AirPort Express or Depress?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by OneHotEgg, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. OneHotEgg macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Folks, any help will do.

    I use PCs running Windows XP SP2.

    I use a communal wireless internet ("OTHER") which is connected to the Internet. It's not an Airport Express - it's a run of the mill ADSL wireless router/modem. It is open, not encrypted.

    However, "OTHER" is only reachable in the lounge and nowhere else in the apartment. I use it with my laptop in the lounge and it works fine.

    I bought an Airport Express ("AE") and hooked it up in the lounge, hoping that I could join OTHER and use the AE to "extend" the internet to the rest of my apartment. In the lounge, I used the AE utility on my laptop to discover the AE and connected it to OTHER using the "connect to an existing wireless network" option.

    On the same laptop, I can't, however, see the AE using my Windows "view wireless networks" - is this normal? My wireless network appears as disconnected, thought I am definitely connected to the Internet, I guess using the link I've just established between AE and OTHER.

    The main problem is - I can't see the AE in the rest of my apartment either. On another PC in my room, neither the AE utility nor the Windows wireless discovery can see my AE.

    I don't live in a stone dungeon - just a normal apartment. Why can't I see the AE from anywhere? I was hoping I could use the AE to reach out to other rooms while it is connected to OTHER, so I could use the Internet everywhere.

    Sorry if this question might have appeared elsewhere, but I was unable to find any existing posts with exactly the same problem.

    Please help!
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    The AirPort express is not capable of extending an already existing network, which is what you wanna do.

    Question: Can AirPort Express wirelessly extend ("repeat" or "rebroadcast") the network of a third-party access point?
    Answer: No. But it can wirelessly extend the range of a WDS network that is being hosted by an AirPort Extreme Base Station or another AirPort Express.


    AirPort Express

    AirPort Extreme Base Station (capable of what you want to do)
  3. OneHotEgg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thanks Spinnerlys. I suppose it was too good to be true.

    However, am I right that Airport Extreme cannot be used to stream music - this is originally what I bought the Express for, but I was told at the Apple store that Extreme doesn't do that.
  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
  5. OneHotEgg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 23, 2010
    Thank you very much for your excellent and timely help! Cheers.
  6. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008

    neither the express nor the extreme can wirelessly extend a network that is hosted by a third party router.

    both the express and the extreme can wirelessly extend a network that is hosted by an apple router.


    although you can run either as a wired extender for a third party router.

    put it in "off (bridge mode)" under connection sharing on the internet page and the wireless network will be part of the same sub-net as the other router. (means that a device connected to one wireless can talk to a device connected to the other network)

    if you want, you can also give them the same SSID and security settings as your base router, then your computers or whatever will automatically switch back and forth to the strongest signal.

    also, if your laptop is connected to "other", and the express isn't connected to "other", there is no path to the express, so it won't show up.
    and if it's misconfigured, it's not broadcasting a wireless signal, so that's why it's not showing up elsewhere.

    the best way to get an express configured correctly is to run an ethernet cable directly to it. either directly from your computer, or from the wireless router that your computer is connected to.


    if the express is connected to "other" than it won't be broadcasting it's own signal, so no "AE" in the wireless network list to connect to.
    If your computer is connected to "other" or wired to the base that is broadcasting "other" and the express is connected to "other" you should see it in airport utility.

    what type of construction is you apartment? if it's normal drywall, it should be fine. If you are in a high-rise, or certain areas of the country, there is a chance you have cinder block or concrete construction for at least some of the walls, which can cause problems.
  7. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Thanks for that correction, I was sure it could, as I have read it and the option is in my Airport Utility and even shows the networks around me.

    Now there was an open network and I tried it with that, but AU told me, it can't do that.
  8. Chulo macrumors member

    Aug 9, 2007
    You cant extend, but you can create a network and extend that signal with another express.
  9. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Wrong Wrong Wrong


    So much misinformation nowadays around here.

    OP, if your searched Macrumors, you'd find that people have been using the Airport Express to extend 3rd party routers for ages.

    I had an Airport Express extend (WDS) a BuffaloTech router for 3 years, starting in 2004. I have successfully extended a 3rd party router with the latest Airport Express N model also.

    I've helped a friend "borrow" his neighbor's internet by logging into their 3rd party router and setting it up to see the Airport Express as WDS extender. This sounds like what you are trying to do?

    It's all possible.

    Apple just wants you to buy another Airport Base Station.

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