Apple AirPort Express
by: Storm Wooten
The Apple AirPort Express is a wireless networking device that allows users to perform a variety of tasks which include connecting multiple devices to the internet via Wi-Fi, streaming music to your home stereo, and setting up a wireless printer. It is also a compact device that can be used for travel. The AirPort Express is also compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7. This article will detail some of the basic features of this product.
Wi-Fi Access for up to Ten Devices
The AirPort Express is a wireless router and access point and can connect up to ten Wi-Fi enabled devices to the internet. Setup is simple. Just plug the Ethernet cable coming from your cable or DSL modem into the AirPort Express and plug the AirPort Express into a standard wall outlet. Next, install the AirPort Utility software (the disc included with the device) on a Wi-Fi enabled computer that you wish to connect to the Internet. Run the software and it will walk you through setting up your home network. The AirPort Express complies with the 802.11 A, B, G, and N standards, meaning that it will work on any computer that has a wireless card. It can also be connected to an existing network to extend the range of a wireless signal or to connect your home stereo and USB printer to your network. Once your network is configured, it can be managed through your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.
You can plug your USB printer into the AirPort Express and turn it into a networked printer. This means that any computer on your network can print to this printer. All you have to do on a Windows PC is install the Bonjour software that is included on the disc and follow the onscreen instructions. Mac OS comes with Bonjour installed.
You may also connect a standard, network-ready "wired" printer into the network port and add wireless capabilities to it.
Streaming Music through iTunes to your Home Stereo using AirPlay
The AirPort Express includes a 3.5mm audio jack (standard headphone) that can be converted with the proper cable to either standard RCA cables (The red and white ports used on your TV, DVD player and stereo) or an optical audio plug. iTunes allows the user to select where they want their music to play.
Being a small device, the AirPort Express is ideally designed for travel. Up to five different network configurations, called profiles, can be stored on the device allowing the user to have different settings for different locations - making it a perfect tool for the traveler who needs to extend the wired connection in their hotel room.
The Apple AirPort Express can be purchased at a brick and mortar Apple Store or online at store.apple.com