Airport Express extending Airport Extreme wireless network - anyone get this to work?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Macwick, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Macwick macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Hi there,

    My AEBS is on the second floor of my house and the signal in the basement is very low.

    I am trying to use an Airport Express to extend the range of my network. I have the latest hardware revision and the latest firmware for both devices.

    I select 'Allow this network to be extended' on the AEBS configuration, and 'Extend a network' on the Airport Express configuration. Once I make this change, the whole network becomes extremely unreliable and the signal strength in the basement is no better.

    For example, after I turn this configuration on I will find that the speed of the wireless network will fluctuate rapidly from fast (15mbps) to non-existent (0mbps), even when sitting right next to the AEBS. In parts of the house that would previously get 500kbps, I will get 5kbps.

    So in addition to not extending the range of the network, it makes the entire network completely unstable, even close to the main AEBS. When I turn off this configuration everything works fine again.

    I searched around online and I've found plenty of posts from people talking about how this feature SHOULD work, but no one actually stating that they've gotten it working successfully.

    So my question is - has anyone actually used an Airport Express to extend the range of their network, and how has it worked out for you?

    Also, I read one post that suggested a better configuration is to use a second AEBS to extend the first AEBS. Has anyone tried this?

  2. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Works perfectly

    It works fine. I have done this several times without issue.
  3. Macwick thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Cool - just curious, on the Airport Express to you choose 'Extend a Wireless Network' or 'Participate in a WDS network'?
  4. ledzeppelin macrumors member


    Feb 14, 2010
    I have gotten this to work as well, opps I called tech support and they got it to work directing me....I am from PC background and don't know my way around the Apple Way yet but I can tell you I use it with a time machine/router and it really extends my range ...It works as advertised for me.
    I am thinking of getting another one for the other end of the house now that I have one of those streaming HDTVs.
  5. NicoleRichie macrumors 6502

    Jun 30, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148a Safari/6533.18.5)

    I currently use the extend a network feature without a problem. Sometimes the printer that is hooked up via USB to the AE gets lost when trying to print but a reboot of my computer usually corrects that.
  6. kellen macrumors 68020


    Aug 11, 2006
    Seattle, WA
    I have mine on extend the network. Works great, no problems. Even have it set up for printer sharing and airtunes, no problems.

    If you want the configuration I have it set to, please let me know.
  7. steveing64 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2009
    Stoke on Trent
    Hi can you post the confit as I am having trouble setting mine up

  8. ssmed macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2009
    Sorry - more information

    I have used both, but most commonly 'Extend a wireless network'. For the problems you are describing I would try changing the channel in case of interference (if using standard frequencies). Also try changing the position of base stations so there is the 'best line of sight' avoiding lots of brickwork and beams.

    In one site I had to run a wire between two and then extend from there. There seemed to be something akin to a lead screen between the two when trying to use wireless. I then extended successfully on the two separate floors.
  9. Macwick thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Update: I tried again, and this time I didn't have the problem where the network became unstable and would regularly slow down to a crawl.

    However, I am finding that while I can get up to 25mbps when connected to the main base station (the AEBS), the most I can get through the AirPort Express is around 5mbps. This surprises me, because my connection to the AirPort Express is very strong (it shows 50mbps in the Airport Utility) and the connection from the AirPort Express to the AEBS is strong too (50mbps as well).

    Has anyone been able to get decent throughput when connected to the extender base station?

    If the extender base station maxes out at 5mbps, this will suck. You can't control which base station your client connects to, so if I'm equidistant between the two base stations my laptop might choose the 5mbps base station rather than the 50mbps base station!

    I'm guessing there's a real art to placing the base stations far enough apart that you cover the house, but not so far that the link between them is slow.

    Any tips/success stories would be appreciated....

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