Earlier yesterday, before the Apple conference, I was hoping for some changes to the range of Airport wifi products. I’d expected some improvement to the venerable Airport Express but I didn’t quite bargain for what we got. It’s a complete redesign which looks similar to the existing Airport Expreme. It is even connected to the power socket by cable rather than by the fixed plug featured on the original design.
As far as I can see, the new Express does much of what the Airport Extreme offers, including simultaneous dual-band networking, for considerably less cost (£79 compared with £139).
With the new device you can set up a dual-band (5GHz and 2.4GHz) network and extend it throughout your home with additional units. It offers music steaming, printer support and the opportunity to use the slower band as a separate guest network. Just like the Airport Extreme, in fact.
The new Express is compatible with 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g and 802.11n specifications so it becomes all things to all devices. It even includes an automatic firewall to minimise malicious internet attacks. Sounds like a bargain to me.