It’s alive or how the Airport Express saved my network (or something to that effect).

A few weeks ago I picked up wired-wireless-bridge-USB-print-server-analog-optical-audio-source-thingie from Apple. They officially call it the Airport Express. I personally like my name better but I don’t know if anyone would remember it. Just so you know my home network is composed of the Buffalo WBR-G54 router and the WLA-G54C repeater bridge. After blowing through Linksys and and Netgear routers I moved to Buffalo and have been very impressed. Their tech support is friendly and helpful. Their interface is a little complex but with that complexity resides great flexibility and power. I also don’t have to figure out what firmware I need to install like the Linksys.

Setting up the Airport Express (AX) is quite simple. Install the tools from the AX CD fill out a few screens from the wizard and it was up and running. OK so it wasn’t that easy. I had to fumble around for the better part of an afternoon figuring out why some things wasn’t working. It turns out that the Buffalo repeater bridge was interfering with the AX some how and I had to disable it. No worries though, since the AX covers the east side of my house while the router covers the west side. If someone figures out why this was happening please let me know.

I did have another interesting problem. When I started streaming audio from iTunes to the AX I was getting a lot of static from the speakers. So of course I restarted the whole thing and tinkered with it for about an hour. As it turns out I had the audio out plugged into the phono jack instead of the CD/DVD jack. As soon as that was switched everything worked just fine.

Overall, I’m quite impressed with the Airport Express. The Air Tunes feature works as advertised and it’s very cool to stream music wirelessly to my family room receiver. I’ve also hooked up the ol’ XBox to it and now can access XBox Live without a twenty-five foot CAT-5 cord. Below are some resources that I found invaluable to configuring the Airport Express. Enjoy.

Set-Up Guide Buffalo WGR-G54 BaseStation with Apple Airport Express in WDS mode. A step by step guide on how to configure the AX with Buffalo. Start here first. This is an excellent guide!
Thread on the Apple Discussion board on configuring the Airport Express with the Buffalo WBF-G54.
AirPort Express Support Website on apple.com.
Resetting the AirPort Express.