Airport Express - How do I know I'm connected?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by littlegreenyoda, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. littlegreenyoda macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009

    I bought the airport express so that i can "extend" my current wireless network which is situated on the 2nd floor.

    And i need a stronger signal on the 3rd floor.

    But how do i know that my macbook pro is connected to my airport express instead of the 2nd floor router?

    PS: I can only choose to join current wireless network, as when i tried to choose extend wireless network, it said that it could not be extended.

    Sorry for such a noob question as im a 2 week old mac user!

    Thank you.
  2. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Open up "airport utility"
    Select the airport express - click manual setup
    Under "summary" tab you will dsee "wireless clients"
    Click that, and you'll see the mac address of any connected computers.

    Let me know if that doesn't do what you want.

    Oh, and it should say "wireless mode: extend a wireless network"

    Edit: forgot to ask, what is your primary router? If it's not an airport extreme you may not be able to extend the network using the express, I"m not 100% sure on that.
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    You need to select "Extend a wireless network".

    It is possible that your main router isn't allowing the network to be extended. Go into its settings and see if theres any options to allow network to be extended.

    Finally, you don't know which one you are connected to - OS X just hops seaminglessly.
  4. littlegreenyoda thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    The option is "join wireless network"

    still unable to extend wireless network

    The router im using is 2wire 2701HGV-E....

    i bought the airport express because it was stated on the web that it can link routers that support 802.11a/b/g.
  5. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    On the Airport Extreme, the setup utility has a check box for the base station (main router) to "allow this network to be extended." You have to set that before another device can extend it.

    Some none-Apple routers have advanced features (like extending/bridging networks) disabled so they can sell you their more expensive hardware. I don't know it for a fact, but it's possible your 2wire can't be extended. You should check its documentation.
  6. littlegreenyoda thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    So is it possible to activate the extending or bridging features for my 2wire router? or do i actually need to purchase another one?

    apple extreme base is really expensive and not sure if i should get it.

    Currently in my household, there's only one mbp, and 3 windows laptops.
  7. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    That was my point. You might not be able to, and buying another 2wire router may not help either. Take for example the Linksys routers. I don't know about their current line, but in the past the consumer routers had the ability to support advanced features like bridging and extending, but were disabled in firmware. They wanted you to buy the more expensive Cisco branded stuff to get it. You might be in the same boat with the 2wire. But I don't know. You need to check the documentation for yours to see what it supports.

    Airport Extreme is more expensive, but it has what you need. I guess the old adage that you get what you pay for may apply here.

    I have an Airport Extreme and a Time Capsule in an extended network and it works beautifully for my laptops and iPhones.
  8. londonmystery macrumors 6502


    Jun 1, 2009
    London, UK
    I'd agree that you need an extreme. That along with 2 express have helped me extend my network across a 4 storey house. 2 laptops, 2 iphones 2 ps3's and an xbox 360 all work perfectly.:):)
  9. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    yup, looks like that's the problem. If you don't have an option to "extend the network" in your main router, then you're out of luck.
  10. littlegreenyoda thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009
    Thanks guys for all your replies!

    so if i get the airport extreme, it can actually replace my current wireless router?

    Will it cause any problems for my other 3 windows based laptops?

    this 2wire router is actually provided by my network provider.
  11. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    1. yes
    2. No problem. I have a Dell Precision M90 laptop that connects to my Airport Extreme, as well as 2 Playstation3, an XBox 360, a Wii, a LinkSys WGA600N wireless-N adapter for my DirecTV HD DVR, 2 MBPs, and 2 iPhones.
  12. littlegreenyoda thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009

    thats really impressive!

    thanks RaceTripper!

    So right now, i cannot use the airport express to extend my wireless network, what are the other things i can do with this airport express that is joined to my current network now?

    only airtunes? can i get my brother's windows laptop to connect to the airport express and view my songs in itunes or files? is this possible?

    many thanks again!
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    You can use it as a router too. Or plug in a USB printer and access it wirelessly on your network.

    You can also connect to your brother's laptop yes - view each other's iTunes Libraries (if you have iTunes Shared Folders on). That doesn't need an Airport Express though - just a network :)
  14. littlegreenyoda thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2009

    btw, not sure if this question is ridiculous..

    but is it possible to stream airtunes from my macbookpro to play on my ipod?

    i got the remote app installed and can control airtunes/speakers but can it stream into ipod touch?
  15. jay3903 macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2009
    Does your 2wire router have a built in dsl modem? Do you use Qwest? If the answer is yes then let me know, I think I can help you I just went through the same thing.
  16. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    if you can get an ethernet cable to where you want to put the express you can add a second base station to your wireless network. then it wont matter what kind your base station is. your devices will switch to the stronger signal as you move around.

    just put the express in bridge mode, then give it the same SSID and security settings, but different channels.

    also you can alt-click on the airport icon in the menu bar, this will give you the mac address of the base station you are connected to.

    as far as streaming music to your ipod, check out airfoil, it allows you to send any audio
    a mac or pc
    mac, pc, linux, airport express, iphone, or ipod touch.

    plus you can send to multiples at one time. but you can't have remote and the receiver program open at the same time which is a bit annoying
  17. milk242 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 28, 2007
    ^ I would do that before I spent money on a pricey airport extreme. You can get very cheap and long ethernet cables from monoprice

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