"A versatile router for wireless printing, music streaming, portability"4.5 starson by George Wedding
Pros: AirTunes streaming of iTunes music libraries
Cons: Small size and internal antennas reduce coverage
Summary: Those who really appreciate the Airport Express use it as a supplementary access point to fill in voids in small home or business networks and to wirelessly stream music from their computers to their AV Receiver sound system or wirelessly print documents to networked printers. For these uses, it is worth it's weight in gold, and actually quite affordable. At $99, the new 802.11n Airport Express also is $30 less expensive than the original 802.11g model. While it may be a bit more expensive than cheap products, Apple's configuration software makes the device a breeze to configure and maintain, and to many, this alone is worth a few extra dollars in cost.
A built-in analog/digital optical audio port and a USB port make all this possible. Add an Airport Express and a set of self-powered speakers to any room and you can retrofit a marvelous, whole-house music system into any home or office.
The Airport Express excels at these tasks.
Others just configure this diminutive device to "join any network" and carry it in a travel bag to improve WiFi connections in hotel rooms and offices while on the road. It excels at this task as well.
It's hard to say, but the reviewer doesn't spell out enough details on how the review unit was configured and tested to really know if the Express was properly set up to attain the fastest connection speed. Like most routers, the Express' connection speed is cut in half if it is configured as a bridge to join another router. But set it up as a primary router (as its' own access point and hard-wired to the Ethernet backbone of your network), and laptop and iPhone WiFi connections are quite speedy, though I have never tested it against other products. As is always the case with Apple, the user experience is so good, who wants to bother with other products? Not me.
What's more, if you purchase an Airport Express at the same time you purchase a Mac with an AppleCare extended warranty, Apple's warranty also covers the Express (or any other peripherals purchased on the same invoice as the computer)!