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View Full Version : Best Range with 6 Airport Extremes or 6 wireless access points??




Wongers1
Jun 3, 2012, 03:35 PM
I have a house that has 16 rooms, approx 20,000 square feet, 2 floors, it has ethernet wired into 6 of the rooms. There is a main rack in the centre of the house on the ground floor with the broadband coming in through BT ADSL. The walls in the house are very thick.*

I have already tried Devolo homeplugs and they are not working very good. So have decided wireless access points are the way to go.

The router is a Netgear DGND3700 attached to a netgear 8 port gigabit switch. The 6 wired ethernet connections are going straight into the switch and into 6 of the rooms around the house.

I would like to have a single wireless network covering the whole house and garden area.*

Can i just install 6 airport extremes around the house wired into the ethernet connections that are already there and creating 1 ssid, using the same ssid for all access points with the same password?

Also I was looking at using the netgear WNDRMAC routers as access points, but im not sure now. I would appreciate it if anyone has a better solution?

I also have a single wireless printer that needs to be connected to the wireless access points. I have pc's, macs, iphones, ipads that need to be able to print from.

Thanks Guys!



barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 11:34 AM
I'd recommend creating a network with an Airport Extreme, and using Airport Expresses to extend the network. If you can, hard wire them all to the ethernet you've got going through your house for a much stronger signal. That way you'll have one large network with the same name and password.

One thing to note, I had some problems when my Express was too close to my Extreme. I think there was a lot of cross talk between the two. But they worked fine when further apart.

On second thought, depending on your needs, you might be fine with just Expresses. Read up on each of their different features and see which you'll need hooking up printers, hard drives, and speakers.
http://www.apple.com/wifi/

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 12:29 PM
I already have a netgear DGND3700 with adsl modem built in for the BT ADSL connection and a gigabit switch with ethernet cables hard wired into 6 rooms spaced out around the house.

Cant i just add the airport extremes or airport expresses to each room that has the hard wired ethernet cable to create a roaming on one ssid for the whole house?

But what is the settings i need to do this. I will be using both windows pc's, ipads, iphones, and various other mobile devices. So they will need to all work.

Also when adding a wireless printer to one of the access points, will i be able to see it from anywhere in the house?

barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 12:39 PM
You'll find that the Airports are the easiest devices to set up.

Just plug one into each of your ethernet jacks in those 6 rooms and open up Airport Utility on your Mac or download the Airport Utility app for your iPhone or iPad.

From there you'll easily be able to set up a single wi-fi network like you want.
Each device has a USB port that you can plug in a printer that will be seen on your network. (You might have to do something special to set up the Windows machine, I'm not at all familiar with that)

The Extreme also lets you plug in a hard drive to do wireless backups. The Express has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug in speakers and use AirPlay from iTunes or your iPhone.

They are pretty cool devices

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 01:57 PM
You'll find that the Airports are the easiest devices to set up.

Just plug one into each of your ethernet jacks in those 6 rooms and open up Airport Utility on your Mac or download the Airport Utility app for your iPhone or iPad.

From there you'll easily be able to set up a single wi-fi network like you want.
Each device has a USB port that you can plug in a printer that will be seen on your network. (You might have to do something special to set up the Windows machine, I'm not at all familiar with that)

The Extreme also lets you plug in a hard drive to do wireless backups. The Express has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug in speakers and use AirPlay from iTunes or your iPhone.

They are pretty cool devices


After plugging one into each of the ethernet jacks in each room. Does the airport utility setup th ip addresses for each access point?

Do i have to reserve any ip addresses on the router side for the access points? As im using a netgear DGND3700?

----------

The other thing i need to know is whats the range like for the airport expresses or airport extremes? The other equipment i was looking at was the Netgear WNRDMAC routers to use.

Is the range better using the netgear as the access points?

barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 02:00 PM
Ha! Trust me when I say it's easy. It'll take care of all that boring technical stuff, but you'll still be able to do any sort of custom technical wizardry if you'd like.

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 02:33 PM
Right, the netgear is broadcasting a wireless signal. Would it be better to have that turned off on the netgear router and just use the aiports for the wireless part to cover the whole property?

