does not work is to use the Airport Express Station instead of an Airport Extreme card, i.e. to connect the Airport Express as a WLAN client to the D-Link router, for example, and then to other devices via Ethernet cable to connect to the Airport Express. The Airport Express is not a "Wireless Ethernet Adapter", the Ethernet port is deactivated in WLAN client mode. (The 2011 Airport Express also works as a wireless Ethernet adapter)

Q: Q: The AirportExpress has an optical audio output. Can it also be used by programs such as VLC players or Apple DVD players to output music and AAC / DTS audio streams? Yes, you can do that with the (paid) software "Airfoil".

Q: Q: Can I use SoundSticks on the USB port? No. Unfortunately, only speakers with their own power supply and mini jack are supported (see Apple Support Article 108038).

Q: Q: Can you also connect an external hard drive to the USB port so that all computers in the network can access it, e.g. as a central storage location for the MP3 collection for AirTunes? No, that only works with Airport Extreme.

Q: Q: Can you only connect the printers specified by Apple, or do laser printers such as the Epson color laser 900 also work? All printers are supported that are also supported by MacOS 10.4 and higher.

Q: Q: Can you connect a USB hub to the USB port to operate multiple printers? Yes

2.2 Troubleshooting

Q: Q: How can I reset the Airport Express Base Station? There are three options:
Soft reset
With the Airport Express base station plugged into a socket, go to the network system settings and select Airport from the pop-up menu. Select TCI / IP and select DHCP from the configuration pop-up menu. Press the reset button on the base station and hold it down for one second. If the light turns orange, you can make changes within the next 5 minutes. The airport base station then jumps back to the previous configuration.
Hard reset
While the airport base station is plugged into a socket, press the reset button and hold it down for 10 seconds. The lamp lights up briefly and then the base station resets itself. This takes approx. 45 seconds. After the base station has been reset, you can reconfigure it with the Airport Express Assistant or the Airport Admin utility.
Reset to delivery condition
Unplug the airport base station from the socket. Press and hold the reset button. With the reset button pressed, plug the base station back into the socket. Hold down the reset button until the lamp lights up green four times. This takes about 10 seconds. Release the reset button and the base station will reset itself. This can take 45 seconds. The base station is now exactly in the condition in which it was delivered. You can now reconfigure it again using the Airport Express Assistant or the Airport Admin utility.

Q: Q: I often see dropouts when streaming via Airtunes. What can I do? The problem can have several causes. Here is a list of what you can try to make it work properly. It is best to try to use everything in combination:

  • Check for devices near the base station that could cause interference. (e.g. cordless telephones, microwave ovens, stereo cables, TV relay stations) If so, move these devices further from the base station.
  • Physical barriers such as furniture, walls, etc. can impair reception. Try to put as few barriers as possible between the base station and the computer.
  • If you work in a mixed network in which classic airport devices (802.11b) and Airport Express or Extreme devices (802.11g) are used together, it can help to switch the network to "802.11b only mode" with the help of the Airport Admin utility. to switch. If you only surf the Internet and stream music, you shouldn't notice any loss of speed.
  • You can also try switching to a channel that is less prone to interference. To do this, you have to select channels 1, 6 or 11 with the help of the Airport Admin utility program.
  • There are a few more - sometimes strange - hints at http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20060512044141904. Those who helped in my case were: in addition to the other channel selection: Multicast rate to 11 and on the workstation for Airport IPv6 off. It also helped to select "multiple speakers" in iTunes and also have the music played through the built-in speakers - but that's not particularly nice.

Q: Q: The base station flashes slowly with a yellow light? Apple writes in AirPort Help that this would be a reason for the service technician. In most cases, however, this is not the case, so do not panic straight away. The yellow lamp also flashes slowly if there is an incorrect (or incorrectly interpreted) configuration. An example of this is an Ethernet configuration without an inserted Ethernet cable. If you switch off the Ethernet access in such a case, the lamp lights up again in a permanent green.

Apple, audio, hardware, network

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