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Old Nov 28, 2012, 07:46 PM   #1
BHTurnow
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How to extend a wireless network with an Apple Basestation and AirPort Express?

Hello, I have read through many of the forums and am having no luck.


I am running Windows 8 on a ZT System with 8 GB RAM and a 1 TB drive. Computer is running great.


I own an Apple Broadband Extreme Base Station (5th Generation) and I just purchased an AirPort Express 802.11n Wi-Fi. It is the newest model. Model A1392. My goal was to extend the range of my wireless signal. I have a small home and the base station is located downstairs on my main computer. The signal upstairs is decent, but when we start to log in with many devices, mostly all Apple ones, the signal really starts to slow down. I thought I would correct this by purchasing the AirPort Express.


I have the base station plugged into my Cablevision cable modem and it works great. I have an ethernet cable running out of the back of the base station, from one of the ethernet ports <--> and running into the back of the AirPort Express and plugged into the the port with the little circle, which I believe is the WAN port.


The problem I seem to have is that the AirPort Express is NOT showing up under the AirPort Utility. Only the Base Station is appearing.


Both are powered up and I did a "hard" reset of both. I reconfigured my base station and set up the following:


Wireless Mode: Create a wireless network

Wireless Security: WPA2 Personal

Connect Using: Ethernet

Configure IPv4: Using DHCP

IP Address: (Provided Automatically)


When I click on the AirPort Icon and the "Summary" tab, I see:


Status" Normal and a Green Light

Version: 7.6.1

Channel: 149(Automatic), 1(Automatic)

Wirelss Clients: 0


Under the Base Station Tab, I do NOT have the "Allow setup over WAN" box checked.


Under the Wireless Tab, I see:


Wireless Mode: Create a wireless network

The box "Allow this network to be extended" is checked.

Radio Mode: Automatic

Radio Channel Selection: Automatic

Wireless Security: WPA2 Personal


Under the Guest Network Tab


I have "Enable guest network" box checked. Security is set to: WPA2 Personal


Under "Access Control" MAC Address Access Control is set to "NOT ENABLED".


So my basic question is what am I doing wrong.


How do I get the AirPort Express to show up under the "AirPort Utility" so I can configure it to extend my wireless network.


I assume that hooking it up with ethernet would be more beneficial that extending the network with the AirPort wirelessly.


Any suggestions are greatly welcomed.


Thank you........Brad T.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 01:29 AM   #2
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Try plugging the AExpress ethernet cable into the LAN port not the WAN port of the AExpress.
Is the AExtreme setup to provide IP addresses ? Can you check if the AExpress is getting an IP address ?

If you have the cabling then a wired link between the two will be much much better than a wireless link. I have an AExtreme as the main unit with 2x AExpress units in a roaming network config all linked by Cat6. This way I can connect wireless iDevices anywhere as well as get decent data rates.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:04 PM   #3
rpg51
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I am about to do the same thing

in my home. I have a time capsule that is connected to Comcast cable modem. I am going to run a wired connection to two Air Express access points and use one as a DAC as well to connect to the stereo receiver in the living room. Is there anything I should know about the installation - how to connect the ethernet (from and to what ports) and how to configure the TC and the AEs?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 01:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpg51 View Post
in my home. I have a time capsule that is connected to Comcast cable modem. I am going to run a wired connection to two Air Express access points and use one as a DAC as well to connect to the stereo receiver in the living room. Is there anything I should know about the installation - how to connect the ethernet (from and to what ports) and how to configure the TC and the AEs?
What's a DAC ? What exactly do you want to do ? The same as I indicated ?
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 06:37 AM   #5
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DAC = Digital Audio Converter. AE will serve as a DAC. I will connect my AE to my stereo receiver and to TC (via ethernet) and stream music from computers in house as well as iphones and ipads. Also, use AE as additional wireless access points to home network and internet access via TC.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 08:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpg51 View Post
DAC = Digital Audio Converter. AE will serve as a DAC. I will connect my AE to my stereo receiver and to TC (via ethernet) and stream music from computers in house as well as iphones and ipads. Also, use AE as additional wireless access points to home network and internet access via TC.
I use Sonos for whole house audio - nothing better.

How do you want to connect the AEs ? If you want a roaming network with the AEs connected by LAN to the Time Capsule/Modem then that's straightforward.
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Old Nov 30, 2012, 04:42 PM   #7
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Just out of curiosity - roughly how much does sonos cost and what is included. The AE solution works extremely well and it costs about $100 and I can use all my existing audio equipment.