How does the airport utility setup each access point to work as a single wireless network?

barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 02:42 PM
Right, the netgear is broadcasting a wireless signal. Would it be better to have that turned off on the netgear router and just use the aiports for the wireless part to cover the whole property?

How does the airport utility setup each access point to work as a single wireless network?

There might be a way to use the Netgear, but I'd suggest just turning off it's wireless and creating a new one with your Airports. They are all built to work together in creating a single network. I don't know how it does it, but it does.

Set the first Airport as a new network. Set it to allow the network to be extended. Then with every other Airport, when you first set them up, it asks if you want to create a new network, or extend a current one.

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 02:48 PM
There might be a way to use the Netgear, but I'd suggest just turning off it's wireless and creating a new one with your Airports. They are all built to work together in creating a single network. I don't know how it does it, but it does.

Set the first Airport as a new network. Set it to allow the network to be extended. Then with every other Airport, when you first set them up, it asks if you want to create a new network, or extend a current one.


Do i setup each airport one by one by plugging in the 1st one to one of the ethernet jacks and open airport utility and then once that is done plug in another one as so on. Or can you just plug all of them in and run the airport utility?

barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 03:10 PM
Ha! Trust me when I say it's easy. It'll take care of all that boring technical stuff, but you'll still be able to do any sort of custom technical wizardry if you'd like.
yeah it'll see them all at once if they're plugged in with ethernet.

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 03:18 PM
yeah it'll see them all at once if they're plugged in with ethernet.



So once there all connected am i going to creating a extended wireless network or a roaming wireless network?

barcodebawtv
Jun 4, 2012, 03:22 PM
So once there all connected am i going to creating a extended wireless network or a roaming wireless network?

Extended. I don't know what a roaming is. Might be the same thing.

jahala
Jun 4, 2012, 03:36 PM
Do i setup each airport one by one by plugging in the 1st one to one of the ethernet jacks and open airport utility and then once that is done plug in another one as so on. Or can you just plug all of them in and run the airport utility?

You can do it either way, but if you plug them all in first and then run Airport Utility, you will need to know the serial numbers of each airport express so you know which one you are configuring. I think it will be simpler to do them one at a time.

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 03:36 PM
Extended. I don't know what a roaming is. Might be the same thing.

I saw this post, http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4145

Look under multiple Wifi base station network types

It says its a Roaming network, ethernet connected wifi base stations. It shows airport extremes only??

It shows a photo of a switch connected to the airport extremes using the WAN port, i think??

garybUK
Jun 4, 2012, 03:59 PM
Also one thing to notice is the Wifi Channel, I'd alternate the Channel Numbers (for 802.11 b/g/n or 802.11 n only) from 1 - 5 - 9 - 13 but also make the two that are furthest away the same channel so have it so the two base stations that can't reach the first 2 to have the same number

i.e.

AP1 ----> AP2 ---> AP3 ---> AP4 ---> AP5 ---> AP6
Ch 1 ---> Ch5 ---> Ch9 ----> Ch13 ---> Ch1 ---> Ch5

That way it will be much more reliable and faster.

Wongers1
Jun 4, 2012, 04:09 PM
Also one thing to notice is the Wifi Channel, I'd alternate the Channel Numbers (for 802.11 b/g/n or 802.11 n only) from 1 - 5 - 9 - 13 but also make the two that are furthest away the same channel so have it so the two base stations that can't reach the first 2 to have the same number

i.e.

AP1 ----> AP2 ---> AP3 ---> AP4 ---> AP5 ---> AP6
Ch 1 ---> Ch5 ---> Ch9 ----> Ch13 ---> Ch1 ---> Ch5

That way it will be much more reliable and faster.

What do you think is better to use, airport expresses or airport extremes? The post on the apple site shows airport extremes connected to a switch by the WAN port? As far as im aware the airport expresses dont have a WAN port?

etchtech09
Jun 5, 2012, 03:28 AM
Depending on how technical you want to get with your question, the simple answer is that the Ethernet port on the Express can be either a LAN port or a WAN port.

In my house right now, I am running an Extreme with two Express that are wirelessly extending the WLAN which works reasonably well.

Back to your question, when you set up the Express, they can either extend the network using what it gets wired or wireless (hence the port being a WAN port), or they can get the wireless signal and shoot it out the port (hence the port being a LAN port) to something like an XBox 360 (pre-wireless).

