AirPort Extreme question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by PrometheusGeek, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. PrometheusGeek, Oct 1, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012

    PrometheusGeek macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    So, I went to the Apple store today to purchase an AirPort Extreme as a replacement for my Netgear router. I also wanted to know how to extend the range of the Extreme to cover my whole house, and asked the sales person if the Airport Express was the answer. I wanted to know if the Express could be configured in repeater-mode and placed at the other end of the house to extend the Extreme's range.
    The sales rep told me that I had to plug the Express into my modem, and then tether the Extreme to it, and place them side by side on the shelf. This way, he explained, the dual-mode WiFi of the Extreme would double the power of the Express and pump a much stronger signal through the entire house.
    I looked at him for a long moment, thinking, "Say what?!" - and then concluded in my own mind that he was full of crap and talking out of his - backside.
    So, my question here - is he right? Is this how it works? Or is it a case of an Apple Store employee not knowing what the hell he's talking about and making up some BS to make it sound like he knows what he's talking about?
    Seems to me - that it's the latter. Seems to me that an Express can be configured to wirelessly repeat the Extreme's signal, and the placed in a remote location as a range extender.

    Oh, and yes, I know this is the wrong forum, but I wasn't entirely sure what the right one was...
  2. brentmore macrumors 6502


    Jul 19, 2002
    Yep, that rep was telling you stories. You can definitely configure the Express to function as a repeater/range extender. When you initially configure the Express, you'll see the option to use it to extend an existing network. Easy.
  3. PrometheusGeek thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    Awesome. Thanks.
    It makes sense. Just befuddles me why Apple hires these tools... :rolleyes:
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Just got an AEBS myself as my TC just died. Already had an AE. Just tried the network extending and it was easy to setup and works fine. But there was a problem. I have my aTV3 close to my AEBS in the basement and the AE on the first floor. My MBP also on the first floor got stronger signal and was "snappier". But my aTV was a lot slower loading artwork and sometimes would not load it at all. Also, I kept getting the "loading library" message. Before setting the AE to "extend network" everything was really fast. So I think the communication between the aTV/AEBS/AE slows down the aTV. I had read that that could be the result of using AE to extend a network. Reverted back to "join network" mode and everything back to normal.

    I really surprised at the Apple Store employees feeding you that BS.
  5. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    I believe the Sales associate meant to explain it as, you extend the wifi with a much stronger signal you should run an ethernet cable from the AEBS to the Express and bridge the devices.

    2 Airports connected via ethernet for their main signal put out a much higher WiFi bandwidth.
    2 Airports connected via wirelessly extending will almost cut the bandwidth in half at your extender, it will still be quick enough for "most" browsing and every day online tasks but if you want full coverage and full speed the best bet would be to run a CAT5E or 6 cable to whereever you want your extender located.

    I've done this several ways and since I have a somewhat large 1 story home I have 3 Airport Extreme Base Stations set up in a triangular pattern in the home.

    My Time Capsule(front of the home) picks up my internet signal from my Cable modem and then a CAT6 cable runs into the attic where I have a 24port Gigabit switch located.
    I then have another cable running down to my 2nd Airport Extreme Base Station that emits it's WiFi signal for the left portion of the home.
    Then from the Switch again to my 3rd AEBS that emits its signal for the right portion.

    For all of the other rooms I have dropped 2-3 CAT6 lines per room depending on the size of the room. I then have 12ft CAT6 patch cables in each of the rooms in drawers or night stands just in case someone doesn't have wifi or if I need the MAX throughput I can get.

    Picking up a 1000' of CAT6 @ monoprice is fairly cheap ($110ish) and even though it CAN be a pain dropping some of the lines the payoff is worth it in the end.
    Keep an eye on ebay and you can usually find a decent used AEBS 4th or 5th gen router for cheaper than a new Express.

    Going this route, if you are connecting 2 or more extenders simultaneously, I find it easier to just hold the reset pin and have all of the devices ready to set up at one time. It can help get them get up properly the 1st time and help eliminate some bad settings that may have previously set.

    If you have an iPhone this is even easier no matter where in the home you are.
    Just reset all of the devices and go to WiFi settings on your phone and start with which device will be your main router and configure it then choose how you want to extend the other devices, the phone and software makes quick work of the whole thing.

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