Upgraded the Airport Express

After having a few problems with the Airport Express, usually resolved by unplugging it and plugging it back in again, I took the plunge and upgraded the firmware to version 6.3

I was having issues with it failing too often. Though most of my Mac hardware and the iPad run off my 802.11n Airport Extreme, I still have some hardware that can only use 802.11g and that is what I was using the Airport Express for. The iPhone is one example, but as it has 3G it was less noticable when the Express failed and the wifi didn’t work. However my Canon printer also connected to the 802.11g Express network and when the Express fell over, no one was able to print!

I generally don’t upgrade unless there are security issues or as in this case I am having problems with the hardware. The upgrade went fine and it would appear after a few days now to have solved the issue. The Express has stayed up without falling over, so I am keen to see if this will continue.

If it keeps falling over then I may need to get a new one, of course it would have to be the AirPort Express 802.11n model.

How many wireless networks do you need?

Both the iPhone 4 and the iPad can connect to the faster 802.11n networks, but it is not as clear cut as that.

Whilst the iPad can connect to a 5GHz 802.11n wireless network the iPhone 4 can only connect to an 802.11n wireless networking using 2.4GHz.

Whilst that is much faster than connecting to an 802.11g network one reason for having a 5GHz is to avoid the often crowded 2.4GHz spectrum as the rest of the world has discovered the advantages of wireless networking.

So if you if you only have a single 802.11n wireless network you will need to ensure it is either running at 2.4GHz or add a new network just for the iPhone, which is a little bit over the top.

I can see myself adding a 2.4GHz 802.11n network for my new iPhone 4 in the main so I can stream video over my network using the AirVideo App.

Airport Express fell over…

Today despite a strong green light the Airport 802.11g network that my Airport Express provides was nowhere to be seen.

I couldn’t see the Airport Express in the Airport Utility either, despite it been connected to my network via cable and I was using my 802.11n network.

In the end I power cycled the Airport Express, twice and this resolved the issue.

This happens now and again with Airport base stations, mainly the older the 802.11g base stations in my experience.

Updated Airport Extreme Base Station

Apple have updated the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule, which are now offering simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking “for optimal performance, range and compatibility.” The new models also offer the ability to set up a secondary Internet-only Wi-Fi network to allow family and friends to access the Internet without giving them the password to the primary network or allowing them access to networked drives and other peripherals. Finally, Time Capsule offers MobileMe members the ability to access files on their device’s hard drive over the Internet from anywhere.

You’re starting to annoy me…

My Canon MP600r is starting to annoy me.

Every time I try to print from my iMac, the printer can not be found on the wireless network.

If I power cycle the printer, it “magically” appears and I can print!

The same more often then not for scanning.

Now I have no real idea what the problem is, whether it is a wireless, printer or some other issue.

I do need to do some further testing. Things I may do including connecting the printer by wire to a wireless WET54G and see if it is a printer issue.

If it is a wireless issue I may connect the printer direct to the iMac by USB and share it across the network.

Canon MP600r

More soon…