Airport Extreme as extender? Not working

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by darknyt, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. darknyt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #1
    Trying to use my 2g Extreme to extend my network in my 4500 sqf, 2 story (with basement) house with a 5g extreme in basement. I believe my setup is very common, but perhaps not.

    Comcast modem in basement, Apple Extreme 5g wired off that and broadcasts wireless. Simple 8 port switch connected to that Extreme and into that is plugged all the hardlines for the rest of the house (up to first and second story).

    On second story I have an Extreme 2g (next to upstairs PC) I'm trying to plug a hardline into from that switch in the basement and set up to extend the network by broadcasting an identical wireless network.

    Can't get it it to work. When I try to plug PC into 2g Extreme instead of hardline from wall, no connection.

    Any ideas? It's so jacked, that after messing around with 2g router upstairs via Airport Utility, the basement router is messed up and won't pass signal directly to PC anymore via hardline and I have to truck down there and reset it.

    Thanks for any advice - I'm using the option detailed here:
    http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT4259
    But it can't see the basement Extreme connected via Ethernet.
     
  2. JTravers macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2010
    #2
  3. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #3
    You need to factory reset the older model first.
     
  4. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #4
    This is helpful information - are you saying that if my older Extreme 2g was once used as a primary router, I will need to factory reset it first to be able to get it to behave properly now?

    Interesting - I'm about 75% sure that sometime in the past two years I've been using it as secondary that I had been reset at some point. Perhaps not.
     
  5. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #5
    Yes. If you just plugged it in you may have caused a DHCP conflict which crashed the other one. Make sure you are going to the WAN port on the older one. So it should go New Extreme LAN Port -Ethernet-> WAN Port on Old Extreme!
     
  6. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #6
    Does it matter is there is a switch between the two extremes?

    ----------

    I guess if I had to I could move the hardline from the switch over to the new AE so it was a direct connection to the to the old AE upstairs. Do I need to?
     
  7. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #7
    No. An unmanaged switch between the Extremes is not an issue.
     
  8. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #8
    First off thanks for your help guys.

    Ok, so interesting result. Very low wireless speeds off upstairs AE. AND off hardlined PC up there from that old AE. For benchmark, my line will test 125/12 consistently hardline.

    Finally got it apparently "working" whereby I have both the basement router and upstairs router working and broadcasting wireless. Hooked up as shown - New Extreme LAN Port -Ethernet-> WAN Port on Old Extreme

    So on speeds -

    Wireless
    2g AE upstairs - never over 10/10. Clearly not right.
    5g AE basement - 30/12 on first floor (about usual given distance), 45/12 NEXT to router in basement. This USED to give me over 100/12 when right next to router.

    Hardline
    Upstairs PC connected to 2g AE LAN port - 10/10. WHAT????? This ALWAYS pegs at 125/12. ALWAYS.
    First floor iMac - 125/12.

    So based on full speeds from iMac going through 5g AE in basement and crippled speeds on PC off of old 2g AE upstairs. Something is jacked on 2g AE

    It may be the router itself. A few years ago I got the new AE because when I switched to vDSL with ATT, the wireless speeds cut in half and I could never figure out why. New router solved it.

    Any config tips or should I just drag old router into Apple store and have them test it - got a store right next to work.

    EDIT: Oh and this prob isn't a coincidence, but for the first time I've ever seen it, the Xfinity speed test is doing TWO tests automatically, one for IPv4 and one for IPv6. Does it on both Mac and PC, both speeds are virtually identical.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #9
    Is this a first generation or second generation Extreme? When you use AirPort Utility on an iOS device does it show the connection as 100 Mbps or 1000 Mbps full duplex?
     
  10. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #10
    It's a 2g on fw 7.6.4 which it says is up to date. Also says data rate 10 Mb/s, maximum data rate 1,000 Mb/s, full duplex.
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #11
    That means that the cable may have a damaged crimp or is not a Fast Ethernet/Gigabit Ethernet rated cable (Cat 5e or Cat 6 should be used). Gigabit requires all four pairs to be used, so a damaged pin inside of the RJ-45 WAN port on the Extreme or a bad crimp job can cause that issue. Try a new cable and inspect the WAN port.
     
  12. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    Good points. The cable I'm using between wall and router/ PC is the same. I'm just moving it to either PC or router. Cables are all 5e. So may be the WAN port on the 2g AE. It could also be the cable that connects PC to the router. But that wouldn't explain the horrible Wi-Fi speeds coming out of 2g AE. Only if wifi was great and hardline PC was crappy slow, right?
     
  13. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #13
    Well, when connected over Wi-Fi you have two factors that affect the speed. The first is the transmit rate which is the speed between the client and router/AP. You can determine this by option clicking the Wi-Fi icon in the menu bar. You likely will see speeds of 150+ Mbps which will be more than ample for your needs. The second is the backend connection to the network. This is your crippling factor as you are only getting 10 Mbps. A good way to test is to grab the old Extreme, a new Ethernet cable, and run to the new Extreme downstairs. Plug it into a LAN port and see if it connects properly at the appropriate speed. If it does then you have a cable issue, if not inspect the port to ensure that the copper points did not get bent or malformed. You can move the second AirPort anywhere to any Ethernet port in the house without issue.
     
