Airport Express on separate 802.11n network?

My AE joins 802.11g home network. Since AE is 801.11n capable it might be possible to create separate 802.11n network (using 802.11n USB adapter for my Mac Mini) just to send music to AE (from Itunes). Existing 802.11g only router would still provide adequate connection to internet (that is slow 3Mb/s) and printer.

Separate 5GHz network should not interfere with existing router. It will be also less susceptible to microwave or cellphone interference. Interference from other routers in the area will also be reduced since 5GHz does not penetrate walls very well (all my gear in one room). Can this be done? I'm grateful for any suggestion.
A4cbbf0f e24a 481b bac9 8318cf2147eekijanki
Hi Kijanki,

I suspect that will work OK, but a caution is that I believe many USB 802.11n adapters only operate in the 2.4 gHz band. Be sure that you choose one which explicitly indicates that it will work at 5 GHz, or indicates that it is "dual band."

You would configure the AE to create a new network, for which it would act as the router, and as the DHCP server (assigning a local IP address to the Mini for use with the 802.11n USB adapter).

I'm assuming that the Mac OS provides a means of specifying a preferred order of connection among multiple networks, for each of its network interfaces (as Windows does; as you know I have no Mac experience). That way you can configure the Mini such that when booted it knows that it should automatically connect the USB adapter to the AE, and it should automatically connect its built-in wireless interface to the G network (assuming that you are presently connecting it to the G network wirelessly).

Also, to be sure I am envisioning everything correctly, am I correct in thinking that you are connecting the AE to your Benchmark DAC via Toslink?

Best regards,
-- Al
Thank you Al, I noticed this 2.4GHz and thought it was misprint. Thanks for the warning. I think there is an order of the networks. Yes, it is Toslink.
Al, I found this:

It is difficult to find any high power USB adapter because they are either 2.4GHz or Windows only. Would it be better to get high power N router instead? I have unused Ethernet connector on my Mac Mini.
That seems like a reasonable choice, although I haven't heard of the brand name. Here are some additional choices, that are claimed to be Mac compatible:




Amped Wireless

I've been using an Amped Wireless USB 2.4 gHz adapter on one of my Windows machines with excellent results, communicating from my basement to a wireless access point on the second floor of my house. But their dual band product linked to above may be overkill for your purposes, considering that both ends of the link are within the same room. Note that its spec for maximum transmitted power corresponds to 400 milliwatts!

Using a wireless-N router, connected to the Mini's ethernet port, would also be a good approach, but probably more expensive than most (or all) of these choices.

Best regards,
-- Al
Thank you Al. I appreciate the time you spent to help me. I ordered Edimax from your Newegg link on special for $19.19 (offer I could not refuse). It should work since distance is only 15' across the room, but in case it doesn't I have your link to Amped (yes, power is huge and antenna is directional).
Edimax comes with Windows drivers only (same on the website). Manufacturer claims only Windows compatibility (shame on you Newegg). Luckily I was able to find Ralitek chipset number after opening the case and to download driver plus utility program.

I can create two separate infrastructure networks but they don't work at the same time. Peer-to-peer network in addition to infrastructure network would perhaps work but Apple Express won't work in that mode. I ended up disabling Mac's radio (called Airport) using Edimax instead (one network as before). I set Edimax to broadcast on 2.4GHz and 5GHz simultaneously. Router is 2.4GHz only but Airport Express listens on both frequencies. I tested it for two days and have no single dropout even with microwave on. It might be addition of 5GHz or Edimax transmitter is just a bit stronger. Keep my fingers crossed.