Old Airport -> Airport Express -> USB Printer?

Discussion in 'Apple' started by AES, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. AES

    AES Guest

    Current household setup is a DSL router, Ethernet-cabled to an old
    Airport antenna (Graphite or Snow? -- not sure which -- probably the
    earlier one), which talks wirelessly to several Mac iBook G4s under
    Panther or Tiger.

    If we acquire an Airport Express unit, plug it in remotely (that is, not
    cabled to anything else), and plug a USB printer into it, will the old
    Graphite or Snow antenna talk to it wirelessly, and will our laptops
    thereby be able to access that printer?

    And if not, if we replaced the old Graphite or Snow with a current model
    Airport Extreme antenna, would _it_ be able to talk wirelessly to the
    Airport Express unit?

    [And is that what's meant by the Airport Express unit operating as a
    "client"? If so, can it operate as a client to the Graphite or Snow?]

    Thanks . . .
    AES, Jan 26, 2006
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  2. No and yes. AirPort base stations older than the Extreme and Express
    models cannot talk to other base stations or join other wireless
    networks as clients; but your AirPort-equipped iBooks can communicate
    directly with an Express base station and use its attached USB printer.
    You could maintain two separate wireless networks, one managed by the
    old AirPort base station and the other by the new Express, but your
    computers could not be connected to both wireless networks

    "Client mode" means that the Express connects to a wireless network
    managed by some other base station, in the same manner that a computer
    connects to a base station's network. On the Express, this mode can only
    be used for streaming audio (AirTunes) or printing to an attached USB
    printer. An Express could function in client mode on a network managed
    by an old AirPort base station or by any other base station, including a
    non-Apple model. An Extreme and an Express could also talk to each other
    in WDS mode, which would allow other devices to be used with the
    Express' Ethernet port.
    Neill Massello, Jan 26, 2006
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  3. Yes.

    But: Do you have any wired clients? Have you ruled out just replacing
    the Airport with the Airport Express?
    Steven Fisher, Jan 26, 2006
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