By Ki Grinsing
First generation of Apple Airport Express is based on wireless G technology delivering the speeds up to 54Mbps. The latest generation of this router is based on the latest wireless N technology – five times faster than the first generation one. Moreover, it supports dual band either 2.4GHz or 5GHz band.
Airport express Vs Extreme
What are the differences between the Apple Airport Express and Airport Extreme base stations? Airport Express is compact and small design, it weighs one third of the Airport Extreme. It is ideal for travelling users, easy to carry and setting up instantly via your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac.
Express for router or AP
Airport express can work either as the wireless router or wireless AP. Connect the router to either cable or DSL modem to create an instant high speed Wi-Fi network to share internet connectivity with wireless clients up to 10 users concurrently. If you have a wireless network in place, you can extend the network by adding Airport Express and configure it as the wireless range extender. Not just that, if you go for a business with the team and you would like to share the network wirelessly while there is only one Ethernet port available in the room, you can connect Airport express to the Ethernet port and configure it via your iPad or iPhone to create instant Wi-Fi network.
Extreme as wireless router
Airport Extreme is designed specifically as the wireless routers for creating high performance wireless network for your entertainment network in home or you can use it in small offices to support up to 50 concurrent users.
Airport Extreme is like normally a wireless router includes Gigabit Ethernet ports for both LAN (3x) and WAN (1x) ports. Mostly wireless routers include four Ethernet LAN ports as general, but Extreme has three LAN ports. Mostly wireless routers include only one WAN port for connecting to broadband docsis 3 modem. But some business class routers can include more than one WAN port for load balancing such as Cisco RV082 which supports two WAN ports for load balancing or failover. But Airport Express includes only one fast Ethernet port you can use to connect to the network should you require building hotspots or base station.
Table 1 shows you spec comparison between Airport Express and Airport Extreme
USB port in Express can only be used to connect to the printer for sharing, but USB port on Airport Extreme can be used to host either storage or printer and even you can add USB hub to let you host both storage and printer together. And it also supports DLNA compliant media server for easy connection with other DLNA compliant devices.
|Airport Express||Airport Extreme|
|Wireless technology||Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n dual band with 2 internal MIMO antennas||Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n simultaneous dual band|
|Operating modes||Wireless router; wireless AP or Bridge||Wireless router|
|Ethernet ports||1×10/100Mbps for connecting to modem or network||3xGigabit LAN ports and 1xGigabit WAN port|
|USB port||1xUSB 2.0 port for share printer||1xUSB 2.0 port for either storage or printer|
|Concurrent wireless clients||Up to 10 users||Up to 50 users|
|Design||Small and compact plugged directly to the power outlet||Designed normally like other routers, placed on the table|
|Dimension||3.7 inches (94.01 mm) by 2.95 inches (75.00 mm) by 1.12 inches (28.5 mm)||6.5 inches (165 mm) by 6.5 inches (165 mm) by 1.3 inches (34 mm)
|Weight||210 grams / 7.4 ounces||753 grams / 1.66 pounds|
Airport Express Vs Asus WL330N3G Vs DIR-505
Airport Express is a compact device and is ideal on the go. You can find other products you can compare with this router, the wireless travel routers such as Asus WL330N3G or D-link Dir-412 wireless mobile router or D-link DIR-505 mobile companion. They are designed for travelers, easy to carry and flexible to work with broadband cable / DSL or 3G network.
Express doesn’t support 3G
Airport express and DIR-505 don’t support 3G network but Asus WL330N3G and D-link Dir-412 support 3G network. This is ideal solution for traveler executives, either for indoor with Cable or DSL connection or outdoor with cellular networks.
USB port for modem
USB port in Asus WL330N3G can used for USB modem connection to create Wi-Fi network for sharing the cellular internet. Click for Asus WL330N3G spec details here. The USB port in DIR-505 can be used for share storage and is accessible by mobile devices with it’s SharePort™ Mobile app for iOS.
Table 2 shows you comparison chart for Airport Express Vs Asus WL330N3G Vs D-link DIR-505 mobile companion
|Apple Airport Express||Asus WL330N3G||
|Wireless technology||Wireless 802.11a/b/g/n selectable dual band with 2 internal MIMO antennas||Wireless 802.11 G single band (2.4GHz) with 1xinternal 2.6dBi antenna||Wireless 802.11b/g/n N150 single band 2.4GHz|
|Ethernet port||1xfast Ethernet||1xfast Ethernet||1xFast Ethernet|
|USB port||1xUSB 2.0 port for printer||1xUSB 2.0 port for 3G USB adapter / modem||1xUSB 2.0 port for share storage with SharePort™ Mobile app for iOS|
|Operating modes||Wireless router; AP and extender||6-in-one mode including router, AP, Universal Repeater, Ethernet Adapter, Hotspot and 3G Sharing||Wi-Fi Hotspot Mode, Router/AP Mode, Repeater Mode (USB sharing capability disabled)|
You may judge which one is suitable for your business either Apple Airport Express which supports only wired internet, or Asus Wl330N3g or D-link Dir-412 which supports both wired broadband internet and 3G.