Router Charts

Click for Router Charts

Router Ranker

Click for Router Ranker

NAS Charts

Click for NAS Charts

NAS Ranker

Click for NAS Ranker

More Tools

Click for More Tools

Wireless Reviews

AirPort Express [2012]
At a glance
ProductApple AirPort Express [2012] (MC414LL/A)   [Website]
SummaryThird generation of Apple's cheapest wireless router in new form factor with two radios and WAN and LAN ports for both wired and wireless routing.
Pros• Supports both wired and wireless routing
• Audio AirPlay support
• USB printer sharing
Cons• No web admin
• Still no 40 MHz mode in 2.4 GHz
• Limited routing features
• No USB drive sharing

Introduction

Update 7/9/2012: Various corrections

Judging from the interest in the Inside Story article, it looks like there is a lot of interest in what is essentially a commodity product, i.e. a dual-band simultaneous dual-stream ("N600") wireless router with 10/100 Ethernet ports.

But Apple's corporate halo apparently extends to mundane wireless products. So let's see what Apple has come up with for 99 bucks.

Apple is positioning the new Express as a wireless music and printer sharer and router for "apartment, smaller home, or dorm". The chart below shows key differences between it and its more expensive siblings.

Apple Wireless router family

Apple Wireless router family

Apple has abandoned the wall-wart form factor of the previous Expresses and instead switched to the Apple TV "hockey puck" format. So that you can tell them apart, Apple made the Express white vs. the TV's black. Like the Apple TV and previous Expresses, the power supply is built in.

The front has only a lone LED to indicate power and status, while the rear has the port complement shown below. The single WAN and LAN ports are 10/100, not Gigabit and the USB 2.0 port is there to share only printers, not storage.

AirPort Express rear panel

AirPort Express rear panel

Like the original Expresses, the newbie acts as an audio AirPlay device, which will show up when you fire up iTunes or Apple's Remote app. Just plug in a set of powered speakers into the jack shown above, select the Express as an AirPlay output and you'll be good to go.

If you're going to use the Express as your main router, you'll probably want to plug a switch into the LAN port to get yourself sufficiently connected.

Inside

The Inside Story article has everything you'd want to know about what makes the new Express tick. I've included just one internal shot below, there are more over in the other article.

Airport Express inside

Airport Express inside

If one photo is enough and you don't feel like clicking, Table 1 details the QCA-based design.

  Apple AirPort Express (MC414LL/A)
CPU Atheros AR9344 2x2 802.11abgn SoC
Switch In AR9344
RAM 64 MB
Flash None visible
2.4 GHz Radio In AR9344
5 GHz radio Atheros AR9582
Table 1: Apple AirPort Express (MC414LL/A) component summary

More Wireless

Wi-Fi System Tools
Check out the new Wi-Fi System Charts, Ranker and Finder!

Featured Sponsors


Support Us!

If you like what we do and want to thank us, just buy something on Amazon. We'll get a small commission on anything you buy. Thanks!

Over In The Forums

Would it be possible to make firmware upgrades for older routers like RK-AC66U to become AiMesh nodes. If older routers are not powerful enough to bec...
Hi Guys, I have the Asus RT-AC87U Router . Today when i turned off the power on the wall and turned it on again the router powered up but the blue lig...
Hello everyone, I have a problem with the AiCloud web application. By default the AiCloud web application comes with a self-signed certificate (IP 192...
As mentioned in another thread, I just switched back to "stock" R7800 firmware after using DD-WRT for a while. I'm actually using Voxel's mod, 1.0.2.4...
Today I configured my AC5300 with the beta 382 version from. December and connected the AC68 with the 384 final Aimesh version, they seem to work fine...

Don't Miss These

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
Get Backblaze Now!