Is this possible with Airport Express?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by heifetz, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. heifetz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2004
    #1
    Hi all, I've just switched to apple and am eagerly awaiting my new 12" pb scheduled to arrive on wednesday. I'm planning to setup a wireless network with the PB as the central piece. Two of my component that need connectivity are my amp/speakers and my xbox. I like to play my music from my laptop through my amp/speakers. Currently it is connected to my xbox, and my xbox is connected to my router. Using xbox media center, I can access everything across the network, but it is not as great as I hoped, and I would love to be able to play directly from itunes.

    So I'm planning to get the following
    1. netgear or linksys 802g router.
    2. airport express.

    Can I setup the AE as a extender of the main router, so it uses the connection from the router. Then I want to plug my xbox to the lan port of the airport express, so I won't have to run a cat5 cable from my main router to my xbox. And I also want to plug my amp to the AE so I can use the PB to stream music from itunes.

    Is this setup possible? The only thing I'm not sure of is the extender compatibility of the AE and the router. I've read on arstechnica that they were able to use it with the linksys after changing some settings, does anyone have experience with setting it up with netgear or linksys 802g routers?

    Can I also plug the xbox into the AE and have it act as a normal connection? Has anyone done this?

    I'll love to get this working. I'm also planning to use my PB to access my pc through remote desktop. Then I can hook my 20" dell lcd and logitech wireless mx combo to the PB when it is at my desk, and have the best of both worlds.


    Thanks!
    James
     
  2. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #2
    I'm very interested in seeing if someone knows if this will work. I just got a Linksys 802.11g router (which, like all the Linksys stuff I've ever owned, works great!) and I want an 802.11g solution for my iMac, which does not accept AirPort Extreme (only AirPort - 802.11b). I've yet to see any proof that I can use the AExpress's Ethernet plug with the iMac (as opposed to originating from a DSL/Cable modem, etc.) but can see no reason why it won't work.
     
  3. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    You'll be in experimental mode so I don't really suggest it.

    It's hard to get many ideas without knowing the specifics of your environment/current network. It sounds like you have a wired router already so you could just add AirPort to that. If you wanted to get rid of all wires it's possible with enough planning and money. There's an X Box wireless bridge available, but if you need to have the AirPort near the amp, and I assume the X Box is near it as well, then you already have to have a cable running there.

    AirPort Express officially will act as a reapeater for AirPort Extreme or other AirPort Express hardware. By "officially" I don't mean to imply that it might work with other hardware and give you false hope. It may indeed work with other hardware but you'd be the first to make it do so--at least that I've heard of. Not sure if you could use AirPort as a bridge for your X Box. There are certainly easier and proven options.

    What's your network look like now? A good description of a diagram would be helpful. From there we can figure something out.
     
  4. Gee macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    I'm also interested if anyone knows whether the AExpress can act as a wireless access point - want to connect my playstation wirelessly to my AE basestation. It doesn't specifically say in the tech specs that the AExpress will act as an access point (but it doesn't say it won't either).

    Anybody know? Anybody tried it?

    If it won't, I may have to suggest that Apple makes an access point - the d-link one I'm using is a pile of ****e, and refuses to play ball if I turn wep on....
     
  5. thekid055 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2004
    #5
    Someone posted this in another thread...

    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1628579,00.asp

    They couldn't get it to extend a Linksys router either.

    I wouldn't understand why it couldn't be used to extend the range. If it doesn't extend the range of the originating source then what's the point of having the AE (unless you just wanted the iTunes thing)!?!?! Because you could just connect wirelessly via your non-Apple wireless router. That is the way I see it....Am I missing something here!?!?!
     
  6. sgwigle3 macrumors newbie

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    Jun 10, 2004
    Location:
    Salisbury, UK
    #6
    Not sure if this helps but hey, maybe it will. I have a similiar situation as you. The modem is all the way in one half of the house, my XBOX is in the other. We have 2 Airport Extreme Base Stations positioned so that the whole house is covered and have the XBOX plugged into one, which connects to the other airport with the modem and hey presto, XBOX Live and all. Everthing else in the house that requires the internet, mum's iBook, my Powerbook and friends PC etc taps into it as well. It took a little tinckering but works fine. If Airport Express was like Airport Extreme, then it should work.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #7
    so what exactly did you do get this wireless network expansion or bridging or siphoning to work? i'm assuming that is what we're talking about here? using the AP express's ethernet port to allow wireless access for non-wireless devices.
     
