|Apple AirPort Express|
|Summary||802.11g router with WPA and WDS bridging/repeating support. Supports wireless streaming of iTunes content to built-in analog / digital audio output.|
|Update||12/19/2004 - Corrected Ethernet bridging info|
|Pros||• Compact all-in-one (including power supply) package
• Supports WPA-PSK
• Supports AP, routing, WDS bridging / repeating
• Built in USB print server and iTunes audio client
|Cons||• Relatively Expensive
• Doesn't support AP client mode for Ethernet port
• Can't attach higher-gain antennas
• No port or content filtering in routing mode
Given Apple's historical Mac OS-only focus, it's easy to forget that Apple was one of the first companies to jump into the consumer wireless networking market with its original 802.11b AirPort products. It was also among the first group of companies to join the draft-802.11g brigade when it introduced its AirPort Extreme line. But with the addition of its AirPort Express, Apple opted to support both Mac OS and Windows users from the start, and came up with an attractive product in looks, features and pricing.
My first impression of the Express was that it was more intended to be an accessory for iTunes junkies who wanted to listen to their digital tunes on something other than their computer. But while it handles those chores just fine, I found that it's a fine travel wireless router / AP in its own right and has even more tricks that it can do.