For the past half year or so, I have mainly been using my MacBook Pro - particularly for the past few weeks since I hooked it up to my new 22” widescreen LCD monitor. However, I have still had to keep my Linux PC running as a print- and fileserver (serving, among other things, my mp3 music collection), which has been bothering me.
So yesterday I picked up an Airport Extreme, and so far I am extremely impressed with it. I could have swapped out my existing 802.11g wireless router, but that would have required running in the less performant 802.11b/g compatible mode. Instead, I chose to hook it up to my existing router and configure it for bridge mode. Everything worked beautifully right from the start. With this setup, my wife’s older Macbook (which unlike my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro does not support 802.11n) as well as my other devices (my two Tivos, my Airport Express that I use to stream music to my stereo, my Nintendo Wii, my Xbox running XBMC, my old Windows laptops, etc. - damn, I just realized that’s a lot of wireless devices… ;) ) can continue to connect to the old router via 801.11b/g, while my MacBook Pro can connect to the Airport Extreme using the full 802.11n speed.
I also hooked up a 500GB external USB drive and my printer, and sharing these devices via the Airport Extreme has been pretty painless. I can access my USB drive from my Macs as well as my Linux and Windows boxes. I am still having some trouble with my Xbox, but this is probably just a simple configuration issue. I have also successfully set up my printer in Windows (using Bonjour for Windows) and don’t foresee any issues setting it up as a CUPS printer in Linux.
The speed of the networked drive is quite impressive, both via 801.11n and 801.11g. Streaming movies is no problem at all, I can even skip to any place in the movie with hardly any delay.
As Hannibal Smith would say, “I love it when a plan comes together!”