In my opinion, I would get an Extreme and 6 Express and put them in the distant rooms to extend your network. If money isn't problem though, I would get a bunch of Extremes.

Just as an aside, make sure you know which way the Express is going to broadcast its signal, it doesn't just broadcast in every direction. I believe that if you plug it straight into the wall, it is broadcasting its signal away from the wall so if you were on the other side of the wall from where it is plugged in, you won't get a good signal (in my experience).

Wongers1
Jun 5, 2012, 09:47 AM
Depending on how technical you want to get with your question, the simple answer is that the Ethernet port on the Express can be either a LAN port or a WAN port.

In my house right now, I am running an Extreme with two Express that are wirelessly extending the WLAN which works reasonably well.

Back to your question, when you set up the Express, they can either extend the network using what it gets wired or wireless (hence the port being a WAN port), or they can get the wireless signal and shoot it out the port (hence the port being a LAN port) to something like an XBox 360 (pre-wireless).

In my opinion, I would get an Extreme and 6 Express and put them in the distant rooms to extend your network. If money isn't problem though, I would get a bunch of Extremes.

Just as an aside, make sure you know which way the Express is going to broadcast its signal, it doesn't just broadcast in every direction. I believe that if you plug it straight into the wall, it is broadcasting its signal away from the wall so if you were on the other side of the wall from where it is plugged in, you won't get a good signal (in my experience).



Do the Airport Extremes broadcast a stronger and wider signal?

Whats the average range of a :

1. Airport Express?
2. Airport Extreme?

velocityg4
Jun 5, 2012, 02:20 PM
Do the Airport Extremes broadcast a stronger and wider signal?

Whats the average range of a :

1. Airport Express?
2. Airport Extreme?

The Extremes produce a stronger signal. I wouldn't know the average range of each. Since you say the walls are thick that would cut down any average range a lot.

I would use the manual setup. I would also download 5.6 of the Airport Utility for Mac. It has more options.

Under Airport > Wireless > Wireless Mode: choose "Create a wireless network" as you are connecting to the switch via Ethernet you do not need to "Extend a wireless network". The extend function is wireless repeating and will just increase latency.

Under Internet > Internet Connection > Connection Sharing: choose "Off (Bridge Mode). This will make the Airport act like an Switch and Wireless Access Point.

On the Netgear I would set the IP Range to start at 100 and end at what sounds appropriate to you. 150 would give you a good number for devices to get automatic IP Addresses. Then you can use 2 through 99 for static addresses. These should be used for your Airports, Printers, Hardwired NAS/Server and can be used on any hardwired desktops. Under Internet > TCP/IP > Configure IPv4: choose "Manually".

The subnets should be the same on all devices. The router address is that of your main router. DNS Server is done automatically but you can make things a bit more efficient by using that of your ISP. For example Comcast uses 75.75.75.75 and 75.75.76.76.

Each IP Address must be different but the first three parts need to be the same.

Example
Router IP: 10.0.40.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Airport 1
IP Address: 10.0.40.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

Airport 2
IP Address: 10.0.40.11
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

Printer
IP Address: 10.0.40.20
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

NAS
IP Address: 10.0.40.30
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

As garybUK said alternate wireless channels to reduce interference. Also for any wireless home phones get something outside the 2.4Ghz band say a DECT 6.0 phone. Whether you just use 2.4Ghz or 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz is up to you. The 5Ghz will get less interference from other devices but not carry as far.

I would also ditch the Netgear. They are unreliable routers (the business class Prosafe switches are great). I have owned two models and worked on many networks with them. They are problematic sometimes you tweak a minor setting and the network starts crashing constantly until you do a factory reset and have to reprogram it. Get another Airport Extreme to replace it. Of all the routers I have owned and setup they are absolutely the most reliable router I have ever used.

The only thing more rock solid than an Airport is an enterprise grade router like those made by Cisco. I'm not talking the crap Cisco Small Business those are more like a rebranded Linksys. Linksys used to be great before Cisco took over and neutered them to prevent competing with their enterprise products.

Lastly if you want to save a lot of money buy refurbished or used extremes of Amazon. They are just as good but often half the price.

