best use of airport extreme 6th gen?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gavcav, May 9, 2017.

  1. gavcav macrumors newbie

    gavcav

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2017
    #1
    i've got of the latest 2 airport extremes and would like advice on the best way to use them?..i don't fully understand the main configs..bridge mode etc? excuse my 'blonde' moment but each time i think i understand how to use them, i read something which conflicts or something doesn't quite work as it should and it just frustrates the hell out of me.
    i'm happy with my home network regs speed etc. it's just the strength of the signal throughout my home which is a pain.
    for example i have 'ring' video doorbells and cameras all around my property and i'm getting unstable wifi connecting them.
    i just want the most straight forward setup to give me decent signal strength throughout the house..any help would be really appreciated.
    thanks
     
  2. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #2
    For what you are trying to do, no your don't want to use bridge mode, you want to "extend" the wifi network for better coverage. Here is an Apple document that will walk you through it.

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202056
     
  3. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #3
    Extending is not necessarily the "Best" method.

    A "Good" solution is one Router. A "Better" solution if "Good" is not good enough is a Wi-Fi Extended network. The "Best" or "Preferred" method as described in the article you linked to is a Roaming Wi-Fi network.

    The difference between Roaming and Extending is how the secondary devices connect to the main router. Roaming uses Ethernet to uplink the secondary device to the router, but Extended networks rely on splitting the radio\bandwidth to wirelessly link the two devices. The result is up to 50% drop in Wi-Fi capacity on Extended networks, with minimal loss of capacity on Roaming networks.

    The second device uses bridged mode (both Roaming and Extending put the second device in bridged mode) to avoid conflicts with NAT, DHCP, etc on the primary router. In effect, bridged mode makes the second device an Access Point (as opposed to a router), that bridges Wi-Fi to Ethernet without performing routing functions. Both methods extend the range of the signal, but Roaming permits the second device to be far enough out of range of the first to avoid or minimize overlapping (signals from both devices reaching the same locations), and dedicates 100% of it's wireless capacity to client (iOS, Mac, PC, Android, Ring, etc devices). Excessively overlapping Wi-Fi routers\Access Points, be they configured for roaming or extending, interfere with each other, thus slowing speeds and capacity, but roaming reduces the impact.

    If Ethernet to the second device is challenging, consider a MOCA or Powerline Ethernet adapter. MOCA uses existing unused coax cables in the home and Powerline uses existing home power wires to transmit and receive with adapters on either end to bridge Ethernet to Powerline or Coax. Both can achieve near 1Gbps performance with the right conditions, don't go cheap as older versions struggled to get 50-100Mbps throughput. Expect to fork out around $75-100 or so to do this right. Here is one solution which works well in my setup.
     
  4. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #4
    Your points are valid and great advice, but your terminology is not correct.

    What you're describing is adding more wired APs to an existing infrastructure. I don't think there's a simple name for it, unfortunately.

    Roaming is what a client does to reassociate to another AP, presumably with a stronger signal. Some standards for roaming are 802.11k and 802.11r. In fact, you can roam to another AP on a Wi-Fi network that is wirelessly extended.

    Here's an interesting test Cisco performed with a phone for roaming between 5 APs:

    https://blogs.cisco.com/wireless/wi-fi-roaming-101
     
  5. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #5
    I understand, but trying to use Apple's terminology. Effectively, Apple's roaming and extending methods are both ways to extend your Wi-Fi signal to a larger area using multiple Access Points. Apple distinguishes them by the method of interconnecting, roaming = ethernet, extending = Wi-Fi. These terms are confusing to those of us who work with the underlying technologies for a living, but are nonetheless an attempt to simplify things for the average user. Perhaps if Apple used the term Ethernet Extended and Wi-Fi Extended, it might help, but good luck changing course on that Titanic!

    In true networking terminology, roaming indeed refers to clients connecting to a series of access points, all of which give the device access to the same LAN. Cell carriers bastardize the term as well, referring to roaming as using third party partner networks to gain access to the carrier's network. Cisco's implementation, at least in this article, describes a definition of roaming using multiple access points with central authentication (802.1X) and 802.11r to facilitate faster handoffs from one AP to another. This is clearly overkill for the average Joe's home, but your point is well taken.

    Unfortunately, even with all the Wi-Fi "standards", the terminology is not universally defined so each vendor tends to try to simplify, which in turn complicates things for those who know the difference.
     
  6. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #6
    They call it "Multi Wi-Fi base station network".

    https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202056
     
  7. techwarrior macrumors 6502a

    techwarrior

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    Location:
    Colorado
    #7
    That rolls off the tongue rather easily, doesn't it?
     
  8. Taz Mangus macrumors 68040

    Taz Mangus

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #8

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