Extending Airport Internet sharing

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by mischief, Apr 20, 2006.

  1. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #1
    Okay, so Apple's docs don't cover this and it's driving me nuts. I have a customer who's got a new Coreduo 20" iMac, an extensive home network via Ethernet and a new Airport Express. I'll skip to the chase and tell you what's relevant:

    Her iMac is the geographic center of the wireless network she's looking for but there's a desire to extend the network along her house in one direction. Theoretically I should be able to tie in the Express via WDS as if her iMac was a base station... Except it refuses to cooperate. Am I missing something?!?

    Her iMac is plugged into the router directly.

    Her Express is hooked to her stereo three rooms away weith no Ethernet in sight and successfully works with Airtunes but refuses to see her iMac as an "existing network" to join a la WDS.

    THe idea is to "unwire" her two iBooks and have the express extend the wireless range to the front of the house.
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2
    Hopefully I'm wrong, but I don't think what you want to do is possible. WDS is not built into the iMac because it's merely a computer and peer-to-peer networking is not built into the Express because it's merely a router.

    The iMac has an AirPort card, so would it be feasible to replace the iMac in the network with the Express? This will give you the wireless network that all the computers (okay, only ten at a time) can connect to. If the range doesn't suffice, then you might want to get another Express and use WDS between those two base stations. :)
     
  3. mrichmon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    #3
    At a guess, you would need to enable internet sharing on the iMac. Look in the "Sharing" system preferences. You will want to share the connection from the ethernet port to clients connected via airport.

    Once that is setup, presumably you will be able to configure the airport express to connect to the wireness network being served by the iMac.
     
  4. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #4

    This is precisely the conclusion I'm trying to resist coming to.

    I've already enabled internet sharing.

    The issue seems to come down to whether or not the original boasts about Airport networks being able to be "based" on a Mac rather than an Airport are still acurate or, in fact ever were.

    I'd like to avoid using the Express wired ino the network right next to the iMac if possible...

    What's the range on the Express as compared to the iMac's Sharing range?
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5

    Yeah, sorry but I can't think of a way. Someone better than me will hopefully come up with something. :)



    I wasn't much of a Mac head back when AirPorts first came out, so I don't remember ever hearing that. It'd be nice if it was true, but I'm not terribly sure it is. :eek:



    Much much much greater. Range is a difficult measure since there are so many variables (difficult to get a straight and comparable figure) but broadcast power is about fifty times greater from memory. This doesn't necessarily translate to a range that's fifty times better though.

    Just out of interest, is there a reason you don't want the Express placed on your router other than the fact the range may not quite reach where you want it to go. Good enough reason, but just wondering if there's another reason too. :)
     
  6. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #6

    As stupid as this is: Airtunes

    I'll do some more digging about range.
     
  7. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #7
    Range quotes out as 50'/150'...
     
  8. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #8
    Okay, so I haven't found anything conclusive one way or the other about whether your desired set up is possible. However, you don't necessarily have to buy two Expresses, as they are quite expensive. You can add an Express to a regular 802.11B/G network, irrespective of the original router's brand. Maybe look into getting a cheap third party router and then adding the Express to that network. This will also give you the freedom to move the iMac to wherever you want (within range).

    Remember that the Express will not be able to extend the range of a third party router (although some people manage to do so using Linksys routers), so your stereo must still e within range of the original router. :)
     

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