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Setup and Admin - Access Control & more

MAC address filtering and 802.1x-based authentication via an external RADIUS server are handled on the Access Control and Authentication screens in the Windows utility or just the Access Control screen in the Mac OS version (Figure 10).

Apple AirPort Express: Access Control screen

Figure 10: Access Control screen
(click image for larger view)

Although some WDS setup is done from the Internet screen, you'll need to use the WDS screen (Figure 11) if you want the Express to function as a main or relay base station. Although in keeping with industry practice Apple uses its own WDS terminology, rest assured that the Express can handle all the WDS modes you'll need.

Apple AirPort Express: WDS setup

Figure 11: WDS setup
(click image for larger view)

The Music admin screen (Figure 12) is last in line and thankfully very simple, merely allowing you to assign a name to the Express so that you can locate it in multiple Express setups and password protect it so that your speakers remain under your control only. I ran a quick test of the iTunes client (I probably should say AirTunes) feature and it worked without problems. I didn't do any stress testing with simultaneous streaming and heavy data traffic, but given the Express' fine wireless performance (more later) there should be plenty of bandwidth to go around.

Apple AirPort Express: Music setup

Figure 12: Music setup
(click image for larger view)

My biggest disappointment - although it's not unique among consumer wireless products - is the Express' omission of monitoring capabilities. There's no screen that shows associated clients, or even clients with DHCP leases. And I was disappointed at the absence of client and in-range network pick lists in the Admin Utility that would have been helpful when joining the Express to an existing network or setting up Access Controls.

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