Setting up an Apple network: Takes longer to boil an egg

Posted on by Mike Evans

Back to base clutching three boxed AirPort Expresses, hot from the Apple Store.  

16.05: Unpack new items.

16.05: Fail to read instructions (be so rash only if you’re assembling an IKEA Bogdot Escritoire).

16.06: Plug Expresses into power points in strategic locations throughout the premises.

16.07: Load AirPort Utility and edit the existing AirPort Extreme’s settings.

16.07½: Set up new network name, dream up new password (not necessary but I fancied a change).

16.08: Switch on AirPort Expresses one by one and give them a name (if they are all on you won’t know where they are in order name them).

16.08½: Network set up, egg boiled.

What other company could make it so simple to set up a network? This is painting by numbers. As Ben Brooks said last week, “Apple’s routers are a device that you aren’t going to have to constantly tinker with to get working. You need only set them up once and you are done.”

Note, incidentally, that the new Expresses are listed in AirPort Utility as “AirPort Base Station”. Why, I wonder, do we need the more expesive Airport Extreme unless there are more than 20 connections on the go? I already had an Extreme, but I would now seriously consider an all-Express (alias Base Station) network. The Time Capsule shown in the above diagram is a red herring: it’s an old non-n router-cum-time machine which is connected to the Airport Extreme by cable and handles the Time Machine backup for one of my computers. Cable connections are shown by a solid line while wireless connections are shown dotted.

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