I don't even know what a roaming network is. I have an existing network. The TC is the central part of that. I have two computers wired to the TC, two computers access via wireless. I was planning to run an ethernet cable from the TC to the AE's in two separate rooms.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpg51 View Post
Just out of curiosity - roughly how much does sonos cost and what is included. The AE solution works extremely well and it costs about $100 and I can use all my existing audio equipment.

I don't even know what a roaming network is. I have an existing network. The TC is the central part of that. I have two computers wired to the TC, two computers access via wireless. I was planning to run an ethernet cable from the TC to the AE's in two separate rooms.
Sonos is not as cheap as AirPlay if all you want to do is to play stuff in one location at a time (and go through the hassle of selecting/linking to each location when required).

If you want HiFi quality and multiple simultaneous locations, then Sonos is (IMO) the best solution. e.g. I have 4 locations in one long room all linked together and seamlessly synchronised. Cheapest Sonos unit is the Play:3 $299. depending on the config, you might also need a Bridge (currently free with a Play:3 - usually $49). Control is through a free iApp (also a version for Android and OSX/Win).

A roaming network allows WiFi devices to connect at max data rates anywhere in the multiple AE user space. AEs have to be linked by LAN to work in this mode. e.g. I use my iPhone in the attic linked to the AE on the floor below. I walk down three sets of stairs to the back of the ground floor - the iPhone is now connected to the AE located there. No hassle.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 06:39 AM   #9
davidoloan
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Brad,

Here is the Apple guide for a wireless extended network http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4259, and here is the roaming network guide http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260

I set my express up a few days ago, by turning off all the other airports extreme's and then connecting the express by ethernet to a computer with airport utility.

Then I followed the setup instructions which are very simple and then disconnected the ethernet and took the express to its location and turned the others back on.

If when you have no other airport devices powered on, you have done a hard reset on the express and attached it by ethernet to a computer running airport utility and it still does not show up in the menu then it is most likely faulty. This happened to me a while ago and apple got me to do hard reset twice over the phone and when it still did not show up they sent me a new one immediately and a box to collect the old one.

Last edited by davidoloan; Dec 1, 2012 at 07:09 AM.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 10:41 AM   #10
rpg51
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I should say this networking stuff does get confusing to me so it may be that my questions make no sense - pardon me for that. But looking at those two apple support links am I correct that the only real difference between an extended and a roaming network is that the extended is wireless and roaming involves access points are wired to the TC which presumably gives better speed etc. when connecting to the network through one of the AEs in the mix?

So far I have been completely satisfied in my situation without the sonos but it does look like a great set up and something to think about for sure.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 11:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpg51 View Post
I should say this networking stuff does get confusing to me so it may be that my questions make no sense - pardon me for that. But looking at those two apple support links am I correct that the only real difference between an extended and a roaming network is that the extended is wireless and roaming involves access points are wired to the TC which presumably gives better speed etc. when connecting to the network through one of the AEs in the mix?

So far I have been completely satisfied in my situation without the sonos but it does look like a great set up and something to think about for sure.
Basically yes. Wired LAN speeds will usually be at least 3x wireless speeds so a roaming setup is better, but without a wired LAN at least there is a way to extend wireless networks.
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:01 PM   #12
BHTurnow
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UPDATE ON WIRLESS PROBLEM - Airport Express

I went through and turned everything off including my firewall. No luck.

I also uninstalled AirPort Utility and then reinstalled it.

I can only get the Broadband Extreme to show up in AirPort Utility. I am running Version 7.6.1 for Windows.

I have the AirPort Express hard wired via an Ethernet cable from the Apple Broadband Extreme. It is plugged into the LAN port, which I believe is indicated by the <--> symbol. I wish they would just label it!!!

I also eliminated the Broadband Extreme completely at one point and tried to configure the AirPort Express via an Ethernet cable coming right from my cable modem. No luck. I simply cannot get it to show up in the AirPort Utility. When I unplug the AirPort Express and then plug it back in, it turns green for about 2 seconds and then the light goes a constant yellow. I restarted the Express and did the reboot by pressing the reset button on the back and held it for 3 seconds and then 10 seconds. Still no luck. I have restarted and rebooted the Broadband Extreme as well.

I do have the "Allow this network to be extended" box checked when I configure the Broadband Extreme.

Again, my goal is to extend the wireless signal in my house.

I thank you for your time and support.

Brad
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Old Dec 1, 2012, 08:12 PM   #13
BHTurnow
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Another update

I went to the Apple website again and followed the directions here: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4260

The Airport Express still does not appear in the AirPort Utility.