Wongers1
Jun 5, 2012, 03:51 PM
The Extremes produce a stronger signal. I wouldn't know the average range of each. Since you say the walls are thick that would cut down any average range a lot.

I would use the manual setup. I would also download 5.6 of the Airport Utility for Mac. It has more options.

Under Airport > Wireless > Wireless Mode: choose "Create a wireless network" as you are connecting to the switch via Ethernet you do not need to "Extend a wireless network". The extend function is wireless repeating and will just increase latency.

Under Internet > Internet Connection > Connection Sharing: choose "Off (Bridge Mode). This will make the Airport act like an Switch and Wireless Access Point.

On the Netgear I would set the IP Range to start at 100 and end at what sounds appropriate to you. 150 would give you a good number for devices to get automatic IP Addresses. Then you can use 2 through 99 for static addresses. These should be used for your Airports, Printers, Hardwired NAS/Server and can be used on any hardwired desktops. Under Internet > TCP/IP > Configure IPv4: choose "Manually".

The subnets should be the same on all devices. The router address is that of your main router. DNS Server is done automatically but you can make things a bit more efficient by using that of your ISP. For example Comcast uses 75.75.75.75 and 75.75.76.76.

Each IP Address must be different but the first three parts need to be the same.

Example
Router IP: 10.0.40.1
Subnet: 255.255.255.0

Airport 1
IP Address: 10.0.40.10
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

Airport 2
IP Address: 10.0.40.11
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

Printer
IP Address: 10.0.40.20
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

NAS
IP Address: 10.0.40.30
Subnet: 255.255.255.0
Router Address: 10.0.40.1

As garybUK said alternate wireless channels to reduce interference. Also for any wireless home phones get something outside the 2.4Ghz band say a DECT 6.0 phone. Whether you just use 2.4Ghz or 2.4Ghz + 5Ghz is up to you. The 5Ghz will get less interference from other devices but not carry as far.

I would also ditch the Netgear. They are unreliable routers (the business class Prosafe switches are great). I have owned two models and worked on many networks with them. They are problematic sometimes you tweak a minor setting and the network starts crashing constantly until you do a factory reset and have to reprogram it. Get another Airport Extreme to replace it. Of all the routers I have owned and setup they are absolutely the most reliable router I have ever used.

The only thing more rock solid than an Airport is an enterprise grade router like those made by Cisco. I'm not talking the crap Cisco Small Business those are more like a rebranded Linksys. Linksys used to be great before Cisco took over and neutered them to prevent competing with their enterprise products.

Lastly if you want to save a lot of money buy refurbished or used extremes of Amazon. They are just as good but often half the price.

Thanks for your comments.

I have decided to ditch the Netgear ADSL router and go for,

Draytek Vigor 120 ADSL modem--->airport extreme--->Netgear unmanaged gigabit switch--->6 ethernet airport extremes (around the house).

Can you tell me how the Airport Extreme Main router work with all the other Airport extremes around the house to create a roaming network?

Are there any other settings I need to do like ip addresses for each base station or does the Main router one sort that all out?

Thanks

velocityg4
Jun 6, 2012, 12:14 PM
Can you tell me how the Airport Extreme Main router work with all the other Airport extremes around the house to create a roaming network?

Just like the Netgear would. The main router is the DHCP server. Each Airport Extreme would refer to it for IP Address assignment to any devices connected that are not using a Static IP Address (i.e. Printers, Airports). Each unit would use the same SSID. The computer should connect to whatever station has the strongest signal.

When all stations have the same SSID. It should scan occasionally for the strongest signal and switch access points automatically if a candidate AP has enough signal strength over the one currently connected with little interruption. Although this could screw up streaming and file downloads.


Are there any other settings I need to do like ip addresses for each base station or does the Main router one sort that all out?

The most reliable for IP Addresses would be to set them up as outlined in my previous post.

Wongers1
Jun 6, 2012, 12:57 PM
Just like the Netgear would. The main router is the DHCP server. Each Airport Extreme would refer to it for IP Address assignment to any devices connected that are not using a Static IP Address (i.e. Printers, Airports). Each unit would use the same SSID. The computer should connect to whatever station has the strongest signal.

