Airport Express as wireless access point (not routing) via cable

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by barnum1, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. barnum1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #1
    Hi,

    I have a Dlink DIR-600 wireless router in my house, and I have an ethernet cable down to my basement (which does not receive the wireless signal very well).

    Then, I tried connecting an Airport Express to the ethernet port in the basement and set it up as an access point (no routing!) for the basement. But it does not work, I get error messages from Aiport Utility and the Airport Express flashes amber.

    I tried "extend" or "join" a wireless network, but that only tries to extend/join wirelessly, right?

    Trying "set up a new network" works, but then I get a new logical network (new SSID). And then I have to change network on my MBP if I move around.

    So my question is: can the Airport Express extend a network that it connects to over the ethernet cable?

    Thanks for any help!
     
  2. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #2
    I have this sort of approach in my house, but I use 100% Apple wireless stuff to do it.
    I have 3x Airport Express and 1x Airport Extreme. Only the Extreme does any routing, the others extend the wireless network. All 4 are also connected to a wired LAN.

    What I did was set up a network on the Extreme and then set up the same network on all the Expresses. Just make sure you use the same SSID, password etc and allow the wireless channel to be automatic (or set them up manually to be different for each one).

    The Internet setting on each Express is DHCP to get an IP from the actual router. Set the Network in each Express to Off (Bridge Mode).

    Then, as you move around, the MBA (in my case) switches from one to the other as it moves in and out of range. There are some issues with waking from sleep with a 2.4Ghz n setting, but most of mine are on 5Ghz n.

    See if it works with adding the Express to the Dlink's network.
     
  3. barnum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for your reply, drsox.

    I can do what you do, extend wirelessly (is that a word? :)
    when I'm in wireless range.

    But I can't extend through the cable, which seems odd...
     
  4. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #4
    Mine is going through the cable. If I unplug the LAN connections, it fails.
    Maybe it doesn't work with a non Apple device - but don't see why not.

    Just to reitrate - I'm not extending the original wireless network, I'm creating a new network with the same name at each Airport unit.
     
  5. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #5
    "Extend a wireless network" is pretty much self-explanatory. Once you are in range of a wireless network, you can extend it... It's not that wired is like wireless, but through a cable.
    If you want to set up a roaming environment, set up a couple of wireless networks with exactly the same parameters and wire the access points. It all works automatically from there.
     
  6. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

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    #6
    Just what I said to start with.
     
  7. barnum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2009
    #7
    Thanks drsox, now I understand what you mean.

    I did try to set up a new network with the same name, but it does create a separate network. But with the same name.
    The thing is here, that I do get some signal to the basement. So my MBP connects to the main DLink network, although the signal is weak.

    I guess you would see the same thing, if you are in the range for more than one of your wireless routers?
     
  8. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Xhystos
    #8
    Yes, I can connect to at least 2 of the units at all locations.
    I have a house that is shaped like a capital L - 4 floors high with the ground floor 40 feet long.
    AExtreme is on the 4th floor. AE 1 is on the 2nd floor. AE 2 is on the ground floor. AExtreme, AE 1 and AE 2 are underneath each other.
    AE 3 is at the other end of the ground floor.
     
  9. barnum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2009
    #9
    And, on your laptop, can you see multiple networks with the same name?
     
  10. drsox, Mar 17, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012

    drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #10
    No, just the one - at least if I look in System Preferences Network or the Wireless Logo at the top of the screen I can only see one.
    I have a "closed network" as far as AE setup is concerned - i.e. the SSID name is not publicly broadcast.

    If I look in AirPort Utility, then I see all 4 AE units with the same named network but each one might be operating differently. e.g. some of the networks are 5Ghz n only, some are mixed 2.4Ghz/5Ghz n, but the MBA connects to all of them when needed. They're not all 5Ghz n because the iPhone is only 2.4Ghz n.

    I have an iPad, iPhone and MBA all on the same "name" network.

    I also have WiFi Scanner as an OSX app. I just fired that up and I also only see one instance of my network, but curiously enough, not the spec of the AE that I'm actually connected to. It shows the spec of the AExtreme router instead.
     
  11. barnum1 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2009
    #11
    Interesting. Maybe it works because you have Apple all the way...

    Anyway, thanks for sharing!
     
  12. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #12
    No, actually it's because wifi works like this (from the user viewpoint, at least). If you set up multiple wireless networks with the same name, password and encryption standard (all WPA2 for example) and they offer the same IP pool, the client software will treat all these networks as a single expanded network and will pick up whatever access point suits it best.
     

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