I have it hard wired and plugged in the WAN port as stated by the Apple Website. Still a constant yellow light and nothing in the AirPort Utility after running another rescan.

Thanks again for any suggestions.....

Brad
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 01:51 AM   #14
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Then I think the unit has failed.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:45 AM   #15
BHTurnow
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Update on problem

What I did was did a FACTORY RESET of the AirPort Express. I had to hold in the reset button on the unit while unplugging it, and then plug it back in while still holding the reset button. The lights finally started to blink and it worked. The constant yellow light was gone. It then showed up in the AirPort Utility.

I had to restart both my Broadband Extreme and AirPort Express several times, but finally was able to get them to play nicely.

I set the units up as a ROAMING NETWORK via an Ethernet cable. The key was the plug the Ethernet cable into the WAN port on the Express and not the LAN port.

I finally was able to get them to work and now have successfully completed this. Thank you! It took about 2 hours and "playing with" but I was able to get it to work. It should not be this difficult! :-)

A few questions remain if I could....

While in the AirPort Utility, under WIRELESS OPTIONS, should I check the boxes for:

5 GHz?

Use Wide Channels?

and, Should Radio Mode be set to Automatic?

We use several desktop computers but most of our devices are wireless including iPhones, iTouches, an iPad, and a Kindle Fire.

I am not sure if the 5 GHz box should be checked. That option is only available on the Broadban Extreme, not the AirPort Express.

For now, I have everything unchecked until I hear differently.

Thank you again........Brad
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 08:57 AM   #16
rpg51
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Sounds good!

Wait for the others to reply - but - I believe the 5Ghz gives you a second wireless signal at 5Ghz - is your base station dual band? If so I believe that is what will happen. I have mine set up that way and it works fine although I set my devices up to choose the standard Ghz first because I believe the standard has a slightly better range when you are broadcasting through walls. Automatic radio channel works fine for me. I believe manual is something to use if you are running into interference issues perhaps.

So, do you have the AE set to "extend" or to "join" the existing network and what exactly does that mean anyway??
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 11:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHTurnow View Post
What I did was did a FACTORY RESET of the AirPort Express. I had to hold in the reset button on the unit while unplugging it, and then plug it back in while still holding the reset button. The lights finally started to blink and it worked. The constant yellow light was gone. It then showed up in the AirPort Utility.

I had to restart both my Broadband Extreme and AirPort Express several times, but finally was able to get them to play nicely.

I set the units up as a ROAMING NETWORK via an Ethernet cable. The key was the plug the Ethernet cable into the WAN port on the Express and not the LAN port.

I finally was able to get them to work and now have successfully completed this. Thank you! It took about 2 hours and "playing with" but I was able to get it to work. It should not be this difficult! :-)

A few questions remain if I could....

While in the AirPort Utility, under WIRELESS OPTIONS, should I check the boxes for:

5 GHz?

Use Wide Channels?

and, Should Radio Mode be set to Automatic?

We use several desktop computers but most of our devices are wireless including iPhones, iTouches, an iPad, and a Kindle Fire.

I am not sure if the 5 GHz box should be checked. That option is only available on the Broadban Extreme, not the AirPort Express.

For now, I have everything unchecked until I hear differently.

Thank you again........Brad
Jolly good.

Roaming network requires the AE to be setup in Bridge mode (i.e. not as a router so no NAT). In this case it doesn't matter which socket you use as they both act as LAN sockets. Maybe your other LAN socket is faulty (hard to think so).

My AE version 2 has a 5Ghz tick box under Wireless Options. Can't help if you have a version 1 (sold mine).

Radio Auto mode should give you a mode that is compatible with a range of wireless settings (b,g,n etc) as well as OK channels. You need to look at your devices to see what they use. I have to use 2.4Ghz n as the iPhone4 uses that. I also have a 2.4Ghz wireless Camera that uses 2.4Ghz b/g. All my other stuff is on 5Ghz n which is much better. The mixed mode that works best for me is : 802.11n only (5Ghz) - 802.11b/g/n

Wide channels on 2.4Ghz are OK if you have clear channels (and no neighbours). It's like shouting in a quiet room (Library for instance). Other folks can't hear what they need to. I stay away from it.
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Old Dec 2, 2012, 01:22 PM   #18
BHTurnow
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Thank you. Checking the 5 GHz box indeed set up another network. It had the same name as my regular network but with the 5GHz added to it.

I have turned the radio mode to automatic and went back and turned 5 GHz off.

As of now, everything is working well and my roaming network is up and running. Thank you for your time.

Brad - NY
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