I don’t know how I managed to miss that Apple revved the Airport Express in Summer 2012, but it’s a pretty nice little AP.

It does IPv6, but use as a home router is not what interested me about it (I already have that covered with a separate device). I wanted something that knows how to bridge without jumping through hoops and/or installing aftermarket firmware. The house really needs two APs for proper coverage.

Interesting properties of the 2012 Airport Express include:

  • Dual radio (so 2.4 and 5.x GHz simultaneously).
  • You can set different SSIDs for 2.4 and 5 GHz should you want to (but you don’t have to)
  • You can now manually set the channels for 5 GHz if you want (I like the lower numbered channels <a href=http://www.tongfamily.com/2011/11/wifi-channels-which-are-the-best/>where everyone’s power limit is much lower</a>, thus less interference from the neighbors)
  • Support for a guest SSID. I’ve seen stuff that works before, but only when tightly integrated with the router. In the case of the Express, your “main” SSID is untagged, the “guest” SSID is vlan 1003. Don’t like that? Too bad! Fix it on the switch end! :-)
  • Costs $99
  • A/B/G/N (no AC)

Not a bad deal all things considered. Here’s the config for my <a href=http://www.juniper.net/us/en/products-services/switching/ex-series/ex3200/>EX3200</a> that talks to it:

root@woodburn-bigswitch> show configuration interfaces ge-0/0/5 description "Guest Room AP"; unit 0 { family ethernet-switching { port-mode trunk; vlan { members [ appleguest ]; } native-vlan-id 10; } } root@woodburn-bigswitch> show configuration vlans appleguest { vlan-id 1003; } woodburn { vlan-id 10; l3-interface vlan.0; } root@woodburn-bigswitch>