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Old Dec 20, 2012, 09:38 PM   #1
wayne905
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Extending Wireless Range via Airport Express

Tomorrow I'm going to be setting up my new Time Capsule in my home office, and I have a question about extending wireless range via Airport Express. First off, my TC is in my home office which is on my 2nd floor at the front of my house. I want to extend the wireless range to the main level at the back of my house. My current wireless router has a very weak signal - so I'm sure I will need to extend the range to the back of my house. Besides, I have an AE so I might as well put it to use regardless if this TC has a better range.

So to the question at hand. My living room has an ethernet cable running to my office. So, can I plug my AE into the ethernet jack (to get the best possible data speed), or do I need to do this only wirelessly? If ethernet is the best route, do I still want the option to 'extend my wireless network' on the setup? Or do I simply create a new network using the same WIFI SSID and password as the one I create on the TC?
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Old Dec 20, 2012, 11:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wayne905 View Post
Tomorrow I'm going to be setting up my new Time Capsule in my home office, and I have a question about extending wireless range via Airport Express. First off, my TC is in my home office which is on my 2nd floor at the front of my house. I want to extend the wireless range to the main level at the back of my house. My current wireless router has a very weak signal - so I'm sure I will need to extend the range to the back of my house. Besides, I have an AE so I might as well put it to use regardless if this TC has a better range.

So to the question at hand. My living room has an ethernet cable running to my office. So, can I plug my AE into the ethernet jack (to get the best possible data speed), or do I need to do this only wirelessly? If ethernet is the best route, do I still want the option to 'extend my wireless network' on the setup? Or do I simply create a new network using the same WIFI SSID and password as the one I create on the TC?
Do this. You need to set the AE in bridge mode. This will create a roaming network that will allow any WiFi connected device to use either the AE or the TC. Don't use 'extend my wireless network'.
I have this in my 4 story house with a long ground floor. There is an A Extreme on the ground floor with an A Express on the third floor and another A Express at the other end of the ground floor. The 2 iPhones, the iPad and the MBA all connect to any of the 3 AE units.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:11 AM   #3
wayne905
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Do this. You need to set the AE in bridge mode. This will create a roaming network that will allow any WiFi connected device to use either the AE or the TC. Don't use 'extend my wireless network'.
I have this in my 4 story house with a long ground floor. There is an A Extreme on the ground floor with an A Express on the third floor and another A Express at the other end of the ground floor. The 2 iPhones, the iPad and the MBA all connect to any of the 3 AE units.
Thanks so much for your help. Just so I know if I use the same SSID and password on both TC and AE, does that mean my ipad, Macbook Air or iphone will connect to the stronger of the two signals?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:19 AM   #4
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I have a TC and a Express and as with most Apple products. "It just works!"

Apparently it knows and is able to connect to the strongest signal automatically.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:33 AM   #5
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I have a TC and a Express and as with most Apple products. "It just works!"

Apparently it knows and is able to connect to the strongest signal automatically.

That's exactly what I wanted to hear LOL. Thanks to you both for your input.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 08:37 AM   #6
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I'm not sure what the standards are to pick up on different strengths of signals and what have you but, it will swap between them as it sees fit and I doubt you will notice.

EDIT: Ok, next time I will reload after I walk away for something. Sorry. Sodner said it correctly.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:30 AM   #7
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Thanks so much for your help. Just so I know if I use the same SSID and password on both TC and AE, does that mean my ipad, Macbook Air or iphone will connect to the stronger of the two signals?
In theory, yes. In practice, it does hang on to the old signal. Best to get as close to the "new" AE as practicable and wait for a few mins - then you will see it change. Airport Utility will show you where the device is "tethered" to.

In my experience, the 5Ghz signal is better at switching than the 2.4Ghz signal. Must be due to the shorter range but higher data rates of the 5Ghz band.
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 09:34 AM   #8
wayne905
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In theory, yes. In practice, it does hang on to the old signal. Best to get as close to the "new" AE as practicable and wait for a few mins - then you will see it change. Airport Utility will show you where the device is "tethered" to.

In my experience, the 5Ghz signal is better at switching than the 2.4Ghz signal. Must be due to the shorter range but higher data rates of the 5Ghz band.

Thanks for the advise. Looking forward to setting everything up this weekend!
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by drsox View Post
Do this. You need to set the AE in bridge mode. This will create a roaming network that will allow any WiFi connected device to use either the AE or the TC. Don't use 'extend my wireless .
What is "bridge mode" called or labeled in the airport utility screens?
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Old Dec 21, 2012, 10:07 PM   #10
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Open the Airport utility and click the Network Tab. The drop-down for Router Mode, is where you will find it.
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