Is it possible to connect to the Airport Express over WiFi with my MacBook Pro and use it as an AirPlay device when it doesn't have a connection to the internet?

I will not have access to the internet (so no router) for a while in the future, but I wonder if the AirPlay function will keep working.

If this is possible, which of the models support this behaviour?

2 Answers 2


As long as you can find them with AirPort Utility you will be able to use them as AirPlay device. I've used the same setup and you can wirelessly connect them and they will still function as AirPlay device (they can even make your network more powerful)

Please also check this Apple KB and question with answer on SuperUser

To make your answer complete: you can do this with both versions.

If you have no internet connected, you will still be able to let the Express function as Accesspoint. You just won't have access to the internet via it, but that's not weird as you don't have an input ;)

  • Thanks for your answer, exactly what I'm looking for. What do you mean with you can do this with both versions. The wiki lists 3 versions. Do you mean that the latest two versions have the described functionality? May 13, 2014 at 22:07
  • @bartarondson there's only 2 different shapes. The one which is a wallplug and the other one is a 'white apple tv'
    – Rob
    May 14, 2014 at 5:24

Please read this detailed article by Apple which explains how to use an Airport Express with Airplay to stream music.

  • All usage scenario's explained on that page assume you have a cable router. I will not have one for a while and wondering if it will work without a modem, but just as an AirPlay receiver. I could not find information on that in the article Apr 30, 2014 at 22:19
  • 1
    Also: Welcome to Apple.SE! When answering questions try to make the answer self-contained. In the case that your link would go down your answer would become useless. Hence it's a good custom to quote or rephrase the relevant parts of a linked document in your answer. Apr 30, 2014 at 22:21
  • The only usage scenario not explained is you don't connect the WAN port you ask the Airport Express to create a network and enable DHCP Server (assign IP)... Basically it's the same as the first scenario described. You need in the Network tab to choose for "Router Mode" : "DHCP Only" instead of "Bridge Mode" (ideal for small networks when the base station is connected to a router to avoid headache with Bonjour Services). Thus you'd use "DHCP + NAT" with bigger network or if you need to enable "Guest Mode".
    – llange
    May 10, 2014 at 11:32

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