By Steve Wagor, Co-Founder APconnections
Wireless dead spots are a common problem in homes and offices that expand beyond the range of single wireless access point. For example in my home office, my little Linksys Access point works great on my main floor , but down in my basement the signal just does not reach very well. The problem with a simple access point is if you need to expand your area you must mesh a new one, and off the shelf they do not know how to talk to each other.
For those of you have tried to expand your home network into a mesh with multiple access points there are howto’s out there for rigging them up
Many use wireless access points that are homemade, or the commercial style made for long range. With these solutions you will most likely need a rubber ducky antenna and either some old computers or at least small board computers with attached wireless cards. You will also need to know a bit of networking and setup most of these types of things via what some people would consider complex commands to link them all up into the mesh.
Well its a lot easier than that if you don’t need miles and miles of coverage using off the shelf Apple products. These are small devices with no external antennas.
First you need to install an Apple Extreme access point:
– at the time of this being written it is $199 and has been at that price for at least a couple of years now.
Now for every dead spot you just need the Apple Express:
– at the time of this being written it is $99 and has been at that price for at least a couple of years now too.
So for every dead spot you have you can solve the problem for $99 after the Apple Extreme is installed. And Apple has very good install instructions on the product line so you don’t need to be a network professional to configure it. Most of it is simple point and click and all done via a GUI and without having to go to a command line ever.
For whole home music fairly effortlessly you can use the Analog/Optical Audio Jack on the back of the Airport Express and plug into your stereo or externally powered speakers. Now connect your iPhone or Mac product up to the same wireless network provided by your Airport Extreme and you can use Airplay to toggle on all or any of the stereos that your network has access to. So if you let your guests access your wireless network and they have an iPhone with Airplay then they could let you listen to anything they are playing by using Airplay to play it on your stereo for example while you are working out together in your home gym.