  8. Gee macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2004
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    London, UK
    #8
    The Xbox and the Playstation have an ethernet port on the back for network gaming (the playstion one is an add-on). What sgwigle did was to use the spare ethernet port on the back of the extreme basestation, plus a cross-over cable, to connect the xbox wirelessly to the second basestation and so out to the internet.

    My question though, is can you do this with the express basestation, which has only the one ethenet port on the back, designed to connect to a router/modem?
     
  9. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Jul 6, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Yeah, you're missing the fact that Apple makes hardware, including something called the Airport Extreme Base Station. If you want this kind of functionality, Apple would like you to buy that. Welcome to the business world.
     
  10. heifetz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2004
    #10
    So the main question remains if AE can act as a bridge while connected to non-apple routers. And if so, which brands does it work with. So far, from scouring the web, it seems that the linksys 802g router does have pretty good luck with it when upgraded with the open source firmware. If it does work, the AE is a great value, because I can use it as an audio source, as well as a bridge!
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    If someone does determine that this is possible, please post the appropriate links here. There are a number of firmware mods for Linksys - if one works, others might not, and I'm sure that numerous settings need to be configured properly.

    If I break down and get an AExpress (possible, but unlikely in the near future), I'll see if I can get it to work and then post back.
     
  12. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

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    Jul 7, 2004
    #12
    ok now I'm getting confused with everything in this thread. Mainly because of the abbreviations. we really need to come up with new abbreviations for the AirportExtreme and the AirportExpress.
     
  13. heifetz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2004
    #13
    I've been using AE as an abbr for Airport Express, not Airport Extreme.

    I ordered an AE and the Linksys 802g router from amazon. I'll keep everyone updated on my luck with it. Has anyone noticed that the AE is $10 cheaper on amazon than from apple store? Not to mention amazon does not charge sales tax on it.
     
  14. Bonnie macrumors member

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    Mar 13, 2004
    #14
    A friend tried the Airport Express with a Netgear "g" wireless router and it did not work. However I do know that it works with a Linksys with the firmware upgrade.

    Also, are you all positive that when used as a bridge the Express will network a wired system like an X-Box or tower from the one ethernet port? Does the Express have that capability? Would you have to use a different cable like a crossover or patch?

    Thanks!
    Bonnie
     
  15. allroy macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2004
    #15
    AE & Linksys WRT54g

    Bridging and the Linksys WRT54G

    Sure, Apple says the Express will only do bridging with AirPort Base Stations. That's because WDS is not a standardized part of the 802.11g spec. However, being the inquisitive types that we are here at Ars, we knew we had to see for ourselves. Was the limitation a case of Apple stubbornness, technical limitations, or some proprietary technology used by Apple to enable bridging between two Apple wireless products?

    We can report that it will work with the Linksys WRT54G 802.11g router. The procedure for getting it working involves using the open source firmware and is fairly straightforward. But it's not for the faint of heart: keep in mind that if you do update using the open source firmware, you will find your router outside the tender embrace of Linksys customer support.

    First off, you may need to update the firmware in your WRT54G. You can find version 4.0 here. After that you'll need to provide the MAC address for the Express, turn lazy WDS and the WDS subnet off. Then set the channel to one, turn off loopback and the firewall, and set "ignore anonymous requests" to off. Then use the Airport Admin Utility to configure your Express. Set it to join the existing Linksys network. Add the Express' MAC address to the network and change the network name and password on the Express to match the Linksys. If you're using a 128-bit hex passphrase, be sure to preface it with a $.

    Linkie
     
  16. Gee macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2004
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    London, UK
    #16

    This was my original question, and I'm not sure whether anyone has answered it positively - I've seen a lot of discussion about getting the express to link to non-apple basestations, but I have an airport exteme basestation.

