10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 5, 2008 6:31 PM by Sharon Chard-Yaron
Sharon Chard-Yaron Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
Have an airport express bought in the summer of 2004. It extends my home network and have never had any trouble with it. (Still using system x3.9 ). Everything is stable. Calm. If I were to buy a new airport express today, do I understand right that it would not work with my current system? What's the difference between the newer airport express and the one I have?

powerbook 12 inch+ mirrored doors desktop, Mac OS X (10.3.x)
  • Jorge G. Level 3 Level 3 (645 points)
    I don't think there's much of a difference between the old Express and the new one. The only difference for sure, will probably be the Airport software, which is at its current version (I forget which). I too, bought my Airport Express when it first came out and I'm running software 6.1.1 on it, I think the newest is at 6.4 now or something like that.

    Only reason why it wouldn't work with your system is most like due to the updated software. The tech specs doesn't really say 10.4 or higher is required, but it looks like it's suggested to use the features such as USB printing, etc. http://www.apple.com/airportexpress/specs.html
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    Sorry - duplicate posting removed.
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    There is absolutely no function difference between the Airport Express devices that Apple first shipped several years ago, and the Airport Express devices they are shipping today. They can all use the same latest version of the Airport Express firmware (version 6.3). They all work with the latest MacOS and Windows versions. They all work with the latest version of the Airport Utility for MacOS and Windows.
  • Sharon Chard-Yaron Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks. So if I go buy a new one, even though the specs say I need at least system 10.4, do you think it will still be ok using my current system? And one more question...if I set up a network like in a hotel room, or when I'm visiting somewhere do the settings use my settings for my internet service provider, or the hotels?
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    Yes, it will be OK with your current system, despite the reference to MacOS 10.4 on Apple's web site for this product.

    The settings you use for the Airport Express are dictated by the requirements of the system you are connecting it to. So... if you are using it in a hotel, you need to configure it in a manner that works with the ethernet network the hotel provides for guest access to the internet.
  • Sharon Chard-Yaron Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks Henry. I appreciate your taking the time to respond. As you see I'm not an expert on this. If I take it to a house with an older imac running 10.2 and connected to the internet via cable modem/ethernet (comcast), then I plug the ethernet cord on the cable modem to the airport express, right, and then it picks up the settings from comcast?
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    Two points:

    1. A Mac running MacOS 10.2 will be able to connect wirelessly via an Airport Express that has already been configured. Note however that you need a minimum of MacOS 10.3.3 to run the software required to configure an Airport Express.

    2. If the Airport Express has been configured to obtain an IP address automatically using DHCP (ie its default setting) then yes, it will be able to connect to Comcast's service when cabled to the cable modem. Note that it may be necessary to reset the connection by pulling power to the cable modem for five minutes or so, after connecting the Airport Express to it.
  • Sharon Chard-Yaron Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I see what you mean. I was thinking the imac wouldn't connect at all since it has no wireless capabilities. On second thought would it work if I used it as a main base station and had the wans and the lans connected with the cable modem and the base station (in this case the express) so the end result is one computer connected to the internet with a wire and the other computer wireless, or is that asking too much of an airport express?
  • Henry B. Level 9 Level 9 (78,690 points)
    Now I'm getting a bit confused...

    This Comcast cable modem has a single ethernet port - correct? It is not a combo cable modem and router with two or more ethernet ports - correct?

    And you are talking about the Airport Express - correct? The Airport Express has only one ethernet port. It does not have separate WAN and LAN ports, so it has no ability by itself to share a cable modem connection with both wired and wireless Macs. It can only share with wireless Macs.
  • Sharon Chard-Yaron Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    My fault...I thought that might be more than what can be expected from the airport express. (I set up my own network at home that way, using the regular airport, and the airport express to extend the range, but actually I did it like "painting by numbers...via some written instructions and one sos trip to the Apple store, and don't for one minute even understand this, but like I said, it's like painting by numbers...I followed the instructions and it worked. ).

    I see what you mean, and thanks for pointing out that last part can't be done. What can be done is what I asked initially, and I'm going to try that. Thanks again for your help.