Airpor Extreme "with 802.11n" versus an Extreme Simultaneous Dual Band II - same?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by dealmaker, Oct 31, 2010.

  1. dealmaker macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    So I am struggling to get a stable connection with my Airport Express in my Lounge such that I can play Air Tunes without cut-outs.

    So I decided I would add a SECOND AirPort Extreme to my network and get it to connect to my network with an ethernet cable nearer to the lounge then use it to extend the wireless network and then I could get the Lounge Airport express to connect to it instead of the main Extreme.

    So I ordered a "latest generation" Extreme from the refurb store - thinking it would be easy to add this to the network.............however........I am really struggling to get it to work!!!!

    I've noticed that my main Extreme (and indeed all of the Airport express units) say in the summary that they are "with 802.11n"..........whereas the refurb Extreme that I bought says in the summary that it is "Airport Extreme (Simultaneous Dual-Band II) - have I been sent an older generation unit.......or a more modern one?? I also note that it doesn't seem to allow the configuration of a WDS network in it's drop down menu's?

    Plus it is running version 7.5.1 whereas every other device is running 7.4.2 ???

    Anybody got any ideas? Should I send it back and get them to send me a "with 802.11n" unit??

  2. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Can anyone help?? :confused:

    I don[t understand why the Simultaneous Dual-Band II Extreme won't seem to allow configuration as a WDS device??
  3. badlight macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2008
    It is newer and better.

    I had the same problem. You have to press the Option key, IIRC, at the configuration stage to get the WDS option on the drop-down menu. Not very well documented.
  4. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Thanks - I will have another go tonight - though I did think I had exhausted all of the various "options" but maybe I missed one? Is it in the set up wizard where it asks how you want to get the unit to join your network/create a network etc.??

    If the dual-band is better - should I ditch my other Extreme and get another Dual band one? so I have two on the network.

    I assume the expresses (even new ones) are all still the current model and haven't switched to dual band?
  5. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The Express will never be dual band, IMO. Even the newest version is single band, but can operate in either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz frequency.

    What I would do with your setup is to make the dual band Extreme the main router and use the older Extreme to extend it.

    Also, this setup option may be better: Dual band Extreme as the main router, secondary Extreme connected to your first Extreme via Ethernet and set up in Bridge Mode while still broadcasting its own SSID (the SSID may be unique, but doesn't have to be), and the Express joining the SSID of the secondary Extreme.

    This way, you'll get the full benefits of the newest Extreme (including guest networking if you so choose) and everything will be on the same subnet (all devices will be able to see and talk to one another). You can also create up to 3 separate SSIDs this way (4 with the guest network).
  6. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Thanks. I have tried again tonight but no joy - I cant find a menu or sub menu that allows me to configure it to join my WDS.

    I may try making it the main device.

    I also have an Apple TV on the network - might I be exceeding the number of devices I can have in a WDS network?......will the Apple TV be part of the WDS or is it just a wireless client?

  7. skorpien macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    The Apple TV is a client.

    For your situation, you don't need a WDS. If you make the Express a wireless client (ie, make it join the network) you'll be fine. You don't need it to extend your network as you are only using it to stream music.

    The setup I suggested will effectively turn your secondary Extreme into a wireless access point (WAP) to your current network, allowing devices to connect to the SSID it broadcasts without the need for a WDS.

    A WDS is only necessary when, in your situation, you wouldn't be able to connect your secondary Extreme to your primary Extreme via Ethernet. In that case, your secondary Extreme would need to connect to your primary Extreme and relay that network to additional devices wirelessly (Wireless Distribution System).
  8. dealmaker thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Thanks to Skorpien!

    I set up the newer Simultaneous dual-band II as the "main" extreme - then added the two nearest expresses to it as wireless expansion units - using the wizard.

    I then added, via ethernet cable, the "older" extreme 802.11n - and made this "join my network using ethernet" - and then allowed the network to be extended. The last Express was plugged in (the one I was having problems with as it couldn't get a decent signal from the original Extreme location at the other end of the house) - and I got that Express to join the network and to use the second "older" extreme as it's connection (there is a sub-menu that pops up after you have hit the "update" button at the end of the configuration process)

    I now have one unified network - with FULL power all over the house - and AirTunes works quickly and faultlessly everywhere!

  9. TimH2209 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2010
    I have a similar problem - only that an ethernet backbone would be really cumbersome and expensive in my house. Do you think it would be possible to get one WiFi for the whole house working with full speed and "just" a couple of new AP Extremes or Time Capsules respectively?

    If you strongly suggest an ethernet backbone, I would consider it. But, again, this would be expensive and cumbersome. But I want to be able to stream movies etc. from one machine to another, use Time Machine, etc.

    What do you think?

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