best use of airport express?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by krismi, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. krismi macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2006
    I have a wireless network set up through a Westell Versalink modem/router. During a recent visit my Dad bought an Airport Express 802.11n Wi-Fi to extend our network (it weakens substantially between floors). However, after looking around, it seems that the Airport Express can only be used as a signal booster/extender with an Airport Extreme/Express base station. My questions are:

    1) Am I right? Can I not use the Airport Express as a signal booster for our Westell Versalink wireless network?

    2) If I am wrong and I can use the Airport Express as a signal booster, how?

    3) If I am right (question 1), can I disable my Versalink's router function and use the Airport Express to create the wireless network in our house? Will this be better than our current wireless network? (Our house is rather small, so I'm always surprised at the low signal.) How would I do this?

    Thanks for any help or advice on this. We aren't looking to purchase anything more, just make the best of what we have.
  2. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    not sure about your particular router, but the express is notoriously unfriendly in extending other routers, apparently sometimes it can be done but it will probably be difficult.

    Try unplugging your cordless phone if you have one and see if that helps your network coverage any.

    You can hardwire the express.
    you have 3 options.
    1. disable the wireless on the router, and just use the express. maybe wire it to a more central location

    2. if you can put the express on the other floor (or opposite side of the house) and connect via ethernet you can have 2 wireless basses for your network. your devices will pick the best signal and go with that one.although if you move from one base to the other, apparently there might be a short (under 1 second) delay in changing the connection that might for example disconnect a Skype call.

    • put the same SSID on both the router and the AE
    • setup exactly the same securtiy settings
    • on the AE, on the internet page set connection sharing to "off bridged mode"
    • choose different channels for the different basses.
    • Make the wireless mode (B/G/N or B/G)on the AE match the router

    and if the new location happens to be by a stereo, bonus, you can have your music there.

    3. if the Versalink is not wireless N, and you want N (newer laptop for example) just set up a second wireless network with a different name, so your B/G stuff will connect to the router, and the N stuff will connect to the express.
    although this would only cause an improvement in network file transfer speeds, it will not speed up the internet. even wireless B is faster than most home internet connections.

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