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How Apple Airport Express Works


Apple Airport Express Setup
Plug it into the wall and then connect it to your Internet connection. After a brief and mostly automated software installation, your new AirPort is ready to use.
Plug it into the wall and then connect it to your Internet connection. After a brief and mostly automated software installation, your new AirPort is ready to use.
Courtesy Apple

Like so many Apple devices, the plain-white AirPort Express is meant to be simple to set up and use. Certainly, when it comes to the hardware side, this little box couldn't be much more straightforward.

To set up your AirPort as an Internet access point, start by connecting the Ethernet cable from your DSL or cable modem to the AirPort. Keep in mind that this product doesn't ship with an Ethernet cable, so if you don't have one handy you'll be making a run to an electronics store. If you're in a hotel room, of course, you won't see a modem of any kind; you'll still simply connect the Ethernet cable in your room to the Airport.

Then you plug the AirPort into an electrical socket. There's no power switch, so the status light should immediately illuminate. As the unit starts up, its activity light glows a dark yellow. The light changes to an unblinking green when it's ready to use.

Unlike many routers, there's no browser-based setup routine. Instead, you have to install the AirPort Setup Assistant software that's included on CD.

No matter which AirPort capability you want to use, this software serves as your central configuration and control hub. Completing the setup process means simply following the on-screen prompts. You'll select "create a new network" and then give your fledgling network a password. Then the AirPort network will be visible on any of your wireless devices.

On the next page, we'll touch on the rest of the setup processes that make your AirPort traffic move.


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