2 Cheaper Ways to Get Better Wi-Fi Using an Apple Airport Express

2 Cheaper Ways to Get Better Wi-Fi Using an Apple Airport Express

People often ask me how to get better Wi-Fi reception throughout their house. I recommend Apple's AirPort routers, especially if the person is an iPhone and iPad user. The free AirPort utility app makes it easy to find and configure the routers, plus you can add a USB hard drive or printer to the AirPort router and access them wirelessly.

At $99, the AirPort Express Base Station is on the pricey end, despite its advanced features; but fortunately, you can get one for less. Staples has them for $86 for a limited time. Bes tBuy often has them, refurbished by GeekSquad, for as low as $59.99. Apple also has officially refurbished models for $65. While you might be apprehensive about refurbished products, keep in mind that these devices have no moving parts so there's very little that can go wrong. However, I have bought some from BestBuy that were still configured for their previous owner. It's not too hard to reset them to factory new condition, using the app, but still I was surprised BestBuy hadn't done that. For $5 more, you can get one certified by Apple, so that's probably the best bet.

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2 Cheaper Ways to Get Better Wi-Fi Using an Apple Airport Express

 Here are the official specs:

  • Dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi.

  • Allows simultaneous signal transfer at 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies for speedy performance.
  • Compatible with 802.11a-, 802.11b-, 802.11g- and 802.11n-enabled wireless devices

  • Including PC, Mac, Apple® iPhone®, iPod® touch, iPad®, Apple TV and more for wide-ranging use.
  • 10/100Base-T Ethernet LAN.

  • For fast wired connection to your home network.
  • Extends wireless range for optimal wireless operation.

  • Supports AirPlay so you can listen to music from iTunes through your wireless speakers (requires audio cable and speakers, not included).

  • Rear USB port.

  • Enables wireless printing from network-connected devices.
  • Guest networking feature.

  • Allows you to set up a separate Wi-Fi network for guests with the option of having a different password. Only allows access to the Internet to help keep your network secure.
  • Built-in firewall automatically turns on during setup to help protect your data.

  • AirPort Utility app (download required)

  • Features setup assistant for easy management from your compatible device.
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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.