The NY Times raves about Apple’s latest wirless access point
Last week, Apple introduced yet another way to eliminate wires from your life. It introduced the AirPort Express, a $130 something-or-other for both Windows PC’s and Macs. There’s no single pithy term or phrase for this invention; it has more tricks up its sleeve than David Blaine.
Trick No. 1: the AirPort Express is a wireless base station. That is, if you connect it to a cable modem or D.S.L. box, your wirelessly equipped Mac or Windows PC can get onto the Internet and connect to other machines in the building, at high speed and with no waiting, from anywhere in the house – or at least within about 150 feet of the base station, even through walls.
(Note for geeks: Like all of Apple’s current wireless gear, the AirPort Express uses the 802.11g standard – which, in English, means that it works with both modern, superfast 802.11g laptops and the older, more common, slower 802.11b equipment. It also offers both WPA and WEP security, state-of-the-art password-protection systems that prevent desperados hiding in your bushes from getting onto your wireless network without your knowledge.)
If you already have an AirPort wireless network, the Express can act as a wireless bridge that extends its range another 150 feet. That’s a handy perk, but it would be even handier and perkier if it worked to extend the range of other base station brands. (Apple won’t guarantee that it doesn’t work, but it won’t guarantee that it will, either.)