Airport Express Ethernet Out as Wireless extender for Sonos Play Speakers, print, NAS

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by NumNumNum, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. NumNumNum macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #1
    TLDR: Will both the ethernet ports and usb out work on the new airport express if I have it running as a wireless bridge/extender? If not, is there a non apple solution that will or is better?

    The long version:

    Hi All,

    I just bought 2 Sonos Play 5 speakers and a sonos bridge. They are a wireless speaker system wherein one part of the chain must be connected directly to ethernet for the system to work. (Un)fortunately, I have wireless connection in my apartment provided by my landlord for free (along with 4 other apartments in this building), and I do not have access to the modem, router or ethernet cable. I'm trying to think of the best way to set up my system. Best case, I could have (in order from most to least imperative) a system with the Sonos accessing ethernet, my printer set up to print wirelessly, and a NAS somewhere in the mix for watching media on my TV once I finally get one and potentially backing up wirelessly.

    Can you usese an Airport Express to extend the range of my wireless, then hook the Sonos to that via an ethernet cable? I've heard that the Airport Express disables the ethernet port out when not using an apple base modem/router, which is unfortunately the case here. I don't see why Apple would design the product this way but if it is true, is there another similar solution? I haven't been able to find info on the ability of the new AE to do this.

    Eventually I'd also like to set up an NAS device as well. I was originally just going to get the Time Capsule and use it as an extender also, but the Apple ethernet port limitation (if true) screws up that idea. I'm also worried that just setting up an NAS into the wireless network (if possible) means that everyone in the apartment will be able to access it. Clearly the problem is that I don't have access to the modem/router/cable. Any thoughts or solutions are greatly appreciated. I'm a noob with this stuff, but I'm pretty good at figuring stuff out, so all suggestions are welcome. I'm just hesitant to buy something for trial and error if it wont work.

    Thanks for any tips you have!!
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #2
    I think you can use it in WDS mode to send via the ethernet port...check to see if that's true. The other question would be whether it would connect to the wifi that way.

    You'd probably want to treat the wifi coming into your apt like a WAN connection, and set up your own internal network with your own router. I'm not sure the Express is the way to go here; you'd be better off with a AEBS or full on router with some ethernet ports. There's no reason why at least your internal network couldn't run on ethernet, and only your internet connection on wifi. That would make the Sonos happier as well.

    Rob
     
  3. NumNumNum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #3
    "I'm not sure the Express is the way to go here; you'd be better off with a AEBS or full on router with some ethernet ports."

    I guess this is part of the issue. I was under the impression that the AEBS ethnernet out is disabled if the AEBS is set up to extend a network. Are there routers that can act as an extender with ethernet out working? From there set up a kind of private network for my own apartment that is separate from the main wireless connection for the whole apartment?
     
  4. NumNumNum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #4
    "You'd probably want to treat the wifi coming into your apt like a WAN connection"

    Sorry rob, can you briefly explain to me what this means??
     
  5. outie2k macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    #5
    You should be able to do this. The ethernet port is not disabled.

    You can set the AE as a wireless ethernet bridge, or wireless client mode. This will make the AE connect to your landlord's router wirelessly, and provide an ethernet connection for your Sonos. However I don't know if you are able to utilize both ethernet ports on the new AE. On my previous-gen AE I could use the ethernet port.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1731
     
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    #6
    the express will let you use the ethernet port connected to the wireless network. the one small gotcha to this is that the older G versions (stopped being made in 2008) will only allow it in WDS mode. the N version will allow it in WDS or when it has joined the network.

    your best bet might be an express to join the existing network, then an ethernet cable to an extreme (or other router) to create a wireless network that only you have access to.
     
  7. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    #7
    If you have the time and nerves to fiddle around and configure the router yourself the best thing you can do is to get a router that runs DD-WRT. It'll do all you want in one cheap device. Connect to the existing wifi, extend it and provide network access through Ethernet.

    The easier and more expensive way has been described by waw74.
    I have a setup like that only instead of the APX I use a WRT54G because I need to use a directional antenna for connection to the existing wifi.
     
  8. NumNumNum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #8
    Amazing! Thanks for the suggestions.

    I really like the sounds of this dd-wrt solution. I think I'm going to try that, as I can get any old link sys router for pretty cheap.

    Thanks.
     
  9. NumNumNum thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    #9
    One final question. I think I'm going to go with the ASUS RT-N16 router running Tomato USB rather than DD WRT, as I've heard that it is more user friendly. I am assuming that Tomato can "Connect to the existing wifi, extend it and provide network access through Ethernet" just like DD WRT?

    Also, just to be clear, with the addition of only one router with Tomato, I can extend the WIFI provided by my landlord *and* create my own private network for both WIFI and ethernet all on one ASUS router?

    Thanks again,
     

Share This Page