Wirelessing My House

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by StarbucksSam, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. StarbucksSam macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    My family is now up to two PowerBook G4's and are needing a way to wirelessanize the entire house.

    The house has three floors and is rather large. One of the floors includes the basement, which is finished, and should therefore be wireless. The house is a U shape without the roundness, it's essentially like this: |__| with less symmetry (and it's obviously a little bigger than it is on the screen).

    Currently, there is one Airport Extreme base station on the third floor of the east wing. It covers about half of the house with good reception upstairs, and decent reception on the main floor, however with declining reception in the basement which sometimes hits 0.

    The west wing of the house, and the portion of the front of the house are totally uncovered by the base station currently in place. Also of note, there is a printer (mine) plugged into the base station which is in my room.

    My Dad would like to cover the house entirely, and to me it makes sense then that we would pick up either another AExtreme or a (2?) AExpress base stations. Airtunes really doesn't concern me, but I'd like to have a base station I can take with me to my grandfather's apartment in New Jersey, etc.

    As far as plugging base stations in, our cable modem and router are in the basement, and we can hook up to four rooms in to it. One of them has to be my mother's office, as she has a desktop and we aren't going to put it on the wireless network. The other must be my father's office, because his G5 is there. That leaves us with two ports to which we can connect base stations.

    Here is the riddle for you:

    How can I cover the house spending around $200 or so? Bare in mind, one base station, preferably an Airport Express, must be in my room and have the printer I use for school plugged in to it. Also, what is the difference in quality between an AEXTREME and an AEXPRESS?

    It is entirely possible that I missed something in this thread or do not correctly understand how the base stations work, etc. I do not know much about wireless networking, I'm much more knowledgeable in the consumer electronics department. Please excuse technical mistakes I've made, as the reason I'm asking for help is that I indeed do NOT know what I'm doing.


  2. ITASOR macrumors 601


    Mar 20, 2005
    Oneida, NY
    If your main router is an Airport Extreme, you can just get a bunch of expresses and use them as repeaters throughout the house, I think! Linksys also makes repeaters.
  3. StarbucksSam thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    The main router is a linksys but it is not wireless. That is directly connected to the cable modem. The Airport Extreme is connected through a Cat-5 jack in the wall which is connected to the Linksys in the basement.
  4. iEdd macrumors 68000


    Aug 8, 2005
    Get an express. It will give you some good range. You can use the ethernet port on it to give another comp internet. (As long as it is getting a wireless internet signal of course.) I use ours sometimes for PS2 online gaming.

    The main difference between Express and Extreme is the ports.
    Express has one USB 2, one ethernet and one 3.5mm jack out.

    Extreme has one USB 2, sometimes an internal modem, 2 ethernet (one might be a crossover of some kind).
  5. StarbucksSam thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    Sounds like a good idea to me. I guess we'll probably end up picking up two... long story. Can I have two expresses in range of each other where one is feeding off the cat5 jack and the other is just feeding off of the first one that's plugged in, and is not plugged in at all?
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    The Express and the Extreme have exactly the same specs as far as range is concerned, and I don't think either are particularly unreliable.

    As for using WDS to extend your range. You can have one AirPort plugged into the internet connection/current wired router. Then a second can be put anywhere in range of this first one, it needs no wires other than a power supply. Then, a third one can be connected to this second one in a similar fashion but this is where it stops. Apple will not allow a fourth station connected in series like this. Remember, each time an AirPort is added, the speed is halved for connections to this station.

    So, long story short, yeah, your set up will be fine. :)
  7. MacHarne macrumors 6502

    Mar 3, 2005
    Virginia, U.S.A.
    We have a Netgear b/g wireless router in the eastern part of the house and I have a repeater Airport Express in my room. All said and done I can get Wi-Fi over 100 feet away from the house - 100 feet from any edge of the house. Plus, our house is all localized on one floor, so this place is a very long house, not sure of the dimensions but guessing something around 80 feet long. So 80 feet plus 100 on both sides... 280 feet of coverage.

    Since you already have an Airport Extreme Base Station, I would really recommend just grabbing an Express. Or two. :)
  8. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    I recommend getting a high-gain 2.4GHz antenna -- that is, if your Extreme base station is the one with the modem and antenna port.

    There are some nice, inexpensive wifi range extending antennas out there. I'm planning to order one from www.squitter.com. My current +6dB antenna is nice but I'd like to go to the legal limit, which is +24dB.

    edit: this is the direct link to their antennas page:
  9. jessearl macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2005
    West wing . . . East wing . . . Mr. President, is that you?
  10. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    I love English, you can make up your own words, like "wirelessanize." My personal favorite is "portate"....it's the verb form of Portable.

    "When I have wirelessanize'd my house, I'm able to portate my powerbook from room to room."

    How lovely.

    Mebbe you could put the Base Station in the _ of the house, and then one Express in each | | of the house, each one acting as a WDS Repeaterizer of the Base Station. You can have one of the Express'ers in your room, with your printer plugged into it's USB'izer port. Sweeeet. I'm 99% positive that that would be your dream setup. Peace out.
  11. StarbucksSam thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2004
    Washington, D.C.
    That suggestion makes PERFECT sense. Thank you SO much. Haha, I like making up words.
    Thanks to everyone who replied. I really appreciate all of your help!
  12. dcv macrumors G3

    May 24, 2005
    What a dreadful name! This obviously doesn't mean anything in the US but in the UK 'squits' is a slang term for diarrhoea :eek:

    back on topic - i've got 2 airport expresses set up in a WDS and this works very well to extend the range in my split level flat so the suggestion for an express in each 'wing' (very posh pad you must have!) sounds like a good plan.

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