Airport Express & Extreme - extending wifi coverage

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by atrevers, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. atrevers macrumors regular


    May 24, 2007
    Scenario: My internet connection comes into the corner of my house, where my TV also sits. I have an Airport Express as my main router, this also acts as an Airplay client and is plugged into my hifi, also in the corner. My modem ethernet cable is plugged into the WAN port on the Express, serving my internet connection wirelessly to the rest of the house.

    Recently, I've moved my office to the back of the house, where the wifi signal is weaker. I'd like to boost it and have acquired an Airport Extreme. What I'd like to do is keep the Express as the main 'distributor' for the internet connection (because I need to keep it's Airplay functionality with the hifi), and use the Extreme as the Extender.

    So, my questions are:

    1. Is there any speed difference between using the Extreme as the extender and using the Express as the extender?
    2. In Airport Utility, what is the difference between the "Extend a wireless network" option, and manually creating a WDS network?
    3. If using the Extreme as the main and the Express as the extender turns out to be faster, is there a way of doing this whilst sharing the internet connection from the WAN port on the Express?
    Any advice gratefully is received - I am a qualified IT pro (not in networking!), so be as technical with your replies as you like :)!
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    "Extend Network" is probably where you wan to go with your AEBS plug in. If you choose to create another network things can get complicated...The extend option is designed to boost the range of your existing network, currently taken care of via your router / base station. I have the same kind of setup, but my internet access is provided via my Time Capsule. I then have the AEBS in my bedroom acting as an extender. Works well and means I get no drop out or slow downs. My coverage house wide wasn't actually all that bad to start with, but I have an ATV3 in my bedroom which is not hard-wired so the extender helps that along.
  3. crisg macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2009
    I think you'd be better served as using the extreme as your base station and your express as the device that extends your signal.

    I'm gonna hijack your thread and see if anyone knows the answer to my question here: if you hard-wire your express to your extreme to extend your signal, is it safe to say you will lose no throughput and gain a larger network? I can't seem to find a straight answer -- everyone says hard-wiring is better, but nobody is saying "by hard-wiring, you lose no throughput and gain better signal". Thanks!
  4. whsbuss macrumors 68040


    May 4, 2010
    SE Penna.
    You will only save the extra bandwidth used to extend the network wirelessly (traffic between AEBA and Express). Signal will be the same.

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