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How Apple Airport Express Works


AirPort Final Landing
The AirPort Express has a built-in power supply. That means no cords to lose or tangle, whether you’re at home or on the road.
The AirPort Express has a built-in power supply. That means no cords to lose or tangle, whether you’re at home or on the road.
Courtesy Apple

Of course, setting up a typical network is only part of the power of your AirPort. The real fun comes into play when you dive into its music functions.

To set up the AirPort with your stereo speakers, you need either an analog mini jack connector or its optical, digital counterpart. You'll have to buy the cord separately because the AirPort doesn't include one. Plug one end into the Express and the other into your speakers. With the AirPort Setup Assistant software, create a new network. Then, in iTunes, you'll select your speakers from the speakers pop-up window that appears on the bottom-right side of iTunes.

Click to play a song and your tunes will crank through your big stereo speakers. One caveat, though -- you can only control playback through iTunes. That's easy enough if you have an iPhone or a laptop that you can carry around the house, but if your copy of iTunes is installed on a stationary desktop computer, you'll have to walk back to that machine to switch from Blake Shelton to Miranda Lambert.

For wireless printing, you'll connect the Express directly to your printer via a USB cable. Then you'll use your computer's operating system to locate the printer on the network.

Finally, you can also set up the AirPort to extend the range of an existing wireless network. For starters, you must, of course, have an existing wireless connection. You'll plug the AirPort into an electrical socket in the area of your home where the existing wireless signal range begins deteriorating. Then, you'll load the AirPort Setup Assistant program and use its configuration utility to manage your new AirPort.

Whether you opt for an AirPort Express or its Extreme version, Apple's devices help you sling information wirelessly in all sorts of data-intensive situations. From music to multimedia video, a quick

AirPort setup is an easy way to get your data off the runway and into the air.


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