  14. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #14
    Odd result. Took old AE and laptop to new AE. Plugging laptop into old AE chained directly off new AE gives much better speeds, but still only 70-ish down. Plugging laptop either directly into new AE or unmanaged switch gives full 125 every time.

    Then used same cord I was using upstairs and got same result.

    So it's clearly something with the old AE, but all contacts look good in wan port and all others.

    Didn't try wireless as every device defaults to newer AE and didn't see how to switch. Assuming if hardline speeds are jacked, wireless must be as well.
     
  15. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #15

    Sometimes ports vary ever so slightly to work differently in different clients. Since it got a connection up to 70 Mbps I wouldn't rule out the cable or connector yet.
     
  16. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #16
    Ok - I did swap cables, ones that did get up to 125. Also tried every LAN port on the old AE. Doesn't rule out the WAN obv.

    My memory is slowly coming back and I remember that my problems with this AE started several years ago when one of my kids put a book or something on it overnight. When I discovered it, the AE was too hot to touch and that was when my speed problems started.
     
  17. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #17
    I would just about write it off then. Heat can kill any electronic unfortunately.
     
  18. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #18
    Thanks. That has been what I'm coming around too.

    So if I pop for a new 802.11ac AE, I'd like to think of a way to put that on the first floor so it has best range.

    I guess if I left the 5g AE in basement like it is, then just put new AC AE up on first floor on a port off the switch, it should work fine then?

    Would there be any advantage to making new AC AE the new first device after cable modem? I don't know that I could use it as first device up on first floor? The switch is in the basement where all cat 5 in the house terminate at. So the AE down there can feed that switch and thus all lines in the house.

    Not sure how I could sign from cable modem up to new AC AE but then get signal back down to switch for the rest of the house.
     
  19. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #19
    The newer AirPort Extreme 6th generation is much stronger than the older models, and as a result you may or may not need to even extend it. The ideal situation is to have the main base station in a central location and any other APs (Access Points) connected via Ethernet. Do not be afraid to dial down the transmit power on the 5th generation as you want the signal to be strong enough that you get a great transmit rate and reliability but with only enough overlap so that clients roam freely without "sticking" to a single AP. You could, in theory, run Ethernet from the modem to a central location for the WAN connection then run Ethernet back to the switch.
     
  20. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #20
    Good information. I wonder if the AC AE could reach all the way through my 4500 sf house if it's in the basement . It's about 1500 each floor give or take.

    Ideally it would be on the first floor but I have just two lines on that floor ( one to another switch at tv, another to iMac in kitchen) and can't see a way to easily run a line back down. It would require getting into the walls and that's more hassle than I'd like. Basement is unfinished so not the end of the world.

    But could I run the first 5g without wireless off the modem in the basement, and then just use the AC AE as a wireless AP on the first floor? What drawbacks might that have?

    I'm assumung that since my switch is unmanaged, it couldn't handle being the first device off the modem?
     
  21. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #21

    Yes. You could run the 5th gen. like that.

    No. You need a router on the network before the switch.
     
  22. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #22
    Well I think I have my marching orders. New AC AE coming up. Will hopefully enjoy that as I already have 3 AC devices in the house

    Thanks for all your help!
     
  23. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #23

    No problem! Report back if you need any more help.
     
  24. darknyt thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #24
    Okay, so I picked up the new airport extreme. It took a bit of messing around and it would not give the best speeds at my first choice of locations behind the TV entertainment center. Maybe too much interference. But I located it behind my iMac in the kitchen and use it as an access point and hardline the Mac to it. After some more messing around I was able to turn off wireless on the 5G in the basement and get everything else to behave so that everything would default to the new router.

    I am able to get a full 125/12 on my iPad air 2 and iPhone 6+ in either the first or second story. That by itself is very impressive.

    The only real issue I have now is getting the devices that use 802.11 AC to stick to the AC band on the router. They will commonly drop to the N band. I can see through AirPort Utility which band they are connecting to. If I turn Wi-Fi off and then back on real quick in settings, it typically will reconnect to the AC band.

    I can have as many as 11 devices on the router, but typically only one or two are actually using it at a given time. I have not turned on the 5 GHz specific SSID full time yet (tried it briefly, didn't seem to fix it), and have the multicast set to low.

    Any tips?
     
  25. mojolicious macrumors 68000

    mojolicious

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Location:
    Sarf London
    #25
    I might be reading the thread wrongly (for some reason I've woken up at 6am on a Sunday morning and my brain isn't fully functioning yet) but you're now running 1x 5th gen and 1x 6th gen Airport Extremes?

    My venerable Netgear DG834 modem/router does all the DHCP/NAT stuff. It's connected by ethernet to one 5th gen AE, which in turn is connected by ethernet to another 5th gen AW. Both AEs are in 'bridge mode' with manual IP addresses.

    When both 5GHz and 2.4GHz networks shared the same SSID I had similar problems with devices not picking up the optimal connection when moving between AEs. Once I'd assigned another name to the 5GHz network on each AE this problem disappeared.

    I can now move, nay skip, through the flat from AE to AE knowing that devices will stay on 'mojnet' or 'mojnet 5GHz' as appropriate.

    I guess it helps that I have no 5GHz blind spots. On the downside, my flat would fit in your 4,500 sq feet house five times over...
     

Share This Page