When all stations have the same SSID. It should scan occasionally for the strongest signal and switch access points automatically if a candidate AP has enough signal strength over the one currently connected with little interruption. Although this could screw up streaming and file downloads.



The most reliable for IP Addresses would be to set them up as outlined in my previous post.

I am going to purchase the 6 Airport Extreme base stations tomorrow at the Apple Store.

So I guess when setting it up, I should start with the main one with ADSL modem connected.

With that one I would setup the DHCP range and then with the additional airports I should give them there own unique IP addresses. Rather than leave it to assign it automatically?

Wongers1
Jun 6, 2012, 03:20 PM
Can additional airport extremes be connected by wifi, not ethernet to any areas that have bad signal, where the 6 airports wont cover?

velocityg4
Jun 6, 2012, 04:10 PM
I am going to purchase the 6 Airport Extreme base stations tomorrow at the Apple Store.

So I guess when setting it up, I should start with the main one with ADSL modem connected.

With that one I would setup the DHCP range and then with the additional airports I should give them there own unique IP addresses. Rather than leave it to assign it automatically?

Yes this helps prevent issues after a black out. The devices can get assigned new IP Addresses. Sometimes others will try to use their old address (which is taken) rather than take a new one and a conflict occurs.

Can additional airport extremes be connected by wifi to any areas that have bad signal, where the 6 airports wont cover?

Yes but these will not be as fast since rebroadcasting the signal increases latency. For these you will need in Airport Utility you will need to go to Airport > Wireless > Wireless Mode: and choose "Extend a wireless network". The input the SSID in "Wireless Network Name" and choose the correct password and wireless security type.

I would recommend running Ethernet cables from the switch to those rooms if possible.

Wongers1
Jun 6, 2012, 06:07 PM
Yes this helps prevent issues after a black out. The devices can get assigned new IP Addresses. Sometimes others will try to use their old address (which is taken) rather than take a new one and a conflict occurs.



Yes but these will not be as fast since rebroadcasting the signal increases latency. For these you will need in Airport Utility you will need to go to Airport > Wireless > Wireless Mode: and choose "Extend a wireless network". The input the SSID in "Wireless Network Name" and choose the correct password and wireless security type.

I would recommend running Ethernet cables from the switch to those rooms if possible.


Say I use another Airport Extreme to repeat the wireless signal. will it repeat the closest ethernet wired Airport or will it only repeat the main Airport that is connected to the ADSL modem?

There could be areas of the house that may not be covered by the ethernet wired airport extreme base station. Also the areas that are not covered, there is no room for the wiring so thats why I was asking about repeating one of the base stations. As that would solve the problem.

Wongers1
Jun 7, 2012, 06:53 AM
I have now got 7 Airport Extremes, 6 of them are going to be wired and one for where there might be patchy area with little coverage, to be connected as wfi extended.

http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab3/Wongers/DSCN1859.jpg

RMarch
Jun 7, 2012, 08:31 AM
I have now got 7 Airport Extremes, 6 of them are going to be wired and one for where there might be patchy area with little coverage, to be connected as wfi extended.

Image (http://i844.photobucket.com/albums/ab3/Wongers/DSCN1859.jpg)

Sweet wireless. I have Single Airport Extreme and one Express hooked up via Ethernet in a remote room. My place is two floors and about 6000 square feet and the coverage is perfect. In fact, the single airport will get me close to 130MB throughout. I can stream 1080p throughout without a single hitch. 6 Airport Extremes is probably overkill so you should have zero dead spots. Keep in mind, if you extend via WiFi, the throughout will be cut in half for devices attaching to the AP extended via WiFi. If you can avoid it, don't setup the 7th Extreme via WiFi. It will only serve to degrade your throughput. I think you will have no need for it and don't want you to add it "just because".

Wongers1
Jun 7, 2012, 10:38 AM
Sweet wireless. I have Single Airport Extreme and one Express hooked up via Ethernet in a remote room. My place is two floors and about 6000 square feet and the coverage is perfect. In fact, the single airport will get me close to 130MB throughout. I can stream 1080p throughout without a single hitch. 6 Airport Extremes is probably overkill so you should have zero dead spots. Keep in mind, if you extend via WiFi, the throughout will be cut in half for devices attaching to the AP extended via WiFi. If you can avoid it, don't setup the 7th Extreme via WiFi. It will only serve to degrade your throughput. I think you will have no need for it and don't want you to add it "just because".