    So, can you plug a playstation into the ethernet port of the express and have it talk to an extreme basestation connected to the internet? I think the technical term for this is 'wireless access point' rather than bridge.

    Cheers
     
  17. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #17
    i have configured my airport express to use as a wireless bridge connected with a linksys router.

    i am current working on trying to configure my Airport express as repeater for my dlink di-624 wireless router.

    as to connecting to the xbox. the manual says it has a 'client' mode. might do some research on it. i don't have an xbox or ps2 so i cannot test it.
     
  18. Bonnie macrumors member

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    Mar 13, 2004
    #18
    My mistake. Thank you for the correction. I would certainly be interested to see if anyone else knows if the AP Express can be used as a wireless access point, but I have doubts that it can be done.

    Can somebody out there with the proper equipment test it? :eek:
     
  19. quidire macrumors 6502

    quidire

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    Aug 11, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC (in Kalorama Triangle)
    #19
    The AE ethernet port is supposed to be an uplink port. In other words, it is supposed to be used to bring Inet connections in.

    What does that mean? you need a "patch cable" to connect it to the xbox. The difference between a patch cable and a normal ethernet cable is the ordering of the pins. A patch cable flips things around so that an uplink port can be used downlink.

    This won't guarantee that the xbox will work. A) you need an xbox live kit, otherwise that ethernet jack is nonfunctional (AFAIK)
    B) while the AEs are not switched, they THEORETICALLY might have a problem with routing rules. If they are being used as network extenders, they shouldn't be doing their own routing; they should simply be bridging the two ethernet networks. If the AE was switched, there is no way the xbox plan will work. Given that it is not, it should.

    A patch cable will set you back about 30% more than an equivalent ethernet cable, (less demand)

    -RS
     
  20. Gee macrumors 65816

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    London, UK
    #20
    Ok chaps, a definitive answer to the 'will it allow a playstation/xbox to connect to the internet via an airport extreme basestation (i.e. the express unit acts as a wireless access point)' question. Answer yes - I borrowed a friend's express unit, connected it up to my playstation (via a cross-over cable), and hey presto, it works. Connects to my basestation and thus to the internet.
     
  21. Natalia81 macrumors regular

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    Aug 7, 2004
    #21
    Do you mean a crossover cable? We're talking about the same thing, right?
     
  22. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #22
    Yep, he's talking about a crossover cable.
     
  23. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000

    AliensAreFuzzy

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    May 30, 2004
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    Madison, WI
    #23
    Ok, this is my analysis of the situation....
    You have:
    1) X-box/PS2
    2) Existing Airport or other wireless router
    3) Airport Express

    You want to use the Airport Express as a "bridge" from your X-box/PS2 to your wireless base station and thus to the internet. (see attached image for diagram)
    So if I am understanding the situation corectly and the information put forward in a previous post, then you should be able to use the Airport Express in this way.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Gee macrumors 65816

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    Feb 27, 2004
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    London, UK
    #24
    Yep, that was the problem, and yes, you can use Airport Express in that way as per my previous post. I only tried connecting to my airport extreme basestation though - haven't tested it with any other wireless routers because I don't own one, so I can't guarantee it will work.
     
  25. heifetz thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 7, 2004
    #25
    working so far...

    I received all my parts, 12" 1.33 pb, airport express, linksys wrt54g router. It took me an entire night trying to figure it out, it turned out that the mac address I was putting in was off by 1 digit !!!! There were a couple of other issues, but the overall process is fairly straightforward.

    So here is my setup

    bedroom
    pc ----- linksys router ---- cable modem

    living room
    airport express ----- amp ------ xbox


    The linksys and airport express are both running on the same network, and of course my pb can be anywhere, and have connection to the network. Its a pretty sweet, although I have to admit, pricey setup, but at least it gets rid of a hideous cat5 line running across from my br to the living room.

    One thing I noticed, is that wds splits the connection strength according to mactumbler, both routers are showing around 50, where as if I'm close to either one before, it would be closer to 70ish.

    If anyone is interested in the settings to use, I'll post them later.
     

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