I had a Linksys wireless router (WRT54GS) but it’d been acting a little flakey
the past 1/2 year. It kept getting confused about assigning IP address
(e.g. DHCP) and generally being unreliable. I’d been looking at Apple’s Airport
Express for a few months. I wanted some way to hook up some decent speakers
wirelessly and also thought it’d be nice to be able to have the printer
available over the network.
Last week, they announced the latest generation
with the latest wireless standard: 802.11n (Cost: $99). Not a big deal for me.
I already had a strong enough signal and am more limited by my cable modem then
any wireless network. But the new offering made me want to upgrade.
Sadly after installing the Airport Express it turned out not to be sufficient.
I have an older computer using ethernet and a phone using VOIP — both need an
ethernet jack and the Airport Express doesn’t have any extra (just the one for
the WAN). I tried to get the Linksys to act as a dump router and connect
wirelessly but no joy.
The other thing I’d been thinking about was backup. I’m normally pretty good
about backing stuff up. I’d tried using an old notebook drive via USB but it
wasn’t big enough. So I hadn’t really backed anything up. I also needed to get
my gf’s MacBook doing backups too.
So I decided to buy the 500GB Time
Capsule which is both a wireless router and a backup hard drive (Cost:
$299). So I spent a little more than I’d planned (what’s new?).
I couldn’t believe how easy everything was to setup! In 15 minutes I:
- Had the router connected to my cable provider with the phone and old computer connected
- Had both laptops connected wireless using WPA2 for security
- Got the printer connected wirelessly (through the Airport Express)
- Had iTunes playing through the Airport Express to some speakers)
The software design is just so superior! Being able to query info about the
device and use that to do the setup. I didn’t even have to enter in the printer
name. I just read what the Airport Utility was telling me and either entered a
password or clicked on “Next”.