When setting all the equipment up, what version of airport utility is best to use?

etchtech09
Jun 7, 2012, 12:47 PM
When setting all the equipment up, what version of airport utility is best to use?

I keep 6.0 and 5.6 installed on my computers. 6.0 is great for every day use, but 5.6 you can get a bit more advanced. You can change power levels and such.

Also, don't forget to get the app for iOS. It works a lot like 6.0.

Wongers1
Jun 9, 2012, 08:55 PM
I keep 6.0 and 5.6 installed on my computers. 6.0 is great for every day use, but 5.6 you can get a bit more advanced. You can change power levels and such.

Also, don't forget to get the app for iOS. It works a lot like 6.0.


I have 6 of the units wired in by ethernet and 1 unit extended wirelessly to serve the printer. Everything works seamlessly, I have hooked up the printer by usb into the wireless airport extreme.

But i dont know how you get it to display on the macbook, ipad, iphone to print wirelessly? When i go onto surfari on the ipad or iphone and try to print a webpage, it says no printers??

I dont really understand why it wont come up, does anyone know how to set it up?

velocityg4
Jun 10, 2012, 08:51 AM
When setting all the equipment up, what version of airport utility is best to use?

I only use 5.6. They neutered 6 for some reason.

I have 6 of the units wired in by ethernet and 1 unit extended wirelessly to serve the printer. Everything works seamlessly, I have hooked up the printer by usb into the wireless airport extreme.

But i dont know how you get it to display on the macbook, ipad, iphone to print wirelessly? When i go onto surfari on the ipad or iphone and try to print a webpage, it says no printers??

I dont really understand why it wont come up, does anyone know how to set it up?

Very few printers are supported this way for Airprint. The HP iPrint App for iOS can increase the number of supported HP printers. Really though most reliable method is to get printers that support Airprint natively.

I've never found print servers to be very reliable. I only use network printers. Though mine are too old for Airprint.

Wongers1
Jun 10, 2012, 09:30 AM
I only use 5.6. They neutered 6 for some reason.



Very few printers are supported this way for Airprint. The HP iPrint App for iOS can increase the number of supported HP printers. Really though most reliable method is to get printers that support Airprint natively.

I've never found print servers to be very reliable. I only use network printers. Though mine are too old for Airprint.

I thought if you plug in a usb printer to one of the airport extremes, anybody connected to the wi fi would be able to print wirelessly??

jahala
Jun 10, 2012, 05:37 PM
I thought if you plug in a usb printer to one of the airport extremes, anybody connected to the wi fi would be able to print wirelessly??

The Macs and iOS devices use different methods to print. On your Macs, you will need to add the printer to each Mac. If your printer uses Bonjour, it will show up in the list of available printers to add. If not, you may have to create a DHCP reservation for it on the master Airport Extreme or assign it a static IP address so it will always be reachable. Once you add the printer to each Mac, they will print via the wireless network.

The iOS devices use AirPrint to send information to printers. There are some programs you can run on a Mac that is usually on to make the printer show up as an AirPrint printer on the iOS devices. Printopia is one such program, but there are probably others as well.

Wongers1
Jun 10, 2012, 06:17 PM
The Macs and iOS devices use different methods to print. On your Macs, you will need to add the printer to each Mac. If your printer uses Bonjour, it will show up in the list of available printers to add. If not, you may have to create a DHCP reservation for it on the master Airport Extreme or assign it a static IP address so it will always be reachable. Once you add the printer to each Mac, they will print via the wireless network.

The iOS devices use AirPrint to send information to printers. There are some programs you can run on a Mac that is usually on to make the printer show up as an AirPrint printer on the iOS devices. Printopia is one such program, but there are probably others as well.

Thanks for the info.

I have assigned the wireless airport extreme a static ip address and connected the printer to the airport extreme via usb.

The other 6 wired ethernet airport extremes have there own ip addresses, the network of airports work flawlessly.

I thought that when just connecting the printer to the usb of the airport it would come up, i didnt know you had to add the printer to all macs and pc's.

So adding the printers manually to each computer and getting that ios software that will enable airprint is all i need??