Airport Express vs Extreme question

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by charlien, Jul 16, 2012.

  1. charlien macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    Sorry if this is a little wordy but I have a weird network that I want to upgrade and am looking for some advice. Here is what I currently have:
    1. A wired router that won't be changed. I need it for work and am happy with it.
    2. An Airport Extreme Gen 3 in the basement in bridge mode. It is set up with wireless networks "wireless2.4" and "wireless5". I also have several USB drives attached to it. I use Chronosync to make backup copies of my video collection to these drives. I'm happy with the setup but because it is in the basement the signal in parts of the first floor and on the patio are weak.
    3. To make up for the weak signal I have a D-Link wireless N 2.4ghz router upstairs with the SSID "wireless2.4". This connects wired via a gigabyte switch. I also use the D-Link 4 port gig switch to connect my Mac mini and an old Airport Express described next. The mini does not need to connect over Ethernet.
    4. An old Airport Express (G only) with wireless turned off near my D-Link router and mini. It is used to send iTunes to a receiver that powers my patio speakers.

    My goal is to upgrade to simultaneous N wireless on the main floor and on the patio. In other words, replace the D-Link router.

    My first option is to buy a used Airport Extreme Gen 4 off Craigslist for $100-125. I can replace the D-Link router and leave everything else as is.

    My other option is to buy a new Airport Express and replace the D-Link router and the old Airport Express G only. In this situation I will use the new Airport Express to provide wireless too.

    A couple questions:

    1. What would you do any why?
    2. In either case, should I set up the new device to extend the current wireless network off my Airport Extreme or duplicate it. The signal from the basement Airport Extreme is quite weak. Can you extend a wireless network over Ethernet?
    3. Can I put an Airport Express in bridge mode and use the Ethernet port for my mini if I want to keep it wired?

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. charlien thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    Well, I got impatient and bought an Airport Express base station. Both wireless channels work great. AirPlay works great. The router can be put in bridge mode and I can use the Ethernet port for my mini. All in all, I'm very happy. Another set it and forget it product.
  3. smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    So did you set it up to extend your airport extreme on both frequencies?
  4. charlien thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2006
    I did some research and found that Apple recommends a "roaming" network. Each wireless device is set up with the same SSID and password.
  5. smellalot, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    smellalot macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2011
    I don't know about that option. Which mode do you choose: wireless AP or extend network?
    Couldn't find that information on the respective apple support page.

    Edit: never mind, I found the latest support page.

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